The Fell Hound of Adversity by Parker T. Geissel

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Fell Hound of Adversity by Parker T. Geissel to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Fell Hound of Adversity by Parker T. Geissel

Here is the book blurb.

Hard-boiled Suspense! Two-fisted Romance!! Bare-knuckle Thrills!!!

A down-and-out line cook gets mixed up with a beautiful federal agent and a sinister plot to destroy the city in the run-down, hard-luck town of Adversity, battling criminal thugs, crooked politicians, and something even worse that stalks the violent streets.

The author described it to me as a pulp/noir style thriller with a culinary theme. However I didn’t realise it was also going to be fantasy, which is not a genre that I am keen on. Most of the books that I have previously read with a culinary theme have been light romantic comedies.

I really struggled with this book but persevered to the end. It is set in the Charmed City of Adversity. Colonel Dashenka Ivanovna Stavrogin and her team have been sent by the Inland Revenue from the capital to carry out an audit but they seem to have a violent way of going about it. At the same time there are murders going on, with the bodies being found in a horrific dismembered state. Are the murders down to the local crime boss, The Princess of Darkness or perhaps the Fell Hound beast?

Meanwhile Rudimental Quince used to be a sous chef at a top restaurant but now scrapes a living helping at a sandwich bar. His downfall apparently due to falling out with his best friend, Blazing Buck Cortez, another chef. And Rudi’s brother Lenient is into dodgy dealings which get him captured. So his neighbour Marlene gets Rudi to try to rescue him.

All the politicians of the city like the Council Chairman Tinpot and Chief Auditor Leland Cue seem to be up to no good. Almost every character the book is violent or corrupt. And nobody dares venture into the West Side of the City due to rumours about the beast.

Even romance between ill-matched characters. And so on. There just seem to be too many threads intertwined in this book. Not for me, but if it sounds like your cup of tea, then give it a try.

The Fell Hound of Adversity is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback or £2.28 in Kindle format.

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

Cheesy Chorizo Pasta

Here is a tasty twist on the classic macaroni cheese.

Cheesy Chorizo Pasta

Cheesy Chorizo Pasta

Ingredients (serves 4)

300g pasta (macaroni, penne, fusili or similar)
75g diced chorizo
50g plain flour
50g margarine
600ml milk
100g grated cheddar
salt and pepper to season


Preheat fan oven to 180 degrees.
Place pasta in oven-proof dish.
Grate the cheese.
Melt margarine in jug in microwave.
Mix in flour.
Mix in about a quarter of the milk and heat for 1 minute on medium in microwave.
Continue to mix in milk, about a quarter at a time and heat for 1 minute each time.
Continue to heat for 1 minute intervals until sauce has thickened, stirring between heating.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in most of the grated cheese, reserving a small amount.
Dice the chorizo and stir into the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the pasta.
Sprinkle reserved cheese on top.
Cook for about 40 minutes in preheated oven until pasta is soft, turning dish round halfway through cooking.
Serve and enjoy.

cheesy chorizo macaroni

I’d love to hear what is your favourite twist on a classic dish?

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A Sense of Discovery by Peter Martin

I have received a free e-copy of the book A Sense of Discovery by Peter Martin to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

A Sense of Discovery by Peter Martin

Here is the book blurb.

When Garry’s mother dies, he’s devastated. It’s not only her death, but her last words to him. He embarks on a search to uncover the truth. What follows is a dangerous journey. A journey full of unforeseen pitfalls, which could ultimately put both his life, and the lives of his whole family in jeopardy.

On her deathbed, Garry’s mum reveals that he is adopted and then at the will reading, he discovers that she had significant share holdings which he inherits. It doesn’t make sense as he has his birth certificate, but is it genuine? He decides to follow up what she has said and searches for his birth certificate online, but he also finds a death certificate too. He orders them both and they indicate that Garry died a month after he was born. So the evidence points to his parents reusing their dead baby’s name when they adopted him.

His parents lost touch with their relatives a long time ago, but Garry somehow drags the names of his dad’s siblings from the back of his mind. He uses BT online to make a list of anyone called A Flynn in Rochdale and then spends a couple of hours phoning round before he hits the jackpot and finds his uncle Alan. Garry and his wife Delia go to visit Alan, but all he can reveal is that Garry’s parents went on an exotic holiday to Montriga in 1964 and then relocated from Rochdale to Birmingham only a few weeks later.

Garry noted that the shares were dated shortly after the holiday, therefore he concludes that the answer may lie in Montriga, so he and Delia decide to spend some of the share money on a holiday there and do some research alongside. However each time he almost finds a clue, a brick wall presents itself. It is as if someone deliberately covered events up at the time, but Garry is determined and keeps battering down the brick walls.

I won’t say where this all leads, except there is danger ahead for Garry and his whole family, even his 6yr old grandson. You’ll have to read the book to find out if he discovers the truth about his birth parents.

I really loved this book, especially as I am particularly interested in genealogy, so it was right up my street.

A Sense of Discovery is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format. A great read with plenty of twists and lots of suspense. Highly recommended. A real page turner. I’m certainly adding Peter’s other titles to my reading wishlist.

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

Spotlight on Preceded By Chaos

I haven’t read this book but today I have a Spotlight on the graphic novel Preceded By Chaos, vol 0 written by the author M Wheeler to share with my followers.

Preceded By Chaos

Here is the book blurb.

…Preceded by Chaos is an illustrated short story. The protagonist, Mitchell Weaver, is a young Emergency Medicine doctor. Mitchell has entered a high stress, distinguished profession with the burden of a variety of particularly disturbing personal demons that he must battle every day in order to maintain the façade of sanity and control. The initial instalment of the series, Volume 0, introduces the reader to Mitchell at a point in his life where he has begun to realize that many of his prior indulgences and deficits are no longer compatible with his current life of responsibility.

“…Preceded by Chaos, Vol. 0” is an illustrated short story. Why an illustrated short story? Well I would attribute that and, in many respects my writing style to my mother. She is neither an author nor an editor but she possibly embodies the single most influential impact on my writing style. You see, I love her immensely, but my mother is chaos personified. She is overtly anxious and her energy, similar to the symbol of chaos, extends in any direction at any time, with varying degrees, and without warning or notice. Like many children, I always had some element of misdirected resentment towards my mother for the less desirable personality traits that I inherited from her, until I understood how to own them and make them work for me. Two examples that stand out most to me are our short attention spans and our ability to find drama in the mundane and the mundane within the drama. In addition to these traits providing me with a perfect temperament for the fast pace and stress of Emergency Medicine they have also defined my writing style. For those scarce on time and attention, my stories are short and designed to keep you engaged for a quick flight, a lunch break or the short break that life offers while the kids are at karate. Like the varying energies of mom, my short stories fluctuate between text and illustration to use different modes of media to stimulate the reader and move the story along. It is our shared second trait, of finding the spectacle in the silent moments, which truly make the stories work, and I hope the reader agrees. Thanks for the style mom.

As for the story itself, the protagonist, Mitchell Weaver, is a young Emergency doctor. Mitchell has entered a high stress, distinguished profession with the burden of a variety of particularly disturbing personal demons that he must battle every day in order to maintain the façade of sanity and control. This book is part of series, which has an established and finite arc. When we first meet Mitchell, in Vol. 0, he has lost much of himself during the pursuit of his calling. Through the plus books the series follows Mitchell on his journey to find his true self; while through the minus books we trace his steps backward in attempt to identify how and where exactly he lost his himself. Symbolic of the series, which details Mitchell’s soul searching journey, Volume 0 is an important place to start because it documents Mitchell’s hunt to find an old friend who Mitchell feels can help set right some of the wrongs of his past that have found their way into his present.

Although the series is about a young doctor it approaches some common societal ailments that afflict all of human kind. For me, growing up in a family that produced more criminal charges and teenaged pregnancies then college degrees, once amongst the previously unfamiliar fraternity of physicians, I never expected to find so many commonalities between the common and the hyper-intellectual. I found that issues that we as a society and deal with, either directly or indirectly, such as mental illness, drug abuse and physical abuse are not stigmas associated to a particular social status but are unfortunate attributes that burden all of mankind. In order to create this series, I’ve taken interesting, and in some cases disturbing, situations and people that I have seen during my career and I have placed them in environments that I am familiar with.

PBC is a fictional series not based on any one individual’s life but rather a collage of individual lives amalgamated into Mitchell and put on display for the reader to understand that we all suffer from the human condition.

Thank you for the opportunity to entertain you.  I truly enjoyed writing “…Preceded by Chaos.”

Please visit the website, at, for free multimedia content and to learn more about the series. Like us on Face Book, at Preceded By Chaos, and follow us on Twitter, at @precededbychaos.

M. Wheeler

About M Wheeler
M. Wheeler held an eclectic series of jobs – including working as a studio engineer and a teacher – before he entered medical school in his thirties. During his residency while living in New York City, he wrote his first two books which would eventually become the Preceded by Chaos series. Wheeler travels extensively for his job but currently lives in Miami.


Facebook –

This book can be purchased via Amazon.

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

Preceded By Chaos by M Wheele

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Disclosure.  I have not received this product.  All opinions are my own.

Gordon’s Great Escape – book review and giveaway

Although son2 now enjoys chapter books, he still loves snuggling up for a bedtime picture book story. And he was quick to spot the logo indicating that our latest one was by the same authors who wrote Supertato, a character that he enjoys. This book is Gordon’s Great Escape by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet and we received a free copy of it to review plus an e-booklet of balloon activities.

Gordon's Great Escape

This is what it says on the back cover.

You may think being a balloon is all parties and floating about.
But have you ever thought about  how dangerous and adventurous a balloon’s life can be?
You haven’t?
Then it’s high time you met Gordon.

Gordon's Great Escape

Son2 loved listening to this book and the next day the boys had fun trying out balloon badminton from the activities booklet.

Balloon Badminton

We used actual badminton rackets, but you can make your own as per this screenshot from the activities booklet.

Balloon badminton

Gordon’s Great Escape is written by Sue Hendra and illustrated by Paul Linnet. It has been published today and is currently available on Amazon for £5.24 compared to a RRP of £6.99 for a paperback copy. It is also available as a Kindle edition. This beautifully illustrated lovely story for young children, suitable for age 0-5 is published by Simon & Schuster.

You may see details of Sue Hendra’s other books here, plus there are games and activity sheets.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a copy of Gordon’s Great Escape 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 if your child has a favourite story?

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

FrubesMoves Challenge

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take part in the #FrubesMoves Challenge. I received 3 free Yoplait vouchers to purchase Frubes. These are already a firm favourite in our household and it is great how they contain vitamin D and calcium for strong bones.

Yoplait Frubes

So I chose to buy two standard packs of 9 40g Frubes (3x strawberry, 3x red berries & 3x peach) and a pack of 6 70g Frubes pouches (3x strawberry & 3x raspberry). They also come in banana flavour and are great for a snack on the go, as no spoon needed.

Yoplait Frubes

To celebrate Frubes’ partnership with the must-see family film of the year, The Angry Birds Movie, Frubes has created a squawksome dance-off between the Angry Birds and mischievous Pigs. Staunch enemies in the film, the dance off between the Birds and Pigs means you and your family can settle the feud for good – pick a side and find out who is the ultimate dancer! Will your family shake their tail feathers with the Birds, or dance their bacon off with the Pigs? Visit, where you can egg on your favourite character.

Both the boys love Angry Birds. Son2 chose that as his party theme last year and they thoroughly enjoyed seeing the movie. So they were very keen to try out the Dance Off. They watched every single groove before trying out their #FrubesMoves.

Angry Birds #FrubesMoves

Son1’s favourite was The Mighty Eagle whilst son2 liked Bomb best.

Here is a short clip of them both strutting their favourite FrubesMoves. They said it was the best bit of fun all day!

Did you know that as part of The Angry Birds Movie partnership, Frubes is running an egg-citing on-pack promotion until 31 October, offering families the chance to flock to the Bahamas for a fun-filled island holiday to spot exotic birds and swim with pigs? The competition includes a weekly draw to win a whole host of Angry Birds Movie merchandise, with a grand prize of a family holiday for four to spend six nights in the Bahamas!

Yoplait Frubes

I’d love to hear your favourite dance move.

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Disclosure. This post is an entry for BritMums’ #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes.  This post is a review of products I received for free. All opinions are my own.

A Bright Future for the Next Generation

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take part in the #brightFuture Challenge. I received a free Unilever bag including a bottle of Persil Non-Bio Small & Mighty Liquid, Dove DermaSpa body lotion and a body wash and a bottle of Domestos Bleach, all brands that I know well and trust.

Unilever products

I certainly want my children to have a bright future, so I try to teach them a mantra I learnt from my parents to reduce, reuse, recycle. Some of it falls on deaf ears, particularly with regards to the huge number of toys we possess.

However they do like to join in with planting seeds, although unfortunately none of us seem to have green fingers, so we certainly couldn’t become self-sufficient, but we did have plenty of raspberries this summer plus some tomatoes and I just picked the last few alpine strawberries of the season. Alongside our gardening efforts, of course we have a compost bin.

growing strawberries

We sometimes enjoy a crafting session together, for which I’ve added lots of bits and pieces to my crafting stash via reuse. So magazines, wrapping paper, ribbon, bubble wrap, boxes all end up there.

And we’ve been using cloth shopping bags for years, long before the plastic bag tariff was introduced. My favourites are personalised with the boys’ artwork. And with shoulder straps, it makes it easier for the boys to help carry shopping home when we walk 10 minutes to our local small supermarket rather jumping in the car.

Unilever bag for life

Talking of bags, I rarely need to buy bin bags, as there always seems to be a constant supply of plastic bags arriving in the house, either from food or packaging on review products. Okay the bags may be a lot smaller, so I’m taking them out to the wheelie bin much more frequently.

And of course we try to follow all the easy energy saving tips like washing clothes at a lower temperature and on a short cycle, turning lights off in unoccupied rooms, closing the curtains, turning the tap off whilst brushing teeth.

Right now, I’m wearing a jumper to avoid putting the heat on for a few more weeks.

Fact File:
Unilever’s brightFuture initiative focuses on small changes that can make big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.
This is exemplified in the work undertaken by Domestos that has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce school dropout rates and improve quality of life.
Furthermore, Persil has backed a global initiative ‘Learning for Tomorrow’ partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the world’s toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education.
Building on the aim to improve lives through small steps, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has worked closely with leading psychologists, academics and experts to create materials and resources that help young people develop a positive relationship with their appearance. The project has now reached over 19 million young lives.

Some interesting figures:
Six out of ten parents saying that they have started to live in a ‘greener’ way at home at the suggestion of their children.
83% of children continue to feel optimistic about their own future and 59% feel optimistic about the future of the environment.
Most parents (between 70-80%) believe that, compared with themselves, their children will live longer, have a better education and better job prospects, and will enjoy life more, even if they will have to work harder to reap the rewards of the greater benefits ahead.

I’d love to hear what you do towards achieving a better future for the next generation.

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Disclosure. This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever. This post mentions products I received for free. All opinions are my own.

Gorgeous George and the Jumbo Jobby Juicer by Stuart Reid

I have received a free signed paperback copy of the book “Gorgeous George and the Jumbo Jobby Juicer” by Stuart Reid for son1 to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Gorgeous George

Here is the book blurb.

If you don’t know what a jobby is the title of this book would be ‘Gorgeous George and the Power Pink Poo Pump’

George and Grandpa Jock are investigating the enormous piles of pink poo appearing around Little Pumpington. The circus is in town, the elephants are having tummy trouble and the monkeys are up to mischief. Crayon Kenny (when he’s not sticking crayons up his nose) has developed a craving for McDoball’s new burgers and their energy drink ‘Power Pink’ whilst Allison is doing her best to control the boys.

There’s pink poo, pumps and parades. Monkeys, mayhem and mysteries!

Gorgeous George and the Jumbo Jobby Juicer

Any book that mentions poo, pee, farting or bottoms is a sure-fire winner with both my boys and I could certainly hear son1 giggling as he read this book. He definitely gave it the thumbs-up.

Here is son1’s video review.

Gorgeous George and the Jumbo Jobby Juicer is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in kindle format. It is also available in paperback, but not via Amazon. There are 5 Gorgeous George books in the series, targeted at children age 8+. Son1 loved this book and wants to read Gorgeous George and the Giant Geriatric Generator next.

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

Indiana Belle by John A Heldt

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I recently received free e-copies of two books by John Heldt to review. You may see my review of the first one, The Mine here. And now we have Indiana Belle, which is the stand-alone third book in the American Journey time-travel series. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Indiana Belle by John A Heldt


Here is the book blurb.

Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

This book starts in the present day (or next year to be precise) with Cameron looking through historical papers he had purchased from the 1920s including the diary and photograph of journalist, Candice Bell. He is intrigued by several references in the diary to Candice’s father and uncle having discovered a formula for time-travel. And he is fixated on Candice’s photo but discovers she was murdered in 1925.

He meets with Professor Geoffrey Bell, who is the great grandson of Candice’s uncle. Geoffrey reveals that both he and his wife Jeanette have time-travelled many times. Geoffrey reluctantly agrees to a deal to send Cameron back to 1925 in exchange for Cameron finding and bringing back some of the crystals needed to power his time-travel tunnel. He also insists that Cameron does nothing to alter the timeline.

So Cameron heads back in time to early 1925, several months before the date of the murder and takes a train to Evansville, Indiana where Candice lives. However when he arrives, he finds Candice is out of town on leave for a couple of weeks visiting her mother. He goes to visit her there and as the sky darkens, his future memories realise that a serious tornado is about to strike. He convinces them to hide in the cellar just in time before the tornado destroys the house. Afterwards amongst the debris, he finds the missing journal of Candice’s late father.

Candice invites Cameron out to dinner and things gradually progress from there. I will leave you to read the rest as I’m sure you’re wondering what happens next. I was also interested to see that the story encompassed tales of the Klu Klux Klan.

Indiana Belle is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.76 in Kindle format. I loved this book. A really great read and having now read two John Heldt novels, I can say I highly recommend this author.

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

Superhero Dream Team

My boys have been challenged to come up with their Superhero Dream Team which is right up their street as they are both big Superhero fans with loads of toys and books featuring the likes of Batman, Spiderman and Hulk.

So this is who they chose and why.

Spiderman because of his amazing webtastic skills.
Hulk for his amazing super strength.
Yoda because of his wise old ways even though he can forget them.
Harry Potter for his magical abilities.
Captain Underpants for being a super powered potty hero.

Spiderman and Hulk


Harry Potter

Captain Underpants

Regular readers may not be surprised that the boys mentioned Spiderman and Hulk first, as they have featured on the blog previously.

So I’d love to hear who would be in your Superhero dream team? If you need some inspiration, try comics as your starting point. There are lots of comic book collections on the invaluable marketplace.

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Disclosure. I have not received anything for this post. All opinions are my own.