Links by Lisa Becker

I have received a free e-copy of the book Links by Lisa Becker to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Links by Lisa Becker

Here is the book blurb.

In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school. In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see better…so does her heart! Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending injury. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

The story starts with a prologue back in 1999 when 14 year old high school student Charlotte was tutoring twins Garrett and Marcus. She was very good friends with their sister Lindsay but had a secret crush on Garrett. We then move forward to the present day when they bump into each other in a restaurant. Charlotte is now a famous author and Garrett is an injured professional golfer, but Charlotte has carried a torch for Garrett all these years.

Garrett brings a takeaway a few days later and they catch up on news. Their paths cross again when Lindsay invites Charlotte for a weekend away at the family cabin. They enjoy each other’s company and agree to hang out as friends!

I’ll leave you to guess where this is heading.

Links is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.81 in Kindle format. A nice light feel-good happy read.


Here is an extract from the book for you to read.

I stand but hesitate when I see Tamika’s disapproving look. Fi notices as well. “It’s okay, T. I got this,” she says, motioning for me to follow her back. When we get to her small office, she closes the door and gestures for me to sit on a red vinyl chair, circa 1972. She stands in front of me, leaning against the desk, and crosses her arms in front of her chest. “Spill!”

“Where should I start?”

“At the beginning.” She walks around to her chair behind the desk and pulls out a yellow legal pad.

For the next half hour, I go over my encounter with Garrett, from the moment we bumped into each other and he didn’t recognize me, to the embarrassment of being called ‘Glasses.’

Fi takes notes furiously on her pad and grins, nods, and cringes at all the appropriate times. When I finish, she puts her pen down and asks, “Do you want the ‘best friend experience’ or the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

I can’t help but laugh. “Are they mutually exclusive?”

“They are,” she says nodding.

“Okay. I want the best friend experience.”

She rushes around from behind the desk, wraps her arms around me soothingly. “I’m so sorry, hon. That sounds just awful. Let’s go get margaritas tomorrow and drown our sorrows in tequila and lime wedges.”

“Thanks, Fi. You’re the best.”

“Anytime,” she says, rubbing my back. She pulls away and walks around to the back of her desk. She sits down and puts the legal pad to the side. I can’t help but notice the writing scrawled across it.

“Just for kicks, what would you have said if I had asked for the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

“You sure you want to know?” Her lips pull into a grim line. Honestly, I’m not sure I do want to know, but curiosity gets the better of me.

“Lay it on me,” I say.

“You need to get laid. Not the kind of bland, missionary style sex you had with Alex. You need hot heat, sweating up the sheets, crazy animal sex.”

I bust out laughing. “That’s your brilliant legal advice. Crazy animal sex?”

“Yes. That’s my brilliant legal advice,” she says with complete seriousness. “Listen, hon, it’s been a year since that insecure jerk Keane dumped you. I have no doubt it’s been even longer since you’ve, well, you know.” She wags her eyebrows up and down. “Before that, you only seriously dated Travis the cheater and Alex who, let’s face it, despite being completely gonzo for you, was a cold fish and a bore. It’s time to stop comparing every man to this fantasy of Garrett Stephens and just do it with him to get it out of your system. He asked you out for Saturday night. Go! Enjoy!”

“I don’t compare every man to Garrett,” I snap at her.

“Don’t you?” she asks, looking down at me sternly.  

“I’m offended you even suggested that.” She looks at me, her sharp eyes boring into me, like she can read my every thought and knows I’m full of it. I imagine this is how she bears down on witnesses on the stand. I don’t like being on the receiving end of that look.

“Even if that’s true,” I start and she nods her head, “and I’m not conceding it is.” I point my finger at her. “Even if he did mean to ask me out, there’s no way it’s a good idea. He’s a total player. It would only be one night of fun and I don’t think I could get over that kind of hurt.”

“Then you need to get over it now. Sorry for the tough love, hon, but you need to move past the fantasy of this man and find someone passionate and amazing who is deserving to love you for all of the great things you have to offer including your messed-up childhood and your incredible success today.”


About the author

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a rush.” Lisa is now happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!


General Q&A with Lisa Becker

Tell us about your newest release.

A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte Windham reconnects with her unrequited schoolgirl crush, star athlete Garrett Stephens, 15 years after high school.

Did you have an unrequited crush in high school?

I’m not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life in over, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush today as a confident, successful woman.

Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Charlotte Windham was a typical ugly duckling in high school — glasses and all. Highly intelligent and immensely talented, she’s become a breakout success with her best-selling novel, The Crossing Guard.  In school, she harbored an unrequited crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob and star athlete who’s gone on to become a professional golfer suffering a possible career-ending injury. The book explores what happens when these two former classmates have a chance encounter in a Los Angeles restaurant, 15 years after high school. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

Imagine Links would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

I would love to see someone with the emotional range and depth of Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Charlotte. I think she could make her come across as vulnerable, successful, intelligent and passionate. For Garrett, we would need someone who is classically handsome and oozes charm. Matt Bomer, who pulled that off perfectly on White Collar comes to mind.  If he’s not available, let’s just say, I would love to be at the casting call for that role.

You have also published other books, can you tell us more about them?

I’m most known for the Click trilogy comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click.  The series follows a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles with the entire series unfolding in emails between our heroine, her friends and her hilarious dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to “click” with the right man.

What do you have in the works?

I’ve just wrapped up a contemporary romance called Starfish, which examines the unlikely relationship between a regular girl and a touring guitarist in a band. When it comes to romance, you just can’t pass up the idea of falling in love with a rock star.


And you can find Lisa Becker on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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MamaMummyMum

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

Nim’s Kids Fruit and Vegetable Crisps plus giveaway

Regular readers of my blog may remember when I promoted Nim’s crowdfunder campaign last year. Well I am pleased to say that they reached their target and have launched their new kids range. And I was very happy to now receive some free samples of the Nim’s kids range to try.

Nim's kids crisps

I received one pack of each of the kids range as follows:-
Apple
Pear
Carrot
Cucumber

The boys shared the packs with me, so that we could do the taste test together. The apple and pear flavours were declared very popular all round. Son1 also enjoyed the carrot crisps, but son2 who is very fussy about what he will try, had already made his mind up that as he doesn’t eat fresh carrot or courgette, that he wouldn’t enjoy these. Meanwhile I enjoyed them all.

Nim's kids apple crisps

And I love that Nim’s Kids Crisps are 100% natural and are air-dried, not fried. Each pack is equivalent to 1 of your 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. They are fat, gluten and dairy free and are suitable for vegans and coeliac sufferers. They retain fibre and vitamin C. They are made in the UK using British fruit and veg where available.

Plus Nim’s have pledged to donate 1p from the sale of every pack of its kids range to the Hope Children’s Charity.

Nim's kids carrot crisps

Nim’s Kids Crisps are a great healthy snack either to send with the boys to school, or to have when I pick them up after school, or just at home.

Nim's kids pear crisps

Nim’s Kids crisps are available online with a current RRP of 75p per pack and are also stocked at some local independent retailers, cafes, garden centres and farm shops.

Nim's kids courgette crisps

Meanwhile, as I had courgette crisps going spare, I decided to experiment, by breaking some into smaller pieces and sprinkling them on my salad just before serving. They gave it a lovely crunch boost.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a full set of the kids range of Nim’s Fruit and Vegetable crisps to one lucky winner and a full set of the original range to a second winner. To clarify, there are currently 4 flavours in the kids range and 7 in the original range.
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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 what other flavours you think should be included in either range? Son2 previously suggested apricot.

Or let me know your recipe ideas using any of the flavours.

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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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Hit by P S Bridge

I have received a free e-copy of the book Hit by P S Bridge to review.

Hit by P S Bridge

Here is the book blurb.

A terrorist threat, a sinister organisation, and a threat to the security of the free world.
Renowned British lawyer and Sandhurst military academy dropout, Mark Lucas King is assigned the case of his career: to prosecute known terrorist Mohammed Al-Azidi.
All King wants is justice and to do his job successfully. But his peaceful life is shattered when a team of merciless hitmen targets him and his family and the court case collapses. Framed for assault and suspected of his wife’s murder, King must leave his legal career behind and go back to his old career as a British Army sniper in order to catch those responsible and hold them to account. Mark King’s brand of justice doesn’t involve a court room.
Forced to battle against highly trained hitmen to clear his name, King discovers that a sinister organisation known as Invictus Advoca is operating behind the scenes. What is their connection to him and the Al-Azidi case?
As the hunt for those responsible takes him far across Europe, can Mark unravel the mysteries that shroud this secretive organisation and peel back the layers to discover why he and his family have found themselves the target of professional hitmen?
Time is not on Mark King’s side as he races to prevent a global terror threat, discover who killed his wife, and find out who wants him dead, and why.

Mark King is presenting the case for the prosecution of terrorist Mohammed Al-Azidi for the murder of Richard Wilkinson, who sacrificed his life to prevent a mass terrorist atrocity. However Mark has received mysterious phone calls, threatening him if he doesn’t drop the case. Meanwhile Marie, his wife keeps seeing a strange car with smoked windows parked outside their home. Also Ian Hawking, one of the journalists, who has been heckling Mark for years, turns up at their house.

Mark asks the car driver, Roman Vose what he is doing there and instead finds himself framed for assault, by Roman and his accomplice, with Ian snapping photos. Mark’s boss, Hugo suspends him and he heads to the shooting range to cool down. But worse is to follow when he gets home and finds Marie has been murdered. Mark is a suspect.

After Marie’s funeral, Mark sets off on a personal mission to try to find the hitmen and whoever is paying them and to find out what is the link with the Al-Azidi case. Plenty of exciting twists and turns as the hunt leads him across Europe.

Hit is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great story that kept me on the edge of my seat which I highly recommend.


I’m participating in the blogtour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

Hit by P S Bridge - #blogtour

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

Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search For A Stolen Identity by Perry Snow

Following my review of “Teaching Children to Clean“, I was offered the chance to review another title from Universal Publishers for free and my eye was caught by Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search For A Stolen Identity by Perry Snow. I’ve always had a fascination for genealogy, although I haven’t had time to continue pursuing my own family history since before son1 was born.

Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search For A Stolen Identity by Perry Snow

Here is the book blurb.

My Father became a ward of the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society when he was four years old in 1913. When he was 15, they gave him the choice of emigrating to Australia or Canada. No one wanted him in England. They sent him to work on Canadian farms as an indentured farm labourer. He was part of the little-known British Child Emigration Scheme in which fifty child-care organizations emigrated 100,000 children to Canada between 1880-1930. An unknown number made their way to the United States. These alleged orphan children were between 6-15 years old and were known as The Home Children. The organizations professed a dominant motive of providing these children with better lives than what they might have had in England, but they had other ignoble motives. Half of these children suffered from child neglect and abuse. The scheme persisted interrupted only by WWI and WWII until the mid-1960s when these organizations sent 15,000 children to Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.

My Father never had a Birth Certificate. He had nothing to verify who he was for the first 33 years of his life. For the next 15 years, he carried a tattered To Whom it May Concern letter that stated his name and identified him as of British nationality. For the first half of his life, he had serious doubts if his surname was really Snow. He wondered if someone had simply invented it for him. When he was 48 years old, he obtained a Baptism Certificate that confirmed his name, identified his Mother, but not his Father. For the next 16 years, this was all he had for identification. When he was 64 years old, he received his Canadian Citizenship. He wrote to the Waifs and Strays Society for 55 years, but they withheld from him the vital information he so desperately sought. Why did they not want him to know who he was? I resumed his lifelong search following his death on his unconfirmed birthday in 1994. The Children’s Society reluctantly released his 82-year-old case file to me. It took me four years to identify his Parents and locate his Family.

Your ancestors may have been British Home Children. You may be one of the four million of Canada’s “Invisible Immigrants.” Your ancestor’s stories do not appear in Canadian school curricula. The British childcare organizations deliberately severed the Home Children’s familial ties. The four million descendants have a potential 20 million British relatives. If one purpose of the scheme was to simply rid Britain of an unwanted element of their society, they only partially succeeded. They underestimated the strength of needing to know who you are – to have an identity. I hope the successful conclusion of my search will inspire others to persist until they re-establish their familial ties. No one should live their lives without knowing who they are and to whom they belong. It is your birthright to know your heritage.

This book is divided into 5 parts. The first part details the life of the author’s father Frederick Snow, separated from his family at age 4 via fostering and Childrens’ Homes and then forcibly emigrated as a British Home Child to Canada at age 15. A tough life continued, lonely too until he met his wife Gert and had 6 children. At last a family again who loved him. Throughout his life, he wrote many times to the “Waifs and Strays”, now known as The Children’s Society to ask for his birth and baptism certificates and for details of his family. He was constantly fobbed off with minimal (mis)information and never received a birth certificate. His baptism certificate was eventually provided many years later in 1957. He died in 1994 assuming that John Snow was his father. This was actually his grandfather.

Part 2 is about the author taking on the search. He started about a year before his father died, but sadly didn’t piece the jigsaw together until after Fred had died. Again he was drip-fed information even though he requested his father’s full case file several times. And it was mainly due to the goodwill of other local researchers helping that he was able to fill in the blanks.

Part 3 is hypothetical and covers how the author would have told his father about his family if he had the opportunity.

Parts 4 and 5 are more general, discussing the psychological impact on the British Home Children and the Universal Rights of a Child.

We are so used to Barnado’s and The Children’s Society being reputable charities that I was quite shocked to discover that their past wasn’t so pure back in the 1920s. And that as recently as 20 years ago, they were hindering applications for information. By then, with the internet, it should have been very straight-forward to assist.

Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search For A Stolen Identity is available on Amazon, currently priced at £18.95 in paperback. A fascinating read and for more details on the Snow family tree, you may see 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.

Guest post: Why to use more eco friendly products

Today more and more people decide to take up actions which are beneficial for our environment or at least to use products which will cause none or minimum damage to the nature. Actually it is something great that people become more conscious about their well-being and about the living world. We have only one planet to live on, right? We have to preserve it for as long period as possible. For this purpose, nowadays many manufacturers take advantage of the whole situation and try to promote their eco products convincing us that it is all about the environment. The truth is that everybody take care of their own interest but indeed going green can make a large impact- on our own lives and nature itself.

Living a green and healthy life is actually not something hard to achieve. You can simply start with changing what you eat or to run more frequently, for example. However, the easiest way to start changing your life and at the same time contributing to our environment is to change the products you use in your household. Fortunately, people have already realised that that the products they use are dangerous not only for the environment, but for themselves as well. When one’s health on the line, then change is possible and necessary.

hoome

Your home is your temple, in order to keep it clean and safe for you and your family, there are a few steps you can take. Unfortunately, there are various materials and tools common to many households that can simply put your health in danger. Great majority of the products we use in our every day life contain harsh chemicals, artificial ingredients and many more bad-for-our-health compositions. You probably did not know but the laundry detergent, for instance, which is one of the most toxic products we use.

Even though the nature responsible products has positive impact on the nature and our health, it is still not enough to change the mind of the rest of the people. One of the main reasons because of which people avoid using eco friendly products is their price. Yes, if you want to use such products you have to overpay a little bit more but you will surely preserve your health so we think it is worth the price.

In order to protect yourself and your family, Flat Cleaning Services advise you to use organic cleaning products. They do not contain artificial additives which put our health at risk, they do not contain harsh chemicals as well. What is even more, they do not contain perfumes and synthetic dyes which as you know can lead to serious health problems, allergic reactions or outbreaks. Inhaling these chemicals while cleaning may lead to serious damages on our well-being. Every time you use organic and eco friendly cleaning products, you, your family and the environment are safe and well-preserved.

natural products

The environment has been seriously damaged over the last few decades due to the usage of detergents containing various dangerous chemicals. The use of such has been inspected in details because of their toxic effects on the nature and its fauna. Save our planet and choose the green life- start choosing environmentally products which can help reduce the toxins and poisons that harm our environmental world.

The good news is that many manufacturers are willing to go green and keep on promoting their natural products aiming to protect Mother Earth and at the same time to satisfy people. The best option is to start using organic products that contain only natural toxin-free ingredients. They are safe for you and for our nature.

Guest post by Margaret Ellis

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Cool Science Experiments for Kids by Sumita Mukherjee

Regular readers of my blog may remember when son1 made a lava pen from Sumita Mukherjee’s “Steam Ahead! DIY for kids” book earlier this year. He really enjoyed this, so was very pleased when we received a free e-copy of Sumita’s latest book “Cool Science Experiments for Kids” free to review.

Cool Science Experiments for kids by Sumita Mukherjee

Here is the book blurb.

With this book all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments. Meant for kids between six to ten, it is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction book for children. It introduces kids to the magic of motion, energy, chemistry, art, games, math fun; understanding basic scientific principles and most importantly, having a blast making them. Inside this book you will find projects that bursts, glows, erupts, spins, runs, ticks and more! There is also a BONUS: A FREE downloadable book on young kid inventors and their inventions.

This book is full of fun science activity projects. The first project that son1 chose to do was invisible ink. He wrote his message out with lemon juice, waited for it to dry, then used the heat of a hairdryer to make the message reappear. He was slightly disappointed that some letters were still not very visible after heating. Perhaps we should have used a fresh lemon rather than bottled juice. Reminds me of how I wanted to be a spy as a child. I used to love doing secret messages, although mainly with ciphers.

Invisible Ink

Apologies for the quality of the photo, but this is the message just written on the left, hidden once dry in the middle and then reappears after heating on the right.

Invisible Ink

And then he did a very quick project on lego multiplication, by multiplying the number of studs on a lego brick by the number of bricks. He is quite a maths whizz, so was very speedy with this.

 

lego multiplication

The project also asked which bricks may not be possible to use for the multiplication tables, so son1 identified a selection of lego without studs.

lego

He is planning to make an erupting potion from diet coke and mentos mints next, but I have to buy the ingredients first. We need to visit a bigger supermarket, as our small local one didn’t stock mentos.

Cool Science Experiments for Kids is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.44 in paperback or £1.54 in Kindle format. I do recommend this book for all its fun scientific projects that children can do at home with minimal adult supervision. It is targeted at children age 6 – 10. And to find out more about the author you may visit her website.

However I do have to say that we couldn’t work out how to download the bonus free downloadable book on young kid inventors and their inventions. I did try clicking, but to no avail.

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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 Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer by Sam Lawrence & Ben Jackson

Earlier this year, son2 reviewed the book The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hockey by Sam Lawrence & Ben Jackson. We have now received a free copy of another title in the series – The Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer.

The Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer

Here is the book blurb.

Timmy and his best friend the Fart are back again!
If your child loves soccer and playing sport, then you’re going to love reading along with Timmy and his best friend the Little Fart!

The Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer is a beautifully illustrated journey of Timmy and his imaginary best friend the Little Fart as they attend Timmy’s soccer match, and meet his new friend Sophie. Chaos and laughter ensue as the Little Fart tries to help Timmy and Sophie the only way he knows how!

If you enjoy reading funny books with beautiful illustrations and love having your child read along with you, then make sure you grab The Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer!

Discover and giggle along with Timmy, Sophie and the Little Fart on their exciting day at the soccer field!

But this time, son2 didn’t want to read it just because he doesn’t like playing football at school, so son1 stepped in to review it instead. And this is what son1 had to say.

I’m reviewing a book called ‘The Day my Fart Followed me to Soccer ⚽️’ I quite liked it and rated it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (but I am bit old for the book so if I was younger, I would probably rate it⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Before I talk about the book, in the U.K. we call it Football, not Soccer ⚽️

Now about the story, It was about a boy called Timmy and his imaginary friend, Little Fart 💨 He goes to his Football club and his Little Fart 💨 comes with him but if you want to know more, you’ll have to read the book.

A very brief review, so I’ll add some more details. Last time we met Timmy, he was very nervous about hockey, but now he is in his element at soccer. He takes time to help new player Sophie feel more comfortable about the sport, inviting her home for a playdate, where they practise some moves together. And of course, Little Fart lets off a few stinks as usual, adding to the fun.

The Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer

The Day My Fart Followed Me To Soccer is written by married couple Sam Lawrence & Ben Jackson and beautifully illustrated by Danko Herrera. At 48 pages it is a great early reader or you can read it out loud to your child.

This book is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.33 on kindle and is also available in paperback. We certainly recommend that you try this or one of the other titles in the series.

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

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

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and 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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