Kilted Sin by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book Kilted Sin by Tammy Andresen to review.

Kilted Sin by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

All’s fair in love and war. Now they just have to decide which this is…

Laird William Sinclair is a good man. Like all his brothers he helps those around him, takes care of the less fortunate. So why does Gemma McClaren think she can take advantage of his kind nature and just ride off? He’s good but he isn’t a saint. And he’s certainly not above teaching that tricky little imp a lesson she’ll never forget.

Gemma McLaren has learned the hard way that men are scum. She won’t ever fall prey to one again. Yet, even she feels a little guilty when she steals a handsome laird’s money and horse. He hadn’t actually done a thing to harm her…yet. Her guilt quickly evaporates when he tracks her down with two small children in tow and demands she repay him by becoming nanny to the children. If she doesn’t, he’ll report her to the authorities.

What choice does she have? Except Gemma hasn’t the first clue how to care for children or handle a very large and angry laird. And honestly, she didn’t’ come to the Highlands to play with wee bairns no matter how cute. Nor does she want to notice how her heartbeat quickens every time Will steps into the room. She’s got a debt to settle and a life to reclaim.

Kilted Sin is the third story in the Brethren of Stone series which I have been reading. It is set in the Scottish highlands in the late 1700’s. And I have to say, this is the first one which I feel Tammy can actually justify her usual style of cover design showing Laird William’s bare torso.

This is because it starts with Will stripping off, about to take a swim in the loch when a strange female turns up cheekily calling out “I didn’t expect to see the moon so early in the day”. He manages to grab his shirt as she approaches nearer. She is very saucy, mesmerising him with her words and touch, before she pushes him backwards into the loch. By the time he has the water out of his eyes, he sees her riding away on his horse, holding onto his trousers, which contained all the money he had left. Personally I was surprised it was trousers, not a kilt. All that remains for modesty to walk home, is a sopping wet shirt and his boots.

So that was our introduction to Gemma McLaren, a widow who has come to Aberdeen from Kirkaldy in order to claim her inheritance from her late husband Sean who had abandoned her 3 years ago.

Meanwhile Will arrives home to find 2 very young orphans, Fiona and Ewan have been dropped at his door. They don’t want him to send them back to the orphanage. What a day!

So how will things turn out, when Will next encounters thief Gemma? What will happen to Fiona and Ewan? And what is Gemma’s inheritance?

Kilted Sin is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.31 in Kindle format. Yet another nice short romantic story from Tammy.

Here are the links to my reviews of the prequel and books 1 and 2 in this series.
The Duke’s Scottish Lass
Scottish Devil
Wicked Laird


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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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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Free From Fellows sweets review and giveaway

For the last few years, I have become more aware of how bad sugar can be for us. It is known to be one of the worst foods for a variety of common diseases like arthritis, cancer and autism. I enjoy sweet treats far too much to eliminate them, but I do try my best now to reduce my sugar intake. I’m now buying less refined sugar and opting to purchase the likes of date sugar or coconut sugar instead. I’ve made a few little changes like always having fruit with my porridge instead of sugar and sometimes opting for something like a cheese scone or slice of fruit bread rather than cake.

Now although I feel like I personally am gradually winning the battle against sugar, it is a different story when it comes to my youngest son. He is such a fussy eater and so skinny compared to his brother, but he does have a sweet tooth. So we do have sweet treats in the store cupboard for him to help himself to, as I don’t aways have time to bake and sometimes he rejects my lower sugar baking anyhow. And one thing he has always been partial to is the likes of Haribo.

Free From Fellows sweets

So I was delighted when Free From Fellows contacted me, asking if I would like to review their sweet range. They sent me 9 free packs of their sweets along with a Utopia preserving jar. I used this to make a very retro look sweets jar. It looked just like a mini version of what I fondly remember being stocked at the sweet shop when I was a child. I particularly have fond memories of counting out chocolate mice from such a jar.

Free From Fellows sweets

The range includes the following six varieties.
Gummy Bears
Cola Bottles
Midget Gems
Rhubarb & Custard
Pear Drops
Lollipops (packet contains cola and strawberry flavours)

Their sweets are sugar free, gelatine free, gluten free and have no artificial colours or flavours. They are also suitable for vegans which is great as so often gummy sweets can contain pork gelatine. Apart from the lollipops packet which was 60g or 5 lollys, the other packets were all 70g each. All the packets were very long-dated to 2020.

However when I looked at the packets, I found they did contain other sweeteners instead of sugar. The 3 gummy varieties contain maltitol syrup and steviol glycosides whilst the lollipops contain isomalt and steviol glycosides, and the other 2 hard sweet varieties contain isomalt and sucralose. This reminded me that I had planned to do some research into sugar substitutes a while ago, but this is still outstanding.

Free From Fellows sweets

With all the choice of sweets in the jar, the boys took their time choosing which variety to try first. But once they had tried them all, everything got the thumbs up. And I have to say I’m struggling to decide whether cola bottles or rhubarb & custard is my favourite.

Free From Fellows sweets

Free From Fellows are stocked both in-store and online at Sainsburys, Morrisons, Ocado and Boots plus many smaller health food stores. I was just browsing in a small independent store called Honest To Goodness last week whilst on holiday and spotted all the varieties on the shelf there.

However one thing that was a shame was the packaging. Not only was it plastic packets, but the pear drops, rhubarb & custard and lollipops were all individually packed in plastic again inside the outer plastic packet, so an unnecessary double layer of plastic. How about considering compostable packets like a few brands are starting to move towards? Or since they were keen for me to use a jar, how about selling them in jars in the first place?

Free From Fellows sweets

One word of caution though. However tasty they are, don’t eat too many at one time. There is a little word of warning on the back of the packet that if eaten in large quantities, the sweets can occasionally give some an upset tummy.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 12 packs of sweets from Free From Fellows to one lucky winner. That will be 2 packs of each variety. What a sweet treat of a prize.

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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 about your favourite reduced sugar treats. Or perhaps you have an idea to share for an addition to the Free From Fellows range?

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

The Soul behind the Mask by Gail Wilson

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Soul behind the Mask by Gail Wilson. To find out more about the author you may visit her facebook page.

The Soul behind the Mask by Gail Wilson

Here is the book blurb.

On a cold December night, Kate returns to Edinburgh seeking refuge after a disastrous trip to Egypt, where troubling events destroyed her relationship with archaeologist David Young.

Kate and David shared a tragic past life. In the Victorian era, they were cursed by an Egyptian witch whose malevolence continues to cause conflict.

Determined to start afresh, Kate begins a new job as an events coordinator for the National Museum of Scotland. She excels in her new role but soon becomes the victim of malicious gossip.

Kate’s attempts to bury the past fail when David forces his way back into her life. They marry in haste but struggle to overcome the obstacles in their path. Their relationship is plagued by mistrust, resentment, and secrets. Harangued by the living, and haunted by the dead, Kate and David can find no peace.

Certain that his marriage is doomed, David returns to Egypt. In the inhospitable wilderness that was once Pharaoh Akhenaten’s metropolis, he must face the past, as well as the danger that prowls a land in political turmoil.

Can Kate and David learn from their mistakes? Will tragedy unite them, or tear them apart?

This is the third book in a trilogy and although I loved it, I did struggle with some references to what must have happened in the earlier two book, which I haven’t read, including the initial scene of a road accident in Cairo. So I would recommend that it is probably best to read them all in order, rather than to attempt this as a stand-alone read.

After opening with the road accident, the story begins with an unaware Kate fleeing back home to Edinburgh from Egypt, as she considers her relationship with archaeologist David Young to have failed. We discover that they had also known each other in a past life when they formerly met back in 1891 in Egypt too.

Kate was formerly Katherine Ford, her own great great aunt, who was married to Edwin Ford. Edwin has been haunting Kate’s dreams and she has now met a modern-day equivalent in Ethan Forbes, who just so happens to be David’s friend. Talk about a tangled triangle!

Meanwhile Kate tries to start afresh, by swapping roles at the National Museum of Scotland where she works. A mixture of new faces and old, some friendly and others hurtful. And then David returns to Scotland followed by Ethan.

Loads more to come in the story including an unexpected twist at the end. But very confusing when I hadn’t read the earlier books. Great from the point of view of encompassing Egyptology and genealogy.

The Soul behind the Mask is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great romantic story with plenty of mystery thrown into the mix, but I do recommend you don’t start with this book 3.

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

Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr to review.

Justice Gone by Nicholas Lombardi

Here is the book blurb.

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

This book is dedicated to Kelly Thomas who was beaten to death by police in California. This event inspired Nick to write this novel which is set in 2006/7.

The story starts in Bruntsfield, New Jersey where a bar-owner doesn’t like the fact that there is a homeless man outside. In order to get him moved on, he gets his bartender to call the police and falsely suggest he is trying to break into cars. The homeless guy is Jay Felson, a decorated veteran of the war with Iraq. Two cops arrive and start giving Jay a hard time. They call for back up and ultimately, there are 6 cops who beat Jay to death.

Previously Jay had been attending a veterans trauma clinic in Manhattan for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) along with his best buddy Donald Darfield. Their counsellor there is Dr Tessa Thorpe, supported by Casey Hull. Tessa and team are utterly horrified when they see the pictures on TV. But then Tessa realises Donald has gone missing. And Tessa goes to see Jay’s father, Colonel Marshal Felson, to discuss how they will get justice for Jay.

Meanwhile Bruntsfield council are holding an emergency meeting and decide the best course of action is grand jury, no indictment rather than a long drawn out trial, as they believe the public will get tired and dust will settle. I had to look up the word indictment, and discovered no indictment means no formal charge. But wrong decision, the public outcry continues to grow, especially after footage of a protest after Jay’s funeral and of the huge bloodstain surrounded by flowers. Ex-chief of police, John Garson comes to see Tessa.

Things get even worse after a video of the beating goes viral, so a public forum is scheduled for three days later. But before we reach that point, three of the cops are gunned down. Who has taken matters into their own hands? Prime suspects are the missing Donald Darfield and Jay’s father, Marshal Felson.

Darfield is tracked down and arrested. Is he innocent or guilty?

Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr. is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. An interesting read with a twist at the end, although somewhat confusing.


About the author

Author Nick Lombardi Jr. has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and he speaks five languages. An event in California in 2011 in which a homeless man was beaten to death lead Nick to write his newest novel, Justice Gone. Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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

My journey towards a Plastic Free future – part 6

Since becoming more conscious about plastic, I’ve found that I’m making much more frequent small shopping trips to our local high street to visit the butcher, greengrocer and baker, plus going further afield to a zero-waste store. However my purchases do still need to be topped up by a visit to the supermarket from time to time. So I thought I’d share with you what I’ve managed to find plastic-free at the supermarket. I’ve tried Sainsburys and Tesco superstores and a much smaller Co-op.

So starting with the obvious – fruit and vegetables. Although a lot is bagged in plastic, they all have some loose, which I take my own produce bags along for. However I have heard rumours that the sticky labels on loose produce like mangos and avocados may be plastic. Anyone know if that is true? Also it then depends on the supermarket, as to whether you have to weigh the produce yourself and get a barcode price label or if it can be weighed at the till, needing no label. These labels are paper but again you shouldn’t put them in your recycling bin, as the stickiness could jam the recycling mechanism. I didn’t know this until recently. Previously I assumed any paper could go in the recycling bin. I’ve now learnt that quite a few shouldn’t. I may feature this in a future post.

#plasticfree shopping

Another obvious one is the likes of eggs, flour and sugar in their paper packaging. And up until now, I had thought tins, drink cans and jars were a safe bet, apart from those jars with an annoying plastic lid or the superfluous plastic seal around the lid. Totally unnecessary in my opinion. So I had been pleased to find items like passata and coconut oil in jars. But sadly today I read here that the tins, drink cans and metal jar lids are mostly coated on the inside with plastic to avoid corrosion, and not just any plastic but BPA. I’m now getting alarm bells ringing, with regards to potential health risks. Sounds like I will need to rethink my shopping.

#plasticfree shopping

Moving on to the deli counter at the superstores. Sainsburys were not obliging at all, but Tesco will wrap the deli produce in paper for you if you ask them. More sticky labels again. However they wouldn’t go one step further and let me put it loose into my cooler bag. I’m not sure whether this type of paper is either recyclable once washed or compostable. It feels very smooth as if it may contain some type of coating. Anyone know?

#plasticfree shopping

And another partial win is the bakery counter. Larger items seem to be already packed in cellophane window bags, but the smaller items like rolls and croissants I put in my own produce bags.

#plasticfree shopping

Now for some of the items that you may not know about. In the freezer section, items like these veggie burgers and kievs in the picture, along with fishfingers and potato waffles are just in cardboard with no hidden plastic. And i’ve found that Boursin cheese is packed in foil inside cardboard. And Gü desserts are in glass ramekins inside cardboard. I’ve been taking the ramekins to the charity shop.

But then there are items I’ve bought, which look like cardboard, but I have a feeling that they may be mixed materials. Unfortunately the packaging gives no indication. This applies to quite a few brands of ice cream tubs. I’m still searching, so does anyone know of an ice cream that is definitely in just cardboard?

What plastic free foods and drinks have you found at the supermarket?

And here’s a recipe I promised to share for crackers, an item I haven’t managed to find plastic free in the shops. The same story with biscuits, so if anyone has located either of these, please do let me know.


Crackers

Crackers

Ingredients

200g wholemeal plain flour
Salt and pepper
50ml olive oil
100ml cold water

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease baking trays.
Weigh flour into a mixing bowl.
Season with salt and pepper.
Mix in the olive oil.
Mix in the water to form a ball of dough.
Cut small pieces of dough and press each piece onto greased baking tray as thin as possible.
It will probably make more than you can fit on your baking trays, so cook in batches.
Cook for 10-15 minutes in preheated oven until crackers are crisp.
Cool on cooling rack.
Serve cold with cheese or your choice of accompaniment.
Enjoy.
Store in an air-tight container.

Crackers

Crackers

As always, I’d love to hear your eco friendly suggestions and tips please.

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Don’t Tell a Duke You Love Him by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book Don’t Tell a Duke You Love Him by Tammy Andresen to review.

Don't Tell a Duke You Love Him by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He was too dangerous to be denied…

The Duke of Longley was a rake and should be left well enough alone. At least that is what Lady Lily Ducat’s mother continually said. As far as Lily could tell, she was correct. His Grace had a devilish air about him and a brooding silence that no debutante should attempt to tame and certainly not grow an affection for. He was too much man and beyond redemption. Except once they are tossed together after a winter storm, she is dangerously close to declaring her love because in the dark of night, he was all Lily could see.

Maximillian Masters learned long ago to stay far away from dewy eyed maidens. He was too cynical, too experienced, and much too adverse to marriage for such a lady. Which is why he must never see the lovely Lily again no matter what some ridiculous gypsy predicted. Except, when he is stranded and at the mercy of winter, Lily is there and the more he sees her, the harder it is to deny temptation.

This is a standalone romance but is part of a five book series with a prologue:

How to Reform a Rake
Don’t Tell a Duke You Love Him
Meddle in a Marquess’s Affairs
Never Trust an Errant Earl
Never Kiss an Earl at Midnight
Make a Viscount Beg

This is the first main title in the “How to Reform a Rake” Regency series and I received it at the same time as the introductory novella, so having had my appetite whet, I was very pleased to be able to read it immediately afterwards.

The book starts with Max, the Duke of Longley parting on bad terms with his four best friends after a night with the fortune teller. He is fuming because they have inveigled him into a bet to claim a kiss from innocent Lily Ducat. He vows to avoid her. But his carriage gets stuck in the snow again, this time outside the Mayfield Canterbury estate, where lo and behold half the Ducat family are staying for Christmas, including Lily.

He is forced to stay, so ends up accompanying them all to fell a Christmas tree. But Lily falls into a stream, hidden under the snow. Max rescues her. Meanwhile Lily’s mother is eying him up, with another of Lily’s sisters in mind. Where will this all end?

Don’t Tell a Duke You Love Him is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.33 in Kindle format. A nice short romantic read, which although part of a series, works fine as a stand-alone read too.

However I do recommend that you read the introductory “How to Reform a Rake” novella first, especially as it is available for free.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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

How to Reform a Rake by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book How to Reform a Rake by Tammy Andresen to review.

How to Reform a Rake by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Five rakes and a brothel…

A rogue’s reform can have the most unlikely beginning. When a duke and his friends are forced to stay at the only available accommodations in a snow covered Canterbury, their lives take a dramatic turn. A gypsy convinces them to tempt fate and enter a bet.
The terms? They must each collect a kiss from one lady of worth. What could be the harm in that? After all, once a rake always a rake. Right? The trouble is, these ladies have rules and plans of their own.
How to Reform a Rake is a short prologue. Find out how fate ensares the Duke of Longley, the Marquess of Highwater, the Earl of Kissinger, the Earl of Clearwood, and the Viscount of Averstone in this five book series.

This is a very short novella to introduce the new “How to Reform a Rake” Regency series by Tammy and best of all, you can get it totally free.

The story begins with five inebriated friends deciding they are going to spend Christmas together in Dover. They set off with hangovers the next morning, but due to the weather only get as far as Canterbury that day. All the inns are full, so they decide to stay overnight at the brothel. There they enter a pact with gypsy Vadoma to each collect a kiss from a Ducat sister based on a deck of cards.

How to Reform a Rake is available on Amazon, currently for free. I read this in less than 30 minutes. It is just a very short taster, setting the scene to whet your appetite and leave you wanting to read the series.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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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.

Beef Koftas with a Yoghurt Dip ad

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take the #MeatMatters Challenge to cook a quick and easy (under 30 minutes) beef or lamb dish. And as one of the first 100 to sign upto the challenge, I received a free £10 Tesco giftcard to purchase ingredients.

Recently I’ve been buying my meat from the local butcher instead of the supermarket in an attempt to reduce my plastic waste. The butcher wraps the meat in paper rather than plastic. However on my previous supermarket visit, I did find that Tesco offered to wrap deli items in paper rather than plastic, when I asked if they could put them straight in my cool-bag. This was much better than Sainsburys who had previously refused under “health and safety” grounds.

So I was hoping that paper would also be an option on the fresh meat counter in Tesco too. However I was unable to put this theory to the test, as unfortunately the counter was empty due to a “technical” issue at the store. So I had to resort to the meat aisle with all its plastic.

Meatballs

I had been mulling over a few recipe ideas involving different cuts of meat, but in the end, bearing in mind that the remit was to cook a meal in under 30 minutes, I opted to buy beef meatballs. Yes I could have bought mince and made my own meatballs, but that would have taken longer to prepare. Also the meatballs were already seasoned, saving a bit more time.

And rather than just cooking son2’s favourite spaghetti and meatballs, I decided it was time to try making something I’ve never made before, namely koftas.

Beef Koftas with a Yoghurt Dip

Beef Koftas with a Yoghurt Dip

Ingredients (serves 4)

Pack of 24 meatballs
150g natural yoghurt
2 tsp chopped mint
10g cucumber

Method

Assemble 3 or 4 meatballs onto a metal skewer, tightly together.
Repeat with all the other meatballs.
Place all the skewers onto a George Foreman grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, rotating the skewers by 90 degrees halfway through, so that all sides are cooked evenly.
Alternatively cook under a standard grill, but you will need to rotate them 3 times.
Meanwhile chop mint and dice cucumber finely.
Spoon the yoghurt into a large ramekin.
Stir the mint and cucumber into the yoghurt.
Serve, with your choice of accompaniments.
Enjoy.

Beef Koftas with a Yoghurt Dip

I chose to serve this with couscous and a simple lettuce and carrot salad. The couscous was made with stock and seasoned with turmeric, ground coriander, salt and pepper.

A very healthy meal as any fat from the meat drains out from the grill. Very tasty and so quick and simple to make. Thumbs up from all the family.

This dish could easily be made using lamb meatballs instead.

And did you know the following:

  • Beef / lamb are naturally rich in protein
  • Lamb provides four essential vitamins* that help reduce tiredness and fatigue
  • Beef is a source of iron which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue
  • Lamb provides seven vitamins and minerals** that support good health and well-being
  • Beef provides eight essential vitamins and minerals*** that support good health and well-being

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This post is an entry for the #MeatMatters Challenge, sponsored by Simply Beef and Lamb. Learn more about the benefits of cooking and eating beef and lamb along with recipe ideas and inspiration here!

Disclosure. This post mentions products I purchased using a giftcard that I was sent for free. All opinions are my own. This post is classed as an advert because of the requirement to include the #MeatMatters hashtag.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter for son2 to review.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter

Here is the book blurb.

A wave of delight and anticipation sweeps through a small community of red squirrels as they behold a vast fleet of boats carrying their distant cousins towards them. They will no doubt bring incredible wealth, wisdom and joy to the humble squirrels of Nutshaven. However, the dream soon becomes a nightmare. Their distant cousins soon turn out to be enormous and brutish bullies of an ever-expanding Grey Empire. Shadowtail – the brilliant but intensely evil Grey leader – announces that their lives are about to radically change: Your colony is now ours, and we shall endeavour to use you and your resources to enrichen the imperial spoils of conquest and world domination. With their entire way of life now under threat, will the wisdom of old Normsk, the wits of young Cheswick and the might of Brutenuts the Brave be enough to counter such a dark and dominant force?

This is what son2 had to say about the book.

I liked the Start, However, as it went on it got a bit boring, However, the End was alright.
I liked the concept of it Starring Squirrels. 🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿🐿

I also read this book and was quite surprised how dark the storyline is for a children’s book. Amazon indicates it to be aimed at children age 6-10, but no way would I read this to a 6 year old. I would suggest this is much more suited to children age 10-13. Even the blurb hints at how ruthless the grey squirrels are. And the cute cover red squirrel looks quite scared indeed. However son2 seemed oblivious to the dark undertones.

Red squirrels used to be the only squirrels here in the UK up until the late 1800s. Grey squirrels were originally native to North America. I myself have never seen a wild red squirrel, although probably see grey squirrels in my garden most days. Take this theme and make it darker, then you have the measure of this tale.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.78 in paperback and is also available in kindle and hardback formats. A rather dark storyline for children. Son2 rates this chapter book 3star. He is usually an avid reader but this didn’t really hit the spot for him.

The Ghost of Crow Cavern by John Wedlake and Norman Mounter

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

AntiAmerica by T K Falco

I have received a free e-copy of the book AntiAmerica by T K Falco to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

AntiAmerica by T K Falco

Here is the book blurb.

AntiAmerica stands at the center of the largest US anarchist uprising in 100 years.

When hacktivist group AntiAmerica hacks the nation’s largest banks, the financial industry is left teetering on the brink of collapse. Hacker and teen runaway Alanna Blake is forcefully recruited by the government to track down the only link to AntiAmerica, her missing ex-boyfriend Javier. She relies on every bit of her social engineering cunning to navigate a conspiracy of lies and deceit, which imperils both the lives of everyone closest to her and the secrets to a past she longs to remain locked away forever.

This book contains content surrounding drug abuse, mental illness, physical abuse, and suicide.

Although I love thrillers, I have to admit that I am not really into the cyber crime genre, but I was willing to give this book a go.

This book is set in Miami with the main characters being young hackers. Alanna’s ex-boyfriend Javier is missing and the story starts with Alanna going to check out Javier’s flat, having received a text saying “Alanna, I’m in trouble. Come find me”. Alanna is mainly into identity theft, but she turns her hand to picking the lock and finds the place ransacked but no sign of Javier. As she leaves, the FCCU (Federal Cyber Crimes Unit) arrive. She runs but they catch her. The Secret Service are also involved.

Turns out they have also searched her apartment and discovered evidence of her phishing attacks on her laptop. But it is Javier they are really after as they believe he has links to AntiAmerica, an anarchist group, who are hacking into banks. They offer Alanna a deal as an informant. She reluctantly agrees, but she has another plan up her sleeve.

The story continues with plenty of twists and turns, some of which I would never have guessed. A good psychological thrilling book, but just not one for me, mainly because I’m not particularly interested in cyber crime, but also I found it somewhat confusing. Perhaps it would appeal more to those who enjoy the YA genre too.

AntiAmerica by T K Falco is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback and audiobook formats. A good cyber crime book for those who like that sort of thing.

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