Author Archives: mumjd

Kick a caffeine habit with Barleycup – review and giveaway

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

Although I will quite happily have caffeinated drinks, given a choice I always opt for decaf, so I was interested in the opportunity of trying a caffeine free drink called Barley Cup. I initially received 2 free sachets.

Barley Cup

I think I may possibly have come across this drink once before, many many years ago. I believe I had a colleague who had a jar of it on her desk, but I don’t recall if I ever tried it. The Barleycup website doesn’t have a history page, so I can’t even check if it existed back then.

Barleycup is an instant cereal based powdered product designed to be drunk hot, as a natural, caffeine free alternative to tea or coffee. It is suitable for all the family from age 3 up, although I didn’t get enough to involve my kids in the taste test. The ingredients are barley (47%), rye and chicory, so no artificial additives. Also low calorie and a source of fibre.

Very simple to make. Put 2 teaspoons of Barleycup in your cup. Fill with hot water (250ml) and if desired, add any type of milk. I didn’t try this, but if you have a sweet tooth, add a bit of honey or maple syrup. I was amazed how similar to coffee it tasted. A very nice drink. This could certainly be the way forward for kicking that caffeine habit.

Barley Cup

Besides the Barley Cup that I tried, there are 3 other products in the range. These are Barley Cup Organic, Barley Cup Granules and Barley Cup with Dandelion. Great to note that there is an organic variant. They come in either 200g or 100g jars depending on the variety. Barleycup can be purchased in-store at Holland and Barrett and selected independent health food shops plus various online stores.

There are several interesting recipe ideas on the Barleycup website. I didn’t get enough to try out any recipes yet, but apparently I now have a free full-size jar on the way.

barleycup drink

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a 200g jar of Barleycup to 3 lucky winners.

comper friendly badge

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 drink.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Viscount of Vice by Tammy Andresen – book review

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

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

Viscount of Vice by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Vice is his first, middle, and last name… can this angel save him?

The Viscount of Vice likes two types of women, the ones that fall easily into his bed and the ones that leave just as quickly. So why can’t he stop thinking about the sweet Miss Ada Chase? Her auburn hair and green eyes haunt his dreams, though they shouldn’t. She’s perfectly wrong for him…

The Viscount of Viceroy looks like he’s Heaven sent but underneath that perfect veneer lies a scoundrel, Ada is certain of it. And ladies like her should stay far away from rogues like him. So why is she tempted by his perfect charm?

This is the fourth title in the Regency Romance Lords of Scandal series, but works well as a stand-alone read, until you reach the cliffhanger ending. Each book focusses on one of the five Chase sisters / cousins along with one of the lords who all own a share in a secret gaming den that the ladies had discovered. Initially each lord was keeping an eye on a Chase lady to ensure she was trustworthy, but as the stories progress, the watch is now to ensure the ladies are safe from the Countess of Abernath.

Vice has been allocated to look after Miss Ada Chase over the past 6 weeks, so the story starts with them sitting next to each other at the wedding of Ada’s sister Diana. But as they talk, bizarrely he falls off his chair and as Ada tries to help him, she ends up falling on top of him. They both sense an attraction.

But then Walter arrives back on the scene, whom Ada had previously thought was going to propose. Things are starting to get tangled. And then the next day, one of the Countess of Abernath’s lackeys strikes.

So plenty going on in this story, but it does end on rather a cliffhanger, so I absolutely had to read the next book in the series too.

Viscount of Vice is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.11 in Kindle format. Once again, another nice light short romantic story from Tammy.


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.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan – book review

Continuing with my new plan of reading some books of my own choice, in-between those I have been requested to review, I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan is my latest personal selection. I came across this title when I was looking at the shortlist for the 2020 Branford Boase Award. This is awarded annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. And I discovered that this was the winner last year.

I am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

Here is the book blurb.

Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem is used to being invisible. So no one is more surprised than her when Arif Malik, the hottest boy in school, takes a sudden interest.

But Arif is hiding a terrible secret and, as they begin to follow a dark path, Muzna faces an impossible choice: keep quiet and betray her beliefs, or speak out and betray her heart.

Muhammad Khan’s stunning, multi-award winning YA writing gets right to the centre of what it means to be an urban teenager today.

Muhammad Khan wrote the first draft of this novel as an outlet for his feelings when 3 British schoolgirls flew out to Syria in 2015 to join the ‘Islamic State’.

To set the scene, the story starts by introducing us to 13 year old Munza and her best friend Salma. Munza is a British Muslim, daughter of strict but anti-religious Pakistani parents, who forbid her to wear make-up or speak to boys. They want her to be a doctor whilst Munza wishes to become an author. Fast forward a couple of years and the family move to South London. Without Salma around to stand up for her, Munza is determined to make friends at her new school and avoid being bullied.

Things start well with a new best friend and a boyfriend, but then what path is Munza following, as she bunks off school to attend Islamic meetings? Friends and teachers question her as they see changes. Munza is conflicted between what she hears and what she then researches online to compare it with. Meanwhile the story continues to gets darker.

I may have had to look most of them up, but I also loved how the book incorporated teen slang terms. And I was impressed by the detail paid to each scene and even minor characters.

I Am Thunder is available on Amazon. I highly recommend this amazing powerful read. Although fiction, it certainly does help to understand radicalisation, extremists and the role of Prevent / Channel.

About the Author
Born in Balham, Muhammad Khan studied engineering, but then trained as a teacher. After publication of I Am Thunder in 2018, he studied for an MA in Creative Writing at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He is now teaching maths at a secondary school in Sutton. His second novel, Kick the Moon, was published in January 2019.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure by Carolyn Arnold – book review

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. I’ve read quite a few of Carolyn’s books, but this would be only my second one featuring Matthew Connor, probably my favourite of her lead characters, so I was very much looking forward to reading it. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

The beam of his flashlight bounces off the walls but does little to brighten the hidden room he just found. In the corner is a centuries-old desk. His heart hammering, he walks over to it and opens the top drawer. What he finds inside will change his future-and the world’s-forever.

For centuries, the existence of Spanish pirate José Gaspar has been relegated to legend, but archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor and his two best friends may have just found reason to believe the buccaneer truly existed. They’re in Washington, DC, to mark the opening of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History when a mysterious stranger turns up claiming he may hold the key to the mythical pirate’s treasure and invites them to join in his quest to find it.

Rumored to have sailed and plundered the Gulf of Mexico and the Spanish Main during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Gaspar would have amassed a vast fortune. But with only the stranger’s word and a token of proof, Matthew is intrigued but not sold-until it becomes personal. There’s an interested third party, and they’re willing to kill for the pirate’s bounty.

What ensues is a globe-trotting adventure that will take Matthew and his friends across the world and back again. Danger lurks around every corner as does betrayal, suspicion, and murder. Can anyone be trusted, and will they survive long enough to find out?

This is the third title in the Matthew Connor action-adventure series and is fine as a stand-alone read.

The story has a slow start but you know there is more to come from both the blurb and prologue. Professor Mel Wolf tantalises Matthew and his friends with a tale of murder and pirates treasure. Hours later they find themselves being chased under gunfire. Matthew is now sold on the idea of finding the treasure, but first he phones Daniel to check out Mel’s credentials, although he doesn’t reveal details of the quest. They then all remove SIMs from their phones to avoid tracking before Matthew charters a plane.

Meanwhile not only is Daniel investigating, but so are the police. A stray bullet has gone through a wall and killed someone. Who can piece what together?

And once Matthew’s group reach Spain, who can they trust? More deaths follow along with plenty of twists and turns.

The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.99 in paperback or £4.03 in Kindle format. A gripping story from a brilliant author who has multiple series on the go. This would certainly make a good film.

Here are the links to my reviews of other books by Carolyn Arnold.
Remnants
Power Struggle
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh
On the Count of Three
Shades of Justice
Exercise is Murder
Past Deeds

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

Earl of Exile by Tammy Andresen – book review

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

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

Earl of Exile by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Exiled from his family… can she give his heart a new home?

The Earl of Exmouth knows what type of woman he wants. A nice Scottish lass that will heal the wounds in his family. In fact, his aunt has already chosen his Scot bride. The problem? A dark haired, sharp tongued, devil of an English debutante won’t leave him be. What’s a man to do but kiss her quiet? Turns out, that’s only the beginning of his troubles.

Lady Diana Chase has no intention of marrying any man, especially not the large Scot with a deep brogue and penchant for meddling in her business. And when he steps too far and puts his lips on hers…well that’s perfectly dreadful. Or perfectly wonderful…she hasn’t decided yet. Perhaps Diana will need another kiss to decide…

This is the third title in the Regency Romance Lords of Scandal series, but works well as a stand-alone read. Each book focusses on one of the five Chase sisters / cousins along with one of the lords who all own a share in a secret gaming den that the ladies had discovered. Initially each lord was keeping an eye on a Chase lady to ensure she was trustworthy, but as the stories progress, the watch is now to ensure the ladies are safe from the Countess of Abernath.

So Callum, the Scottish Earl of Exmouth has been watching over Lady Diana Chase but he is also very attracted to her, so he steals a kiss. What does Diana think about that?

But what about Fiona, Callum’s fiancée, whom he has never met, chosen by his aunt after this cousin Ewan died? Things are getting tangled.

Meanwhile we discover that Lady Abernath is likely to strike again having been thwarted by Diana’s sister Emily eloping with Jack. Who will be targeted this time?

Earl of Exile is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.58 in Kindle format. Once again, another nice light short romantic story from Tammy.


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.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian – book review

I get lots of book review requests from authors and publishers, so I always seem to have a huge list of books waiting to be read. I’ve now decided to make sure I have time to fit in books of my own choice. This is the first of these and I selected it on the basis to see if I thought it might appeal to either of my sons – one avid reader and one reluctant reader.

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Here is the book blurb.

The story of young Willie Beech, evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War.

A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley – but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London.

As time goes by Tom begins to worry when Willie doesn’t answer his letters, so he goes to London to find him, and there makes a terrible discovery.

The story starts just as the Second World War is imminent. 8 year old Willie is evacuated to Little Weirwold and is billeted with Tom. He arrives “sewn in for the winter”, carrying only a small paper bag, malnourished, covered in bruises from beatings from his mother, cowering expecting Tom to beat him too and scared of Tom’s dog Sam.

“Sewn in for the winter” means his vest was sewn to his underpants for warmth and I don’t even wish to contemplate the implications for toilet needs. Willie is also a bed-wetter initially which is hardly surprising given the circumstances.

Tom has lived alone for many years since the death of his wife Rachel and baby son, and is considered a bad-tempered old man. Other villagers are surprised at the change in him as he begins to care for Willie, getting him clothes, boots and treats. Although Willie initially can’t read, Tom finds he has a fantastic aptitude for drawing.

Willie has never had friends before but becomes good friends with local children George, Carrie and Ginnie and evacuee Zach. By the time he is summoned back to London by his mother, he is a new boy. However everything changes when he returns to London and we see the darker side of the tale. Tom is worried when Willie doesn’t write and travels to London himself. What will he discover? And how can he deal with it?

Goodnight Mister Tom is available on Amazon. I highly recommend this excellent classic story, which is targeted at children age 9-12.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

Mr. 100% by Lance Morcan – book review and giveaway

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book Mr. 100% by Lance Morcan to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Mr 100% by Lance Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

New York defense lawyer Madison Harley only takes on clients he believes innocent. He’s known as ‘Mr. 100%’ because he has never lost a case, and consequently he is Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the NYPD, the District Attorney’s Office and the media.

The bad press has taken a toll on his personal life. His wife has moved out, taking their two young sons with her and instigating divorce proceedings. When his latest client confides that he is guilty of the horrific rape-murder he’s accused of, a depressed and guilt-wracked Harley hires a contract killer to terminate him after the jury delivers a Not Guilty verdict.

It’s 1987 and groundbreaking developments in the field of forensic science sees DNA profiling used for the first time in criminal investigations in America. The release of DNA test results causes Harley to rescind his order to carry out the hit on his client. Unfortunately for him, the killer doesn’t change direction once a ‘kill’ order has been placed.

The nightmare scenario that follows sees Mr. 100% negotiating with the Mafia for his client’s life, his own life and the lives of his estranged family, stalking a contract killer and acting as a minder for a client who it appears really is innocent and who is oblivious to the mayhem unfolding around him.

Throughout it all, Harley is sustained by the affections of a new woman in his life – a prosecutor with the DA’s Office no less.

This is a short story of just 85 pages, so I read it very quickly. I am surprised at how much of the story has been revealed in the blurb, so there is not too much more that I can add.

The story set in 1987 begins 2 days after Harley, a defence lawyer successfully achieved a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict for the rape and murder charges against his client Hughes. Harley currently only represents clients that he believes innocent so was shocked when Hughes then thanked him for helping him get away with the perfect crime. So devastated that he was contemplating suicide.

But then he comes up with a better idea. Why not right a wrong by hiring a contract killer to take out Hughes. The blurb already reveals some of what follows and I’m certainly not going to give away more.

A good short story. Mr. 100% is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format and the story also features in Lance’s 5 Short Story Gems compendium which I mentioned in my review of Once Were Brothers.

I’ve now read 8 of Lance’s titles, but my favourite remains Silent Fear which he wrote jointly with his son James.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a kindle copy of Mr 100% to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
Plus you don’t even need to own a kindle to read this, as you can download the kindle app free to your phone or tablet.comper friendly badge

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 read.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me
Shared to The Monthly Book Blogger Link-Up with Lovely Audiobooks

The Wicked Earls Club by Tammy Andresen and Maggie Dallen – book review

I have read and enjoyed quite a lot of books by Tammy Andresen, so when I spotted that this one was free on Amazon, I downloaded myself a copy.

The Wicked Earls Club by Tammy Andresen and Maggie Dallen

Here is the book blurb.

Meet twelve of the most wickedly sinful earls in all of Regency England. Together they make up the Wicked Earls’ Club. A secret group, marked with a single golden W; it is a place where these deliciously devious earls can indulge in their darkest desires. Though fate may have something else planned for them entirely.
Read twelve standalone novellas as each wicked earl finds love and redemption.
This is the prologue only. Each title will be on sale on all major retailers.
The Earl of Sussex by Tammy Andresen
Earl of Westcliff by Meara Platt
Earl of Wainthrope by Collette Cameron
Earl of Sunderland by Aubrey Wynne
Earl of Basingstoke by Aileen Fish
Earl of Weston by Anna St. Claire
Earl of Davenport by Maggie Dallen
Earl of Grayson by Amanda Mariel
Earl of Benton by Madeline Martin
Earl of Pembroke by Lauren Smith
Earl of St. Seville by Christina McKnight
Earl of Harrington by Dawn Brower

The Wicked Earls Club series is different to most, in that the titles are written by different authors. The common theme is that each is about a Wicked Regency Earl. Initially it was going to be one book per author, but I have previously read two titles by Tammy The Earl of Sussex and The Earl of Dryden. I hadn’t read any from the other authors though.

So this short 34 page book is a prologue to the other titles and we see how the married Earl of Coventry who runs the Wicked Earls Club is actually planning to match-make for the other earls under his wing. All the wicked earls would be horrified if they realised. Only a few of them get a mention in this prologue, but with a particular emphasis on The Earl of Sussex and The Earl of Davenport and the Earl of Harrington.

Having already read The Earl of Sussex, it was nice to go back and read this prologue but certainly not necessary, as each Wicked earl title is a stand-alone read.

The Wicked Earls Club is available on Amazon, currently free in Kindle format. A short light romantic read from Tammy Andresen and Maggie Dallen.


About Tammy Andresen

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.

Website – http://www.tammyandresen.com

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

Once Were Brothers by Lance Morcan – book review

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book Once Were Brothers by Lance Morcan to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Once Were Brothers by Lance Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

The Thomas family’s lives will never be the same again when seven-year-old Daniel Thomas is abducted from the family farm in New Zealand’s Far North by Maoris opposed to the presence of white settlers. Daniel’s father devotes his remaining years to searching for his missing blue-eyed, blond-haired son. Until his death a decade later, he’s assisted in his search by Daniel’s identical twin brother Benjamin. Like his late father, Benjamin believes Daniel is still alive. Twenty years later and now a family man himself with children of his own, Benjamin receives a tip-off that could confirm one way or another whether his brother is alive or dead.

This is a short story of just 60 pages, so ideal during lockdown whilst I’m struggling to concentrate on full-length novels.

This story is set in New Zealand, and starts in 1880. Nathaniel and Ingrid Thomas and their 8 year old identical twin sons Daniel and Benjamin live in the Far North of New Zealand. Whilst the twins are playing in the woods near the cottage, Maoris abduct Daniel, but Benjamin evades them and raises the alarm. Nathaniel rushes to search but although he finds tracks, he fails to find his missing son. He visits the Maori chief of one tribe to try to enlist help and also ropes in other settlers. But they search in vain, and as months pass, help dwindles and Nathaniel’s health deteriorates.

In part 2, the story fast forwards to 1910. What will ensue?

Once Were Brothers is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format. An enjoyable short story, although I did feel the ending was rather abrupt. Also I can’t decide whether I like the cover or not.

Lance is a very versatile author as this is quite a different genre to the brilliant Silent Fear full-length novel that I absolutely loved, which he wrote with his son James, plus they write non-fiction and novellas too.

5 Short Story Gems by Lance Morcan

This is the third of Lance’s short stories that I have reviewed and last time, I mentioned how I thought they would be better in an anthology. Well guess what, that is exactly what has happened. Lance has re-released five of his short stories in a compendium.

5 Short Story Gems: Once Were Brothers / Mr. 100% / A Gladiator’s Love / The Last Tasmanian Tiger / Brooklyn Bankster

I’ll certainly be reading the other two titles. And I’d love to hear about your favourite books.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

Marquess of Malice by Tammy Andresen – book review

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

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

Marquess of Malice by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He’s known as the Marquess of Malice…can one little lady warm his dark heart?

Malice, as his friends and fellow gaming hell owners call him, doesn’t have room in his life for love. He’ll take a quiet bride, make an heir, and ship her off to the country. He’s picked the perfect little mouse for the job. The problem? When Malice asks her to marry him, Lady Cordelia refuses. Has she no sense? Any debutante would be happy to catch a marquess. But then again, he’s broken inside. Perhaps Cordelia is the most sensible woman of them all…

Lady Cordelia Chase has no intention of marrying the oafish, overbearing marquess. Lord Malicorn is rude, surly, and entirely unsuitable. Never mind that he’s the only man to ask. Quiet and shy, she’s been overlooked most of her life. When she marries, it will be for love and not just as a breeding cow. The only problem is that when Lord Malicorn isn’t talking, well, he’s rather strong and terribly handsome. And when he holds her in his arms, she could almost swear her heart skips a beat. If this isn’t love…what the devil is it?

This is book 2 in the Regency Romance Lords of Scandal series, but works well as a stand-alone read. However to fill you in, the ladies have discovered the lords secret gaming den, so each lord will watch a lady to ensure she is trustworthy.

Malice, the Marquess of Malicorn has been keeping an eye on Lady Cordelia Chase. And since he needs an heir, he has decided that quiet Cordelia would make an excellent suitable wife. But Cordelia turns down his unromantic proposal. She doesn’t want to be considered suitable, she wants to marry someone for love.

Of course Malice is still committed to the agreement with his fellows to continue watching Cordelia. Can he come up with another plan? Has Cordelia made a mistake?

Marquess of Malice is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.10 in Kindle format. Another nice light romantic story from Tammy once again. And you may see my review of book 1 here.


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.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me