Category Archives: Reviews

The Many Journeys to Different Worlds by Adam Monk-Daschke

I have received a free copy of the book The Many Journeys to Different Worlds by Adam Monk-Daschke for son2 to review.

The Many Journeys to Different Worlds by Adam Monk-Daschke

Here is the book blurb.

When a group of magical crystals break free they weren’t to know that they would be flung to far away unknown lands and wake up in unimaginable places — this happened to one such crystal, let’s call them Purple. On waking, Purple embarks on an adventurous journey and meets strange and wonderful creatures and friends —from a family of tall and entangled Roots to the terrifying but friendly Bones and the clumsy and confused new arrival who they call Egg-Kid— all of whom he hopes to protect from the one knowns only as the Evil Waker. 
 
Complimented by unique and psychedelic illustrations The Many Journeys to Different Worlds is an original new addition to children’s fiction. 

The Many Journeys to Different Worlds by Adam Monk-Daschke

I liked this book. My favourite character was egg kid.
Though when I looked at the book on amazon it had a baby panda and this book didn’t.

This is what son2 has written for his review. Let me explain the reference to the baby panda. I believe this is a character in another book in The Unknown Crystals series. However we can no longer find that particular book on Amazon.

I read the book too and I have to say it seems very unique in concept with quite wacky illustrations. The subject matter seemed aimed at older children, with references to Evil Wakers and the pictures of the character Bones, a skeleton. However the amount of text was more at the level of an early reader. Also it appeared to end mid-story, so I assume it will carry on in the next book in the series. Overall, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this storyline, even after re-reading several times. Maybe I am just too old to appreciate it fully, as son2 was quite taken with it.

The Many Journeys to Different Worlds is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.99 in paperback. Also in kindle format. An unusual book.

You may find out more about The Unknown Crystals series on the author’s facebook page.

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

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The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard Macdonald

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard Macdonald to review.

The Prisoner's Wife by Gerard Macdonald

Here is the book blurb.

From the CIA headquarters to the danger zones of Morocco and Pakistan, undercover agent Shawn Maguire is embroiled in a sinister conspiracy and an unlikely romance in this exhilarating debut spy thriller.

Shawn Maguire, unemployed American spy, has been paid to find a young Iranian now being interrogated in one of the CIA’s black prisons. The prisoner’s location remains unknown – he may be in Fes, Cairo or even Peshawar – but Shawn has every confidence that he’ll find his man eventually. Based on his time as an agent, it’s an assignment he knows he can handle. But there’s one person he’s not sure even he can handle:  the prisoner’s wife.

The Prisoner’s Wife is a political thriller ripped from today’s headlines; a tense trip through the murky worlds of state–sponsored terrorism, nuclear politics, secret American jails and lawless rendition. Conspiracies abound in this sophisticated and suspenseful novel, with its crackling dialogue and evocative, lawless landscapes. Maguire is a first-rate protagonist, complicated and heroic, and writer Gerard Macdonald does an expert job of capturing the casual ambivalence of the American intelligence officers in their rendition campaigns and keenly observes the cynical manner in which operatives prop up or depose criminal leaders depending on America’s own needs.

A pulse-pounding account of political intrigue in the Middle-East starring complex hero Shawn Maguire, The Prisoner’s Wife is the perfect next read for fans of espionage and international thrillers.

This book is mainly set in 2004, with a few flashbacks to 2000. It starts with the prisoner Osmani being abducted in Paris by CIA agents Calvin and Hassan. A few weeks later Abbasi pays suspended CIA agent Shawn to find Osmani.

Shawn begins his search by meeting Osmani’s wife Danielle whom he is attracted to. She comes back to his Sussex home, from where a game of cat and mouse with the CIA continues throughout the story, as they pair head to Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan trying to locate Osmani, whom the CIA are torturing and regularly relocating.

Danielle quizzes Shawn on his past relationships, but she is very much a closed book herself.

Plenty of conspiracies at every turn..

The Prisoner’s Wife is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.99 in Kindle format and is also available in hardback. An interesting read.


Here is an extract from the book to whet your appetite.

Shawn shook his head. He glanced back at the bundles of notes in the summer house.

‘Serious money. How do you know I won’t take it, and run?’

‘You have many faults,’ Abbasi said. ‘I have never heard dishonesty was one of them.’ He made a comprehensive gesture, taking in house and garden. ‘Also, as they say in movies, we know where you live.’ His tone changed. ‘There is something else. When he was not riding shotgun with the Taliban, Osmani claims he was conducting an archaeological dig in Afghanistan. Excavating cellars in Ghorid ruins, somewhere on the Turquoise Mountain. Near Chist, I think. Now, whether he was doing that or not, he claims he found something of interest.’

‘Claims, how?’

‘He called me from Paris. Before your colleagues picked him up. Some time ago.’ From his diary Abbasi took a handwritten note. ‘Osmani wanted money for information. A great deal of money. There you have the phone number. The address, in the quatrieme.’ Abbasi paused. ‘I had a second call, from the same number. This time, it was his wife.’

Shawn paid attention.

‘Is that surprising?’ Abbasi asked, noting the reaction. ‘The man has a wife?’

‘It’s a lead,’ Shawn said. ‘It’s interesting. So, tell me. What’s Osmani claim he found? What does he believe you’ll pay for?’

‘A small nuclear device, a mobile device, built under the direction of Dr.. Qadir Khan. You do know of Dr.. Khan?’

Shawn said, ‘I worked on his proliferation file. He’s a problem for us.’

‘And for us, for Pakistan, a national hero.’

‘Well,’ Shawn said, ‘you got my attention. If I do take your money, where do I start?’

 

 


About the author

Author Gerard Macdonald lives in West London and is currently working on a short series of political fiction books.

Website – http://gerardmacdonald.net/


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

The Prisoner's Wife by Gerard Macdonald

 

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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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Christmastide With My Captain by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book Christmastide With My Captain by Tammy Andresen to review.

Christmastide With My Captain by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Love finds each of us in mysterious ways.

Lady Emilia McDougal has watched love find each of her beloved sisters. When will it be her turn? She fears it will be never. Quiet and bookish, she’d be called a bluestocking wallflower if she were English.

Captain Jack Andrews lost his love of the sea long ago and he doesn’t deserve to find the love of his life. Especially not with someone as stunning and kind as Emilia. When she saves his life, he wonders how she could ever think herself plain. If it were his place in life, he’d show her just how fascinatingly beautiful she is. But it isn’t. How long can he resist those tempting lips, soft smile, and heartfelt words? And what will her father, the Earl of Dumfries, do if Jack doesn’t?

This is a Christmas novella that will introduce you to the heartfelt series, A Laird to Love.

Lady Emilia is sitting on the beach in December feeling sad that all her sisters and cousins are in love, whilst she is alone. She is praying for love, when a ship emerges from the mist, clearly in distress. She rushes to the lighthouse and rings the bell and lights the lamp, before rowing out to assist. She rescues several sailors including the very handsome Captain Jack Andrews.

By the time they reach the beach, Emilia is shivering. The captain carries her back to the castle, keeping her talking to make sure she doesn’t lose consciousness. Hours later they meet by chance in the kitchen and Jack is mesmerised by Emilia’s beauty.

Can they resist each other?

Christmastide With My Captain is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format. This is a nice light short romantic Christmas read. Very quick to read.


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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Power Struggle by Carolyn Arnold

I have received a free e-copy of the book Power Struggle by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. I was looking forward to reading this, having previously enjoyed Remnants, another of her titles. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Power Struggle by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

One hit man who’s back for revenge.

One detective who’s not going down without a fight.

It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hit man Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.

When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.

Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…

This is book 8 in the series featuring Detective Madison Knight, but I found it worked very well as a stand-alone read, even though there were references to earlier cases.

The book begins with Madison looking at a murder victim. This time she feels different because the victim Jimmy Bates had killed her grandfather before she was even born. However things are pointing towards the killer being Constantine Romanov, who almost killed Madison in an earlier case. They question Bates’ girlfriend Yasmine who is also sleeping with a couple of other mystery guys. And they discover a code which needs fathoming out.

Madison has a nightmare about Constantine and goes to see her shrink about it. But when she gets back to her car, she finds a note from Constantine threatening her and her loved ones. She gets police officers assigned to watch all her family and then meets her sister Chelsea to explain.

Then Yasmine is murdered and next Chelsea goes missing. Plenty more to follow in this great story.

Power Struggle is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.99 in paperback or £4.63 in Kindle format. A gripping story which left me wanting to read more of the Detective Madison Knight 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.

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Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary

I have received a free e-copy of the book “Heart Note” by Cassandra O’Leary to review.

Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary

Here is the book blurb.

Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores.

It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?

All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?

This is a short Christmas romcom novella and is the first book in the Spritzer Chicks series, although written as a stand-alone read.

The story starts with Lily on a training course for her new job as perfume counter manager, where in an exercise, handsome Christos catches her as she falls. It turns out that he is the new security guard at the same department store. Unfortunately Lily hates the smell of the Christmas promotional Heart-mas scent that she has to spray on unsuspecting customers and is fed up hearing the Heart-mas ad played over and over again, even though it is only early November. As she redoes a gift box display, she steps on a ribbon and slips over. Once again, it is Christos to the rescue, who Lily is already fantasising about. But in contrast, she prays she won’t have to wear one of the hideous red onesie, gold antler outfits that the casual staff have been kitted out with. And she isn’t quite so impressed when Christos asks her if she can observe the shop floor for anything odd. He believes there may be an inside theft job going on under their noses.

Plenty of humour and will Lily get her man?

Heart Note is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format or from any of these stores. A nice light funny romantic Christmas read, easily read in one day.

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition in conjunction with Rachel’s Random Resources to giveaway 5 e-copies of Heart Note. Open worldwide.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.


About the author

**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.**

Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things.

In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia.

Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.

Social Media Links

Facebook – www.facebook.com/cassandraolearyauthor

Twitter – @cass_oleary

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/cassandissima/heart-note/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cassandissima/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15272644.Cassandra_O_Leary

Website – http://cassandraolearyauthor.com/


I’m participating in the blog blitz and you may like to check out some of the other blogs on the blitz.

Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary

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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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Guest post: Free Giveaway and Spotlight: The Street-Smart Paralegal’s Guide to: Getting a Job With a Lawyer or Law Firm

FREE GIFT! In Celebration of Thanksgiving Kindle Countdown Event Sale Nov 23-25, 2017

The Street-Smart Paralegal’s Guide
Author: Tina Khera
Genre: Business, Law, Career
ISBN: 978-0-9913464-0-0
Pages: 99

Book Description

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE A LAW GRADUATE NOW WHAT?

Choosing your profession can be one of most crucial decisions you will make in your lifetime. You have done your research and have chosen to work as a Paralegal or work in a law office. Getting your certification and degree is time consuming.

Paralegal programs are great to teach you the basics – how to write, how to analyze, different areas of law, etc., but they limit your exposure to what happens next. The information is generic and the same information is passed on to many students.

Most job-hunting guides have the same problem. Because they are intended as a general, how-to guide on finding a job, the majority gives you a one-size-fits-all approach that may or may not work for you. You need to find a book that has all the information in one place.

A book that was written by someone who is a paralegal, that’s been in the trenches and can give you the tools on how to stand out against your competition.

Introducing The Street-Smart Paralegal’s Guide to: Getting a Job with a Lawyer or Law Firm
Instead of the usual job search advice, this guide gives you a step-by-step system to find the paralegal job of your dreams!

Discover how to:

1. Easily create a plan of action;

2. Explore different areas of law;

3. Find lawyers and law firms you’d like to work for;

4. Network effectively to make connections;

5. Ace the interview;

6. Properly follow up after the interview;

7. Choose from multiple job offers; and,

8. Ensure you made the right choice.

Written by a paralegal that’s been in the trenches and experienced the highs and lows of the job search since 2002, The Street-Smart Paralegal’s Guide to: Getting a Job with a Lawyer or Law Firm will help you avoid that dead-end job and create a career that’s as unique as you are!

“A Step-By-Step Roadmap to Finding – and Loving – Your First Job With a Lawyer or Law Firm!” Free on Amazon! Get it! Read it! And Do It! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016K4ZH20

About the Author:

Tina Khera is a highly respected paralegal, with an impressive career spanning many years. After graduating from UC San Diego in 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Tina tried her hand in law school and then decided to complete the Attorney Assistant Training Program at UCLA extension, approved by the American Bar Association.

Tina began her paralegal experience with a construction defect law firm and then with lawyers and law firms in a variety of areas, including contracts, enforcement of judgments, collections, liens and personal injury. For over seven years, she worked for a criminal defense attorney, performing legal research, preparing motions and other paralegal work. Visit Tina’s website for free worksheets and downloads http://paralegaleguides.com.

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Book Excerpt:

For instance, with the way the economy has been, I wanted a way to use my skills in several different ways. I’ve been a paralegal for several years, and I’ve done the whole job hunting thing many times over, sending out resumes, preparing cover letters and interviewing. I’ve done the same thing so many times, that I could do it my sleep. Despite that fact, I still regularly review job hunting and entrepreneurship books to see if I can learn anything new to better help the people I work with.

Nevertheless, books are only a starting point. Even reading 100 different books will only take me so far, since the books will provide a good general outline of what to expect and I have to go from there. A certain part of the experience comes from the choices made along the way. Part of the experience is shaped by circumstances that are out of your control.

What others are saying..

Guest post by Yvonne Wu of The YP Publishing

The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss

When we were offered the chance to review a couple of children poetry books, I knew that son2 would jump at the chance, since Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy is one of his favourite books. He chose The Bedtimeasnaurus, written by Mike Bayliss and illustrated by Megan Egan. What a fab title.

The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss

Here is the book blurb.

A charming collection of gorgeously illustrated poems to encourage fun and bedtime bonding between parents and their children.

The bright pink flamingoasaurus spends its day standing on one leg looking for something to eat. The round and delicious tomotoasaurus sings a tune while soaking up the sun. These are just two of the imaginative and amusing dinosaurs dreamed up in The Bedtimeasnaurus, the sometimes naughty and always hilarious poetry collection for children by Mike Bayliss.

Developing the idea for over thirty years while working on other projects , Bayliss was encouraged to publish his collection after being diagnosed with stage IV non – Hodgkin lymphoma in April 2017, using his work as a positive outlet for his energy as he worked to battle the illness.

Complimented by charming illustrations, opportunities for kids to draw their own dinosaur creations and simple quizzes on each of the characters, The Bedtimeasnaurus not only provides an entertaining read for young children before they go to sleep but also offers a valuable chance for parents to connect and engage.

The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss

I like this book because it is very funny. My favourite dinosaur is the Pumposaurus because it farts a lot.

The two sentences above are what son2 has written for his review. He doesn’t share much with us about the book, so let me explain. It is all about funny made-up dinosaurs and has been written in verse.

After the verses, there is a quiz about all the dinosaurs in the books, along with a couple of blank pages for each child to draw their own Bedtimeasnaurus along with a funny poem about their dinosaur.

Mumosaurus

Mumosaurus

Son2 has invented the mean green Mumosaurus. Should I be worried? I’m hoping his outlook on Mumosaurus being mean is just temporary, based on a misunderstanding with Clink Street Publishing, when he just got an e-version of this book rather than the actual paperback that he was expecting. In his eyes, this was all my fault. Although I have to say that I would definitely recommend a paperback copy over the e-version in this particular case, as we did experience a few technical issues. Firstly, it was too small to view on my iPhone, as it seemed to have some double page landscape formatting which wasn’t working properly. Then neither PDF nor mobi format would download from dropbox to the iPad. So we resorted to PDF on the computer, which still frustrated my son as the page breaks weren’t working correctly.

This lovely collection of dinosaur poems by Mike Bayliss is going to bring a smile to kids, especially the more cheeky “toilet humour” ones. It has been beautifully illustrated by Megan Egan.

However I’ve never come across the word “pumping” in this context, and if it wasn’t for the illustrations, I think this would be confusing to readers.

Due to be published tomorrow, The Bedtimeasnaurus is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.30 in paperback. Suitable for a wide age range. A lovely book to read out loud to your child at bedtime or for them to read themselves.

The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss

About the author

Born in Walsaill West Midland, UK, Bayliss is an entrepreneur that owns companies in several industries including building supply and property development. He also owns Bespoke Brewery, which opened in 2012 and has since won a number of awards for its craft beer. He lives with his wife and three children in Forest Dean, UK. This is his first book.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thebedtimeasnaurus/


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

The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss

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

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Dr. Oetker pizza review plus giveaway

Dr. Oetker is a brand which seems to be in my shopping trolley most weeks, whether it be pizza or cake baking products. And whilst we were in Germany at half term, I tried their breakfast cereal, which was delicious. Pity those are not sold in the UK. So I was pleased to be sent a free voucher to try their latest limited edition Bianca Deliciosa pizza for free.

Dr Oetker pizza

We only got one free voucher initially, so I had to purchase another of their pizzas myself, to ensure there was enough for the whole family. Rather than getting 2 Bianca Deliciosa, I chose to buy my son’s favourite Ristorante Mozzarella flavour. So he was very pleased when he saw me unpacking the shopping.

Dr. Oetker pizza

Although the boys enjoy helping out when I do homemade pizza, we always find Dr. Oetker pizzas to be very tasty and especially great for a quick meal when you are in a rush. And this new flavour was no exception. I’m a big fan of garlic flat breads that look a bit similar to a pizza with no tomato sauce. So I thought the Bianca Deliciosa with its creamy white sauce to be a bit between one of those and a standard cheese and tomato type pizza. Without the tomato, it meant the other flavours came through more than usual, and I loved it with the bacon and red onion too. My other half agreed and even son1 gave it the thumbs up, once he had removed the onions. Fussy boy. Of course, even fussier son2 wasn’t prepared to give it a try, just sticking to his usual Ristorante Mozzarella.

Dr Oetker pizza

I wonder how long the limited edition will be around. I do hope it doesn’t disappear too quickly as I really enjoyed it. Although I’m sure Dr. Oetker will come up with something equally good for their next limited edition.

This pizza is currently on special offer priced at £2 at Sainsburys and is also available at Asda and Ocado. More Dr. Oetker pizza flavours stocked at other supermarkets.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway some free Dr. Oetker pizza vouchers. Each voucher is valid for any one free pizza from the Dr. Oetker Ristorante range. Three winners will receive two vouchers each.

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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 is your favourite product from Dr. Oetker?

And if you wish to know about some of their other pizza flavours, then do check out my earlier reviews of Pollo Arrabiata and Calzone Special.

Just before publishing this post, I received another two free vouchers, so I will be getting some more Dr. Oetker pizzas on my next shopping trip.

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

River Rising by John A Heldt

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I have really enjoyed several books by John Heldt. So I was delighted when John asked me to review his latest book, River Rising. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

River Rising by John A Heldt

Here is the book blurb.

Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.

While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.

In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.

River Rising is the first book in a new series – The Carson Chronicles. It starts in the present day in Arizona when Adam Carson discovers from a secret letter left with their attorney and a secret website, that his parents who disappeared several months earlier, have in fact travelled back in time and are stuck in 1888 where they met Mark Twain. He convinces his siblings that they should all travel back to 1888 to try to rescue their parents.

They acquire some period clothing, locate the portal and step through at exactly 6:15pm on the winter solstice. They are surprised to find they are no longer in Arizona, but now in Pennsylvania. However Mark Twain’s writings about his meeting with Tim and Caroline Carson had mentioned that they were from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, so they follow this clue and head to Johnstown, where they book a couple of rooms at the Colbert House.

They bond with some of the people they meet in 1888/89 including some of them falling in love. Most of them follow clues in and around Johnstown, but Greg heads off to pursue clues in the dangerous Wild West. Natalie puts her journalist talents to good use, whilst 17 year old twins Cody and Caitlin enrol at school. Clues indicate that they have just missed their parents in Johnstown but they continue to maintain this as their base. Danger delays Greg in Arizona, so he also misses a chance to catch up with them and continues his trail to San Francisco, where it is even more like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Meanwhile Natalie gets another clue from Mark Twain, and sends a telegram to Greg to get him to divert to Mount Shasta for the March solstice. He doesn’t have much time and shouting as loud as he can, he narrowly misses his parents passing through another portal.

Now what? The five siblings are still in 1888, but their parents are in a different time. They will have to wait until the June solstice and then decide whether to return to 2017 or to the next date mentioned on the secret website for a chance to reunite the family.

There is lots more to happen in this story including a major flood when a dam breaks and over 2000 people die. It eventually ends on a cliffhanger, leaving me anxiously waiting for book 2 to be written.

River Rising is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.88 in Kindle format. I really loved this book, but it is the first time in one of John’s books, that I’ve been left waiting on such a cliffhanger. A brilliant read which as usual lived up to my expectations of a John Heldt novel, As always I highly recommend this author. But how long will I have to wait for book 2 to be finished.

The 1889 Johnstown flood was an actual historical disaster. I do enjoy fiction intertwined with fact.

And you may be interested to see my reviews of some of John Heldt’s other titles.
The Mine
Indiana Belle
Hannah’s Moon

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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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Chimasu Asian Snack box review & giveaway

I always love the surprise of what I may find in a subscription box. And we’re definitely partial to a snack here, so I was looking forward to my free Chimasu box of Asian Snacks arriving. Beyond prawn crackers, I have to admit that I am rather ignorant regarding types of Asian snacks. So I took a sneak peak at the Chimasu website in advance, where a familiar brand with a twist caught my eye, a Wasabi KitKat. I’ve heard of Wasabi but have no idea what it tastes like. Would there be one of those in my box?

Chimasu Asian Snacks

When it arrived, I found a huge range of items inside. More than I was expecting for the size of the parcel, but most were quite small, meaning more variety could be included, which I thought was an excellent idea.

Chimasu Asian Snacks

Chimasu Asian Snacks

So the contents were as follows…

Pu Erh Tea
Jasmine Tea (2)
Sesame Pastry (2)
Roasted Rolled Crispy Seaweed (2)
Shrimp Flavour Yummy Flakes
HiChew Green Apple
HiChew Strawberry
Wasabi Peas
Rice Cracker (2)
Kabaya Milk Chocolate Biscuit (4 panda)
Lotte Rakuten bear cake (9 Koala biscuits)
Korean Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
Nissan Demae Ramen
Orion Seaweed Flavour Korepab Snack
Banana Kick Snack

Pu Erh Tea
This is not a type of tea that I had heard of so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Just one tea bag, so I served it in traditional Chinese tea cups, so that two of us could try it. A pleasant flavour.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Pu Erh Tea

Jasmine Tea
I always order Jasmine Tea whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant and this Ten Ren brand tasted just as good as any other Jasmine Tea.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Jasmine Tea

Sesame Pastry
This was also labelled as Silang Crispy Pastries with Nutlet. Allergy warning, it contains peanut. There were two of these, individually wrapped, each containing a 13g biscuit. Son1 and I loved these. First time I’ve come across black sesame seeds.

sesame pastry

Kabaya Milk Chocolate Biscuit
Son2 immediately grabbed this 17g packet when he saw it. Inside were 4 tiny chocolate filled panda biscuits. He did reluctantly let son1 and myself share one of them. We all loved these.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Kabaya Panda Biscuits

Lotte Rakuten bear cake
Again this appealed to the boys. Inside were 9 milk flavoured tiny koala biscuits, each with a different design koala. One was even wearing glasses. I did have one, whilst the boys quickly ate four each. Good but the pandas were better. According to the website, this 19.5g packet also comes in a mango flavour.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Koala Biscuits

Wasabi Peas
A small 10g packet but any more would have been too much as we found them rather spicy. I had never tried anything wasabi flavour previously and didn’t particularly like this, but son1 enjoyed a few at a time.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Wasabi Peas

Shrimp Flavour Yummy Flakes
A small 5g packet which son1 and I both loved. It had the texture of a Pom Bear snack. We would have liked this in a bigger size.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Shrimp Yummy Flakes

HiChew Green Apple / HiChew Strawberry
Just two individually wrapped sweets which son2 had his eye on. He did let me cut a sliver off the end of each to test. They are similar to Starburst.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - HiChew Sweets

Kameda Seika Soy Sauce Flavoured Rice Crackers
These 16.8g individually wrapped Rice Crackers had the shortest shelf life, with less than 6 weeks. Everything else was dated 2018. Both son1 and I loved these.

Rice Cracker

Roasted Rolled Crispy Seaweed – Select Rolling Bite spicy flavour
These were labelled as no MSG, low fat and gluten free. We are all seaweed fans but son2 refused to try these as the packaging said they were spicy. Son1 and I both found them reasonably pleasant.

Seaweed Roll

Banana Kick Snack
This was a family size bag and they looked rather like Wotsits and with a similar texture and crunch. But the banana taste was very different. It didn’t particularly appeal to the adults, but the boys loved it.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Banana Kick

Orion Seaweed Flavour Korepab Snack
Another pleasant savoury snack all in the shapes of various sea creatures. Tiny and hollow. Plenty in the pack.

Orion Seaweed Snack

Nissan Demae Ramen
This made a tasty sesame flavour noodle soup which son1 and I enjoyed. Just add 500ml boiling water, cook for 3 minutes. Then stir in contents of the flavouring sachet and oil sachet.

Noodle soup

Korean Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
Another simple soup to make. This time add 550ml boiling water, stir in contents of the flavouring sachet and flakes sachet, then cook for 4.5 minutes. However the big difference was that this soup was very spicy indeed. We still liked the noodles but the liquid was too spicy for any of us. The packet is labelled as Gourmet Spicy.

Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup

A great varied selection of snacks in my opinion.

You may choose between a month to month subscription at £18 per box or prepaying for 3, 6 or 12 boxes or buying a single box for £20. Prepaying for 3 equates to £17 per box and prepaying for 6 equates to £16.50 per box and prepaying for 12 equates to £16 per box. Very good value in my opinion and it also includes free shipping within the UK. You pay extra for shipping to other countries.

You also get the option to indicate which categories you love (always include), like (sometimes include) or don’t want from the following list of categories. A very useful feature in my opinion.
Biscuits and Cakes
Crisps
Candy
Nuts, Peas and Seeds
Noodles and Soups
Teas
Fruits
Seafood

Plus I have a special offer to share with my readers. £6 off your first Asian Snack Box and a free Japanese Kit Kat when you use coupon code TOKYO444 at checkout.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway an Asian Snack box from Chimasu to one lucky winner. This may contain a different selection of products to those featured here, as my review is of what was in the October selection.

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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 is your favourite Asian Snack?

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