Category Archives: Reviews

A Dream of Steam by James W Barry

I have received a free e-copy of the book A Dream of Steam by James W Barry to review. For more information on the author, you may see his website.

A Dream of Steam by James W Barry

Here is the book blurb.

“It was the end of dread, at least in its first and most paralyzing form. Each brother knew that the gnawing worry that had lay siege to the backs of their minds for the past six months had finally broken through the walls, emerging in their midst. It was something that could no longer be dodged, or suppressed, or unimagined.”As the autumn shipping season draws to a close, Captain Thomas McGrath steps ashore to help his ambitious brother William rebuild the family sawmill. Despite Thomas’ aversion to debt, William convinces him to borrow heavily so they might convert their ailing, water-powered mill to steam. While adapting to the new technology, Thomas finds himself navigating between ax-wielding log pirates, hostile longshoremen, and his brother’s obsession with finding his estranged wife.The newly retooled mill is ramping up lumber production when the winds of fortune turn. Thomas has set sail again when a financial crisis hits, running the brothers afoul of John Fitzpatrick, a crooked bank officer employed by their lender. Fitzpatrick’s crimes push the McGrath Brothers Lumber Company to the edge of ruin, forcing Thomas to consider a high risk proposal if he wants to save their livelihood and get out of debt.Set in 1890s Michigan, A Dream of Steam is a story of sailing ships and lumberjacks, aspirations and disappointment, love and heartbreak, peopled by men and women who take control of their destinies in an era of rapid change.

This book is set by the Great Lakes in the early 1890s. A slow start as we are introduced to all the characters, of whom the main ones are brothers William and Thomas McGrath. William runs the sawmill whilst Thomas transports the cargo in his ship Genevieve across Lake Huron to destinations such as Detroit. William is trying to convince Thomas that they need to modernise to steam power in order to remain competitive, but this will require substantial financing.

There are several threads to the story, so we also meet those who work at the bank in Detroit, where the McGrath brothers secure a loan. There crooked bank clerk Fitzpatrick is skimming bank funds to meet his personal gambling debts.

Plenty going on throughout this book – fights, rescues, intimidation, annoying neighbours, an estranged wife and even a murder.

At the end of the book, we discover that a true story inspired the author to write this novel. There is also a glossary of mill and ship terminology at the end, which might have been better at the beginning in my opinion, so that the reader would be more aware of it.

A Dream of Steam is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.82 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. Not my usual genre, but an interesting historical read.

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


Healthier Chocolate Puddings plus giveaway

Time to share a very tasty recipe with you using a selection of products I received free to review from Buy Whole Foods Online. I was offered carte blanche to select any product from their online shop to use in a recipe of my choosing.

I found there was a great extensive range, so it was a difficult choice, but in the end I opted for cacao, almond flour and date sugar. I’ve never used any of these 3 products previously. In fact I’ve always been mystified as to what is the difference between cacao and cocoa since they look similar, so I decided that now was the time to investigate this question. I discovered that cacao is raw whilst cocoa has been roasted.

BuyWholeFoodsOnline cacao, almond flour and date sugar

Regular readers of my blog will know that in 2019, I am doing my best to reduce our household waste and in particular plastic. So I cast a critical eye over the parcel when it arrived. Thumbs up to Buy Whole Foods Online for using paper packaging to protect the products in transit. However the products themselves were all packed in plastic, which is still plastic even if the packets were labelled as BPA free. I’m sure a paper-based solution could be achieved. Even the supermarkets who have a very high plastic usage, sell most flour and some sugar in paper packets. Hopefully Buy Whole Foods Online will review their product packaging.

I had a recipe idea in mind, when I chose my products and this was to try to make a healthier version emulating those delicious hot chocolate desserts from Gü. I’m not sure if date sugar truly counts as healthy, but I’m sure it must be better than regular sugar. At least I hope so, since I am trying to reduce my use of sugar. So here is my recipe.

Chocolate Puddings

Healthier Chocolate Puddings

Ingredients (serves 4)

75g cacao powder
125g almond flour
100g date sugar
4 eggs
50 ml milk
75g butter


Allow butter to soften at room temperature.
Preheat fan oven to 160 degrees C.
Grease 4 small ramekin dishes.
Beat together all ingredients.
Spoon into the ramekin dishes.
Place dishes on a baking tray.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for 10 minutes, until outside of puddings is set but inside is still soft.
Turn out of ramekins into pudding bowls.
Serve with your choice of creme fraiche, cream, greek yoghurt or ice cream.

Chocolate puddings

These were delicious, although the inside is only slightly soft. I had originally intended it to be more gooey inside.

Here are the links to the three products I received. They all come in a range of sizes.

Organic Date Sugar 500g – made from 100% organic dried dates. Date sugar is far less processed than other popular sugars and retains the high fibre content of the fruit. It also has a naturally low glycemic index.

Organic Raw Cacao Powder 500g – 100% organic and fully raw. Cacao is highly antioxidant.

Almond Flour 500g (x2) – Low-carb, paleo-friendly, gluten free. They also stock an organic version.

I was very pleased with all three of these products and am now thinking up my next recipe. I can’t comment on cost comparison, as I haven’t seen these products elsewhere previously.

Wish I’d had them before Christmas, as I always make marzipan stuffed dates for Christmas and this year in an effort to reduce sugar, I tried blitzing flaked almonds with a little chopped date together, to use as the filling. It would have been so much easier to have used date sugar and almond flour instead, plus the texture would have been more like marzipan.

I do recommend that you take a look at the Buy Whole Foods Online store. There is a huge amount to choose from. They currently have a special offer of 10% off everything, plus 20% off selected products, using coupon code NEWYEAR19.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway cacao powder, almond flour and date sugar from Buy Whole Foods Online to one lucky winner. Think of the yummy treats you’ll be able to bake with these goodies.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your recipe suggestions using any of these products.

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Family Fever

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

Pieces of Me by Rose Marie Abrams

I have received a free e-copy of the book Pieces of Me: My Journey from an Abusive Childhood to a Life of Hope and Healing by Rose Marie Abrams to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

Pieces of Me by Rose Marie Abrams

Here is the book blurb.

From the day she was born, Rose Marie Abrams was nothing more than a pawn in a sick chess game in which there would be no winner.

The players were none other than Rose Marie’s biological mother, a single parent who had been raised in the foster care system during the 1940s and ’50s, and her foster mother, who took in children not to nurture them but to torture them and turn them into slaves. To one mother, Rose Marie was merely a doll. To the other mother, she was a captive, a scapegoat, the victim of insatiable sadism. No one wanted her for who she was, for who every child is: a gift from the Divine.

Despite the unceasing horrors Rose Marie suffered at the hands of those meant to care for her, her light could not be extinguished. In Pieces of Me, she speaks the unspeakable and reveals the hope, tenacity, and life-giving defiance that brought her dreams of freedom to life—and let her long-suppressed inner child out to play.

This book was a very difficult read as it deals with the topic of child abuse. The author was the victim and I found it so emotive, that I could only read a few pages at a time. I commend the author on her strength of being able to share the details of the dreadful child abuse including sexual violation she suffered, mainly from her foster mother, known only as “Mother”.

She didn’t discover who her biological mother was until well into adulthood, by contacting the hospital where she was born. It was Viola.

Viola too was one of the earlier foster children and had also suffered much abuse. And Viola had been forced to legally let “Mother” adopt Rose Marie, being told that if she attempted to leave with Rose Marie, she would be arrested for child kidnapping, based on a non-existent verbal agreement.

Both the social services and judicial systems totally let Rose Marie and Viola down. Everything was brushed under the carpet. But somehow, not even knowing that there could be a different life, Rose Marie held onto hope.

Pieces of Me is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.24 in paperback. A heartbreaking true tale.

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

No More Plastic by Martin Dorey

Regulars readers will be aware that this year I have started a more conscious effort to reduce waste, in particular plastic, as I am very concerned about the amount of plastic pollution in the oceans and the global impact. And it is quite a lightbulb moment when you realise that all the toothbrushes, combs and other plastic products we have used over the years, will be around long after our deaths.

Towards the end of last year, my jaw dropped when I read a news article about an environmental book called “No More Plastic” being shrink wrapped. What a wake-up call. I immediately added the book to my wishlist and my sister kindly bought me the kindle version for Christmas.

No More Plastic by Martin Dorey

This book easily draws you in with the message that it only takes you 2 minutes to implement any #2minutesolution to reduce your plastic consumption. These all add up to making a meaningful difference to the world. Let me share a few quick solutions that I have implemented as a result of reading this book.

Firstly I discovered that bottles with plastic wraps cannot be identified by the recycling sorting machines, so end up in landfill. Therefore my initial #2minutesolution has been to pull these off bottles like Actimel. My family drink a lot of these, so ultimately I’m hoping to find a similar drink in a glass bottle, but in the meantime these ones need to be recycled.

My next #2minutesolution has been to order a GuppyFriend Bag, which hopefully will arrive soon. What’s one of those I hear you ask. Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of them either. It is a lint catching bag that can be used in the washing machine, similarly to the filter that catches lint in a tumble drier. Why do I need one? Well from reading the book, I’ve just discovered that every item of clothing made from man-made fibres sheds plastic lint each time you wash it, which currently is going straight down the drain, and eventually into the ocean. The tiny plastic particles are too small to be captured at the sewage plant. And as I enjoy running frequently, I possess plenty of man-made clothing which is often in the wash. That certainly made me sit up and think. Never dropping litter, I hadn’t thought of myself as a potential ocean polluter.

And thirdly, I’ve now downloaded an app called Bead The Microbead and am about to use it to scan the contents of my bathroom cabinet for any products which may contain plastic microbeads. If I find any, they will be binned.

There are lots more that I plan to implement and you will be able to follow this in my new series of blog posts documenting my journey towards being plastic free and zero waste. You may see my first post of 2019 here.

I highly recommend this great book by Martin Dorey, which I read cover to cover in one day and keep dipping back into. It is available on Amazon in both kindle or paperback format.

Microplastic is already in the food chain and has been found in humans!

About the author

Martin Dorey, anti-plastics expert, has been working to save our beaches from plastic for the past 10 years. His Beach Clean Foundation and global call to arms #2minutebeachclean has been taken up by people all over the world, and has proven that collective small actions can add up to a big difference. Together we can fix this.

And of course I’d love to hear your eco friendly suggestions and tips please.

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Every Moment and Not A Second More by Natalie Hanson

I have received a free e-copy of the book Every Moment and Not A Second More by Natalie Hanson to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Every Moment and Not A Second More by Natalie Hanson

Here is the book blurb.

In 2012, scientists used the world’s largest machine to slam matter together and discover ‘The God Particle’. At the same time the universe sends Emily, a woman adrift in life, crashing into three strangers.

She meets an airplane machinist turned drag queen in a battle over a dripping bathtub. A scientist on the brink of discovery and destruction. And a young man running from his past who believes he has no future.

Can the universe determine our fate? Science and love collide as Emily uncovers the secret that binds them all together.

Well this book was quite different to my usual sort of reading genres. There are six main characters. Emily enjoys painting and is temporarily living in her parents old home at the Blue Diamond Apartments in Seattle, in order to clear out their possessions. Her mum died last year and her father Warren Higga, famed for being the head of the Higga Institute, has moved out. He wants Emily to progress at Higga, which she has no enthusiasm for.

Emily meets James, a PhD physics student, another resident in a bizarre encounter outside the Blue Diamond, when she is digging up carrots. James warns her that these are not carrots, but the poisonous hemlock. The two connect and a date leads to a relationship. Meanwhile James is being targeted by Gi, one of his lab team at the university, because she wants a role at the CERN research institute that James would be a better fit for.

There are only 4 units at the Blue Diamond. Another is occupied by drag queen Charlemagne. And Colby is currently living in the last unit which belongs to his mum who is away travelling, whilst Colby dog-sits. Colby does not like Charlemagne and loses the plot in another bizarre encounter in nearby coffee shop when he sees Charlemagne ahead in the queue buying the last Red Betty croissant which Colby wanted.

We follow the interactions and relationships between these six. Where will it all lead? Although it seems random, all the strands weave together well.

Every Moment and Not A Second More by Natalie Hanson is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.26 in Kindle format. An interesting read.

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






Benjamin Birdie by Michael Dotsikas plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of two books by Michael Dotsikas for son2 to review. The first is Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight and the second is Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Benjamin Birdie's First Flight by Michael Dotsikas

Here is the book blurb.

Benjamin Birdie wants to fly like all the other birds, like he was meant to! But his mama tells him he isn’t quite ready yet. Benjamin doesn’t listen, and tries to give flying a go – but falls all the way down from the top of the tree to the forest floor. Now Benjamin Birdie must ask for help from all of the other tree-dwellers to get back to the top of the tree. Charming rhymes and colorful illustrations bring this story about friendship to life and teach the importance of coming together to help someone in need. Children will learn about different exotic animals, what makes each of them special and how each of their unique qualities help get Benjamin back home to his nest!

This is what son2 had to say about the book.

My favourite part of Benjamin Birdie is when at the end all the animals managed to somehow get up. I also liked how Benjamin Birdie says at the end he’s not ready to fly yet.

Benjamin Birdie's First Flight by Michael Dotsikas

This is a delightful tale, where Benjamin Birdie doesn’t listen to his mum. He tries to fly too soon and ends up on the ground. But all the other animals help to gradually get him back up branch by branch, although some imagine they can do it alone. And as my son pointed out, when Benjamin’s mum returns, he admits to her that he isn’t ready to fly yet, so the story is also conveying the message of honesty as well as the kindness of all the other animals in helping him.

There were some animals we hadn’t heard of, so it was great that at the end of the book we found some factual pages, telling us all about the creatures. Plus a glossary too. And gorgeous illustrations by Morgan Spicer.

And you may see the book trailer here.

Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight is available on Amazon, currently priced at £13.86 in hardback. A gorgeous rhyming picture book. Thumbs up for this book from son2.

Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers by Michael Dotsikas

And here is the book blurb for Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers.

After his unsuccessful first flight, Benjamin Birdie is still anxious to fly like all the other birds. With his wings now grown stronger, and support from his mom, Benjamin is ready to give flying another try. Nervously leaping from his nest, he stumbles at first, but recovers just in time after hearing the encouraging voices of all his tree-dwelling friends, cheering him on! Benjamin’s newfound flying skills inspire his friends to follow their own dreams and try things once thought they couldn’t do. Join Benjamin Birdie and his tree-dwelling friends as they learn to believe in themselves, all while seeing just how important it is to be there for a friend when they’re not feeling sure of themselves. Sometimes a friend is all you need to find confidence and courage to soar to new, spectacular heights!

This is what son2 had to say about the book.

My favourite part was when the Elephant tried to fly. I also liked that since he could fly he met other Tree Dwellers in different trees.🌳


Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers by Michael Dotsikas

This is the follow-up book when several weeks later, Benjamin Birdie’s mum says he is now ready to fly. All his tree friends encourage him and he meets new friends in the other trees. Meanwhile seeing Benjamin achieve his goal inspires the other animals to try something new, conveying the message to think big. Yet another delightful tale, again with a glossary and some factual pages at the end, describing a different selection of animals.

Benjamin Birdie and the Tree Dwellers is available on Amazon, currently priced at £13.86 in hardback. Another fabulous rhyming picture book.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a hardback copy of both books to 3 lucky winners. Open worldwide.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of 2 e-books I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Evo by Diane May – book review and giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Evo by Diane May to review. For more information on the author, you may see her website.

Evo by Diane May

Here is the book blurb.

Livio Marchiori, a legendary homicide detective with the highest rate of solved cases in Verona, is faced with The Hypnotist, a serial killer whose modus operandi borders the supernatural and who is as elusive as a ghost. He never touches his victims and he leaves no evidence behind, except for the pen drive showing a dark figure who has the ability to hypnotize people to death…their own.

The more Marchiori digs, the less he finds while the city is on edge with the mayor and the press putting pressure on the police. And when The Hypnotist threatens to kill the love of his life, the chief medical examiner, Marchiori knows that he is quickly running out of time.

So when Captain Victor Miller from Interpol walks into town, Marchiori is more than happy to partner again with the man who two years ago helped him put an entire mafia clan behind bars. But Miller has his own agenda and Marchiori soon discovers that there is more to this than meets the eye, an entire thread of things way beyond his pay grade – secret experiments, dastardly research, and the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.

And just when Marchiori thinks the situation can’t get any worse than this, he finds out that Miller isn’t what he claims to be.

Feeling at the end of his tether and not knowing who to trust anymore, Marchiori begins a race against time to save both the woman he loves and millions of people from dying.

EVO is a gripping serial killer thriller with a shocking twist that will keep you awake until the first light of dawn.

The story starts with a flashback 20 years ago when CIA agent John Blake discovered that illegal genetic experiments had been performed on his young daughter Maya during IVF. Is this why she has special abilities? However there is a chilling note at the end of the file saying “Maya Blake and Christian Brent – test results positive. Terminate her”. He’s not going to let that happen but how?

Fast forward to the present day and there is a serial killer in Verona, seemingly murdering by hypnotism. Detective Captain Marchiori is investigating the case. Meanwhile Maya now lives in Verona too and one day trying to thwart a thief, she bumps into a gorgeous stranger, Christian Brent. By a twist of fate, Chris is dating Maya’s best friend Sara. A huge argument, another murder and a disappearance, followed by a trip to Africa. What is going on?

And then Captain Victor Miller from Interpol arrives on the scene, aka Maya’s ex fiancé, Alex. Who is he really and what is his agenda?

There is much much more to come in this story. It had me on the edge of my seat.

Evo is available on Amazon, currently priced at £4.99 in Kindle format. A thrilling read with a fantastically woven storyline.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of this book to 1 lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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

12 Days of Clink Street – Uberdacious by Simone Santivari

I love taking part in book tours but when I was offered free rein to select any book of my my choice from Clink Street Publishing, it was a bit like being handed a blank cheque. I am used to being asked if I wish to review a particular title, but this time there were nearly 500 titles to choose between! I decided to narrow it down to one genre, namely food and drink, from which I selected Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy by Simone Santivari.

Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy by Simone Santivari

Here is the book blurb.

Simone Santivari has a passion for food and healthy living that inspires everyone around her.

Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy is the culmination of thirty years of fun and culinary creation in her kitchen, exploring the possibilities for a predominantly macrobiotic diet. Her cooking uses simple whole foods and largely organic ingredients, removing refined products and using only natural sugars, like fruit.

Much of Simone’s approach has been inspired by her loving husband, James, who has multiple sclerosis, and for whom Simone always strives to develop the best dishes to support James’s health and wellbeing. Anyone wishing to take responsibility for their own health will benefit from Simone’s approach. Her simple but delicious recipes and snacks are accompanied by advice and information on natural remedies and holistic treatments.

Stories about food, life and Simone’s great loves are dotted throughout this vibrant cook book, and Simone hopes that her recipes and approach to healthy living will help every reader become even more Uberdacious!

When I chose this book after reading the blurb, I assumed it would be mainly recipes with the stories interspersed. However I found that the recipes don’t start until over halfway through the book after following Simone’s life-story. This was fascinating to read, as Simone has certainly led an interesting life, although sad to hear about Simone’s husband James being diagnosed with MS. And I’m sure those of my followers who love entering my giveaways will be interested to hear that Simone tells of her lucky competition wins including 3 holidays.

And then the recipe section also contains lots of healthy eating tips. I’ve sometimes thought about buying flours other than white or wholemeal, but never really known where to start. The book has now introduced me to black and red rice which I had never heard of, so I shall be looking out for those in the shops. Lots more products that I have never heard of, but I’ve now bought a jar of St Dalfour jam, which is just sweetened with apple juice. Plus there is a natural remedies section after the recipes.

Uberdacious is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great book which has certainly opened my eyes to healthy eating ideas. Although a shame that the e-version of the book didn’t include the cookery illustrations which are in the paperback.

I have tried out the Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits recipe from the book. This is a sugar-free recipe which can also be adapted to gluten-free if desired. Ideal for me, as I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake, although I only wish to replace with natural alternatives and avoid the likes of aspartame.

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Son1 did comment that they were rather plain and son2 who usually always raids the biscuit jar has been eating these much slower. To me, this is a great result, as my aim is to reduce their sugar intake as well as my own, but because it is a gradual path, I probably need to use more agave syrup temporarily until their palates adjust.

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Now that we are into December, I’m planning to try out Simone’s mince pie recipe next.

I’m participating in the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas blogival. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts, which cover a wide range of reading matter.

12 days of Clink Street Christmas blogtour

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

On the Count of Three by Carolyn Arnold

I have received a free e-copy of the book On the Count of Three by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. I’ve now read several of Carolyn’s books, so I was very much looking forward to reading this one, particularly as it stars FBI Agent Brandon Fisher just like the first of her books I read. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

On the Count of Three by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

Drinking and driving may be deadly in more ways than one…

When a woman’s disappearance ticks off all the same boxes as two unsolved murders, Miami homicide detective Kelly Marsh is convinced there’s about to be a third. If she’s right and the killer sticks to their previous MO, she only has three days before Jenna Kelter’s decapitated head will show up somewhere in the city. With no time to waste, Kelly reaches out to the one person she knows can help: her former mentor and family friend Jack Harper, who just happens to lead a team with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.

BAU special agent and profiler Brandon Fisher easily sees the similarities between Detective Marsh’s missing person case and the two cold cases: all three victims served time for DUI vehicular homicide and disappeared three days after being released from prison. But is that enough to assume Kelter has been abducted by a serial killer? Brandon’s not so sure and fears his boss may have let his personal connection to Marsh cloud his judgment. Surely there isn’t any other explanation for why they jumped into an investigation less than twenty-four hours after Kelter was reported missing. Then again, maybe Brandon is letting his own differences with the detective affect his perspective. He’ll need to move past it, though—and quickly.

After all, this killer has evaded capture for the past six years, and they may be looking at a lot more victims than originally suspected. This serial killer is calling the shots and pulling them into a macabre game of cat and mouse. While the team has no choice but to play, if they don’t make the right moves, one of them may not make it out of Miami alive.

This is book 7 in the series featuring FBI agent Brandon Fisher.

The FBI team fly urgently to Miami, having been summoned by homicide detective Kelly Marsh who believes that due to similarities with 2 cold cases, missing person Jenna Kelter has been abducted by a serial killer. The previous 2 victims were decapitated on day 3 after abduction, so time is of the essence to find Jenna.

One small gripe was the use of 3 letter acronyms. DUI and BAU were used in the book blurb and frequently throughout the book. I do wish authors would avoid using these. The only BAU I know is Business as usual, which wouldn’t make sense in the context of the story. I therefore had to look them up. So for anyone else as mystified as me, they are Driving under the influence and Behavioural Analysis Unit.

Also I found a small sub-story that was running throughout a bit perplexing. It is pretty obvious that it is leading up to one of the other agents Zach leaving the team at the end of the book. But why? It is not as if it is a film series, where an actor has requested to be written out.

On the Count of Three is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.49 in paperback or £5.49 in Kindle format. Once again, Carolyn gives us a gripping story to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Here are the links to my reviews of other books by Carolyn Arnold.
Power Struggle
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh

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

The Christmas Wish by Engy Neville

As we head into December I love to read Christmas stories. So I was delighted to receive a free e-copy of the book A Christmas Wish (A Manhattan Dream) by Engy Neville to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

The Christmas Wish by Engy Neville

Here is the book blurb.

Amy McKinsey is living her dream. In Manhattan. Working for one of the most popular lifestyle magazines in the country. Dating the perfect man, Richie Hendricks, III.
Her charmed life couldn’t be better. Christmas was gearing up to be everything she hoped for and more.
Until everything falls apart.
The dream job becomes a battle to the death when her old nemesis—and former boss—joins the team, determined to ruin her. Worse, her perfect man all but disappears when he’s forced to take over the family business.
What else could life possibly throw in her path?
In this touching and inspirational story, Amy must learn that true happiness lies in unexpected places, and only she can forge her own destiny.

Once I started reading this book, I realised it was the second title in the Manhattan Dream series, but it works well as a stand-alone read.

Although mainly a Christmas story, it starts in the summer when Amy is on holiday with her friends Megan and Miranda. There she meets Richie on the beach and they start dating. Romance blossoms as they head towards Christmas, although they don’t see too much of each other, due to Richie’s long work hours. Meanwhile Amy is enjoying her new job, until she hears they are recruiting Sarah, who made her previous job unbearable. Is it going to be the same again? And will Amy get her Christmas wish?

I love Christmas stories and this was no exception. The sections where we hear about Amy’s dream featuring Mrs Claus and the similarities in her life immediately made me think it would make a great Christmas film. And of course, like every great Christmas story, there were sections where I was in floods of tears.

A Christmas Wish is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.31 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. A delightful Christmas tale. And I’d definitely like to read the first title Fool’s Luck too.

About the author

Engy has been writing for as long as she can remember. From keeping a journal to writing short stories and novels, she loves the creative process in its entirety. One of her favorite things about writing, after dreaming up a character, is when the dialogue begins to form in her head. She can’t begin to describe the feeling of euphoria that engulfs her when the characters come alive in her head and the story begins to take shape, making its own turns and twists.

As a young girl, she used to imagine herself in the pages of her favorite books. Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden were her absolute favorites and she has read the books a gazillion times without tiring of the story. Lately, she finds herself getting lost in the pages of her own stories, more fun than she ever imagined.

She hope that her books provide the same wonderful escape for you as other books have done for her.

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