Category Archives: Reviews

Marquess of Menace 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 Menace by Tammy Andresen to review.

Marquess of Menace by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He’s a rake beyond redemption…

The Marquess of Milton was the sort of handsome that made women swoon at his feet. Which suited him just fine. Of course, no mother would allow him near her daughter, which worked even better. Who wanted to tangle with a woman he might have to marry? But when his path crosses with Miss Eliza Carrington, a woman who is both strikingly beautiful and as fiery as they come, he knows he has to have her. And when he realizes there is no marriage minded mama to contend with… it’s time to be wicked.

She has no time for games…

The Marquess of Menace? That’s what they called him? Eliza rejects the name from the first. It implies there is something dangerous about this man when really he’s just an overgrown child. One who wanted to play at sin and dance away from the consequences of life. She’ll have none of it. And if he thinks his cute lines and his handsome face will have her falling in his bed, he’s got another thing coming. She’ll teach him a few lessons about playing with a woman’s affection that he’ll never forget.

But when danger comes knocking at her door, it’s Menace who is there to fend it off. And when his arm slips about her in comfort, she has to confess that’s it’s as strong as it is comforting.

And the reckless beating of her heart. Surely, that’s a mistake.

The Lords of Scandal series just keeps going. This is book 10. Last time in the Duke of Decadence, Tammy Andresen broke away from her usual style of writing to leave a number of unanswered questions, so I was very eager to read this next instalment.

The story begins with Dylan, Marquess of Milton, known as Marquess of Menace reluctantly attending a society party as he needs a wealthy bride because his estate is in significant debt, but he is not really keen to be there as he is a rake through and through.

Impoverished Eliza Carrington is also attending the ball along with the pretend Aunt Mildred and two of her sisters, Abigail and Emily. Although she thinks him a cad, she goes onto the terrace to speak to Menace in order to escape her scheming uncle and the odious Mr Taber. They negotiate a deal whereby Eliza will point out rich eligible young women to Menace in exchange for any information regarding her missing father, her uncle or the elusive mystery man.

Talk of the devil, Mr Mystery turns up at the party and arranges to meet Eliza at dawn. Eliza knows this is not wise and in the end goes with both Menace and her new brother-in-law Bash.

So who does Mr Mystery reveal he is and what other knowledge does he have to share? What impact does this have on Eliza? How does Menace react? And what about when Eliza accidentally puts herself in danger? Then a curve-ball from Eliza’s cousin Avery. And finally yet another cliffhanger ending!

Marquess of Menace is available on Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback. As always a nice light short romantic story from Tammy. But what it is it with these cliffhanger endings? I can’t wait for the next book in the series.


About the author

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

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The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness – book review

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness

Here is the book blurb.

At the height of the Spanish Inquisition a ruthless inquisitor by the name of Bishop Promane tortures a fellow priest, Father Sanchez, for information about the whereabouts of a relic known as the Judas Robe, rumored to be the only piece of physical evidence of God on earth. Promane succeeds in recovering the robe only to lose it to Sanchez’s saviors, knights belonging to The Order of Christ.
In the Present Day, Joel Gardiner, a pre-med student, is attacked by a group of religious zealots after leaving a campus pub. A young woman calling herself Sophia rescues Joel and reveals that he is descended from of the Order of Christ who still has the Judas Robe in their possession. Joel dismisses it as a hoax or farce, but zealots renew their efforts to seize the robe. Joel and Sophia embark on a quest to verify the existence of the so-called relic while trying to elude the murderous cabal.

The story starts back in history at the time of the Spanish Inquisition when Bishop Promane is torturing Father Sanchez in an attempt to discover where the Judas Robe relic is. Father Sanchez gives in when the Bishop releases him and ties one of his young charges to the rack instead. But the Bishop only gets his hands on the precious relic for minutes before he sees his men slain by knights of The Order of Christ. The captain saves Father Sanchez and his young charge but takes the relic and departs.

In chapter 2, we fast forward to the present day, where Joel a medical student, is juggling his time between his studies and a part-time intern research job at the Biopharm lab. But on his way home one evening from the lab he is mugged, however a young woman Sophia nearby tazers the thugs and rescues Joel, driving him to a pharmacy and patching up his cuts. She reveals she has been tracking the thugs who are religious zealots after The Judas Robe, the one physical proof of God on earth.

(Proof reading appears to have skipped the blurb. which says pub rather than lab).

Joel is nonplussed by this, what does it have to do with him? And who is Sophia really? But when his girlfriend Lisa is also intimidated by thugs, he puts two and two together. Is it anything to do with his mother Natalie, a religious fanatic who now lives in a convent?

We get to meet plenty more characters as the story progresses. A real page turner as more is revealed and I certainly couldn’t have predicted the ending.

The Judas Robe is available on Amazon in both kindle format and paperback. A good thriller, with some great twists.

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Duke of Decadence 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 Duke of Decadence by Tammy Andresen to review.

Duke of Decadence by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

The Duke of Decadence has a secret…

Well, to be honest, Bash has several. His father, the Demon Duke, might have been the cruelest man in all of England. Bash hates his own title, the very one he inherited and all the trappings that come with it. And most secret of all, he hopes never to marry and carry on that family legacy. Which is downright scandalous for a duke to even think.

Miss Isabella Carrington is trying not to be seen…

When a young lady of a certain age sneaks into a gaming hell, dressed as a man, she doesn’t wish to be discovered. While her and her sisters need the money, and she could win with her ability to count cards, it would be best if no one discovered she was there. With no male protector and no financial means, this high-stakes game of cards was their last hope.

But of course, the shrewd Duke of Decadence learns all of it in the course of a single evening. And when he comes to her with a proposition…work at the Den of Sins in exchange for his protection and her sisters’ launch into society, she isn’t certain how she can refuse. But Isabella doesn’t want to accept either. The man is everything she hates with his lavish life and decadent ways.

And worse still, he manages to steal her breath each and every time they meet…

This is book 9 in the Lords of Scandal series. Bash, the Duke of Devonhall, alias the Duke of Decadence is one of the new owners of the gaming club, Den of Sins that has featured in previous titles. He is also the brother of the Earl of Baxter from book 8.

Meanwhile we are introduced to the four Carrington sisters – Eliza, Isabella, Abigail and Emily. Their mother is dead, their father is abroad and hasn’t been heard from in months and their obnoxious Uncle Malcolm is trying to evict them.

So they come up with a plan to dress Isabella, who has an amazing memory, up as a man and sneak her into the gaming den to win some money on the cards. But Bash guesses that Isabella is not a man and proposes she puts her memory to use by working for him at the Den of Sins in exchange for protection for her and her sisters.

Why has Bash offered this? Will the plan work? What has Bash let himself in for? How does Isabella feel about it? Where is the girls’ father? Why is Uncle Malcolm being so horrible?

And finally who is the mystery donor – a question left unanswered in this book. Most unusual for Tammy to leave a cliffhanger between books.

Duke of Decadence is available on Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback. Another nice light short romantic story from Tammy. But with unanswered questions, I have no choice but to read the next title.


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

Game Off Celebrities – a Head to Head Battle – review and giveaway

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

We love playing games in our household, but during this winter lockdown, I’ve frequently been heard calling out “Shall we play a game?” It helps give the boys a break from their screens, which they would be reluctant to do otherwise, when most of the activities they enjoy are off limits. And although we have our favourites that we play again and again, we really like trying something new. So I was delighted to be offered the chance to try out the new Celebrities version of Game Off for free.

Game Off Celebrities

Gosh I’ve never compared games to buses before but it had been a while since I’d reviewed a game and now this is the second one our family have put to the test in a matter of weeks!

Dispatch was very quick and it was good to see how small the box was. No wasted empty space in a large box. A win win all round as it will take up less space on the shelf, plus portable too, which will be a bonus once we can finally start going on holidays again. But putting on my “Reduce Plastic Pollution” hat, did it really need two layers of plastic, one round the box and then a second one inside round the pack of cards. Ideally I would like to see none, but can understand the need for some method of sealing the new product. Perhaps something the company can review before their next production run.

Game Off Celebrities

Moving onto the game itself, I loved the chatty friendly style that the instructions are written in, with a cheeky way of deciding who goes first. It says that it is suitable for ages 8-118. We joked here about having to stop playing when we reach 119. Of course we’re a long long way off that upper age limit, so with technology advances, who knows what humans life span may be in the future.

There are five types of cards – Body, Mind, Skill, Courage and Luck. The object of the game is to be the first person to collect one of each category. You win the cards via head-to-head battles with the other players acting as judges, so it needs a minimum of 3 players.

Game Off Celebrities

So each card describes a challenge based on a named celebrity, who range from current right back into the depths of history like Pythagoras. Some of the challenges are verbal, others require pen and paper and a few you need to improvise with props. It certainly makes it funny being the judges and the rules have cleverly thought out what to do in a draw scenario.

There is an additional rule which permits players to swap three of one type of card for another. This could prove useful in changing the dynamics of the game.

Game Off Celebrities

As we played, one thing became quite apparent quickly. Not everyone had necessarily heard of all the “famous” people or fully understood the particular challenge. For instance, my youngest son could not get the concept of “sharpest cheekbones” for a Keira Knightley Off. This did tend to take the edge off the boys enjoyment of the game somewhat. I haven’t played any of the other versions of Game Off, but I’m sure the Family version would have suited them both much better, although this Celebrities one does suggest from age 8 up, so should have been fine. I did think this would work excellently as a party game for adults though once parties are back on the agenda.

We certainly had lots of giggles with it and some ideas were very tongue in cheek. All us judges abstained when the boys went head to head in a Greta Thunberg Off. We were supposed to be voting on which of their letters would make the world a better place. Neither would and son1 was advocating to destroy the world entirely!

Game Off Celebrities

Afterwards the boys took a look at a few more of the cards, and I have to say it would be very hard for the games designers to guess which “famous” people to include for older children. For instance I was very surprised when I realised that neither of them had heard of Nelson! He is obviously not on the history school curriculum these days. But my youngest is an avid reader of history genre books and still hadn’t come across him. Yes really!! Maybe a testing panel of say age 8-16 would be useful in determining which “famous” people to include or exclude.

And we didn’t just limit it to playing in out household, we also tried it out over Zoom. Great for mental health and wellbeing, to be able to involve those that lockdown has forced into a lonely isolated lifestyle. We did have to adapt slightly, so that someone else rolled for him, as this was the first time any of us had ever seen a Left / Right dice, so obviously he didn’t have one of those. There were some of the challenges that wouldn’t have really worked remotely, but luckily those didn’t come up for him, but if they had it wouldn’t have been a problem, as we could have just redrawn a different challenge card.

Game Off Celebrities

According to the website, there are several other versions of Game Off. The original family version is suitable from age 3 up, then there is the sequel, Game Off 2 suitable from age 5 up plus an 18+ adult only version, so something for everyone. Plus this Celebrities version also comes in Spanish and German editions.

Any suggestions for what other versions you would like to see?

Game Off Celebrities currently retails at £12.99 and is sold via Amazon. Good value in my opinion and plenty of fun. I love its hashtag #EverythingIsAGame

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition, courtesy of Captain Fats to giveaway a Game Off Celebrities to not one, not two, but three lucky winners!

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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 favourite game or idea for a new game.

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Do you Love Corn? – snack review and giveaway

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

I’m feeling very important and special today as I’ve received a large box of LOVE CORN snacks free to review, which the barcode has labelled as a VIP box!

Love Corn

The box contains 12 packets of LOVE CORN savoury snacks, 3 packs of the following 4 flavours along with some promotional merchandise.

Sea Salt
Salt & Vinegar
Smoked BBQ
Habanero Chilli

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

Once I opened the box and saw them, I recognised the branding and realised I had already tried a packet in a Christmas hamper last December, which had been very moreish. I was immediately really looking forward to trying the other three flavours.

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

The whole family put them to the test and three of us agreed that all the flavours were very yummy and delicious. We particularly loved that crunch of the kernels, so their hashtag #ThePerfectCrunch is spot on. However my younger son wasn’t convinced but he doesn’t like popcorn, so I had anticipated that it would be a hard sell for him. The rest of us all had different opinions as to which were our favourites but loved them all. Mine was the spicy Habanero Chilli.

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

These snacks are gluten free, vegan, kosher, sugar-free and non-genetically modified. The packet size is 45g which is enough for a small dish if you’re putting out a selection of snacks or appetisers. Also an ideal lunch box size, but the packets are resealable if you don’t eat them all in one go. We mostly snacked them on their own, but I also tried them sprinkled on a salad which worked perfectly too. They also come in a 20g or 115g size too.

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

The corn is roasted, then seasoned. All the ingredients are natural, with the Sea Salt flavour containing just corn, sea salt and sunflower oil. And a few extra ingredients for the other flavours. The products are all long dated with at least 6 months until the best before date.

Two of the flavours bear the logo of a one star in the Great Taste Awards. Well done.

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

The packets also display a recyclable symbol of a 5 in a triangle. I have looked this up and it means they are made of polypropylene which is accepted by a few councils kerbside recycling collections. You’ll need to check for your area. Ideally I would prefer to see all snack brands move to compostable packaging, like a few I have reviewed.

Now I didn’t realise that they were sending promotional merchandise too, otherwise I would have politely requested them not to include those. Regular followers of my blog will know that I am a keen follower of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra. My opinion of the taste of the products is not going to be impacted by a LOVE CORN hat, bag and stickers, so may I please respectfully request the brand to consider reducing their use of promotional gimmicks.

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

LOVE CORN is stocked in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco or you may purchase online in boxes of 10 or 24 with free UK shipping. They also operate a loyalty points bonus scheme.

The LOVE CORN 3 year goals are to donate 1 million samples, build 50 school 
learning gardens and support local 
communities.

Please note if you have allergies that the packets do warn that they may contain tree nuts or peanuts as they have been made in a shared facility.

In summary, we loved these crunchy healthy snacks, a great savoury alternative to crisps, nuts or pretzels.

If readers of my blog would like to  receive a free sample pack containing 4 packets of LOVE CORN, 1 of each flavour, just paying £1.99 shipping, then please click here.

Plus I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 20% off your purchase at LOVE CORN with discount code: CRUNCH20

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a LOVE care package which includes 12 bags of LOVE CORN and smokin’ LOVE merchandise to one lucky winner. A yummy prize.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your favourite savoury snack?

Love Corn #ThePerfectCrunch

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Last night I had 20 Dreams to giveaway …

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

Games have always been something we have enjoyed in our family, but during this winter lockdown we have been playing even more, whilst it is too cold to spend much time in the garden. So I was very pleased to be offered the chance to try out the brand new 20 Dreams game for free.

20 Dreams game

20 Dreams, a creative storytelling card game was ‘dreamt’ up by Karen Stallard, an Arts Psychotherapist. It focuses on using the more emotional side of your brain, rather than logic. Then launched as a small business venture with a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer.

20 Dreams game

Dispatch was quick and I was glad to see the care that had been taken to ensure the product was plastic free, with just a couple of paper strips to secure the cards. Every little helps to try to reduce plastic pollution. Plus a nice small box size was a bonus too, as not everyone has space to store many large games.

20 Dreams game

In fact, even the box gets used during the game as the ‘penalty box’ for incorrect guesses. Great innovative use of the box.

20 Dreams game

The game has different variants depending on how many people are playing. So there is a 2 player cooperative game, working together to collect points or a 3-6 player competitive game or a team version. So far we’ve tried playing it with 4 and 5 players, including over Zoom.

Playing 20 Dreams game

You take it in turns to tell a dream which includes the 3 picture cards and expresses the emotion on your white card. The other players then have to guess which emotion it is from their own coloured pack. Get it right and the dream teller earns points, but get it wrong and the penalties start stacking up!

The rules suggest a certain number of rounds depending on the number of players. Well son2 insisted we continue playing until all the emotion cards ran out as he was enjoying it so much, so you can adapt your own variations too.

As mentioned above, we did also try it out over Zoom. Great for mental health and wellbeing, to be able to involve those that lockdown has forced into a lonely isolated lifestyle. Ideally this would be best with a game set each or at least to have given a player pack to the person playing remotely. However we didn’t have this opportunity so our workaround was for him to write down the list of 20 emotions and cross them out once played.

Playing 20 Dreams game

I have to say son1’s emotions were impossible to guess. Every dream he told in a flat monotone, with barely any story around the 3 pictures. Very hard to work out what he was feeling so I think I wrongly guessed “calm” every time for him, until someone else played that emotion card. Meanwhile he seemed to deliberately guess almost the most opposite emotion possible for the rest of us. I’m not sure if it was tactical play on his part, but it meant all his blue cards ended up in the penalty box. And for the final scores, we all were negative, although son2 was the winner being least negative points. But everyone had great fun, even son1. We were in fits of giggles over how hilarious some of the stories were.

Playing 20 Dreams game

The dream teller is supposed to start each dream saying “Last night I had a dream” and end it by saying “and I woke up feeling …?” Well son2 even involved his bear by wearing the outer box showing those phrases.

The box indicates that this is the 2020 classic pop art edition and their online shop also says 1st edition, so looks like there will be more releases to look forward to. Any suggestions for what other versions you would like to see?

Playing 20 Dreams game

I believe that our family are all more analytical than creative, so I would be very interested to play this with a different group of people too, as I’m sure the dynamics of the game will be quite different. And the 20 Dreams website says that it can also be used as an educational tool by parents, teachers or therapists, with plenty of resources, tools and ideas detailed.

The game is aimed at age 12+ but on the website, they suggest that it can be adapted for younger or neurodiverse players by removing the more difficult emotions to make the game shorter and more accessible.

The only thing that did slightly surprise me was that the box says ‘Made in China’. I had just assumed that as a small start-up business, who had taken the effort to help protect the environment by avoiding single-use plastic, that the product would have had a lower carbon footprint and supported other local industry if made in the UK.

20 Dreams currently retails at £14.99. Great value in my opinion. I can certainly highly recommend this game, which has been very well thought out. Fun for all the family across the generations.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a 20 Dreams game to one lucky winner. What a fun prize.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your idea for a new game.

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Prove It: Murder in the Mix by Hannah R Kurz – 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 Prove It: Murder in the Mix by Hannah R Kurz to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

Prove It Murder in the Mix by Hannah R Kurz

Here is the book blurb.

When a tragic mixer mishap results in the closing of a beloved bakery, new mom and upstairs neighbor Stephanie Wu is sure of two things: One, she misses their cappuccinos. And two, it was no accident. But time is running out for the sleep-deprived sleuth. Can she solve the murder and figure out pumping before her maternity leave is up? With a baby at her breast and a killer at her back, life and living above The Likable Daisy will never be the same again.

The story is set in and above a French-Lebanese bakery, The Likable Daisy in New York. New mum Steph lives in one of the three apartments above the bakery with her husband Henry and two-week old baby Madeline.

She loves the baking smells and sweet treats. In fact she and Henry seem to be always eating, starting with a cooked breakfast, numerous daily treats, lunch and a big dinner. Steph is breast-feeding but what is Henry’s excuse?

So when Henry goes back to work after his paternity leave is up, naturally Steph’s first solo trip out with Madeline is downstairs to the bakery for a pastry and a cappuccino, catching up with staff and regulars.

But next day the bakery is closed. Owner Sameed had been found strangled by his own tie, wound in the mixer. The police have it down as an accident, but Steph is not convinced. It doesn’t add up and she believes he was murdered.

So we have a new mum amateur sleuth focussing on suspects and clues. I think this is the first time I’ve come across a new num in that role, but it worked perfectly.

I loved this cosy foodie murder mystery. And what a great corny title.

Prove It: Murder in the Mix is available on Amazon, in paperback and kindle formats. A great foodie cosy mystery. This is Hannah’s debut novel and she is currently writing the second Likable Daisy mystery, which I’m really looking forward to.

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Earl of Baxter 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 Baxter by Tammy Andresen to review.

Earl of Baxter by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He’s known as the Earl of Bastards…

If society thinks the nickname is an insult, they are sorely mistaken. Mason, the Earl of Baxter, has grown up knowing he’s the illegitimate son of the Duke of Devonshire, otherwise known as the Demon Duke. He’ll join his father in hell before he bows before any man or woman of the peerage.

She’s an orphan with a dark secret…

Most think Clarissa is a saint. She’s tended wounded soldiers and helped raise forgotten children. But she is not all that she appears and there are dark secrets in her past that threaten her tenuous opportunities for the future. No one can know how she managed to escape…except one man already does…the Earl of Baxter.

And what he’ll do with that information is anyone’s guess.

She can’t control him anymore that she can the loud thrumming of her heart anytime the man walks into the room. But when specters from her past begin to circle closer she must make a choice. Does she trust the Earl of Bastards? And if she does, will she lose her heart?

This is the eighth title in the Regency Romance Lords of Scandal series, but works well as a stand-alone read. I believe there are a further seven more titles to follow.

The prologue is set in 1815 in a seaside church basement where Mason was saved from death from his war wounds, tended by an angel child, 12 year old orphan Clarissa. But by the time he recovers, she is gone.

Fast forward six years and by chance Mason, now the Earl of Baxter has finally found Clarissa again, at the Earl of Goldthwaite’s residence. He still wants to help her, but she is scared. He knows too much about her past. She tries to deny being the Clarissa he is looking for, but to no avail, he is determined. What will ensue?

Earl of Baxter is available on Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback. Another nice light short romantic story from Tammy Andresen.


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

Boostology here to give you and the planet a boost

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

Regular followers of my blog will know that I am passionate about the environment and keen to support small independent UK businesses who are of a similar mindset to me. Boostology+ is a brand who caught my eye recently and they have now sent me a liquid hand soap in a glass bottle free to review.

Boostology liquid soap

These days where possible I buy loose bar soap as the best zero waste option. However there are plenty of reasons when only a bottle of liquid soap will do and I’m not just talking hand wash because of coronavirus. For example how about when you have been touching raw meat or someone in the household has a skin infection or for guests. Or it could just be a space issue, as the wash basin in our downstairs toilet, is too small to balance a soap dish, (see photo further down). Previously I’ve only seen liquid soap in  plastic bottles, so I was delighted to find this in an attractive amber glass bottle.

Boostology packaging

Dispatch was very prompt and the package was carefully packed with a prominent fragile warning sticker. Another label inside described how it is an eco-friendly parcel, telling the customer that the box and brown paper packing tape can be recycled together. Also that the natural starch beads are biodegradable and compostable. Thumbs up!

Boostology packaging

Looking at the glass bottle, I was very pleased to see how easy the pump mechanism is to open and close. Opening pump-operated bottles is something that has defeated me on several occasions in the past. Or it could just be me, as also trigger spray bottles seem to stop working for me about half way through most bottles, but that is a problem to resolve another day. The pump is the only component which is still plastic, so it would be great if Boostology+ could perhaps introduce a liquid soap refill option with a metal lid to the range, for returning customers to purchase.

Moving on to the soap itself, I found it lathers up well and the peppermint and eucalyptus fragrance is amazing. I love it, and big plus point, you would certainly know if your kids say they have washed their hands but haven’t actually done so. They also stock a hand sanitiser in the same flavour.

Boostology liquid soap

I’m a firm believer in using one product for multiple purposes, so I also tried this in the shower as well as for hand-washing. It is absolutely brilliant in the shower, my skin felt really moisturised. And the Boostology+ tagline of each product is designed to give you, and the planet, a boost really comes into its own, as it gave me a fab boost especially the aroma which left me feeling tingly and revitalised, ready for the day. Great feeling for well-being. The product’s name Revive is spot on in this regard. I shall be trying it on my hair next.

It is a convenient 250ml size, made of 100% natural ingredients including 25% organic ingredients, essential oils and coconut oil. Plus it is palm free, vegan, cruelty free and handmade. The coconut oil will provide antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. There are 5 symbols on the bottle for things like vegan, but I’m not sure what the second one down means, so it would be helpful to be able to match these symbols against meanings on the product webpage. Yes it is more expensive than you would pay for soap in a supermarket, but look at all its qualities that I have listed above. I would certainly be more than happy to buy this and support a small independent UK business.

Boostology liquid soap

This product in its beautiful amber glass bottle would make a lovely gift for a friend. Also a helpful nudge in showing options for reducing plastic, if they are not already taking steps in that direction. Boostology+ has lots more great gifts in the range besides natural skincare, like jewellery, candles, face masks, diffusers and essential oils. Do take a look at the full range on their website, which is extra user-friendly with its filtering options by category, occasion, speciality or values. Each of their gifts is kind to you and has minimal impact on the environment. The range encompasses natural, organic, vegan, plastic free, handmade, reusable and made in the UK. They also offer a 60 day refund policy.

Boostology liquid soap

Having tried the Revive soap, I’m now very tempted to try their volcanic potpourri in the same peppermint and eucalyptus scent, a product sold exclusively by Boostology+ I did have to swap to browsing on my phone to discover this, as the drop down list of six scents seemed to be incompatible to view on my MacBook.

Returning to the sustainability angle of the packaging, it was great to read all the eco-information on the label and see how Boostology+ have taken steps for a plastic free delivery. But as a consumer I wish to pose more questions. Does that mean home compostable or would it require an industrial composter? How about an estimate of how long the beads take to biodegrade and what conditions are required. For instance, it partially defeats the purpose if the consumer then tips those beads into a plastic bin bag, ties it up and sends it to landfill. Also stickers are not generally recyclable, as the adhesive can get caught in the recycling equipment, so are the ones used here okay in that regard or not? If not, then how about warning the consumer to remove the labels before recycling. Yes they are probably better than self-inking stamps, but is there an even better solution? Maybe the eco-friendly details could be emailed on the order confirmation and “Fragile” could be hand-written.

Boostology liquid soap

I was very pleased to read that Boostology+ plant a tree for every order placed, no matter how small the order. A good step to help tackle the climate crisis. And they recycle all their office waste and use 100% renewable electricity at their HQ (from solar, wind and hydro-electric power stations).

So to summarise, I highly recommend both this product and brand.

And I’d love to hear your top tips for eco-friendly bathroom swaps you have made.

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An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J Wyatt – 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 An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J Wyatt to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J Wyatt

Here is the book blurb.

A greedy poacher threatens a unicorn Daisy finds hiding among her horses. Daisy will do anything to protect the magical creature, even if it means losing her best friend.

The only ones who understand Daisy’s struggles at school are her horses and Kajri, the unicorn that appeared out of nowhere. Kajri wants to go home, but Daisy doesn’t know how to help.

Ana wants to help Daisy, but her parents are sick. The unicorn horn could be the key to saving them. Yet her actions could be the death of both the unicorn and her friendship with Daisy.

An Unexpected Escapade is a refreshing middle grade fantasy in the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy. If you like fun kid fantasy, amazing characters and realistic endings, you’ll love Kandi J Wyatt’s stunning continuation of the Myth Coast Adventures. Explore An Unexpected Escapade to allow your dreams to fly!

This is the second title in the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy, set in the small town of Myrtle Beach in Oregon. You may wish to read my review of the first book An Unexpected Adventure before this.

The prologue introduces us to Kajri the unicorn who mysteriously passes from her world to ours. She wants to go back home.

8th grader (Yr9) Daisy, who lives with her mum and two horses Ginger and Root, is the first to see Kajri. She tells her best friend Ana and the next time they see her together in the forest. Ana then tells Will who helps her Dad out on the boats. Will (from book 1) warns Ana to keep it secret, especially from Professor Raleigh.

Meanwhile NSA agent Winston Raleigh whose sensors have detected a rift, traces a signal from beyond Daisy’s home. Will he be able to capture the mythical creature to take to the sanctuary?

But Winston is not the only one tracking the unicorn. Nasty cruel poacher Jack Collins wants the unicorn’s horn and tears.

What will happen? Plenty more events to unfold in this story. Who should the girls turn to for help?

An Unexpected Escapade is available on Amazon in Kindle format or paperback. A great book for older children and teens with lots to engage with.

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