Tag Archives: thriller

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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MamaMummyMum

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

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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.
Remnants
Power Struggle
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh

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MamaMummyMum

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

Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith

I have received a free e-copy of the book Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith to review. You may find out more about the author on his Amazon page.

Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith

Here is the book blurb.

Military contractor Kyle Logan’s luck has gone from bad to worse ever since he returned home to Philadelphia following an injury by an IED in Iraq. First, his marriage crumbles, then his career after he’s pushed to the brink and assaults his wife’s lover, who is also her divorce attorney. When Kyle’s shady best friend turns up and offers him a “once in a lifetime” chance to regain his job and his life, all for just a couple night’s work, Kyle figures he’s got nothing to lose. The police, Philly Irish Mob and a couple of drug cartels all think otherwise. Now forced to fight for his life, and those around him, Kyle must turn to allies from his old neighborhood in a desperate effort to stay alive and out of prison. Quick Fix is one man’s fall into a world of unintended consequences that seeks to tread the razor-thin lines between right and wrong, loyalty and treachery.

This story starts in Fishtown, Philadelphia with Kyle being served his divorce papers in the bar. He sees red and punches Fenster, his ex-wife Beth’s lawyer boyfriend, but with an assault charge against him, he then loses his job too.

A week later, Kyle’s shifty best friend Ryan turns up with a proposal to rob three statues from a police station and replace them with fakes. Ryan wants Kyle to be the driver for a $50k cut plus the promise of pulling strings to get the assault charge dropped. Then part two of the plan will be to sell the statues for a cool $2m.

What could go wrong? Plenty! And lots more characters still to be introduced.

However I do find jargon somewhat off-putting. What with IED in the blurb and then KOed and POed in chapter 1, I was in two minds whether I wished to carry on reading. But certainly glad I did.

Quick Fix is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.57 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great crime read.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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Initiated to Kill by Sharlene Almond – Book review and giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Initiated to Kill by Sharlene Almond to review. For more information on the author, you may see her website.

Initiated to Kill by Sharlene Almond

Here is the book blurb.

Two men from two different generations, both initiated into a powerful organization that throughout history has sought control and uses their power for destruction. They leave behind a wake of murder, manipulation and ancient secrets. The first man wreaks havoc in and around the Whitechapel district of London, England in the 19th century. While the other stalks his victims in the cosmopolitan city of Seville, Spain in the 21st century; knowing that only he could uncover the true motives of one of the world’s most infamous serial killers—Jack the Ripper.

Most of the story takes place in Seville in 2010 but it also includes flashbacks to Annabella’s childhood and to earlier incidents featuring the bad guys. Plus the tale of Jack the Ripper is another main element and Freemasonary plays a part too.

Annabella is deaf due to a childhood injury, but she is able to read body and facial expressions. Her flatmate Celestina is the first girl to disappear, which she reports to the police.

Meanwhile the police start receiving anonymous gruesome packages. Detective Valero is called back in from sabbatical leave to work on the case with Detective Rivero. As more girls disappear, the link appears to be that they all attend Seville University. The detectives call upon Annabella’s skills in reading people and hide her behind the glass when interviewing their first suspect.

Lots of twists to come in this story.

Although I’m a huge thriller fan, I did find this one rather too graphic, in its descriptions of dismembering victims’ organs.

After finishing reading the book, I did feel compelled to look up the tale of Jack The Ripper and I saw that the name mentioned in this story was one of the possible suspects for the unidentified serial killer.

Initiated To Kill is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.18 in paperback or £2.99 in Kindle format. A thrilling mysterious read with an interesting weaving of the storylines.

This book is recommended for adult readers only, due to its graphic content.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of this book to 1 lucky winner, who may choose whether they wish for their prize to be signed by the author or not.
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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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MamaMummyMum

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

Shark Bait by Matt Walker

I have received a free e-copy of the book Shark Bait by Matt Walker to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Shark Bait by Matt Walker

Here is the book blurb.

“I’m no hero. I’m a Licensed Vigilante. And I kill people for a living.” Government hitman John Steele has just completed his current contract, and has the bullet wound to show for it. That’s when he meets a vicious criminal loan shark called Gary Brooker. But Brooker has got his own problems. He’s picked on the wrong guy.

I was drawn into the story just by the opening line “The worst time to get pulled over by the cops is when you have a body in the boot”. However John Steele is able to show the police his LV (licensed vigilante) ID card and drive away with the bad guy banging from inside the boot.

But the Carlucci drug gang that he has just busted are not the only baddies in town. On his way to hospital, he spots a man, Jeremy in some distress in the road. John lends him his phone to call his wife and then drives him home, where a goon is waiting outside in a van. From what he has overheard both on the phone call and from the goon speaking, John works out that Jeremy has a loan shark Gary Brooker on his back and he is not happy when he sees Jeremy hand over his Dad’s war medals. John decides to follow the goon to get the medals back. He waits until the goon has handed them to Gary, then follows Gary’s Porsche and deliberately rams it at the traffic light, before punching Gary and another goon Baz and robbing Gary of the medals.

When John finally gets to the hospital, he sees Jeremy being wheeled in unconscious. Looks like Gary has been back again. So John gets further embroiled into this when he should be hot-footing it out of town, since more of the Carlucci clan are after him now. Meanwhile Gary has other problems, so lots more to the storyline.

I really liked how the different parts to the story aren woven together, along with John’s background too.

Shark Bait is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A good thriller with lots of twists.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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Taking Care of Business by J. D. De Roeck

I have received a free e-copy of the book Taking Care of Business by J. D. De Roeck to review.

Taking Care of Business by J. D. De Roeck

Here is the book blurb.

When Paul Smith travels to the south of France for a sales conference, events conspire to drag him into a world of kidnappings, blackmail and murder. Following a violent incident, Paul instinctively offers refuge to a girl he believes to be a vulnerable lost soul in a desperate situation, only to find that all is not as it appears. Unwittingly, he finds himself caught between competing international crime syndicates as they go to war, and two powerful Russian families as they fight for control of a vast Russian conglomerate. What begins as a routine business trip to Nice, turns into a journey of self-discovery that takes him to some of the most glamorous locations on the Cote d’Azur. Paul is compelled to confront each new escalating threat in turn, while his neatly ordered world spirals relentlessly out of control. As events unfold, he is forced to challenge everything he thought he knew about himself, before finally embracing the danger and brutal violence he encounters along the way. Can Paul get to the truth, and does he have what it takes to keep those he cares about safe, and himself alive?

This book is mainly set in 2014, but it starts 3 years previously in St Petersburg to give some background to the story. The initial chapters swap back and forth between interesting background material and what feels quite dull introducing Paul, an average guy and his associates Gary and Doug who are all attending a sales conference in Nice. As a reader I was left thinking, come on there must be more to this story.

And there is, but it isn’t until chapter 11 that things start to heat up. Paul wakes in the night, hearing someone being attacked in the next hotel room. He rescues a terrified girl Anna, when she is thrown into the corridor naked by a huge brutal man, hiding her in his own room.

Starting with little things like going out to buy Anna something to wear, Paul gradually gets pulled from his everyday sales world, hardly attending any of the conference. Not all is as it seems with Anna and Paul finds himself immersed in a very different violent world of kidnapping.

The story develops into a real page turner, and Paul becomes such a different character as he faces dangerous challenges. Wow what a thrilling read. And how many people can you squeeze into one hotel room, as we get introduced to other good characters in the story. Of course we meet plenty of baddies too.

This book is available on Amazon currently priced at £11.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. It is a long book, but a gripping read once it gets going. Highly recommended. Plus the ending allows for a possible follow-up.

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MamaMummyMum

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

All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance

I have received a free e-copy of the book All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance

Here is the book blurb.

Charly Bloom’s life took a wrong turn that has left her alone and frustrated. When she gets a call from an old flame, she returns to her hometown to investigate the disappearances of four children. The abductions are eerily similar to a set of previous crimes.

Two decades ago, Charly and her two friends decided to play amateur detectives and help find a girl who was stolen from her home. Then, another girl went missing. Clues overlooked by the inept sheriff left only one child to survive: Charly. She managed to fight back and kill the Snatcher. Or so everyone thought…

Is the Snatcher back, or is there a copycat? Charly must face her past and her own personal demons in a race against time to save the latest victim.

The book starts in 1982 when four young girls have been abducted in Temperance, North Carolina. It sounds very similar to another series of abductions in the town back in 1959, when Charly was a young girl herself. Charly, now a private investigator, agrees to return to her hometown to help the sheriff, Kit, an old flame, with the case.

The book switches back and forth between 1959 and 1982. So first time round, Charly had managed to evade her mum keeping her home and do some amateur sleuthing with her best friends, although it almost got Charly murdered herself. But she fought back and killed the Snatcher.

So why are there so many similarities this time? And how is it affecting Charly, bringing back all the horrific memories?

All the Lovely Children is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.39  in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A good read which weaves the two timelines together well.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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Cold Flood by R J Corgan

I have received a free e-copy of the book Cold Flood by R J Corgan to review.

Cold Flood by R J Corgan

 

Here is the book blurb.

For geologist Kea Wright, when a volcano erupts under an ice cap, it isn’t just a good time, it’s a living. Camped at the base of an icecap in southeast Iceland, Kea and her team are investigating landforms created by catastrophic floods. With only days left in the field season, bad weather on the way, and the volcano due to erupt at any time, the team is struck by a tragedy that threatens to shut down the entire project. As the team rushes to complete their work, the expedition continues to be plagued by setbacks, leading Kea to wonder if the initial tragedy was an accident after all. During her reluctant – and inept – attempts to investigate, Kea inadvertently stumbles upon a secret. One so valuable, someone is willing to kill to keep it hidden.

This book is set in Iceland and I’ve been meaning to try reading an Icelandic thriller for ages. In fact we have a shelf full of this genre at home, as my other half loves both reading and watching this type of mystery.

Dr Kea Wright is an American geologist working in Iceland alongside Marcus, they are both assistant professors, with 2 graduate students Julie and Tony. They are camping at Skaftafell National Park. She has been left in charge for the last 10 days of the season when Professor Carlyle left early. A new bunch of eco-tourist volunteers are arriving today. They are teams from 2 companies T3 and Corvis Engineering and they are also providing some specialist equipment like a laser probe.

The next day they head out onto Skeiðarárjökull glacier to do some research, but one of Kea’s team, Gary has a diabetic attack. Whilst keeping an extra eye on Gary, they fail to notice they are one person short until back at the jeeps. It is Bruce, one of the T3 team, who was at high school with Kea.

Kea and a small team head back on to the ice to search for Bruce, whilst Zoe sends a drone. But tragedy has already struck – Bruce is found floating face down in the water. Was it an accident, suicide or something worse? Kea tries to investigate herself, but what else may follow? Certainly plenty of twists and turns.

Good to study the maps at the beginning of the book to see whereabouts in Iceland, the story is set, a long way from Reykjavik. And I felt the author had really researched the Icelandic setting excellently. I enjoyed the storyline, but did struggle with some of the scientific terms, although did eventually discover a glossary at the back of the book.

Cold Flood is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.92 in paperback or £5.22 in Kindle format. A thrilling story in an unusual setting.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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The Outcast Son by Jacobo Priegue

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Outcast Son by Jacobo Priegue to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Outcast Son by Jacobo Priegue

Here is the book blurb.

Laura Costa, a charity worker settled in London, tries to escape from her dark past by travelling to Cusco, Peru, where she hopes to find the redemption she seeks. When she discovers Jaime, an abandoned two-year-old boy injured and on the verge of starvation, Laura thinks she has finally found a purpose, and decides to devote herself to saving the child. However, what looks like a case of neglect turns out to be something much darker, and Laura finds out very soon that to save Jaime she will have to fight ignorance and superstition, not only in the slum in Cusco but also back in England. In her search of happiness for her and her family, Laura’s life becomes an eternal struggle against prejudice and ignorance that makes her doubt about everything she knows, only to discover that the greatest obstacle in her way is none other than she herself.

The book starts with Laura encountering a neglected injured malnourished toddler in the market square in Cusco, Peru. The superstitious locals have abandoned him, fearing that he is a reincarnated witch. He is near death and with the help of her boss Mark, she takes him to the hospital and subsequently adopts him. The timeline of the story moves back and forth many times, so we discover that Laura is in Peru escaping from her past in Spain. After another time-jump, we realise she is now married to Mark.

They return to England, but Jaime frequently gets into serious trouble at school, even getting expelled. When he was 7, they took him back for a visit to Peru, but Laura gets freaked out by a family who keep pointing at them in the airport, and then by a scary tale that Mark’s friend in Peru, Patrick tells them.

Their family is complete when Laura has a baby. Jaime loves his baby brother Marcus, but his misbehaviour at school is escalating. Mark gives an ultimatum, but that is all I’m going to say.

Plenty more excitement to come in the story. However I did find all the jumps in the timeline very confusing.

The Outcast Son is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.99  in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. An interesting read with some unexpected twists and turns.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern

I loved reading the first two Madam Tulip titles, so I was very pleased to receive a free e-copy of the third book in the series “Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance” by David Ahern to review.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern

Here is the book blurb.

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager – each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
      
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

This is the third in the series of thrilling and hilarious Madam Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

The story starts with actress Derry being unemployed again but a movie opportunity comes up in Scotland where they want her to play Madam Tulip with no audition. She doesn’t wish to do this but agrees to play a gypsy fortune-teller instead. Her friend Bruce also gets a role in the movie.

Meanwhile her artist dad Jacko has purchased a ruined castle and her gallery owner mum Vanessa is opening a new a gallery in Edinburgh.

Derry arrives on set to be asked by Jessica, PA to executive producer Jim Carson if she would come and tell his wife’s and daughter’s fortunes that evening. She is annoyed but can hardly say no, since he is funding the movie. Rab, the very charming estate manager drives her there and Sally, Carson’s wife begins by asking Derry if Hamish who has disappeared is dead.

Also millionaire Alex Dunbar keeps inviting Derry out and then cancelling. And then Derry gets harassed by the press, who are accusing Madam Tulip of being a fraud.

So lots of different threads to this story to which the reader keeps asking why? But they are all drawn together as the story progresses and things heat up.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.87 in kindle format. Another far-fetched mystery. It didn’t hit the spot for me quite as much as the first two titles, but still a great read which I am happy to recommend. I am certainly looking forward to book 4.

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous two Madam Tulip titles.
Madam Tulip
Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts


About the author

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website www.davidahern.info

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidahernwriter
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter

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MamaMummyMum

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