Monday, 24 April 2017

The Woman who met her match by Fiona Gibson Guest Post

The Woman Who Met Her Match: A funny romantic comedy that will make you laugh out loud!

The Woman who met her match by Fiona Gibson
What if your first love came back on the scene . . . 30 years later?

After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough.

That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years.

But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart . . . can she?

A wonderfully funny novel, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Joanna Bolouri and Milly Johnson.

Fiona has stopped by with her make up must haves. Here they are!


My make-up bag is a precious thing. If I mislay it, the accompanying panic is akin to losing my purse, phone or keys - or having one of those dreams when you’re, say, in the baked goods aisle in Sainsbury’s and suddenly realise you are naked.

Most women I know are the same. It’s taken us years to squirrel out our favourites, and to replace it all would be nightmare in terms of time, effort and cash. When I was younger, I hopped from brand to brand, whereas now - although I’m not averse to trying something new - I’m somewhat more faithful to my favourites. Here’s what’s nestling in my make-up bag right now.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue BB cream - recommended by Misha McCullagh, a BM consultant who gave me lots of helpful advice when I was writing my new novel, The Woman Who Met Her Match (my main character, Lorrie, works on a beauty counter in a posh department store and I needed the inside info on what that’s like). I can’t bear a caked, claggy feeling on my skin, and haven’t worn actual foundation for years. This BB cream is sheer and light and gives just enough coverage to smooth out the wear and tear.

Bare Minerals Smoothing Face foundation brush. Brush application, as demonstrated to me by Misha, was a revelation - for my entire life I’ve just bunged on my base with my fingers. But using a brush like this, in small circular motions, gives a more even coverage and a really brilliant, professional result. I’m a total covert.

Benefit ‘That Gal’ Brightening Face Primer. Another counter recommendation (I really am a beauty salesperson’s dream. ‘Here I am! Have my money, people!’). If I’ve been working mad hours and lack sleep and fresh air, then my skin can start to look ashen. This magical stuff perks it up. Often, I put a blob on my hand, with a blob of the aforementioned BB cream too, blend them with a brush and then apply - so it’s a primer and BB in one. The effect is really light and brightening.

Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder. Yep, powder can be viewed as a bit ‘nana’s make-up bag’ but I’ve sworn by this for decades, and always have that trusty green compact in my bag. While I’m not fond of an overly powdery look, a light dusting makes me feel ready to face the day.

Chanel Hydrating Lip Color in Rouge Coco. I’m having a ‘red revival’ after two decades of muted lip shades. Weirdly, I assumed I’d passed the cut-off age for a true red, but a counter lady persuaded me otherwise. This formulation glides on, is neither too matte nor too glossy, and lasts for hours as long as it’s applied with a liner. It’s amazingly easy to wear.

Diorshow Proliner - a twist-up liner which is far easier to apply, in my opinion, than the liquid type that comes with a brush. It’s just like drawing with a pen and gives deep, rich colour that lasts for hours. While I feel slightly too old for the liquid flick, this little beauty just works for me.

As for blusher, at the moment I’m using a swanky Chanel one - but only because I had a treaty gift voucher. I could just as happily use a bargainacious brand like Barry M or Boots No. 7. Ditto for pencil lip liners and eye liners - I don’t believe you need to spend a lot. And mascara-wise, I’m currently using Soap & Glory but I’m equally keen on Clinique and Benefit. I’m a bit of a brand-hopper, lashes-wise.

And underneath it all? When it comes to skincare I’m currently wedded to Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser (easily the best cleanser of my life), plus her Superskin Moisturiser and serum (called Concentrate for Night). The ladies at the John Lewis concession in Glasgow are super-helpful and I often come away with a few enticing freebies when I’ve made a purchase. Yes, it’s all a bit spendy, but these products last and last and are a joy to use every day. Isn’t it brilliant to be a woman sometimes?

Fiona’s new novel, The Woman Who Met Her Match, is out now (Avon)

I can't wait to go out and grab a copy, thanks so much Fiona for stopping by!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Ballerina Dreams by Michaela DePrince

Ballerina DreamsBallerina Dreams by Michaela DePrince
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One windy day, a magazine blew down the road. I reached out and caught it. A pretty picture of a woman was on the front cover of the magazine. She wore a short pink dress that stuck out around her in a circle. She looked very happy.

At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America. Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and decided to make her dream of becoming a ballerina come true. She has been dancing ever since, and after a spell as a principal dancer in New York, now dances for the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.

Beautifully and gently illustrated by Ella Okstad, Ballerina Dreams is the younger-reader edition of Michaela DePrince's highly moving memoir, Hope in a Ballet Shoe.

This is a nicely illustrated book, perfect for anyone who has a dream, however big or small and it identifies that it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. You ambition and dreams can come true with a bit of determination and faith.

Reading this as an adult I feel gives a totally different opinion of the story and perhaps some of these thoughts and feelings may not be obvious to children. I think this would be an enjoyable book for adults and children alike.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The One Plus OneThe One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One single mum

With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn't. Because you have to . . .

One chaotic family

Jess's gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone.

Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking . . .

One handsome stranger

Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help . . .

One unexpected love story

The One Plus One is a captivating and unconventional romance from Jojo Moyes about two lost souls meeting in the most unlikely circumstances.

What made the experience of listening to The One Plus One the most enjoyable?
I really enjoyed the different character voices throughout the performance, it was also really engaging from the beginning.

What other book might you compare The One Plus One to, and why?
I wouldn't compare it to any others that I have listened to before,

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?
This was the first from these narrators.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I did want to although being so long I was unable to, I saved this and listened to it on 2 separate plane journeys, this is something I would recommend.

Any additional comments?
I would recommend this to others, this was the first Jojo Moyes book I have read/listened to and really, really enjoyed it. My previous thoughts were that her books were sad and quite depressing. This book was neither of these and I would now not hesitate to pick up another one of her books.

Monday, 17 April 2017

What a Way to Go by Julia Forster

What a Way to GoWhat a Way to Go by Julia Forster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1988. 12-year-old Harper Richardson's parents are divorced. Her mum got custody of her, the Mini, and five hundred tins of baked beans. Her dad got a mouldering cottage in a Midlands backwater village and default membership of the Lone Rangers single parents' club. Harper got questionable dress sense, a zest for life, two gerbils, and her Chambers dictionary, and the responsibility of fixing her parents' broken hearts. Set against a backdrop of high hairdos and higher interest rates, pop music and puberty, divorce and death, What a Way to Go is a warm, wise and witty tale of one girl tackling the business of growing up while those around her try not to fall apart.

I'd probably equate this as a young adult novel. Told through the eyes of a 12 year old girl called Harper it had a charm and evoked memories of the 1980's well. It takes quite a dysfunctional family unit seen through the eyes of a teenager {Harper) who is quite wise for her years through growing up in the 1980's while she tries to make sense of a world of adults, their problems, heartaches and her often witty unique way of handling life.

It was an amusing read, often sad in places but still managed to maintain a lightness throughout. Not really my kind of read as I said it seems more young adult than adult reading but it was still enjoyable. Worth 3 stars for it's nostalgia and craftsmanship but not the best book I've read this year.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 14 April 2017

War Orphans by Lizzie Lane

War OrphansWar Orphans by Lizzie Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency. If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed."

Joanna Ryan’s father has gone off to war, leaving her in the care of her step-mother, a woman more concerned with having a good time than being any sort of parent to her.

But then she finds a puppy, left for dead, and Joanna’s becomes determined to save him, sharing her meagre rations with him. But, in a time of war, pets are only seen as an unnecessary burden and she is forced to hide her new friend, Harry, from her step-mother and the authorities. With bombs falling over Bristol and with the prospect of evacuation on the horizon, can they stay together and keep each other safe?

War Orphans is a nice easy read, lots of heart and tugs at the heart strings. A little girl Joanna in the midst of war is a determined little fighter, she is treated badly by her stepmother and finds her salvation in looking after a little puppy who she finds left for dead after someone cruely throws a bag full of puppies into the river to drown. She rescues Harry and is determined to help him survive. The problem is that wartime means that food is hard to come by and having Harry and feeding him is against the law so Joanna hides Harry in an abandoned shed on the allotments.

Joanna grows up during this awful wartime and makes some friends along the way and those lives she crosses have their own hardships to bear.

It was a sweet little book and I suppose it does end how it should but didn't have any surprises for me; a nice distraction read and a little glimpse into this genre but not a great novel. I give this one a 3 star rating.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

One Little Mistake by Emma Curtis

One Little MistakeOne Little Mistake by Emma Curtis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.

When she makes a split-second decision that risks everything she holds dear, there's only person she trusts enough to turn to.

But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you're careless with those you love, you don't deserve to keep them . . .

Really enjoyed this novel, it was well written and the use of suspense building throughout was what kept the pace from start to finish. Written from two points of view over two different time scales (1992 and 2010), Emma Curtis wove these together with seamless precision. I do read a lot of psychological thrillers and it was therefore not difficult for me to guess the connection but having said that it didn't detract from the story and was an excellent read that kept me awake until the wee small hours just to finish it.

The blurb tells the outline of how one little mistake and shared secrets between her best friend Amber Vicky felt she could trust, and the realisation that you can't really trust anyone sometimes least of all your best friend is the crux of this book. It is so much more than that though, mind games, secrets, insecurities, guilt, fear and hopelessness that once the genie is out of the bottle you can't just put it back and hope that everything will be the same. Vicky quickly learns that actions have consequences and she is powerless to make things right. The seemingly easy friendship between Vicky and Amber turns into a toxic relationship and sets in motion a series of events that spiral out of control. It poses the question how well we know our friends and whether we can trust our most intimate of secrets with them in the knowledge they might use them against us. Powerfully written, great character crafting and suspense building, a thoroughly enjoyable read and deserving 4 stars.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Girl Up by Laura Bates

Girl UpGirl Up by Laura Bates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

They told you you need to be thin and beautiful.

They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups - never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels.

They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty.

They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you'll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it's fine for the boys, but you should know your place.

They told you 'that's not for girls' - 'take it as a compliment' - 'don't rock the boat' - 'that'll go straight to your hips'.

They told you 'beauty is on the inside', but you knew they didn't really mean it.

Well I'm here to tell you something different.

Hilarious, jaunty and bold, GIRL UP exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of a sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us.

I am not sure really how to review this book. It sits slightly awkwardly with me. I am not a feminist and never tried to be and so some of the way this book has been written wasn't for me.

This book is very crude in places, just not my cup of tea. Yes there are lots of good points in the book and I feel other women/ younger girls should know and read but perhaps not in this way. If you are a lover of feminism or even writing an essay for university on this subject I would recommend you pick this book up as there are lots of great points in it and the author is honest throughout.

I enjoyed the fact the book was broken up with illustrations and diagrams throughout, I thought this stopped it being too 'heavy'. I can recognise that the author has spent a lot of time researching and clearly has a passion for this area, but I feel that sometimes it has been represented in a crude way. One that doesn't sit kindly with me. This is probably a bit of a controversial review as I can see most people who have read this have really enjoyed it. However, I have always reviewed a book honestly. There were parts of this book that I skimmed as I could see I wasn't enjoying the way it was written. Saying this, it doesn't mean it is an awful book as many will love this and be able to relate to it.

I have given this book 3* for the authors clear interest in this area and the fact she has backed her thoughts and writing up with expert opinions. The grammar and English is also correct throughout which makes a book much more enjoyable to read.

Although this is not a book for me, others have loved it and I would recommend you read it to for your own opinions on it.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

We never said goodbye blog tour with extract

When Louise is dumped by Mike on their twentieth wedding anniversary, she faces the daunting task of picking up the pieces of her life. She can either choose to persevere in her adopted hometown of London, bolstered by dear friends and the fashion business she loves, or return to her native Sweden alone. Can she find happiness with an old flame in a city she avoided for two decades? Or will her ex’s violent, criminal past haunt her forever?

As Mike become increasingly unhinged, the choices Louise makes could prove fatal. Will she ever be able to say goodbye to the past and start afresh?

Helen has stopped by to include a guest post for the tour today, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Helen!

The moment they arrived at Malmö Airport, both took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh air, so different to the pollution of London. The weather was sunny with a cool breeze. Taking a cab outside the airport, they were grateful they’d opted to wear jeans, T-shirts and jackets. They asked the cab driver to drop them close to the pedestrian walk, then stood, gazing around at the crowds of people talking and laughing. Many spoke a different language.

Malmö, like London and so many parts of Europe, was inhabited with people from other cultures.

“Let’s fika at Café Hollandia! I’m gasping for proper coffee and a cinnamon bun.”

Minutes later, seated in a plush velvet chair at a table by the counter and drooling over the assortment of scrumptious delights before them, Louise and Trine decided to share a prawn and egg sandwich, followed by chocolate mousse gateaux.

“This is simply delicious,” Trine declared, taking a bite of the cake and savouring it in her mouth. No matter how tasty the snacks were in her favourite Fulham café, nothing compared to Swedish confectionary in her view.

“Mamma used to take me here when she and I went shopping together. We’d cycle from our home in Limhamn and spend hours together talking and relaxing. Pappa and I visited art galleries every Saturday. I’ll never forget all the special times we shared.”

Louise’s voice faltered. Every time she returned to Malmö, the overwhelming sense of loss crushed her. This time wasn’t any different. She’d never get over losing her parents.

“Life’s much too precious to waste. Could you live here again?” Trine asked between mouthfuls of cake. She and Jasper had discussed it before the trip. Both agreed it would be the start of a new life for Louise and they’d look after the flat and The Studio if Louise wanted to return to Malmö. “You’ve been through so much in a short period of time. Jasper and I know you’re not happy. However much you try to hide it, we can see straight through you. We love you too much to turn a blind eye to it. Face up to it, Louise. You’ve not been happy for a very long time. Not even when you and Mike were together. You know it just as much as we do.”

“You seriously propose I relocate to Malmö? Is that the reason you persuaded me to come with you?” Louise wasn’t sure if her friend was right. She’d lived in London for many years. Malmö hadn’t changed that much yet Louise knew nothing was quite the way she remembered it. The political and cultural landscape had changed beyond recognition, both for better and worse. Furthermore, she’d lost touch with her aunt and close friends. What if she didn’t fit in? “Malmö’s not how it used to be. I can feel it in here.” Louise pointed to her stomach.

“If that’s how you feel, all I can tell you is that it takes time and perseverance to adjust. I know you’re apprehensive of starting over but you needn’t be! After decades in London, it won’t take long to feel at home.”

“If I didn’t know better, I’d imagine you want rid of me! Is that the real reason we’re in Malmö? Trine, I’m forty-five years old, with a business and a home in London. I’m too old and set in my ways to start over. Don’t you want us to work together anymore? I can’t imagine a life without you, Jasper and the kids.”

“You’ll never get rid of us! I’m not a selfish person, Louise. If I were, I wouldn’t tell you to move back to Malmö. I love our friendship and partnership but you’re just going through the motions of everyday life. Seeing you so unhappy is killing me! I know you say you’ve come to terms with what happened with Mike and I wish that was true. You’ve not dealt with it sufficiently, Louise. Malmö is

your chance for a new life. If you don’t like it, all you have to do is book a flight back to London. We’ll always be there for you.”


Louise’s initial thought when she woke up the next morning was how much she was warming to the idea of returning to Malmö. She hadn’t lived there since her parents died, yet in her heart she knew that her aunt and friends were right. There was no reason for her to remain in London except Trine and her family, and The Studio. Having breakfast in the small living room, Louise felt more alone than when Mike first left her. I’ll discuss it with Trine, she decided, recalling the Larsens’ promise to look after her flat and her share of the business in case she decided to return. I’m lonely. Mamma loved dogs. Perhaps I ought to get a rescue dog to keep me company? I’ll call Natasha tomorrow. She’s bound to know of someone who’s got puppies.

She was browsing through an old photo album when Trine called to ask if she’d like to join them for lunch. “Jasper’s been busy in the kitchen since dawn. The aroma is out of this world! We’ve got Sunday roast with hasselback potatoes and chocolate cake on the menu. Please say you’ll come.”

Salivating at the thought of all the food, Louise realised she was famished. “Alright! But I’ll not stay for long. Tell Jasper I want him to prepare a large G&T. I’ll catch a cab.” Louise refused to use the local transport that never arrived on time and had sold her BMW convertible after she moved into her flat, only a few minutes’ walk from The Studio.

Contrary to what she’d told them, Trine, Jasper and the kids persuaded her to stay much longer. Just as she was about to accept a lift home from Jasper, Trine took her aside.

“Do you recall that guy you used to date when your parents were alive? I can’t for the life of me remember his name. He was so sweet.”

“Why are you bringing him up now? Nicklas and I were kids.”

“That’s the one! Nicklas. You were deeply in love with each other. I wonder what happened to him.”

“He’s probably married with five kids. Honestly, I can’t figure you out, sometimes! Do you recall every guy you’ve dated? I sure don’t.”

“Nicklas wasn’t just a fling. The two of you were inseparable. Don’t you ever look back and wonder what might have happened had you not met Mike and moved to London?”

“Not really. What’s the point? Life’s transient. Nothing stays the same.”

Later, seated in Jasper’s van on the way back to Fulham, Louise couldn’t shake off Trine’s comments. I hope Nicklas has found someone who loves and understands him, she thought, then pushed his image to the back of her mind.

We Never Said Goodbye by Heléne Fermont is out 6th April (Fridhem, £9.99)

Friday, 7 April 2017

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

You Will Know MeYou Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk.

 As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with "exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl," (Janet Maslin) YOU WILL KNOW ME is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition

Devon has a dream, of becoming a gym superstar, wanting to perform in all competitions going. Her parents Katie and Eric have supported her all the way, her coach now believes she can make it in the Olympics so Katie and Eric continue to support her.

Unfortunately this was not my type of book, I have no interest in this area and I found it extremely difficult to get into the book. I didn't find there were any major twists that I hadn't already guessed, I didn't find the 'mystery' was all that. I feel that the book had a massive hype and flopped for me. Yes the story was well written and in the past I have loved Megan Abbott's novels, but this is not one that I particularly care for. I have given the book 3* mainly for the way it has been written. Unfortunately I was deeply disappointed in this book.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver

Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build YourselfCat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Build your cat “paw-some” homemade habitats with easy instructions and common materials.

Shoeboxes and paper bags are fine for other cats. But your favorite felines deserve luxurious living spaces! This DIY construction guide includes fun and easy instructions for making cardboard trains, ships, food trucks, rockets, and other hideouts. Also included are tips for climbing towers and scratching pads that they can use to stay sharp.

All twenty projects are quick to assemble and require inexpensive and easy-to-find materials. You can customize them to match your cat’s wildest desires!

This is such a cute book, this gives ideas and instructions on how to make places for your cat, such as castles, planes etc.

It has beautiful illustrations and the book is just a bit of fun. Perfect for any cat lover and child who needs entertaining over the holidays.

I would recommend this book to cat lovers.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

The Quality of SilenceThe Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll risk my life for you.
On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a journey across Northern Alaska. They're searching for Ruby's father, missing in the arctic wilderness.

More isolated with each frozen mile they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her.

She won't abandon her father. But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them.

Somebody tracking them through the dark.

Set in the beautiful yet unforgiving and dangerous landscape of Alaska this is the story of determination of a mother and her deaf daughter to find her wildlife photographer husband who has been presumed killed in a fire in Anaktue. Yasmin travels with her daughter Ruby across Alaska after persuading a trucker to drive them as close to the scene as he can as they are both absolutely convinced Matt is alive. When events interrupt this journey Yasmin finds herself driving the truck across Alaska with Ruby and the distinct feeling that they are not alone.

Ruby is an amazing child, deaf since birth she has developed a wisdom beyond her years and heightened senses that drive the pair on. Wonderfully atmospheric passages transport the reader to the harsh and unforgiving climate of the Arctic; good suspense building up to the conclusion. I won't spoil how it ends you'll just have to read it but make sure you have a woolly jumper handy and are sitting by the fire as this is so descriptive you will feel the cold.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts

The Chateau on the LakeThe Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1792. As a teacher at her parents' Academy for Young Ladies in the heart of London, Madeleine Moreau has lived her life sheltered from the outside world. But on the night of a dazzling Masquerade, tragedy strikes and she is left alone in the world. Desperate to find the family she never knew, Madeleine impulsively travels to France in search of them. But with war around the corner, and fearing for Madeleine's safety, the enigmatic Comte Etienne d'Aubery offers her protection at his home, Chateau Mirabelle.

Chateau Mirabelle enchants Madeleine with its startling beauty, but it is a place of dark and haunting secrets. As the Revolution gathers momentum and the passions of the populace are enflamed, Madeleine must take control of her own destiny and unravel events of the past in order to secure a chance of future happiness.

Set during the time of the French Revolution this historical novel is full of rich atmospheric settings as it flits from London to Paris during these turbulent times. Having lead a somewhat sheltered life at her parents Academy for Young Ladies in London in 1792 Madeleine Moreau finds herself alone in the world after tragedy strikes on the night of a Masquerade party. Desperate to find out what happened to her family she naively travels to Paris to try and find them but Paris is not a safe place with a war imminent and fearing for her safety the Comte Etienne d'Aubrey offers her safety at his home Chateau Mirabelle. The Chateau is not all it seems and Madeleine is forced to take control of her destiny.

Skillful writing created a facsimile of what life must have been like during this very frightening period in history, colourful descriptive passages and clever use of real events helped to bring this novel to life. Likable characters and believable conflicts added to the enjoyment of this book. There were a couple of twists that helped the story along and even if a little predictable it was never boring.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

After Isabella by Rosie Fiore

After IsabellaAfter Isabella by Rosie Fiore
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When Esther's childhood best friend Isabella dies of cancer, she is devastated. Years later, she is brought together with Isabella's sister Sally, who cared for Isabella in her last days, and who subsequently nursed their mother through years of dementia.

English professor Esther sees shy, innocent Sally emerge from a life of isolation and loneliness. But as Esther herself suffers blow after blow, and sees her carefully ordered life collapse around her, she is forced to contemplate the notion of friendship and trust. Do the ones we hold dearest always have our best interests at heart?

This was a bit depressing for me - when Esthers' childhood friend Isabella dies of cancer she is broken. Years later she meets Isabella's sister Sally who cared for Isabella before she died and also her mother as she battled dementia.

Its' really about how these characters coped after these events that the book is all about but although well written and thought out it was just a bit depressing for me. I think it was a difficult read and you really need to persevere with it to get to the end and it wasn't helped that the character of Esther was a bit dull and boring.

Its' not easy writing a novel about death and its' even more difficult to read about it - not a novel I would choose to read and not one I particularly enjoyed therefore I can only give this one a 2 star rating.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

The One-in-a-Million BoyThe One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you anything at school?

So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who's been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she's confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.

One Saturday, he doesn't show up. Ona starts to think he's not so special after all, but then his father Quinn arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son's good deed. The boy's mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that even at her age the world can surprise you, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find yourself again.

Bit of a weepy one this - as the blub suggests its a story about the unlikely friendship of a records obsessed 11 year old boy who is tasked to do odd jobs for a 104 year old woman at her decaying property so he can earn his scouting badge.

The old lady Ona and the young boy develop a strong friendship and she looks forward to him coming round to help her more than she thought she would. One week he doesn't come and she is left wondering what has happened to him we then discover that he has died quite suddenly and his father Quinn goes round the Ona's to finish what his son has started.

Through Ona Quinn discovers the wonderful son he never really knew and he and his wife Belle learn to release the love they had for their son and understand why he was so happy coming to Ona every week. They learn a lot about themselves, grief and friendship.

It is a lovely journey sad and happy and a good read but be prepared to cry and make sure you have some tissues at the ready.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Mills & Boon Modern Girl's Guide to Turning into Your Mother: The Perfect Mother's Day gift for mums who have it all by Ada Adverse

The Mills & Boon Modern Girl's Guide to Turning into Your Mother: The Perfect Mother's Day gift for mums who have it all (Mills & Boon A-Zs, Book 5)The Mills & Boon Modern Girl's Guide to Turning into Your Mother: The Perfect Mother's Day gift for mums who have it all by Ada Adverse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever…?

A) Opened your mouth and heard your mother come out?

B) Wondered whether a bunch of flowers and breakfast in bed once a year really makes up for the 37 hours your mum spent in St Agnes’ Maternity Ward?

C) Voiced a heartfelt opinion on the weather?

If so, the Mills & Boon Modern Girl’s Guide to Turning Into Your Mother is for you: a guide to the joys of motherhood – with a feminist twist

This is such a good book as a gift. This has quotes A-Z about Motherhood, although I am not a mother I did find these quotes very humourous and loved the photography that went with each one, it is black and white and had a real 'vintage' feel.

This is a great book to share with others and browse time and time again. Although this is book 5 in the series that wouldn't matter at all. I haven't read any of the others, however I would be interested in reading them now.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Here are some images and quotes from the book:



Saturday, 25 March 2017

Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane by Caroline Baxter

Join Pilot Jane, a fun and fearless airline captain, as she travels the world with her best friend Rose, a high-speed passenger jet. Together Jane and Rose have exciting adventures and form a perfect team, delivering their passengers safely to destinations as far afield as Alaska and Australia. But when disaster strikes and Rose falls ill, Jane is paired with 'lean, mean flying machine' Mighty Mitch. Can she still get the Queen to her party on time? Featuring a clever and courageous heroine, this
action-packed rhyming story celebrates 'Girl Power' and shows what you can achieve if you work together. Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for take-off!

Title: Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane

Author: Caroline Baxter

Illustrator: Izabela Ciesinska

Release Date: 8th March 2017

Genre: Picture Book

Publisher: Big Sunshine Books

Format: Paperback Goodreads Link: 

Amazon Link:


This book is a lovely colourful illustrated one, which highlights the importance that it doesn't matter if you are a girl you can have a career that is traditionally male dominated.

This has rhyme in that children love to identify as well as an issue with Mitch another plane, with the them having to work together Pilot Jane solves an issue. (Very hard not to drop spoilers!)

Although this was a very enjoyable book my one negative and it has come from a teaching professional is that this book is great for the girls but it may not interest boys a lot, which I feel is an important aspect for picture books. It is important that books try to capture their interests to try and hook them into reading and I am not sure this book does that for boys. Like I said this is just a educational observation.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Guest Post:

My Favourite Picture Books: Caroline Baxter

I LOVE picture books. The look of them, the sound of them, the feel of them. In just a few minutes you can enjoy a good story, complemented by often beautiful illustrations. They can be funny, silly, outrageous, moving, laugh-out loud, exciting, inspiring . . . and magical. Perhaps most importantly, since most are read by parents to their children, they offer an opportunity at the end of a busy day to cuddle up and have some precious family time together (though I happily read them on my own too).

So in the days after the publication of my own second picture book, Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane, I thought I’d write about some of the many picture books that have inspired me along the way. It was a tricky ask (after all, I could only pick 10!) but here goes . . .

1. The Snail and the Whale: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Not surprisingly, I’m a big fan of Julia Donaldson and her amazing collection of picture books. But The Snail and the Whale is my all-time favourite for two reasons. Firstly, I think it’s a brilliant way of helping children to develop an understanding that there’s a big wide world out there to explore and enjoy. Rather than sticking “tight to the smooth black rock” the intrepid snail hitches a lift around the world and, together, the snail and the whale see “towering icebergs and far-off lands, fiery mountains and golden sands”, all brought to life by Axel Scheffler’s gorgeous illustrations. Secondly, the book is a total pleasure to read aloud. I love the alliteration, the catchy rhyme and the evocative descriptions. Even my children, aged five and three, know big chunks of it by heart (it’s been read quite a few times in our house!). Oh, and for some reason, they also love the sharks…

2. Baby Brains: Simon James

From our first reading of Baby Brains, it was an instant hit. The story, like its star, is super-clever and follows the early days of Baby Brains as he reads the morning paper, helps mend the car, visits the local school and helps out with a space mission! Even preschoolers can understand that these activities are ridiculous for a tiny baby to do and we regularly laugh out loud at the fantastic illustrations, particularly on the page where he begins working at the local hospital! In a dig to ‘tiger mums’ and pushy dads everywhere, however, ultimately Baby Brains just decides he wants his mummy and to do “the things that most babies do”. This really is a classic – a story with a great concept, well-written and perfectly illustrated. It’s no surprise it won the Red House Children’s Book Award.

3. Oi Frog!: Kes Gray and Jim Field

Continuing the silly/ outrageous theme, Oi Frog! is another hilarious story guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. The rhyme is genius and makes for

some really silly images – cows sitting on ploughs and lions sitting on irons being my personal favourites! The bright, vibrant colours also appeal to even the youngest of readers. Overall I think this is a stand-out book simply because it’s brilliant fun. And surely that’s what picture books are for.

4. Five Minutes’ Peace: Jill Murphy

We always enjoy the Large Family books and Five Minutes’ Peace is my personal favourite. It really captures perfectly family life with young children and the mess, chaos and hustle and bustle it brings. Mothers everywhere can relate to Mrs Large and young children love seeing parts of themselves and their activities reflected in the boisterous Large children. The best bit, for my own children, is when “the little one” jumps into the bath in such a hurry that he forgets to take off his pyjamas – a moment always greeted by snorts of laughter! Jill Murphy’s language is also so carefully chosen that just one or two words convey volumes. From the opening page “The children were having breakfast/ This was not a pleasant sight” to Mrs Large “plonking” on her bath hat and replying “weakly”, we understand exactly how she feels and how the morning will pan out. A great, feel-good book perfect for bedtime.

5. Dogger: Shirley Hughes

This was the first Shirley Hughes book I read and it’s a real joy. Although it’s much longer than many picture books these days, its length was never a problem – even when my children were very young. The story of Dave losing his favourite toy, Dogger, and the heartbreak he feels, is one that so many children (and parents) can relate to. Dave’s mum looks everywhere for his beloved Dogger – under the bed, behind the cupboard, underneath the stairs – but Dogger is nowhere to be found. By chance, however, the old toy is discovered again the following day at the School Fair and returned to Dave through an act of kindness on the part of his sister Bella. This is a lovely book to read aloud with a touching message about sibling love and amazingly detailed, beautiful illustrations that stand the test of time.

6. The Pirates Next Door: Jonny Duddle

For a while pirates were a big theme in our house, and I can’t think of better pirate books than those by Jonny Duddle. The rhymes are catchy and clever, the stories hugely entertaining and the illustrations bold, yet intricate. We all love reading about the adventures of the Jolley-Rogers and how they shake up “gloomy seaside town” Dull-on Sea with its stuffy, narrow-minded inhabitants. The characters are also brilliantly drawn, from eager Matilda and her anxious parents to “Mrs Bevan from eighty-seven” and the overworked clerk in the Town Hall. My daughter is also a big fan of the “urchin called Nugget” – though thankfully they don’t look or act alike!

7. Beegu: Alexis Deacon

We first got this book out of the library and it made my favourites list because it’s so different and memorable. Although a simple story with very few words, it’s an incredibly moving picture book. Beegu is a little alien who is lost on planet Earth, but no-one seems to want to help her. Only the young children at school try to befriend her; all the grown-ups cast her out. When she eventually returns to her mother, she tells her how “Earth creatures were mostly big and unfriendly, but there were some

small ones who seemed hopeful”. The character of Beegu draws you in immediately, with her long ears and sad face, and one, almost child-like, drawing somehow manages to convey the full range of human emotions. These days, in particular, perhaps we should pay even more heed to the book’s gentle message about acceptance and welcoming those who are different.

8. Bear’s Big Bottom: Steve Smallman and Emma Yarlett

How could you not love Bear’s Big Bottom? With its witty rhyme and brilliant illustrations, this is a book you could read repeatedly to children – and one which, mine at least, ask for repeatedly. Everyone joins in with the refrain ‘BEAR’S BIG BOTTOM’ and the bit where his bottom smashes all the presents makes us all giggle! We’ve read quite a few books by Steve Smallman recently and they are always a total treat.

9. The Bear and the Piano: David Litchfield

From a bear with a big bottom to a bear with a big gift – the gift of music. One of the main reasons I chose this book about the power of friendship was because of its gorgeous artwork. Some of the scenes David Litchfield creates are visually stunning, from the forest scenes awash with morning light to the “sold-out concerts in giant theatres”. The story, which is about belonging and unconditional love, is also perfect for young children. At the end the bear “realised that no matter where he went, or what he did, (his friends) would always be there, watching from afar”. This is a beautiful book in every sense of the word – a true ‘picture book’.

10. Zog: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

My final choice is another book by Julia Donaldson: Zog, the much-loved tale of a very enthusiastic dragon. The story of his antics at Dragon School is highly entertaining and the rhyme skips along at the usual fast pace, but for me the true star here is Princess Pearl. When I first read the book, I found it hugely refreshing to see a female character stand up for herself and talk about choosing a career, rather than prancing around the palace “in a silly frilly dress”! Even better, she will be the one to train up the brave knight Gadabout the Great. It’s fair to say that the fabulous, capable Pearl was one inspiration for my own advocate of girl power, Pilot Jane. And, at the end, happily both characters fly off into the sunset, destined for even greater things.

So these are my ten favourite picture books. I hope you enjoy them and can only apologise for the many other amazing ones I’ve left out.

Next time I’d have to make it my top 20 . . .

Many thanks for hosting me on Sam’s Book Corner!

Caroline Baxter lives in Oxford with her husband and two young children. From an early age she always had her nose in a book – and now does so for a living! Caroline grew up in South Wales and, after graduating with a BA in English Literature from Cardiff University, held a variety of management roles at UK universities including, most recently, at the University of Oxford. The Bear Cub Bakers, her first book, was written while on maternity leave with her daughter. Her second book,Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane, was published recently on International Women’s Day (8 March 2017). Caroline loves travelling, yoga, baking (and eating) cake, dogs, days out and snuggling up with a good story.

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Beekeeper's Secret by Josephine Moon

The Beekeeper's SecretThe Beekeeper's Secret by Josephine Moon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maria knew about guilt. It was a stubborn, pervasive and toxic emotion, and incredibly difficult to shake. Especially if really, deep down, you didn't think you deserved to let it go.

Maria spends her days tending to the bees of Honeybee Haven and creating wonderful honey products to fund children in need. A former nun, Maria's life has long been shaped by a shadowy secret and her own self-imposed penance for events in her past. The arrival of two letters, one pink, from nearby Noosa Heads, and one marked with a government crest, herald the shattering of Maria's peaceful existence.

Before they were married, Tansy made a very serious deal with her husband, Dougall. With their elegant apartment and beachside lifestyle in Noosa, they have everything they agreed they wanted in life, so Tansy is going to ignore the feelings that might suggest she has changed her mind. On top of those not-really-there feelings, Dougall wants to move to Canada!

Surprising and intriguing, The Beekeeper's Secret is an exploration of family in all its facets, and the astounding secrets we keep from those we love.

I didn't really connect with this book and I think the reason for this was that the author was constantly 'telling' rather than 'showing' which tends to assume the reader can't make an opinion of their own. It had all the usual elements, protagonist with secrets, family conflicts, hidden skeletons, etc. but it was quite predictable and not really anything 'new' to tell.

I was disappointed in this novel, maybe I have ready too many in this genre lately and for that reason it really wasn't anything different, its' an OK read but I wouldn't have rushed out to buy it. Only 3 stars from me I'm afraid.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

The Comfort of OthersThe Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Minnie and her sister Clara, spinsters both, live in a dilapidated country house in the middle of a housing estate, built when their father sold off the family's land. Now in their seventies, their days follow a well-established routine: long gone are the garden parties, the tennis lessons and their suffocatingly strict mother. Gone, too, is any mention of what happened when Minnie was sixteen, and the secret the family buried in the grounds of their estate.

Directly opposite them lives Max, an 11-year-old whose life with his mum has changed beyond recognition since her new boyfriend arrived. Cast aside, he takes solace in Minnie's careful routine, observed through his bedroom window.

Over the course of the summer, both begin to tell their stories: Max through a Dictaphone, Minnie through a diary. As their tales intertwine, ghosts are put to rest and challenges faced, in a story that is as dark as it is uplifting.

An unlikely friendship develops between Millie a 70 year old woman and Max an 11 year old boy one summer that helps each one to come to terms with events that have shaped their lives. Max is given a dictaphone for his birthday and starts to record everything that happens to him that summer. It coincides with his mother is asked out on a date bu the boiler man and from that point he becomes something of a fixture in Max's life and not one he is happy about. No longer the focus of his mothers' attention and having to put up with this new man in her life who is less than kind to him he finds solace in sharing his thoughts and feelings on his dictaphone and eventually the old lady across the street.

Millie lives in the house opposite on the same estate and when she was a young girl her family once owned all the land the estate is built on. Living with her sister Clara all she has is her memories and routines hardly ever venturing outside. Millie notices Max from her window recording his days events and she decides to do the same in a diary. The journey for her is both cathartic and painful and eventually when Max and Millie meet they share confidences which make them both stronger.

It is sometimes a difficult read in that it has incredibly sad and poignant events but a feel good factor in their friendship keeps the book moving along nicely. It was nice to see how the author managed to make a connection with the young and old to develop a friendship that developed into a strong bond between the two.

Not my usual read but it was well thought out and executed and although a bit sad it was nicely done if the ending was a bit flat. I would give this a 4 star rating for its' subject matter and managing to bridge the gap between generations so well.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine blog tour with guest post

Image result for where the wild cherries grow

It is 1919 and the war is over, but for Emeline Vane, the cold Norfolk fens are haunted by memories of those she has lost. In a moment of grief, she recklessly boards a trains and runs away from it all. Her journey leads her far away, to a tiny seaside town in the South of France. Taken in by cafe owner Maman and her twenty-year-old son, Emeline discovers a world completely new to her: of oranges, olives and wild herbs and the raw, rich tastes of her surroundings. But when a love affair develops, as passionate as the flavours of the village, secrets from home begin blowing in from the sea. Fifty years later, a young solicitor on his first case finds Emeline’s diary, and begins to trace a story of betrayal, love and bittersweet secrets that will send him on a journey to discover the truth...

Guest Post: 

Where I Write…

Laura Madeleine

Even though the image of a writer working feverishly in a cold garret is probably one of literature’s biggest clichés, that’s pretty much how I’ve written my last four novels. I work in the attic, my desk under a skylight, at the top of a tall, thin, Victorian terraced house. If you’ve ever seen pictures of Bristol, with its colourful houses on the hill, you’ll know what I mean. Writing in the attic does have its downsides. For one thing, there’s no heating up here, so it gets very cold in the winter. Also, being four flights of stairs away from the bathroom, it’s never a good idea to wait until things get too desperate…

But for me, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I’ve always loved attics, the feeling of being high up, the slanted ceilings, the beams. I also love the light: good light is important to me. The first flat I lived in when I first moved to the city was undeniably dingy, and I was never happy there. But here, if I look up, all I can see is the sky and the edges of chimneystacks.

There’s also a railway track close to the house. It’s not a big one, and is mostly used by ponderous, never-ending freight trains. At first, I thought the noise was going to be a problem; the two-toned honk honk of train horns and the strange, syncopated clacking of wheels in the middle of the night. But I’ve come to enjoy those sounds too. They’re sounds of movement, of life, a reminder that outside my bubble of make-believe, the world is always turning.

At my desk I’m surrounded by piles of paper that I have yet to sort out, but can’t throw away for whatever vague reason. There are empty cups of coffee (I’m terrible for hoarding them: again, three flights of stairs to the kitchen), open notebooks and ratty pieces of paper, that have taken on the status of IMPORTANT because of some idea scrawled on them. I have maps and pages of notes pinned to the wooden beam in front of me. At the moment, those notes consist of timelines, quotes by Maya Angelou and Primo Levi, a reminder about the Musée des Arts Forains in Paris (?) and words METAL POTFIRE. Hopefully I’ll remember why that’s significant at some point.

There are also a lot of plants up here. I love having them about, and often find myself staring at them, thinking. It’s a running joke in the house that I don’t know

where to stop when it comes to plants, and it’s true, I’m running out of flat surfaces to put pots on.

To my right, I have shelves of books that are being slowly bleached by the sun (sorry books), and a print that my friend Arthur once made for me in exchange for cake. To my left, there are shelves of records, the steep, steep stairs down the floor below and a trapdoor I can close, to keep the rest of the world at bay, while I write.

Laura Madeleine 

After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine chose instead to focus on studying English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge. She now writes fiction, under three different psuedonyms. Laura lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Housom. Laura can be found on Twitter @esthercrumpet.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles, #1)Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking is the stunning first installment in a tale of love, betrayal and the need to belong, the Kanin Chronicles.

Will she give up her dream to follow her heart?

Bryn Aven is determined to gain status amongst the Kanin, the most powerful of the hidden tribes. But as a half-blood, winning respect is a huge challenge. Bryn's almost-human community distrusts people, and those from other tribes are almost as suspect.

She has just one goal to get ahead: to join the elite guard protecting the Kanin royal family. And Bryn's vowed that nothing will stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss, Ridley Dresden.

But her plans are put on hold when fallen hero Konstantin starts acting dangerously. Bryn loved him once, but now he's kidnapping Kanin children - stealing them from hidden placements within human families. She's sent to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

I am not a fantasy fan so this was a hard read for me. Having said that I do love Game of Thrones but perhaps this genre comes over better on the screen than in print - at least it seems to for me. I found this a heavy read, difficult to get into and when I put it down it was difficult to remember what I had previously read so picking it up was a strain.

I am sure that Amanda Hocking is a gifted writer and though she does try to convey atmosphere I just found it really hard to connect with this novel. It's a shame as I'm sure if you love fantasy reads this is a pretty passable novel but just not for me. Don't be put off reading it for yourself just because it didn't do it for me but on the basis that I have to review on my own enjoyment I can only give this a 3 star rating - I'm sure fans would disagree!

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Forest Life and Woodland Creatures by DK Publishing

Forest Life and Woodland CreaturesForest Life and Woodland Creatures by DK Publishing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Practical Facts Forest Life and Friendly Woodland Creatures introduces children to life in the forest through fun, educational activities.

Meet cheeping birds, winter wonders, brave bears and all their other forest friends in this fact-filled pre-school activity book. Children can learn how to make a bird feeder and create bear masks, all while learning about forest friends.

Perfect for supporting your little ones' development, Practical Facts Forest Life and Friendly Woodland Creatures engages young, curious minds with fun projects and facts.

This is a beautifully presented non- fiction book, it has been made with thick good quality pages, which have high ink and a protective hardback cover.

This is full of interesting facts about the forest and different creature found there. I particularly love the life cycle of the seed to tree page. This is an excellent educational resource and I love the 5 activities in the book. These are all beautifully presented and have instructions for children to read. These all do come with an advisory that an adult needs to be present when completing the activity.

The book is clear and easy to follow, which allow more confident readers to discover the facts for themselves. The book is made up of a mixture of illustrations and high quality photographs.

This is a great resource for schools or personal use if you have a small child. They would be able to learn a lot and having the added benefit of the activities may encourage those more reluctant readers to want to read this.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.