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#Festive Book Review: Christmas Evie, by Nicola May.

#Festive Book Review: Christmas Evie, by Nicola May.

This is the time to enjoy really festive books, to curl up on the sofa with mugs of hot chocolate with cream and cinnamon, and for me some spiced chocolate gingerbread and of course a festive book. Today, I’m reviewing a short story by the brilliant Nicola May.

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It’s two days before Christmas and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.

Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London.

A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way … but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

christmas-evie

Published August 31st 2015 by Accent Press

My Thoughts:

This is a fantastic Christmas short story that will warm the hearts of even those who don’t love Christmas. Evie has been cheated on, and is expecting the worst Christmas ever. But she meets Greg who invites her to help the homeless over Christmas. There are just enough characters in this story so that we get a good taste for all of them. 

Bea, Evie’s wacky friend who is always on hand for a laugh and a sherry. Greg the handsome man who helps the homeless. But the stand out from all the rest character is Yves. Evie meets Yves and spends a little time with him. 

Through Yves, we the readers and Evie are shown a side of Christmas that many of us forget. Christmas doesn’t need to be expensive, or hectic or anything we don’t want it to be. 

“See, you don’t need money to do things that make you feel good.” says Yves. This is one of the best festive reads I have read in a while. It really encourages the good in people and allows positivity to flow from the book, and encourage us to be grateful for what we have in the present.

Yves is a spirtual soul and gives Evie some wonderful quotes, one particular from The Prophet by Khali Gilbran, which let me see the wonderful thoughts of the Author also mirrored in her previous book ‘The SW19 Club‘. 

This is a festive easy reading book filled with hope, beauty and positivity. This is the third book I have read by Nicola May, and although I knew before how talented she is. This book made me realise that Nicola May, in the words of Anne Shirley is a “kindred spirit”

*Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery.

 

 

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Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/nicolamay1

www.nicolamay.com

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Books

 

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#Festive Book Review: How to Stuff up Christmas, by Rosie Blake.

#Festive Book Review: How to Stuff up Christmas, by Rosie Blake.

So a rather late festive book review, but I enjoyed reading my festive books right the way through the season, so better late than never. 

Thank you to publishers Corvus and Author Rosie Blake for my lovely copy of ‘How to Stuff Up Christmas’ with its beautiful cover all complete with lovely Christmassy sparkles on it.

valentine gif

 

Description:

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you’ve found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance’s phone…

Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve’s boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.

But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve’s best friend Daisy know that she isn’t telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve’s boat?

A hilarious and heart-warming novel about Christmas, catastrophes and cooking, containing exclusive Christmas recipes, from the talented Rosie Blake.

how-to-stuff-up-christmas

Published November 5th 2015 by Corvus

 

My Thoughts:

This is just the kind of festive read that I love. It wasn’t filled with all “the perfect family set up blah blah”, but it was a Christmassy setting with great characters, some delicious and some not quite so successful recipes, plus a nice storyline with humour and fun.

The books starts off with a nice recipe made by Eve’s  friend Daisy to attempt to cheer her up after her boyfriend was caught cheating on her. We follow Eve as she makes alternative arrangements for her festive season. The range of nice festive recipes along the way are lovely, and as Eve is not a great cook, some are amusing and some work out well and sound delicious. Eve’s sister makes an interesting dish called ‘Grandma’s Pink Cheese’. Something I hadn’t heard of but sounds lovely.

There is a nice range of characters in this book, the first that comes to my mind after finishing the book is Marmite the dog! He is a fun lovely character and keeps Eve company, though beware of those geese!! 

Eve’s Dad made me chuckle with his wacky dress sense, but I wasn’t keen on her Mum, always criticising. There is a bit of intrigue as to what her best friend Daisy is hiding, and throughout I was a little dubious of her, you will need to read to see if I was right or not…. 

Overall this was a lovely festive read, with great recipes, interesting developed characters, laughs and a bit of adventure. Plus an amusing end. I definitely recommend it. 

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@RosieBBooks

 

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5 Comments

Posted by on January 15, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review:Christmas at The Gingerbread Cafe, by Rebecca Raisin. And Recipe.

Book Review:Christmas at The Gingerbread Cafe, by Rebecca Raisin. And Recipe.

Firstly a very Merry Christmas to all my book loving readers. I hope you are having a wonderful time.

Today, I am going to share with you a fabulously festive read that I have enjoyed. This was a fantastic one, and it was free from Amazon when I downloaded it! Rebecca Raisin is one of my favourite Authors, and after finishing this book I was straight away looking for more of her books to read.

This is another short novella, which is perfect for a quick festive read accompanied by a gingerbread latte and a chocolate biscuit.

costa ginger

Costa Gingerbread Latte is similar to how I imagine them to be at The Gingerbread Cafe.

Description:

Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.

But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Café is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones – really do come true!

christmas at gingerbread

My Thoughts:

This book is perfect for this festive time of year. Rebecca Raisin is already one of my favourite Authors, so I was sure this book would fill me with Christmas warmth, festivity and some craving for gingerbread coffee and hot chocolates! 

Like Rebecca’s other books I have read, The Gingerbread Cafe is set in a small cosy village called Ashford. The characters and the whole atmosphere in this book just calls out: ‘Come and stay here!’ The characters are mostly so lovely and friendly, a place where everyone knows each other and is willing to help a friend or neighbour when they need it.

The Cafe at Christmas time has the most delicious sounding food and drinks. After reading this book, I decided to make my own gingerbread syrup! (I will share the recipe with you later). The Cafe has a gingerbread house in its window:

“In pride of place, sitting squarely in the bay window, is our gingerbread house. It’s four feet high with red and white candy cane pillars holding up the thatched roof. There’s a wide chimney, decorated with green andred jelly beans, ready for Santa to climb down…”  …..doesn’t it sound perfect?

The story revolves around Cafe owner Lily, her assistant and best friend CeeCee and new comer to the village Damon. The book is predictable is a delicious way. This is comfort reading at its best. 

Christmas, a Christmas book by a great Author and a few gingerbread coffees, hot chocolates and biscuits. All perfect while snuggled up on the sofa with festive candles burning. I loved it.

Find it here:

GOODREADS

AMAZON UK

Rebecca Raisin’s Twitter

 


 

My Recipe for Gingerbread syrup:

150g of golden caster sugar.

1 tbsp of ground ginger

1 tbsp of cinnamon.

Boil it gently all together in 100 ml of water, until it is all dissolved and a little thicker.

Leave to cool, the add it to a bottle.

This will keep for months if you can make it last! But if like me you add it to ice cream, coffee, hot chocolate, then it won’t last very long at all.

Enjoy, and a very happy Christmas to you all.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 27, 2015 in Books

 

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Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage. Blog Tour, Review & Competition.

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage. Blog Tour, Review & Competition.

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage

I’m very happy to be part of this lovely festive blog tour, woo hoo its nearly Christmas. Time to relax, give and receive gifts, eat, drink and read! Vicki Lesage brought me very swiftly into my Festive spirit with this collection of short stories.

-Blog Tour-

Description:

Party girl Vicki tells it like it us, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest (book auction, anyone?) to her even crazier holidays in her new home of Paris (like a marathon 8-hour meal sitting on a stool). Bizarre gifts, weird food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of tales you’ll chuckle at in this collection.

This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for some great cocktails and some hearty laughs this holiday season!

christmas confessions

 

My Thoughts:

This is the first Christmas book I have read this year, and I have to say it did get me into the Christmas spirit. The Author tells short stories of her Christmas themed experiences. There are funny, heart warming and festive. To round each story off there is a cocktail recipe that is in some way related to the story. I liked these recipes a lot! I got some nice ideas for cocktails I might make over the festive season. My favourite cocktail was mentioned actually!

Grasshopper. -creme de cacao.

                          – creme de menthe.

                          –  vanilla vodka.

                          – half-and-half. (I usually used cream here!).

grasshopper

A lot of the stories were based in Paris, so we hear some French traditions, some nice and some seem very strange to me being British, but it was a good insight into French festivities. 

I think this is a good book to get into the Christmas spirit and perfect if you just want quick reads. You can read one of her tales or you can just keep reading all the 25 tales in the book. It was kind of like a girly chat with a friend you haven’t seen for a while, a great catch up of funny and light hearted tales. Beware though, it will make you feel like cocktails, there are even mini cartoon cocktail pictures after each chapter (kindle version).

Below are the links to find the book. 

LINKS:

GOODREADS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON USA

The Author is kindly giving away a copy of one of her other books. ‘Confessions of a Paris Party Girl’

Enter this rafflecopter giveaway to win a copy of her book  Just click on the link and follow the instructions. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

paris

Description:

When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to indulge in wine, stuff her face with croissants, and fall in love. It proved to be much more difficile than she’d imagined. In this laugh-out-loud memoir, this cheeky storyteller recounts the highs and lows of her life in the City of Light. Sassy and shamefully honest, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re right there in Paris stumbling along the cobblestones with her.

Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will the French administration ever cut her a break?

A funny memoir about coming of age and embarking on a new life in Paris. Part travel memoir, part love story, this collection of funny essays.


 

I heart all the books

Vicki Lesage is already a best selling Amazon Author, enter this competition and check out her books on the links above. 

The Festive season is with us readers, lets enjoy all the best festive books about. I’d love to hear what festive books you are reading, and if you have read any of Vicki’s books already. Leave me a comment and let me know.

Good luck in the competition and happy reading!

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4 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Books

 

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Book Review: Cora’s Christmas Kiss, Alison May.

Book Review: Cora’s Christmas Kiss, Alison May.

CoraThank you to publishers Choc Lit for sending me this copy. I was very happy to read it and give my honest review.

Description:

Can you expect a perfect Christmas after the year from hell?

Cora and Liam have both experienced horrible years that have led them to the same unlikely place – spending December working in a Grotto at Golding’s department store.

Under the cover of a Father Christmas fat suit and an extremely unflattering reindeer costume, they find comfort in sharing their tales of woe during their bleak staffroom lunch breaks.

But is their new found friendship just for Christmas? Or have they created something deeper, something that could carry them through to a hopeful new year?

My Thoughts:

This is a great festive read, I really really enjoyed it. It was so romantic, almost fairy tale like. But it wasn’t soppy romantic, the story was a page turner, I wanted to read and read this until I finished it and found out about the two main characters.

The two characters Cora and Liam don’t tell each other their real names, they take turns to tell each other their stories from the past year. The description says ‘tales of woe’, but it isn’t depressing, I kept rooting for the two characters, keen to see how each of their years end up.

Although the ending is predictable by the title, exactly where each characters stories go is not predictable, in fact far from it. I was taken by surprise at the turn in events of Cora and Liam’s past year! It was exciting and Christmassy.

My favourite festive read!!!! I loved it and will definitely be reading more of Alison May.

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6 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Books

 

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Book Review: How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas, by Fiona Gibson.

Book Review: How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas, by Fiona Gibson.

 

in laws

Description:

A funny, festive short story from bestseller Fiona Gibson. Just the thing to curl up with on a cold winter night.

Christmas in the country. What could be better? All you need is one country house, one gorgeous boyfriend and a liberal dusting of snow. Right?

That’s what Anna thinks and she can’t wait for the festivities to start. But then she meets her gorgeous boyfriend’s awful parents. And their drunk friends. And she starts to hear all about a certain ex-wife. Suddenly this doesn’t look like a very merry Christmas after all…

Christmas doesn’t always go to plan, and Fiona tells it like it is. The perfect festive read for fans of ‘Outnumbered’ and Fern Britton.

My Thoughts:

I thought this was a good festive book that was easy to read with the main character Anna being very likeable and understandable.

The book sets Christmas in a snowy country home with all the things that would traditionally thought to make Christmas fantastic, good food, lovely home, family and friends. However, the book is titled about Christmas being wrecked! So, the story really has a moral about remembering what is really important at Christmas time.There are a few interesting characters. Anna’s boyfriend Ben, and his daughter Daisy. We also hear about Ben’s ex and obviously his parents!

Although this was a short story, there was definitely room to make it longer, there were characters that were barely mentioned, but could have been. The ending could lead onto another book?? Although we weren’t left hanging.

I have to say, this was the first book that I read of this author and I like her writing style. I would definitely pick up another of her books.

This book was free from Amazon when I got it, it is now on sale at Amazon for 49p. Great for a short festive read.

chocolate-heart-of-chocolate1

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 3, 2014 in Books

 

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Book Review: Follow Me, by Angela Clarke.

Book Review: Follow Me, by Angela Clarke.

During the run up to Christmas last year, I participated in a Secret Santa that was organised by Emma (@emthebookworm) and Kelly (@kellyspillane). If you search the hashtag #BaublesandBooks on twitter you will see much chat. My match was the very generous Sharon (@SharonSAtkinson). Sharon bought me this brilliant book, amongst quite a few others. I had read the blurb on this book, and being about an online serial killer, it really piqued my interest. It was as I had hoped an excellent griping read. So, thank you to Sharon, Emma and Kelly. 

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Description:

LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM. . .

follow-me

Published December 31st 2015 by Avon

My Thoughts:

This book is brilliant. We follow Freddie, a waitress come investigative journalist. As Freddie is waiting for the big story to make her mark, she stumbles upon just the way she thinks to make her name in the papers! And it does just that, though perhaps not the way she expected! 

Freddie accidentally meets up with her old school friend Naz who is working in the police force, and between the two of them and the other police, they have a race against time to find the social media online serial killer who has cleverly named himself @apolloyon aka #murderer. Some of this reading is scary stuff. The Author has really put her knowledge of social media in this book, and it is scary to see how much people can find out or giveway about themselves, without knowing. But also how anonymous you can be, if you know the right tools, as @apolloyon did. This book is so current, and will really appeal to all readers who have an interest in social media and who love crime thrillers. (This is me – absolutely the target audience here!)

The characters are great in this book, really well developed and I liked that you could see how the plot had changed both Freddie and Naz by the end of the book. Freddie is a complex character and I can see how Naz is confused as how to feel about her, Freddie is impulsive, gutsy yet also has a big heart. Freddie is a whizz at social media, despite tripping herself up at times as she adds her location to Facebook!! It did baffle me a bit that the police force seemed so inadequate in their knowledge of social media, but I guess that why they have IT specialists. 

At the beginning of each chapter, the killers followers and following are shown, this was a really nice touch and made the book so ‘now’. As the followers go up, so do the murders, so this book really was a page turner. 

As the killer is revealed towards the end of the book, I thought back over the pages and could see how cleverly wound this tale was. I had an idea, but that is only because I tend to suspect everyone! Angela Clarke is a very talented writer and I may just have found myself a new favourite Author.

If you love social media and crime thrillers, this book is for you. Even if you are not into social media, then this book will give you a much better understanding of it, and probably keep you away from Twitter and Facebook too. Angela Clarke has written a very clever book, and I can’t wait to read her next book.

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Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@TheAngelaClarke

AngelaClarke.co.uk

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Jungle Rock, by Caroline James.

Book Review: Jungle Rock, by Caroline James.

I was very happy to hear that one of my favourite Authors has published a new book. I have read all Caroline James’ previous books in the Coffee, Tea range. I have been eagerly awaiting the next instalment with Jo and Hattie in Boomerville which is due to be published in spring 2017. So, when I heard that Jungle Rocks, a fantastic novella was out, it immediately went to the top of my ‘must read’ list. 

This is a stand alone novella, but it has many of the same characters from the previous books. I have included links to all my reviews of Caroline’s previous books. 

Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and MeMY REVIEW! 

Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me – MY REVIEW!

So, You Think You’re a Celebrity…..Chef – MY REVIEW!

 

But now for the star review in question today, we have  romantic comedy novella
by Caroline James Jungle Rocks. 

jr-16

Description:

Handsome young chef Zach Docherty is feeling the heat. Following an exposé in a national newspaper, his fiancée Poppy Dunlop has broken their engagement. Heartbroken at the thought of life without Poppy, Zach drowns his sorrows and, when his agent suggests that Zach becomes a contestant in a reality TV show, Jungle Survival, he reluctantly agrees. Plunged deep in the jungle, into a bizarre mix of talent and trials, Zach meets glamour model Cleo Petra, and the cameras go crazy.
Will Zach survive and be crowned Jungle King? Or will his latest exploits push Poppy further away…

jungle-rock

Published November 21st 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company

My Thoughts:

Jungle Rock is a brilliant story with a varying range of characters. Zach has broken up with Fiancee Poppy, and about to enter Jungle Survival. Of course this makes us all think of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ in the Australian jungle, and whether or not you are a fan of this programme, it doesn’t matter. If you like easy flow reading with drama, excitement and great characters, I think you will love it.

We hear about the rest of Zach’s family based in the UK, which gives us more of a picture of the type of character that Zach is. Jo and Hattie feature in Caroline’s other books, so for me it was wonderful to catch up with them again. I think if you read this as a standalone book you too will want to hear more from Jo and Hattie. Hattie is such a lively, doesn’t give a hoot kind of character. She is certainly my favourite. I even have a picture in my mind of what she looks like. Now, that is a good Author for you, if she makes you picture the characters in your head!

The story doesn’t focus too much on the trials, but there’s just enough to get your imagination running and your stomach creaking! 

“I’d eat an antelope’s anus, I’m so hungry”.      

There is perfect descriptions of Australia, with great names – Mount Wumbah! I wonder if this is real or Author’s artistic licence. Also, the Christmassy feel of West Marland. This is a festive novella that doesn’t ram Christmas down your neck, but will make you laugh with its humour, drama and array of intriguing and engaging characters. I loved it. 

Links:

Twitter/CarolineJames12

www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads

 

Author Caroline James:

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me shot to #3 on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’ Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me, an Amazon best-seller, was a Top Ten Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing. Her next novel, Boomerville will be published spring 2017.

Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. As a media agent, Caroline represented many well-known celebrity chefs and her TV script, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity Chef? was runner up at the Winchester Writers Festival 2016.

She has published short stories and is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for an online lifestyle magazine. She is a founder member of The Cheshirati and is available for inspiring and entertaining talks on anything related to the hospitality and publishing industry.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2016 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Food Dare, One Thing You Can Do Everyday to be Healthier. by Lindsey Banks

Book Review: The Food Dare, One Thing You Can Do Everyday to be Healthier. by Lindsey Banks

When Author Lindsay Banks approached me and asked if I would like to review her book, I was hopeful especially because of the title of the book. ‘One Thing You Can Do Everyday to be Healthier’, one thing a day didn’t sound to bad, and if it could make me feel healthier I thought, why not give it a go.

This is how it went……  

 good-for-my-health-picture-quote

Description:

The Food Dare provides a day-by-day guide to improve the way you eat, and will ultimately allow you to experience the health transformation of your entire life in just one month.

Healthy eating and dieting can be restrictive and boring. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. The Food Dare provides a day-by-day guide to improve the way you eat, and will ultimately allow you to experience the health transformation of your entire life in just one month.

The Food Dare is a 30-day challenge where you will be adding healthy new eating habits into your diet, in three phases. This dare is not about deprivation or restriction. It is about adding to your life to make your food choices healthier and more nutritious.

In each phase you will practice each new healthy habit so that it can become a lifestyle, not a diet. This dare is about making small changes, not big sacrifices, so that you can maintain it long after you have completed the dare.

Whether you are overweight and discouraged or healthy and strong, The Food Dare is a dare you should take. It’s time to learn the keys to a healthy diet and a healthy life.

Stop dieting and start making a healthy lifestyle change. I Dare You.

food dare

My Thoughts:

I liked the way this book started, straight away the Author says we need to consider why we want to accept this dare. I like that she put it as a dare. It makes the idea of becoming healthier more like a challenge that someone else will be following with us. If we quit, we are letting ourselves down. Lindsay Banks starts the book by getting us to ask ourselves why we want to take this challenge, so once you have told yourself why you are doing this, you should keep that in mind throughout the dares. If I started to weaken, I would remember why I started in the first place.

The whole ‘Dare’ process takes 30 days, each day we take on another healthy habit. It is a really good idea for a ‘get healthy’ book. It is motivating and not that hard at all. At least, I didn’t find it that hard, as some of the things we had to do, I was already doing anyway. I almost felt like I had a head start on others following the challenge. 

The book has note space in it, for you to write down how you doing and conclusions after each day. I thought this was a great idea. I only had the ebook version, so if you were going to get this book, I would highly recommend the paperback version. I think it would keep the motivation up if you were writing in the book as you go along. There is also a Facebook accountability group that the Author has set up, so you can have group encouragement. I don’t use Facebook, so I didn’t join this, but I can see how having a group of you doing this together would be really helpful. 

There was a quote for each day, which was encouraging. 

“Every new day is another chance to change your life” – Unknown. 

“If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen” – Unknown. (I liked this, I thought it was amusing.  😉

The back of the book includes some healthy and easy recipes, like cauliflower crust pizza and strawberry banana green smoothie. 

While reading this book, I got myself a fruit infusion water bottle, whereby you can add fruits in the middle to flavour the water healthily. My favourite fillings were lemon and lime, and cucumber and mint.

Overall, I found this book easy to follow, motivating with the quotes and really not to hard to complete. 

Check out Lindsay Banks on Twitter HERE

Links:

GOODREADS

AMAZON USA

AMAZON UK

This book would be a lovely Christmas gift for you or someone who wants to start the new year healthily.

Let me know what you do to keep healthy, and if you decide to get this book, I’d love to know your thoughts. 

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
11 Comments

Posted by on December 5, 2015 in Books

 

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Book Review: How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie, by Gina Henning.

Book Review: How to Bake the Perfect Apple Pie, by Gina Henning.

Thank you very much to Author Gina Henning for my copy of this book. When I saw the cover of this book, I knew I wanted to read it straight away, so thank you.

apple pie

Description:

A scrumptious pie. A long distance guy. 4th of July fireworks guaranteed.
Lauren Hauser has it all…nearly. With a shiny new job and sparkly new engagement ring on her finger, the only thing she’s missing is her gorgeous new fiancé by her side. Should she be worried? Jack’s kisses are as sizzling as always and, sure, long distance is hard but, she and Jack are solid, right?
Of course the stress of planning a wedding—or not—is nothing compared to the stress of baking an apple pie. Because it’s not just any apple pie that Lauren must bake for the 4th of July contest; it’s her grandmother’s famous, award-winning apple pie! Yet Lauren is determined to make this pie her own and a little apple pie should be no problem for the Hauser clan dessert queen…!
But with her new job taking up so much time, a prize pie to perfect and the growing distance between her and Jack, Lauren begins to wonder if she can really have it all… Only one things for sure, there’ll be fireworks this 4th of July!

ap pie

My Thoughts:

I was very excited when the Author approached me with a review request for this book. I had seen the cover around and thought it was just the kind of book I would enjoy.

Baking + food + romance = perfect book for Amanda!  ♥

I really liked the main character Lauren, I felt totally that I could relate to her. She was stressing because she and Jack hadn’t set a Wedding date and everybody was asking her, when? when? when? As a woman, I know how annoying that can be, and I found that the way the Author had written Lauren, she reacted like a slightly unsure of herself lady. ( I know the feeling) Putting what other people say to tell her how she should be feeling. I think for the Author to write a character that makes me feel things about myself through the way the character is written was great. I was put right into the moment of Lauren arguing with her Fiancé, and attempting to rationalise it with her best friend. Her best friend is great by the way, love her!

My favourite part of the book was about the Apple Pie! I love books that talk about food, baking and books that lusciously describe the food, it just encourages the baker inside me. If anything, I would have liked more apple pie talk. I am a total foodie here! 

“I’m adding more nutmeg to mine. I think it will be the right kick to invoke the judge’s senses”

snow white applie pie

There are some funny, but oh so cute parts too. You can tell how crazy in love Lauren is with Jack, then she goes and says something which gives me a huge grin on my face:

“I’m woozy on this love and my mind is swirling around in this moment. Maybe I need something to eat” – She totally reminds me of me!! I love this character!!

eat cake

Its Lauren’s Grandmother who wants her to bake the cake. We don’t see a huge amount of her in this book, but you can tell she is a strong woman and a Grandmother that we would all love. She pushes Lauren to meet be the best that she can be:

“..You’ll find that when you step out of your comfort zone you find the sweetest rewards in life” – Apart from being a sweet easy read, there are some quotes that made me think!

Although this book can be read as a standalone book, I did feel that I would have enjoyed it more so if I had read the first book. I had a feeling that I would have known the characters better and some of the things that they spoke of that happened last Christmas when Lauren and Jack first got together. On the positive side, I know have two more books to add to my to be read list, the previous and the next! Yippee.

To conclude, the book was easy reading, fun and tasty! I certainly want to read the next instalment of Lauren and Jack. 

If you have read this book, or the previous one please let me know. What did you think of Lauren and Jack? Did you bake an apple pie afterwards? What apples did you use? ♥

Til next time, HAPPY READING!

LINKS FOR: 

AMAZON UK

GOODREADS

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Books

 

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