Tag Archives: Amanda

Book Review: CLUB MEDicine, by Jack Kinsley.

Book Review: CLUB MEDicine, by Jack Kinsley.

Thank you very much to Author Jack Kinsley for my copy of CLUB MEDicine. When Jack contacted me to ask me to review this book, I thought the blurb sounded exciting and like quite a page turner! I wasn’t wrong. This book is great. I contacted Jack on Twitter @JackKinsley  and had a look at his webpage JackKinsley Jack is now living in Phucket in Thailand where he writing his third book. What a great place to live and write. Here is my review of CLUB MEDicine.

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What drives a reasonable man to commit murder?

Travis Martin was the great American success story. A former addict who started the premiere private rehab in the hills of Malibu, California, he had it all: a thriving business, a beautiful wife, and a daughter who was the center of his universe. Unfortunately, when his recovery took a nosedive, everything he built went right along with it. Now, he has a rehab filled with eccentric clients he’s expected to keep sane, a dark secret he’s desperate to keep hidden, and forces from his past that are determined to strip him of anything that remains.

What’s a self-made man to do? Backed into a corner, Travis finds himself stuck on one moral question: Can he commit murder in order to keep it all from slipping away? How far down the rabbit hole will he go? And, perhaps more importantly, how does he come back from it after that life is gone?

Part thriller and part redemption tale, CLUB MEDicine explores the heart of darkness within us all as one man balances on the razor’s edge between self-actualization and self-destruction.


club medicine

My Thoughts:

What a great book!! I thought I would enjoy this after reading the description, and I really did.

Travis runs an elite rehab centre, so elite that the patients are called ‘Clients’, who have ‘personal challenges’. The story follows Travis, his family and the staff and clients of this rehab centre ‘Crystal Heights’.

Travis was such a well written character, which shows the real talent behind this Author. Travis is a previous addict, who still takes tablets. His life is a struggle to keep his business afloat and keep his clients and staff happy. His beloved daughter Bella is living with her Mother who doesn’t like or trust Travis anymore, yet despite all this I still really rooted for and liked Travis! The storyline shows Travis on a downward spiral, yet I still liked him??? A very talented Author is here!

The Author uses great descriptions in his work that painted perfect images in my head of this story. He describes one of the characters as “a beast inside the oversized chameleon”. What a perfect description for his client Dallas.

He describes another character as having “coffee-shop waitress wit”. 

There is a twist towards the end of the book, that I really wasn’t expecting, and this led me to a few very late nights as I wanted to know what happened next!! There is such an eclectic range of characters in this book, that each has excitement and intrigue behind them. What starts off as a simple killing of a dog, turns to a very dark and spine chilling adventure. It left me thinking as the chapters read on, who is the good guy and who is the bad guy here?

Despite all the darkness in this tale, there is hope and love, personal journeys and friendship.

Jack Kinsley left me with thoughts of some great quotes he included in this book. I want to share a few with you, so that within the tales of thrilling destruction, we can see some hope.

“Friendship is like wine, the older the better”.

“Even the tallest tower started from the ground”

This is a book that I absolutely recommend. I’m already looking forward to Jack’s next book, which I hear he is writing in Thailand while researching Thai culture. I also lived in Thailand for a while, so will be first in the queue for his next book.

Thank you for reading this review, if you have read CLUB MEDicine or are planning to, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. 

Kindle Edition, 309 pages

Published February 13th 2015 by RANE Books

Amazon U.K link

 Amazon USA link




Mami 2 Five

Posted by on June 20, 2015 in Books


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Book Review: 12 Hours, by Hannah Harvey.

Book Review: 12 Hours, by Hannah Harvey.

This novella just published by fantastic author Hannah Harvey. You might remember my post on her release date yesterday. With the exciting release of the book, I was very keen to read and hence review it. It did not disappoint!

12 hours

The book is the author’s fifth Young Adult book, with the difference being that this is a novella, just 54 pages. 


Two months ago, Riley was heartbroken when her boyfriend of almost a year, James, broke up with her on her graduation day, and then left town without saying goodbye.
She hasn’t heard from him since that day. Until now.
Now it’s two months on. It’s midnight, and she’s just received a message from him.

I’m outside. I need you.

Three little words she’s never been able to resist from him. Over the next twelve hours, follow Riley on an emotional journey, as she tries to work out why he’s back. If he’s staying and what she wants now that he’s back in her life again.

My Thoughts:

This was a lovely read, very obviously young adult genre as it follows Riley through the night time hours with her ex boyfriend James. We learn straight away that Riley thinks James is the love of her life…. except he left! But now he is back and has contacted her by a text in the middle of the night. Riley goes out to see what he wants, and then we follow the two of them through the night, over the 12 hours. (clever title  😉 )

I liked the way the author wrote this book, it was like 24 (with Jack Bauer) but nothing like the storyline!!! I mean you could follow the story in real time, its a nice idea especially for a novella. The author wrote the characters with a lot of thought and insight, she could really get into the heads of the young people, and imagine how they would react to the situations that happened. It was emotional and exciting all at once. 

As the story continued and you got to know James, my feelings for him changed. You will have to read to see yourself…….. no spoilers here!

This is the first book of Hannah Harvey’s that I have read, and I loved it. It was cute, thoughtful and very well written. I will definitely be reading more of her books.

Check out Hannah here:

Twitter: @BookTowerBlog

If you have read this or any other book by Hannah, I would love to hear from you.

Happy Reading!



Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Books


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Release day: 12 Hours, by Hannah Harvey.

Release day: 12 Hours, by Hannah Harvey.

I’m very happy to be sharing with you the release of brand new book by author Hannah Harvey:


12 hours

The Description:

This novella is Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

Two months ago, Riley was heartbroken when her boyfriend of almost a year, James, broke up with her on her graduation day, and then left town without saying goodbye.

She hasn’t heard from him since that day. Until now.

Now it’s two months on. It’s midnight, and she’s just received a message from him.

I’m outside. I need you.

Three little words she’s never been able to resist from him. Over the next twelve hours, follow Riley on an emotional journey, as she tries to work out why he’s back. If he’s staying and what she wants now that he’s back in her life again.

My review of this fabulous new book will be featured on my blog next week. So, look out for it!

The Authors Details:


Twitter: @BookTowerBlog


And where you can buy or add to your wish list: 



A brilliant new book, let me know if you’re going to read it or if you’ve read any of Hannah’s other books. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Reading!


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Posted by on April 11, 2015 in Books


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New Release: The Gingerbread Cafe Trilogy, by Rebecca Raisin.

New Release: The Gingerbread Cafe Trilogy, by Rebecca Raisin.

I am pleased to tell you about the release of this amazing


release day

What a fantastic collection of books and with this trilogy you can devour all 3 at once. Perfect for your summer reading. If you haven’t heard of these books and this amazing author yet, where have you been? Here’s what they are all about:

christmas at ginger

Book One – Christmas At The Gingerbread Cafe

The icing on her Christmas cake!

Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café in Ashford, Connecticut 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!

 choc at ginger

Book Two – Chocolate Dreams At The Gingerbread Cafe

Chocolate…the most irresistible temptation?

The Gingerbread Café is all a buzz! This Easter, Lily and the rest of the town of Ashford, Connecticut are planning a truly decadent Chocolate Festival. Cooking up a storm, CeeCee and Lily are not just baking a batch of their sinfully delicious chocolate-dipped gingerbread men, but an excess of chocolate truffles, squidgy, cinnamony hot cross buns and melt in your mouth chocolate eggs. The Gingerbread Café staff have definitely enjoyed the tasting process!

Add in Damon’s cute-as-a-button seven year old daughter, Charlie, up for a visit and Lily’s perfect Easter may just be around the corner. Until her ex-husband Joel turns up demanding twenty thousand dollars… Suddenly the future of the Gingerbread Café is not so clear…and Lily finds herself eating far more of The Gingerbread Café’s treats than her skinny jeans allow…

Can Lily concoct a brilliant plan to save her beloved café, convince Damon she has no feelings for Joel and still throw a Chocolate Festival the town will be talking about for years? There’s only one way to find out…

Welcome back to the warmth, cupcakes and hot chocolate of The Gingerbread Café – your home away from home

wed at ginger

Book Three – Christmas Wedding At The Gingerbread Cafe

You are invited to the wedding of the year!

Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas, she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams – in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!

The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place – for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives… Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.

In the blink of a fairylight, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time – and make this Christmas sparkle after all?


About The Author

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.






Let me know if you have read these books or if they are on your tbr list, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Reading.


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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Books


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The TBR Tag.

The TBR Tag.

so many book

This is the TBR Tag, in other words, the books I have to read and have not read yet!! I have only included books that I currently have. I think there are lots more books that I want to read, but I haven’t got yet.

I saw this tag on Katie’s site, link below: Thank you for this Katie.  😉

I thought it was a really fun post to do, so I’m giving it a go. I won’t officially tag anybody, but if you do this tag, leave me your link below so I can see your answers.

Enjoy! Here goes:



1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I was lucky enough to win a book journal. It is one of the best prizes that I have won, because I can keep a list of all of my books, and as I read them I can also make notes along the way for my review. I also have a list on Goodreads, though I don’t think this is completely up to date! Plus it has lots of books on it that I don’t yet own.

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2. Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Mostly ebook, I think that’s because I have been accepting so many books to review and I have them piled up on my kindle. I have quite a few print books too, some bought myself and some review copies. 

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Mostly it’s based on what I have agreed to review. My reviewing time at the moment is about 2 months ahead because I have so many, so I have my line up of tbr’s in order for the next while. However, if I get offered one that sounds really amazing, I sometimes bump it up my list.

4. A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

Probably ‘A Season to Remember’ by Sheila Flanagan. I received this as a Christmas gift, I didn’t read it at Christmas and it got pushed back. It’s the kind of book I want to read at Christmas or at least winter. So, it’s been waiting a while. When I do read it, I’m sure I will love it. It will be cold and snowy outside and the spicy scented candles are burning and I’m drinking hot chocolate.

a season to remember


5. A book you recently added to your TBR?

The latest one that was added to my list is ‘Kidnapped by Nuns’ by Bob Fuss. Bob is a retired CBS News Correspondent, and I think he will have some amazing takes to tell. I am exited to read this.



6. A book on your TBR strictly because of it’s beautiful cover?

I wouldn’t read a book solely based on its cover, but the covers do bring me in to read the blurb. I do like books with beautiful covers, they look so enticing to read. One I recently requested from NetGalley is The Coincidence Of Coconut Cake, by Amy E Reichert. This cover is lovely and so enticing, don’t you think?!

coconut cake


7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

I plan to read them all….. eventually!  😉


8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

‘For the Love of Ash’ by Taylor Lavati looks like a lovely book all about the importance of family and love. I have been given a copy of this by the author in exchange for an honest review. I love to receive arc copies, and I’m really looking forward to reading this. This is due to be released this month.


9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you?

I think this would have to be ‘Chocolate Wishes’ by Trisha Ashley. This has been out since 2010, so I think most people who like the same kind of books as me, would have read this. I love the cover of this book, so quaint and lovely looking. I think it looks like a perfect book for a chocoholic book lover like me! If you have read this, let me know how fantastic it is. I promise I will read this soon, it looks so delightful.

chocolate wishes


10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

I was recommended to read this by AJ from

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell. AJ told me this book was totally amazing, I read her review of it and it sounds a very creepy book, but really good too. AJ raved about it so much, that I really am looking forward to reading it. 

frozen charlotte


11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

A book which really is next on my tbr list because it look so good is ‘Japan Guide..Less: Emails’ from Japan by Nicole D’Arcangelo. This book looks so funny and brilliant. I also think I will be able to relate to it really well because it’s about a lady’s life teaching English and surviving in a foreign country, which I have done and loved.




12. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

At the moment my Goodreads TBR list is at 33. I’m think I could probably add a few more to it, but 33 is plenty to keep me going for a while. I started the Goodreads challenge this year and said I would read 30 books this year, so far I have read 7, so I’m doing well.



That was a fun tag to do, if any of you bookbloggers or readers want to join in, then please do. Let me know some of your answers or add me your link to your post below. I’d love to hear from you. 



Posted by on March 14, 2015 in Books, Tags


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Book Review: The Cortlandt Boys, by Laura Vanderkam

Book Review: The Cortlandt Boys, by Laura Vanderkam

Book Review: The Cortlandt Boys, by Laura Vanderkam.


Thank you very much to author Laura Vanderkam for my copy of this book. I am happy to share my thoughts in this review.

Book Description:

A small town high school basketball team wins the Pennsylvania state championship with an improbable last second three point shot. The Cortlandt Cavaliers celebrate their unlikely victory, but good fortune changes the boys’ worlds in unpredictable ways. This story revisits the characters 10 and 20 years later as the ramifications of their youthful success play out over the course of their lives, forever linking them and the people around them to this little town that has its ways of not quite letting you go.

My Thoughts:

When I first read the description of this book, I was expecting similarities to the hit t.v series One Tree Hill. That was what initially drew me to this book, as I loved the series. Just to make it clear though, the book was nothing like it!

The book is set in four parts.

The Prologue, which is told from Max’s point of view between 1993 and 1994. We get an introduction to all the characters here and a basic overview of what has happened. The Cortlandt Cavaliers have just won the state championship basketball game.

Part One is told also from Max’s point of view between 2003 and 2004. She comes back to Cortlandt after moving away, as a journalist to interview the boys from the team ten years after they won the championship. She wants to find out what everybody has been up to since then and their thoughts ten years after the game.

Part Two is told from Janie’s point of view between 2013 and 2014. This is twenty years after the big game. Janie is now 17 years old.

The Epilogue is told from Janie’s point of view, and gives a conclusion to the story and the characters we have grown to know while reading the book.

This book is the author’s first fiction book, Laura Vanderkam has written lots of non fiction books before. I’m not sure if this has had an impact on the way that she writes, but the writing style was different to what I have read before. It is written with such a great insight into human nature, like she really knows the characters and the way their minds work, the things they would say, the decisions they have made. I did think at one point, is she writing from past experience. But having spoken to the author on Twitter, she assures me that the story is completely fiction. I have to hugely congratulate her on her insight of human nature.

The story talks about basketball, a bit of mystery and a bit of romance. I’m not a fan of sports reading and the basketball scenes were not my favourite part of the book. However, because the story is about this huge life changing event, which is winning the state championship, I think the author did a good job of keeping the non sports fans interested.

I liked when I got to the mystery part of the book. It kept me gripped to see what had happened and who was to blame for the incident……..  

The characters in this book are fantastic. As I mentioned before, the author has such an insight to human nature. A great quote from the book is from Max, when she is thinking about writing her article about the Cortlandt Boys ten years later, she thinks:

“What is life like when the biggest thing that will ever happen to you happens when you are seventeen?”

This quote does reflect the book well, I think.

My favourite character is Janie, she is a very intriguing character, she says herself that she likes to think of herself as unpredictable! I think she is a product of her upbringing and the things that happened to her and her parents while she was young. There is a very interesting part of the book about Janie’s ‘friend’ who lives in the hotel. Watch out for it! 

The author also participated in a Twitter chat last week, where she spoke of her book, the writing process and the difference between writing fiction and non fiction. If you want to go and read the chat, use the # of #CortlandtBoys. 

Author details:

Twitter: @lvanderkam

She also blogs daily at

If you have read this book or are planning to read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. 

Thanks for reading and until next time, Happy Reading!

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Posted by on February 17, 2015 in Books


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Living with Food Allergies.

My Husband has had so many gut problems over the past few years. We are now trying out a totally free from diet. AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING!!!! YAHOO!! ♥

So, I thought I would blog about it, it means I can write about it. And maybe it will help someone else or any readers out there may be able to give us some advice. I’m still learning, but bit by bit we are getting the hang of it.

The symptoms he has had are severe bloating, stomach pains, sickness and nausea and many toileting problems. We started off trying, just the gluten free – didn’t work. Then the lactose free – didn’t work. Now, its totally gluten and lacto free. The diet is very strict and quite basic, but we have found some tasty and healthy things for meals and some treats.


Here is some of the tasty ‘free from’ stuff that we have found, so he can still eat cheese and have milk it is just lactose free. It actually tastes ok, we were both surprised.

The majority of meals that we make use ingredients that are from the ground, fresh veg, fruit and meat and fish. No additives, no extra flavourings. Its very healthy. We have kept a food diary so we can see all the things that my Husband has eaten and drank and how he feels after it. It is a long process and we still have a long way to go, but its progress!

We were recommended to read about FODMAP, I still have a lot of research to do with this, but its a whole load of food groups that intolerant people may and may not be able to digest easily. If anyone has any advice that they would like to share with us, I would be very happy to hear from you.

So, I will tell you todays diet.

Breakfast – gluten free bread toasted with lacto free butter and gluten free jam.

Lunch – Eggs, gluten free sausages and Heinz baked beans. (only Heinz is GF).

Dinner – Chicken Salad, (lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, rape seed oil as dressing).

Desert – My home made chocolate cake! Yum.


I am very proud of this, as I used all gluten and dairy free products, and it tasted delicious. It was very light and airy, I will certainly be making this again.

If anyone has any helpful tips for me, or wants to ask me any questions about this special diet, I would love to hear from you.

Gluten-free chocolate cake recipe     (from

  • 100g gluten-free self raising flour
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g cooking margarine or butter (lactose free)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence or extract (I omitted this as I wasn’t sure).

For the icing:

  • 280g icing sugar
  • 140g butter (lactose free)
  • 75g chocolate (milk or dark), melted (lactose free)
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or water (lactose free)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c
  2. Melt the butter or cooking margarine until soft – but not runny – in a large mixing bowl
  3. Mix in the caster sugar
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder and eggs, mixing well, then add the vanilla essence
  5. Pour the mixture evenly into two greased and lined cake tins
  6. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cakes have risen and are lightly golden. To test if they are ready, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready
  7. Cool completely
  8. To make the icing, beat together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter, slowly stirring in two or three teaspoons of boiling water or milk. Be careful not to make the icing too runny
  9. Spread the chocolate icing over the top of one of the cakes, then carefully place the other cake on top. Cover the top with more icing, then serve.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again next time. Please feel free to comment below or tweet me on Twitter.    @chocolate_pages.


Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Baking


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I have been lucky enough to be invited to be involved in a special project by a lovely lady Emma Louise (EmmaIsWriting). Emma has created #sunathon. As many of you already know, I love to read, so a project like this is perfect for me. It will let me read and also chat to other fans of the great world of books. Emma Louise is happy for as many people as would like to be involved in #sunathon.

Below is a quote from Emma of exactly what #sunathon is:

“From the 21st to the 25th July, book bloggers from around the world will be taking part in #sunathon. What is #sunathon? Created by Emma Louise (@EmmaIsWriting), for that particular week in the gorgeous sun (or rain if you’re in the U.K), we’re going to read. It doesn’t matter how much you read, as long as you make time for reading. There are a lot of people around the world who are blind to the magical world of books and its a shame. More of us should read. I’ve decided to make it full week – Monday to Sunday because  a lot of book bloggers have full time jobs and they squeeze reading in between. I’ve made it longer just for them.”

If you want to join in, I would be happy to book chat with you, and I know Emma would too.

I have my summer book list all lined up. A few books I bought myself and a book I had as a gift. I work as a learning assistant in a special needs school. My lovely teacher gave me a great looking book, so I think I will be starting with this. The first books on my to be read list is “Written in the Stars” by Ali Harris.

Also “The Kabul Beauty School” by Deborah Rodriguez”.

I’m looking forward to reading both of these books, especially as it will be part of #sunathon. I hope many of you will join in, read, chat, enjoy.

This is one of the books I will be reading, I read a mix of `real`  books and books on my kindle.

20140629_212158I look forward to chatting to you about all the books we will be reading.

A great big shout out and thank you for organising this fab idea. Thank you Emma Louise @EmmaIsWriting. Heres to a great #sunathon.


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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Books


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