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Reviews Written by
DebB (Oxfordshire, England)
(VINE VOICE)   

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La Chinata Smoked Paprika Hot (70g)
La Chinata Smoked Paprika Hot (70g)
Offered by D14Posters
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff!, 12 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lovely stuff, but it's pretty hot, so use sparingly!


Burn Mark
Burn Mark
by Laura Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but a bit down beat and lacking in humour, 2 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Burn Mark (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This surprised me as a YA book - it seems a bit grown up - and I'm really not intending to malign young adults here - I read and enjoy a lot of YA fiction. It's just that there's none of the high drama, lust/love interest or OMG emotions that typically fill such books. I finished it feeling rather underwhelmed, given one or two of the glowing reviews I'd read. I also finished it realising that there are obviously more books to come after this one - whilst some questions or plot devices are resolved, there's an awfu lot left to be dealt with. It also reminded me slightly of Half Bad - no bad thing, but I'd read that first and I kept hearing echoes of it through the book.
The characterisation is good, as is the depiction of the racism directed towards all people with witchy connections, even those who aren't witches themselves but happen to have a cousin who is. There's some pretty big betrayals revealed, predjudices to overcome, some nastiness, and detail on how witches practice their craft. But I don't recall much humour, or laughter, or warmth (apart from a blink-and-you-miss-it example of some unexpected family love towards the end) - maybe that's why I didn't warm to this - it's all a bit down beat, and that's why I thought it a bit grown up for its YA tag.


Fruit of the Loom Tank Top Mens
Fruit of the Loom Tank Top Mens
Offered by The Prime Group
Price: £3.26

3.0 out of 5 stars Fine, but with a rather high neck line - shrank on washing at 30deg, 2 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is fine, but the neck line is very high. Sizing good, nice feel to the cotton, nice colour.

Post laundry: washed on a 30 degree cycle and this shrank - not a lot, but enough to make it no use.


Garnier Skin Naturals Ultra Lift Serum and Cream, 50 ml
Garnier Skin Naturals Ultra Lift Serum and Cream, 50 ml
Price: £10.60

2.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelmingly perfumed, it made my eyes itch and it did nothing for my skin - so not for me!, 2 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Hmmm - I'm something of a sceptic when it comes to claims about how a cream will reduce the appearance of wrinkles. But this was free, by way of the Vine programme, so I took a punt.
Point 1: as someone who tends to use unscented products, I found the perfume of this cream quite overpowering, to the extent that after about four days I stopped using it on my face and limited it to my (equally age affected) neck. That was the only way I could stand the smell.
Point 2: the few days I did use it on my face I found it irritated my eyes to the extent that after 5 or 10 minutes I had to wipe the area around my eyes to remove the cream.
Point 3: I'm not at 28 days, when I could expect my wrinkles to "appear reduced" (careful word that - appear - in other words they aren't reduced at all), but the blurb says "After 10 days, the skin looks younger. Skin radiance is revived, looking more luminous." Well no, it doesn't. It looks the same as always.


High quality mono earphone - D shape Ear piece Hook over LEFT ear - ideal for mono radios, cassette machines, security PMR, radio scanners, walkie talkies, etc (Vented Mylar speaker with anisotropic ferrite magnet) - 3.5mm jack plug lead
High quality mono earphone - D shape Ear piece Hook over LEFT ear - ideal for mono radios, cassette machines, security PMR, radio scanners, walkie talkies, etc (Vented Mylar speaker with anisotropic ferrite magnet) - 3.5mm jack plug lead
Offered by Consoletronic Ltd
Price: £5.72

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor sound quality and needs maximum output from ipod/ipad, 19 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Needs my ipod or ipad to be set to full volume to be sufficiently audible, unlike standard headphones and unlike its predecessor, something that looks very similar but unfortunately carries no makers' mark. Also, the sound quality is tinny with no bass.
Fit is very comfortable, and there's a decent length of cable


ASVP Shop® Polarised Overglasses - Sunglasses to Wear Over Glasses - For Driving, Cycling, Fishing etc. UVA / UVB Protection (Tortoise)
ASVP Shop® Polarised Overglasses - Sunglasses to Wear Over Glasses - For Driving, Cycling, Fishing etc. UVA / UVB Protection (Tortoise)
Offered by ASVP Shop

5.0 out of 5 stars Great - do exactly what they claim., 19 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great - fit over my large specs (width across top 14cm, lens depth 4.3cm) easily and comfortably. They work just fine for driving, removing all the glare and reflection from the screen. Tint is gradated, so less at the bottom. They need a case of some sort as I think they'll scratch easily, but these are just what I needed.


Dark Horse (Class 5 Series Book 1)
Dark Horse (Class 5 Series Book 1)
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, readable book with an engaging heroine, 1 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really enjoyed this! It’s vaguely reminded me of Ann McCaffrey’s novel Restoree - a young woman snatched from Earth by aliens and transported to their world, who not only survives, but uses her innate intelligence to thrive.

You have to accept that the aliens Rose encounters, and their worlds, are essentially human, with duplicitous behaviour, racism, recognisable toilets, similar food, tablets for reading and communication, a language Rose quickly becomes totally fluent in… Sure its unlikely, but this is fiction, and I had no problem reading and enjoying this.

I really liked the music angle. Rose’s aliens revere music, have only a very few music-makers in any generation, and they treat music with (very) serious veneration. Rose on the other hand likes to sing, she sings Row Row Row Your Boat to a baby, she sings pop songs, traditional songs, she even at one point uses a tablet to make her own music - all to the stunned awe of whoever hears her - even her spoken voice delights them.

There was one lovely little bit early on where the alien is describing what his ship does, which is explore their galaxy, that prompts a flash of humour in Rose. The moment is unexplained, and the plot moves on, but when I stopped and thought about it, I decided it had to be a Star Trek, “boldly go” association. What I liked was that the author left it to the reader to spot the moment, and make of it what they would.

This is a readable, engaging book, that could easily spawn a sequel or two, well worth its pennies, and one I’ll be sure to re-read.


Black-Eyed Susans
Black-Eyed Susans
by Julia Heaberlin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, not bad, and well written, 30 July 2015
This review is from: Black-Eyed Susans (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is well written, with solid characterisation, good descriptive writing, no clunky dialogue, or pages of ‘He said, she said’, but I found it a bit slow to develop. I recall being about a third of the way through and thinking it needed to move on a bit. The alternating chapters between Tessa, in the present day, and 17 year-old Tessie in 1995 got a bit annoying at times - just as something interesting was happening the chapter ended, and I found I was bolting through some to get back to the ‘other’ story’’, sometimes only to find that the ‘other’ story had moved on. There are a few chapters that aren’t Tessa or Tessie - transcripts from the original trial, and a third character acquires a voice towards the end. And then there are the murmuring Susans…

The psychological element of this isn’t massive - Tessa is clearly a damaged soul so there’s always uncertainty over how much of her worry is internal, or real. The modern-day plot line around the approaching death of the convicted perpetrator (some latter chapters are headed ’17 days to execution, 9 days to execution) conveys the increasing desperation of those fighting for a stay of execution well. Lydia, a school friend, features much in the Tessie chapters, and questions start to build in your head about her. Tessa’s daughter and ex are great - her daughter a typical teenager, and her ex is a decent, caring man. Not sure what the elderly lady next door brought to the overall plot - maybe just some normality?

But… I found the denouement implausible. The best psychological thrillers are, I think, quite mundane. This allows you, in your ordinary life, to almost believe in what’s happening, and that’s what has you jumping at the bump in the night, or turning the lights on when you normally don’t. This ending was too far out there. My reaction was “Oh for heaven’s sake, as if!”. I might try reading it again to see how it goes with knowledge of what’s to come, and see how the author sets the ending up. If I find it improves I'll re-post!


Of Swine and Roses
Of Swine and Roses
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable short story with a slight connection to the authors' Hidden Legacy books, 28 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A short but sweet story about how doing your duty when you really don’t want to might, just might, not end you up where you expected.

I was reminded of this story, which I first read a while ago, when searching the authors’ website to find out when their next Hidden Legacy novel is due out. And what I read was:

“It began years ago with a short story called Of Swine and Roses.  It’s a story of girl from a world where magic is a normal, every-day thing and her disastrous date.  There was something oddly compelling about the worldbuilding we did for that short.  Magic exists in the world, magic is hereditary, and family business often revolves around the family magic.  Imagine that you a pyrokinetic, a fire mage who can create heat and flame out of nothing.  Let’s say you become a glass maker.  You’re able to precisely apply just enough of the right kind of heat to create beautiful glass pieces.  Your children are pyrokinetics too.  Perhaps they follow in your footsteps or perhaps they choose to go into metallurgy or enlist in military forces and become a combat operative.
It’s such a simple idea but it allows for so much flexibility and conflict.  It lends itself to a vibrant, fresh world.
We left the story alone and moved on to other ideas.”

So I bought the story, and read it with an eye to the world in Burn For Me… If you’re a fan, give it a go!


The Martian
The Martian
by Andy Weir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ab-so-lut-ely brilliant!, 9 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Martian (Paperback)
Ab-so-lut-ely brilliant! Intelligent, resorseful man using his brains to survive - brilliant.


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