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Sonia "EastEndLass" (London, UK)

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Fitbit One Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker
Fitbit One Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker
Price: £64.95 - £208.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent motivation!, 16 Mar 2014
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I had a Zip, but passed it onto my friend and invested in a One for the sleep tracker as I suffer from terrible sleep patterns!

Since having a Fitbit, I have definitely changed my lifestyle. For instance, I just noticed that I was only on 9,000 steps - so went for a quick wander up and down my street to achieve my daily goal of 10,000.

When I leave it at home, I feel bereft. Love it!


Back to Creative Writing School
Back to Creative Writing School
Price: £1.70

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty lessons from a passionate teacher, 30 Dec 2013
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Last year I did a couple of terms-worth of creative writing courses at City Lit.

I was excruciatingly nervous about this, having not written anything `creative' for years - and definitely not being a college kind of girl. However, all of my fears were soon put to rest by our wonderful tutor, Bridget Whelan.

She was unfortunately unable to take our class for the second term, and I think the all of the students that had continued missed her a great deal.

For me, one of the best parts of Bridget's classes were the exercises that she used to set within the lesson, to get our creative juices flowing - and I was especially pleased to recognise some of these in the creative writing book that she has just published.

The book is set into three terms, each consisting of ten lessons and gives not only tools and exercises to help writers work on their creativity, but also warns of some of the pitfalls.

I am in the lucky position of being able to `hear' Bridget throughout the book - but I think her warmth, wit and genuine love of writing and writers comes across in every page. Bridget has taught many creative writing students, and I think you can really tell from her style that she's enjoyed this, as above all it's fun! And fun definitely helps!

This is a fantastic book for writers at any stage - whether you're trying for the first time to get something onto a pristeen page, looking for a little inspiration or (like me) need to kick your arse into gear to actually write something when you thought your creativity well may have run dry.

As she says, this book will NOT enable you to write a bestseller in a weekend, win competitions or become a rich and famous novelist, but it will certainly help set you on the path, and steer you away from some of the more dangerous obstacles.


Air France Music, Vol. 2
Air France Music, Vol. 2
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected hit for me, 27 Dec 2013
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I originally bought this album as I had been looking for a place I could buy 'Thirteen Thirty-Five' by Dillon, and the album caught my eye.

I'm a lover of music that's a bit different, and love breathy french accents - and this album hasn't disappointed me.

Every track is completely different, and yet they all work together (even on shuffle)which is what you want from a compilation album.

The problem is, I can't find any evidence that there has ever been a Volume 1. And not a Volume 3? Why not?!


You Me Bullets Love
You Me Bullets Love
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £23.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Tarantino Meets Bollywood, 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: You Me Bullets Love (Audio CD)
I ordered this album while I was sitting in a field at WOMAD listening to them live - that's the impact they had on me.

The album doesn't disappoint, an odd cross of Tarantino meets Bollywood, which somehow really works from this Aussie band.


Tales Of A Grasswidow
Tales Of A Grasswidow
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully unique, 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Tales Of A Grasswidow (Audio CD)
Having seen CocoRosie live twice over the past 15 months, I am now a firm fan, and their latest gig included many tracks from this album. Mad, ethereal, urban and unqiue, they can do no wrong in my eyes


A Chattering Of Birds
A Chattering Of Birds
Price: £12.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful soulful voice, 7 Aug 2013
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This review is from: A Chattering Of Birds (Audio CD)
Absolutely loved this album - such a variety of styles and sounds, but all with a voice as smooth as honey :)


Invitation to Die (Emily Castles Mysteries)
Invitation to Die (Emily Castles Mysteries)
Price: £3.49

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worrying and thrilling reading for a book reviewer ;), 1 Jun 2013
"We would like to invite you to come to London to meet my agent, Lex Millington, of Millington Bussell, for afternoon tea and a chat about the publishing business at this year's Romance Writers of Great Britain conference, which will be held at the Coram Hotel in Bloomsbury, London."

I was offered a chance to read a review copy of Invitation To Die by Helen Smith. I've reviewed her previous books Alison Wonderland and Being Light, which I absolutely loved.

Invitation To Die is apparently the first full-length story starring Emily Castles (she has already appeared in novellas Three Sisters and Showstoppers but these don't need to be read to enjoy this book). I have to admit that I haven't read these, but I may well go back and do so!

Twenty-something Emily Castles is unemployed, and so when romance author Morgana Blake offers her a job helping out at a conference in London, she readily accepts.

However, when American blogger and book reviewer Winnie Kraster accepts an invitation to the same conference, she doesn't realise she has made a fatal mistake.

The Romance Writers of Great Britain's annual conference atrracts its usual oddball characters - the authors, and for the first time book review bloggers, but a real-life murder mystery becomes the theme this year, rather than lust and love.

Emily Castles starts half-heartedly investigating the increasingly strange and suspicious goings-on of the conference attendees, making notes in her `sleuth' notebook. But can she in fact manage to solve the case?

The two previous Helen Smith books that I have read have been a little surreal, whimsical and slightly odd. This book, although featuring larger than life characters who act in slightly strange ways doesn't seem to carry that little bit of magic - it felt far more of a conventional murder mystery.

I'm not saying that it wasn't good - it was very good indeed, and I loved the characters, but there wasn't that little element of whimsy that I was secretly craving.

I loved the way that it felt almost like a modern day Agatha Christie. All the characters were assembled and quite captive, and were all addressed at the end by the sleuth, suggesting and then discounting why various people could and then weren't the killer!

An intelligent, likeable contemporary heroine and a clever plotline. Being a book reviewer, it felt particularly poignant - and makes me very wary of giving bad reviews in the future ;)


One Step Too Far
One Step Too Far
by Tina Seskis
Edition: Paperback

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average chick-lit, 12 April 2013
This review is from: One Step Too Far (Paperback)
I was lucky to get this as a review copy.

We meet Emily as she is boarding a train to London, early one morning. She is running away from her home and family in Manchester - obviously with a very heavy heart.

She isn't just running away, she is starting over. Trying to become a new person, including taking on a new name. But why would a bright young woman - a wife, a mother - leave her family, her beautiful home, her career and the life that she has?

We go back to the circumstances of Emily's birth and her twin sister Caroline, who seems like the negative of her. Caroline seems to have `been trouble' her whole life, and this has obviously had some kind of effect on Emily and her own life.

As Emily arrives in London and finds a new home, friends and job (a little too easily for my liking!), we realise that she is desperately depressed and that there is something in particular that has forced her away from the family that she loves...and that Caroline seems to be at the centre of it.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be your average chick-lit type "girl starts over, and look at the fun she has along the way before she realises that what she had was better" kind of book, but it was a lot deeper than that.

It deals with a far darker side of life really - and even when Emily seems to be on an upward spiral, she is spiralling downward at the same time.

I was gripped from the beginning, wanting to know what had happened, how any mother could leave their small child in that way, what Caroline could possibly have done and whether Emily would ever let her family know that she was OK in London.

Cleverly written, with unexpected twists and turns that keep you turning the pages (or in my case, clicking the button!)


Monster Pet Shop
Monster Pet Shop
Price: £0.00

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet, 9 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Monster Pet Shop (App)
Love it. Originally got it for my daughter to play but am loving it myself! Very very addictive. I am preparing to lose hours!


Switched: Book One in the Trylle Trilogy (Trylle Trilogy 1)
Switched: Book One in the Trylle Trilogy (Trylle Trilogy 1)
Price: £0.94

4.0 out of 5 stars suspend disbelief and enjoy the fairytale, 18 Aug 2012
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Back at the start of the year, I kept seeing posters for this on the Tube. I thought that they were quite intriguing, but with my ever-growing `To Read' pile, I just stuck it on my wishlist to remind me later and didn't think any more of it.

Strangely, I then read Hollowland without making the connection that it was by the same author.

I ended up buying it when it was just 69p from Amazon - and it was more than worth every penny :D Although I didn't originally buy it with my (now) 13 year old daughter in mind, it became clear from the start that she would enjoy it. I mean, what young girl doesn't secretly harbour the dream that their parents aren't REALLY their parents, and that some day they will turn up, ready to whisk them away to a better life - preferably one where they are rich...or even better, a princess!

This is the basis for Switched - it's a proper modern day fairytale.

Wendy Everly has always felt that she doesn't quite fit in. Not just at school, but also with her family - nothing bringing that feeling to her more than when her mother tried to kill her when she was just six years old, claiming that she had been switched at birth and was no child of hers.

When her mother is put into a mental institution, Wendy and her ever-protective brother end up living with their aunt. We join her as a moody teen - never quite able to cope with High School, so she has been thrown out of a few of them. She has a bit of a temper problem, and is rather disconcerted that occasionally people seem to do what she `wills' them to.

And then cute, mysterious Finn turns up at school, and her whole world is turned upside-down. He informs her that although hard to believe, she isn't even actually human. She isa changeling. A troll. No, she doesn't have green skin or anything, but they are both from a race called Trylle, and she isn't just any Trylle, she is heir to the throne. And it is time for her to come home.

This series seems to divide readers - and if I wasn't easily swayed by a pretty cover (go on - judge me!), I may not have actually read it for myself.

However, I am so glad I did. If you suspend disbelief (this is a fairytale!!) and read it with an open mind, it's a lovely, easy-to-read story. And is full of hidden morals of being true to yourself, not changing for anyone and trusting your instincts. It is a perfect YA book, and I reckon my girl will love it.

It's like a `lighter' side of Twilight, without all the sullen, gothy teenagers. There's still a bit of `first romance' angst, but nothing like the awful Bella / Edward stuff!

It's not the best written book in the world, but the characters are believable enough, and it is a very quick read. Real escapism - if that's your thing! I immediately bought the next book!


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