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Bloch .524 Criss Cross Dance Sneaker
Bloch .524 Criss Cross Dance Sneaker
Price: £26.95 - £35.95

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Zumba, 12 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been going to Zumba classes for about 4 months now wearing standard trainers which always felt a little heavy and "clumpy". Having looked at the reviews on this site I decided to try the Bloch 524 Criss Cross Dance sneaker. Ordered on Monday, arrived on Wednesday - excellent delivery times, delighted with how quickly they arrived!. I'm usually a size 5.5 - 6 but ordered a 6.5 based on previous reviews and I think I did the right thing. The shoes fit like a glove, with some space at the toe for movement. They are really comfy. I wore them at my Zumba class this morning and really noticed the difference in weight between these and my normal trainers. Because these are light yet grippy I can move quicker and feel as though I'm getting a much better workout.

I just wish I'd bought a pair sooner. I love them!!!


Eat Your Veg: More than a vegetarian cookbook, with vegetable recipes and feasts
Eat Your Veg: More than a vegetarian cookbook, with vegetable recipes and feasts
by Arthur Potts Dawson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes vegetables the star of the show. A must buy...., 23 May 2012
I love growing my own vegetables. There's nothing quite like the thrill of wandering down to the veg plot with a garden fork and digging up half a dozen potatoes for tea. In the winter and early spring the veg patch pickings are a little meagre, and at the moment I am enjoying the contents of a weekly veg box delivery. This means that each week I have no excuse for getting my 5 a day BUT have to find yummy recipes to make the most of the box.

I was lucky enough to be sent Arthur Potts Dawson's book Eat Your Veg by Octopus Publishing to review and I was immediately struck with how bright and colourful the cover looks.

The book is split into five sections: Roots & Tubers, Bulbs & Stems, Leaves & Flowers, Fruits and Fungi & Beans & Pods. Each of these sections includes various skills and feasts such as Mash, Gratin & Pickle - all of which are very useful core skills to have. At the rear of the book is the obligatory index which is equally useful if you know exactly what vegetable you wish to use and just want a relevant recipe.

The introduction also has a handy section detailing What's Best When. I try to eat as seasonally as I can, and try to grow as much as I can. It's so useful to have a quick reference guide for the vegetables that I either don't or can't grow, or for a special recipe

In this weeks veg box we received some celeriac and had no idea what to do with it. The index gave me six options, and we decided to try celeriac remoulade.

Towards the back of the book there is a brilliant Basics section which contains recipes for pastry, stocks, sauces and dressings.
We found the mayonnaise recipe slightly harder to follow - but it was well worth it in the end.

We teamed our Remoulade with some cheese, boiled eggs and salad

There are so many recipes in the book which I am looking forward to trying- some more unusual than others. My book keeps falling open at the recipe for Iced pea and mint lollipops which sound very interesting.

This book is a very useable resource and one which will be my first port of call for vegetable main courses or sides. It is easy to read, has bright clear pictures and gives inspiration for even the most unusual vegetable.

Definately a book for everyone who enjoys a good meal.


Stevie Parle's Dock Kitchen Cookbook: Real Home Cooking from Around the World
Stevie Parle's Dock Kitchen Cookbook: Real Home Cooking from Around the World
by Stevie Parle
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Restaurant quailty recipes at home, 23 May 2012
This is a gorgeously sumptuous looking book. It has a padded cover which begs to be held and have time spent with it. The cover wrap has quotes from both Yotam Ottolenghi & Jay Rayner, both of who I respect greatly for their food wisdom, which gets the book off to a great start.

The book highly promotes seasonal cookery. Recipes are featured in the season when the ingredients are at their best. The treat of having one recipe per page with a colour photograph of the finished product on the opposite page is a real luxury. The result of the presentation of the recipes means that the book easy to read, and refer to.

The book is for those who are passionate about cooking and eating. I think they are perfect for a special occasion meal.

Many of the recipes sound really decadent:

Chicken roasted in mastic and pomegranate molasses with braised broad beans,

Cuttlefish Tagine and

Mexican Octopus and pork crackling with tomato salsa

I love the idea of cooking all these at home, and this book has given me the opportunity to recreate restaurant dining at home in my country kitchen.

This is a unique book, with unusual recipes and flavours which is great if you're looking for something a little different from the norm.

Full of inspirational recipes the book would be perfect for the kitchen, or the coffee table. Either way it's a must read for all foodies.

This book was kindly sent to me to review by Quadrille Publishing.


Yesterday's Sun
Yesterday's Sun
by Amanda Brooke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great book - just don't be put off by comparisons to other authors, 9 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Yesterday's Sun (Paperback)
Holly & Tom move to a rural English village to begin their new life together. Holly's unhappy childhood haunts her, but with Tom's family background she believes she can move on with her life. Her job as a sculpter allows her to spend time getting to know her new environment and make friends with a past occupant of her house. Tom is a journalist whose job takes him away from Holly for long periods of time, leaving her to make the biggest decision of her life without him.

Holly discovers a moondial half buried at the bottom of her garden which takes her into a future where Tom and their beautiful baby daughter live, but where she is absent. Holly has a choice to make - does she save herself, or the life of the baby she has already fallen in love with.

This novel is the debut from the author and is inspired by her own personal torment when her son died prematurely. It is written with great feeling and emotion from the author, that left me feeling very sad in places for all the characters, as it is not just Holly who has demons to battle with. This book does not have a happy ending, nor a conclusive one. It is a sad ending, but satisfying to the reader.

The thing that sets it apart from so many other books in the "tragedy/drama" genre is the use of the moondial. The supernatural element describes the future/and the past excellently and works well in this context.

This book is featured as one of the eight books selected in Richard and Judy's Spring Book Club 2012. I enjoy looking at the books featured in this list as it rarely disappoints. The choices they make encourage me to try authors and books I would not normally read, and this book falls into this category. I usually prefer my books to be less emotional, however I'm pleased to say I was glad I didn't judge this book by its cover as it was well worth the read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2012 6:33 PM GMT


Death Sentence
Death Sentence
by Mikkel Birkegaard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted, 27 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Death Sentence (Paperback)
Frank Fons is a very successful crime writer. His books are famed for their shock factor and now someone has recreated a murder scene straight from one of his novels. Frank needs to become detective and try to work out who is committing the crime before it's too late.

This is a really well written novel which is not for the faint hearted, It's a fast paced story which is full of details of each of Frank's novels through his career. Frank's personal life is also explored in the book and the flashbacks of his family life is interspersed with details of his book publications. This is a very graphic and brutal story with some of the violent scenes proving a little bit too much for me. I have to admit that although the ending itself was well written, I could only skim read it through my fingers as it really was gruesome.

Was the gore necessary? Yes it probably was (if you can cope with it!!), as it was the climax to a nailbiting book which kept the reader guessing to the end - and beyond.

I loved the book, even through the skim reading and therefore give it 4.5 out of five.

I look forward to reading more of this author in the future.

I'm a member of the Transworld Book Group and was sent this book to review by Transworld


The Water Room: (Bryant & May Book 2)
The Water Room: (Bryant & May Book 2)
by Christopher Fowler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Water Room, 2 Oct. 2011
This is the second book in the series. I have not read the first, but it did not seem to matter. There were references to the first which got me up to speed with the back-story of the two main characters.

London's two longest serving detectives Bryant and May are like chalk and cheese, both completely different characters who work tremendously well as a team. The Peculiar Crime Unit is an offshoot of the Met, set up to deal with those crimes which don't quite fit the 'normal' remit. They find themselves investigating an unusual death of an old lady in her basement which leads to them going deep into the underground rivers beneath London.

This is a wonderful crime novel with wonderful colourful characterisations of both Bryant & May but the mix of individuals they meet along the way. Both detectives are eccentric, the reader learns so much about them with the intricate details given about their lives. The eccentricities add to the drama & by the end of the book I felt as though I almost knew what made them tick.

This is quirky intelligent crime drama. It is very well written with lots of weird and wonderful facts about London. I loved the pace of the book which kept me wanting to keep reading to wonder what on earth was next on their agenda. Very much recommended.

I'm a member of the Transworld Book Group and was sent this book to review by Transworld


Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising Trilogy 1)
Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising Trilogy 1)
by Lee Carroll
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Black Swan Rising, 7 Sept. 2011
Garet James lives in New York, with an elderly father, money worries and a struggling business. She discovers an antique shop one day whilst out walking and that's when her problems intensify.
The old man in the shop asks her to use her skills as a jeweller to open an old silver box which has been sealed shut. She takes it home, opens the box, and a whole new parallel world.
Her destiny and history is revealed to her by a number of characters which make themselves known to her, and it becomes a race against time to close the box and capture the demons of Despair and Discord before the world is changed forever.

The story is filled with twists and turns, with plenty of new characters revealing themselves to Garet along the way. There is a hint of romance with a vampire, which felt like a token gesture relying on the current public favour for vamps, and this does distract from the underlying fantasy/mystery theme. However the scenes set by the author are at times breathtaking, and I found myself on tenterhooks to see whether Garet managed to battle the demons threatening the world. There are great references to mythology and literature, but as the authors are American there is an over-emphasis on the explanations of Shakespeare and his characters.

Good concept, slow start, but the story certainly developed after a few chapters. The 'author' is a husband and wife team - Carol Goodman and Lee Slonimsky which may be why the writing at times felt a little patched together

Overall a good enjoyable read particularly recommended to lovers of urban fantasy.

'I'm part of the Transworld book group!' and was sent this book to review by Transworld.


Sacrifice
Sacrifice
by Sharon Bolton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars A chilling read, 29 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Sacrifice (Paperback)
This book covers a deeply chilling subject, and one which some may not wish to read about. The author tackles it well, and it makes for an exciting and chilling read.

The negatives: The main character Tora seems a little unbelieveable, one minute she has a high powered job as a Consultant Surgeon, then next she is running around the countryside like daft teenager. I found the overly descriptive parts of the book off putting at times. I would rather have had the information about the location of the islands by way of a map at the front of the book

The positives: The author writes in a compelling way which makes it hard for the reader to put the book down, and I was fascinated by the descriptions of the ancient runes and their meanings. The setting is in contemporary Britain, but often felt like another world, as the different landscapes and folklore just adds to the chills.

I would have liked to have read more about the "folklore" and less about the relationship between Tora and her boss, however this is a book which kept me interested right up to the final page, and made me want to learn more about Shetland folklore

This is the debut novel by SJ Bolton and I am lucky enough to have her next novel "Awakening" waiting on my "to be read" pile. I look forward to it.


The Chemistry Of Death
The Chemistry Of Death
by Simon Beckett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A good start to the series, 6 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Chemistry Of Death (Paperback)
Forensics expert David Hunter retreats to the remote Norfolk village of Manham to escape from a family tragedy. By taking up a job as the local Doctor he believes his old life can be left behind. However when a local woman is murdered, the police are desperate for his help. When it happens again, and the tight knit community worry that a serial killer is on the loose his assistance is invaluable. The villagers become suspicious of each other and no one is exempt from investigation.

This novel started really well, but I found it hard to get into until the pace picked up towards the middle of the book. There is a "love interest: which I often dislike, however I felt tied in well with the story and helped make David a little less one dimensional. I didn't feel as though I knew any of the characters very well, as the novel wasn't particularly descriptive.
I was concerned this would be a gory novel, which is not something I enjoy reading, however the level of gore was contained and not over the top. It was much more Midsomer Murders than Silent Witness!

The level of intrigue intensified half way through the book, and I was glad of this as the red herrings and story developments made me want to keep reading, and the ending was very well written.

A good start to the "David Hunter" series of novels. This is an enjoyable easy read, which sets the stage well for his subsequent investigations.


Echoes From The Dead: Oland Quartet series 1
Echoes From The Dead: Oland Quartet series 1
by Johan Theorin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Scandinavian crime, 20 Feb. 2011
The island of Oland off the south eastern coast of Sweden is the setting for this mystery. Twenty years ago a child goes missing, his body is never found. His mother now lives on the mainland, but his grandfather a retired sea captain still lives on the island. When the little boys shoe is posted to the old man, questions and answers seem destined to be asked

This novel won the CWA Best First Crime Novel of 2009 and is well deserved. The little boy goes missing in the fog, and it is this bleakness that permeates through the book. The plot twists and turns allow the story to move at a good pace, with several shock developments. The characters were well rounded and showed that all of them had secrets, some more important to keep to themselves than others.

As a fan of Nordic crime I thoroughly recommend this novel. It's well written, has a good storyline and kept me guessing right to the end. I will certainly be looking for the authors next book.


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