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Reviews Written by
JK "Julie K." (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

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White Crocodile
White Crocodile
by K. T. Medina
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Punchy, intriguing thriller with great scene setting., 28 Aug 2014
This review is from: White Crocodile (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For the first time in a long time I found a book I didn't want to rush through because I didn't want it to end. Nothing here is written to formula and there are no easy guesses. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

Key character, Tess Hardy, is a tough cookie. Perhaps not as tough as she likes to think!. Tess has had a rough time. She suffered violence at the hands of a husband she can no longer love and he is soon to lose his life under what appear to be mysterious circumstances. That incident leads Tess far from home, out to Cambodia, where she encounters not just the imminent danger of land mine clearance but the superstition of the local people who live in awe of the 'White Crocodile'. There's a great blend of myth versus fact. Somewhere the lines becomes oddly blurred when a young woman is murdered and a trail of missing girls from Cambodia might just lead Tess to the answers she seeks and, perhaps some she doesn't.

That's about as far as i can go without giving anything away but; there's so much more to this richly woven tale.

From it's wonderfully evoked scene setting to it's sense of pace and intrigue 'White Crocodile' is a novel I'm willing to recommend to anyone who enjoys an intelligent,punchy thriller with a first class heroine.


Melissa & Doug Makea Face Sticker Pad Crazy Animals
Melissa & Doug Makea Face Sticker Pad Crazy Animals
Price: 4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Fierce creatures with holes in their faces - not for us., 28 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of the creepiest things I've seem aimed at the young children market. Maybe it's just me!. A large sized sticker pad with 20 cartoon animal backgrounds and 170 stickers. The unfinished animal portraits have blanked out spaces for their eyes, ears, noses and mouths. They look quite scary. The stickers comprise of the the missing pieces; eyeballs, teeth, ears, noses for example. There's nothing cute and cuddly about these creatures. Even when they're finished they look fierce and have a psychedelic, over bright, appearance that's going to put some younger children off. This is however a quality product with plenty of interaction and lots of larger stickers. My grandchildren don't like it and, to be honest, neither do I. 3* represents the quality of the product but for personal enjoyment I wouldn't go more than 2*.


Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Fairies
Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Fairies
Price: 4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Large size & lots of stickers but not enough scenes and dull., 28 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad is a large size and consists of five different scenes (fairy village, pond, tree house, wildflower garden, and twilight scene) plus 200 stickers on five sheets. Each of the sticker sheets corresponds to one of the five scenes.

I'm not bowled over by this item for several reasons;

There aren't enough scenes to keep children interested.
The paint effects are heavy and dark.
Lots of the stickers are tiny and much too small for little fingers to handle without tearing.

The whole thing's understated to the point of being dull and there's absolutely no fairy dust or sparkle here. When children think 'fairies' they think of Tinkerbell, Castles and Wicked Witches not digging the garden and playing the guitar!. I'm seriously underwhelmed. Good quality but can't give more than 3*.


The Doll Maker (Byrne and Balzano)
The Doll Maker (Byrne and Balzano)
by Richard Montanari
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Some unique twists and turns and plenty of dark and creepy., 26 Aug 2014
I haven't read any of the other books in the Byrne/Balzano series. The Doll Maker works quite well as a stand-alone, a one off, and I didn't feel lost in the plot. There's enough back history to guide you over the gaps between 'then and now'. Of course it's better to read a series in the proper order but if you haven't then don't worry too much. I didn't have any major problems.

Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano are the two central detectives. They're both career driven but develop a nice blend of smart/tough with warmth. It's a sense of compassion and doing the right thing that steers their characters through the plot and I really enjoyed that twist. Made for a refreshing change and adds great contrast to the creepy, cold murder scenes. I also the enjoyed the slow uncovering of secrets and lies in the lives of those close to the victims and the emerging story of 'Valerie' currently awaiting the death sentence. These interwoven strands are well placed and the intrigue keeps coming.

There are a couple of truly eccentric characters haunting the book from the start. They bring in the creepy and nasty elements. Richard Montanari works in some nice Gothic elements in a couple of those scenes. Lots of shadow and shade.

The Doll Maker is intriguing. There's always a formula to writing this type of serial killer novel but Montanari has added enough unique twists and turns it's hard not to get involved with the plot; although I was always pretty sure how it would end.

Not at all bad. Certainly entertaining.


Barbie Secret Door Alexa Doll
Barbie Secret Door Alexa Doll
Price: 17.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Princess Alexa is very pretty and will sing to you., 25 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's a new DVD available - Barbie and the Secret Door. A musical adventure starring Princess Alexa and here she is. This is the Princess Alexa Barbie doll from the DVD. The doll sings two different songs from the film if you move her magic wand plus; the bodice of her dress lights up to reflect her 'magical abilities'.

Princess Alexa is quite a large doll, 22.9 x 7 x 32.4 cm, and requires 3 x LR44 batteries, included, to keep her working properly. Her voice is clear and the songs well delivered. She has an age 3+ safety recommendation.

Alexa is lovely and this singing/light effects Barbie doll has stolen the show in our house. My granddaughter loves her to the point I just ordered the DVD!.

Happy to recommend to all the 'very girly' little girls out there.


Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare Oil - 200 ml
Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare Oil - 200 ml
Price: 12.32

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great moisturiser with many benefits and it's value for money., 25 Aug 2014
My favourite skin product and I've been using it for years. It won't make scars, dark spots or stretch marks disappear but the longer you use Bio Oil the more the skin improves and problem areas are less noticeable. I use the oil on rough skin on my knees and elbows, the heels of my feet to avoid cracked skin (do it before you go to bed and remember to wear socks), and the sun damaged skin on my upper chest, we weren't 'sun aware' back in the day!. Where the oil has had an unexpected but beneficial effect is my fingernails and cuticles. My nails are no longer brittle and grow without splitting. Now that's a real bonus. Bio Oil isn't a miracle cure but it's a great moisturising product with many benefits to skin. You only need a small amount. A 200 ml bottle lasts for months which makes the product good value for money.


Chance Eau Fraiche Eau De Toilette Spray 50ML
Chance Eau Fraiche Eau De Toilette Spray 50ML
Offered by Asure Hair & Beauty
Price: 65.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Citrus notes that soften into a sweet floral - quite addictive., 25 Aug 2014
One of the nicest perfumes I've owned. Opens with lovely, sharp citrus notes and then softens into something much sweeter and more floral. Has a great lasting quality and rarely needs topping up. I wear mine all day and haven't noticed it going stale on my skin. Gloriously feminine, sophisticated and packs quite a punch without being in any way overpowering. A little goes a long way and you really don't need more than a gentle spray to get the full effect. I'm really enjoying this perfume and finding it quite addictive. Highly recommended.


My Little Pony Equestria Everyday Doll Rainbow Rocks Dash
My Little Pony Equestria Everyday Doll Rainbow Rocks Dash
Price: 12.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, punkish little doll - co-ordinates with the ponies., 24 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've been fans of My Little Pony for the last couple of years. My granddaughter has a lot of figures and accessories. I was intrigued to see Hasbro launch a series of doll figures, The Equestria Girls, to co-ordinate with the ponies.

This particular doll is wearing a 'rock chick' outfit with huge boots. Her hair is a multitude of different colours and very long just like a pony mane. Her face is actually very pretty, huge brown eyes, and she measures approx. 30.4 x 15.4 x 5.2 cm, Her arms and legs aren't jointed at elbow and knee but they do move up and down. She looks very 'ponyish' in a punky kind of way!.

The 'Equestria' dolls should be popular with My Little Pony fans and there's a whole series of them to collect but; the dolls have a safety restriction of 5 years + whereas the castles and ponies have a 3 year + age limit. There will be some disappointed 3 and 4 year olds around!.

Certainly different to look at and her hair is perfect for a game of hairdresser!.


My Little Pony Twilight Sparkles Rainbow Kingdom
My Little Pony Twilight Sparkles Rainbow Kingdom
Price: 39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very girly pink/purple/rainbow castle for those 'little ponies'., 24 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Princess Twilight Sparkles Rainbow Castle is a decent size, 51 x 38.4 x 12.4 cm, and once assembled stands firmly on a hard surface. It's 'very' little girl. If they've reached the 'pink and purple' phase they will love this toy. The castle has three floors with rooms on the first two and a balcony/outlook area on the roof. There's a long, spiral, rainbow slide reaching from floor to roof. Place Princess Twilight in the special car and off she goes down the slide or put her on the swing instead. Included with the set are a series of tiny items, book, dressing table and cabinet, that lock/unlock with a 'magic key'. There's also a set of shoes and other little bits and pieces for the special edition Twilight Sparkles Pony included in the set.

In the nicest possible way; this is just a gloriously pink and purple plastic toy aimed directly at little girls who love most things sparkly especially if there are secret bits and pieces to discover.

Nicely made, good quality toy that requires some assembly but isn't at all difficult to put together. There's an instruction book included.

Why 4* and not 5*. Should have more than just one pony figure included. One little pony is a bit mean all on it's own with no-one to play with!.


Thorntons Classics Fruits Collection 143 g
Thorntons Classics Fruits Collection 143 g
Offered by The Gift Destination
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You need a seriously sweet tooth to munch these., 23 Aug 2014
A basic box of chocs. There are 12 chocolates in total, all soft fruit centres; strawberry - 1 of each dark and milk chocolate, lemon - 1 of each dark and milk chocolate, raspberry in milk chocolate, orange truffle in dark chocolate. There's also a small taster bar of milk chocolate.

I had a bit of a problem. I have a dreadful sweet tooth but the fruit centres were too much for me. They're a traditional, old fashioned, fondant that's quite solid and feels like munching fruit flavoured icing sugar. They're OK, certainly value for money, but one was enough.

I love Thorntons Summer Fruit Truffles and expected a similar product. Disappointed and wouldn't buy again.


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