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Reviews Written by
Marie Harbon (Nottingham, UK)

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The Day I Washed My Face In The Toilet
The Day I Washed My Face In The Toilet

4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and entertaining read, 2 Sept. 2013
This book revolves around Monica's dsyfunctional and outrageous family, while she herself is relatively normal. They're going to a wedding in England, and then stay with her batty grandma. It's a witty and entertaining read, styled almost like a diary or blog, although it doesn't have a strong plot as such. There are some great moments involving a grandma that would slot right into the UK comedy 'Absolutely Fabulous', an American girl's first curry flatulence, and a stalking bull. The reason for the title becomes apparent at the end.

I think this would make a great read for the plane, train or beach, and it would suit both teens and adults. The title is really eye catching although I'm not sure the front cover image is particularly appealing.

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


Life Management (The Feel Good Factory)
Life Management (The Feel Good Factory)
Price: £4.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy guide to overhaul your life, 2 Sept. 2013
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This is a great little book about discovering yourself, your passion and your focus in life. The hints and tips are both motivational and achievable, and the book includes a few questionnaires about where you are, how you manage your time, and how you approach your health. It covers a wide range of topics that affect well-being, including diet and exercise in addition to self-esteem and work/life balance. There are also tips on time management, avoiding debt, and last but not least, how to achieve a successful relationship. This book is a handy guide for anyone who wants to overhaul and kickstart their life, perhaps those who haven't read too deeply into life coaching just yet.


Doha 12
Doha 12
Price: £2.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Has potential but needs re-working, 21 May 2013
This review is from: Doha 12 (Kindle Edition)
Mossad uses the identities of Jake Eldar and Miriam Schaffer in a plot to assassinate a Hezbollah commander in Doha, Qatar. However, Hezbollah plans to kill them both and ten other innocents - the Doha 12 of the title.

The first few chapters were tempting and the story easy to follow. We meet them both and are introduced to their lives, however, although they are supposed to be the two lead protagonists, they have so few scenes in the first 25% of the book (which is the point where I gave up).

All the chapters are short and one after the other, they feature different characters each time. The story flits from locations, secondary characters and points of view like a butterfly with ADHD. The book has a sprawling cast, and to be honest, it's just too sprawling. If it wasn't for the blurb, I wouldn't have known who the main protagonists actually were. It's difficult to keep up with the constant location/character/point of view shifts and I got exasperated a quarter of the way into the book. As a reader, there's little opportunity to get to know Jake or Miriam, therefore, you can't engage with the characters or the story, or care about them. Because of the constant jumping around, you forget what the hell is going on in these people's lives.

I think this story has potential. Although I didn't realise Jake's wife had been murdered until after the event, the author dealt with the aftermath effectively. There are also some interesting points of view regarding the Hezbollah guys' thoughts about western women, and I like that the author remained quite impartial on the subject of Mossad/Hezbollah.

This story needs to be re-worked so that readers get to know Jake and Miriam early in the story. We need to see the events more through their eyes, otherwise the author may lose his readers' interest.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.


Reform
Reform

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great as a political commentary, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: Reform (Kindle Edition)
Many of the author's opinions and concerns are spot on, also very current. I think this reads more as a political commentary and less like a short story, described through the point of view of Lily, the main protagonist. We understand her background and develop sympathy for her character through her explanations of how society arrived at this state of zero compassion. The first chunk of the book came across as more of an essay, although I enjoyed the actual story once it kicked into gear. The ending seemed to lack punch and vision, for all the main political parties are merely puppets of corporations and bankers, so none will remedy the situation in favour of the people. I'd recommend this for readers interested in current affairs, activism and political awareness. Not for readers of The Sun!


The Secret Gospels of Jesus - The Truth in the Fiction of Christianity (a real story of a path of awakening)
The Secret Gospels of Jesus - The Truth in the Fiction of Christianity (a real story of a path of awakening)

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking modern day gospel, 4 May 2013
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This is a gospel of Jesus written as if he returned to Earth in the current age. He reflects on how far modern Christianity has deviated from his original teachings, and from the truth of his life. Sometimes this is executed with humour, and in parts it could also be considered controversial when compared with the church sanctioned version of Christianity we have. Therefore, I'd recommend it for those with an open mind and not orthodox followers of Jesus. At times, I found it really thought provoking and enlightening, other times I just enjoyed how the author disassembled traditional religious thought. Many salient points raised for the 21st century.


John the barman
John the barman
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and likeable tale, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: John the barman (Kindle Edition)
Quirky and likeable short story featuring a host of gods and divine creatures who frequent a working class pub. Meet Lucifer, who is misunderstood and would rather not preside over hell and Death, as you gain sympathy for his dating problems. John the Barman combines oddball comedy and political satire, with a little dig at religion. This short also has scope for a longer novella or sequel, and I'd love to see a bar room brawl with this cast of characters! My only criticism is that although the story is entitled 'John the Barman', this character often seems secondary.


For You (New Adult Erotic Romance) (Runaway Lies)
For You (New Adult Erotic Romance) (Runaway Lies)
Price: £3.03

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet erotic romance with a darker edge, 26 April 2013
'For You' is an erotic romance featuring the tale of Aubrey and Sawyer, two young people with baggage, good hearts and a load of secrets. Aubrey acts as mother to her little sister and pretends to be married, a ruse to keep guys at arm's length as she lacks trust in the opposite sex. Sawyer seems like a good humoured bad boy, with a few secrets of his own, plus a talent for art. However, does he believe her ruse?

The pacing is pleasant, although it's not a quick read. For some reason, I felt the need to absorb it slowly and take everything in. It has a darker edge in comparison with Mimi's other stories, but this allows her to explore and portray a girl on the edge, barely coping with the responsibility of being a parent, containing her secrets and closing herself off to a relationship we know could change her life for the better.

Mimi has worked hard to develop her writing and characters. It's easy to get involved in Aubrey's world, which is laced with dark flashbacks, adding intrigue to the story and character arc. You often find yourself urging her to 'just go for it!' Sawyer's character is sometimes a little insecure and his love for Aubrey is clear, especially through the use of his personal narrative used in the story. I think this works well in most places, often moving the story along in ways that adds a twist.

My only criticism would be that while we learn Aubrey's secret, it didn't feel quite as climactic as it could have been. While Sawyer's secrets were hinted at, they were never really resolved, or underdeveloped. The ending was satisfactory, although needed just a little more bang.

Otherwise, this story and the characters will stay with you after you've finished. Highly recommended.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.


Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind
Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind
by Graham Hancock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and thought provoking, 25 April 2013
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A well researched and thought provoking concept. This was one of the books I used to research my novel series 'Seven Point Eight'. Hancock uses a blend of his own experiments with psychedelic compounds and the history of shamanism. It also covers UFO folklore and faery mythology, which is put into context along with aspects of neuroscience.

He draws much of his key research from the work of Rick Strassman and his experiments with DMT, so readers who enjoyed Hancock's book should check out 'DMT: The Spirit Molecule' too. However, Hancock develops this further by personally experimenting with a range of hallucinogenic compounds. His experiences make fascinating reading and push us to question the concept of 'reality'.

The only negative is that at times, it was repetitive so it could have benefited from downsizing a little. But otherwise, an enthralling read.


Taken: Menage Romance
Taken: Menage Romance
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Juicy and titillating, 25 April 2013
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Juicy F-F/ M-F-F piece of erotica. I think some reviewers try to analyse the story too much, but I found it to be sexy and well written. Some of the conversational scenes were a little pedestrian and I found myself skipping a few of these pages, but otherwise, the book delivered what it set out to achieve - provide some late night titillation.


Lipstick and Knickers
Lipstick and Knickers
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and funny, but predictable, 25 April 2013
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Humorous, well written and entertaining, I did enjoy this story and liked the style. Unfortunately, I did find it predictable and the ending was a bit of an anti-climax.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2013 10:58 PM BST


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