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Reviews Written by
C. J. McCarthy "CJAM" (UK)

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Life's a Beach and Then... (Liberty Sands Trilogy)
Life's a Beach and Then... (Liberty Sands Trilogy)
by Julia Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great poolside romance read, 2 July 2015
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Great to read this by the pool on holiday - it certainly made me want to book a holiday to sunnier climes! I read this during a long, hard week & really enjoyed being instantly transported to Mauritius. Julia creates a beautiful holiday idyll, describing those sacred holiday moments so well (dozing on the sun lounger, experiencing new smells/tastes, observing others). She also draws a great portrait of the UK too - the luxury of the older couple's home was great. I don't want to spoil the plot, but its twists and turns were very C21st and accurate in our modern day of technology - all relating to how you can misinterpret things, misconstrue intentions and misconceive actions.

Definitely pop on your holiday list - a great little romance that's fun. energetic and enjoyable to while away a few hours. The way that Julia keeps the chapters short, makes the action move quickly and fluidly - and you can pick up/put down without losing your focus on the plot. I particularly enjoyed the relationships: between spouses, between mother & son, between new friends.

A great first novel & look forward to the next!

The Nursery Rhyme Collection - 33 Musicians Create A Nursery Rhymes Masterpiece [2 CD's]
The Nursery Rhyme Collection - 33 Musicians Create A Nursery Rhymes Masterpiece [2 CD's]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive for all 'indie kid' parents too!, 9 Dec. 2014
As a bit of an 'indie kid' 38-year old mummy myself, this was an inspired gift for my music-loving 3 & 6 year old girls (my eldest has ASD & loves a good beat). We all LOVE it & are steadily adding to our collection of cds by the same peeps. It is really addictive - parents will be humming the rhymes in their time out like pop songs! It is really good fun - upbeat, feel-good, dance-along & really gets us all going for a dance-along, or a fail safe on a long car journey. Highly recommend. I buy loads from Amazon but rarely review - this is such a great cd, I make an exception. The best gift ever for c5years & under - and great for children's parties at home too.

One Hundred Lengths of the Pool
One Hundred Lengths of the Pool
Price: £8.99

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, 'zest for life' author - and a lively read (perfect for dipping in/out), 13 Aug. 2013
I've worked with Julia on QVC for nearly 10 years, and have known her professionally for nearly 12 years. As soon as I read her book, I could 'hear' her voice in her words - which is quite a talent. I am not a personal friend of Julia though and have never met her outside of professional situations, so this is an objective review. (I am an avid reader of the classics, so am also a harsh judge, so I hope that makes my opinion here balanced and in context).

The unusual layout of the book allows you to easily 'dip in and out' (whether you like reading just a chapter of a book at bedtime, or are on holiday & just want to read a chapter or two at a time. Though some find they can't put it down too and read in a few sittings). It's so clever - she references other relevant chapters on that specific theme, so you can then hop straight to that relevant next chapter. I love it as it becomes a bespoke read.

Julia has a real, genuine skill on QVC, in being herself, and being open and honest - customers trust her as she never over-promotes, but is realistic & honest about what she likes. We readers here will find her similarly endearing, open and honest in her autobiography.

For me, the famous drive to Spain is heart-in-your-throat stuff, but I also love the family touches - her beloved father; her devoted partner who she clearly adores; their early romance; the space she gives her children to grow and be themselves; the beautiful descriptions of her favourite family holidays abroad... and her candid insight into showbiz life - all are fascinating, rooted in reality and down-to-earth.

On a personal note, Julia has shown great personal fortitude from a very young age, after being diagnosed with polio.... and more recently too (see chapter 101). She is someone with a real joie de vie, whose passion and zest for life really shines through, on and off air and in her book.

This is an ideal gift for QVC fans obviously, but also for those interested in the reality of life behind the scenes in showbiz - how to build your family as you build your career; how career paths are often unplanned and full of chance seized opportunities, and of the importance of family as your rock. It is a fascinating exercise in autobiography layout too, with the unusual chapters. It's a great gift for a long-haul flight, a Christmas gift, for those 1950s babes and guys who will remember the many things from Julia's childhood and young life (a trip down memory lane). Also for those interested in an unusual media career. Julia's book has all this.

One comment - do not be put off by the first few chapters, which I found a little hard to get my teeth into. It is a great read and a book that I will keep, and recommend to friends.

No Title Available

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for impossible toddler tangly curls, 28 July 2011
I was giving up hope of finding a product to help my 3 year old's mad, gorgeous curls. I tried many of the natural brands without success but a friend bought me this about 3 months ago and it has transformed our lives. We use it every day with a tangle tease brush in the morning to tame the curls, and wash her hair about once a week with a natural shampoo. This really has revolutionised our hair routine and given my little girl her healthy-looking, bouncy, tangle-free curls again. The key thing for me is that the frizz is gone - no more of that 'just slept on that part of my hair' matted frizz. It's never matted or frizzy now. Would highly recommend this to every mum of a curly top. I know that smell is personal, but I actually really love the smell of the product.

I have never said this of any product before, but I really couldn't live without this. I am so proud of my little girl's delicious curls, and this clever, super-speedy product has helped ensure that I can get it looking its best with ease.

First 100 Words in French (Usborne First 100 Words)
First 100 Words in French (Usborne First 100 Words)
by Heather Amery
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for a 5 year old, 11 April 2010
I recently chose this for a friend's 5 year old boy's birthday. She reports that it's a big success and is well loved now. I also bought some basic French flash cards to accompany the book, and bring another fun element in.

Smoby Bon Appetit Kitchen & Accessories
Smoby Bon Appetit Kitchen & Accessories

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but basic, 11 April 2010
I bought this for my two year old's birthday recently. My husband says that it was easy to make up, took about 20 mins. My daughter enjoys playing with this, but I was slightly disappointed at its quality & functionality. It is one-sided, so a child can only use it from one angle. I had hoped that it would be double-sided, so that she could accompany me, as I cook in the kitchen. (However, this does make it easy to place solidly against a wall). Considering the high price of some mini kitchens, this is affordable. I also bought some pots & pans and pretend tins/fruit to go with this, as it only comes with one or two basic utensils. My daughter enjoys it though and is having fun pretending to cook with Mummy.

Baby Animals
Baby Animals
by Roger Priddy
Edition: Board book
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Encourages first words & animal noises, 11 April 2010
This review is from: Baby Animals (Board book)
This adorable book reveals a cute baby animal photograph per page, along with its written name (e.g. kitten, puppy, duckling). The background of each page is clean and one single colour, so that the animal stands out clearly. This has really encouraged my toddler to start expanding her vocabulary, and she adores the cute animals. Beautifully shot and very simple, yet effective. A great gift for a one year old or so.

Skin Secrets: How to Have Naturally Healthy Beautiful Skin
Skin Secrets: How to Have Naturally Healthy Beautiful Skin
by Liz Earle
Edition: Hardcover

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with facts, suggestions & research, 12 Mar. 2009
A must-have for any beauty addict, and for those who want to know more from an expert in her field about skincare - all from a balanced, holistic point of view. Based on sound research and expertise gleaned from years in the beauty industry, this author clearly knows her stuff and it shows. She won an MBE for services to the beauty industry, my mother-in-law told me. Impressive stuff. (Gorgeous pictures too, so a great coffee table staple too!) Great for gifting - it covers skincare across all decades from teens to menopause, and way beyond - and also men, which is refreshing to see. I really enjoyed this and find myself coming back to dip in and out again to learn more. A real treat

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