Monday, 31 May 2010

Beauty Care Product Review: Lovea Argan Brilliance Shine Shampoo

The next product I am reviewing for is Lovea Argan Brilliance Shine Shampoo for dull hair.

About Lovea Organic Hair & Body Care --- Lovea undertakes to respect people and the environment at every stage in the design and production of its products, and to offer you certified organic products that combine affordability and pleasure.
Lovea products are certified organic by the French organic certifying body: Cosmetique Bio & ECOCERT
My Thoughts:

Firstly, I'll tell you a bit about my hair - it used to be a medium brown colour but it's quite grey now so I colour it about every 6 weeks and it does have a tendency to be dry. It is very straight and shoulder length.

I have used Lovea Argan Brilliance Shine Shampoo three times now and I absolutely love it! The consistency is quite runny, the smell is fresh and light and not overpowering. I felt like I had to use more than normal to get a good lather but that's probably because it doesn't contain all the lathering chemicals that are in normal shampoos. Also the shampoo did not sting as much when it got into my eyes.

I didn't blow dry my hair, I just left it to dry naturally.

After the first wash my hair felt very soft and was so full of body, and every wash after it was exactly the same. I just loved the way it made my hair feel, it was not frizzy or lifeless (which it can be sometimes) it just looked the way I wanted it to - I never had a bad hair day! It was also quite a bit shinier than normal.

I normally wash my hair about every four days and with Lovea I could probably have left it another day or so if I'd wanted to.

It costs £4.99 for a 200ml tube from It is more expensive than 'normal' shampoos but if you want a natural product I would definitely recommend trying this.

Overall I was very pleased with the results on my hair but, due to the cost, I probably would only use it for special occasions or save it for my holidays.

Please also check out my review for A'Kin Pure Rose Hydrating Mist.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

BOOK NEWS: Jeffery Deaver given licence to thrill with new James Bond book

US author commissioned by Ian Fleming's estate to continue British spy's adventures

james bond daniel craig

Daniel Craig as James Bond in the film Casino Royale Photograph: PR/MGM

He might be the quintessential English spy, suave, laconic and comfortable in a dinner jacket, but the adventures of Ian Fleming's iconic creation James Bond are set to be continued by the chart-topping American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver.

Best known for his quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme, the star of books including The Bone Collector and The Stone Monkey, Deaver has been commissioned to write a new Bond novel by Fleming's estate. Currently known as Project X, the book will be set in the present day, unlike Sebastian Faulks's recent addition to the Bond oeuvre, Devil May Care, which took place in 1967.

Apart from its contemporary setting, Deaver was giving little else away about the plot, but revealed it would occur over a short period of time and take 007 to "three or four exotic locations around the globe". He has already started writing the book, which is out next May, and promised it would retain "the persona of James Bond as Fleming created him and the unique tone the author brought to his books", while also incorporating his own "literary trademarks: detailed research, fast pacing and surprise twists".

Fleming's estate was moved to approach Deaver after he raved about the Bond books in an acceptance speech for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award. "I'd always enjoyed Jeffery Deaver's thrillers [but] I didn't know anything about the author himself and expected a fairly low-key response from him when he received our award," said Corinne Turner, the managing director of Ian Fleming Publications.

"I was surprised and delighted when he spoke very fondly of Ian and about the influence that the Bond books had had on his own writing career. It was at that point that I first thought James Bond could have an interesting adventure in Jeffery Deaver's hands."

Fleming's 14 James Bond novels have sold more than 100m copies around the world, and Faulks's Devil May Care, published in 2008 to mark the centenary of Fleming's birth, was Penguin's fastest selling hardback fiction title ever.

To read the full article see

Friday, 28 May 2010


Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Booksurge (May 2009)

Pages: 156 (Paperback)

My Rating: 7/10


Grace is a 39 year old bored housewife living in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. She dislikes her husband, her friends, her figure, her lifestyle, and wonders why her teenage daughter is so nasty to her, not realising that she herself is such a nasty, selfish person.

When she is contacted by an old school friend, April, via a social networking site she is immediately jealous to discover that her friend is now a celebrity hugging fashion photographer to the stars. They meet up for lunch and Grace is invited to a party that evening at April's apartment where she is promised that famous people will be attending. After lying to her husband about where she is going, she meets the rich, handsome and charming Victor who seems smitten with her and he invites her to his Malibu home.

As Grace lies more and more to her family without feeling guilty she soon realises that Victor and his world is not all it seems.

My Thoughts:

At only 156 pages I soon sped through the story, the writing style was simple and the characters were believable. I didn't like Grace at all or any of her hypocritical friends, they were all nasty and bitchy, and her husband was a wimp who never really questioned Grace on her whereabouts, he just believed her lies.

One thing that I couldn't understand - Grace was mentioned on the back cover and in the book as being middle-aged - but since when is 39 middle-aged??!

Anyway, apart from that it was an easy book to read, and I did enjoy it overall. One to read while sitting on the beach or in the garden when you just want something light.

Special Thanks to Greg Liberman for sending me this book to review.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Beauty Care Product Review: A'kin Pure Rose Hydrating Mist

When the people at asked if any bloggers wanted to try their natural beauty products and review them on their blog I put my hand up and said yes please! I love trying new things, whether it be new authors, shampoos or shoes, and I thought you might be interested in reading about them too.

So, every so often I will have reviews of different beauty products on my blog. I hope you like it and I would welcome any feedback.

The first product I am reviewing this week is the A'kin Pure Rose Hydrating Mist.

About A'kin Skin Care -- Made from the finest natural ingredients, chosen for their purity and skin friendly compatibility. A'kin does not contain: sulfates, ethoxylates, parabens, propylene glycol, petrochemical cleansers, silicones, phthalates, mineral oils, DEA and artificial colours. The A'kin skin care range was launched in 2002 in Australia and brought to the UK for the first time by mypure in 2004.

All their products are ingredient-rich, vegan, and use certified organic ingredients where possible, they have been formulated without animal ingredients or animal testing.

My Thoughts:

A'kin say that the mist is "designed to give your skin an instant refreshing lift" and it certainly does do that. On most days I go out for a walk of between 2-3 miles and, in this hot weather that we've been having recently, when I return home I feel hot and sticky. A couple of sprays of the mist on my face and neck instantly cools me down and it feels wonderful. The smell is very light and not unpleasant.

I have also used it whilst at home and at work just to give me an instant 'wake up'.

I shall definitely be taking it with me on my holiday to Turkey in a few weeks, I think it would be perfect for keeping me cool when the temperature gets high!

I would certainly recommend this if you're looking to buy a good spray mist that contains only natural products, not tested on animals.

You can read more details about the A'kin Pure Rose Hydrating Mist on the mypure website and it is available to buy for £12.99 for a 125ml bottle.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

BOOK NEWS: Theakstons prize: women close the gap in crime

Longlist for major UK crime writing award shows more even gender balance, with Susan Hill, Val McDermid and Martina Cole in running

Martina Cole

Crime pays ... Martina Cole is in the running for the Theakstons prize

Women have made a much stronger showing in the competition for this year's major UK crime award, with blood, guts and gore from authors including Susan Hill, Val McDermid and Martina Cole all in the running for the prize.

Last year only two women – former winner McDermid and Mo Hayder – were shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier crime novel of the year award, with Mark Billingham eventually emerging triumphant from a line-up of 14. This year the gender distribution is far more even, with nine women up against 11 men on the longlist for the £3,000 prize.

McDermid, who earlier this year won the Cartier Diamond Dagger award, honouring her "outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing", makes the running for A Darker Domain, about a child who was kidnapped 25 years ago at the height of the miners' strike. Hill was picked for Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler's latest outing, The Vows of Silence, Hayder for gory thriller Skin and Cole for The Business, a story of drugs and prostitution in London's East End.

Geezer Girls by Dreda Say Mitchell, Tania Carver's The Surrogate, Elly Griffiths's The Crossing Places, Caro Ramsay's Singing to the Dead and husband-and-wife writing duo Nicci French's Until It's Over complete the list of women up for the crime prize.

They will be facing tough competition from Billingham, who has won the award twice, bestselling authors Peter Robinson and Ian Rankin, and Tom Rob Smith, whose contender Child 44 was longlisted for the Booker prize.

The award is opened today to a public vote at, with the winner to be announced on 22 July. They will take home a handmade, engraved beer barrel from Theakstons, as well as the £3,000 award money.

Judge Simon Theakston said this year's longlist was "one of the strongest yet", and a "real reflection of both readers' tastes and the current fantastic shape of British crime fiction".

The longlist in full:

In the Dark by Mark Billingham

If It Bleeds by Duncan Campbell

The Surrogate by Tania Carver

The Business by Martina Cole

A Simple Act of Violence by RJ Ellory

Until It's Over by Nicci French

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Cold in Hand by John Harvey

Skin by Mo Hayder

Vows of Silence by Susan Hill

The Dying Breed by Declan Hughes

Dead Tomorrow by Peter James

Target by Simon Kernick

A Darker Domain by Val McDermid

Gallows Lane by Brian McGilloway

Geezer Girls by Dreda Say Mitchell

Singing to the Dead by Caro Ramsay

Doors Open by Ian Rankin

All the Colours of Darkness by Peter Robinson

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Taken from

I haven't read any of these books - have you?

What did you think of them?

Which one deserves the Award?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published by: Gallic Books (Sept 2009

Pages: 121 (Hardback)

My Rating: 7/10


As the greatest food critic in the world lies on his deathbed, having been told by his physician that he only has 48 hours to live, he looks back on his life and reminisces about the food he has savoured since his childhood.

"I am going to die and there is a flavour that has been teasing my taste buds and my heart and I simply cannot recall it........I know that it is a flavour from childhood or adolescence, an original, marvellous dish that predates my vocation as a critic.........I search, and cannot find."

This is more or less the premise of the book as Pierre Arthens desperately wants to re-live the taste before he dies and the chapters alternate between him and his friends, family, workers and even a beggar who he passed every day for ten years ..... they all spill the beans on their feelings and thoughts about him.

We see that he was not an easy man to live with, he was a cantankerous, authoritarian old man who treated his three children with disdain, his daughter Anna recalls that 'we were like flies to him, unwanted flies that you brush away with a sweep of your hand so you needn't think about them any more'. Yet to his peers and admirers he was a god and was treated with reverance upon entering a restaurant and people hung on his every word.

Pierre described many instances of his favourite meals, who prepared them (his grandmother was his first preferred cook) and where and when they were eaten, in what circumstances, all in meticulous detail.

I thought he was a strange mix, I both liked and disliked him, I was fascinated by his love of food but I was unnerved by the way he treated his family, and couldn't understand what his wife saw in him. Muriel Barbery's extraordinary descriptions of foods I found a little long-winded sometimes and I certainly enjoyed reading everyone else's chapters more than Pierre's.

An interesting book for foodie fans.

This is one of many Gallic Books that have been translated from French and I must thank Lucy at for sending me a copy.

Sunday, 16 May 2010



Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published by: Mira (May 2010 UK)
Mira (June 2008 USA)

Pages: 480 (Paperback)

My Rating: 8.5/10

The UK book cover is on the left, the USA cover is on the right. I much prefer the US one.

About the Book:

Her little boy has been accused of murder. How far will she go to protect him? When the local church is razed to the ground, dozens of trapped children manage to escape - many helped by 15 year old Andy Lockwood. Born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Andy is more like a little boy than a teenager, but in the eyes of the people he saved, he's a hero. Laurel lost her baby once through neglect and has spent the rest of her life determined to make up for her mistakes. Yet when suspicion of arson is cast upon Andy, Laurel must ask herself how well she really knows her son - and how far she'll go to protect him.

Diane Chamberlain has been called the Southern Jodi Picoult and certainly there are similarities, for instance each chapter is narrated by a different character, and family relationships are explored in depth. However, while I have read and didn't particular warm to Jodi Picoult's books, I have to say that this story really captivated me.

The first chapter was narrated by Andy which I thought was inspiring as straight away we got a feel for his character and how he thinks and feels about his family and his circumstances. I instantly warmed to him as he joined all his 'friends' in the church for the evening and tried to talk to a girl he was attracted to by telling her that he loved her. The boy she was with talked down to Andy and he was confused as he thought everyone was his friend. Then the fire starts and panic sets in inside the church.

As the story continues we see through Andy and his family's eyes the police investigation into the arson attack and family secrets long buried start to surface. Laurel, Andy's widowed mother thinks that Maggie, Andy's sister, is happy and content but does she really know her as well as she thinks she does and why does Laurel blame her husband's brother, Marcus, for his death? All the while she is trying to protect Andy while her world turns upside down and people start to turn against her.

I thought the characters were well-defined, particularly Andy, and I would recommend this if you're looking for a read that's not too light, but thought-provoking.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

BOOK NEWS: Hector and the Search for Happines to be made into a Film with Patrick Dempsey

The Works searches for Happiness with Patrick Dempsey

The Works International has taken on international sales for Hector and the Search for Happiness, starring Patrick Dempsey.

Katja von Garnier is directing the film, based on the first of a series of bestselling novels by Francois Lelord. The quirky love story spans four continents and many adventures.

Hector (Dempsey) is a psychiatrist who embarks on a round-the-world trip to discover the true meaning of happiness. His travels introduce him to a Chinese prostitute, a Colombian drug lord, a Buddhist monk and African gangstesr.

The Egoli Tossell project is co-produced with Fidelite and Film Afrika. Production will start later this year for delivery in 2011.

Producer Judy Tossell commented: “Hector is a refreshingly original, touching and funny look at what we really care about: being happy and I truly believe that this film will make people happy.”

Carl Clifton, MD of The Works International added: “Hector is the perfect date movie. It’s uplifting, heart-warming, very very funny, magical and feel-good. It’s perfect for these difficult times and also a major commercial franchise in the making. We’re absolutely thrilled to be on board.”

Taken from

I recently read this lovely book - my review can be found here

Monday, 10 May 2010


Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Booksurge (April 2009)

Pages: 175 (Paperback)

My Rating: 8/10


When Sally Parmer was growing up in the 60's in Southern California she didn't just want to be a fan of the music scene she wanted to be with the groups and was willing to take plenty of risks to ensure she was, such as stealing hotel room keys to be near the Beatles, climbing on stage via a balcony just to hug a member of a group, to losing her virginity to a member of the Rolling Stones. All that and more is told in fascinating detail in this engrossing and honest look at the 'swinging sixties'.

She had an uncanny likeness to Cher which opened some doors for her and her groupie friends, most of whom seemed to be sleeping with one pop star or another, while still being at school!

Brought up by an alcoholic, neurotic, controlling mother and a coward of a father, Sally had to use all her wits and guile to escape their clutches to follow the British pop groups, such as Herman's Hermits, Freddie and the Dreamers, etc. when they came to L.A. This was not all about the sexual exploits of Sally and her friends, they were growing up in a decade of change and there was mention of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy and the Vietnam War, though not in any great detail.

This was a book I really enjoyed and would recommend to anyone interested in this era.

There will never again be a decade so remarkably transitional, terrifying and beautiful as the sixties.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

BOOK NEWS: Google to launch ebook store

Google Editions will allow customers to download and read books on any device with a browser


Google Editions could be launched as early as June or July.

Google is planning to launch its own ebook store this summer, setting the scene for an all-out war with Apple and Amazon over the future of the digital book market.

Speaking at a panel discussion held by Random House today, Chris Palma, Google's manager for strategic partner development, said Google Editions would launch in June or July, offering digital versions of the titles on its book search service. The company says the ebooks will work across multiple devices, and, unlike the ebooks of iPad and Kindle, any device with a browser will be able to view the books. Customers with a Google account will be able to access the service.

Readers will be able to buy digital copies they find through Google's book search function and book retailers will be able to sell Google Editions on their own sites, getting most of the revenue from sales. Google Editions will be browser based, offering the latest digital books without locking customers to a specific device.

A Google spokesman said its plans had been in the pipeline for some time. "We've consistently maintained that we're committed to helping our partners find more ways to make their books accessible and available for purchase online, and we've been sharing details with our partner publishers for some time now. We hope to launch this to consumers in 2010."

Google joins the fray as the ebook market looks set to be the latest to be transformed by the internet, following on from music and films. Wholesale revenues from ebook sales in the US tripled in the third quarter of 2009 to $46.4m (£30.6m), from $13.9m during the same period in the previous year.

Google Books, formerly known as Google Print, was launched in 2004 but put on hold a year later when the Authors Guild of America and Association of American Publishers sued over alleged "massive copyright infringement".

Its attempt to create a vast digital library has raised anti-trust and copyright concerns. Earlier this year, the US justice department said the "plan still confers significant and possibly anti-competitive advantages on Google as a single entity".

But analysts say the arrival of ebook reading devices has been a shot in the arm for the book industry. The Kindle has been a hit, selling 2.4m units, and has a market share of 55%, according to Forrester, the market research company.

Apple said this week it has sold 1m iPads so far. Prices for the iPad begin at $499 and it is more expensive than a Kindle, which begins at $259. However, the iPad can also be used to surf the net, play films and store music.

Taken from


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