Pure Skin Care: Nourishing Recipes for Vibrant Skin & Natural Beauty by Stephanie L. Tourles

Over the last few years, I have been trying to change how I think about health and beauty, moving to a more natural way of living.  This includes starting to make my own beauty products, which has been a bit hit and miss when it comes to my successes here.  That’s why Pure Skin Care appealed to me so much, it promised plenty of natural recipes for me to try out.

The book itself is written by a licensed holistic esthetician and certified aromatherapists who has been creating natural skin care products for over two decade.  I felt that experience in Pure Skin Care, a level of knowledge that gave me confidence in the recipes I was about to try.

Pure Skin Care is broken down into sections including how to care for your skin, the tools you’ll need, how to store products and techniques for creating recipes.  Then it goes onto the recipes themselves. It covers masks, steams, scrubs, moisturisers, conditioners, feet and hands, with recommendations based on your skin type and lots of tips and ‘good to know’s’ such as why good food can equal good looks.

I really enjoyed reading it and felt I learnt something beyond the recipes, most of which seemed easy for a novice like me and – of the ones I’ve tried – have all worked pretty well so far.  My main problem is I can’t easily access all the ingredients because of where I live so there was some internet shopping needed.  There’s also the issue that, starting out, I had to buy a lot from scratch so it wasn’t always cheap.

Saying that, now I have some of the ingredients, I can make more of the products I like pretty cheaply, and I am all for things not costing the earth – figuratively or literally.  I’m also for using products that do less harm, and that is definitely the case here.  I feel better using natural ingredients and was happy to find my skin didn’t seem to mind either.  This book was well worth the read and is well worth buying.

Enjoy!

Emma

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The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

Infinite Blacktop Sara GranWhen she comes too, in pain and with someone’s screams ringing in her ear, Claire DeWitt can’t remember where she is or how she got there.  Opening her eyes, she sees an ambulance and knows she’s on a stretcher about to be taken to hospital.  She also knows that, if she goes, she might not make it through the day alive.  So she attacks a police officer, steals a car and heads out to figure out just who was trying to kill her and why.

It’s a journey that takes her from her base in San Francisco to Las Vegas as she tracks down a man with white hair she isn’t sure exists.  Along the way she reflects on how she ended up as a private investigator, flashing back to her teenage years where she was obsessed with the Cynthia Silverton Detective series, as were her friends, who formed an unlikely trio of investigators through to how she got her private investigators license by figuring out who was dead and who wasn’t as part of a cold case.  

In The Heat of the Moment by Viveca Sten (Sandhamn Murders, Book 5)

On the longest day of the year, the tiny island of Sandhamn is overrun by people who want to party.  They turn up on the ferry and dock their boats in the harbour and drink until they can’t drink anymore.  As the police patrol the area, their job is to contain the crowds and make sure the fun people are having doesn’t turn sinister.

Unfortunately, this time, they aren’t that successful and, in the early hours of the morning, the body of a teenager is discovered hidden on an isolated beach.  He’s been badly beaten.  More unfortunate still for the police, the island is full of potential suspects, not just the teenagers girlfriend and his best friend, both of whom were missing during the hours the murder took place and too drunk to remember what happened.

There were so many people on the island and, as they start to drift away, the police are in a race against time to get statements and try and figure out just who ended the young boys life.  Leading the case is one of the central characters, Thomas, a dogged and instinctive detective who is normally helped by his best friend Nora, though never in an official capacity.  Nora, though has problems of her own as her boyfriend’s daughter didn’t come home that night and no one knows where she is.  

Truth and Lies (DI Amy Winter #1) by Caroline Mitchell

Truth and Lies Caroline MitchellGrieving for her father, a respected Detective whose footsteps she’s followed, DI Amy Winter returns to work to a letter she could never have expected to receive.  It’s from a notorious serial killer, Lillian Grimes, who – along with her husband – was responsible for the death of numerous young girls offering to help her find the bodies of three victims whose graves are still unknown.

Normally, this is something Amy would jump at.  However, the letter contains more details than Amy can cope with, at least initially, because in it, Lillian claims to be Amy’s mother.  And that Amy isn’t Amy but Poppy.

Untouchable by Sibel Hodge

Untouchable Sibel HodgeWhen Maya gets home from work on the night of her and her boyfriend Jamie’s second anniversary, she is almost bouncing off the walls, convinced that this is the night he’ll pop the question.  Why else would he tell her he had a surprise for her before he left for work that morning? So, why hasn’t he come home?

As the hours tick by, dinner sitting ruined in the oven, Maya becomes increasingly anxious until her worst fears come true with the knock on a door by a police officer.  Jamie is dead, taking his own life.

No matter how hard she tries and how often her friends and family tell her she has to accept Jamie’s suicide, Maya just can’t bring herself to believe he would kill himself.  He had too much to live for. They were happy.  

Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne

Little Liar Lisa BallantyneNick Dean loves his family.  He has gorgeous wife and two beautiful young children.  Life couldn’t be better – until it couldn’t get any worse.  An acting coach who specialises in working with teenagers, one of his students has accused him of abuse.  And everyone believes her, even – eventually – his wife.  Nick swears he’s innocent but it seems that, despite there being no evidence, he is considered guilty until proved innocent.

Angela, Nick’s accuser, loves her family too, they just don’t make her happy.  Her parents are divorced and she is struggling to cope with the break up.  She’s eating too much and unhappy with how she looks.  Kids at school pick on her and she reacts by striking out.  The police look at her and see a vulnerable child very much at risk of being abused.  She is believed immediately, as she should be, but then – after her first statement – refused to say more.

The Guilty Dead by P J Tracy (Monkeewrench #9)

The Guilty Dead P J TracyA year after the death of his son, wealthy businessman Gregory Norwood is found dead in his study from what looks like a self-inflicted gunshot.

Despite all signs pointing to suicide, however, when Detectives Gino and Magozzi arrive at the scene, they aren’t so sure.  Everything is a little too perfect.  Plus, there’s the small fact of the blood they’ve found on the patio, blood which definitely doesn’t belong to Norwood.

So starts the latest wonderfully twist-y and turn-y outing for some of my favourite policemen and the Monkeewrench team, a group of hackers always skirting just on the right side of legal.

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

when the lights go outWhen Jessie wakes up to find her mom has died she isn’t surprised (they have spent the last few days in a hospital room and her mom has cancer), she is – however – devastated that she didn’t get to spend her mom’s last few moments with her.

She isn’t sure she can sleep again, and she doesn’t.  Instead, she spends the next ten days becoming increasingly frantic as she tries to unpick her mom’s last words to her and understand why, when she tries to go through her mom’s paperwork, she can’t find any evidence she has ever existing.

The more tired she becomes, the more difficult it is for her to work out what is real and what isn’t, meaning it’s the same for you as a reader.  It’s all very confusing, and not – I’m afraid – always in a good way, as least not for me.

I am sad to say that this is the first Mary Kubica book I haven’t absolutely loved. First up, there is story which is told through Jessie’s eyes and those of her mom. I really enjoyed her mom’s chapters, which I found intriguing and held great promise. Jessie’s frantic nature grated on me a fair bit and I struggled to make sense of it. Then, about halfway through, I figured it out and hoped that I wasn’t right because it made the ending seem like such a cop out.

I really wanted more, a tale with the type of twist I have come to expect from Kubica and characters I found compelling. And I did get that, I guess, just only half the time. It’s a shame and I have a feeling I might be in the majority here but this book just wasn’t for me. Sorry!

About the book…

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 23rd August, 2018

Genre: psychological thriller

Rating: 3 out of 5

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

Perfect Silence by Helen Fields

A69ACB72-FE0F-463B-B2DF-DFFBBF740CAAOn a dark night on a lonely road to the West of Edinburgh, a young woman crawls along the road, clinging to life and the hope she’ll be saved by a passing stranger. A chilling scene to open a chilling book, one that made me squirm more than once as I read about a series of young women brutually murdered while two of my favourite detectives, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner, struggled to make sense of it all and find the killer.

At the same time, homeless people across the city are being attacked. Their faces are being cut by an unknown assailant, taking advantage of their isolation  and addiction to Spice, a legal high that is pretty nasty. It’s a case that falls to Ava’s team too when links are drawn between the victims and makes for a lovely, complicated, plot.

I love this series, and have since picking up the first book, Perfect Remains, at my local library based purely on the cover (yes, I’m shallow, I know!). I just wish I could say more about the book but I can’t because to do so would mean to give away the twists and turns that make Fields’ books so good. You never quite no where you are going and where you are going to end up.

What I do know, is that – along the way – I’ll be treated to a gripping plot and well drawn characters that draw me into the book completely. And the characters just get better and more well rounded with each book. I love Luc and Ava’s relationship and could happily read about them for hours. If I got bored, there are plenty of other secondary characters to keep me interested, all just as real as the main characters, as well as the city of Edinburgh itself, which has thankfully never seemed quite as deadly when I’ve visited.

If you haven’t read this series, I can highly recommend it. If you have, hopefully you’ll enjoy this latest outing as much as I have.

Emma x

Publisher: Avon

Publication Date: 23 August, 2018

Number of Pages: 432

Genre: Crime, Police Procedural

Rating: 5 out of 5

Find on: Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas

Do Not Disturb Claire Douglas.jpgKirsty and Adrian need a break. He’s been suffering from severe depression and their whole family have been suffering as a result, walking on eggshells and watching him like a hawk.

Leaving London and starting a B&B might not be everyone’s idea of a break, but it’s theirs – a long held dream they can’t resist when a house comes on the market in a small Welsh town. So, with the help of Kirsty’s mother, they move in and welcome their first guests.

Any hope of a successful first few weeks are shattered however when Kirsty’s cousin and niece arrive, fleeing an abusive husband, and then her cousin (Selena) ends up dead. There’s no spoiler here as it happens in the first few pages. What happens next though is one of those stories it’s hard to describe without giving anything away.