beauty, cruelty free, reviews, skincare

Skincare Saturday: Essential Vie Review*

Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on some skincare I was recently sent to review.

Essential Vie Hydrating Moisturiser

🍓Highlighted ingredients were organic Argan Oil and Vitamin E.

🍓Suitable for sensitive skin (very important for me)

🍓Not tested on animals.

🍓Vegan.

🍓Free from parabens and sulphates.

🍓Made in the UK

This is a medium thick daily moisturiser, lightly scented from ingredients not added perfumes. It absorbs quickly and leaves the lightest of residues on the skin during absorption.

I did struggle with the pump at first as it seemed to get clogged and stop working, only allowing tiny amounts out. But I persevered as it seemed like a cream my notoriously stroppy skin could get on with.

I avoided areas where my eczema has flared as that really needs something a bit more ferocious and steroid-y (prescription time!)

I had no bad reactions to this and overall it’s similar I think to Superdrug’s Vitamin E cream in texture and consistency.

You can get this from Boots priced at £9.99 for 100ml.

Essential Vie Anti Stretch Mark Oil

🍓Highlighted ingredients are organic Argan Oil and Vitamin E.

🍓Cruelty Free.

🍓A blend of essential oils designed to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

The only fragrance is from the oils, this is easy to use and suitable for the whole body.

I used it on some rather angry looking marks on my arm from blood tests that have always bothered me. It seemed to lighten the skin a bit, and certainly added some moisture and improved the overall appearance of my skin.

I had no negative reaction and found this nicer to use than Bio Oil which I find slightly unpleasant to smell or feel. This didn’t leave my skin greasy or my hand after application.

You can pick this up in Boots priced at £11.99 for 100ml.

*I was sent these products to test and review but all words and opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Smoke in the Glass – Chris Humphreys*

Today I’m hosting a review blog tour stop for Chris Humphreys’ new book Smoke in the Glass, the first in a series set in a world where some people are born immortals and worshipped as gods.There are four lands, surrounded by impassable mountains and uncrossable seas, to most of the residents this means they are the only people in the world – unaware of others beyond their borders.In Midgarth (think Norse mythology) immortals are seen as gods who live amongst us, fighting each other over territory and drinking mead at feasts. Luck has always thought there might be more than just this and when someone starts murdering gods starts to look for a killer.Ferros is a soldier, sworn to serve the empire (Greco-Roman), finding out he’s immortal after a fight with bandits leads him to the school of immortals and as his life starts to change, new enemies threaten the Empire, he must lead the fight.In Ometope (Incan/Mayan) the god Intitepe has killed all his fellow immortals and his sons, sacrificing them to the volcano Toluc, trying to prevent a prophecy about his own death from coming true. When he banishes the latest of his women, Atisha and her newborn to the City of Women, his tightly controlled domain starts to unravel.A fourth land waits for the One, neither male nor female, they will bring changes that affect all four worlds, breaking down barriers and crossing impassable terrains. What is the strange addictive smoke they carry, and why are they so interested in Atisha’s baby Poum?Cleverly written, at times very funny, I thoroughly enjoyed this new book. I liked the clever usage of ancient religions from our world and the characters of Ferros, Luck and Atisha.This first novel nicely sets up the rest of the upcoming series, explaining the history of this world and how it works without being dry or boring. The plot jogs along at a nice pace, switching between storylines and protagonists confidently and smoothly.I look forward to reading the rest of the series and finding out more about the mysterious fourth land.*I was sent this book in exchange for my review, however all words and opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog tour: Death at the Plague Museum – Lesley Kelly*

Today I am hosting a stop on the blog tour for Lesley Kelly’s Death at the Plague Museum. And if that title doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will.

Set in a version of Edinburgh where a deadly outbreak of flu has left the need for a Health Enforcement Team, who in this book, the third in the series, are looking into a missing senior civil servant following a top secret meeting held at the Museum of Plagues and Pandemics.

This is a clever and witty book, the pacing is excellent and carries you along through all the twists and turns of the smart plot. The ending is very unexpected and hopefully book four continues the story…

books, reviews

Book Review: Emily Eternal – M.G. Wheaton*

Emily is an AI designed by a team at university, she exists in a synthesised version of the campus and she’s very, very smart.However not everyone wants to leave her in her home, some want to turn her into a weapon and Emily doesn’t agree.Forced to make decisions for more than just herself after a military incursion on her campus Emily has to stretch the limits of her programming and become more than just code.Told from Emily’s POV this is a clever, twisty thriller set in the near future. Well written and pacey, I really enjoyed this and it sits nicely among my growing collection of clever AI books.You can get a copy of Emily Eternal at all good bookshops from 23rd April.*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review – but all words and opinions are my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Book Review: Outremer III – DN Carter*

In preparation for this book review I also received books 1 and 2 of the series, there will also be a fourth volume.

My husband often complains about all the books I receive from generous publishers and PR teams to review, so this one is for him.

Set during the Crusades in the Holy Land, which spanned more than a few years and saw kings, queens and even children (both Alianor of Aquitaine and her son Richard the Lionheart would spend time in Jerusalem) travel to the front in order to fight the Muslim forces led at one point by the legendary Saladin.

These books are part fantastical story and part discussion of religious texts and beliefs.

My husband reviewed them thus; “Really interesting, but I got attached to one set of characters and wanted more of them and less religion. This book is trying to do something different and I got a bit frustrated when it left one plot for another. ”

A lot has been written about the Crusades, about the ‘right’ of European monarchs to control and repress the local population (remember Jerusalem is holy in all three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam) but not like this.

This is an unusual series and will appeal to people interested in history, religion, and also fantasy as it follows two young people caught up in the chaos of the time.

giveaway, reviews

SnapIt review and giveaway*

Calling all glasses wearers! Have you ever snapped off the wing of your specs and had to rush to the opticians for a quick repair having lost the little tiny screw that holds the whole thing together?

Well I’ve recently received something that might be the answer, if you’re feeling pretty confident about your technical skills.

SnapIt is a clever little kit designed to help you put your glasses back together without the hassle of rushing to the opticians and hoping there’s somewhere available to sort it for you.

Consisting of several different sized glasses screws and a tool to help you screw it in place, SnapIt seems to be the answer. The name comes from the snapping off of the extra bit of the screw underneath the join.

I took it round to my parents’ to get some other opinions. My dad is an engineer and wears glasses all the time now, he was quite impressed by SnapIt and felt that he could confidently use it, he also noted that the screws were self threading, meaning they will bore the hole a little bigger if need be (no need for a tiny drill!). My mum, who wears glasses for reading and driving, was less confident, she would probably ask my dad to fix them or go to the opticians.

Personally I think it’s a great idea, but I would ask C to fix them as he builds miniature models and would be more confident with such tiny pieces. I also wouldn’t be able to see well enough without my glasses on to fix it. Unless I remember where I put my spare pair (somewhere so safe even I don’t know where they are).

SnapIt are available on social media too, handy if you have any questions, check out Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Theres even a handy how to video.

So, how would you feel about winning your very own SnapIt glasses repair tool and screws? I think it’s something worth having in the kitchen drawer just in case, for something we need every day, your specs can be super fragile!

If you fancy your own SnapIt, then click this link and enter the giveaway. Full T&Cs are on the giveaway site. Otherwise SnapIt is currently available through Amazon priced £2.99 (bargain!)

*I received this item for review but all words and opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Ancestral Night – Elizabeth Bear

I seem to have a slight thing for AIs with a bit of sass, from AIDAN (The Illuminae Files series), Lovelace/Lovey/Sidra (the Wayfarer series) and now Singer in Ancestral Night.

There are also cats, I also love cats. It reminded me of the Redemption Falls series, space ships with cats, all the feels.

Basically I love this book. It starts out with Singer, his two man crew and the cats (Mephistopheles, always hungry, and her sister Bushyasta, always sleeping) on a routine salvage mission.

The crew is comprised of pilot Connla and engineer Haimey, who grew up in a collective before leaving to explore the universe. She’s had augmentation that turned her feet into another pair of hands (aft-hands) which took me ages to get my hand around fyi.

The routine mission goes sideways and space pirates get involved. There’s also a giant praying mantis cop, explosions, black holes, kidnap, giant floating space creatures that are older than most civilisations, and this is only the first book!

Can you guess that I loved this book?

Seriously, a black female protagonist in a STEM role in freaking space is fantastic plus a smart-ass AI and cats, cats who have space suits and very clever names (Google them). This book legit has everything.

I cannot wait to read the second book once the author (who is a member of my new cool last name club, although she doesn’t know me at all). So go read this book! Book sales = the rest of the series definitely getting published.

Check out the rest of the blog tour too.