Book Review: Mandalas to Crochet by Haafner Linssen

A few weeks back I won this gorgeous crochet book from Search Press on Twitter on how to make Mandalas by Haafner Linssen  I wasn’t sure at first what a mandala was, I actually had to google it!
Mandalas to Crochet by Haafner Linssen

 

Well a mandala is a circular figure, pattern or geometric design representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.

The book is very detailed. It contains 30 great mandala patterns for you to crochet. There are three chapters in the book, beginning with the essential information you may need. Including a crochet refresher course with the stitches  and techniques needed and a beautiful section on all the different yarns you can use. The book then moves onto different colour combinations and how you can create a colour plan.
There are many mandala patterns to choose from so there is a section on called the mandala selector.

 

The book then moves into the patterns. This is where the author has chosen her 30 favourite patterns for the readers to try. There are patterns ranging from simple to advanced using very technical stitches.

 

The final chapter is mandala projects you can get stuck into. This is the most exciting part of the book in my opinion! There are all sorts of things you can make with the mandala patterns, from a boho bag to table mats, scarves and blankets.

 

The author of this book, Haafner Linssen is a Dutch blogger and crochet designer.
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Disclosure
rachelbustin is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to rachelbustin.com

 

Book Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

I was approached by the author David Meredith to have a look at his ebook The Reflections of The Queen Snow White, to see what I thought of it and to write a review on my findings. The book cover is a beautiful painting of an older Queen Snow White looking into a pond, the artwork is by Matt Hughes and is just stunning, but don’t be fooled by the pretty cover. A pretty cover does not mean a nice and fluffy fairytale! 


Book Description


On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an ageing Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiance, is a fine man from a neighbouring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White. 

My Review

I have always loved the story of Snow White so I jumped at the chance to read and review this great looking short story/novella. It is based after the fairytale ending of Snow White and Prince Charming living together happily ever after. 

In this story Snow Whites Prince Charming is dead. She is overcome with grief and depression and one day comes across the magic mirror that her evil stepmother once had. She discovers through the mirror that she is a strong person and can get through this depression. 

This novella is not a nice fairytale, so if that is what you are looking for, this is not for you. It contains emotional abuse and violence and is a rather dark story. Quite disturbing in fact. Its a really thought provoking book and took me through many emotions, one minute I was upset and the next minute I felt angry. 

The Reflections of Queen Snow White is a story I am happy to keep on my Kindle for many years to come. It is definitely one I will be coming back to read again. It is very well written, the descriptions are excellent. My only criticism is that I finished too quickly!

I gave The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith 4 out of 5 stars

Kindle Edition 155 pages
Published 2nd October 2013 by David Meredith

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Disclaimer: All the views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and book description from Goodreads for purpose of this review onlyI am also a part of the Amazon Affiliate scheme so if you click on a link to Amazon and buy, I will recieve a little bit back, so thanks if you do.

Book Review & Giveaway- The Traitor’s Mark by D.K Wilson

I read The Traitor’s Mark by D.K. Wilson last year and recently came across another copy so I am offering it up in a little giveaway. It’s a great historical mystery novel set in Tudor England and based on a real unsolved Tudor Mystery.
The Traitor's Mark by D.K Wilson

Book Description:

The Real Crime: Hans Holbein, King Henry VIII’s portrait painter, died in the autumn of 1543. A century later a chronicler reported that the artist had succumbed to plague, yet there is no contemporary evidence to support this. Suspicions have been raised over the centuries, but the truth behind what actually happened remains a mystery.

Our Story: Young London goldsmith Thomas Treviot is awaiting a design for a very important jewelry commission from Hans Holbein. When the design fails to turn up, Thomas sends a servant to track Holbein down, only to discover that the painter has disappeared. 
In his hunt for Holbein and the lost design, Thomas is led into a morass of dangerous political intrigue, Spanish spies and courtiers that is more treacherous than he could ever have anticipated . . . 

My Review:
A really fantastic read, good characters, with a great setting. I love any books set in the Tudor period. The Traitor’s Mark is well written, describing how people used to live during those times. I love the fact that there is an element of real life to the book it gives it that special feeling. There is a perfect sense of mystery in the air while reading it. 
I didn’t feel as if I was missing anything with not reading the first book in the series, this could have easily been a standalone novel. Its an intriguing read for people with a love of history and mystery.
I gave The Traitor’s Mark by D.K Wilson 4 out of 5 stars

Paperback 400 pages
Published 1st August 2014 by Sphere
To Enter the giveaway to win a paperback copy of The Traitor’s Mark by D.K Wilson please fill in the rafflecopter with as many entries as you wish below. 
Due to postage costs this will be a UK only giveaway
Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 If you would like to buy The Traitor’s Mark here is the link. 

Terms and Conditions: There is one prize of the paperbook shown in the image above the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter. The winner will have 14 days to respond with a valid UK postal address before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. 

Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Disclosure I am also a part of the Amazon Affiliate scheme so if you click on a link to Amazon and buy, I will recieve a little bit back, so thanks if you do.


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See more competitions at: www.theprizefinder.com 

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Book Review : Unwanted Truths by Tricia Haddon

Welcome back to #BookReviewMondays, It has been a while since I actually picked up a book (or my Kindle) due to having very little time with a newborn. Baby girl takes up all of my time these days! 
Anyway I actually started Unwanted Truths by Tricia Haddon while I was in hospital being induced waiting for baby girl to arrive. I was in the delivery suite reading away in between contractions trying to take my mind off things. My midwife in there with us said to me that’s a great way to distract yourself from the contractions! It was only in the early stages of labour, the pain got too bad to carry on reading for too long!
So onto the book – I received an ebook copy of Unwanted Truths by Tricia Haddon from netgalley to read and review, and so I downloaded it to my Kindle. 
 Unwanted Truths by Tricia Haddon

Book Description

Family secrets – we all have them. But some are more devastating than others… 

Jenny Porter knows the name of every capital city in the world, but that doesn’t mean she has all the answers. When she discovers she is adopted, she has nobody to turn to and, unable to trust her parents or talk to her friends, she buries her feelings. 

A few years later, Jenny is happily married. She doesn’t love her husband, but she likes him enough to make the marriage work and raise a family. After the death of her parents, she finds herself reunited with her childhood sweetheart, Martin Barretti, and suddenly everything begins to unravel… 
Jenny and Martin begin a passionate affair and make the difficult decisions to leave their families and spend the rest of their lives together. Now living with the love of her life, Jenny decides to use the change in adoption law to find information about her birth family and is horrified to discover the truth. 
Will Jenny tell Martin what she discovered and risk their future falling apart? 
Or will she do as her adopted mother did years before, and keep her secret? 
Unwanted Truths is a captivating novel that delves into the emotions and issues involved in adoption, touching on the change in British society from the repressive 1950s to the liberal 1970s/80s. Set mainly in Brighton, East Sussex and London, it is a gripping read for fans of contemporary fiction and romance novels with a twist. 

My Review
I found the book slow to start with, and unfortunately it never got any better. It’s a well written novel that goes back and forth in Jenny’s life when she was a teenager right up to adulthood, but it lacks that oomph. I do like it being set in the 1950’s then in the 1970’s/1980’s though and gives us the idea of what life was like in the 1970’s for a teenage girl.
The main character Jenny is a smart girl and I did like following her life up to when she has her own family. The only part I found interesting was when Jenny discovers information about her birth family. There wasn’t really a lot more of the book that was intriguing and wanting you to read more. As I was reviewing it I did feel as if I should finish the book to get the whole story. 
I have given Unwanted Truths by Tricia Haddon 2 out of 5 stars
Kindle Edition: 336 pages
Published 28th April 2015 by Matador
rachelbustin
Disclaimer: All the views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and book description from Goodreads for purpose of this review only.
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My 1st Blogiversary and a Giveaway!

As you know I have been very busy as a new mummy and totally forgot about my little blog turning 1 year old! I would have missed it completely if it wasn’t for a Facebook memory showing up in my time line! Thanks Facebook!
So as it’s my first Blogiversary I want to host a little giveaway as appreciation to my readers. I have 4 completely different books and a box of chocolates for you to win. In my eyes books and chocolates is a win win situation, as I’m sure you will all agree.
1st Blogiversary

Looking back over my first year of blogging I feel as if I have come a long way. When I started I didn’t have a clue what coding was (I’m still trying to learn more about that one!), meta tags, search descriptions, SEO. It was like learning a new language. I have never really been totally computer savvy, so it’s been a real learning curve.
I think of my blog as an online diary, writing inserts of my life. What books I am reading, what one word sums up my week with Word of the Week, the photos I love to take with #MySundayPhoto, what I win with the competitions I enter and also what recipes and gardening stuff I get up to.
It’s been a hard year with working full time, spending time on my blog and then finding out I was pregnant, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s to the next year blogging through my new journey – motherhood!
So now onto the giveaway – the books to win are shown in the photo below. They are Atonement by Ian McEwan, a Jeremy Clarkson book, Campari for Breakfast by Sara Crowe, and the strange little book – A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. Also not forgetting the small box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray!
1st Blogiversary giveaway

 

To enter the giveaway, please complete as many entries as you wish in the Rafflecopter below.
Unfortunately due to postage costs it will be a UK ONLY competition.
Good luck!
1st Blogiversary

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: There is one prize of the four paperbooks shown in the image above and a small box of Milk Tray chocolates – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter. The winner will have 14 days to respond with a valid UK postal address before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. 

Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Find more competitions here:
www.theprizefinder.com

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A Cornish Mum
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Book Review: First One Missing by Tammy Cohen

Here we are at the beginning of February, where did January go? and another #BookReviewMonday. January seemed to flyby this year it must be because I’m still waiting for my baby girl to arrive and I have had so much to organise and prepare ready for her arrival! She really is a little stubborn baby! I will be going in on Saturday to be induced if shes not here this week so I won’t be around for next weeks #BookReviewMonday, but hope to be back really soon.
On to my book review for today. This weeks book is called First One Missing by Tammy Cohen. I recieved this book by being selected to review it through Netgalley. I also have one of her other books callled When She Was Bad on my To-Read list.

Book Description:

There are three things no-one can prepare you for when your daughter is murdered:
– You are haunted by her memory day and night
– Even close friends can’t understand what you are going through.
– Only in a group with mothers of other victims can you find real comfort.
But as the bereaved parents gather to offer support in the wake of another killing, a crack appears in the group that threatens to rock their lives all over again.
Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

My Review:
What drew me to this book was the the book description. It’s very fast paced, to the point with no waffle. It makes the book very intriging and part mystery as you don’t even get to know who the characters are.
The story is a very emotional, chilling and psychological thriller. It envolves the abduction and murder of young girls, and what this does to the families left behind. The mother of the first murdered girl, Helen Purvis set up a support group for the other mother’s called Megan’s Angels named after her murdered daughter.
I think it gives the reader lots of questions throughout, like how many killers are there? Why are some of the family members acting strangly? It will keep you on your toes while you are reading through.
The book is told through various points of view from the different character’s throughout the book, which does make it fairly hard to start with figuring out who is who. Once I got into it though it developed very quickly and was hard to put down near the end. Especially when I got right to the end to a really great twist that I never saw coming.
First One Missing is really well written by Tammy Cohen and I cannot wait to read more of her books.
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK for the review ebook copy.
I have given First One Missing by Tammy Cohen 4 out of 5 stars.
Kindle Edition: 266 pages
Published 2nd July 2015 Random House UK

MamaMummyMum



Disclosure I am also a part of the Amazon Affiliate scheme so if you click on a link to Amazon and buy, I will recieve a little bit back, so thanks if you do.