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Marian Keyes 'anybody out there' is the forth book in the 'Walsh sister series'. This time the story is centered around the second to youngest sister Anna, who any Marion Keyes fans will remember as the slightly flakey, Sister of Claire, Maggie, Rachael and Helen.
It's been an astonishing 13 years since Marian Keyes released the first Story involving the Walsh family (Watermelon) and you'll be surprised at the reference in the latest book 'Anybody Out There' that Claire's baby, is now a stroppy teenager!
The story begins with Anna battered and bruised and living back with her parents and her sister Helen in the family home in Ireland - but desperate to get back to New York, to the job she loves and more importantly her husband Aiden. However, it is revealed that Anna has received some horrific injuries and is reluctantly persuaded by her family to stay in Ireland whilst she recovers.
Life in the Walsh house is never dull as the tales of Helens new job as a private investigator unfold, and the mysterious lady who's allowing her dog to poop outside the Walshes gate brings speculation to the nutty household.
Before long, Anna's strength returns and Rachael (who you may remember from 'Racheals Holiday' and also lives in New York) comes to Ireland to bring Anna home.
Returning to New York, Anna has to work out how to put her life back together after the accident that caused her injuries and more importantly, she needs to find Aiden - he's no where to be seen!
Marian Keyes walsh sister series are all wonderfully written, both extremely witty and able to pull at your heartstrings at the same time and 'Anybody Out There' does not let you down, it's a wonderful read and takes you on a heartwarming journey.
All the usual charaters make an appearance, so the continuity of the books continues, but I don't doubt that this would make an excellent read even without having read the other 3 in the series.
If you've not heard of dan webster already - you will soon.
It's so refreshing, in the era of the 'reality show starlets' to find a musician like Dan, Dan started 'giggin' in his local town of York more than 10 years ago playing the pubs and clubs circuit. He has along the way, as his reputation as an outstanding emerging talent has grown, supported some outstanding musical artists including Midge Ure and Glen Tilbrooke.
Over the years he has developed his own style and Diamond Land is a masterful collection of pungent and honest lyrics.
It opens with 'Falling', a folk rock tune exuding a vibrant acoustic guitar. Next, the title track, Diamond land is the recount of a conversation between Dan and a friend who had recently returned from Sierra Leone, a moving track that was played on BBC Radio 2's Sunday morning show on remembrance Sunday last year. Track 3 is Caroline, and my favourite - it opens with a hauntingly beautiful piano piece and into a song about lost love.
'Fishing' and 'Borrowed and blue' are the tearjerkers. Whilst 'Like Hell' 'Superstore' and 'What are we doing here' are more up tempo and display marvelously Dans diversity. Diamond Land captures perfectly Dan's extraordinary song writing. Each song flows into the next without feeling disjointed or out of place.
Mastered by internationally respected Jon Astley who has an impressive c.v. he has mastered the likes of Bon Jovi, Led Zepplin, the Who and even guitar hero, Eric Clapton - the album talks of love, loss, politics, corruption and war- tapping into the consciousness of a generation searching for change
Janet Evanovich is the wonderful author of the Stephanie Plum Novels.
We all know the expression, 'never judge a book by it's cover' - it's good advice! on this occasion however, I'm glad I didn't follow it. The First Janet Evanovich book I read was 'Hot six' and I chose it purely and simply because on the bright yellow sleeve was a gorgeous Golden Retriever.
From the first page I was hooked, and it didn't matter that it was the 6th book in the series as although the books follow on from one another - they stand on there own as a great read. Needless to say as soon as I'd finished hot 6 I dashed out to get my hands on the rest in the series!
The central character is Stephanie Plum, the first book finds Stephanie out of work, recently divorced and living on her own in an apartment block with mainly elderly neighbours, oh and not forgetting her hamster, Rex.
To maintain her rent payments/living expenses she reluctantly accepts a job working for her Cousin Vinnies bond enforcement agency and this is where the adventures begins - Stephanie Plum bounty hunter!
Each book is the perfect mix of comedy, action and romance, as Stephanie with the help of her sometime side kick Lula, a buxom former hooker turned filing clerk make hilarious and disastrous attempts to catch New Jerseys bail jumpers, but with the assistance of the 2 men in Stephanie's life, Joe Morelli and the dark and mysterious Ranger, she always gets her guy!
Janet Evanovich's book are fantastic, I highly recomment them!
Bon Jovi meets country! and it's brilliant!
I think it's important to remember that Bon Jovi have now been going for 25 years now, and they've had huge success with all of their albums and sell out world tours.
I think the reason they keep going strong is because unlike many other rock bands that came out of the late 70's early 80's Bon Jovi have grown and developed their music over the years, not necessarily following the trend but they're own love of music and writing emotive songs pertinent to what's happening in the world and indeed in there own lives.
Bon Jovi has received a lot of criticism from people who want 'old school' Bon Jovi and nothing else, songs such as Keep the Faith and living on a Prayer are amazing iconic rock songs that never go out of fashion but Lost Highway offers something different.
The band went to Nashville to write and record Lost Highway, and it definitely has a country feel especially when the band are joined by Leanne Rhymes for 'Till we ain't strangers anymore' and then Big and Rich got together with the boys to sing a really 'fun' song 'We got it going on'. (my 2 year olds favourite) both collaborations work fantastically well.
Some of the tracks have good old Bon Jovi Lyrical cheese, eg in the title track they refer to their 'plastic dashboard Jesus, waiting there to greet us' it's nonsense but it's fun, and some of the tracks are wonderfully written, you can tell that a lot of heart and soul have gone into these songs, track 7 'Seat next to you' is beautiful, I can't listen to it without getting goosebumps. As is (you want to) make a memory, this particular track highlights what a talented singer Jon Bon Jovi undeniably is as there's not much in the way of music going on in the background, his voice alone is the instrument. There's a few filler tracks, all of which I love to listen to (and sing along to) in the car - So all in all a brilliant album!
Firstly I'll start off by saying that I don't play computer games very often! and I actually bought Guitar Hero as it was suggested to me that it might be a good christmas gift for my partner who loves rock music.
So I ordered it! it was quite pricey at around the £70 mark, but I was exhausted for ideas so I thought I would give it a go!
What you get is quite literally a guitar! it's got a nice weight to it and a strap so when you're holding it, it does feel like your holding a real guitar - minus the strings ofcourse! You can decorate your guitar with stickers or 'skins' that you can buy, I have bought a black and white animal print and it looks really quite funky.
To play the game, the songs starts to play and you can see the notes appear on the screen and you press the relevent button on the fret board and strum the guitar in time with the music. You start off in 'easy' mode, which means you just have to concentrate on 3 notes, and as you get better at the game you progress to hard, and it really is HARD! (you can look at some video footage of people playing it in the hard mode and it's truely amazing)
The choice of songs are brilliant, and so far we've found something to everyones taste. eg. Guns and Roses Welcome to the Jungle, Alice Coopers Schools out and Eric Johnson Cliffs of Dover to name but a few. There are also some newer rockers such as the Kaiser chiefs and the Killers.
You can just play for fun or you can create your own character and progress through the game earning money from gigs and taking part in guitar battles with Slash (Guitarist from Guns & Roses) and the devil himself!!
It really is a game for everyone, my 2 year old daughter loves to sing and dance to the music and older children love to have a go too.
It really is good fun and well worth getting if you have a Wii, it's just that little bit different from other games and a game you can go back to time and time again.
Well it took me a 2 weeks of procrastinating before I finally took the plunge and ordered my Viewty. I first heard about touch screen phones 18 months ago when I renewed my contract but there wasn't one available on my particular plan so I went with a bog standard sony ericsson. This time however I decided to treat myself to the phone I really wanted.
The reason it took me such a long time to decide to get the Viewty is I was actually worried that maybe I was buying into the novelty of the touch screen and that I would be tied to a phone that would be hard to use for 18 months!
Luckily I'm finding the Viewty surprisingly easy to use! I expected I would have to 'get the knack' of using the touchscreen but not so! it's very easy, just a light touch with your finger and you can navigate through the menus.
For texting it's also brilliant, I was worried that it would be hard to text at speed with the touchscreen but it's incredibly simple and I've found myself texting faster than I did on my old handset. I did wonder if it would be easy enough for someone with bigger hands/fingers to use so my partner who is a Joiner so has huge, 'workmans' hands and he found it very easy to use and is now considering getting a Viewty for himself!
Another feature that it has whilst texting is the option to write the message using a little pen that comes with the phone, I've found that a really 'cool' feature, but it's very hit and miss as to whether it recognises my writing, but that could say as much about my penmanship as the phone!
You can also select an option to write your message with a qwerty keyboard, but the letters are very small so it's not as accurate unless you use the pen.
The Camera is 5 mega pixels, I have no idea what a mega pixel is! (sorry) but what I can say is that it's easy to get into camera mode and the pictures I've taken so far are fantastic!! I'm so pleased as I don't have a camera, and I've always thought that the pictures that you take on your phone aren't really the sort you would print and put in a frame, but with the Viewty you could, because they are such good quality! I'm actually amazed by this as I never really put much thought into the camera when choosing my phone.
The only negative thing I would say is that I chose my viewty in Purple, you can get it in black, silver, red and purple and it just so happens that I got the best deal on the purple one so that's the one I went for - I don't like it I actually think it makes the phone look a 'bit cheap', but that's just an aesthetic thing really and obviously doesn't take away from the fact that it really is a brilliant phone!
I won my Dell inspiron Laptop through a Bingo site 2 months ago! It's not something I would've bought for myself but now I've got it I wouldn't be without it! I'm going to review it from the perspective that I am not very 'computer literate', but I do use my laptop daily and I'm finding it incredibly easy to use, I've never set up a wireless connection before but it was literally a flick of a switch and I was online through my home hub! amazing! the mouse is realy sensitive and easy to use, I realy like the bar at the side of the mouse area that allows you to scroll up and down easily, it makes browsing the net nice and simple. The battery doesn't last very long when the laptop isn't plugged in, about 2 hours and it goes into power save mode so the screen becomes darker and if the suns shining through the window it makes it quite hard to see the screen. It also has buttons to play/stop/fastforward/and sound adjustments, I find that I have to press these a few times to get them to work, but they're realy handy to have. All in all it's a wonderful laptop and although I got it for free, I would certainly buy it as it's brilliant value.