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iallan

iallan
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      14.09.2014 16:54
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      • "good atmosphere"
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      Good mexican food & cocktails in a buzzy atmosphere!

      Tucked away in Glasgow’s Merchant City is Pancho Villas, a buzzing Mexican restaurant. Situated in Bell Street across from the bars and restaurants of Merchants Court this restaurant holds its own with a lively atmosphere, great frozen margaritas and some sizzling Mexican food.

      It is always best to book ahead particularly at the weekend when it can get very busy. The restaurant has two levels – street level and the basement, if you can I would ask for a table on the street level it is much airier and more spacious.

      I have visited Panchos on many occasions it’s a great place for big groups as it has a good atmosphere and is not a quiet restaurant.

      The owner is Mexican born Maya NuAtez who has brought to Pancho Villas her home cooked Mexican food.

      The menu is fairly extensive starters include soup, quesadillas, nachos and taquitos among other things, starting from £3.75 up to £9.95 for a combination sharing plate. My favourite is the chilli con carne nachos with sour cream, just the right amount of spice and cheese.

      Vegetarians are catered for with a selection of starters and four main courses including a Quesadilla, Fajitas and Enchiladas. The main course selection includes everyone’s favourite Mexican dishes including Burritos, Tacos, Chilli, Enchiladas of every variety (including cracked crab and various chicken styles), Quesadillas, Steak, Lamb, Salads and the perennial favourite fajitas either with chicken, steak, king prawn or a combination. I have to admit my dish of choice is the chicken fajita which always comes sizziling to the table with a good portion of chicken, peppers and onions. Sometimes the accompaniments can be a little lacking and I've had to ask for more guacamole and tortillas. Friends of mine had the spiced meatballs which they said was really spicy, the only thing missing from the menu is wee chillis to mark how spicy the dishes are for the more sensitive palates.

      I’ll be honest I don’t think I have ever had a dessert in Pancho’s as I am always so stuffed after my starter and main although I do make sure that I always have room for their frozen strawberry margeritas, which are particularly drinkable!

      The cocktail list favours Mexican and holiday specialties and offer an extensive range of normal and frozen margaritas either by the glass or pitcher. They also have a good range of Mexican style beers and tequila as well as your normal drinks and are always good at bring pitchers of tap water to the table too.

      I would recommend Pancho Villas for a friendly tasty and buzzy Mexican it also is fairly reasonable and makes for a good night out.

      I have to say I have a soft spot for Panchos they are consistently good and the cocktails are pretty darn great – what more could you ask for!

      The Glasgow restaurant can be found at Bell Street, they also have an Edinburgh outpost which can be found at Canongate, the Royal Mile.

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      04.07.2013 00:03
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      An amazing all year round fragrance - smells fabulous!

      Jo Malone has been one of my favourite perfume brands for a very long time and over the years i have had many of their fragrances. Two of my particular favourites were Vintage Gardenia and Verbena de Provence, both of which were fabulous, however I was very disappointed to find out last May that both of them were being discontinued at the same time!!!!!!! What was i going to do!!!!!!

      Back to square one for me, so I started my search for a new favourite and I didn't have to wait very long, Jo Malone launched last Autumn their new fragrance Blackberry & Bay. On first smell I loved it - it was fabulously fruity and after trying it on my skin for a day, always best to make sure it suits you before buying, it is amazing how often i smell a perfume love it then try it out and hate as it does't suit my skin, however I needn't have worried the Blackberry & Bay smelt amazing.

      The fragrance top note is overwhelmingly Blackberry, bursting with fruity juiciness and a tart accent, the heart notes are Bay Leaves bringing a green aroma to the perfume and the base note is the mossy inspiring Cedar Wood. The fragrance is clean, refreshing and juicily fruity just like you are in a field of blackberries picking & eating them. The fragrance comes in two sizes, the first is the 30ml cologne which is perfect handbag or travel size and comes in at £39, the larger size a 100ml cologne is probably better value but not quite so portable and comes in at £78. Both come in clean minamilist glass bottles with silver lids. (If you are flying through Heathrow there are several Jo Malone shops in the various Terminals including 5 where you can pick up all the products at duty free prices, which makes quite a considerable saving).

      Also available in the range is the Body & Hand Wash in a 250ml plastic bottle which looks similar to the perfume bottles and comes in at £32. The very luxurious Body Creme comes in a 175ml jar and is priced at £50, a fabulous gift to receive, and finally the last in the Blackberry & Bay collection is the Home Candle at £39 for 200g.

      The Blackberry & Bay is an amazing all year round fragrance and also is recommended to combine well with Jo Malone's Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne. I love my new fragrance and am keeping my fingers crossed that they don't discontinue it any time soon!

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      08.04.2011 23:17
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      worth a read

      I found Mark Gimenez books a while ago when I read his The Colour of Law, it had some references to one of my all time favourite books To Kill A Mockingbird. I have since read several of his books and in my ever increasing reading pile was his latest paperback Accused.

      I was pleasantly surprised to see he had gone back to the original characters of his first novel The Colour of Law, the one that started it all for me.
      A.Scott Fenney is still a practising lawyer in Texas, now for his own small law firm, he looks after his 2 daughters Boo and his newly adopted . He receives a distressing call from his ex wife Rebecca, who left him in the previous novel for a professional golfer - Trey Rawlins, but she is now accused of murdering him and is being held in a police cell in Galveston. Rebecca is now begging Scott to defend her, something he can't say no to as he doesn't want their daughter Boo growing up with her mother in jail and he still has feelings for her. If found guilty Rebecca would be sentenced to life imprisonment. Scott moves his family and associates to Galveston to try and prove Rebecca's innonence and find some flaws in the prosecution's case and some new suspects.

      There are plenty of twists and turns in this book and it is fast paced, while it was 576 pages in the paperback version I raced through the book, it is a real page turner and it was also great to welcome back familiar characters.
      Although not strictly necessary it is adviable to have read The Colour of Law first to completely understand the references and characters.


      I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it maybe didn't quite hit the dizzying heights of the Colour of Law but was an excellent read that kept me guessing right to the end. I enjoyed seeing how the characters had developed and would love to see more books about them.
      Gimenez is often compared to John Grisham but I think he stands by himself as the author of excellent legal thrillers. Keep up the good work. You can purchase it on Amazon for £2.99 the rrp is £6.99.

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      • The Fighter (DVD) / DVD / 59 Readings / 56 Ratings
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        01.03.2011 17:21
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        Worth a watching!

        The Fighter - A Knockout Film!

        The Fighter has had some great reviews and awards buzz so I had fairly high expectations when I went to see it at the cinema. I have to admit I wasn't disappointed!

        The film is based on a true story about two brothers from Lowell, Massachusetts. Dicky Eckland (played by an almost unrecognizable Christian Bale) has had his chance in the boxing ring and famously knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard, a story that is relived on a daily basis even although he has become a crack addict and a somewhat fallen hero. His brother (or half brother to be more technically correct) is Micky Ward a journeyman boxer who has some talent but lives in his brother's shadow and is always seen as a step up fight by opponents looking to hit the big time. He is managed by his mother Alice Ward (played by the brilliant Melissa Leo) who is a true matriarch in every sense of the word, mother to 9, seven of which are possibly the scariest girls to grace the cinema screen, their hair is back-combed and bleached within an inch of its life and to be quite honest I think you would prefer to come up against Dicky & Micky instead of them. While Alice is the manager, her focus is always on Dicky and you feel she doesn't always have Micky's best interest at heart.

        Micky, who is played by Mark Wahlberg, has not much time left to crack the big time and his coach and brother Dicky while a great tactician cannot always be relied upon to even turn up for training sessions. Micky's barmaid girlfriend Charlene (played by the superb Amy Adams) has Micky's best interests at heart and goes head to head with his family (even giving a mean right hook too) to release him from their hold and give him his best chance at a title fight. Throughout the film a documentary film crew follows Dicky on what is thought to be about his potential comeback but really ends up being about his crack addiction.

        This film is more than just about the boxing it is about family, relationships and all their ghosts that haunt us. The cast is quite literally superb and I was certainly not surprised to see it nominated for so many Oscars and for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo to pick up gongs for Best Supporting Actor and Actress - both very well deserved. The film has highs and lows and you are taken there with each character. You care what happens to them and there is also plenty of humour along the way to lighten the mood on occasion.

        I would thoroughly recommend this film for the engaging performances of a stellar cast, a well made film that leaves you still thinking about it hours and days after seeing it. It deserves all the awards it gets.

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          08.02.2011 00:03
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          enjoy!

          Morning Glory has a pretty impressive cast with Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum and Rachel McAdams starring in it. The film follows Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) an ambitious hard working early morning television producer who is all about her job with little or no work life balance at all.

          Becky in the opening few scenes is fired from her New Jersey early morning tv job, after a great deal of searching and a certain amount of desperations she eventually lands a job and a huge challenge at a struggling breakfast tv show called Daybreak (ironic eh!). In her first team meeting she has to win over an unimpressed and jaded crew and fire the sexist / lazy co-host, all in the first days work! Her only problem is to then find Colleen (Diane Keaton) a new co-anchor. Becky has her eye on Mike Pomeroy, a distinguished and serious broadcast journalist who is contracted to the network for millions but see's Daybreak as early monring fluff, beneath him and definitely not worthy of his considerable experience or attention. After much persuasion Mike is signed up and Beky now has the unenviable task of keeping him under control while trying to save the show from plummetting ratings and its demise! In between all this Becky find romance in the office and a sympathetic ear with Adam Bennett (played by the very cute Patrick Wilson) who is a network employee and former colleague of Mike Pomeroy.

          Rachel McAdams is excellent as Becky she shows passion and tenaccity in the role and while the romance with Adam is very underplayed and in all respects is a by the by. Her best chemistry is reserved for the relationship with Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) and this is what saves this movie from being distinctly average.

          This is certainly not a role i would have expected to see a modern day Harrison Ford, but he is back to his early comedic best and he plays the grumpy news journalist with a glimpse of a heart perfectly. Diane Keaton as Colleen is a perfect foil and they work brilliantly together as co-anchors although not always, if ever, see eye to eye.

          This film was an easy going, light hearted comedy. I initially didn't have high expectations and came away from the cinema after and enjoyable non taxing couple of hours. You don't need to think too hard about Morning Glory just sit back relax and let the film wash over you. The film had some top class stars but also an excellent supporting cast who really made the movie, watch out for the weatherman, he had some challenging forecasts!!

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            18.01.2011 23:13
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            not my fave book

            This is another book that has been sitting around my house gathering dust. I tried to read it a few months ago got 2 chapters in and for whatever reason gave up. My friend raved about it so I thought I would give it another try.

            I had heard a lot of good things about Mark Billingham and his novels everyone raved about his DI Thorne novels, In the Dark is his first novel without his main character.

            I have to admit is took me a while to get into the book, the first few chapters jumped around the different characters setting the scene but it felt kind of slow and I felt I had to stick with it.

            It is kind of hard to describe what the book is about without giving anything away but also because it was a bit all over the place, well written, but not what I was expecting. In the Dark is a crime novel that follows different stories that are all connected in some way. There is a young couple of police officers about to have a baby with a load of their own problems, when one of them dies in unusual circumstances. There is a crew of drug dealers in Lewisham who live on the wrong side of the law. Some hardened old timer criminals who know more than they are telling and a number of police who have jobs to do and questions to answer. All of these stories are connected and many in surprising ways.

            I am still not 100% sure about this book, however I stuck with it to the end as I wanted to know what happened but I didn't feel engrossed in the story and didn't relate or really care about the characters.

            Many of the reviews and comments about the book went on about a clever and shocking final twist and while the book had many twists by the end I wasn't too bothered and didn't think it was that dramatic a twist. I was actually quite disappointed by this book which is a real shame as I was hoping to like Mark Billingham's work. Maybe one day I'll read one of his Tom Thorne books but not any time soon.

            If you are a Mark Billingham fan this might be up your street it just wasn't for me.

            Never mind you win some and lose some, on to my next book.

            The book is available to buy on Amazon for £3.98 with a recommended rrp of £6.99.

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            • The Next Three Days (DVD) / DVD / 68 Readings / 66 Ratings
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              13.01.2011 13:06
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              A good thriller

              The Next Three Days is a Hollywood remake of a recent French thriller Pour Ell. The film is directed by Paul Haggis, the writer & director of Crash, the film stars Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks as husband and wife John & Lara Brennan. Their life is turned upside down when Lara is accused and convicted of the murder of her boss, whom she'd had an argument with, a crime she says she didn't commit. However she was seen leaving the scene of the crime and her fingerprints were on the murder weapon.

              John, her husband spends the next three years fruitlessly trying to get her released and find new evidence to overturn or explain the existing evidence. However when the many appeals fail the strain gets too much for Lara, she misses her young son Luke and husband John and attempts suicide. John takes matters into his own hands and decides the only way forward is to break her out, but as a Lecturer in a Community College he has very little or no experience of this and needs to learn fast.

              He starts his research by meeting with a man who has broken out of prison several times and has written a book on it. The man is played by Liam Neeson in a cameo role that only lasts a few minutes. John maps out an intricate plan which obviously has many complications and obstacles to overcome, which all has to be speeded up dramatically when Lara gets notice of a prison transfer in the nest three days, hence the name of the film. Nothing of course, as can be expected, runs to plan.

              I enjoyed this film with its many twists and turns that kept you guessing and hooked right to the very final scene. It is a dramatic thriller with an excellent cast. Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks are impressive in their lead roles, as is Brian Dennehy's performance as John's dad.

              In the trailer and posters Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde are advertised but both are merely cameo roles and not in it for very long although they have important parts to play in the story.

              If you are looking for an intelligent dramatic thriller that will keep you entertained then The Next Three Days is worth a watch!

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                11.01.2011 17:00
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                Worth a read!

                One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to read all the books that have been sitting around my house for ages, which there are many I may add, this resolution may take all year to complete but I have to it as I am going to be lost under a pile of books soon. So you have been warned it looks like I will be writing plenty of book reviews this year, second week in and I am on my 4th book, so far so good if only this can last then I may be ahead of schedule!

                One of the books in my many piles was One Day which was written by David Nicholls who also wrote Starter for Ten, a friend had given me this book and told me I should read it.

                One Day starts on St Swithan's Day the 15th July 1988, don't worry I don't know what St Swithan's Day is either but it is mentioned in the book several times. Emma and Dexter meet on their graduation night in Edinburgh on this day. Tomorrow the rest of their new lives and adventures begin and they will go their separate ways but they have this night together which is the start of a beautiful friendship.

                The novel revisits their lives and follows their careers, friendships and loves on the same day (15th July) each year for the next 20 years. Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew are opposites in every sense, Emma wants to save the world while Dexter wants to enjoy it. But from that first day in 1988 a friendship blossoms and stands the test of time and many trials and tribulations.

                Each chapter covers a year on and it is a fairly addictive read, as you learn what has happened to them in the intervening year, where they are and all about their ups and downs. It is written very cleverly as it never feels like it stops and starts but flows nicely given the time lapsed between each chapter.

                Emma and Dexter are real character, well written and emotionally involving, throughout the book you become firm friends with both of them and like real friends sometimes you love them other times they annoy you.

                There are also plenty of supporting characters throughout the book which may make the cut for only one chapter or several and even a couple that make the journey over the 20 year period but that's what makes it real and enjoyable it is just like real life. What I also loved was all the references to each year from technology, marketing trends, TV programmes, etc.

                The book is classed as a romantic comedy which I suppose it is but I don't want to put people off with this tag. It is to be released as a film later this year with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as Emma and Dexter.

                I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly, as each chapter represents a new year it feels well paced and not drawn out in any way. I kept wanting to find out what happened next to Emma & Dexter.

                This is an easy read and would make an excellent holiday read, I would definitely recommend it.

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                  10.01.2011 17:18
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                  Worth a read!

                  The Help by Kathryn Stockett draws you in to the life of Jackson, Mississippi in the early 60's where there is a deep segregation between the races and the civil rights movement is gaining momentum and where black maids raise white children but often have to put up with appalling behaviour from their white employers.

                  The book follows three people and the amazing story they have to tell. There's Aibileen who tragically lost her own son but has raised 17 white children and currently is employed by Miss Elizabeth Leefolt. Her friend Minny has her own problems, while she is an excellent cook she's been fired from 19 jobs and her sharp tongue has not helped particularly as she has made an enemy of Jackson's Queen Bee, Benefit Chair and Country Club member Miss hilly Hollbrook. The last is Miss Skeeter, otherwise known as Miss Eugenia Phelan and friend of Miss Hilly. She has recently returned from College to the mysterious disappearance of her beloved maid and no-one will give her an answer as to what happened to Constantine. She is single (her mother is so not happy about this situation) and is a little lost in Jackson living back at home on a cotton plantation and wishing to be a writer.

                  These three characters come together with the help of other maids in a project that could change all of their lives dramatically. You will need to read the book to find out what happens as I don't want to give anything away.

                  The book is written throughout through the eyes of Aibileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter, each in their own distinctive voice and about each of their perspectives of the story and how it integrates into the bigger picture. It is so well written that you can easily empathise with each character sharing their joy, tears, anger and sadness. You are transported completely into their world and form a soft spot for each of them.

                  It is a real page turner that keeps you hooked to the very last of the 464 pages, and I have to admit I was actually sad to see the end of the book. It is not always comfortable to read some of the stories but the book is so well written that it pulls you in sweeping you through a myriad of emotions along the journey.

                  I couldn't put this book down and read it in a matter of a few days often putting off things so I could escape to Aibileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter's lives and see what was happening to them.

                  I would thoroughly recommend this book, it transports you to the Deep South and a very different time and way of thinking but you gain friends and a couple of enemies along the way and a great read!

                  The book costs £3.99 on Amazon with a recommended rrp of £7.99.

                  Fabulous read.

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                • Love and Other Drugs (DVD) / DVD / 50 Readings / 49 Ratings
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                  07.01.2011 15:55
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                  Worth a watching!

                  Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway star in Love and Other Drugs, their first film together since their appearance as a married couple in Brokeback Mountain and we all know how that went for them. Love and Other Drugs is based on Jamie Reidy's memoir Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.

                  Love and Other Drugs is pitched as a comedy / drama which is fairly spot on, it combines the two with equal doses with enough laughs and lumps in your throat to make for a good movie. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the very attractive Jamie Randall, a College dropout and under achiever, who could sell snow to the Eskimos and is a real charmer and a real ladies man. He floats from job to job normally having to leave due to his amorous adventures and eventually ends up in pharmaceutical sales for Pfizer trying to promote a rival drug to the runaway success of Prozac. Using his charm he eventually makes some headway in this competitive market and in the process meets Maggie Murdoch, a 26 year old straight talking artist / waitress and Parkinson's sufferer.

                  What starts as a casual affair between the two develops into something more which takes both of them by surprise but also leads to many complications with Maggie's illness and Jamie's career. This is the late 1990's and Viagra is just being launched by Jamie's company as the new wonder drug, his considerable charm and the demand for Viagra puts Jamie well and truly on the fast track to success!

                  The film is excellent a good mix of comedy and drama that leaves you laughing and crying with the characters. Given the topic it so could have easily slipped into too serious or too comedic but it manages to tiptoe along each line without falling in. There is a great supporting cast that includes Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria and Judy Greer. Jake Gyllenhaal has earned a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical category.

                  A heartwarming film - worth a watch.

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                    05.01.2011 23:33
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                    Fab read

                    This book has been sitting around my house for ages now, it had been recommended and lent to me by a friend. However I have piles of books waiting to be read and I kept picking this one up then putting it down again as I was drawn to another book. But over the xmas period I was looking for an easy read and was also getting a tad guilty for not returning the book so I set about reading it. And boy am I glad I did!

                    It is written in the form of letters which adds a novel and charming angle to the story. The main character is Juliet Ashton, an author who lives in London and is set in the years after the Second World War. Juliet throughout the war had written a column for the Spectator publication, however she is now at a loss as what to write about next. Out of the blue a letter drops through her letterbox from a Dawsey Adams of Guernsey. He had acquired a book that had once belonged to her (and had her address written in it). they start corresponding and Juliet begins to find out about Dawsey, his friends, their war and the German occupation of Guernsey and the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Before long Juliet begins to hear from the other members of the Society via letters which comes thick and fast, her curiosity gets the better of her and she eventually decides to visit for herself, the sory and her book unfolds.

                    This is an enchanting novel that is witty, fun and charming and hard not to love! The characters are fabulously crafted and you fall in love with each of them and their stories. I read this book very quickly almost too quickly as I was sad to see it end. It is a beautiful story and a very enjoyable read, well worth the time.

                    It is not a long book at 248 pages and costs £4.99 on Amazon with a rrp pf £7.99.

                    I can definitely recommend this book, a fascinating story with fabulous characters.

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                      04.01.2011 22:12
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                      ok

                      had previously read a couple of Steve Berry's books namely The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy, both of which i had enjoyed. So on finding myself without a book at the airport i picked up his latest offering The Venetian Betrayal.

                      On first glance it sounded quite good, a kind of pacy thriller that would keep me occupied on my flight. However the start of the book went back to Alexander the Great in Babylon in 323BC (not quite what i was expecting), then it moved to three different stories (all eventually connected) in modern day Copenhagen, Venice and Samarkand. I know this was all about scene setting and some historical background but it took me ages to get into the book and perhaps if i hadn't been on a flight with nothing else to read i may have given up on it. However i stuck it out.
                      The book is all about power and politics, like so much of life, and the fact that a Central Asian and secret international coalition have developed a deadly virus that could wipe out civilisationas we know it! However the cure for this could be buried in the past and the key to this seems to lie with the long lost tomb of Alexander the Great. It becomes a race across the world to find the tomb and solve a riddle left many centuries ago. Of course with any thriller, murder, mayhem and mystery ensues.

                      For the Historian purist this book is certainly not for you as Steve Berry freely admits that he borrows from history then fills in the gaps - after all this is in the fiction section and not the history one.
                      For thriller lovers it is not bad, towards the end it was fairly fast paced but at 500 pages long it could have been cut by quite a few in the middle as it went on a bit.

                      It is not my favourite Steve Berry book I found it at times hard going and didn't connect with any of the main characters (there were quite a few). I did however carry on with the book and finished it but it wasn't always a pleasure to read, not quite the page turner i had been looking for. i have to admit i was slightly disappointed with the book and would maybe think twice before buying one of his books again - which is a shame as i had enjoyed his others. If you a Steve Berry fan go ahead if not proceed with caution!
                      You can purchase it from Amazon for £5.59 with an rrp of £6.99.

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                      01.01.2011 22:09
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                      A great read!

                      I always make a point of checking out Richard & Judi's Book Club recommendations, so when their latest list was released I took a look at it and identified a few I was interested in. One of which was Sister. When in WH Smith recently I saw they were doing a buy one get one free from the Book Club list, never one to turn down a bargain I picked 2 of the ones I was first interested in, namely Sister and The Snowman.

                      I was intrigued by Sister so started reading it the very next day, a peaceful Sunday morning (a rarity in my life) and I couldn't put it down till I'd finished it late on the Sunday afternoon.

                      Some reviewers call it a thriller, which i suppose it is but it so also so much more, it is clever, completely gripping and a real page turner.

                      Sister is about two sisters - Beatrice in the middle of hosting a Sunday brunch in New York gets a call to tell her that her younger sister Tess is missing thousands of miles away in London. As Beatrice starts unravelling Tess' life and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, danger seems to be all around and Beatrice begins to wonder how well she really knows her sister. But the bond of love and loyalty is strong and she never gives up.

                      I won't give away any of the plot as I would thoroughly recommend this as a good read. The story moves so quickly and really draws you in to the story and the sister's lives that it keeps you gripped and turning right to the very last page.

                      This was Rosamund Lupton's first novel and iti is an excellent read, definitely an author I will be looking out for in the future. It is a wonderfully written novel that provides the right amount of intrigue, pace, passion, emotions with well developed characters that really draw you in.

                      A must read you can purchase the book on Amazon for £3.36 with a recommended rrp of £6.99.

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                        17.11.2010 00:42
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                        amazing mascara - a must buy

                        Now for those of you who regularly read my reviews you will know about my quest for the holy grail - the perfect mascara. After a long and hard search i finally thought i had it licked with Rimmel's 1-2-3 Looks Mascara - it was pretty darm good and i was hugely satisfied with it, I believed my quest was over. All this was to change dramatically when a friend gave me a tube of Rimmel's brand new mascara - the Lash Accelerator.

                        The Lash Accelerator Mascara comes in a black tube with a lime green lid and looked fairly normal with big tickets on itself - it claimed to be a mascara and lash treatment in one that promotes natural lash growth for beautifully long and remarkably strong lashes - naturally. i was a tad sceptical but thought nothing ventured nothing gained i am after all a Rimmel mascara girl at heart!

                        So i tried the mascara and wow, on first impressions i was quite taken with it, it made my eyes pop and gave me defined lashes that looked fab instantly - very impressed with the results, i could feel myself waivering from my then favourite mascara. I am not sure of the technical stuff but my lashes really did look longer and far more defined and professional than i had ever been able to achieve before. the advertising says that the ultra lengthening formula delivers up to 80% longer looking lashes instantly, i am not sure how you judge 80& longer but i will say they were considerably longer by far.

                        now the claim that if used daily over 30 days the grow lash complex promotes natural lash growth to create lashes that appear fuller, lusher and up to 117% longer, again i don't know how to measure this appropriately but i have to say that i have noticed my lashes appearing longer and fuller, but can't quantify this is any meaningful way. It is easy to apply and is not in any way clumpy either on the brush or on the eye lashes.

                        The mascara comes in black and brown and is available from all rimmel stockists like boots, superdrug, most major supermarkets and high street chemists and costs on average £8.99 although look out for special offers. I will certainly be buying this again and can definitely recommend it for fabulously defined eye popping lashes. this is now my new favourite and it would need to be a pretty super douper fantastic mascara to beat this one. This now my make up bag and handbag staple and can give me a polished look with very little effort - big thumbs up from me.

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                      • The A-Team [2010] (DVD) / DVD / 104 Readings / 102 Ratings
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                        08.09.2010 16:35
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                        Worth a watching!

                        In my dim and distant past I remember as a child watching on a Saturday The A Team, I don't remember too much but have a vague recollection of the characters and plot lines (don't think it was ever really rocket science!) I remember enjoying it and looking forward to the next episode, so when I heard they were doing a film version I have to say I was quite interested, ok so I am not a kid any more, maybe not in body anyway, but it took me back to those hazy Saturdays!

                        I didn't have to persuade my brother too hard, he was my fellow A Teamer and partner in crime in childhood, to go along and catch the 2010 version. So with bated breath and fading memories we went to see the film. I'll be honest I wasn't expecting too much but thought that the trailers I'd seen looked like good fun, an all action movie where you could disengage your brain for a couple of hours and just sit back and enjoy. I wasn't disappointed!

                        The main characters were cast pretty well, I initially couldn't see Liam Neeson as Hannibal but he pulled it off with a certain amount of tongue in cheek. Bradley Cooper was good as Face and Sharlto Copley gave Murdock real character, I was only young at the time but can't remember Murdock being so off the wall, a real looney tune! BA Baracus was played by Quinton Rampage Jackson, who I think is a wrestler, was ok but I suppose the original character was fairly one dimensional anyway so I suppose he fulfilled the brief.

                        The story and their military service has been updated to current times and they are now a group of Iraq war veterans looking to clear their name after a mission they are sent on to recover plates for printing 100 dollar bills are stolen by another operative. They are all court martialed and sent to different prisons to prevent them colluding, but this is the A Team and the action is only just starting! The action and stunts come thick and fast throughout the movie, and while on certain occasion you have to suspend belief it is on the whole very entertaining. There is also a strong supporting cast which includes Jessica Biel.

                        I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the film, if you were an out and out A Team fanatic I am not sure how you would fare but for me it was pretty darn good full of action and more than a few laughs along the way. I am just wondering when the sequel will come!

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