loopyloulaura

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Uni-que fun with UniVerse collectable unicorn surprises

Unicorns are a firm favourite with Anya so she was beyond excited to discover the contents of the UniVerse surprise toys. I managed to hide the packaging from her so she had no idea that unicorns were involved!

Each packet contains a cloud with a cute face. You plunge it into warm water and the cloud dissolves, releasing a colour which hints about the contents (it corresponds to the different places the unicorns come from but this only works when you have the sheet that give all the different options)

 

The water goes horribly slimy which is the only downside to this toy. I found that it was possible to float the cloud on the water so the back dissolves then the front could be pulled away from the inner contents. The hotter the water and the more you use then the more diluted the slime is.

 

 

Inside the cloud are four blind bags containing surprises.
Anya was dancing with delight when she discovered the unicorn inside! Each one comes with a little friend, accessories and a scratch card that gives you information such as favourite food and likes and dislikes, making each one more unique.

 

So, who did we get? Goddess Goldie, Sunburst Sydney, Lotsa Mozza Ella and Jam-Boree Jamie.

Sunburst Sydney glows in the dark so Anya spent part of the afternoon in a dark cupboard playing 😀 Lotsa Mozza Ella has a fuzzy moustache. Some have real hair or other features ti make them uni-que and Anya wants to collect all 40!

 

*We were sent this toy for the purpose of this review. Alll opinionns and photos are my own

 


The Tuscan Girl, by Angela Petch

 

 

In the present day, a personal tragedy send Alba back to her family in Italy where she learns to come to terms with her grief. She befriends an elderly man Massimo and he begins to tell her about his experiences of the Second World War.
The narrative is split into three separate timelines: Alba in the present, Lucia mainly in 1944 and Massimo mainly in 1946. The author uses dramatic irony to a certain extent as we know that Massimo and Lucia marry so know what will be the partial outcome but we still need to learn about their journey up to that point.
Lucia befriends a German soldier who has concerns about how his comrades are behaving. He decides to help the Italian partisans, but even so, Lucia is hounded out of her village for fraternising with the enemy. We learn about Massimo’s experience of being a prisoner of war in England and then his return to Italy, finding Lucia again. Alba in the present day finds her childhood friend Alfi but he is struggling with a controlling girlfriend.
The best and worst of humanity are demonstrated through The Tuscan Girl. We see violence and hatred on an international, local and personal scale. There is kindness and love that shines through stronger than the pain and grief that inevitably accompanies it
I really enjoyed this book. The use of the three timelines allowed the events to be revealed gradually and I was completely swept up in the story of these relatable characters. I felt that the main characters had a depth which inspired an emotional connection, and I found it refreshing that Florian was portrayed as a German rather than a Nazi.
The Tuscan Girl is a beautifully written book. I wanted the characters to find happiness and love: this only partially worked out but they did find peace and contentment.

Book Description:
She ran away through the pine trees when the soldiers came. Staggering into the hiding place, she felt a fluttering in her belly, like a butterfly grazing its wings, and knew instantly she had something to fight for.
Present day: When her fiancé is tragically killed in an accident, twenty-six-year-old Alba is convinced she’s to blame. Heavy with grief and guilt, she flees to her childhood home – the tiny village of Rofelle, nestled in a remote Tuscan valley. Out hiking one day to fill the long, lonely hours, she finds a mahogany box filled with silverware, hidden near the vine-covered ruins of an isolated house left abandoned after World War II. Could finding the rightful owner ease Alba’s heartache, and somehow make amends for her own wrongs?
In search of answers, Alba meets Massimo, an elderly man who wants to spend his final years pruning his fruit trees, alone with his painful memories. His face turns pale when Alba brings up the war, but she senses that their shared grief connects them. An unlikely friendship grows as little by little Massimo speaks of Lucia: a wild young girl with sparkling eyes who fell in love with an enemy soldier, bravely stole precious Italian treasures back from Nazi occupiers, and whose selfless courage and sacrifice altered the course of the war – and Massimo’s life.
With each visit, Alba gets closer to unravelling the mystery of the silver, and they both start putting their ghosts to rest. But there’s one part of Lucia’s story that Massimo might never be able to share – and he’s running out of time. Has Alba churned up emotions that are too painful to ever confront? Or, will unearthing a wartime secret that has lain buried for generations finally bring Massimo peace?
An absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking read that will sweep you away to the rugged mountains and lush olive groves of Tuscany. Fans of The Nightingale, Rhys Bowen and Julianne MacLean will be captivated.
Author Bio:
I’m an award winning writer of fiction – and the occasional poem. Every summer I move to Tuscany for six months where my husband and I own a renovated watermill which we let out. When not exploring our unspoilt corner of the Apennines, I disappear to my writing desk at the top of our converted stable. In my Italian handbag or hiking rucksack I always make sure to store notebook and pen to jot down ideas. The winter months are spent in Sussex where most of our family live. When I’m not helping out with grandchildren, I catch up with writer friends.
 https://angelapetchsblogsite.wordpress.com/
@Angela_Petch
Buying Links:
Amazon: http://bit.ly/2SJ0Tzx
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2wsYa4x
Apple Books: https://apple.co/37IgSSW
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2P8YkVt

#GlobalBlogging 151

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to #GlobalBlogging!
Half term has disappeared in the blink of an eye. Today I am back to work and starting my 7th job this afternoon. Very busy time right now!
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Poem: There’s A Vegan Coming to Dinner

There’s a vegan coming to dinner.
What are we going to do?
Why can’t she eat normal stuff
Like a casserole or a stew?

 

 

There’s a vegan coming to dinner.
What do they actually eat?
Egg? No. Cheese? No
And obviously no meat!

 

There’s a meatie hosting a dinner.
It was lovely to be invited.
Will they try to cater for me
Or leave me feeling slighted?

 

 

There’s a meatie hosting a dinner.
Should I offer them some tips?
I don’t want to offend them
But some things won’t pass my lips.

 

 

There’s a vegan coming to dinner
I’ve searched Google for inspiration
Pinterest has a wealth of gorgeous food
For a vegan’s delectation

 

 

There’s a vegan coming to dinner
I’ve made a vat of veg chilli and rice
Salsa, guacamole, tortillas
It all tastes surprisingly nice.
There’s a meatie hosting a dinner
What a special treat!
Such thoughtful consideration
Of what we could ALL eat!


For The Love Of The Law, by Deborah A. Stansil

 

Willow Greyson has rebuilt her legal career after the devastating murder of her boyfriend in the courtroom where they were on opposing sides of the case. She has high status in her legal practice and a loving fiance Hunter, another lawyer in the firm.
A shocking discovery puts Willow’s career, relationship and even her life in danger…
Plotwise, For The Love Of The Law is fast paced and engaging. The twists are unexpected and raise questions about how YOU would react in the same position. There is also an emotional side and psychological perspective due to the turbulence of Willow’s situation and reactions.
We see events in flashback chapters which are written in the first person, unlike the rest of the book which is third person and therefore more neutral. The flashbacks help us to understand the emotional background to the character’s behaviour so that we can relate to them in the present day sections.
There is a LOT of sex in this book so be warned if you blush easily… 😉
At around 170 pages, this is a reasonably quick but definitely enjoyable read with plenty of drama (and sex!)
I am very impressed that Deborah is able to write books belonging to such diverse genres with success each time! Read my reviews of Deborah’s other books: The Asylum Tour and Lacey Patrick and the Wizard of Darkness.

Book blurb:
Running from her scarred past, Willow Greyson thought she would never practice the law again, and she was certain she would never allow herself to love again. She was getting by, content with her life if not completely happy, but all of that changed when she met Hunter Graham. Willow slowly begins to open herself up to the idea of love once more after she finds herself working alongside Hunter at a law firm.
Hunter Graham is determined to do whatever it takes to make Willow his, even if that means being vulnerable around her. But when a shadowy figure from Willow’s past makes an appearance, it becomes clear to Hunter that keeping the love of his life might not be so easy. Hunter must decide whether to fight for Willow, or whether to be the man who loves her enough to let her go.
Will Willow’s past destroy her relationship with Hunter, or is he truly her soul mate? Find out in For the Love of the Law, the new legal romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat to the very last page.