Friday 31 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: Belly Woman - Benjamin Black

What happens to pregnant women when a humanitarian catastrophe strikes?

Belly Woman shines a light on a story often left untold.

May, 2014. Sierra Leone is ranked the country with the highest death rate of pregnant women in the world. The same month, Ebola crosses in from neighbouring Guinea. Arriving a few weeks later, Dr Benjamin Black finds himself at the centre of an exponential Ebola outbreak. From impossible decisions on the maternity ward to moral dilemmas at the Ebola Treatment Centres. One mistake, one error of judgment, could spell disaster.

An eye-opening work of reportage and advocacy, Belly Woman chronicles the inside journey through an unfolding global health crisis and the struggle to save the lives of young mothers. As Black reckons with the demons of the past, he must try to learn the lessons for a different, more resilient, future.

What did I think?

Belly Woman is a medical memoir set during the West African Ebola epidemic of 2014 to 2016 and I think it's important to mention the trigger warnings for this book.  There are a lot of miscarriages and stillbirths so it might prove difficult reading for anyone who has experienced this themselves, however, the western experience of such devastating events is in stark contrast to the experiences depicted in this book.

Dr Benjamin Black was there on the front line but instead of feeling proud of everything he accomplished in Sierra Leone he feels ashamed.  Ashamed he couldn't do more...ashamed that so many pregnant women didn't leave his care with a live baby...ashamed of the health service we take for granted but don't support enough...I could go on.  Note that this is my interpretation of Benjamin Black's feeling of shame as I completely understood why he would feel that way.

For a non-fiction book, the pacing is incredibly fast as it is so well written and full of drama that it feels as if it's a fiction novel.  Unfortunately for the people of West Africa, this story is very real.  Before COVID-19 there was Ebola, but this mainly affected Africa so to most of us in the UK it was simply a foreign news story.  This is the true story of Ebola and its devastating effect.

Harrowing, honest and raw, Belly Woman is a powerful and unforgettable novel that everyone should read.  Very highly recommended.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Thursday 30 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Bookshop Ladies - Faith Hogan

Bestselling Irish writer, Faith Hogan, has created another gripping saga of friendship, betrayal and secrets in this story of a widow in search of answers to a shocking confession by her dying husband.

Joy Blackwood has no idea why her French art dealer husband has left a valuable painting to a woman called Robyn Tessier in Ballycove, a small town on the west coast of Ireland, but she is determined to find out.

She arrives in Ballycove to find that Robyn runs a rather chaotic and unprofitable bookshop. She is shy, suffering from unrequited love for dashing Kian, and badly in need of advice on how to make the bookshop successful.

As Joy becomes entangled in the daily dramas of Ballycove, uncovering the secrets behind her husband's painting grows increasingly challenging. When she finally musters the courage to confront the truth, her revelation sends shockwaves through the tight-knit community she's grown to love.


What did I think?

Faith Hogan is one of my favourite authors and I didn't think I could love one of her Ballycove books more than I already do and then she goes and writes one set in a bookshop.  As well as books, it is of course filled with drama, secrets and the wonderful Ballycove community spirit.

I had tears in my eyes before I had even finished the dramatic prologue as Joy's life changed forever in the blink of an eye.  Not only does Joy have her own grief to deal with, she is rocked by a confession her husband made with his final breath.  Joy leaves her home in Paris and sets of to Ballycove in Ireland to hand deliver a painting that her husband has bequeathed in his will.

Joy is rightfully angry but her anger vanishes almost instantly the moment she steps inside the bookshop owned by Robyn Tessier.  Robyn assumes that Joy has come to volunteer for work and Joy is too polite (and a little shellshocked) to set Robyn straight.  It's not ideal to start a friendship with secrets and it gets harder to find the right time to be honest as time goes on, but I could tell that Joy's heart was in the right place and that Ballycove had a firm grip of Joy's heart.

The wonderful community of Ballycove once again plays a huge part in the story and it was lovely to see some old faces that I have come to know and love over the years.  The Bookshop Ladies is a standalone novel though, so you don't need to have read any of the other books to enjoy it.

A book set in a bookshop is a book lover's dream and The Bookshop Ladies is a wonderfully heartwarming and engaging read.  There are books aplenty to delight the bookworms among us but it's the characters who leave a lasting impression on the reader in this very highly recommended read.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Sunday 26 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: Love Beyond Lindisfarne - Kimberley Adams

Take a spring to summer trip to magical Northumberland and find love and laughter in this feel-good novel, which will transport you to the iconic island of Lindisfarne and beyond…

Ellie, and Zen with the coffee-bean eyes, met at Christmas when she came to Northumberland to look after rescue animals. They are taking their first tentative steps into a love-at-first-sight relationship and all in their spring garden should be wonderful.

When Lady Grace becomes ill, life at the castle changes overnight, and not for the better. The new custodian and his fiancée have plans, and the islanders are far from happy. When the filming of a reality show means the animals must move out of their yard due to the Queen of the Castle production company taking over, it’s the final straw.

Amongst all the drama, Love Beyond Lindisfarne is a story of love, intergenerational friendships, camaraderie, and oodles of the warmth and humour found in this very special corner of the world.

What did I think?

I am absolutely delighted that Kimberley Adams decided to write a sequel to her amazing debut novel, Love Lindisfarne, and Love Beyond Lindisfarne is just as funny and entertaining as its predecessor.  You can of course read Love Beyond Lindisfarne as a standalone but you will definitely want to read Love Lindisfarne afterwards if it's your first virtual visit to the picturesque Northumberland island of Lindisfarne.

It was so wonderful to revisit Holy Island (known outside the region as Lindisfarne) and pick up where we left off.  I didn't realise how much I had missed the characters and I felt as if I was meeting up with old friends (and enemies).  I loved that Ellie's friends from London decided to pay a visit to Northumberland and a lot of the amazing tourist attractions are painted so vividly that I can imagine more visitors will be descending on Northumberland after reading this fabulous book.

Ellie needs all the support from friends she can get when Poison Isla returns to the island and she's worse than ever now that she is in a position to make sweeping changes that affect the whole village.  It's so heartwarming to see the way the villagers all club together and help each other as they unite against their common enemy.

Filled with Northumberland's warm and welcoming community spirit, I absolutely adored Love Beyond Lindisfarne and I didn't want the book to end so I hope that Kimberley Adams writes more books featuring these fabulous characters.  Love Beyond Lindisfarne is a fabulous and completely unforgettable book - I really can't recommend it highly enough.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:

Kimberley Adams released her debut novel, Love Lindisfarne in Autumn of last year. The book, a romantic comedy, is set in her beloved Northumberland and is a heartwarming tale of love and friendship on the small tidal island of Holy Island. Kim was stunned by the way the book took off in the busy Christmas book market and it became one of the highest rated of its genre on Amazon and gained Kim a lot of new friends! Kim hadn’t thought about writing a sequel but demand was there and so Love Beyond Lindisfarne was born. The book features all the favourite characters but can be read as a standalone. Kim’s Lindisfarne books share a special feature as Kim engages with a local artist and between them, they create the covers to match a scene within the book.  Kim is also to be published traditionally by Farrago in April 24 in The Book of Witty Women. This was as a result of her being a finalist in the Comedy Women in Print Prize and her story, Go Your Own Way, is a comedy set on urban Tyneside and introduces two of her favourite characters, Donna and her nana Mary!

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Thursday 23 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Affair - Claire Allan

Her heart is thumping now, only just distinguishable from the roar of the water and the wind. This is not safe. She is not safe…

She realises then, only one of them is coming back out alive.

She’s the person I want to be. Sorcha Hannon, survivor of a devastating affair. She’s found the healing and hope I desperately need to find for myself.

And now that Sorcha and I are friends, I am no longer alone. Instead of days hiding away from the world, I have someone to talk to. I feel as if I finally belong.

There’s just one small catch. Sorcha Hannon isn’t just a new friend to me, and she certainly isn’t a stranger. In fact, I know the ins and outs of her life, and her marriage, almost as well as she does. But if she finds out who I really am, I’ll lose everything. Then again, as Sorcha says, no one’s life is really as perfect as it seems… and I should have realised, I’m not the only one with secrets.

What did I think?

As soon as I read the prologue of The Affair I knew I was hooked and I couldn't read fast enough to find out how it all got to this heart-pounding point.

Claire Allan really gets under the readers skin and inside their minds with her fabulous psychological thrillers and The Affair is no exception.  I started off with very little sympathy for Tina as she made her bed by sleeping with a married man and now she's trying to befriend his wife.  Sorcha seemed a little too perfect for me and she almost lives and breathes the perceived perfection of Instagram.  Nobody is that perfect!

As time went on, I started to feel sorry for Tina.  I think Ronan Hannon knew exactly what he was doing when he started his affair with co-worker Tina and when he'd had his fun he couldn't drop her fast enough, leaving her not only devastated but in a very difficult position at work.

Tina wasn't Ronan's first affair and Sorcha has had enough but she has her 'Sisterhood' to support her as she goes through her divorce.  My feelings for Sorcha Hannon ebbed and flowed like the tide; I felt sorry for her as the wronged wife but I struggled to see the real Sorcha beneath her perfect persona.  

Filled with suspense and intrigue, The Affair is quite a nail-biter as nobody is showing their true colours.  I really enjoyed it and think it's well worth a read.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:
Claire Allan is a bestselling author of psychological thrillers and, in the past, women's fiction.

A former reporter with the Derry Journal, she published eight contemporary women's fiction novels with Poolbeg Press in Ireland before becoming a full time author, and switching genre to 'unleash her darker side'

Her first domestic noir novel, Her Name Was Rose was published by Avon/ HarperCollins in 2018 and was an instant bestseller in several countries. Claire's novels have been translated into multiple languages.

Latterly. Claire worked as a story consultant on series one of the huge successful BBC drama series 'Blue Lights' with Two Cities Productions. She has also written a number of rom-coms under the pen-name Freya Kennedy, and supported Sunday Times Bestseller Serena Terry while she was writing her Mammy Banter titles.

In 2023 Claire signed a multi-book deal with Boldwood Books to write four thrillers as Claire Allan, and three rom-coms as Freya Kennedy, securing her publishing into 2026.

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Wednesday 22 May 2024

The Toffee Factory Girls - Glenda Young

Discover the engaging new trilogy from the author of THE SIXPENNY ORPHAN, about three women working in a WWI toffee factory in the North-East!

In 1915 three women start work at a toffee factory in the market town of Chester-le-Street, Durham.

Anne works for the enigmatic owner Mr Jack. She is highly efficient and whips Mr Jack's disorganised office - and Mr Jack himself - into shape. However, behind her business-like façade, Anne hides a heart-breaking secret.

Elsie is feisty, fun and enjoys a good time. However, her gadabout ways get her into trouble when she falls for the wrong man in the sugar-boiling room.

And there's dependable Hetty, who's set to marry her boyfriend when he returns from the war. But when Hetty is sent on an errand by the toffee factory boss, her life changes in ways she could never imagine and a whole new world opens up.

The toffee factory girls begin as strangers before forging a close bond of friendship and trust. And, as the war rages on, they help each other cope through the difficult times ahead.

The Toffee Factory Girls is a heart-warming novel about love, friendship, secrets, war . . . and toffee! It is the first in a trilogy from hugely popular author Glenda Young.

What did I think?

Just when you think you've read your favourite Glenda Young book, she goes and writes another absolute belter.  The Toffee Factory Girls is the first book in an exciting new saga series and it's completely unmissable.

Glenda Young is such a fantastic storyteller that any book she writes draws you in from the very first page.  Once I picked up The Toffee Factory Girls I couldn't put it down; it was liked I'd stepped into the book and through time and found myself in Chester-le-Street in 1915.

Glenda's research is meticulous and I could almost smell the toffee in Mr Jack's factory, that was inspired by Chester-le-Street's once-famous Horner's Dainty Dinah toffee factory.  The setting is delectable but it's the wonderful characters that provide the entertainment that keeps the pages turning as fast as your eyes can read the perfectly written words.

I learnt something new when I was reading The Toffee Factory Girls as I didn't know about the Birtley Belgians and I found it fascinating that they had their own village called Elisabethville.  I can just imagine the suspicion about these foreigners and mothers warning their daughters to not fraternise with the Belgians.  I'm sure the girls listened to their mams!

Entertaining, heartwarming and as moreish as the toffee that features in it, I'm so glad that The Toffee Factory Girls is part of a trilogy as I didn't want it to end and could have continued reading about these fabulous characters long after I turned the final page.  I can't wait for more and I very highly recommend this unforgettable and unmissable book.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Tuesday 21 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: Ghosts of the British Museum: A True Story of Colonial Loot and Restless Objects - Noah Angell

What if the British Museum isn't a carefully ordered cross section of history but is in instead a palatial trophy cabinet of colonial loot - swarming with volatile and errant spirits?

When artist and writer Noah Angell first heard murmurs of ghostly sightings at the British Museum he had to find out more. What started as a trickle soon became a deluge as staff old and new - from overnight security to respected curators - brought him testimonies of their supernatural encounters.

It became clear that the source of the disturbances was related to the Museum's contents - unquiet objects, holy plunder, and restless human remains protesting their enforced stay within the colonial collection's cabinets and deep underground vaults. According to those who have worked there, the institution is heaving with profound spectral disorder.

Ghosts of the British Museum fuses storytelling, folklore and history, digs deep into our imperial past and unmasks the world's oldest national museum as a site of ongoing conflict, where restless objects are held against their will.

It now appears that the objects are fighting back.

What did I think?

You don't have to believe in ghosts to enjoy this interesting book but it's good to have an open mind and I thoroughly enjoyed my virtual visit to the British Museum.  

I didn't realise the origins of the British Museum and I have to say that I am horrified.  It's actually quite staggering and eye-opening to think how many artefacts have been taken (stolen) from their rightful place over the years and it's heartbreaking to think how many of them are hidden away in storage and will never see the light of day.  No wonder the objects are distressed - I'm crying virtual tears for them.

There are eleven chapters in the book as Noah Angell takes us on a virtual tour of the British Museum.  Each chapter begins with a fabulous drawing of the particular object that is being discussed and explored.  I love Egyptian history, although I've never been fond of ogling mummies, so I loved the chapter set in the Egyptian Sculpture gallery.  It really gave me goosebumps.

Ghosts of the British Museum is an easy read as the chapters aren't too long and each one is interesting.  It's a sobering read that is as controversial as it is fascinating; it certainly doesn't make me proud to be British and I can't see it being offered for sale in the museum shop.  The British Museum won't want you to read this book but I think it's important that we do read it.  A recommended but uncomfortable read.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:
Noah Angell is a writer and artist who works with orally transmitted forms such as storytelling and song. This work has led him to collaborate with the Polar Museum in the north of Norway, while working in North Carolina on a documentary film on gospel singer Connie B. Steadman, and in London, where he has collected testimony of the ghosts that haunt the British Museum. 

Born in the US, he was resident in London for over a decade and now lives in Berlin. This is his first book.

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Monday 20 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: The F**K It List - Melanie Cantor

Meet Daisy. She’s just caught her boyfriend shagging someone else at her fortieth birthday party. She’s camped out in her childhood bedroom. And it looks as if her dream to have a baby has gone down the pan.

Now Daisy is 40, alone and in a world that seems built for couples.

Time for a F**K It List!

Hilarious and heart-warming, this triumphant novel asks what it is to be 40 and suddenly single, asking the question, why do we think we need a man to start a family, and what would you do with your own F**K It List? 

What did I think?

The F**K It List is a fun and powerful read that I really enjoyed.  Daisy is such a strong protagonist, although she might not realise it when her world implodes on her 40th birthday.  Talk about picking yourself up and getting on with things!  Go Daisy!  

I was so angry for Daisy at the start of the book when she finds her partner, Jack, cheating on her at her own 40th birthday party.  Daisy has always wanted children and Jack keeps promising they'll start a family when the time is right.  LIAR!!!!  Now Daisy is forty, single, heartbroken and living with her parents - it's not the life she expected.

Daisy is a very talented interior designer who runs her own business with her friend and business partner , Marcus.  So as much as Daisy might want to hide under the duvet and make the world disappear, she needs to get on with her life as she has business commitments she needs to honour.  This is when she shows her true strength and decides that actually, she doesn't need to be in a relationship to have a baby.

Daisy Settle in The F**K It List is Bridget Jones for a new generation.  I feel like I went through the highs and lows of her life with her as I turned the pages of this fabulous book.  It's heartwarming and empowering - a recommended read.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:
Melanie Cantor was a celebrity agent and publicist for over thirty years. Her clients included Ulrika Jonsson, Melinda Messenger and Melanie Sykes. In 2004, she hosted a makeover show on Channel 4 called Making Space and in 2017 having just turned 60 she was scouted on Kings Cross station, subsequently appearing as a 'real model' in the most recent Dove campaign. She is the author of Life and Other Happy Endings.

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Sunday 19 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Small Museum - Jody Cooksley

A chilling historical mystery set against the gothic backdrop of Victorian London, The Small Museum won the Caledonia Novel Award in 2023 and is inspired by the extraordinary treasure trove of curiosities that is the Hunterian Museum in London.

London, 1873. Madeleine Brewster's marriage to Dr Lucius Everley was meant to be the solution to her family's sullied reputation. After all, Lucius is a well-respected collector of natural curiosities, his 'Small Museum' of bones and things in jars is his pride and joy, although kept under lock and key. His sister Grace's philanthropic work with fallen women is also highly laudable. However, Maddie is confused by and excluded from what happens in what is meant to be her new home.

Maddie's skill at drawing promises a role for her though when Lucius agrees to let her help him in making a breakthrough in evolutionary science, a discovery of the first 'fish with feet'. But the more Maddie learns about both Lucius and Grace, the more she suspects that unimaginable horrors lie behind their polished reputations.

Framed for a crime that would take her to the gallows and leave the Everleys unencumbered, Maddie’s only hope is her friend Caroline Fairly. But will she be able to put the pieces together before the trial reaches its fatal conclusion?

What did I think?

Now that's what I call gothic!  With an array of weird and wonderful curiosities, a dark and brooding doctor and a Victorian murder trial, The Small Museum is a delightfully dark and chilling read.

Maddie's sister brought shame on the Brewster family so when an eminent doctor steps forward to marry her, her parents couldn't be happier.  Marriage to Lucius is not what Maddie expected and she feels like a visitor in her new home, especially when the staff take orders from her sister-in-law, Grace.  Even without the trial chapters, it is clear that something is not right in the Everley household.

I loved the way this book is written with a curiosity from Lucius' collection heading each chapter and it was like hunting Easter eggs seeing where this same item was hidden in the immaculate prose.  The trial chapters add intrigue and suspense as the clock ticks down to the verdict.

Beautifully written and incredibly intriguing, The Small Museum is a chilling, haunting and disturbing gothic novel.  Jody Cooksley's beautiful writing paints such a vivid picture of Victorian London that I felt as if I had stepped back in time.  It's a very unusual book and one I would recommend.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:
JODY COOKSLEY studied literature at Oxford Brookes University and has a Masters in Victorian Poetry. Her debut novel The Glass House was a fictional account of the life of nineteenth-century photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron.

The Small Museum, Jody’s third novel, won the 2023 Caledonia Novel Award.

Jody is originally from Norwich and now lives in Cranleigh,Surrey.

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Thursday 16 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: Her Charming Man (The Gloucestershire Crime Series Book 2) - Rachel Sargeant

DI Steph Lewis of West Gloucestershire Police is working two cases.

A woman is found dead in the Cathedral grounds. Few, not even her family, mourn her. And a man has gone missing. His wife, colleagues and neighbours fear for the safety of this perfect gentleman.

A witness comes forward to say the cases are linked. A breakthrough, perhaps? But the witness has form for finding dead bodies and she knows things about Steph that the detective wants kept hidden. A reliable witness? Or a fantasist with the power to cause chaos in Steph’s personal life?

What could possibly connect the murder of an unpopular woman and the disappearance of a charming man?

Her Charming Man is the second book in the Gloucestershire Crime Series, featuring DI Steph Lewis, a spirited, no-nonsense detective with secrets of her own.

What did I think?

WOW!  Rachel Sargeant gives Agatha Christie a run for her money in the second book of The Gloucestershire Crime Series: Her Charming Man.  I thought the first book, Her Deadly Friend, was brilliant but this one is EVEN BETTER.

What is the link between a murdered journalist and a missing man?  That's what DI Steph Lewis is tasked with finding out.  Steph and her team have enough on their plate investigating a murder without being distracted by a missing persons case...but what if they need to crack one case to solve the other?

Her Charming Man is a real head scratcher as I tried to work out who could have killed Sonia Hanson and whatever happened to Gerald Gittins-Gold.  I really shouldn't have bothered overworking my brain as I would have never worked it out in a million years!  Bravo, Rachel Sargeant!  

Fast-paced, flawless and unputdownable, Her Charming Man is one of those books that other crime authors will wish they had written.  I'm not sure how Rachel Sargeant will follow such an outstanding book but I can't wait to find out.  Unmissable and very highly recommended.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Wednesday 15 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day - Pip Payne

Say goodbye to dinner time dilemmas with more than 100 simple, healthy and tasty recipes from bestselling author The Slimming Foodie

Perfect for home cooks of all levels, this book will take the stress out of mealtimes, with recipes that are fuss-free and use everyday ingredients that won't break the bank. Including a chapter for each day of the week, plus four weekly meal plans and shopping lists, it has never been easier to eat well after a long day!

Meat-free Monday
Sweet potato & mozzarella sausage rolls; Gnocchi-topped veggie cottage pie; Cauliflower cheese & jalapeño soup

Trays-out Tuesday
Korean-style sweet chilli chicken; Miso-maple glazed salmon; Bacon, leek, potato & pea bake

Whip-it-up Wednesday
Creamy basil & sundried tomato chicken tagliatelle; Sausage & mushroom ragu; Philly cheesesteak-style orzo

Thrifty Thursday
Courgette pesto pasta; Crunchy Vietnamese-style chicken salad; Simple red lentil dal

Feasting Friday
Stir-fried char siu pork with udon noddles; Spiced lamb & aubergine rice with minty yogurt; Tamarind prawn curry

Sumptuous Saturday
Harissa & coconut braised chicken; Pork gyoza; Mac 'n' cheese lasagne

Staples Sunday
Eat-up Sunday curry; Slow-cooker mushroom bourguignon; Ultimate bolognese sauce

Something Sweet
Rustic profiteroles with caramelized biscuit topping; Watermelon fingers with honey-lime dip; Blueberry scones

Lucky Dip
Green beans with spring onions & garlic; Salt & vinegar roast potatoes; Everything seasoning

What did I think?

I'm so pleased that I joined this blog tour as I have now discovered the Slimming Foodie and after sampling a couple of the recipes, I definitely consider myself a fan.

I feel like I'm always on a diet but with The Slimming Foodie's recipes there's no need to go hungry and you can have delicious, tasty meals that will quickly become family favourites.  I love how the book is set out in sections and each recipe states the nutritional information as well as serving size, preparation and cooking time, introduction to the recipe and notes.

There are a lot of recipes I want to try in the book but I chose two to try for my review and I can't believe how well they turned out.  In the 'Trays-out Tuesday' section, I made the black bean & corn-loaded quesadillas and the sweet potato & black bean layer bake.

Black bean & corn-
loaded quesadillas
I have to say that I used to make quesadillas but they were just a bit too faffy and I always lost half the filling when I turned them over in the frying pan.  That didn't happen with The Slimming Foodie's black bean & corn-loaded quesadillas as you make them in the oven after folding the tortilla over.  This makes them so much easier to flip over and although an odd bean or sweetcorn tried to fall out, it was definitely less messy than flipping in the pan.  This recipe has already been made again. Thank you, Pip Payne!

Sweet potato & black
bean layer bake
I had never had black beans before I made the quesadillas but I liked them so much that I made the sweet potato & black bean layer bake next.  This was so easy to do and although it needs a good hour in the oven to cook, preparation time is only about 15 minutes and that's includes chopping onions and peeling sweet potatoes.  Pip's note on the bottom suggested adding jalapeños so I customised the recipe to include some extra spice.  The taste is amazing; it's so richly flavoured and smoky (thanks to the large helping of paprika) and the sweet potatoes work really well with all of the spices.  This recipe is already a firm favourite in my house and I can't wait to make it again.

So that was two recipes I tried and each one turned out perfectly, giving me the confidence to try a lot more of the recipes in the book.  The recipes are so easy to follow and every one I looked at had easy to source ingredients.  I love the notes at the bottom of a lot of the recipes with hints, tips, ingredient substitutions or customisation ideas - with Pip Payne's support, you don't have to be afraid to experiment a little.

Filled with tasty, filling and easy-to-follow recipes, The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day is already one of my favourite cookbooks and the first one I reach for when planning my next healthy and nutritious meal.  Very highly recommended.

I received an ARC to review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:
The Slimming Foodie is a firm believer that you don’t have to completely change your eating habits to lose weight. With Pip’s clever swaps and cooking techniques, you can slim down while still enjoying all your favourite foods – it’s a modern weight-loss method that puts flavour first.

Keeping a love of food at the fore, Pip’s approach is about bringing back convenient home cooking by making healthy and tasty recipes that are accessible to a new wave of home cooks. Creating great-tasting meals that are cooked from scratch and cut down on fat and sugar while following science-led nutrition advice.

Pip’s previous books, The Slimming Foodie, The Slimming Foodie in One and The Slimming Foodie in Minutes, all published by Octopus, were all Sunday Times bestsellers and together have sold more than 110,000 copies via Nielsen BookScan.

The Slimming Foodie has a combined social media reach of more than 450,000 followers. (formerly Twitter)

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