Share this page on

bronze Status bronze (Level 7/10)

dawnymarie

dawnymarie

No member profile available. The person you are looking for is no longer a Ciao member.

Reviews written

since 01/12/2010

169

Nescafe Collection Alta Rica Coffee 06/11/2014

Coffee Heaven it's my guilty pleasure

Nescafe Collection Alta Rica Coffee Nescafe Alta Rica Coffee Coffee of the smoother variety by Nescafe for the coffee lover who likes a morning cup in record time. Forget the beans this can be created whilst still half asleep I have not had a cup of coffee of any variety for over eight years. I kid you not. Long story short I got ill and thought cutting out caffeine would do me good, not sure if it did but my body began to crave it recently and I gave in. I have one cup every morning and I'm still here, enough said. Uber smooth taste, no bitterness in this jar I have to begin by telling you about the smell that hits your hotspot when you open this jar. It smells incredible and it's my husbands fault that I had to succumb to drinking coffee again, him and his damn jar of Alta Rica. I have to confess that my daughter was to blame too, she took me to Starbucks for a beverage and I sat there awkwardly drinking my peppermint tea whilst at the time restraining myself as the whiff of coffee hit my nose. If you would have put a normal jar of Nescafe under my nose I'd have probably not been tempted and still be caffeine free, I remember the bitter experience of that and no thank you but Alta Rica with its bloomin rich and evocative smooth swagger reeled me in. I had to taste it, had to have it. The first ever cup that I had after my eight year break was pure heaven. Oh boy. I need not tell you of the shape and quality of the jar and to be honest I don't want to, it's a glass jar and it's fit for purpose, it looks ...

From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris 05/11/2014

Stop trying to kill Sookie

From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris From dead to worse. Charlaine Harris The Southern vampire novels continue with this, book eight of nine, (with more a possibility) being From dead to worse. As the title suggests the content of this book is going to be getting a little dirty. Poor Sookie. Line up if you want to kill Sookie It seems that Sookie Stackhouse is getting in the wrong place at the wrong time often. She is lucky to be alive many astounding times over after meeting and dating vampire Bill. Bill is still around but is not the main guy in Miss Stackhouse's affections, there are many but there are also many who would like to see our favourite telepath dead and gone, forever. Form a neat line if you want to kill Sookie, the other line is for prospective lovers. The telepath has powerful friends, take care to remember that I would have thought that being at book eight Harris would be struggling to keep the momentum and excitement going in this series, you know how it is and we have seen it many times. I couldn't believe it when I found myself fully engrossed and turning pages fast and being superglued (not literally) to this book. Harris has pushed her lovable main protagonist Sookie from one love interest/rival to another and back again and introduced other fantastically attractive powerful guys to tempt and woo our blonde telepath who has that delicious bit of fae in her blood line and it makes for some great humour as well as some excitement, especially as Viking Eric features more in this quick ...

All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris 03/11/2014

Up close and personal with Sookie

All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris All Together Dead. Charlaine Harris. Hurricane Katrina caused chaos in the camp of the vampire queen, a vampire summit is going to happen real soon and Queen Sophie-Ann has to have her favourite telepath on hand. Sookie will be financially better off if she survives the bloodsucker get together but so many obstacles stand in her way. Come with me Harris kicks off the novel in her usual chatty style, in the head of her adorable yet totally capable and feisty protagonist who is the unmistakable, blonde, Sookie Stackhouse. I'm motoring along through this series now and I feel like I know Sookie very well. She can irritate me at times with her choices and her impulsive ways -- for instance I just wish that she would get with Eric already -- but you just got to love her, maybe that has something to do with the fae in her blood, who knows. I loved the concept of the vampire summit, once again Harris injects her own brand of humour into the prose and it sits well, gives the read an extra dimension and as a reader I get to laugh. The plot is strong and well structured and there is more of a whodunnit mystery element to this one, there is always a little bit of that in the books but All together dead seems to really roll along as a mystery in its own right. I liked it, it was different. I enjoyed guessing and like the fact that most of the outcomes were not as I thought, though I had guessed a murderer. Now lets get down to it. What we want to know is when the hell is Sookie ...

Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris 01/11/2014

Definitely Dead

Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris A book by Charlaine Harris featuring Sookie Stackhouse Back to Bon Temps I'm reading these books one after the other which is great. I don't have to wait around, as I am for Mr George RR Martin the excitement is killing me but he must not be rushed, as the series is finished and this is the sixth of the nine volumes. Tempting fate Miss Stackhouse is becoming more and more popular with supernatural males and females which may be down to her smidgen of fairy blood or there again it may be her many charms and quirks and maybe the fact that her telepathy comes in real handy. Eric and Bill vie for her attentions, Alcide makes some rumbling throaty sounds and Quinn may well sweep her off her feet. A death in the family means that she need attend the Queen of Louisiana and this little visit may turn out to be more than she anticipated. Settle down with Sookie After the last installment Dead as a doornail which was a little less alluring and tantalising it was great to get those pages turning. Definitely dead will mean just that for a few characters, naturally the vampires fall into that category anyhow. I note a slight change in narration and tone in this book and am not sure if it is because I'm so used to Sookie and her internal chit chat and I'm getting to go deeper into her psyche or if it is a little of Harris herself coming through. Odd phrases or habits make me think that a lady that is older than Sookie (who is in her late twenties) is telling the tale. It's just a little ...

Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris 19/10/2014

What does as doornail look like when it's dead?

Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris Charlaine Harris -- Dead as a doornail The Sookie Stackhouse series is also known as the Southern Vampire mysteries and in total, to date, there are thirteen novels. Doornail dead In book five of this series Miss Stackhouse returns for more mystery and mayhem in Bon Temps, a small place where supernatural types tend to hang out, there's a whole world out there but this little spot on the planet has more than it's fair share. When a wolf comes calling Sookie has some quick thinking to do. My favourite kind of supe Supe being short for all things supernatural or special I really do like Sookie Stackhouse, she is just so damn likable. With her blonde hair and perfect size eight figure she is a hit with the guys too. I was soon back in the stride of things and felt like I was somewhere nice and homely when I returned to this series. I'd been watching the HBO adaptation too and that was deviating from the books a little so I hung back so as not to be too confused. There just seems to be an ever growing, at times confusing, population of supernatural beings in this series and at times I wish Harris would stick to vampires, werewolves and fairies (oh and shifters) as that is more than enough to be getting along with. Still I still enjoyed the read and made my way swiftly through the pages of this well composed morsel of a book. Harris has a style that is pacey and the dialogue moves it along appropriately. It's definitely not a tome and could easily be read in a day or two by an ...

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins 17/10/2014

Anna goes to Paris and kisses like a French girl

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins Anna and the French kiss By Stephanie Perkins and aimed at the teenage/young adult market though not exclusive. Gay Paris Anna reluctantly travels to Paris to a boarding school for American's, because her dad wants her to. She will leave all that she has come to know as home including her best friend and a love interest (Bridgett and Toph). One year in France I have just finished this 385 page book and am hoping that by writing about it I'll understand what I thought. I have been reading books by Anne Rice which are more lengthy and have much more depth but I have to remember that this is a different genre and therefore an entirely different beast. Character wise I'd say I am happy on the whole, though some of the bad guys could have had a little more meat on their bones. Anna is someone that I came to like quite easily and is the main protagonist, the small group of friends that she makes in Paris are interesting and her love interest St Claire becomes more and more interesting as the prose progresses. I was aware that for much of the book I was waiting and hoping for something to happen, I am not sure what but whatever it was didn't. This makes me feel like there was something missing and at times I felt like I was just reading just for the sake of it. This may be because the focus of the tale is on a developing love, in fact I know it was and maybe that kind of book is not for me, though I have read other books that have young love as a focal point and they excited me, ...

Lasher - Anne Rice 16/10/2014

Definitely no sparkly stuff here

Lasher - Anne Rice Lasher, lives of the Mayfair Witches The second in a trilogy by Anne Rice which will also overlap with her Vampire chronicles starting with Merrick. The first book of the trilogy is The Witching Hour. Taltos is the third. My Lasher For centuries The Man has cherished and caressed his witches. Only those with a gift see him and know him. His name is Lasher and he will be flesh. Rowan Mayfair saw Lasher and was determined to be strong, she would not be tempted as the others were. Lasher is flesh. My Lasher. Who is Emileth? After finishing the tome that began this trilogy, The Witching Hour, I thought that I'd need some light and easy reads. I read one such book and all the while I was turning those pages my thoughts were with Rowan Mayfair and Michael Curry and him the entity that would be flesh. Lasher. I began to read Lasher and I never stopped. Though the first chapter confused me I was seduced. Who is Emileth? I didn't know but I wanted to and Rice begins the book beautifully with a little mystery. Next I'm with another background character whom I barely remembered from the first book. Mona is thirteen and I wasn't sure what her importance would be in this dark, erotic and mysterious tale which was heading towards mortal danger. I soon got caught up with this girl, her character was brought to life rapidly and through the slower bits of the book she adds interest and the brightest of lights. I mention slow parts of the book as this is so. I was a little impatient for a ...

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick Creme Cup 13/10/2014

Lustful lips

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick Creme Cup MAC Creme Sheen Lipstick -- Creme Cup It's MAC I was a MAC virgin, I'll be honest. I'd seen Creme Cup on my daughters lips and it was the very shade and finish that I have been seeking for so long. Days, months and years the search has extended and then there it is. My daughter bought me MAC Creme Sheen in Creme Cup. Here's what I think I love it and I shall tell you why. Well, first off it's MAC and well it's MAC, but that is not enough reason for you, the consumer who also seeks the perfect lipstick, to purchase is it. It is impressive in quality. Understated and in the signature matte black bullet shaped casing. It arrived in my possession in a box but we need not discuss boxes here, it was nice. It feels nice in the hand, all smooth and interesting and promising to please. Oh it does look good and I like the sexy font that says MAC in an alluring way, well it lured me in. It is easy to twirl off the lid, not screw just kind of slide and it glides easily. When exposed the inner of the bullet shaped case reveals a silver metal tube bit that also says MAC in its super sexy way. I wanted it completely, a twist meant that the Creme Cup rose out and the colour was just what I hoped for. It is that lovely natural nudey type colour with a hint of my bare natural lip colour. Nice. Gliding this MAC lipstick over my lips feels really nice, I can tell it's a quality brand, it doesn't ever intend to drag along in a sticky not moist enough way, though it also isn't a nasty over ...

Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer 12/10/2014

In prime form

Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer Prime Time by Bare Minerals (formerly Bare Escentuals) I want that one Rather than the Body shop face primer, which I have found to be fit for purpose, I want the Bare Minerals face primer. It is now an investment piece and I'll tell you why. Prime time I use the Bare Minerals foundation powder. That is not reason for me to buy all things Bare Minerals make as I don't like everything, but I really do like the primer. I tried a much less expensive alternative by The Body Shop which was very nice but not at all as good as Prime Time. I'm not bothered about how things are packaged, well I am but not so much so that I'd use Body Shop primer instead of the superior Bare Minerals option. The Bare Minerals bottle is neat and modest but looks and feels better than the tube that the clear Body Shop primer comes in. I like everything about using this primer, I never knew what a primer was for or that it made a difference but it really does. A primer gives a lovely base on which to apply foundation and should be moisturising but not so much so that it spoils the effect of the foundation, it should dry fast so that you can apply foundation with speed if need be and it should reduce appearance of lines and prevent flakiness. Prime time does all of the above with the advantage of a lovely tint, it is like having a light, light BB cream beneath a foundation and as it is so silky light you really do not notice it is there, aside from the beautiful, even finish and the lovely amount of ...

The Witching Hour - Anne Rice 09/10/2014

A history of witches

The Witching Hour - Anne Rice The witching hour A Book By Anne Rice and part of The Mayfair Witch tales this book The witching hour tells all about the lives and history of this clan of witches and discusses the closely guarded legacy. Focusing on Deirdre who is the current Mayfair legacy holder the prose paints a vivid and captivating picture on a canvas that is impressively tardis like. A mysterious and dangerous entity resides at First Street, a mansion style building in New Orleans, but is it the property that he haunts or the powerful witches who inhabit it that he wants? Tuck in I'm familiar with the descriptive talents of Rice, this book has the same appeal as her Vampire chronicles and the series will overlap and interweave further down the line. I find this intriguing as I am liking the characters from both sets of tales. I was compelled to read on from the first page, not entirely happy with the choice of name for the witch of the moment, Dierdre, as I thought that meant that the tale would be a little dated and not interesting enough. At 1207 pages this tome needed to be interesting believe me. At this point I'll tell you that some parts of the novel have much smaller font size than the rest and I found it a real strain on my eyes, however it didn't stop me from reading as the mystery and history was captivating. Rice has cleverly kept the prose tight by using characters of a society of supernatural investigators (The Talamasca) to tell the tales of the line of witches dating back to ...

The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice 07/10/2014

Dark and brooding but not sparkly

The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice Vampire called Lestat Read on By Anne Rice this is the second in the Vampire chronicles that she is famed for. Two adaptations to film did very well. This dark, adult, brooding tale ventures from Paris to New Orleans and dips it's toes into Egypt. A man of courage and passion is made immortal. He battles his internal self and fights his survival instinct. What no sparkle? I was hooked from the very first page of this book. I loved the settings which are described with such skill that you can almost smell and see and feel the environment. Aimed at an adult readership this prose does not focus on dreamy vampiric beings who will lift a girl in his arms and resist the urge to feed. Lestat, once made, is three dimensional and interesting, so much so that you want to know every essence of his being and Rice tells his tale fully. Sometimes I would think that she was dragging the history out a little and feared that she may begin to bore me, I continued and though some of the pages are slower they are filled with information and knowledge, experiences and battles that are significant in the final bloody book which is Queen of the damned. This is a long read, the pages have small writing and I needed to wear my glasses in order to be comfortable. I have read Twilight and I enjoyed that for a whole host of different reasons, it was lighter and based on passion whereas this book has passion in a whole different sense of the word. Rice explores each and every crevice in Lestat's ...

Apple iPod NANO (7.GEN.) 06/10/2014

iPod Nano 7th Gen

Apple iPod NANO (7.GEN.) iPod Nano 7th Generation. Liked it I have been a Sony MP3 user for many years, too long to count and I don't want to show my age. I stuck wtih Sony because sound quality matters to me and I didn't think that the Apple stuff would impress. I wanted a speaker to use with my digital piece of kit, at that time Sony. All docking equipment seemed to be aimed at iPod. I sulked and stayed a rebel. We have an Onkyo surround sound system with an iPod dock sat redundant, never used. I researched iPod and I also found a Cambridge bluetooth speaker that I liked. I chose the iPod Nano. I bought one. Own it Sound is the most important reason for me to purchase an MP3/iPod. I like mainly rock music and I want the whole package. I want to hear every bit and I don't want distortion or tinny reproduction. I have been very impressed with the iPod Nano. Surprisingly I have even heard stuff that wasn't audible on my Sony. That in itself is impressive, to me a new Apple convert who was mightily reluctant. I have to admit the sound is equal to and surpasses my Sony. I use Senheisser ear buds which are high quality and far outdo the Apple ear buds that came with the iPod Nano, there was distortion when I used those. With a 30 pin lightning adapter I can use this iPod with the dock that came with the surround sound. Sound reproduction is rich and powerful, that system does not know the concept of tinny and it pairs well with the iPod. The Cambridge bluetooth speaker sounds amazing when paired ...

Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King 18/03/2014

Full Dark No Stars

Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King Full Dark, No Stars -- Stephen King Why read this? If you like King’s style then this will tickle your taste buds in a new way; if you are new to King then it may well be a nice way to dip into the world and mind of a master storyteller. I am of the former and have enjoyed many King offerings, this one had been reviewed and sounded like a place to visit. I had no hesitation in purchasing and could not wait to begin. Overview: I’d normally insert a short synopsis here but this is no ordinary King novel, it’s a book of short stories and as such I don’t mean to go into too much detail about the premise of any of them as it would most likely spoil them for you. Full dark, no stars contains four short stories and an afterward by the author, if you have a later copy then you get a bonus addition story that comes right after the afterward. Its full dark and the stars have gone: It was with an eager interest that I opened the first pages of this book. A new experience for me as I don’t normally opt for a short story book. I had no concerns about short stories as delivered by King as I know he can tell a story and he sticks to the tale, also I was ready for some briefer reads after finishing a tome or two. The contents include: 1922 Big Driver Fair Extension A Good Marriage Bonus (if you purchase the 2011 version) Under The Weather. As ever it didn’t take long to enter the fictional world and settle down with new characters, King is really good at setting a scene quickly whilst ...

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak 08/03/2014

Book Thief

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Why read this? The cover drew me in immediately and when I read the back cover I was very intrigued. It's been a while since I've picked up a book whilst in a store as none have appealed so this one was pretty special in that respect alone. As it's set in war time Germany that also compelled me to purchase the book. Short synopsis: Liesel is only nine years old and is about to have her little world turned upside down - broken up, torn up and spat out. She and her brother are to go to Himmel Street where they will be fostered by a new family. Her mother leaves her children with deep sadness and fear, Liesel makes it to the new home but her brother doesn't. The Book Thief: I have never read a book that was narrated by Death before. Would that appeal? Isn't it rather morbid and gruesome, dark and bleak? In my opinion Death AKA The Grim Reaper is not as bad as I would once have thought; he was actually a pretty good guide to the tale and also managed to endear himself to me with some acts of kindness. I was compelled to journey with Death on his travels and observations of life on Himmel Street for Liesel and her companions. I was comfortable with the style of writing, which is very different than I am used to as it has lots of short sentences in the composition, even one word sentences - but it works and it makes the book unique. I could not put this novel down. Every opportune moment saw me with this book in my hands and as each ...

Under the Dome - Stephen King 03/03/2014

Ants under a magnifying glass

Under the Dome - Stephen King Under the Dome by Stephen King Why read this? I like King's style of writing, I particularly go for his suspense novels and the premise of this one intrigued me. It's a tome at 877 pages but I knew it wouldn't feel like it, I've read a few large offerings by King and none have felt padded out or bored me. Short synopsis: Dale Barbara (ex-military) is leaving town. Chester's Mill, Maine, isn't big enough for him and Big Jim Rennie (Town Selectman). As Barbara (Barbie) heads out to the border a freak accident happens, a plane falls from the sky, for no apparent reason - when more bizarre crashes happen Barbie realises that an invisible barrier has cut the town off and now holds all residents prisoner. This is bad, isn't it? It should be, but for Big Jim Rennie this is his opportunity to rule the town - a dream long held could now be his reality. America's law is obsolete now, Big Jim is the law. Ants beneath a magnifying glass: As ever, I'm comfortable with the writing style of the master storyteller, Stephen King. The first sentence led me in and the prose picked up pace pretty quick as catastrophe's occurred and the town folk came together. I soon became aware that this story was going to focus on the behaviour of human beings when they are placed in fear. Of course there are opportunists in these situations and Big Jim Rennie fills the role perfectly, his son Jr Rennie (Junior) is something else - he doesn't know it but he has a brain tumour and his irrational and ...
See more reviews Back to top