My Name Is Ten By Colleen Macmahon

I received My Name is Ten By Colleen Macmahon to read and review thanks to Random Things Blog Tours. My Name is Ten is a dystopian thriller set in 2092 following a young girls time at The Kennels where she may be executed.

My Name Is Ten

She has six weeks. Six weeeks to be chosen or to die…

2092 and the world has been left scorched by the catastrophic solar eruptions of 2025 and turned larely into desert. The competition for resources is firce and often brutal. The young, healthy and fertile are commodities prized for their resilience and reproductive potential; they are bed, bought and traded by the wealthy elite and discarded when no longer of use.

When 17 year old Akara – once a pampered and highly valued Protégé – loses both her physical perfection and her documents, she is incarcerated in The Kennels. If she is not adopted she faces extermination.

Or possibly worse.

Colleen Macmahon

Colleen MacMahon is an English actress, artist and award winning author of short stories. She has narrated audiobooks, designed book covers, written plays for theatre groups and taught and mentored children, young adults and so-called grown ups. She lives in the beautiful Devon countryside with three dogs, a lot of wildlife, and a (mostly) patient partner who spends an unreasonable amount of time sorting out her technical messes. 

My Name Is Ten is her debut novel and she is currently working on its sequel.

My Thoughts

I spotted the invite for this tour and was intrigued by the name and felt a dystopian thriller would change up my reading a little bit. I am so glad I did as I really enjoyed I am Ten. The story begins with Akara in The Kennels, awaiting her judgment, reflecting on her life. Colleen Macmahon writes in such detail you almost feel as though you are right there. With such a unique storyline I hope Colleen Macmahon writes more books like this. I think either as a series or standalone stories they would make a great collection!

Best Served Cold By Gabriel Galletti

I received Best Served Cold by Gabriel Galletti, a crime thriller, to review thanks to Random Things Blog Tours.

Best served cold by Gabrielle Galletti

Best Served Cold

Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Grudges harboured and hatreds hidden but not forgotten.

Then a catalyst ignites the flame…
Someone in Leeds is settling old scores.

The Police ask Chad Hilton, an ex-pro footballer turned criminal profiler, for help. But his wife’s infidelity and his addiction to painkillers are pushing him close to the edge.

As the body count rises, can Chad uncover the murderer before his demons destroy him?

Gabriel Galleti

It’s said that everyone has a book in them…But do they?

After a forty year career in business spanning four continents, Gabriel Galletti
sat at the keyboard and began to write. Could he do it? Indeed should he do it?

One Pandemic and three lockdowns later, and with huge assistance from Cornerstones Literary Agency and fantastic thriller writers Mark Leggatt and Neil Broadfoot, all Gabriel’s passions – Yorkshire, Crime Thrillers and
Leeds United have come together to produce his debut novel Best Served Cold.


Best Served Cold is the first in a series set in Leeds and
introducing Chad Hilton as the flawed ex-footballer turned profiler.

My Thoughts

From the get go it felt a little like I was reading a different version of House! Another pain riddled, painkiller addicted answer seeker, and I was not disappointed.

Chad Hilton is an ex footballer helping police as a criminal profiler on a murder case, things very quickly pick up speed with a missing persons case possibly linked, but how!? Not to mention the stress and strains from his personal life that also take a dark turn!

As Chad battles his own demons he works tirelessly to solve the case he is working on, but can he figure it all out in time, kick his addiction and save his relationship?

I really enjoyed Best Served Cold and knowing it is the first in the series I will definitely be on the lookout for the rest of the series as they are released!

Happier Dayz as the !!!!!Live And Let Die Trader

I’ve been so quiet here lately and for once it’s not because I’m hiding in a bout of depression! We’ve been watching The Running Manz on YouTube for a few years now, he plays a game called Dayz, a zombie survival game. I’m not really a gamer but Paul is so funny and there is just so much to the game it got me and the Mr interested!

The girls got an Xbox for Christmas but barely used it so I figured I’d try out Dayz, I sucked and kept getting killed by zombie but I was hooked and loved hunting for what I needed around the map. When you die you respawn with a glow stick, bandage and piece of fruit and you have to find everything from food, clothes, weapons, building materials etc.

I bought it for the Mr on pc too hoping to play together but then we realised it isn’t cross platform so we both just kept trying out official servers and whilst we had fun we didn’t really get too far with any of our characters, lasting maybe a day or so at a time.

During school runs the Mr mentioned to Eva’s friends parents we had been trying out Dayz and they played too on Xbox so I joined them and they discovered an awesome server called Racoon City UK which recently change to Live And Let Die as it seems the name is used by a few servers and some were upset with us having the same name, we decided it was much simpler to change the name than end up in a silly war.

We instantly got down to business building a base, raided someone else’s who then raided us and over time I found myself spending most of my days killing zombies, looting and setting myself challenges like gathering logs and planks to build bigger bases, eventually we had to start trading to empty out a bit! Naturally I spent a lot of time winding up my friend too when he was annoying, like the time I moved the crates and dropped them everywhere knowing he likes them neat and tidy haha!

Community Trader

With the latest update to Dayz the server needed to wipe clean, all bases gone, everyone starts fresh at the coast so our awesome admin decided to create a safe zone so people could get themselves settled in, especially if new to the game, he even added houses for people to have some storage that can’t be raided. He created a friendly little community, outside of the safe zone is kill on sight anywhere though so you don’t lose that pvp feel and having to watch your back. It’s a fun server with very few rules, just don’t be a dick!

In the safe zone I now have a warehouse for my trading with items that spawn in which we sell for nails, people can easily find in the trucks loaded with building items all around the map, giving people a good start without making things so easy they get bored. It’s such a great little server all round to be honest and always something random happening!

The full Xbox community server name is below if you would like to join me. Feel free to come say hi, I’m always wearing a purple bandana and now a green arm band and occasionally a pumpkin head whilst dancing around stupidly! 😁

!!!!!LIVE AND LET DIE/CUSTOM MAP/SZ/Trader discord.gg/sW7WXFFqZ5

Happier Dayz

It’s crazy how much I have gotten into this game, it just had so much going for it and it’s actually helped me so much with my health and mental health too. I’m no longer spending my days stressed, worrying and over thinking because I’m busy helping people or hunting or building or even planting pumpkins and doing a rain dance. I’m not pushing myself physically, I can stay sat in one place longer now and I hurt less for it, I’m sleeping a little better because of it all too.

This week I’d usually be a pacing stressed mess, Eva’s presents haven’t all arrived in time, people are unsure if they can visit on the day or come for the meal we have planned but I realise I can’t solve it all and just taking it as it comes, I’ve apologised and explained everything to Eva and she seems to be taking it well, she does at least have some new art supplies and a tonne of vbucks for fortnite which should last her at least 10 seconds haha! My anxiety seems to have calmed a little, definitely not completely but enough to no longer feel I need to chase help. I’m accepting my limits and enjoying Dayz when I reach them and realising that having something for me is a good thing, plus I get to wear purple! 😁💜

Do you have a game that you really enjoy and makes you feel happier? Have you ever played Dayz before?

The Way Of The Worm By Ramsey Campbell

I received The Way Of The Worm by Ramsey Campbell to read and review thanks to random things blog tours. This is book 3 in the Three Births of Daoloth Trilogy, a fantastic modern horror that really sucks you in.

The Way Of The Worm

The present day, or something very like it. Dominic Sheldrake has retired from lecturing and lives on his own. His son Toby is married with a small daughter. The occultist Noble family are more active than ever. Their cult now openly operates as the Church of the Eternal Three,and has spread worldwide. The local branch occupies the top floors of Starview Tower, a Liverpool waterfront skyscraper.

To Dominic’s dismay, Toby and his wife Claudine are deeply involved in it, and he suspects they are involving their small daughter Macy too.
Dominic lets his son persuade him to attend a meeting of the church, where he encounters all three generations of the Nobles. Although Christian Noble is almost a century old, he’s more vigorous than ever– inhumanly so. The
family takes turns to preach an apocalyptic sermon that hints at dark secrets masked by the Bible and at the future that lies in wait.

In a bid to investigate further Dominic undergoes the rite the church offers its members, which confers the ability to travel psychically through time. Before he’s able to flee
back to the present he has a vision of the monstrous fate that’s in store for the world.
Dominic discovers a secret he’s sure the Nobles won’t want to be made public. Although he has retired from the police, Jim helps him establish the truth, and Roberta publishes it on her online blog. It’s the subject of a court
case, the results of which seem to defeat the Nobles, only for them to return in a dreadfully transformed shape.

Now Dominic and his friends are at their mercy,and is there anywhere in the world to hide? Even if they manage somehow to deal with the Nobles, there may be no escaping or preventing the alien apocalypse that all the events of the trilogy have been bringing ever closer…

Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell was born in Liverpool in 1946 and
now lives in Wallasey. He has received the Grand Master
Award of the World Horror Convention, the Lifetime
Achievement Award of the Horror Writers Association,
the Living Legend Award of the International Horror
Guild and the World FantasyLifetime Achievement
Award. In 2015 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University for outstanding services to literature.


His first book was published by the legendary Arkham House when he was eighteen years old. His later work draws on the British and American traditions of horror fiction. It ranges from the psychological to the ghostly,
the subtly uncanny to the cosmic, the quietly disquieting to the terrifying, the poignant to the darkly comic.

His Flame Tree books include Thirteen Days by
Sunset Beach, in which afamily on holiday encounters an ancient horror on a Greek island,and Think Yourself Lucky, where the internet lets loose the monsters lurking within people just like us. In Somebody’s Voice a writer
finds his memoryand personality threatened by trying to write the memoir of a victim of abuse. The Three Births of Daoloth trilogy– The Searching Dead, Born to the Dark and The Way of the Worm – pits three childhood friends
against a terror as vast as time and space.
Three of Campbell’s novels have been filmed – The Influence (available from FLAME TREE PRESS), Pact of the Fathers and The Nameless (in development as a Netflix series). He reviewed films for the local BBC for nearly forty years, and is presently working on an appreciation of the Three Stooges, Six Stooges and Counting. A new supernatural novel, Fellstones, is in progress too.

My Thoughts

Ramsey Campbell really draws you into his world of horror, I couldn’t put The Way of The Worm down! A storyline unlike any other I’ve read, Dominic and his friends just can’t let Toby, Claudine and Macy get wrapped up in a religious cult they suspect is run by the same monster they came up against years ago. My heart was racing hoping Dominic and his friends could somehow persuade Toby to see who or what their religious leader really was before something could happen to his granddaughter.

Shadow Flicker

I received Shadow Flicker by Gregory Bastianelli to review thanks to Random Things Blog Tours.

Shadow Flicker

Investigator Oscar Basaran travels to Kidney Island off the coast of Maine to document the negative effects of shadow flicker from wind turbines on residents living near the windmills, but is unprepared for what he encounters from the islanders. Oscar’s research shows that sleep deprivation, light deficiency and ringing headaches brought on by the noise and constant strobe-like effect of the sun filtered through the spinning blades of the turbines brings on hallucinatory episodes for the closest neighbors to the machines.


Melody Larson’s elderly father nearly chokes to death after stuffing dandelion heads into his mouth. The Granberrys’ pregnant cow repeatedly runs headlong into a fence post. Tatum Gallagher mourns her young son
who vanished more than a year ago, presumed swept out to sea by a wave while fishing on the rocky shore, but several people claim to see him appear only in the glimmer of the shadow flicker.


Aerosource, the energy corporation that owns the turbines, hired Oscar to investigate the neighbors’ claims, but the insurance agent shows no allegiance to the conglomerate, especially after learning a previous
employee sent to the island a year before has disappeared without a trace.
When Oscar meets former island school science teacher Norris Squires, fired for teaching his students about the harmful effects of shadow flicker, he learns a theory regarding Aerosource that sounds too preposterous to
believe.
While it seems the shadow flicker effect has driven some of the island’s animals crazy, is it possible it’s caused an even worse mental breakdown among the human inhabitants? Or is something more nefarious at work on
the island?

As Oscar’s investigation deepens, he discovers the turbines create an unexpected phenomena kept secret by a select group of people on Kidney Island who have made a scientific breakthrough and attempt to harness its
dark power.

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Shadow Flicker, I really enjoy a good horror that actually creeps you out a little because it’s almost believable. I love Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell and this is definitely a long those lines and a book I would recommend to fans of these authors too!

Gregory Bastianelli

Gregory Bastianelli is the author of the novels Snowball, Loonies and Jokers Club. Horrornews.net described him as the ‘messiah of macabre.’ His stories have appeared in the magazines Black Ink Horror, Sinister Tales and Beyond Centauri; the anthologies Night Terrors II, Cover of Darkness and Encounters;and the online magazines Absent Willow Review and Down in the Cellar. His novella The Lair of the Mole People appeared in the pulp anthology Men & Women of Mystery Vol. II.

Gregory graduated from the University of New Hampshire where he studied writing. He worked for nearly two decades at a small daily newspaper where
the highlights of his career were interviewing shock rocker Alice Cooper and B-movie icon Bruce Campbell.
He became enchanted with the stories of Ray Bradbury as a young child,band his love of horror grew with the likes of Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell.

He lives in Dover, New Hampshire. He enjoys kayaking, hiking and cycling in the summer and snowshoeing and racquetball in the winter. Along with spending time with family, he enjoys traveling, especially to Italy where he
has visited his ancestral home and relatives residing there and hiked the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast and to the top of Mt. Vesuvius.
He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the New England Horror Writers. You can find out more about his work at gregorybastianelli.com.

The Better Brother by Simon Gravatt

I received The Better Brother by Simon Gravatt to review thanks to Random Things Blog Tours, a story of two brothers wrapped in dark humour.

The Better Brother

Michael Merriweather despises his brother. He never wants to see Jack again. But then their father dies
and leaves a will that requires the warring siblings to run the family funeral business together as a
condition of them receiving their inheritance. As a result, the brothers face a series of difficult decisions
that will change their lives.


Michael and Jack are at each other from the word go. Their opposing views on how to run the business
descends into a very personal conflict that will have catastrophic consequences. Soon, all that matters to
each of them is a burning desire to come out on top and prove himself to be the better brother.


Layers of festering resentment are gradually unpeeled in this darkly comic tale of sibling rivalry, laced with
the power, passion, reprisals and everyday friction of family business.

My Thoughts

It’s been a while since I read a book quite so amusing considering it begins with the death of the main characters father! Sibling rivalries are always amusing but rarely do you find a book quite like this. I really enjoyed reading about the two different personalities, seeing two totally different people from the same family has always intrigued me and I was curious which brother really would come out on top!

Simon Gravatt

Simon Gravatt is a first-time novelist who lives in South London. He’s drawn from personal experience as a brother and business owner to write his tale of sibling rivalry and the combustibility of small business. Simon is married with two adult children.

The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature To Fix A Faulty Brain By Hannah Powell

I received The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature to Fix a Faulty Brain by Hannah Powell to review thanks to Random Things Blog Tours. I was looking forward to reading this as I often feel like being a busy polluted area makes my health worse, I was intrigued to see if moving and spending more time surrounded by nature really did help.

The Cactus Surgeon

Living in London, Hannah suffered burnout and was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. With no information available to help her, she found her own way to get better.

Growing up in a garden centre, her childhood was full of nature and plants. This was in stark contrast to the concrete of the capital, where she became unwell. In searching for the answers to her illness, she wonders whether being torn from her pot and replanted in a more hostile environment was the reason her body started to malfunction.

After seeking out alternative therapies, and moving to the countryside of North Essex, her ‘green recovery’ continued.

It’s a book of mindful moments, savouring the small wonders of nature

My Thoughts

Hannah Powell starts by explaining where her burnout began, how busy her life was in the lead up to her ill health. It’s a stark contrast to the childhood she then goes on to share with her readers and it’s easy to see why reverting back to a greener way of life both appealed and made sense as a way of therapy/treatment for how ill Hannah had become and how by doing so this improved other areas of her life too. It was lovely reading about her life in North Essex as its not too far from me and reminded me it’s not all grey and horrible here too!

Hannah Powell

Hannah Powell (née Bourne) is Communications and HR Director for the Perrywood Garden Centres she runs with her dad and two brothers. When she was six years old, she wanted to be a cactus surgeon.

Before coming back into the family business, she had a successful career in PR and marketing, running high-profile campaigns for clients, including Barclaycard and Domino’s Pizza. She was part of the team that launched Global Entrepreneurship Week, an annual campaign to encourage young people to set up businesses worldwide.

She now lives in North Essex with her husband, daughter and many plants.

thecactussurgeon.com

Top Tips For Nesting While Waiting For Baby To Arrive

Many couples find themselves nesting like crazy in the weeks and months leading up to the big day with a new baby on the way. Nesting is instinctual for expectant mothers – it’s their way of preparing their home for the arrival of their little one. If you’re finding yourself nesting too, here are some top tips to help you get prepared for your new arrival!

Via Pexels

Clean Your Home From Top To Bottom

This is an excellent opportunity to give your home a good deep clean. Tackle every room in your house, and be sure to clean all of the nooks and crannies that tend to accumulate dust and dirt over time.

If you’re short on time, try using a steam cleaner to clean your floors and surfaces quickly. Steam cleaners are great for getting rid of built-up dirt and grime, and they don’t require any chemicals. You can use them on various surfaces, including carpets, tile floors, hardwood flooring, and countertops. 

Declutter your living spaces

Once your home is clean, take some time to declutter your living spaces. This will make it easier for you to move around once the baby arrives, and it will also give you a little peace of mind knowing that there’s less stuff for you to worry about in the weeks leading up to the big day.

Stock Up On Supplies

Once you’ve decluttered your home, it’s time to stock up on supplies! Make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes and other essentials on hand, as well as newborn clothes and blankets.

As well as stocking up on baby supplies, be sure to try stocking up on some groceries as well. When you are out shopping, pick up an extra pack of dry goods or frozen meals to put aside for those days when you won’t make it grocery shopping.

Setting Up The Nursery

This is what all parents look forward to the most, but it can also be the most stressful. It is important to remember that your baby will be tiny for a long time, and you will soon outgrow the nursery. Therefore, you do not need to go overboard with the decor, especially if it’s a boy or girl theme, because they won’t look at it anyway.

The essential items are, of course, the nursery furniture. You may want to invest in a few pieces of furniture for the nursery – a crib, changing table, and rocking chair are a few essentials. These may cost a bit more than what you had expected, but they should last years and see through a few children!

Set Aside Some Time For Yourself

Although it’s essential to get your home ready before the big day arrives, you should also set aside some time and space just for yourself! Take advantage of this opportunity to relax, unwind and pamper yourself – after all, and it won’t be long until your little one is here and you’re up all hours of the night with them!

Try reading a book, watching your favourite show, or taking a nap. You can also spend time with family and friends – it will help keep your mind off things like baby showers and other stressful tasks that need to be done before the big day arrives. Plus, having fun is good for your mental health!

Nesting is a great way to prepare for your new arrival, but it’s important to remember to take some time for yourself as well. Relax and enjoy this special time in your life!

The Big Benefits Of Giving Gifts

Image Credit

We all like receiving gifts, but giving can be just as enjoyable. When you give a gift, or you contribute to a charitable cause, it increases the feel-good hormones in your brain and helps you to think outside of yourself. These are just some of the benefits of giving; there are lots more that you can find out about in the article below. Read on and remember to dig deep.    

It Makes us Happier 

If you were given the choice to spend your money on yourself or spend the same money on someone else, which would you choose? Chances are you would choose to spend the money on yourself; after all, you worked for the money and earned it, you deserve to reap the rewards. 

But not so fast, what if you found out that spending the money on someone else was going to make you happier, so in a way you are using your money to improve your wellbeing, would you still buy that new item of clothing instead of giving to charity? Studies show this is the case. 

It Benefits our Mental Health 

Mental health issues come in different shapes and forms, but chances are most people have felt anxious or depressed at some point in their lives; we have some idea of how it feels to be so preoccupied with your life and your thoughts that nothing else matters. But giving can help. 

Giving is one of the ways you can break the cycle of self-obsession and introspection, two characteristics that are common in people with mental health conditions. Making an effort to step out of your zone of self and think about someone else creates a positive change in mood. 

It Creates Connections 

There are different ways to give and receive, you can give money to help a good cause, such as Sadaqah | Islamic Help, or you can volunteer your time or resources to aid the community. Whatever way you decide to help, you will create connections with your culture of giving. 

Since ancient times, human beings have cooperated to form communities and economies; this is one of the features of the species that makes us so successful; we are reliant on other people as much as we are on ourselves. Today, giving is one way to carry on this ancient tradition. 

It Builds up Gratitude 

One way to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down is to think about what you are grateful for; everyone is grateful for something, even if it’s only a cup of tea. When you start to cultivate gratitude, you start to realize how reliant you are on others and how they rely on you as well. 

Gratitude is an intensely positive feeling that creates more joy and happiness in your life and the lives of the people around you. It’s a good practice to give something to someone every day and to feel a sense of gratitude that you are in a position to help. Think of some things you can give.  

Giving is Contagious 

Human beings like to imitate each other for entertaini=ment and communication, so when someone starts to give more freely and increase their happiness and wellbeing levels, the situation is contagious. Before you know it, your friends, family, and neighbors will give too. 

If you work in a cutthroat industry like investment banking or venture capitalism, it’s easy to start thinking about the world in a narrow way; there are haves and have nots. In reality, the world is based on cooperation and kindness, people make efforts to protect others in difficulty. 

It Improves Physical Health 

Studies show that giving is good for your mental health, but it’s also good for your physical health. As mentioned, giving allows you to think outside of yourself about the situation of other people; this reduces the amount of stress you have in your own life leading to physical benefits.

Stress is one of the leading causes of physical issues such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, asthma, and more; not only that, stress makes you uncomfortable and unproductive. If you have issues with stress, you need to resolve them as a priority; giving is a useful way to begin.  

It Helps Other People

It might seem like an obvious point, but it’s worth reiterating as an end-note, the purpose of giving is to help other people, and it works. Without the charitable contributions and humanitarian efforts of people, there would be far more suffering and crises on the planet. With that in mind, remember to dig deep the next time you are asked for a charitable contribution.  

3 Top Tips To Care For Your Family

Taking good care of your family’s health is essential if you want to ensure that everyone in your family has a long and healthy future free of major diseases and illnesses. A healthy lifestyle and regular checkups are just some of the ways you can take care of your family. Take a look at the following list of helpful hints for keeping your family healthy and happy.

Image via Unsplash

Encourage physical activity on a regular basis.

An estimated eighty percent of American adults and children are not getting the recommended amount of physical activity to stay healthy. That is a total of four of the five people who participated! One of the best ways to keep both your physical and emotional health in control is through regular exercise.

Make an effort to incorporate a healthy amount of physical activity into your daily routine. Taking a stroll to school, stopping by the park on the way home, or going for a bike ride with your family on the weekends are all examples of ways to include physical activity into your daily routine. Even a game of bowling or a few hours of gardening count.

Eat healthily.

Is your diet healthy? Do you know what constitutes a healthy diet? Having your cake and eating it too does not have to mean only drinking water and eating only salads. You may eat healthy while also having your cake and eating it. Just remember to enjoy junk food and other high-fat and high-sugar foods in moderation and to eat well-balanced meals on the other days. Every day, consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as a healthy amount of carbohydrates. Using wholemeal pitta as a base and spreading tomato puree and low-fat cheese on top, you can make your favorite junk foods healthier. Kids love it, and it is a healthy option that tastes fantastic.

It is possible to avoid significant health problems including heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, cancer, and other disorders by ensuring that your diet is well-balanced.

Make sure you are taking good care of your mental health.

Our mental health is just as essential as our physical health, and many of us overlook it. Our families’ emotional health is equally as important as our physical health in light of the current state of affairs we find ourselves in. It is important to find ways of supporting a child with anxious feelings. Everyone, including children, may benefit from incorporating a little mindfulness into their daily lives. You can color or concentrate on your breathing if that helps you relax. Practising mindfulness can be extremely beneficial to your mental well-being since it enables you to center yourself and reconnect with the present moment.