New Releases & Free & Bargain Books Link Up

Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs…
Monday
Leels Loves Books
Tuesday
Celticlady’s Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley Books | Between the Coverz | Bookalicious Traveladdict
Thursday
Miki’s Hope | Heidi Reads
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry | Futures
Saturday
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings

Sunday

For Pre-orders post – PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author

For New Releases post – NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post – FREE / genre / title / author / end date
For Bargain Books post – SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!



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Come back and check out the new selection every week x
 

The Lion Guard ‘Rise of Scar’ Playset | Review

The Lion Guard

We were sent The Lion Guard ‘Rise of Scar’ playset for review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Jack loves watching cartoons on the TV after school and has recently got into The Lion Guard. When we were offered the opportunity to review the brand new ‘Rise of Scar’ The Lion Guard playset, I just had to apply – I knew Jack would love it seeing as he had recently circled it in the Smyth’s catalogue!

The playset comes with an exclusive Kion figure. Kion is the son and youngest child of Simba and Nala and the younger brother of Kiara. The Kion figure has movable features – his head, legs and tail all move. But that isn’t the only feature available in this playset – there are so many fabulous features to amuse your children and keep them occupied for ages!

The Lion GuardSo what features are there? There are:

  • A lava pool trap which launches balls of lava at Scar, complete with sound effects
  • A collapsing bridge which collapses at the push of a button
  • A crocodile pool with a crocodile to catch any fallers from the collapsing bridge
  • A monkey launching tree trap – the monkey gets launched but this also doubles up as a great swing for Kion
  • A light up Scar with sound effects that pops up with pop up flames

Jack is a big fan of the original The Lion King which The Lion Guard is based on and has really been enjoying The Lion Guard recently too. He has been playing with this constantly since it arrived and has even got his little sister involved in some of the play – although you will see in our YouTube video out takes that Scar has taken a little bit of getting used to!

As he’d circled this as something he wanted for his birthday/Christmas, I had high hopes for this and I am pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed. If I let him, he would play with this for hours and I would be happy for him too. You can recreate scenes from the television series if you wish or you can make up your own stories – the fun can last for absolutely ages.

For £49.99, this The Lion Guard ‘Rise of Scar’ playset is great value for what you get, however I would have liked to see some more figures. Kion does cut a lonely figure going around the set on his own.

To find out more about what we think about the playset, just check out our review video below and if you would like to buy the playset for yourself, you can buy it from Smyths here.

 

Is this on your child’s Christmas list?

Plastic vs glass greenhouses – which should you choose?

Greenhouses are perfect garden furniture for horticulturists as they allow them to make the most of the seasons, experiment with growing more exotic plants and grow more tender vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.

There is a range of different glazing options for greenhouses and they all have advantages and disadvantages when compared. The right glazing for your greenhouse will be determined by your requirements, personal preferences, climate and budget.

Together with The Plastic People, retailers of polycarbonate sheets, we look at the pros and cons of creating a greenhouse from plastic or glass:

Fitting a greenhouse

With gardeners keen to grow their own produce in their backyards, greenhouses remain in high demand. Customers first face two choices when they decide that they would like a greenhouse – to build or to buy. Although buying a ready-built greenhouse can save time and energy, purchasing the parts from a supplier and assembling it yourself could save you hundreds of pounds.

Experts at Gardeners World estimate that building your own greenhouse would only take up one weekend too. There are plenty of tutorials online to guide you into building a greenhouse but it consists of five main steps:

  • Ensuring you have a level foundation
  • Assemble each section and attach loosely with clips and bolts
  • Fitting the door runners, the door and any automatic window openers or vents
  • Lining the glazing bars with foam glazing tape or rubber strips to act as a seal. Fit the roof first with glass or polycarbonate sheets and then the wall panes
  • Tighten all the bolts, starting from the top of the fixture

If this sort of DIY is not up your street, alternatively, you can buy one from a garden retailer.

Pros and cons of a glass greenhouse

Gardeners who greatly value the aesthetics of their garden tend to go for glass greenhouses as it gives the ‘traditional’ look. Research by gardeners at The Telegraph found that, compared to twin-wall polycarbonate sheets, glass had a 2-3% higher light transmission. However, this is because the light scatters as it passes through the twin-wall and manages to reach areas that light penetrating through glass cannot which could be advantageous.

One negative of glass is durability. If your greenhouse is in the flight path of any birds or footballs, you could find yourself replacing the panes regularly. Glass is very fragile as a material and can become damaged off a small bump.

Pros and cons of a plastic greenhouse

There are many advantages of introducing polycarbonate panes to your greenhouse. Some polycarbonate sheets, like the ones sold by The Plastic People, were found to be 200x stronger than glass yet half of its weight. This makes the material easier to use and more durable. Due to its hardwearing properties, polycarbonate does not need replacing as much as glass and has been found to be a longer lasting alternative for traditional glass panes. Upon testing (vigorously with a hammer), the plastic sheets were found to be shatter-resistant which is perfect for any mishaps that may occur in assembly or in the garden.

Polycarbonate sheets also filter out nearly all the harmful UV rays that you may become exposed to when gardening in the greenhouse, allowing you to harvest your crop without the fear of sunburn.

If thermal insulation is important to you and key to the growth of your plants, glass is the slightly favourable option. A single sheet of polycarbonate has 0.1 less ‘R’ value (measurement of thermal insulation) than a sheet of horticultural glass. However, this can be solved with a twin-wall polycarbonate panel which assists with useful light diffusion as mentioned.

If twin-wall polycarbonate is your panel of choice, it must be sealed properly as the flutes within the wall can attract moisture, mould and insects – proper assembly would prevent this from occurring.

At one time, a negative property of polycarbonate sheets was clouding over time. However, technological advancements have prevented this from occurring and the sheets remain clear all year round.

So, it appears that polycarbonate sheets could be the new glass when it comes to greenhouse panes. Boasting durability, shatter resistance and light diffusion in all the right places, it is ready to take on any challenge that the UK weather has to offer.

Collaboration

Trying The Nergi Berry Fruit – A Tasty Fruity Treat For All The Family

Nergi berry fruit

We were sent some Nergi Berry Fruit for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

We are on Slimming World so as you can imagine, we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and like to mix it up as much as we possibly can – you don’t want to be eating the same fruit and veg day in, day out. When we were contacted and asked if we would like to try some Nergi Berry Fruit, we were very intrigued and couldn’t wait to see what they were like. These are really great for if you are on the Slimming World plan – I am unsure if they are free or speed food but either way you can indulge in them as much as you like and still remain on plan – something I can totally get on board with.

The Nergi berry fruit is also known as the kiwi berry and has an edible outer skin and is vivid and fresh green in colour. The skin can probably be described a grape like and the fruit is full of antioxidants Vitamins C and E and fibre so is super nutritious. A handful contains 52kcal per 100g (e.g. 21kcal for approximately 5 berries). Would you believe this berry has existed in the wild for centuries and finally is now being grown in the orchards of small farms in France and southern Europe with the help of careful cultivation and natural pollination.

Nergi berry fruit

Our Nergi berry fruit came packed in a lovely gift box with information about the fruit – originally from Asia, no need to peel and deliciously sweet and sour. The season is short for the Nergi berry fruit – between the 20th of August and 15th of November 2017 – so if you want to grab some, get in there quick.

What did we think of it? Well I am a big fan of berries, kiwis and grapes so with these described as they are, I always knew that I would be a fan. Jack liked them but perhaps their biggest fan had to be Steve. Every other minute I caught him eating another one, he loved them that much.

Nergi berry fruitThese are super tasty, very fresh and so handy for a handbag ready snack. These are perfect for after exercise or when you need that mid morning snack. A punnet didn’t last long in our house and we are already heading out to buy some more whilst they are still in season.

The recommended retail price for a 125g punnet is £2.50 – this is roughly 15 of the berries. They are available at most supermarkets whilst in season – check M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons for sure as they carried them in 2016.

Nergi is the brand name fro the fruit – it originates from the Siberian kiwi and is not genetically modified – you can find out more about the Nergi berry fruit on their website. Have you ever tried the Nergi berry fruit?

Our Day At Alton Towers With Our Merlin Annual Pass & What Merlin Events Are On This Halloween

alton towers

As mentioned before, Merlin Annual Pass are kindly providing us with a year of fun as a family. You can get yours here and we have already visited Legoland (review here) and Chessington World of Adventures (review here). Right at the end of the Summer holidays, we decided to visit Alton Towers.

As always, we took our passes along for our free entry – our standard passes enable us free entry to the park and discount in many places across the park, especially the eateries (always handy!). Parking is not included in our passes but that’s fine, I’m more than happy to pay a few pounds parking for a brilliant day out.

Alton Towers is quite a drive from us so we set off quite early so we didn’t get there too long after opening. Jack had been desperate to go for months as he really wanted to check out CBeebies Land and he was so super excited when he finally realised where we were going to. As you can imagine, Alton Towers in the summer holidays was always going to be super busy so we had to plan our day accordingly. We started at CBeebies Land and ended at CBeebies Land and now Jack is desperate to go back and stay in the hotel!

We hopped on the monorail from the car park to the park and I can quite honestly say Jack would have been happy riding around on that all day if he could – he loved it!

The day started off rather wet and the queues in CBeebies Land were long so Jack went on a couple of the rides with shorter queues and we went to explore the park, deciding to come back later on when most people would be starting to leave and the queues would be shorter.

alton towersWhilst exploring the site, we came across a very exciting sight – a new ride being built. It was fascinating seeing the workmen working on it and we can’t wait to see the finished product.

alton towers

We had great fun going across the site on the Skyride – you are hundreds of feet up in a gondola and you get to see the beautiful sights of the Alton Towers park. It really is a breathtaking ride and I’d happily go round for ages if I could.

alton towers

As we do at all Merlin attractions if they have one on site, we visited the Sealife centre. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of it and we had fun looking at all the different sea creatures. Olivia has just started noticing animals and creatures so she found this really fascinating. We also took advantage of a Fast track ticket at this time to jump onto a ride which had massive queues – the Congo River Rapids was very popular so we thought the £15 (3 £5 singular Fast track tickets) for the three of us was very reasonable to bypass the massive queue. Steve got soaking wet!

alton towers alton towersWe managed to visit a couple of other rides before heading back to the CBeebies part of the park – we visited Hex which Jack was terrified and confused by. In the pitch black, he wasn’t too sure what was going on but having been on the ride before myself, I knew what to expect. He still maintains that we went upside down in the ride and he is still very confused by it!

Hungry, we popped into the pizza and pasta buffet on site. There are plenty of eateries to choose from but a buffet always gets our vote. Even without our Annual Pass discount, the restaurants are very reasonable in price – you can feed a family of four for under £40 which I think is brilliant.

As our day slowly started to come to an end, we headed back to CBeebies Land. With far to travel, plenty of people were leaving before the park closed which we were expecting – and this meant a lot less queuing time in one of the busiest parts of the park. We also came from far away but we didn’t mind leaving later – after all, the kids and my mum were only going to fall asleep in the car anyway!

alton towersalton towersalton towersWe managed to visit Justin’s House Pie-Omatic Factory, the Something Special Sensory Garden, Mr Bloom’s Allotment, the Num-Tums Number Go Round, Nina’s Science Lab, the Tree Fu Tom Training Camp and rounded off the day nicely with a ride on the Get Set Go Treetop Adventure.alton towersalton towersalton towersalton towersThis was a lovely ride to end the day with before we headed back to the car park on the monorail. A nice and gentle ride with some views of the park, it was a lovely way to end our day and we hope to visit it again soon.

We are now thinking about our next trip to a Merlin Annual Pass attraction- we will be visiting a few in the October half term and hopefully getting involved in the Halloween fun. So what is on this Halloween at Merlin attractions across the country – and which are you planning to attend?

  • Fright Nights at Thorpe Park on the 2nd of October
  • Spooky Sees at Sea Life Birmingham between the 14th and 31st of October
  • Howl’o’ween at Chessington between the 20th and 31st of October
  • The Haunted Castle at Warwick Castle between the 21st and 31st of October (we are planning to attend this and will certainly be giving the challenge a go)
  • Scarefest at Alton Towers between these dates: October 7th-8th, 14th – 15th, 20th – 31st
  • The Death Express at The London Dungeon – between 5th October and 6th of November (pass holders cannot use their passes between 27th and 31st of October)
  • All Hallow’s Eve at The Coca Cola London Eye between the 21st and 31st of October

There is so much to do at Halloween, I hope you will join me in giving as many of them a try as you can – we love Halloween in this family!

 

I am a Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Merlin Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email info@merlinannualpass.co.uk