Month: October 2016

hand over fist: Michael Ross



HAND OVER FIST (Out of Hand Series Book 1)

Martin Russell is a good man living in a bad world.

Once a successful businessman, he is at rock bottom when, with barely enough motivation to face the future, he spends his last coin on a bus ride out of the city. Then a chance incident near his home triggers a sequence of positive opportunities, and an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life and gives him back his self-belief.

His life, unexpectedly, could not be better as he rebuilds his world. Old friends rally around him and his future is full of positivity. That is until the phone call informing him that Hannah has disappeared and people’s lives change forever. He needs friends more than ever; non-more so than John Staples, known as Pin-up, the billionaire businessman with a network of connections, who enlists disgraced ex policeman Bobby Tanner to help find Hannah.

They are all thrust into a world of half-truths where the roots of evil run deeper than can be imagined; where all roads lead to the door of The Chemist’s underworld empire of corruption. Bobby Tanner and Pin-up must uncover the truth, and fast. Lives depend on it.


Purchase links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:


About The Author

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publishing of my second novel.

Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent my adult life in business, the majority of that time marketing cars. I eventually owned the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a divorce put an end to that part of my life.

This led me to leave Bristol to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys, start a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attend creative writing classes in Cardiff.

My interest in English literature flourished and I have won several prizes for my short stories. My first book, ‘Twenty Short Stories – Settling a score,” reached No 6 in the Short Stories Best Sellers and is still available. My second novel, a romantic thriller entitled Hand Over Fist was released earlier this year

Chasing What’s Already Gone evolved from a short story Carpe Diem in my second anthology Twenty One Short Stories. I could not get the two main characters out of my head and I had to find out what happened to them after the end of the short story.

I now live very happily halfway up that mountain in the Welsh Valleys with my wonderful partner, Mari, and our rescue dog, Wolfie.





Real techniques base complexion sponge.


Hello all, today I wanted to review a makeup applicator rather than a makeup product.  In the past I have used a beauty blender which retails at £16 each on Amazon or Ebay.
I bought these Real techniques Base complexion sponges for £6.90.  An individual sponge costs £4.79, that is a huge saving compared to the Beauty Blender.img_0837

The sponge has a flat edge which I have found perfect for applying powders and contouring.
The rounded side I used for both my concealer and foundation, when the sponge is wet I found it helped blend everything seamlessly.

This sponge is well worth the money, if you love the beauty blender then you’re going to love the Real Techniques Base Sponge.
The sponge is quite stiff and dense if you use it dry, however once you use it more often and get it wet, it does  soften.

Below are other reviews:

“Great foundation blender, very good value for money. The quality is that good that I’ve got my granddaughter a pk. To be honest I like all the real techniques brushes I’ve purchased, so I should have known this would be great. There is tutorial on YouTube, but basically you need to soak in water, squeez all water out, it expands to about twice it’s size, the pointy end for localised blending (by patting) on blemishes, the flat end is great for under eye… the ’round body’ for putting on foundation – which ever part you use, best to pick up a bit of foundation up with the blender and lightly bounce (sort of pat) the blender all over to blend, I have found that it’s best to apply concealer to the area of the face then blend – but that’s just me… there will be other ways. To clean, just use makeup brush cleanser and cool running water doesn’t take long and the blender lasts a long time”.

– Amazon.

“I use these sponges daily to apply liquid foundation and powder, they’re really good quality compared to similar products and I find that they help me apply make up smoothly. I think they’re more hygienic than brushes as well as they’re very easy to clean. In one pack I bought, one of the sponges had been squashed so looked to be the wrong shape but it returned to normal after being left out for a day or so, they also hold up well to regular cleaning”.


Sleek highlighting palette 

Hello everyone, long time no see.

I recently purchased this sleek Highlighting palette.  I have seen this palette everywhere, it’s super affordable and GORGEOUS!   There are a few different types, this one featured is called Solstice.  There are 4 shades, 1 is a cream highlighter and the other 3 are powders.

Top left: cream highlighter, called ecliptic.

Top right: Hemisphere.

Bottom Left: Subsolar.

Bottom Right: Equinox.

The packaging is so eye catching, and looks very high end in my opinion.

I paid a total of £9.99 English pounds.  I bought mine off amazon via Amazon Prime.  Easy buying, and a 5 star review.

Product description: solstice instantly enhances the complexion with a radiant glow, the highly pigmented metallic finishes create a gorgeous luminous sheen on the skin. Solstice can be used on cheekbones, the cuspids bow, the inner corner of the eyes, bridge of the nose and can be swept across the décolletage to create a lit from within glow.

Swatches on my skin.  I have very fair skin.

Left to right: Ecliptic, Hemisphere, Subsolar, Equinox.

I have used this product every day for a week now, and I am in love. I have used a brush and my fingers to apply the highlight to my cheeks, bridge of my nose and cuspids bow.  The picture above shows the subtle highlight it gives me.  The shade used above was Equinox.  Equinox is my favourite shade in the palette.  The shades are so pigmented and glide across the skin effortlessly.  I have used the brush included in the palette but I found it very stiff and it did not apply the highlights well, however this is a cheaper palette, so it was to be expected.

The cream highlight was perfect for below my brows to just enhance their shape.   I also feel the cream would look lovely if you do not plan to use any powders on your face.

I definitely recommend this product to everyone, it is well worth the money and it gives my skin a natural glow that I have needed, as sometimes my makeup can look too matte, and I always feel something is missing.   I am definitely going to recommend this palette to friends, and I will be repurchasing it when I have used it.  Beautiful.

5 stars from me.