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The @obsidianmask by Caroline Ludovici – #Review & a #Recipe (Breakfast Muffins & #YA)

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An exciting desert adventure, where Natasha and her brother, are kidnapped with two Italian teens, for a priceless Mesopotamian artifact unearthed by their archaeologist parents from an ancient Warrior-Queen’s tomb.
Natasha and Alex imagined their long awaited trip from London to visit their archaeologist mother’s excavation would be amazing. After all, the team was uncovering the tomb of an ancient Mesopotamian Warrior Queen and her fascinating, precious possessions. But almost immediately upon their arrival in Medinabad, they are ambushed at gunpoint en-route to the camp, and the shaken children doubt things could get any worse.
But they are wrong.
Reluctantly thrown together with two Italian teens visiting their father at the dig, the four embark on a thrilling desert adventure that will tie them together… in more ways than one.

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Infinity Publishing|IndieBound Goodreads

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Well this book was quite a way to make my comeback to reviewing! THE OBSIDIAN MASK was a powerful read. When I picked it up, I was not expecting to be sucked into a story with such a strong female character. I loved the protagonists, heck all four of the characters, but it is hard not to think of Natasha as the main character because most of the story is from her point of view. I also have an very large love of stories involving archaeology. There always is a bit of mystery surrounding stories like this. Throw in four teens discovering an adventure and discovering themselves and you have one hell of a YA read for those wanting more than the teenage woes in the high school halls.

It had a great start, and the author, Caroline Ludovici’s writing style was definitely more show than tell, which is always a plus. To often than not we have these types of stories listing and info dumping, this is the last thing a YA reader wants. They want quick paced, easily digested info, characters they can invest in and a story that makes them want to not put the book down. Especially for YA readers who want to have an adventurous story with history and archaeology. It was a mixing bull full of just the right ingredients!

My one criticism is how the book slows up and Natasha begins to grate on my nerves. Perhaps a YA reader will see another peer struggling through her trials, but as an adult it was annoying at times. I am glad I didn’t skim, because it became important later in the story. So don’t skim, and be prepared for it to almost stall out, but it will get over that hill and speed up on the top of the hill and you will want to be able to hit the breaks because it ends to quickly.

Again, great mixing bowl of reading for the YA readers, even the early YA/MG readers of 11 will enjoy it and I would let my kids read it if they were still 11. Playing with the idea of first love, divorce, remarriage, death and the obvious play on jealousy. Do you have kids that like adventure, a bit of mystery, even some history served up on dessert platter of fun? Well this savory read is just for you!
4 out of 5 fun & festive stars!

4 out of 5 fun & festive stars!

Speaking of Savory….

SAVOURY MUFF
4 out of 5 fun & festive stars!
Author:
Cuisine: Diet
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 24
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 250g plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 50 ml water
  • 200g vegetables (mixture of carrots, onions, olives [your choice on kind], sweet corn, red or green pepper - all chopped fine)
  • 100g cheese
  • 2 large eggs (3 medium)
  • 3 slices of bacon, fried and chopped
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the vegetables (grate the carrot) and mix into a bowl with the flour.
  2. In another bowl mix the milk and eggs.
  3. Mix both wet and dry ingredients until no residue of flour left. Add water if needs be.
  4. Mix in the cheese and bacon
  5. Bake at 180c/ 350f for 20 mins keeping an eye out after 10.
  6. Leave to cool on a rack
Notes
Just know these are not only healthy but truly will be perfect for those on a casual diet. They are chuck full of energy feeding ingredients! NOT GLUTTON FREE!!

Blog-Headlines-follow-tour
August 10thLady Reader’s Bookstuff – Launch post w/teasers
August 11th Pixie Vixen Book Reviews  Q&A 
August 12th Reads All The Books – Review
August 13th Anything But Vanilla Book Blog – Author Interview
August 14th An Unconventional Librarian – Review
August 14th Heather Ann’s Book Reviews – Review
August 17th Cabin Goddess – Review & Recipe
August 17th Chosen One – Review
August 18th Anything But Vanilla Book Blog – Promo / Guest Post
August 18th Books and Bling – Author Interview
August 19th BAPS Book Blog – Review
August 20th My Reading Reality – Author Interview
August 21st The Power of Three Readers – Review / Promo
August 21st TripleA – Review / Guest Post 
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Caroline Ludovici was born and raised in central London, and from a very early age, she developed a hunger for adventure and hot, desolate places. She loves to learn about different customs, peoples, and to go off the beaten track wherever she can. She has been lucky enough to have traveled extensively throughout the world, spending considerable time in many countries of diverse and interesting cultures, soaking in the history. Caroline has also lived in Sweden and spent a year in New Zealand and Australia, taking six months to get there and back.

However, her dream is to spend a few months following the ancient trade routes, from China across to the Mediterranean Sea. Caroline especially loves the Middle East, and as well as exploring Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran, where her parents lived for a couple of years when she was in her late teens and early twenties, she spent ten days in the Jordanian desert, following the footsteps of T.E. Lawrence. Her passion is archaeology, and wherever she goes in the world, as well as visiting ancient sites, Caroline absorbs herself in the local customs and history, avoiding the hordes of tourists where ever she can.

The Obsidian Mask is Caroline’s first book. The sequels, Secrets of The River, and The Irish Queen of Algiers, also reflect her love for travel and history, as well as giving her readers a fun and exciting adventure to enjoy. It has given her much pleasure writing these books, and she hopes you enjoy reading them as much as she has enjoyed writing them!

Caroline has also written some short stories for pre-teen readers, and a collection of short stories for women in a series called, Coming of Age. When she is not writing she is either playing tennis or volunteering her time running a store/art gallery that dedicates itself to local artists?

She is married and has two children, and she spends a lot of time on airplanes hopping back and forth from England to America, which is where she currently calls home.

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One Comment

  1. This sounds like such an exciting read.

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