Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book Review - Pass It on: a Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation by Champ Thornton

Photo Source - Amazon

The imitation leather journal is a Bible study on Proverbs. It is meant for one person to complete the activities and then pass it on to a loved one. Readers are asked as they go through the journal to create their own personalized wisdom with the aim to share it with their loved ones. It is the perfect keepsake and made with heirloom quality materials that won't disappoint!

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sabon Bath Salt - Rose

Last year I had received a $200 gift card for my birthday and just recently found it. At first, I thought $200 might be too much, but as I started adding things to the cart, I felt like maybe it wasn’t enough! I am a huge bath person and I loaded up on bath products. When I saw this, I thought it would look so beautiful (loving the glass container!) perched on my bathroom tub in my otherwise ugly bathroom. The bath salts are enriched with a blend of essential oils that left the bath water delicately scented of rose. I also liked how the salts had pieces of rose petals. Although, contrary to what was depicted in the photo on the website while ordering, my rose petals were more like small crushed pieces mixed in and bled through the normally “white” salts. The packaging recommended using 5 scoops (which would have been helpful to include a scooper); I just dumped a bit of the product into the tub. The salts and scent were relaxing, but I didn’t notice my skin being hydrated or smooth. A cool product, but I am not sure I would get it again unless I had a discount.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Book Review - The Gift (The Amish of Hart County #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray

Photo Credit - Amazon
When the Schwartz family inherited a small fortune, they couldn't wait to start their new life on a farm instead of their duplex. The family hired a real estate who found them a beautiful and affordable farm in Hart County. However, strange and deadly things start to occur once the family arrived.  Susanna hears gunshots that frighten her horse and topples over her buggy while her little sister, Traci falls through a wooden bridge into a creek. At first, the incidents seem like accidents, but eventually it starts to become clear, someone wants them gone. Who is targeting the Schwartz family? Why are they targeting them and will they be able to survive?

I have read a few of Mrs. Gray's novels and been a fan of most of them. This novel is no different, it offered a lot of suspense and questionable characters on who could be the culprit. However, I felt something was missing as the novel wasn't as exciting as her other "Hart County" novels. As the culprit became very clear midway through the novel. That isn't to say that I won't read her other novels.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book Review - A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star (Rwendigo Tales) by J. A. Myhre

Photo Credit - Amazon
Kusiima is a thirteen year old, boy but unlike the average kids his age, he has no time for school or having fun. An orphan living with his grandmother and sister, he has to work long hours to support his makeshift family. Kusiima barely makes enough to support his aging grandmother and his sickly sister when he was presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity. The owner of a prominent charcoal company asked Kusiima to accompany him to his next charcoal expedition.  However, when Kusiima realizes they are entering a protected forest where it is illegal to cut down the trees, Kusiima is surrounded by several decisions. Would Kusiima do what is best for his family? Will Kusiima be able to do what is right if it means that his family would suffer?

The short story was an interesting read. It showcased a lot of problems children from third world countries face that children in the first world would take for granted. Children in the United States complain about going to school when many children in other countries don't even have the option of attending school. However, I felt like while the story had a "happy ending", there might be a lot of topics that are too dark and stressful for the target age demographics such as AIDS, abandonment, children dying from starvation, lack of health care, degradation of natural environments, and hopelessness. While, it can be a good tool to let young ones to be more aware and to show them to treat others and Mother Earth with generosity and compassion it would be better to pair this with additional conversation to overwhelm young readers.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review - Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Photo Credit - Amazon

Hazel DeFord has a deep and dark secret that continues to haunt her. In 1943, a young ten year old Hazel was picking blackberries with her younger three year old sister, Maggie.  Hazel momentarily leaves Maggie alone to discover Maggie has disappeared upon her return. 

More than seventy years later, Hazel is still haunted by the guilt while the mystery remains unsolved. Hazel's secret has strained her relationship with her daughter, Diane, who is frustrated by her mother's paranoia and being overly overprotective. Diane's daughter, Meghan, on the other hand, loves her grandmother's affection and attention. When Meghan is hurt in an accident, she decides to use her recovery time to visit her grandmother. However, when she arrives, she finds out her mother has also planned to tag along as well.  Diane and Meghan uncover Hazel's dark secret while visiting. Meghan is a cold case detective and volunteers to help her grandmother uncover the truth behind Maggie's disappearance. Will the three generations of DeFord women be able to survive each other? Will Meghan be able to solve the mystery behind Maggie's disappearance?

The novel had an interesting premise, but it failed to deliver. I felt like the story dragged on and on until the last few chapters and I felt like the book could have detailed some characters better. For example, Hazel and her late husband's relationship; did he know about Hazel's secret? I also felt that Meghan didn't really help much with solving the mystery behind Maggie's disappearance. Her partner had a bigger role in solving it and than she did while the "mystery" was quite obvious from the beginning. I like the author's writing style so I might be open to reading more of her novels.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**