Sunday, May 29, 2016

Book Review - A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid

Photo Source - Amazon

After Mattie Diener's husband died a little under 2 years ago, Mattie is unable to move on and find love again. The young widow is the mother of two young children in a tight Amish community. Mattie crosses path with an outsider when her son becomes mysteriously ill.  Bo Lambright works in the child social services who has a secret past. Bo crosses path with Mattie when her children become hospitalized. Is he able to put his differences aside and do whats best for Mattie and her children? Is Mattie to blame for her son's illness? Will Bo and Mattie be able to find love?

The heartwarming story shows what people are willing to do to protect their children and loved ones. It also shows how our parents have an impact on our lives whether we like it or not. And how love heals even our darkest scars. The book was very interesting read and kept me entertained until the end. However, the author mixed in Amish Dutch English, while it was a cute novelty, it got annoying after a bit to constantly turning the page to utilize the dictionary. A good read for anyone interested in stories with Amish themes.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Borghese Princess Marcella Classic Velvet Lipcolour - 06 Bruna

I am not sure where I got this lipstick and I also can't seem to find any information about this lipstick. I guess it just proves I need to stop buying makeup and start using the stuff in my possession first (like that's going to happen). I never wore black lipstick before but it took some getting used to. After applying it for the first time and having mixed feelings, I am starting to like the lipstick. The black lipstick is slightly sheer (even with a couple of coats) with purple iridescent glitter to give it dimension. I can't say this is my favorite lipstick, but it is quite bold.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Skin79 Fruit Mask Pomegranate Girl

Never one to say no to anything pomegranate, I had to try these masks. The tencel sheet mask is printed with a pomegranate inlayed over the slits for the eyes, mouth, and nose. It’s roughly on the same lines as animal and lace masks that has graphics printed on them. The floral scented mask left my skin feeling and smooth. Although, it felt a bit sparse on the included serum on the mask.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush - Enthused

The solar baked natural clay blush promises 12 hours of coverage. The Amazonian clay reduces oil around pores to keep the product lasting longer. The clay's nourishing and hydrating properties help restore skin's moisture. The color reminds me a bit of Stila's Kitten but without the summer. It has a bit of a sand color. I also don't notice the blush lasting 12 hours. The color kind of washes me out and I will probably use this as a highlighter or as an eyeshadow.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Urban Decay UD Gwen Stefani Lipstick - Rock Steady

The limited edition Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani collection. The collection has eight new shades ranging from bright red matte to a shimmer sheer nude. I got the Rock Steady color which is deep wine red color. The color goes on smoothly and has a good color payoff. The lipstick lasted a couple of sips of water but taper off around 2 hours after application. Do love the color though!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Review - Mountain Murder Mystery by Benjamin Dahlbeck

Photo Credit - Amazon
The Severn family decide to gather in the mountain home of their grandmother, Mary Agnes to celebrate Thanksgiving. The three cousins are excited to spend time with their grandmother and to hear an announcement about their late grandfather's will. However, with the news of an escaped convict and Mary Agnes's three servants are murdered one by one, everyone is on edge. A huge snowstorm causes an landslide preventing the family from leaving the house. Is there the killer among them? Who will be safe?

The synopsis of the book basically gave away more than of the story than it was necessary. From the beginning, you know all the servants are murdered but they set it up as  one of the servants might be involved. The story was written in a boring and long winded way.  The dialogue & banter between characters got really boring and annoying at times. I am not sure if this was meant to be a comedy but some of the serious moments was just straight up ridiculous. The characters are unrealistic and the entire plot is ill-conceived. It really makes you question familial love.

**Disclosure - I received a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest opinion**

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tosowoong Pure Blueberry Mask Skin Whitening

Just like real blueberries, this mask is packed with good for you ingredients, such as vitamins A, C, E, niacinamide, and adenocine. The skin brightening mask fits well and was soaked with “blueberry” scented serum. Personally, I didn’t care for the scent but my skin was left smooth and soft to the touch. My dark spots looked less visible on the next day.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review - Mrs. Engels: A Novel by Gavin McCrea

Photo Source - Amazon
Not much is known about enigmatic Lizzie Burns. She was an illiterate Irishwoman and the lover of Frederick Engels and then eventually becomes his wife. Lizzie is a poor factory working in Manchester, England who works in the mill Frederick owns. They move to London to be closer to Karl Marx and his family away from the simple life Lizzie knew. Lizzie has to learn how to navigate Victorian high society while avoiding straining her relationship with Frederick. 

The novel is broken down into three main segments starting from 1870 to 1872. It is from Lizzie's perspective but it doesn't really give you any information about her. The pieces you do find out, doesn't really make sense nor do you quite understand what motivates certain actions. The story sometimes switches from the present and the past at seemingly random points. It was very hard to keep track of what was going on. At times, the story itself was boring and a tedious read. The author could have made this into so much more but it fell flat.

**Disclosure - I won a free copy of this book from a giveaway**

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Book Review - A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock

Photo Credit - Amazon
While novel takes place during the roaring 20's, it alternates between Vera's current life and her friendship with Bea Stillman during her college years. The two events are artfully intertwined as a mysterious painter enters Vera's life and causes her to question her entire life. Vera is a privileged Manhattan socialite; she has money, influence, beauty, and surrounded by a collection of beautiful objects.Vera spends most of her time socializing with the other residents of The Angelus or alone waiting for her husband to come home. Vera feeling empty and alone, but she is excited when the artist comes to work The Angelus. She would finally have someone to talk with about art. However, she finds herself drawn to the artist but realizes he is keeping secrets from her. Will his secrets put her in danger? Will she ever be able to break out of her gilded cage? What will she do when the life she has is not what she wants?

The charming love story is about two characters who come from different backgrounds but want one thing in common -- to be loved. The story can be quiet slow at times and the reader might roll their eyes about a privileged young woman complaining about her life when she seemingly have everything. While, I did find the story entertaining I felt it was a bit lacking. 

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book Review - The Silent Children by Amna K. Boheim

Photo Source - Amazon
In 1938, Annabel Albrecht's life takes a turn for the worst. Her favorite maid, Eva disappears then her friend Oscar leaves as well. Annabel is left alone when her brother is murdered and her mother is taken away after being accused of his murder.  Around 70 years later,  Annabel has passes away and  leaves her house to her son, Max. While trying to cope with his mother's death and cryptic dying message, he begins to unearth deep, dark, and deadly secrets. Will these secrets help bridge his relationship with his mother or will it keep them apart forever?

A haunting modern day ghost story with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until you turn the last page. I like how the novel alternates between  in the past with Annabel and then modern day with Max. It was very interesting and kept me hooked until the last page. Little by little, all perceptions of what you know to be true is torn down.

**Disclosure - I received a  uncorrected book in exchange for my honest opinion**

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review - A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America by Óscar Martínez

Photo Credit - Amazon
Central America is one of the deadliest places on Earth. Both El Salvador and Honduras have the highest homicide rate for the past decade with Guatemala following. Everyday more than 1,000 people are displaced from their home as they try to flee for their safety. Oscar Martinez goes to Central America and interviews people to get their first hand account of the brutality and crime in Central America. 

Oscar treks to small towns, jungle villages even Mexican brothels to get talk to the people and report about their living conditions. He also talks with those who work in drug trader, policemen, government officials,  hit men and gang informants.  The novel reads like one big article and at times confusing to keep traffic of all the people and names. Each chapter, Oscar focus on another topic or person but there are sometimes overlapping key elements. A good book to enlighten readers of the trouble brewing among our borders but it wasn't for me.

**Disclosure - I received an uncorrected eBook PDF file in exchange for my honest opinion**

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bliss Treat Yourself Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

Photo Source - BlissWorld
The vitamin C enriched formula delivers a shot of oxygen using FluidO2 to skin to brighten up skin’s complexion. The time released antioxidants moisturize skin and revitalized dull and lackluster skin. The citrus scented mask goes on smoothly and foams up. After washing the mask off, my face felt refresh and reenergized but a bit tight. After applying some lotion, my face felt better and looked ah-mazingly relaxed.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Equitance Hydrating Brightening Cream

The lightweight cream is packed with linoleic acid, licorice, yogurt extracts, shea butter, shell ginger extract and cherry blossom extracts. The cream promises to lighten dark spots, brighten skin, promote radiance, soften, protect, soothe, and nourish skin. The cream goes on smoothly and was absorbed pretty quickly. My skin felt nourished and hydrated after applying the lotion. My  face did look brighter and radiant but it usually looks like that when I apply lotion on. Overall, I am not sure how effective this cream really is but I do like using it.