Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Review - Pop Manga Coloring Book by Camilla d'Errico

Photo Credit - Amazon
Let me preface the review by saying, I am a huge Manga fan. I sometimes, dream of coloring in my manga books which I know is a big no-no and I can't color in the lines to save my life. When I came across this coloring book I knew I had to try it.  Manga artist Camila d'Errico created her first ever adult coloring book filled with portraits, patterns and abstract designs. The coloring book was beautifully designed and the drawings were intricately drawn. Although some of the designs looked like soft sketches. They look like they were hastily through in just to "finish up" the book along with some drawings looked repetitive.

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review - The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Photo Credit - Amazon

An unexpected tragedy hits a young family as their beloved mother perishes. The once close-knit family is still reeling from the incident. Broken friendships and strained relations cause the siblings to leave their childhood home and never return until their youngest sister asks them to come home because of their father's health and struggling with his finances.When the Carlisle siblings return home, secret and promises come undone along with past betrayals. Will they be able to forget the past and come together and save their home? Will Lynette be able to remember what happened the night her mother was murdered? 

A heart warming story of forgiveness, redemption, love and familial bonds. The novel was an easy going read but provided a lot of twists and turns throughout the novel. I like how the novel had a different type of romantic ending. 

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review - The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

Photo Credit - Amazon

The nameless protagonist in Jonas Karlssson's new novel receives an invoice in the mail for an outrageous 5,700,000kr. He assumes it must be a mistake since it such a high number and he never bought anything so expensive. After a month, another bill arrives with interest added in causing the invoice to become even higher. Since, he doesn't watch the public broadcasting, he didn't know that it was a new mandate that declared people would have to pay money based off their External Happiness score.  

He calls their hotline and after hours of waiting is connected to Maud who explains to him the entire process of the new mandate. The part-time video store worker starts to feel his life is empty after he goes deeper into depth. The things and experiences that used to bring him happiness no longer brings him joy. How much is happiness worth? Does being richer or living within one means make them happier? How does being happy affect your outlook in life? Is it fair that those who are happy have "more" in life"? Will the main character and Maud be able to save each other?

The novel was a very interesting read and concept. It made me think of themes of "Brave New World" and "1984", however, the ending fell a bit flat for me in the end. The short novel was a quick read but I felt some of the text made little sense because of the translation. Overall, a fun little read for a rainy day as it will leave you questioning your own sense of happiness. 

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

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Review - When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Photo Source - Amazon
Gwen Marcey is down on her luck when she accepts an temporary assignment in Pikeville, KY.  The quirky forensic artist was bought in to find the serial rapist whose victims and witness vanishes. There is also a snake handling church whose members all have accidental deaths. Gwen will have to race to find if there is a connection between the two cases. While, Gwen's cancer also returns and she is questioning her own longevity. Will she be able to solve the case and receive the money she desperately needs? Who can Gwen trust? Will the cancer or the murderers get to Gwen first?

The fast paced thriller kept me to the edge of my seat. It kept me guessing and wondering who is the masterminds behind the cases were and if they are connected. I couldn't put the book down when I first started reading it but towards the middle of the book, it  kind of lost its luster to me. The book had a lot of twists and the ending was interesting but I wasn't in love with the book because some parts of the books felt unbelievable.  Definitely a good read for any Gwen Marcey fans or if you like the author.

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

Saturday, August 13, 2016

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair Age Control

Photo Credit - Amazon

The creamy lotion promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness around the eye region. It is packed with Vitamin E and Vitamin C to brighten and enrich skin. Since, I was using a deluxe size of the product --  I didn’t notice much results. Granted, I have read that many people saw results without applying too much. It’s a bit too pricey to splurge on the full size without being certain about the benefits.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Carrie Stuart Parks’ ‘When Death Draws Near’ Undercover Artist Starter Set

Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey's world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks' new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

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One grand prize winner will receive:
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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

when death draws near - enterbanner

Book Review - This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets

Photo Credit : Amazon

Blanca is forty when the person she has loved the longest has passed. Newly motherless, Blanca has a hard time coming to terms with her mother's death. She had no idea what to do anymore and how will she go on without her mother. She decides to visit her childhood home to help with the grief and thinks about the volatile relationship she had with her mother.  She is accompanied by her two sons,  her two ex-husbands, her two best friends, and her married lover. 

Still going through a whirlwind of emotions from her mother's death, she meets up with old and new friends to discover the meaning of life. She uses sex, drugs and alcohol to deal and get over her grief and understand that life goes on after death.

The book was an interesting and quick read. However, I can't say I really cared for the novel. It seem like a person who is rambling. Because the book was translated, I don't feel some parts of the text was very fluid and especially the conversations between characters was hard to understand. This was a bawdy book with no story or purpose. While reading this  book I kept thinking, "This too shall pass".

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

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner - Gilded

The creamy eye liner goes on smoothly and stays put. It doesn't fade or budge throughout the day. The gilded color is a golden bronze color with a hint of shimmer. The only downside, some of the smudge stick doesn't turn very well and get stuck.

Friday, August 5, 2016

ColourPop Super Shock Pressed Pigment - Too Shy

The creamy eyeshadow goes on smoothly but it sometimes leaves a bit of chunky glitter behind. It is a bright cobalt blue that depending on how the light hits the color, it becomes an iridescent color. My favorite color when I want to rock mermaid vibe.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Review - The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Photo Credit - Amazon

Elka was seven  years old when she met Trapper. She was alone, desolate, cold and hungry in great wilderness where survival in the winter is rare.  Trapper, the lone hunter lives alone in a shack and taken in Elka and teaching her how to hunt and survive in the cold wilderness. Elka comes to learn that Trapper has a terrible secret and is willing to do anything to keep it a secret. She decides to run from the man who taught her everything and she has been calling "daddy" for the last couple of the years. On her journey, will Elka be able to face the dark secrets she has kept hidden away? Will Elka be able to outsmart the hunter who taught  her everything?

The novel was riveting and very hard to put down. The author utilized wonderful language to create a world where characters are "eat or be eaten". I only wish the wolf had a more prominent role in this book.

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

Monday, August 1, 2016

Philosophy Candy Cane Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath

I found this limited edition holiday scent in my recent stash cleaning. I came across this sweet scented 3-in-1 formula and couldn’t wait to use it. The peppermint scented product has the most alluring scent and is perfect for the holidays. Like most of Philosophy’s bath products, it provides a generous lather but you would need to follow up with lotion afterwards.