Friday, July 1, 2022

Midnight's Budding Morrow (Regency Wallflowers #2) by Carolyn Miller [Giveaway]

Bonus giveaway: I received an extra copy of Carolyn Miller's Midnight's Budding Morrow (Regency Wallflowers #2) and want to share it with one of my readers. So let's see who will win this good book.


My thoughts: 
I found this story particularly moving. To consider the plight of women historically and their lack of worth, being unappreciated, taken advantage of at many levels, deceived and managed is hard as a women in today's free world to comprehend.

Snubbed at a society event and then later visiting at a friend's home of obvious wealth, our heroine finds herself "contracted" to become manager of the home for her friend's elderly father. Things run smoothly in the home under Sarah's management and yet it seems that some of the servants are at odds and try to undermine her.

Of course, the story needs a male lead and there is one. He is a bit of a wastrel and his father has a plan to reign him in. That plan includes marriage to Sarah.

The story only gets more interesting and conflicted. 

I found this to be a rewarding read and highly recommend it.

About the book: Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend's rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family's estate, he can't be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn't until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

Click here to read an excerpt.

About the Series: While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”

Midnight’s Budding Morrow is the second book in the Regency Wallflowers series. The first book in the series is Dusk’s Darkest Shores.

GIVEAWAY
Begins July 1
Ends July 29 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Unique, hand-made coasters keep furniture surfaces pristine and are conversation starters [Review & Giveaway]


I've reviewed (and also purchased and gifted to family) various items sewn in Woodstock, NY and offered by SHOPGALNY. These items are unique and most often one-of-a-kind. SHOPGALNY has now set up shop on eBay at https://www.ebay.com/usr/actorskloset11375 and the seller's name on eBay is ACTORSKLOSET11375. 


Well, my friend, ShopgalNY sent me a set of "Golden Girls" coasters. These are 4" coasters made of 100% Cotton and are simply adorable. What a fun gift these would make for that "Golden Girl" in your life - grandmama, your "senior" babysitter, your neighbor, your former Sunday School teacher. 

I was so tickled when I received these. You see, I'm in the Golden Girl stage of life. And my cleaning lady refers to me as "one of her Golden Girls." What fun!

This set of 4 sells for $32.99 with an eBay starting bid of $24.99. Each set is unique. But there is a plethora of designs available from athletics, theatrical, political, USA State of choice, etc. Be sure to check them all out. You choose the design of your choice. Order your favorites by clicking here. Great gifts or simply gift yourself with a set.


Buy Golden Girls - click here

GIVEAWAY
1 Set of coasters (no choice of style)
Begins June 27
Ends July 22 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by store owner. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Free Fall (The Quantico Files #3) by Nancy Mehl [Review & Giveaway]


My thoughts: 
The author, Nancy Mehl, has woven an intense story that had this reader experiencing a feeling of fear and foreboding. To imagine the feeling of women kidnapped and imprisoned knowing nothing about their captors nor location. Their fear. Their anxiety. Their dread of impending doom. 

As police and FBI work together to analyze the criminals, all their skills as Behavioral Analysts are tested and retested. The two main analysts are Logan and Alex who are the main characters in the story. They also have a history from the previous Quantico Files #2 book, Dead Fall, and a developing romantic interest.

The faith of the book's characters, Scriptural references and quotes, and prayer by characters bring a depth of realism that touches deeply the heart of Christian readers. 

Free Fall is an exciting, though scary, read and does well as a stand-alone story but is even more enjoyable if the reader has read the previous books Night Fall and Dead Fall. (Click links to read my reviews.)

About the book: Someone has been abducting women with long dark hair across Virginia. When the FBI is called in to help, Alex Donovan, a behavioral analyst, is tasked with putting together a profile. She's aided by her friend and colleague Logan Hart, but he has been acting strangely and won't say why. When the kidnapper demands that Alex meet him at an abandoned amusement park in exchange for the location of all his captives, she takes the bait. But the meeting proves to be a trap, and the building she's in explodes.

Finding herself imprisoned with several other women, Alex works to think one step ahead of her captor. But the more Logan and the BAU learn about the kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive this time.

GIVEAWAY
Begins June 22
Ends July 19 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the author or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Crescent Canna 5,000mg CBD Recovery Cream [Review, Giveaway, & Discount Code]

✅Available with 3,000 mg or 5,000 mg of CBD 
Extracted from organic, USA-grown hemp
THC-free, vegan, and paraben-free 
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
NOTE: (6/30/22 update: NC Senate Bill 455 to keep hemp legal in NC.) I was of the understanding that CBD (hemp derived) products were legal in NC (my home state). It seems it is by federal law but by NC law maybe not. Here is a very interesting article on NC CBD law (click here) and I'll leave it up to readers to make their own personal decision. ⚖️

For some folks, pain is an ever-present enemy. It robs them of the ability to perform everyday tasks, experience the joy of movement, and at times drives them into a pit of despair.

They try standard over-the-counter pain relievers in ever increasing dosages. They often trod the path of opiates to gain that bliss of relief. They have surgical procedures to deaden nerves and provide relief through various methods. 

Often, they get no relief.

The natural compounds in CBD topicals provide a measure of relief to many through applications made from  hemp derived cannabis. Crescent Canna's CBD Recovery Cream contains over 99% pure CBD isolate derived from hemp. (Keep reading for the discount code.)


CBD Recovery Cream $29.99 - $149.99

  • 500 mg, 1,000 mg, 3,000 mg, or 5,000 mg of pure CBD per Recovery Cream
  • Extracted from organic, USA-grown hemp
  • THC-free, vegan, and paraben-free
  • Lab-tested for quality and purity. 

Ingredients: MCT Oil, Cannabidiol (CBD) Extract, Arnica Oil, Vitamin B6, Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Organic Coconut Oil, MSM, Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Glycerin, Organic Arnica Flower Extract, Sweet Basil Leaf Oil, Black Pepper Oil, Roman Chamomile Flower Oil, German Chamomile Flower Oil, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Citronella Oil, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Helichrysum Flower Oil, Ginger Root Oil, Pink Grapefruit Peel Oil, Juniper Berry Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Peppermint Oil, Pine Needle Oil, Ravensara Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Spearmint Oil, Wild Oregano Oil, Organic Cypress Oil, Sweet Fennel Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Lavender Flower Oil, Organic Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid

Crescent Canna CBD Recovery Cream
$29.99 - $149.99 CLICK HERE TO BUY

My thoughts: This is a very pleasant smelling, soothing cream. I applied it to my hurting knee and also to the soft padded area at the base of my thumb. Both times I found some relief from the ache and pain I was experiencing in those areas. I found this to be a very pleasant cream and envision it as a really helpful product for when one overdoes activity in the garden or as a weekend athlete. I also have shared my bottle of the 5,000mg Recovery Cream with a family member who has major hip and knee problems. He, too, felt it to be helpful in relieving his pain.  CBD Recovery Cream click here to buy

Layering pain relief: 

I have found that normal dosages of pain relievers sometimes just don't get the job done. But I have also found that I can layer the products. By that I mean I might use a topical  application and then if that doesn't provide full relief, add an oral product as well. You have to be certain your body can tolerate each of the products and that you don't combine products that contain the same items causing over-dosing. Or perhaps you can use different products alternately on the off-hour.  I do think that topical relief such as the Crescent Canna recovery cream can benefit in a pain relief regime.

Here's your chance to purchase ANY ITEM on the Crescent Canna website using my affiliate discount. Just use the code GODLEY25 for a 25% discount! 

GIVEAWAY
1 Crescent Canna 5,000 CBD Recovery Cream
$149.00 value
Begins June 20
Ends July 19 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review. I have used these products and only recommend products which I have used or a family member has used. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. No compensation was received to post this review and/or information. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Crescent Canna. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Knowledge of legality and compliance for/of use of CBD products in various areas is the responsibility of winners of this giveaway. Also, as is age requirements for said product usage.

This giveaway prize is provided by Crescent Canna who will ship the prize to the winner/s. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. NOTE: Winning entry is randomly selected via Rafflecopter. Every winning entry selected WILL BE VERIFIED to make certain it is a qualifying entry. Email used to contact winner will be that which is registered with Rafflecopter. Winner has 48 hours from posting of winner to reply with requested information. Failure to comply in a timely manner will result in a new winner being chosen. There is no association with Facebook for this giveaway. Emails collected will be shared with Crescent Canna who is responsible for observing all regulations on commercial use of emails.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Children's picture books provide cultural introduction of China to kids [Review & Giveaway]

Chinese Kite Festival by Rich Lo 


My thoughts: 
This is a bright, beautiful book. Simply written with a short sentence for each illustration. If the goal is bilingual, this serves well for the young bilingual reader. If for a single language child, the text is simple to understand and the additional language can be a source of illustration for that language.

In Chinese culture, the kite festival is a looked forward to occasion. Other cultures enjoy kite flying, but the festival in China has different conations. 

I like that the publisher and author/illustrator have provided short back material that defines the Chinese significance of each animal, bird, or fish.

A lovely book for personal use or library additions 

About the book: Children can learn animal names in both English and Chinese with this beautifully illustrated book!
A tiger pounces across the sky.
A ladybug takes flight from a leaf.
Animal names and their significance in Chinese culture is beautifully explored for young readers in this stunning book. Simple bilingual text helps teach children animal names in both English and Chinese, and little ones will learn that butterflies are a sign of love, bees signify hard work, and more through the very simple and accessible backmatter. Paired with Rich Lo's vibrant digital watercolors, this simple and practical introduction to Chinese animal names and symbolism is irresistible.

All You Need by Howard Schwartz 


My thoughts: 
Simply written in sparse text, this sweet story has deep insights that will touch your heart, expand your concept of your reality, and provide opportunities for layers of insight.

All you need is the essentials. The life essentials. The day-to-day, live on the Earth essentials. And these essentials are beautiful and a blessing.

The book is not a religious or spiritual publication but will surely touch your heart with the blessings you receive on a daily basis to simply exist.

I highly recommend this book. While it presents a glimpse into Chinese life, it is multi-cultural in that it is a life book.

Enjoy!

About the book: A little girl grows up to be an accomplished artist in this sumptuously illustrated book about the small things that lead to a rich and fulfilling life.
All You need
Is a planet to live on,
A sun to give you light,
And warmth…
In All You Need, poet Howard Schwartz’s graceful, deceptively simple text describes a handful of things anyone needs to live a rich and fulfilling life, made all the more potent by the illustrations of debut picture book artist Jasu Hu, who uses her talents to create a rich and powerful narrative describing her own journey, creative and otherwise, from a childhood in China to her arrival to study art in New York. Ultimately, she creates her own book, this book, a gift to her distant parents.
 

Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang


My thoughts: 
Many nationalities and cultures enjoy tea of various forms. Possibly none quite to the extent of China.

In Luli and the Language of Tea, the story opens in a multi-national classroom. Possibly kindergarten. Possibly in America or English speaking country. Luli enters and she can't speak English. But neither could the others. 

Luli proceeds, whilst sitting alone at a table, to place a tea set and thermos and begins to pour hot water from the thermos into the teapot in which she has placed tea leaves. 

Children quickly respond in their own language to Luli's call for "tea" in Chinese. They each respond in their own language.... Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, etc. (So dear reader, you get to "see" how "tea" would sound and look in each language!) 

They all joined together to enjoy their tea as they shared the warmth and taste of the familiar drink.

A sweet story invoking a warm feeling in this reader. I love the back material that gives some information on immigrants living in the US. I also like the pictures of the types of tea cups from different countries.  And, yes, I am a tea-drinker and love pretty tea cups.

About the book: Though they may speak different languages, kids from all over the world come together to enjoy the shared pastime of tea in this delicious book for young readers.

When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English, neither can anyone else. That’s when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.

Luli removes her teapot, thermos, and teacups from her bag and calls out “Chá!” in her native Chinese. One by one, her classmates pipe up in recognition: in Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili. Tea is a tasty language they all know well, and it gives them a chance to share and enjoy each other’s company. When all the tea is gone and it’s time for dessert, Luli gets to use her favorite English word, cookie! After that, the playroom isn’t so quiet.

Informed by her own experience as the child of Chinese immigrant parents, Andrea Wang makes the point that when you’re looking to communicate with people, you look for a common bond. The word for “tea” is similar in many languages, and tea becomes the unifying metaphor that brings a diverse group of children together. Additional material at the back of the book explores the rich and ancient history of tea drinking across cultures all around the world and contains maps, statistics, and fascinating details that will delight young readers. 
GIVEAWAY
Prize: All 3 books featured
June 11 to July 9 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Fatal Code (The Snap Agency) by Natalie Walters [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9780800739799

My thoughts:
This story takes place in the Washington, DC, area and involves an alphabet soup of governmental agencies. Foremost for this story is the SNAP agency. A key figure of the SNAP agency is its technology agent, Kekoa, who is from Hawaii. Key also to the story is Elinor, whose grandfather was a role player in early nuclear projects in the US. Also key, is an old notebook of the grandfather's that Elinor possesses but of which she doesn't know its significance.

Global interest in Elinor and her current work and potential knowledge of key information - i.e. formulas or codes - pertinent to nuclear energy looms threateningly. Elinor encounters frightening and deadly danger before she learns that the project she is presenting as a developer has global interest and potential weaponization.

An exciting and interesting read.

About the book: In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those five scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession--and a target on her back.
SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she's his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. When Elinor learns he has been spying on her, she's crushed. But with danger closing in on all sides, she'll have to trust him to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands.

Natalie Walters sucks you into the global race for space domination in this perfectly paced second installment of her SNAP Agency romantic suspense series.

GIVEAWAY
Begins June 5
Ends July 15 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Revell to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. I also received a copy from LibraryThing which I am using as prize for this giveaway.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Middle Grade Mania National Geographic Kids books to laugh through [Giveaway USA]

"Middle grade mania" has arrived! This Spring, National Geographic Kids is debuting 3 new middle grade titles that will keep even the most reluctant of readers learning -- and laughing.  From A (acid!) to Z (Zeus!), the following "must-haves" are perfect for boredom busting and fending off the dreaded "Summer Slide."  

Weird But True Know It All: Rocks and Minerals (ages 8-12, paperback)


  • Did you know that Montana’s Grasshopper Glacier is filled with millions of frozen locusts that got caught in a storm more than 300 million years ago?
  • Or that Roman soldiers were said to get some of their pay in salt, and the word salary comes from "sal," the Roman word for salt?

In this latest single-subject Weird But True! book, readers will learn about everything from rocks in outer space to precious gems found in Earth's deepest oceans and everything in between, including rock-related careers, art, geography, history and consumer products (did you know the average car has 44 pounds of copper in it??). 


Just Joking Science (ages 8-12, paperback)


A perfect read for science whizzes (and whiz wannabes), kid comedians, and laughter-lovers of all ages, Just Joking Science features 300 science-themed jokes that is scientifically proven to leave kids laughing:). Jokes about all kinds of science stuff―kooky chemistry, funny physics, dinosaurs, space, and more―is combined with fast STEM-centric facts and 10 stories of real-life scientific experiments that are almost too wild to believe. Sized for back packs and camp care packages, Just Joking Science is an ideal party-starter with friends and family or a quiet-time entertainer. 


Zeus the Mighty: The Epic Escape from the Underworld by Crispin Boyer (ages 8-12, hardcover)

"Great characters, action, adventure, and lots of humor" - School Library Connection

"A treat for proto–Percy Jackson fans.” — Kirkus Reviews


Attention Greek mythology lovers! The highly anticipated next installment in the critically acclaimed fiction series Zeus the Mighty is here! Join Zeus the overconfident hamster, Athena the wise cat, Ares the treat-loving pug, Poseidon the proud pufferfish, Demeter the loyal grasshopper, and Hermes the daring chicken at the Mount Olympus Pet Center in Athens, GA on another laugh-out-loud adventure through Greek mythology. New to Zeus the Mighty?  All the books in this series stand alone and do not to be read in any particular order.  

About the book: The Olympians of Mount Olympus Pet Center have never faced a challenge quite like this. With Zeus the Mighty trapped in his palace by an all-seeing guard dog named Cerberus, it’s up to his gaggle of gods and goddesses to figure out how to rescue him. Once the Oracle speaks, the critters know they must venture deep into the belly of the vast Underworld to find the powerful relic that can free Zeus. But with so many new faces along the way, who can they trust? Will their quick thinking and teamwork be enough to save Zeus and themselves? After all, they found a way in, but can anyone really escape the Underworld?  Check out the Zeus the Mighty website for videos, printables, games, fun Greek facts and episodes of the award winning podcast "Greeking Out."

GIVEAWAY
Begins June 4
Ends July 1 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate this posting. Giveaway prize books are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.