Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where Courage Calls by Jannette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan (Review & Giveaway)

ISBN: 9780764212314
Paperback $14.99
Bethany House a division of
Baker Publishing Group
About the book: Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected . . .

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men---both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

My thoughts:  Those of us who remember the days when there were not many Christian fiction books available recall with delight when authors such as Grace Livingston Hill (one of the earliest I recall), Jannette Oke, Frank Peretti came along with books written by Christian authors, published by Christian publishing houses, and that were good stories with wholesome characters. Of course, with Mr. Peretti’s books, he had some really evil characters to which he exposed us but his books were clean, safe reads.

Having not picked up a Jannette Oke book in a few years, it was a delight to begin turning the pages of her gentle writing. A well-told story, good characterization, and a trip into the days of early Americana will delight. Jannette Oke and her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan, have written a story that transmits with one voice the reader into the depressed coal mining area of Canada. They bring in a spoiled, never deprived of anything, young lady who wants to teach. Her teaching opportunity brings her into the midst of desolation, deprivation, and despair.

A mining disaster has occurred prior to her arrival leaving the mothers and children of dead miners to cope. No education. No resources. New miners who have migrated from Italy and whom the mothers and town fear
and simply don’t trust. Then the miracle of a young gentile lady, who is going to teach these destitute children, arrives. She brings hope and happiness.

Though the story is not truly a romance, we still have a couple of heroes dressed in the red jackets of the Canadian Mounted Police. Strong, honest, problem solvers who seem to arrive at the right moment each time.

There is the rough, but good, lady who runs the boarding house and who has taken in two orphaned teens; and the old retired miner from Italy, who has learned to speak English and who is wise and caring.  These bring richness and warmth to the story.

All-in-all, This “Oke” story is a good read. One you won’t mind handing to your teen to read or your church friends.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY:  One of Chat With Vera's readers will be the recipient of a copy Where Courage Calls. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below.  Begins February 27 & ENDS March 20 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA residents only.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary review copy was provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"It Had To Be You" by Susan May Warren

My thoughts on the book: I had not recently read one of Susan May Warren’s books but I did know her to be an author whose work I delight in reading. I was not at all disappointed while reading It Had to be You. The characters are strong yet human. Sweet yet edgy.  Conflicting yet steady. Tempted yet strong in the faith.

So we meet Eden who is a proclaimed reporter who is hung up in the obituary section of the local newspaper. Eden is one of many siblings – all of whom have successful lives, and Eden feels so left out. Eden is, however, the supporting, emotionally and physically, family member of younger brother, Owen, who has moved now into the realm of the famous as a National Hockey League player. He is a young team member. On the same team is bad boy J-Hammer, Jace, who Owen tries to emulate.

Eden and Jace collide in the hockey arena and in their emotions which seem to keep them both in turmoil. They end up trying to pick up the pieces of Owen’s life when a bad choice brings tragic circumstances that affect Owen, Eden, and Jace.

Eden’s and Owen’s family is one you will love getting to know in the book. Of course, this being the second in the Christiansen Family series, some readers will have already made their acquaintance. I had not (much to my chagrin). Reading book two, It Had to be You, without reading the first in the series did not hamper my understanding or enjoyment. Go for it! Feel the hockey puck flash down the ice and the soaring emotions as life decisions are made.

Let's hear from Susan about It Had to be You..... click here

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of It Had to be You from the publisher, Tyndale House Publishing, Inc., in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Friday, February 21, 2014

All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

About the book:  Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse Team Up to Deliver a Stunning Depression-Era Drama

Gwyn Hillerman loves being a nurse at her father's clinic on the beautiful Alaskan frontier. But family life has been rough ever since her mother left them, disdaining the uncivilized country and taking Gwyn's younger sister with her.

In Chicago, Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan finds his life suddenly turned upside down when his medical license is stripped away after an affluent patient dies. In a snowball effect, his fiance breaks their engagement. In an attempt to bury the past, Jeremiah accepts Dr. Hillerman's invitation to join his growing practice in the isolated Alaska Territory.

Gwyn and Jeremiah soon recognize a growing attraction to each other. But when rumors of Jeremiah's past begin to surface, they'll need more than love to face the threat of an uncertain future.

My thoughts:  Tracie Peterson has written several books set in Alaska and I have read and enjoyed them. They give me an opportunity to glimpse into territory that I will most likely never have the opportunity to visit. She writes well in the genre of historical fiction, too. So I was looking forward to “All Things Hidden” since it is set in Alaska and is historical fiction. What I did not realize was that I was about to discover an intriguing piece of American depression era history. I learned about President F.D. Roosevelt’s plan (or social experiment) to relocate 200 families from the lower 48 States and preferably those states whose climate most closely matched that of Alaska.

They were transported to the Matanuska Valley in 1935. They lived in tents and had only the short Alaskan summer in which to prepare shelter for their families before the brutal cold of winter set in.

The author has fictionalized this story and set it around the lives of those in the medical community (such as it was) in that area. This consisted primarily of a lone doctor, Dr. Hillerman, and his young adult daughter, Gwyn, whom he had trained to be his nurse. An influx of more than 1,000 people into their isolated community could lead to massive issues as far as patient care and infectious diseases. But there were other problems afoot in this fictionalization of depression period Alaska. Things were not as they seemed as far as individuals were concerned. Things were hidden and secrets were kept.

Young Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan relocates to the Matanuska Valley village because he has lost everything back in Chicago – his license to practice medicine, his fiancé, his potential position as head of a flourishing hospital.

Suspense. Murder. Romance. Intrigue. Fear and faith. Racial tensions. Characters shady and characters superb. Characters you love and those you detest.

Come to Matanuska Valley in Alaska and “see” the people and problems of colonizing Alaska in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression. True this is fiction. But you’ll learn of an interesting social experiment intended to settle Alaska, give relief to hungry and out-of-work Americans, and eventually become a seed to the acquisition of Alaska as a State in the Union.

DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary copy was provided by Bethany House a Division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my review. No compensation was received. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fashion Jewelry by Majestical Jewelry (review)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Here in the South, ladies generally like to look like ladies. They like a bit of girly stuff. They use makeup. They spend time fixing their hair. And They like to splash a bit of bling around their bodies. They use bracelets, earrings, necklaces to the best advantage to make themselves prettier and to coordinate with whatever they are wearing that particular day.

There are ladies, young and old, that use their jewelry (a.k.a. bling) in a variety of ways to express just who they are – Southern aristocrat, social butterfly, Southern gypsy style, Southern beach girl (oh, we have lots of beaches here in the South), Southern co-ed, Southern secretary. Well, we also have Southern ladies that for most of their lives have worn only classics – pearls and gold or silver. But these same ladies are now stepping “out-of-the-box” and finding they are enjoying themselves very much.

I’m one of those Southern ladies who for years kept the lid on the box and wore classics – pearls and gold or silver. But if you see me out ‘n about these days, you’ll declare (truly Southern style), “My, but she’s blow the lid slam off of that box!”
Find these earrings ~~ CLICK HERE
Now take a look at this delightful pair of earrings that Majestical Jewelry sent me to review. They are most definitely “out-of-the-box” but they are pretty. Look at the detailing of these silver, turquoise, and “diamond” earrings. I can envision wearing them a number of ways – with denim, with leather, with basic starched white shirt or a fluffy, ruffly style blouse. They simply say “summer is coming, girls, get ready”!

Majestical Jewelry sends the jewelry in a nice decorative box and a lovely satin pouch for storage. Just right for gifting. If you visit their website, you’ll see they have a delightful variety of styles to choose from. Yes, you CAN get those lovely pearls from them, too.  I challenge you to go online and browse around, compare prices, and find a couple of pieces you are simply yearning to own for your very own self.

DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stripes of All Types by an Susan Stockdale, author and illustrator (dual language book: English and Spanish) Review and Giveaway

What the author and illustrator, Susan Stockdale, has to say creating the process of Stripes of All Types.....  
Paperback: $8.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-793-9
Peachtree Publishers
"Stripes of All Types explores how animals around the world wear and benefit from their stripes.  I write my own books, so the manuscript came first.  After composing the rhyming text, I began developing the artwork.

I started by compiling photographs to serve as visual references for the 19 animals I selected for the book. These photos helped me determine which characteristics I wanted to dramatize in each animal, ranging from the elegant, yellow stripe on the back of the eastern garter snake to the bold, white stripe running down the face of the American badger.

Next, I began creating sketches for each animal, sometimes as many as 20, until I arrived at an image that satisfied my eye. I interpreted the unique quality of each animal in my own style while staying true to its anatomy – an approach I consider stylized realism. Then I consulted with scientists to ensure the factual accuracy of my final images. Everything in each picture had to be correct, from the tree leaves that would be found near a tiger in Central Asia to the proper number of stripes on a turkey’s tail.

Once I arrived at a final image for each animal, I revised its sketch into a detailed drawing and then traced it onto paper. Then the painting began. For each color, I applied three or more layers of acrylic paint, giving the images a flat, almost silkscreen-like appearance. To produce fine detail, I used small brushes and a very steady hand."
My thoughts:  Adults and children alike notice stripes, ziz zags, dots, and other designs on animals and other creatures in nature, but do we really and truly notice them or accept them with a so-what attitude? Susan Stockdale uses an artist's keen eye for detail and patters to bring us a delight that examines the visual feast that is set before our eyes on a regular basis.

Each page has an animal or critter with a line of rhyme. The story rhyme ends with a couple of children cuddling their striped kitties all nestled in their arms. The illustrations are bold and very colorful and certain to appeal to children. While not really "life-like," they have the stamp of  authenticity because of the consultation of the artist with various scientists.

The book has been published in hardcover format in the English version. This version is a dual language publication that is fully translated and can be read in either language.
Stripes found in water,
Sliding through the weeds.
Drinking from rivers,
and darting through reeds.
Hay rayas en el agua,
y deslizándose entre hierbas.
Bebiendo de los ríos,
y atravesando los juncos.
This is an enjoyable and educational little book and a value at only $8.95. Is your child learning Spanish as a second language or is he learning English as a second language? This book will be a fun read and an educational tool.

GIVEAWAY:  Peachtree has graciously provided a copy of this delightful book for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win. Make some child happy with a cute book. Begins February 14 & ENDS March 10 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to US mainland addresses only.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Stripes of All Types from Peachtree Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Ozeri Rev™ Digital Bathroom Scale with Electro-Mechanical Weight Dial

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

   Product description (provided by the Ozeri company):  The Ozeri Rev™ Digital Bathroom Scale with Electro-Mechanical Weight Dial is the world's first weight scale to incorporate a synchronized electro-mechanical Dial and LCD that automatically illuminate and point to your weight in lbs and kg, for easy-to read results in all light conditions and from any angle. Boasting a visually arresting design, the Ozeri Rev™ scale features a huge 5.5 inch mechanical dial display with an integrated digital blue-backlit The Ozeri Rev™ Digital Bathroom Scale with Electro-Mechanical Weight Dial is the world's first weight scale to incorporate a synchronized electro-mechanical Dial and LCD that automatically illuminate and point to your weight in lbs and kg, for easy-to read results in all light conditions and from any angle. Boasting a visually arresting design, the Ozeri Rev™ scale features a huge 5.5 inch mechanical dial display with an integrated digital blue-backlit LCD, accented by stylish chrome to create a distinctive retro look, yet with the accuracy of modern technology. This professional quality scale features an oversized platform made of impact-resistant tempered glass with slip-resistant feet for ideal stability, and a new built-in alarm that reminds you to measure your weight at the same time each day. The Ozeri Rev™ Digital Bathroom Scale uses 4 high precision GX sensors that weigh up to 400 lbs (180 kg) in 0.2 lbs or 0.1 kg increments.  The Ozeri Rev™ Digital Bathroom Scale is auto-calibrated and automatically turns off to conserve battery life.

What I think of product:  Do you know what your weight is? How often do you weigh? Are you underweight? Overweight? After asking yourself these questions, you might get the idea that weight management is important. And for something important, it is good to have a good tool with which to measure that which is important - scales that are so techno-savvy, the lit up dial, sleek glass footbed (mine is a soft green), dual measurement in pounds and kilograms. These scales are wonderful. And to top it all off, they have a micro-antibacterial element that will last and last. To keep them clean a simple wipe down will suffice. No harsh chemicals needed to clean them.

NOTE: The digital kg display and the manual
dial display in pounds. The picture really
doesn't do the lit up dial justice! It is so bright!
Seeing your weight appear in killograms and pounds on this very large lit up dial is so impressive. You feel as thought you have stepped into a world of new, great, and greater products. No matter if it is dark in the room or bright, you can read the dial!

The scale requires three AAA batteries which come with the unit. They are simply inserted. There is a switch to enable you to read the large, lit dial in either pounds or kilograms digitally. You can also see the weight displayed manually on the dial as well. And if you need to weigh daily, there is a simple-to-set alarm so you are reminded to return and weigh-in each day at the same time.  There are some medical conditions that necessitate a person's tracking their weight daily. This is a good way to get that done. So if you have a heart condition or something else that requires you to see daily fluctuations in your weight, this will do the job. Does it get much better than that?

Well, simply said, this beautiful scale will now replace the old scales I have had for years. They will beautifully enhance the spot they inhabit and perhaps if I gracefully step onto them on a regular basis, the knowledge they share with me will help me manage my weight, too. 

You know how with the old scales there was a little dial just underneath that you could turn to increase or DEcrease the starting point of the dial. Well, in our house we call that the "cheat dial" because we can shave off a pound or so in our mind - you know kind of "what you see is what it is" when in reality it really isn't what "it is." Well, really the "cheat dial" is a little joke with us. We set it as close to what our weight is at the doctor's office as possible. But it is a funny little dial, isn't it. I am just delighted to replace my old scales with these new Ozeri Rev™ Digital Bathroom  Scales with Electro-Mechanical Weigh Dial.
Purchase it here
DISCLOSURE: I received a free Ozeri Rev™ Digital Bath Scale with Electro-Mechanical  model: ZB19-W) from the manufacturer via the Tomoson review program. No compensation was received for this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own.I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Making Memories of the Moments: Snow in the South

The warnings came. The bread and milk flew off the shelves in stores. No shovels in stores. No camp lanterns. No space heaters. The warmth loving folks in the South were told there was a big one coming through and they tried to ready themselves and their families.

Schools shut  their doors in preparation long before the flurries arrived because they did not want to risk having children and staff stranded with no way home or to risk their traveling on snow or ice slicked roads to reach their destinations. And the kids waited. They didn’t wait in vain as will often happen in the South when a big one is predicted. The snow came. It came fast. Kids’ hats, gloves, boots, coats were put on and they descended on the back yards of the South and frolicked in the white, powdery miracle.

I had been saying for several years that we were long overdue for a big one and storm “PAX” has not disappointed. Kids on playground sets with slides in backyards in the area - kids who have long outgrown the slides - were sliding down them. Dads brought out the riding mower (tractor) and hooked up a pull rope and now you have a snow skier being pulled (a.k.a. picture a waterskier only on the frozen white stuff).  Dads rigged up small rowboats to trucks and towed kids for rides across the fields. And the ever present four-wheelers cavorting and rolling through the woods and yards exploring this Winter Wonder Land.

Snow Cream. Who hasn’t at some time or other enjoyed it as a kid? Moms across the South were making Snow Cream. Doesn’t matter if you don’t know how, you can Google it and find the particulars. A sweet young mother and her toddler made some and brought it to us. It brought back many memories of our own kids romping in the snow and my making Snow Cream for them.

Now the South awaits the final day of PAX. It is foggy, gloomy and a freezing mist is upon us with predictions of more freezing rain, sleet, or ice followed by a grand finale of snow this afternoon.

Yes, a big one came through and yes it really slows the South down. But many, especially the children, teens, and young parents know how to hunker down and enjoy it making memories of the moments secure in the thought that they had enough bread and milk to last until the last frozen bit is melted.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Jenny's Choice (Apple Creek Dreams Series, Book 3) by Patrick E. Craig (Review and Giveaway)

 About the book:   In the concluding novel to the Apple Creek Dreams series, Jonathan and Jenny Hershberger are happily settled in Paradise, Pennsylvania on the farm Jenny inherited from her grandfather. But when a tragic accident takes Jonathan's life, Jenny and her young daughter, Rachel, return home to Apple Creek, Ohio to live with her adoptive parents, Reuben and Jerusha Springer.

As Jenny works through her grief and despair, she discovers she has a gift for writing. A handsome young publisher discovers her work and, after the publication of her first book, Jenny is on the verge of worldly success and possible romance.

But when a conflict arises with the elders of her church, Jenny must ask herself how far she's willing to go to pursue her dreams.

A touching story of devotion and triumph over adversity.

My thoughts: This, the final book in the Apple Creek  Dreams Series by Patrick E. Craig, is written with a voice that is gentle yet strong in that it paints verbally the life of Jenny as she tries to journey through her existence without the love of her life. Her husband’s death that has devastated her and left her where she simply can not endure living on the farm they so loved. The book opens with preparation to move back home to her parent’s home in Ohio with her sweet daughter. Will she return to her farm in Paradise, Pennsylvania?

One of the tools Jenny  finds that helps her in this journey of reconciliation and adjustment is that of writing out the story of her feelings, memories, and desires as well as how God is working in her.  And then she meets a young, male, publisher who sees her talent and wants to publish what she has written.

Patrick E. Craig has written engaging characters whose strong faith and recognition of their weaknesses brings them to life for the reader. The book is not your “typical” Amish fiction although it is replete with their beliefs and how their beliefs of separation from the world govern their actions.

The surprise that awaits Jenny as she makes her choices is a surprise for the reader as well. Jenny truly has many choices to make.

“Sometimes I think life is like a rushing river that begins its journey high in the mountains, tumbles down over jagged rocks, rushes headlong over cliffs, and pours booming through nameless chasms until at last it escapes the harsh stone walls to the broad plain spread before it, flowing deep and quiet through lush meadows between banks that hold it tenderly.”  Page 11, Jenny’s Choice

“As they sat, the wind died down and the rain ceased to beat against the window. The clouds started breaking up, and a ray of sun broke through. A hush fell on the day, and peace crept over the land.” Page 67, Jenny’s Choice

“And so the days passed, and as the deep winter gave up its icy grip on Apple Creek and the first touch of spring began to melt the morning frost from the etched glass of the window in her room, Jenny slowly began to come back to life.” Page, 69, Jenny’s Choice

SPECIAL NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  After reading Jenny’s Choice, and having read a bit previously about Patrick E. Craig’s career, I contacted the author and asked him a question: “How much of yourself have you written into the story?”  He has graciously answered my question and I am delighted to share it with you….. (But first please look at his website and learn a bit about him, then read his answer – CLICK HERE)…..

“Yes, there is a lot of Patrick in Jenny's Choice.  I lived in the Haight Ashbury in 1967 and was part of the San Francisco music scene for many years. I had breakfast many times in the restaurant on Haight Street where Jonathan meets  Shub in The Road Home.  The songs that Jonathan has success with in his secular life as Richard Sandbridge, Anna and Tonight, are songs that I wrote for Buddy Miles, an R&B singer from the sixties who played with Jimmy Hendrix in his last band.  The Christian songs, Crown of Thorns and Now I am Free (Deeny's song) are songs that I wrote after I got saved 'again' in 1984. I was a musician who thought that success was just around the corner, but the lifestyle led me farther and farther away until the Lord intercepted me. 

Jonathan's journey back to his faith roots is one that I took in my own life.  Through all the deception of the sixties, I always remembered my own upbringing in church and the salvation experience I had when I was fourteen.  I went to see a young preacher named David Wilkerson talk about his new book, The Cross and the Switchblade and gave my heart to the Lord.  As with Jonathan, the Lord kept his hand on my life through all those difficult times and finally I realized that He was indeed, The Way, The Truth and The Life and brought me back to Himself.”
GIVEAWAY:  Patrick E. Craig has gracious set aside a set of all three books in the Apple Creek Dreams Series for one of Chat With Vera’s readers. What a choice prize! All three titles! Now just use the Rafflecopter entry form below and let’s see who with get these books.  Begins February 12 & ENDS March 6 @ 12:01 ET. Open to continental USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE:  I was provided a complimentary copy of Jenny’s Choice by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Candle Bedtime Bible" by Karen Williamson & illustrated by Christine Tappin

About the book: There's always time for a story with the Candle Bedtime Bible! Coded for easy reference, forty favorite Bible stories are each timed to be told in three, five, or ten minutes. With plain language and gentle illustrations, this Bible is perfect for a peaceful story time.

My thoughts:  When selecting a story book for children, a parent or guard must first of all decide the purpose of the book. Is it to entertain or to educate? Is it to excite or ready for relaxation? What time of the day will it be read to or read by the child? That last thought brings us to this review of Candle Bedtime Bible which is a compilation of Bible stories or retelling of events recorded in the Bible in language and terminology and length and depth of understanding for the young child.

Based on that, the stories should not be educational to the extent that they involve discussion and depth of understanding. Bedtime stories are to prepare the child for sleep and relaxation. They can plant seeds of knowledge in the mind and heart of the child, but should not overly excite the emotions or thoughts of the child. I found that Candle Bedtime Bible is pretty well written and on levels of understanding that the young child can comprehend to the extent of their own vocabulary development, though not on such an immature, childish level as to not allow for growth and development.

The illustrations are cute. The colors and style of the illustrations are soft and soothing yet capture the essence of each story. The print size is suitable for the young reader to be able to read without difficulty. The length of the stories varies where parents can choose the shorter or longer stories according to time allotment.

I especially liked that the book did not actually become a text book with guidelines for the parents. I believe that the parent should guide the child in matters Biblical and the interpretation of Bible and events should be under the direction of the parent. The entire book is devoted to give a brief, child-level, read through from Genesis to Revelation. At the end of each 3-, 5-, and 10-minute story the Scripture reference is given. This will sufficiently provide adequate cross reference for further study or clarification. However, as I said earlier, a BEDTIME story book should not be about challenging the mind or deeply implanting facts in the mind. A gentle planting of a seed or reinforcement of a story is all that is needed just prior to the child's evening of rest.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Kregel Publications on behalf of Lion Hudson in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

New Dial® Healthier Skin. Healthier You.® Vitamin Boost Body Wash (Review & Giveaway)

I was recently given the opportunity to try out the new Dial® Vitamin Boost body wash. They sent me the Amazing B in the green bottle. It is soothing to wash with and smells quite lovely and fresh. Even the green bottle is tantalizing right now since we are in the throes of Winter and this delightful bath wash (and green bottle) lure my mind and senses right through the door to a heavenly Spring day. 
From the information the manufacturer sent me, they say..... Dial® Healthier Skin. Healthier You.®
  • Lotion Infused
  • New Vitamin Complex
  • For healthy, soft skin.
Vitamin Fact: Vitamin B is a natural humectant that helps draw in moisture and keep skin hydrated.

New Dial® Vitamin boost Body Wash gives your skin a daily boost of vitamins. The advanced formula, with a moisturizing Vitamin Complex, helps draw vitamins and moisture directly to your skin.
GIVEAWAY: The good folks with Dial® and Purex Insiders have provided me with coupons that I am going to share with two of Chat With Vera's readers. That's right. Two readers will each win one free product coupon. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below. Begins February 10 & ENDS March 4 @ 12:01 ET. Open to continental USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 DISCLOSURE: I was provided a free product to try for myself and to review. I was also provided the coupons to use as giveaway prizes for my readers. Opinions expressed are solely my own and no compensation was received for this review.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When Dragons Hearts Were Good by Buddy Davis (includes an audio CD of story and song)

ISBN:  9780890512593
Master Books a Division of
New Leaf Pu
blishing Group
My thoughts on the book: Children are fascinated by dragons and dinosaurs.  Give a boy or girl an opportunity to dig through a toy bin, and if it contains dragons amongst the mix, many will pick the ferocious beasties from long ago. Why? Well, who knows? But they do love to play with them.

In When Dragons' Hearts were Good author and vocalist Buddy Davis tells in a charming manner that back in the early days of Creation when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, dragons walked amongst them and, yes, dragons' hearts were good. You see, everything, was good then because sin had not entered the world.

Illustrated in softly muted tones of nature - greens, yellows, blues, etc. the story in pictures conveys a calmness to the tone of the story. You see it was all good then, no evil, no danger, no problems.

The book's written story is longish for the very young, but it can still be used with the young and also for the young reader. With the book is an audio CD with Buddy Davis reading the story. On the CD also is his song of the same title, When Dragons' Hearts Were Good. You can even download sheet music so you can play along by clicking HERE.  I can recommend this for the home, church, or school. It will entertain and educate.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of When Dragons' Hearts were Good from the publisher, Master Books a Division of New Leaf Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Shadows of the Past" by Patricia Bradley

Paperback $14.99
About the book:  Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve--the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she works to uncover the truth, someone else will do almost anything to keep her from it.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife--a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. Now that his estranged brother is the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

Join the chase as Taylor and Nick search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present--and moving into a future they never imagined.

My thoughts:  This is the first book I’ve read of Patricia Bradley’s but I don’t plan for it to be the last. Already I am looking forward to reading book two in the Logan Point series of which Shadows of the Past is the first.

Step into the world of suspense, danger, intrigue, and sweet romance and experience it all in the hot, humid South. We begin in Washington State, though, at the scene of a crime where victim profiler, Taylor, realizes that she, too, is about to become the victim as she has received caustic, scary notes and packages that indicate she is being stalked. Then the danger ante is upped a huge notch and she is thrown into mortal danger. (Now please note that I said victim profiler above. Usually investigative personnel utilize a criminal profilers when they work cases. This is a new type of profiling.)

In the mix you have Nick who is a very successful mystery writer who just happens to be the brother of the young man Taylor suspects of stalking her.

Now the scene moves south to Tennessee and Mississippi and you literally begin to sweat it out in the heat of the moment and the day. Grab your very own “nectar of the South” (aka, sweet tea) and settle in for a good read. You’ll meet characters who challenge you to determine just who is the culprit, and you’ll wander through tunnels from the old Underground Railroad days and long-vacant Southern mansions.

Book two in the Logan Point series is due to be released in the Fall of 2014.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Shadows of the Past by Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I received no compensation for this review.