Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Looking at PURE ANADA® NATURAL products on Good Earth Beauty | Giveaway + a Gift-With-Purchase

Did you know that when you shop Good Earth Beauty online you have many, many brand options? You have the keystone brand for the site, "Good Earth Beauty," and you have a multitude of choices from names with which you are already familiar. You've seen them in shops and online. Now you can find them at Good Earth Beauty.

Today's featured brand is PURE ANADA® and the Good Earth Beauty webpage featuring Pure Anada® is found by a  CLICK HERE

You will find..... All PURE ANADA®

  • Cosmetics - Eyes 
  • Cosmetics - Face 
  • Cosmetics - Nails 
  • Cosmetics - Lips 
  • Skin Care 
  • Gifts for Girls


My thoughts: It is hard to see in the picture, but there is a little streak of the lipstick color on my hand. It is a light, but colorful shade that is absolutely perfect for the fall season and on throughout the holiday season. There is such a richness to the color. I like that it has a rich rustic shading but is not harsh. Shade featured is "Hibiscus." Lovely!

It goes on - it glides on beautifully with no drag. I hate it when a lipstick drags or pulls against my lips. So this tells me that it is loaded with  moisturizers. And the ingredients listed atest to that, too.

There is a touch of shimmer This is a lovely product to try if you want natural, organic and a top non-department-store or non-drug-store product.

Product information (from GoodEarthBeauty webpage):  NEWLY reformulated moisture intensive natural lipstick. Made with rich butters, plant oils, and waxes provide a smooth, creamy consistency.  NOW made with certified organic Rosehip Seed Oil. Rosehip Seed Oil is known to repair dry, damaged skin and promote cell regeneration.  A perfect treatment to hydrate and smooth your lips! Glimmering minerals impart natural shine and ensure long-lasting wear.  No silicone, dyes or artificial flavors… just fabulous moisture and color from nature!

Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Organic Castor Seed Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic, cold pressed Jojoba Seed Oil),Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit (Unrefined, Organic, Shea Butter), Limnanthes Alba (Organic Meadowfoam Seed Oil), Rosa Canina (Rosehip Seed Oil), Euphorbia Cerifera(Candelilla Wax), Copernicia Cerifera(Carnauba) Wax, Mica, Iron Oxides, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citrus Tangerina (Organic Tangerine Essential Oil)


My thoughts:  This is a lovely cream with just a tiny hint of fragrance. Frankly, I can't really tell what the fresh aroma is. I can simply say it is quite pleasant and dissipates very quickly. 

It smooths on the skin and penetrates nicely providing a nice shield of hydrating protection to the skin. 

How I use - First I cleanse my face. You can use your preferred method. I alternate between a high-end bar soap, wash off face cleansers, or beauty wipes that moisturize. Then I like to apply a serum to my skin. I follow that with a moisturizer. This Pure Anada® Natural Moisturizing Hydrating Cream works beautifully at this moisturizing stage of my morning regime.

Throughout the day I spritz my skin with a lovely toner. I sometimes apply a toner with a cotton ball after cleansing to help close pores. 

After applying the Pure Anada moisturizing cream I begin my makeup application - depends on where I'm going and what I'll be doing as to what I use at this stage. 

I find that when I'm at home I like to cleanse and moisturize and then just a bit of color to the lips, brows, and cheeks. This allows my skin to breath a bit. It can be a surprise to see how lovely your skin can look after using a nice product like the Pure Anada Moisturize Hydrating Cream.

Product Information (from GoodEarthBeauty webpage): This moisture intensive cream will hydrate and plump your skin cells with organic shea butter, and argan oil.  Strawberry fruit tones and tightens pores, while hibiscus extract reverses the signs of aging.

Ingredients: Aqua, Rose Damascena (Rose hydrosol), *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) oil, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate (Olivem®1000), *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry Fruit), Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), *Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Rosa Damascene (Rose Bulgarian Oil), Leuconostoc/Aloe barbadensis Leaf/ Sorbus Aucuparia Fruit Ferment Filtrate (Preservative) *Certified Organic Ingredients

As you begin to look over the products offered at Good Earth Beauty in the PURE ANADA® line, keep in mind that with your purchase of any PURE ANADA® product you can receive a free mini-mascara as long as supplies last. Use the code Mascarafree
Remember: Ships FREE in USA and also ships WORLD-WIDE 
~|~ GIVEAWAY ~|~
1 Pure Anada® Moisturizer
Begins October 30
Ends November 30
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary moisturizer and lipstick from Good Earth Beauty to facilitate a review of these products. Giveaway prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Eddie and the Dangerous Rescue (Vol. 2 The Front Porch Diaries) by Judith Grimme

ISBN: 9780998559223
Ages 9-12 Paperback
Read a sample - Kindle
My thoughts:  This is a good chapter book for young readers. It provides an excellent opportunity to expand vocabulary.

There are extensive family and friend relationships, activities, and conversations showing loving care for one another and good interpersonal skills.

Basically, the story revolves around family and neighbors who take trips during their Christmas holidays. The children participate in finding a tree in the woods they can decorate for Christmas.

They venture forth on various activities and one results in a near tragedy.

Well written for young readers or read-aloud over a period of time to young listeners. I like the activities at the end of the book that can lead to further educational enhancements. Squeaky clean read that is certainly refreshing.

About the book: Eddie Miller always loved his family s Christmas visits to their grandparents farm, and school break fun together with his sister, Lucy, seemed finally to be calming their recent squabbles.

That is, until a reckless mistake left Eddie and Lucy facing a deadly situation. It was the winter of 1967. Would the dangers about to unfold bring them closer together, or tear them apart forever?

The Front Porch Diaries is a light, charming series about friendship, siblings, growing up, and life in the 1960s. Readers will come to adore Lucy, Eddie, Simone, and all the children of East Howard.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review from the BookCrash review program on behalf of the publisher, Encourage Publishing. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Nvey Eco Brand® Organic Crystal Clear Lip Gloss brought to you by Good Earth Beauty #natural products [Review and Giveaway]

Did you know that when you shop Good Earth Beauty online you have many, many brand options? You have the keystone brand for the site, "Good Earth Beauty," and you have a multitude of choices from names with which you are already familiar. You've seen them in shops and online. Now you can find them at Good Earth Beauty.

Today we're going to look at a product line completely new to me. Nvey Eco®  and the specific product is their Crystal Clear Lip Gloss. You can find it at Good Earth Beauty by clicking HERE.

GIFT-WITH-PURCHASE: For a limited time you can use the  CODE Nveyfree and receive a free gift-with-purchase for ALL Nvey Eco items beginning Nov. 1, 2018 (Nvey Eco® Crystal Clear Lip Gloss - while supplies last)

Nvey Eco Crystal Clear Lip Gloss $24.00
Now about this lovely Crystal Clear Lip Gloss.

Well, it is all natural and organic! That alone makes it a product that you can count on that doesn't contain ingredients that are harmful to you. It feels lovely and looks beautiful on one's lips. I love that it is a moisturizer for the lips as well as a product to make one pretty.

Product information (from Good Earth Beauty webpage)

  • NVEY ECO, Organic Lip Lustre’s fusion of nature and color is a dual purpose lip color and moisturizer, enriched with organic elements and Orange Essential Oil. Net Weight 0.28oz
  • Made by Nvey Eco Organic Make Up - Ingredients:  Caprylic Capric Triglycerides (cocout oil), Ricinus Communis (castor oil), Cera Carnauba (palm wax), Cera Alba (natural beeswax), Lonicera Caprifolium Extract (honeysuckle), Tocpheryl Acetate (vitamin e), Citrus Sinensis (orange oil). May Contain: Ci 77007 (iron oxide); Ci 77491 (iron oxide); Ci 77492 (iron oxide); Ci 77499 (iron oxide); Ci 75470 (carmine); Ci 77019 (mica); Ci 77742 (magnesium violet); Ci 77891 (titanium dioxide).

~|~ GIVEAWAY ~|~
1 Nvey Eco Crystal Clear Lip Gloss
* * * 3 Winners * * *
Begins October 28
Ends November 23 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only
Disclosure: I received a complimentary lip gloss from Good Earth Beauty to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. Giveaway prize is provided and shipped by GEB directly to the winner.

Friday, October 26, 2018

THOUGHTFULL by Dorena Williamson (B&H / Lifeway Publishing)

ISBN: 9781462794744
My thoughts:  This is a sweet story with societal implications. It carries the weight of children who are "different" from the norm being accepted for the value they bring to society rather than looked upon as not able to do what the normal person does.

Students in a classroom see the down syndrome boy as a participant on the playground and in art class. Some accept him for his abilities which are good and worthy of notice, and some make fun of him not having capabilities that they themselves have rendering him different.

A good book to use within a classroom setting to help young children understand and appreciate the value of the disabled individual. Also, and perhaps primarily, a good book to use in a family situation when the child is in a setting where he interacts with the handicapped.

About the book: This encouraging story shows how life changes when we learn to value those who are differently abled and to champion the power of thoughtfulness.

Author Dorena Williamson explores the need to be “thoughtFULL”—full of thoughtfulness and awareness, particularly with those who have special needs. In this delightful story, it’s awards day at school, and Ahanu (a boy with Down Syndrome) earns the award for being thoughtful. Later, when his friend Joshua sees others making fun of Ahanu, it’s Joshua’s turn to be thoughtful by supporting his differently abled friend. While doing so, Joshua learns important lessons about friendship, disabilities, and the value we each have as God’s children.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Oskar Can ... by beloved children’s author Britta Teckentrup [Review & Giveaway - US/CANADA]

ISBN: 97837Be91373614
Hardcover $14.95
Ages 2-5, 32 pages
from Berlin, Germany
Prestel Publishing
My thoughts:  Ravens are not thought of as particularly pretty birds and they are scavengers. However, Britta Teckenrup has created the "literary" character Oskar as a Raven; and while not a beauty to behold, Oskar certainly has joyful charm.

Stylized shapes on a bold yet muted color scheme make up the images of Oskar and his friend Mo. Oskar is as black as a Raven and Mo is as yellow as a canary. The positivity of  Oskar's actions showing what he can do is sweetly done and the range of Oskar's achievements is broad.

Often, little children take on an "I can't" attitude. Whilst that often means "I won't" it very often represents a child's insecurity at doing a task and a fear of failure. Oskar can help children see that they can do a variety of things.

Oskar's happiness is a joy and that can help the child inwardly project joy and happiness when he or she accomplishes something he perceives he can't do. You see, there is no word CAN'T in the book. It is all CAN.

A good import from Germany and certainly a good addition to the home, school, and public library.

Teaches 2 things: 1) Oskar can fly, and 2) Oskan can do it alone

Teaches 2 things: 1) Oskar can sing, and 2) Oskar's singing is beautiful

About the book and author: Oskar the raven is back, and this time the beloved young bird is finding out all the things he can do.

Britta Teckentrup has established herself as one of the most popular children's book authors today. Her vibrant, collage based illustrations have made her books a favorite in homes, schools, and libraries. And her character, Oskar, based on her family cat of the same name, is the perfect companion for young readers. This new book sends a simple, positive message that will empower kids to claim their own accomplishments. Tie a shoe? Brush their teeth? Wash their dishes? Bounce a ball? If Oskar can do it, they can too. Fans of Oskar's adventures will be thrilled to discover their friend is back with a new story. And readers meeting Oskar for the first time will discover a delightful, relatable character who makes them feel good about themselves and the world around them.
~|~ GIVEAWAY ~|~
Begins October 25
Ends November 16 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of Prestel Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Giveaway copy is provided by publicist or publisher and sent by them directly to the winner.

Voibella Hydrating Toner for Face provides a sensually perfect moment to facial care - Organic Anti-Aging Rose Water Mist

Have you ever spritzed your face with a hydrating mist that is so absolutely perfect?

I have.

I used the Voibella Organic Anti-Aging Hydrating Toner for Face - Rose Water, Witch Hazel & Aloe Vera Toning Facial Mist.  It is a wonderful Natural Skin Moisturizing Rosewater Spray for Women. It is pure, fresh, alcohol free, and pore refining. I love it!

If you travel, you know that long flights tend to fatigue the skin as well as your body. A light spritz of this lovely mist refreshes and then you feel as though you're less fatigued. You will certainly look fresher and brighter skin will glow upon your arrival.

I find that when I'm just around the house, I cleanse and moisturize my skin and use little or no makeup. Using the Voibella Rose Toner spritzed several times a day is so refreshing and hydrates my skin so nicely. The anti-aging properties are a real plus.

I can't say enough about the soft rose fragrance of this hydrating toner. It is so elegant. It doesn't linger. It simply refreshes and lends an aura of lady like richness.

I highly recommend this as a product you want in your home, with you on your travels, and perhaps tucked away at the office for a quick freshen-up moment.

About the product - You may purchase it on Amazon - click here

  • 3-IN-1 ANTI-AGING TONER THAT CLEANS, CLEARS & PREPARES SKIN - Each soothing spray of this natural face and body mist helps clear skin after cleansing, balancing the PH and minimizing pores, while preparing skin to receive our anti-aging ingredients, and other serums & moisturizers, for a young revitalized looking skin.
  • ORGANIC ROSE WATER, WITCH HAZEL & ALOE VERA – Why choose between them when you can have all the best anti-aging ingredients in one toner? Made with exotic, anti-inflammatory lebanese Rose Water to calm skin irritations, pore refining Witch Hazel, soothing Aloe Vera, and plant-based glycerin for skin plumping, our natural and organic formula is superior to any other.
Read my review of another Voibella product: Voibella Advanced Anti-Aging Vitamin C Facial Serum -- click here

DISCLOSURE: This is a #sponsored review and my opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review, though I received reimbursement for the product. I only recommend products I have used or that are used by my family. This is an exceptionally refreshing product that I recommend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas By Sarah Young (Published by Thomas Nelson)

ISBN: 9781400210299
$17.99 Hardcover
My thoughts:  Beautiful! One word sums up the appearance of this lovely children's book. Heartwarming and Biblically sound* packed with blessings is another way to sum up the book for its content. And just what is different about this re-telling of the beloved story of our Savior's birth - His first advent? Well, the difference is that we learn (and even a small child can learn) that this babe in the  manger existed before Creation and will exist for all eternity. Let's see....

On the cover one would think this is your standard children's picture book telling about that night long ago when the Christ Child was born. The illustrations throughout lend themselves to a book style for young children. The text and subject matter are not, however, for the very young. I'm thinking it is a good picture book for the elementary age child that is ready for more information. There is opportunity to do some real teaching of Scripture with this picture book since it explains how the plan for Jesus' coming to Earth was always God's plan and that it goes to the beginning of man's creation and existence here on Earth.

After giving the lineage of Jesus and how the prophets foretold the coming of Jesus as Messiah, the story moved on to the birth of Jesus' cousin, John. Then the book moved through the remainder of the Christmas story and into Jesus' childhood in Nazareth.

I see this as suitable for family read-aloud times or devotional times when the children can ask questions and parents can lead a discussion of the way God's plan for Jesus to come to Earth worked through the ages.

About the book:  Jesus Calling®: The Story of Christmas uniquely teaches the Christmas story to your children by starting at creation and sharing that Jesus has always been present and that God has always had a plan for Christmas. Bible verses and Jesus Calling devotions are on every spread of this beautifully illustrated book with foil and glitter on the cover.

Teach your children the story of Christmas . . . starting from creation! In Jesus Calling®: The Story of Christmas, children will discover that God always had a plan for Christmas.
Christ was chosen before the world was made. —1 Peter 1:20
The Christmas story began long, long ago. Before the angel Gabriel told Mary she would have God's Son. Before the shepherds saw the angels and before the wise men saw the star.

Even before the sun and the moon shone for the first time, before the first cows ever mooed and the first monkeys ever climbed! Before Adam and Even took their first walk in the Garden of Eden, God had a plan for Christmas.

From the beginning of time, God had a plan to save his children. That plan was Jesus!

Jesus Calling®: The Story of Christmas is a beautifully embellished jacketed hardcover with foil and glitter. Curl up with your little ones around the Christmas tree with Jesus Calling®: The Story of Christmas.

*I question the genealogy given.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the BookLook Blogger Review Program  and publisher Thomas Nelson to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Book of Boy (ISBN: 978-0062686206; Hardcover $16.99 Ages 8-12; 288 pages) by bestselling author Catherine Gilbert Murdock [Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Welcome to Day #1 of The Book of Boy Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (on shelves now!), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Catherine, plus 5 chances to win a copy of The Book of Boy!

Getting Real: Fact versus Fiction versus Fantasy in The Book of Boy 
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dear Teacher: Please, please let your students read The Book of Boy as history! Yes, I know the story has fantasy elements—marvelous, fantastical fantasy that will lure them in and wrap them in a wonderful tale. But most of the book is fact. Cold, documented, years-of-research fact. Your students will learn more about medieval life with The Book of Boy than a shelf of encyclopedias. 

For example: travel. I now know as much about medieval travel as anyone in my area code. I know whether and how bridges existed, the best routes from France to Rome, the nature and security of sea travel, the (dis)comforts of inns, and the condition of highways. Reading between the lines of The Book of Boy, a student will find out that roads were generally terrible so most people traveled by foot because horses were expensive and wheeled vehicles couldn’t manage the mud. Travelers often slept on the floor; if you managed to find an inn with a mattress, you’d have to share it with your companions or even strangers, and the sheets certainly wouldn’t be clean. 

Clothing, currency, pilgrimage, trade, hygiene, the plague . . . all these are spot-on. There really was an earthquake in Rome in 1349 that destroyed most of the churches. The popes really did flee (or were captured, depending on whether you’re French or Italian) to Avignon, where they reigned for almost a century in an enormous castle with secret compartments in the floor. Perhaps a third of the population died of the Black Death, but at the time they called it only “pestilence.” The survivors stumbled onward, marrying like mad (often outside their station, like Sir Jacques and Cook in The Book of Boy) in an attempt to return to normalcy, or at least an attempt to fake normalcy. 

What did I make up? Well, the characters of course, though professional relic thieves existed. I took liberties describing the ruined churches of Rome because we don’t have actual descriptions. We know St. John Lateran burned in 1308, was rebuilt in the next decades, then collapsed in the 1349 earthquake. I extrapolate the char marks. 

My biggest falsehood relates to the relics of Saint Peter. Secundus sets out to collect rib, tooth, thumb, shin . . . but in reality these relics never left Rome. “You are the rock upon which I shall build my church,” Jesus tells Peter in the Bible, and Christians took that seriously. They built a magnificent cathedral over Peter’s tomb, which they sealed beneath the floor. Yes, the skull was moved to the nearby cathedral of St. John Lateran, and yes, medieval pilgrims believed that half Peter’s body rested at the nearby cathedral of St. Paul. Thus all the remains of Saint Peter remained in the city, the very foundation of the Church. 

Thomas J. Craughwell, St. Peter’s Bones: How the Relics of the First Pope were Lost and Found . . . and Then Lost and Found Again, 2013. 
Patrick Geary, Sacra Furta: Theft of Relics in the Middle Ages, 1978. 
Paul Hetheringrton, Medieval Rome: A Portrait of the City and its Life, 1994. 
Paul B. Newman, Travel and Trade in the Middle Ages, 2011. 
Jeffry L. Singman, Daily Life in Medieval Europe, 1999. 


Blog Tour Schedule:

October 22nd –  Chat With Vera
October 23rd – Christy's Cozy Corners
October 24th – Beach Bound Books
October 25th – Java John Z's
October 26th – Bookhounds

A young outcast is swept up into a thrilling and perilous medieval treasure hunt in this literary page-turner by acclaimed bestselling author Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

This epic and engrossing quest story is for fans of Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale and Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and for readers of all ages. Features a map and black-and-white art by Ian Schoenherr throughout.

Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town—until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspensful expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter.

Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics and accumulating dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end—for what if St. Peter can make Boy’s hump go away? A surprising and unforgettable tale for readers of all ages.

Praise for The Book of Boy

* “Scuffles and sacrifices, ferocious animals, and dastardly thieves abound as Boy and Secundus are slowly revealed to readers—and each other. This is also a beautiful piece of bookmaking, from the woodblock-style design elements to the manuscript-like paper. A vivid, not-to-be-missed story.”
Booklist STARRED review

* “Light and darkness have never clashed with such fierce majesty and eloquent damnation. Murdock weaves an engrossing tale. ...Blend epic adventure with gothic good and evil, and add a dash of sly wit for a tale that keeps readers turning the page.”
Kirkus STARRED review

* “Fresh, immediate, and earthy: the fakery, the faith, the embedded stories, the escapades. The story is beautifully served by its package...Most remarkable and unusual is the character of Boy, a complex and compelling being whose defining quality is goodness.”
Horn Book STARRED review

About the Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two brilliant, unicycling children, several cats, and a one-acre yard that she is slowly transforming into a wee but flourishing ecosystem.


  • One (1) winner will receive a copy of The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • US/Canada addresses only
  • Begins Oct. 22 and ends Nov. 12 at 12:01 a.m EDT
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from MMPublicity on behalf of the publisher. Book information and materials for this post are provided the MMPublicity. The giveaway is unique to Chat With Vera blog with winner's copy being provided by and sent directly to the winner by MMPublicity or the publisher.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Christmas Remedy (An Amish Christmas Romance) by Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall

My thoughts: I always thoroughly enjoy reading a book by Cindy Woodsmall and was really looking forward to this novella in which she collaborated with her daughter-in-law, Erin Woodsmall.

Framed in the confines of a small town and situated within the charm of a "corner drug store" the story reeks with charm, love, tenderness, care, family tension and the almost lost treasure that is a caring local pharmacist who stands his ground with courage, wisdom, and a caring heart.

I live in a small town. We have a local, corner drugstore; it is still a caring institution that delivers prescriptions, especially to the elderly and assisted living homes. It is situated opposite two giants in the American Pharmaceutical World (I won't name them). So The Christmas Remedy rather hit close to home.

The Amish and their unique approach to life does not take too well to the regimented medical profession and to taking prescription medications. A young Amish lady in our story has dedicated herself to working with this small corner drugstore, Green's Pharmacy, to delivery and encourage her people to take care of themselves and their families by taking the prescriptions they need and properly.

But back in the pharmacy, Lyle Green is the owner and he experiences a major medical emergency which really puts a strain on running the pharmacy. His son returns home to oversee his health and assist as he can, but he has not finished his education and lacks his PharmD degree and license. The story packs in a lot of regulations and laws regarding how a pharmacy is operated and by whom. This detail is important to know that because the mystery hinges on that aspect.

A sweet read with a touch of blossoming romance that is squeaky clean. A bit of suspense and mystery. And a peek into life among the Amish.

I highly recommend this Christmas novella.

About the book: When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of "big box" stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface--and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene's Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community--a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can't marry and hold onto her professional job. She's Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases--like the one that claimed her father's life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene's Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what's happened and find the "missing" patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from WaterBrookMultnomah to facilitate a #sponsored review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Picture books about "Cities" - (1) CITY and (2) A WORLD OF CITIES from Candlewick Press [Review and Giveaway]

Big cities and small cities, towns and villages all around the world. Cottages, houses, duplex apartments, and high-rise apartments. Cities are home. Home to millions of people.

City by Ingela P. Arrhenius

My thoughts:  This is a huge book. Remarkably well suited for read-aloud times to classes and library groups but also appropriate for the child at home to plop down on the floor and gaze-to-learn scanning page after page of interesting people, places, and stuff about cities.

Designed for the young child, there are NO WORDS. Well, basically no words. This is a "make your imagination" do the storytelling type of book or a "let's talk about that" type of book.

So if you have the space for a huge book, this is a good one. Oversized at 13.4" x 18.2" it is a hefty book though only 1/2" thick. Hardcover with heavy paper make for a sturdy read.

About the book: From the designer behind Animals comes another eye-catching oversize offering: thirty-two vivid images honoring the sights and staples of our cities.

After turning heads and delighting readers with her giant book of animals, Swedish children’s designer Ingela P. Arrhenius turns her talents to the many attractions that make cities so special. Iconic urban images are featured on every page — from subways to skyscrapers, museums to cafes, fountains to sidewalk newsstands. Each bold, graphic image is set apart by a different typeface, transforming a whimsical celebration of cities into an artfully designed title for every bookshelf.

A world of Cities by James Brown

ISBN: 9780763698799
Hardcover $25.00
Size 10.9" x 14.8"
Grades 2-5 (and up)
My thoughts:  This is one of those books that kids will love to repeatedly return to and browse gleaning bits and pieces of information. Tucked away in the bold, graphic illustrations are cultural, architectural, person-orientated, and historically rich information bites that a child (or adult) will enjoy learning and tucking away in the regions of their minds.

The snippets or bites of information range from interesting, knowledgeable, to actually fun. There is so much to be learned from this book. Ideal for the family that travels to help the children "see" the city ahead of time and hide these nuggets of information in their minds prior to visiting.

The text runs around the borders of the page, tucked into spaces parallel to buildings, under bridges, etc. This is "spot on" for capturing the interest of the child that doesn't engage well with a standard written book with text in pages of paragraphs.

For the family or child that doesn't have an opportunity to travel, this opens a world to them. An exciting world of cities vastly different and yet with a sameness.

I highly recommend this book for homes and libraries.

About the book: From the lights of Paris to the cherry blossoms of Tokyo, the world is yours to explore in this comprehensive tour of thirty dazzling cities across the globe.

A corner of a page and you can see the detail and how information
is tucked into all types of spaces.
Visit places you have only dreamed of in an elegant celebration of cities around the world. From Shanghai, Berlin, and Cairo to Seoul, Delhi, and Rome, explore each locale by way of bold illustrations and unlock a miscellany of intriguing facts. Did you know that Prague has the world’s oldest still-working astronomical clock? Or that there are more museums in Mexico City than anywhere else in the world? In a follow-up to international bestseller A World of Information, printmaker James Brown has skillfully rendered each city in a stylistic nod to vintage travel posters, while incorporating historical and cultural facts for inquisitive minds to devour. Wander the distinctive cities of the world, all from the comfort of your favorite reading nook.


Who can enter? City dwellers & country folks
2 Books for 1 Winner
Begins October 21
Ends November 11 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA/CANADA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. The publisher will provide and ship the winner's copies.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Special book launch blog tour: Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention [Giveaway]

Welcome to Day #4 of the Absolutely Everything! Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd on October 15th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive videos from Christopher, plus 5 chances to win a copy of Absolutely Everything!

Going Global, Pockets 10-12
by Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd's stunning Pocket History of the World continues as he takes his intrepid volunteers on a roller-coaster ride through the past. Along the way, he explains how amazing inventions discovered in the East transformed the West, how a monstrous King was forced into submission and how a terrible disease reshaped the world... 


Blog Tour Schedule:

October 15th – Java John Z's
October 16th – Beach Bound Books
October 17th – Book Briefs 
October 18th – Chat With Vera
October 19th – Word Spelunking

Discover how science, nature and history connect in this fast-paced, entertaining and incredibly informative history of the world, from the beginning of time to the present day.

How was our universe made from a tiny speck of energy? Where did the first trees, plants, animals and humans come from? What happened to the dinosaurs? What was so miserable about medieval times? How were railroads and electricity invented? What are the perils of global warming?

From the Neanderthals to the Wright Brothers, from the Silk Trade to the Industrial Revolution, from dinosaurs to plastic, embark on an entertaining journey across millennia and continents. With photos, illustrations, timelines and maps in every chapter, there is no better way to understand the earth’s entire history than with this captivating book by Christopher Lloyd, author of the bestselling What on Earth Happened.

About the Author: Christopher Lloyd graduated with a double-first class degree in history from Cambridge University. He was Science Correspondent with The Sunday Times newspaper in London and is now a bestselling author of more than 15 books, including What on Earth Happened? The Complete Story of the Planet, Life and People from the Big Bang to the Present Day (Bloomsbury) and the Big History Timeline Wallbook series from What on Earth Books. A TEDx speaker, he is in great demand throughout the world at conferences, educational seminars, museums, festivals, and schools. 


  • One (1) winner will receive a copy of Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd
  • Begins October 18 and Ends November 3 at 12:00 a.m. EDT
  • Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: Tour information provided by MMPublicity. Unique giveaway hosted on Chat With Vera and winner's copy provided by either the publisher or MMPublicity directly to the winner.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Breast Cancer Beauty Box sales will benefit National Breast Cancer Foundation [Review and Giveaway]

Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Box $58
Limited Time Offer - Proceeds benefit
National Breast Cancer Foundation - $66.50 Value
Free Shipping in USA
October 1 - 31, 2018

Buy it here

Good Earth Beauty is pleased to announce our collaboration in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Throughout the month of October, you will see our pink gift shop offering trendsetting pink organic and all natural beauty and skincare, Good Earth Beauty Gift Shop

With every sale of The Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Box (click here) donation will be made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Contents: Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Box 2018 - purchase (click here)

  • Full sized Body balm rose, 
  • Full sized Priti Pink Nail polish, 
  • Full sized Gabriel Pink Lipstick,  
  • Full sized Lip scrub pink lemonade, 
  • Sample shower whip pink lemonade, 
  • Sample rose petal perfume , 
  • Sample strawberry mask
  • (Note: The lipstick & nail polish will be different in each box.)

Our family's story......

No one likes to learn that a beloved family member has cancer. But it happens. It happens to the rich and the poor and those of the middle class. It just happens. Live clean or eat what you want, etc. Cancer happens. That's not suppose to happen. Not in our happy-ever-after world. But it does. 
And often, as with our sweet daughter, breast cancer struck unsuspectingly. She was not a candidate for the Big "C" because she didn't smoke, she lived clean, we had no family members with it. And on and on the list could go.  
But she was diagnosed with a very aggressive HER2 form. I don't recall the specifics. Family helped her find a top doctor at Emory, and she had surgery and chemo followed by five years of other medications.   
And now? She is clear of cancer. Will it ever come back? We are hoping it doesn't. She is living a wonderful life teaching school to exceptional children and loving every minute of it. We are thankful for each and every day and pray that she has had all the pain and hurt that Big "C" can wrench out of her. She is a survivor. She is a strong woman. She fought and she had a wonderful team of family that cared and medical professionals who worked hard to help her reach this goal.

Cancer research and support always plays a major role in providing what the great doctors can utilize to combat breast cancer. The National Cancer Research Foundation is one of those good institutions that help with this. National Breast Cancer Foundation, uses donations like these from the purchase of the Beauty Box to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services.

Join us in the celebration of those who have overcome breast cancer, to honor those who succumbed to it and to educate others. Help provide hope for those combating breast cancer. Shop our pink shop starting October 1st. Buy a Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Box for that special woman in your life. Buy it here!

Good Earth Beauty only sells all natural products which are free of cancer causing toxic ingredients.

Celebrate a woman in your life and in doing so help others who may not be as fortunate. You can purchase the one time Beauty Box at https://www.goodearthbeauty.com/breast-cancer-awareness-beauty-box-one-time-benefits-nbcf - Also we have a “special codePinkOct10 for 10% off at checkout.  One code per order, not valid on gift certificates. Use as often as you wish and buy as many as you wish! Good October 1-31, 2018

How to purchase...

  1. Of course you can purchase online at https://www.goodearthbeauty.com/breast-cancer-awareness-beauty-box-one-time-benefits-nbcf and don't forget the PinkOct10 discount code.
  2. You may now shop Instagram. with shoppable Instagram - buy via @shopify on the @GoodEarthBeaty Instagram page - again don't forget the PinkOct10 discount code.


Good Earth Beauty will graciously select and send the winner the following:
Mini face mask $4
Mini shower whip $4
Full size body balm $16
Mini perfume $4
Lipstick $20
Value $48
Open to USA addresses
Begins October 1
Ends October 22 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
I will be sharing the email you provide with Good Earth Beauty.
Once you begin receiving emails from them you have the option to continue or not.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary Beauty Box from Good Earth Beauty to facilitate this review and to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. Opinions on products are mine, alone, as are personal experiences. Giveaway is hosted singularly on Chat With Vera with the prize products being provided by and shipped to the winner directly by Good Earth Beauty. I only recommend products I have personally used or that my family has.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Two delightful children's picture books from Candlewick Press: Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise & Do You Believe in Unicorns? [Review & Giveaway-US/CANADA]

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise (Interrupting Chicken #2) by David Ezra Stein

ISBN: 9780763688424
Hardcover $16.99 US
Candlewick Press

My thoughts:  I haven't seen book #1 featuring Interrupting Chicken but from the looks of #2, I'd say it was a real cute one. Now book  #2 - Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise features a young chicken that comes home from school and he and his papa  get into a discussion about the surprise of the story.

Little chicken says there is an Elephant in the story and Papa says the word is not a real elephant but an element of surprise - or a bit of surprise in the story and that is called an "element of surprise."

But there is no convincing Little Chicken that the Elephant is not there, too.

Illustrations are vividly drawn capturing the essence of this delightful read for youngsters. And really was there an elephant hiding in the pages? Check it out to find out.

About the book: Surprise! The little red chicken is back -- and as endearingly silly as ever -- in David Ezra Stein's follow-up to the Caldecott Honor-winning Interrupting Chicken.

It's homework time for the little red chicken, who has just learned about something every good story should have: an elephant of surprise. Or could it be an element of surprise (as her amused papa explains)? As they dive in to story after story, looking for the part that makes a reader say "Whoa! I didn't know that was going to happen," Papa is sure he can convince Chicken he's right. After all, there are definitely no elephants in "The Ugly Duckling," "Rapunzel," or "The Little Mermaid" -- or are there? Elephant or element, something unexpected awaits Papa in every story, but a surprise may be in store for the little red chicken as well. Full of the same boisterous charm that made Interrupting Chicken so beloved by readers, this gleeful follow-up is sure to delight fans of stories, surprises, and elephants alike.

Do You Believe in Unicorns? by Bethanie Deeney Murguia 

ISBN: 9780763694685
Hardcover $14.99 US
Candlewick Press

My thoughts:  We never find out if the horse in the red hat is a horse or a unicorn that is hiding his horn. But what does it matter?

A cute read that handles our personal mindset that we have something about us that we wish we could hide but should we really hide our blotches and "horns"?

When the hat comes off, we still can't tell if the critter is a horse or a unicorn because he blends nicely into the pictures and we can "believe" he is a unicorn, or we can believe he is a horse. But do you believe in unicorns - really believe? That is up to the individual.

We can believe we have special attributes and features and hide them, or we can believe we have special attributes and show the world what we are.

A hidden meaning? Perhaps. Or perhaps it is just a cute story with really cute artwork. Be sure you check this one out at the library or find it on your bookseller's shelf.

About the book: Is believing in magic the key to seeing a unicorn? If you keep your eyes open to wonder, the possibilities are endless.

Is that a horse wearing a hat? It's definitely not a unicorn in disguise -- that would be ridiculous, right? It's probably just a horse that's having a bad hair day. Or trying to keep the sun out of its eyes. Or perhaps this horse just really likes hats! If you follow it long enough, maybe it will take off its hat and you'll finally know for sure. Or will you? It's all a matter of perspective in this cheerful, cheeky story about seeing magic in the everyday.
2 winners - 2 books each
Begins October 14
Ends November 6 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses
NO P.O. Boxes, please
DISCLOSURE: I was provided copies of each book to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear [Review and Giveaway]

My thoughts:  Journeying with one's family over trails - mere footpaths - on foot, with few horses, and no wagons in 1794 ranks at the top of the list of terrifying accomplishments that the settlers of the United States managed and that absolutely astound me. I have long been highly respectful of early people and  how they lived and what they accomplished. The story of The Cumberland Bride is just that sort of account. True, it involves a sweet bride, but that is not the story. The story is one of endurance. A long list of dangers and terrors and accidents that seemed to plague them as they made their way along the trails.

Kate Gruener seems to find trouble or it seems to find her. She, like many of the young ladies during that time, were held to a different set of rules of decorum even through they were in the wilderness and life was vastly different from that expected in towns and cities.

Couple the rigors of actually walking a trail in the forest wilderness for many days and coping with fear of Indians who don't want the white people settling their lands with mind and body numbing accidents and no time or place to recover and you have a story of harrowing experiences.

The author's descriptive skills of the land, the dangers, the troubles, the accidents, the character development, and the action keeps the reader turning page after page consumed with interest and absorbed by the fear they experienced.

I highly recommend this story.

About the book:  Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road

In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But na├»ve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?
2 winners each win 1 copy
Begins October 12
Ends November 2 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing to facilitate this review of my own opinions which are freely given. Winners' copies are provided by and shipped directly to the winners by the publisher.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Explore science of the seasons through adventure! The Acadia Files: Autumn Science [Review and Giveaway]

ISBN: 978088448646
Hardcover $13.95
Grades 4-7, 88 pages
My thoughts: This is such a fun book. It involves "Acadia," a delightfully precocious child, who throughout her day finds things to explore and learn about. Written in a style that will engage the listener to whom the book is read aloud, or the reader who reads and discovers for themselves. This is a fun and entertaining story of how Acadia questions aspects of a changing season and discovers answers.

Reading these five chapters about Acadia's venture into the realm of seasonal science is fun and the author makes scientific discovery likeable and understandable. I particularly liked the chapter on water and the cycle that is never ending. The author, or Acadia and her parents, put a new perspective on it which is a bit funny when you think about water from this framework.

The illustrations are at the end of each chapter and focus on the information discussed (the story) and the scientific explanation. The conclusion is like that of a scientific journal as handwritten by Acadia. She also has questions for which there are no answers given as a means for further contemplation.

I heartily recommend this series. The Acadia Files: Book One, Summer Science has previously been published and Book Three, Winter Science, will be published later.

About the book: The Acadia Files: Book Two, Autumn Science presents five stories of fall, each one followed by Acadia’s science notebook pages with her simple explanations and lively, whimsical drawings of natural phenomena. The Acadia Files is a fun introduction to the wonders of science, using real-world scenarios to make scientific inquiry relatable and understandable. Parents and educators can use The Acadia Files to let kids discover for themselves what it’s like to be curious about the world and to satisfy that curiosity with scientific thinking.

Acadia Greene wants answers. What happened to the frogs she used to see at her favorite local pond? Why do leaves change color in the fall, and why don’t evergreen needles do the same? What is the water cycle, and what is transpiration? How do time zones work, and why does the sun set at different times in different places within a single zone? How do germs infect us? Acadia doesn’t mean to do science, but she has questions and her parents refuse to simply give her the answers. “Conduct an experiment,” they tell her. “Use the scientific method.” So Acadia makes hypotheses, designs experiments, analyzes data, and draws conclusions. Acadia does science.

The author, Katie Coppens writes a recurring column for NSTA's middle school magazine Science Scope on science and literacy called "The Integrated Classroom.”
Begins October 10
Ends October 31 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided by and mailed/shipped directly to the winner by MMPublicity or publisher.