Sunday, November 17, 2019

Holiday candles bring fragrant joy to your seasonal celebrations [Review & Giveaway]


The fact is that candles make great hostess or birthday gifts or simply a gift to yourself. They smell yummy when just spending a night at home alone or having guests over.






The soft glow of a candle brings heart-warming feelings to a room benefiting all within. When you add to that a scent that invokes memories of beloved flavors, the ambiance grows exponentially.

And then when you know that the soft glow of a lovely smelling candle is made with ingredients that won't harm you and your loved ones, your heart nearly bursts with joy and pride.

Softly glowing flame ignites feelings of peace, hope, joy withing one's heart.


These soy candles are simply made of natural ingredients and the ambiance of flavors is from pure essential oils that tantalize the memory and your senses.

And there are so many delectable flavors from which you may choose. I have some favorites. What would yours be?

Opening the box to find 4 delightful candles!

Let's look at the real perks of these candles.....

  • Soy
  • Cotton wicks
  • All natural
  • No perfumes - delightful aromas are from pure essential oils from plants
  • Glass recyclable jars

ALL NATURAL SOY CANDLE


Good Earth Beauty Exclusives' all natural, soy based, slow burning candle will help you relax and enjoy the moment.  Soy based with natural fragrance and essential oils. Choose from a variety of scents.  Glass jar - 4 Ounces - Burn Time 20 Hours

These make perfect gifts to take to your hostess for celebrations of birthdays & events. Or simply to bring a warm glow to your own home.

Free of:  parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors. Made in small batches in the US by Good Earth Beauty 
Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Sunflower Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Tamanu Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Organic, Evening Primrose Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Rose Hip Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Wildcrafted Arnica Montana, Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Radish Root Ferment (Natural Preservative),  proprietary blend of natural fragrance oils

You'll want to order yours now so you don't miss out on these seasonal candles as well as those that are in demand year round.

DISCOUNT CODE: VERA10 
gives you a 10% discount on your entire purchase.
This is a special "Chat With Vera" code but feel free to share. 
And as always.... SHIPS FREE IN USA


GIVEAWAY
2 Winners - 1 Candle Each
Begins November 18
Ends December 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by GoodEarthBeauty.com or its publicist.

All Around Bustletown: Winter by Rotraut Susanne Berner (Prestel Junior Board Book)[Review & Giveaway-USA/CANADA]


My thoughts: It's cold here in North Carolina as it is in much of the Northern Hemisphere. That is Winter - even though the "official first day of winter" has not yet arrived. Its cold. It has been snowing in lots of areas, and it is dreary, cold.

In Bustletown it is also Winter and everyone goes about their business attired for the cold. Getting out 'n about. Trees are bare. Snow is falling. But life continues to bustle All Around Bustletown.

The highly detailed, fun illustrations take the child from his cuddled up perch along side his mommy or daddy in their warm house out into the cold with all the folks of Bustletown. Because, although cold and dreary, life goes on. School is open. Doctors and dentists have to be seen. We have to shop. We're just as busy in Winter as any other time.

Also, this fun book has specific characters repeated throughout the book as they go about their Wintry activities. It's fun to follow them on each page and to imagine their thoughts, emotions, and predict actions.

Lots of look-and-find and discover on these pages for child to learn, engage, and identify.

About the book:  Kids will cozy up for hours of fun as they peruse this joyfully illustrated book that shows the endless ways winter takes hold in a busy, charming town.


Winter has arrived and everywhere you look people are embracing the season. At home there's baking, reading, and sleeping in, while on the farm the fields are fallow and quiet. Outside people are bundled up against the cold as they are skating, sledding, and running to catch a crowded bus. The town's buildings are alive with activity--piano lessons, a dentist appointment, shopping for presents, and visiting the museum. And if you look closer, you'll recognize the same characters on page after page, each with their own story. Wilfred the jogger has lost his keys, and Erica is shopping for a Christmas tree. Each minutely detailed scene is bursting with different people, such as a cheerful lady with an umbrella and a young violinist, as well as animals and birds.




In the tradition of Richard Scarry and Where's Waldo, this book encourages kids to return again and again to these charming spreads, following along with the characters and inventing their own stories. They'll recognize parts of their own world, while also learning about the endless ways we live, work, and play in the winter.
GIVEAWAY
Begins November 18
Ends December 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA and CANADA addresses.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of Prestel Junior Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Giveaway copy is  provided by and sent directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

In the Cradle Lies (#2 in Tree of Life Series) by Olivia Newport



My thoughts:  This is an interesting story and the plot thickened early into it giving glimpses into the depth of tragic events families had experienced historically.

Involving two main families one of which has a time-slip, generational, back and forth story line, you get to meet some good folks with life-in-the-mundane experiences. And they also have a lively love of each other existence.

First of all, the central gathering place seems to be one of two - the Hidden Inn Bread and Breakfast and the local Ore the Mountain ice cream parlor. It seems most, if not all, of the characters frequent the ice cream parlor for favorite scopes or hot chocolate more than coffee shops such as StarBucks. Honestly, I was craving a scope of chocolate myself about 1/3 of the my way into the book.

Rich boy comes to town and starts spending or giving away cash like it grows on trees and he carries a mysterious old beat-up backpack. He is truly a mystery and is key to discovering the deep hidden plot that is thread through this second installment in the Tree of Life Series by Olivia Newport.

A light read without too much heart break and a sweet spot of romance sandwiched between all those scopes of ice cream.


About the Book: On a solo ski vacation in Canyon Mines, Colorado, Tucker has a love-hate relationship with his wealth, spending indiscriminately while skiing fearlessly and preparing to conquer the overgrown slope of Hidden Run, a dangerous run not attempted in decades. As genealogist Jillian tries to uncover enough of Tucker’s family tree to understand his charming nature but reckless resolve, Jillian’s equally charming father, Nolan, cajoles Tucker into giving him ski lessons to get him talking about the suspicious circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s life in St. Louis in the 1930s.

On the surface, Tucker’s family’s history seems too perfect. The secret may lie in the sealed envelope Tucker carries with him at all times—even on the ski slope. When no one can find Tucker to tell him the fiancΓ©e he never mentioned turned up in Canyon Mines, they realize he must be off attempting to ski Hidden Run alone in a snowstorm. And they may be too late.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy fromBarbour Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Fun seasonal Lip Balm for party favors and stocking stuffers #natural #vegan [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

With the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) just around the corner, you don't want to be "caught short" and not have something for those special ladies in your life. You want good, quality stocking stuffers or party favors. Think outside the box and choose something of quality and beneficial use that is still fun, exciting, and a joy to use and still won't "break-the-bank."

We're talking a plethora of flavors of Lip Balms produced by the good folks at GOOD EARTH BEAUTY EXCLUSIVES. I know these are good products and I use them daily! Personally! And I have gifted these fabulous, healing, good feeling, joy-to-use lip balms to a host of family and friends.

What about you? What's on your list of stocking stuffers? Party favors? Daughter's sleep-over-party? Something for the "seniors" in your community? You name it. There is a good reason to grab these up in quantity.

For the Wintry Holiday Season..... Good Earth Beauty presents.....




NEW LIP BALM NATURAL VEGAN SET OF 3 - HOLIDAY CANDY CANE, SUGAR COOKIE, FROSTED GINGERBREAD




CLICK HERE to shop this set of 3
Don't forget 10% discount
code VERA10
Product informationVegan - natural -  soothing and moisturizing - helps heal chapped lips. Lip Balm Natural Vegan set of  3 fun, original scents -  candy Cane, sugar cane & Frosted gingerbread. 

Rich in Shea butter to keep your lips moisturized 
For winter months. Exclusive flavors come from essential oils - never flavoring or perfumes.
  • Cruelty free
  • Paraben free
  • Non gmo
Made by Good Earth Beauty (Set of 3 $15.00) (reg. $6.25 each lip balm)

Ingredients: Meadowfoam oil, olive oil, avocado butter, candellia wax, vitamin E, natural flavor oil


Having a party and want some goodies to hand out (that are NOT CANDY)? How about ordering individual Lip Balms for your guests? Priced at $6.25 each OR you can order several sets of these Holiday Lip balms and give them individually or as a set. You'll save some holiday cash that way.

I highly recommend these lip balms (and the other "flavors" as well). You really need to see all the delightful flavors Good Earth Beauty Exclusives has in these wonderful lip balms.

Be sure you enter the #giveaway.

Go ahead and order some for yourself and your gifts and.....

As always SHIPPING IS FREE IN USA
Use DISCOUNT CODE  VERA10 
to take 10% off your entire purchase. 
(This is a special Chat With Vera code but feel free to share it with others.)



GIVEAWAY
3 Holiday Lip Balms (Val. $18.75) 2 Winners
Begins November 14
Ends December 13  at 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE:  I was provided sample products to facilitate a review. Opinions and ideas expressed are mine alone and freely given. Prize is provided by and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty webstore.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Little one's early learning books from Nosy Crow: "100 First Words" illustrated by Edward Underwood & "Alphabet Street" by Jonathan Emmett [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

100 First Words illustrated by Edward Underwood giveaways - yes - 2 winners US/CAN no PO box


My thoughts: A very sturdy, large board book to introduce "first words" to very young children. The book includes lift-the-flap discovery items that sort of double-teach. They learn the word and object by also the flaps connection. For example: you lift the barn flap and see a horse and the word "horse." Or you lift the leaf flap and discover a caterpillar and the word caterpillar. In both cases, the flap is the "domain" of the hidden object.


What words are the kiddies learning in this book? Words associated with a farm: horse, farmer, tractor, goose, cow, goat, etc. Words associated with a trip to the zoo: tiger, hippo, zebra, turtle, giraffe etc. Pages for words associated with "vehicles," "About Us," Outside or Inside. 

This is a very organized book of first words and offers lots of learning opportunities other than simply identifying words and pictures.

I highly recommend.

About the book: With easy-to-lift card flaps on each spread, this stylish first word book is sure to hit the mark with little ones as they learn all sorts of new animals and objects. A clean layout grouped by theme features one hundred essential words and simple illustrations to help toddlers understand them.

Alphabet Street by Jonathan Emmett




My thoughts: As with most books from the Nosy Crow imprint of Candlewick Press, the books are innovative and interesting and always appealing to child (and adult). Alphabet Street offers the unusual fold out book that elongates into a "street" where the alphabet can be visualized. You start out at Alfie's Bakery which is right next door to the Cat who is preparing Coffee and Donuts.

Toward the end of the street which is toward the end of the book, you have the Queen's Restaurant where in the loft over the restaurant the Quails are quarreling. 

I just love this delightful book that even has its own pretty ribbon to tie it closed.

I highly recommend.

About the book: A is for Aardvark, asleep in her bed. B is for Bear, who is baking some bread.

This spectacular lift-the-flap book is also a panoramic play scene and a wonderful wall-chart to decorate your room! Lift the flaps, read the funny rhyming text, learn the letters of the alphabet and, then, when you're finished, flip the book over and have fun with the play scene on the reverse. 

GIVEAWAY
2 Winners Receive Both Books
Begins November 14
Ends December 4 @ 12:01 ET
Open to USA/CANADA
No PO Boxes & Canada Winners must provide Phone Number
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Special holiday gift for girls: The Raymie Nightingale Three-Book Collection by Kate DiCamillo

From time to time, Chat With Vera has the opportunity to simply share a beautiful product. That is what this collection of Kate DiCamillo books is. Ideal for gifting to a girl at Christmas or any other time that is gift-giving-worthy. Take a peek.....


First came Raymie Nightingale, the “triumphant and necessary book”* that would become a National Book Award Finalist. Then followed the tender Louisiana’s Way Home, featuring “one of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations” (The New York Times Book Review) and marking the first time the two-time Newbery Medalist had revisited the world of one of her novels. And finally, the much-hoped-for third novel, Beverly, Right Here, awaits its rapt audience. 




Here, the entire trilogy of novels — the perfect gift for both longtime fans and new devotees — is available in a beautifully designed set. Included are hardcover editions of:


Raymie Nightingale



A 2016 National Book Award Finalist! Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.


Louisiana’s Way Home


The instant New York Times bestseller!
From two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo comes a story of discovering who you are — and deciding who you want to be.

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana's and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)

Called “one of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations” by The New York Times Book Review, the heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale — and now, with humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.


Beverly, Right Here

Revisiting once again the world of Raymie Nightingale, two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo turns her focus to the tough-talking, inescapably tenderhearted Beverly.

Beverly put her foot down on the gas. They went faster still.
This was what Beverly wanted — what she always wanted. To get away. To get away as fast as she could. To stay away.

Beverly Tapinski has run away from home plenty of times, but that was when she was just a kid. By now, she figures, it’s not running away. It’s leaving. Determined to make it on her own, Beverly finds a job and a place to live and tries to forget about her dog, Buddy, now buried underneath the orange trees back home; her friend Raymie, whom she left without a word; and her mom, Rhonda, who has never cared about anyone but herself. Beverly doesn’t want to depend on anyone, and she definitely doesn’t want anyone to depend on her. But despite her best efforts, she can’t help forming connections with the people around her — and gradually, she learns to see herself through their eyes. In a touching, funny, and fearless conclusion to her sequence of novels about the beloved Three Rancheros, #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo tells the story of a character who will break your heart and put it back together again.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary set of books from the publisher to facilitate this post/review. Opinions expressed are mine, information is publisher's. All are freely given here on this post.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture from National Geographic [Review & Giveaway]


Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture (ages 8-12-adult, hardcover $24.99)


My thoughts: As America gears up to celebrate the Thanksgiving season, school children across the nation reenact the "Thanksgiving Meal" shared by the Pilgrims and the Indians. American history is filled with episodes - many of which cause our minds and hearts to reel with visualized terror - from every corner of our United States.

In Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture the publishers at National Geographic Kids have compiled an extensive collection of organized information, historical and cultural, of Indians who lived in North America.

Categorized by geographic regions and the different tribes or groups of Indians who lived in that specific region, the book explores the range of Indian life from thousands of years prior to Europeans discovering the land mass.

Outstanding photographs of individuals and groups, both current and historical imagery detail the differences of peoples as well as their habits, clothes, utensils, etc. I am completely mesmerized by the beauty.

I think this large specialty encyclopedia would be especially nice for all libraries - school, home, public, and classroom. But I also highly recommend it for any family who carries Indian heritage as a source of pride in their heritage.



About the book: “This encyclopedia fills a gap in the availability of reliable information about indigenous peoples...It was produced under the aegis of expert consultants from each of those regions—experts who are not only members of Native communities but who are also professionally involved in the research, preservation, and documentation of indigenous matters….In sum, this book should be part of every classroom and school library.” - STARRED REVIEW, Booklist



More than 160 tribes are featured presenting a comprehensive overview of the history of North America's Native peoples. From the Apache to the Zuni, readers will learn about each tribe's history, traditions, and culture, including the impact of European expansion across the land and how tribes live today.

Features include maps of ancestral lands; timelines of important dates and events; fact boxes for each tribe; bios of influential American Indians such as Sitting Bull; sidebars on daily life, homes, food, clothing, jewelry, and games;   To help give kids the lay of the land, this reference is arranged by region, and all federally recognized tribes are included. Tribal members representing each region and experts at the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution were involved in its creation.
GIVEAWAY
Begins November 12
Ends December 1 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy if provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

NENRENT PORTABLE ORAL IRRIGATOR (#dentalhealth)

This beautifully packaged and made water "pick" or flosser was a product I had long wondered if it should be incorporated into my dental health routine. Our family has been twice-a-year professional dental cleaning, braces, regular care and top product users as far as our dental health goes. We just never got around to getting the water flosser. Just used regular flossing, picks, and brushing to maintain our teeth.



I can see that it will take some practice to learn to use this beautiful tool effectively without totally showering down myself and the bathroom. But it might just be worth the major learning curve. There are 4 tips. At first I thought perhaps they were for different family members and that is a way to use them. However, one has a "brush" tip made of soft rubbery plastic material which I assume is for actually pressing up to the gum line the facilitate penetration of the water into the narrow spots.


The rechargeable battery is a plus and it recharges via an USB cord connection. Makes it great for travel since most folks travel with USB connectivity. I am looking forward to using this new dental hygiene tool and am sure my dentist will applaud.



We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book from Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]


ISBN: 9781536211382
Candlewick Press $9.99 Ages 3-7
My thoughts:  I just absolutely love this activity book. It is chock full of bright, fun, interesting activities. This is not your average word puzzle, maze, sticker book with coloring pages. No, this delightful book has things to make, activities to do, stickers to color, pre-colored stickers to stick. Just so much fun.

In the back there is a Christmas tree to which you affix a special sticker for each day in December ending with Dec. 25. What fun!

Crafts you can do with simple items. Things you can do with family. Just so much fun,.

Now, understand, that while Christmas to me and many people is about the birth of the Savior, Jesus, this particular activity book is strictly on the secular side of Christmas. There is still a place for fun and enjoyment without detracting from the real meaning of Christmas.

So find your kiddies one of these to help keep them entertained through the cold December days and brighten their days a bit.

About the book: Inspired by the animated special based on a beloved classic, this treasure trove of activities, fun facts, and more than a hundred stickers is the perfect gift for a magical time of year.

There’s so much to make, do, and discover in the countdown to Christmas! Whether kids like staying indoors to make crafts or stepping outside to explore, they’ll find plenty of ideas in this gem of a book. Would you like to create a wreath, design your own cards, or make a special cake for the birds? How about learning some seasonal jokes, looking for winter creatures, or completing a Christmas tree calendar with stickers? With easy-to-follow instructions, charming illustrations, and plenty of holiday spirit, this hands-on guide to making the most of the season will keep children entertained and inspired.

GIVEAWAY
2 Winners
Begins November 11
Ends November 30 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA
NO P.O. BOXES
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' books are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michele Griep

About the Book: Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:


12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

My thoughts:  We all know and love Christmas as depicted by Charles Dickens and have read, seen movies or plays, and recalled significant scenes from his famous tale. Our author, Michele Griep, takes us on a journey to the days of Dickens and we meet characters worthy of one the famous gentleman's tales.

This book is a collection of three Christmas tales so what I am doing is spreading my own reading joy out over the holidays. I just finished 12 Days at Bleakly Manorand it is certainly one I enjoyed.

It seemed as though some famously silly character types such as one would encounter in Alice's Mad Hatter Tea Party were part of the collection of folks gathered in the rich, cold, bewildering halls of Bleakly Manor. Though an elegant place, it was also a bleak place. Each person assembled had either lost something they needed to find or regain or they were in need of something. Riches, love, security, hope.

The story is a sort of mystery. A sort of romance. A sort of Dickens plot where it seems the underdog surely must regain some dignity or something positive.

Yes, there is a lovely heroin. Yes, there is a strong, dashing gentleman. Yes, there is a beloved auntie. And yes, there is a happy ending. But getting there...... well, that is the tale.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and highly recommend it.

As the holidays progress, I'll try to return here and give you my thoughts on the other two novellas encompassed within the folds of this beautiful book.

❄πŸŽ„❄πŸŽ„❄πŸŽ„❄

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

❄πŸŽ„❄πŸŽ„❄πŸŽ„❄

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

NOTE: This book is a limited print so if you are interested in having a copy, I suggest you do not delay in placing an order or snapping one off the shelves of your favorite book seller. They will surely sell out fast.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

For cat lovers, National Geographic Kids "Cat Science Unleashed" & "Cat Breed Guide" [Review & Giveaway]

Well folks, we missed National Cat Week in October. But for those of you who have cats in your home or in your life or wish you had cats in your life, I guess it is ALWAYS National Cat Time. So these two books are appropriate for you any time. Take a gander - oops! "a meow" at these lovelies.....


Cat Science Unleashed: Fun Activities to Do With Your Feline Friend (ages 8-12, Paperback $12.99) 


Part of the hugely successful Hands-On Science line (Dog Science Unleashed Fall 2018) Cat Science Unleashed contains 22 safe and cat-friendly activities that let you work alongside your cat to discover how your amazing feline friend thinks, moves, drinks, stays warm, gets clean, cools off, and more.



Step-by-step instructions, clear and interesting scientific explanations, and cool photographs shot specifically for this book reveal how catnip affects your kitty, how she can see so well in the dark, why she always lands on all fours and techniques for testing her vitals and tracking her fitness.  Also includes a behind-the-scenes look at current feline research.



Cat Breed Guide: A Complete Reference to Your Purr-Fect Best Friend (ages 8-12, Hardcover $19.99) 


From Russian Blues and Munchkins to Maine Coons and Persians, this comprehensive guide gives an overview of 71 different cat breeds. Each profile includes the breed's "cat stats": country of origin, size, coat color and pattern, grooming difficulty, and cat-titude. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman and cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider, kids will also learn how to choose the right cat for them, how to take care of their new feline friend, and how to understand its behavior. Fun feature spreads cover cats in popular culture, prehistoric cats, and the house cat's wild cousins.



Now, don't you just wanna go out and get yourself or your little ones a kitty to love on a bit?


😺🐈GIVEAWAY🐈🐱
Begins November 10—30 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies of both books to facilitate a post. Any opinions expressed are mine alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Paper World: Planet Earth by Bomboland from Canlewick Press imprint Big Picture Press [Giveaway USA/CANADA]


ISBN13: 9781536208542
Hardcover $24.99
My thoughts:  Every now and then you find yourself holding a book that captures your interest in every imaginable facet. It is well crafted, sturdy, beautifully illustrated and colored, represents the text of the book in a unique and really attention-getting manner. Then you say to yourself, "Wow! This is So Nice!"

That's how I feel about Paper World: Planet Earth. What the publisher and illustrator have done with paper-craft is uniquely educational. You feel the Earth's terrain or levels of the sea. You see and feel the depth of each layer of the Earth and what each layer is made of.

You learn. Oh yes! You learn in bite-sized pieces tucked away under flaps you lift that are clouds, Earth shelves, or Magma Chambers venting through a volcano. Each lift of a flap is educational and fun.

But what is so impressive as well is the way you can drag your finger tips across the pages and feel the art. Paper World has truly crafted a fun and educational piece that won't soon be forgotten.

I highly recommend.


About the book: This guide to our planet shows paper being engineered like never before.

Paper World: Planet Earth uses ingenious paper cutouts to reveal the amazing details of our planet, from bubbling volcanoes to rushing rivers to the boiling hot interior of the Earth. With detailed art by studio Bomboland, a fact-filled text, and flaps and die-cuts on every spread, this one-of-a-kind novelty book will appeal to readers of all ages.

GIVEAWAY
2 Winners - Each a Copy
Begins November 9
Ends November 30 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA
NO P.O. Boxes (Phone # Required for Canada Winners)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Why Do We Say Good Night? by Champ Thornton & Illustrated by Rommel Ruiz (New Growth Press}

My thoughts:  Don't you just love how young children ask so many questions? Of course, it can get to be a bit much from time to time with their repeatedly asking the same one. But that is how they learn. That is what their curious little minds are made to do in order to grow and store a vast encyclopedia of information. Little sound bites that their mind will organize.

In Why Do We Say Good Night? Mommy is tucking her child into bed for the evening......  and we are outside the book listening as she says

"When nighttime comes
and no more light,
you get in bed,
we say good night."

And, childlike, her daughter replies......

"But when it's dark,
and I can't see—
Why do you say
good night to me?"


Mommy then begins to beautifully narrate how it is good because the Lord made day and night. So night is good. O course, the little one has a retort and question about that.

The might, glory, power of God are beautifully brought out in these short rhymes, The child is encouraged to believe that God is watching and taking care of him even in the dark and that night, even though dark to him, is light and beautiful to God.

A treasure to read and share with a little one. I highly recommend

About the book: Going to bed and turning out the light can be a hard time for many children. Award-winning author Champ Thornton wrote this beautifully designed and illustrated book to help parents comfort their children with three truths about God. As a mother and her little daughter talk, they remember together that God made the night, he sees in the dark, and he watches over them just like a shepherd protects his sheep. Children and parents will want to start a new nighttime tradition of reading together about why we can say that the night is good.

In this important, engaging children's book, parents can bring comfort and encouragement to their children, reminding them Jesus is near.

AUTHOR: Champ Thornton is an the associate pastor at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Delaware. He has pastored in South Carolina and served as director of SOMA, a ministry training school in Columbus, Ohio. He is host of "In the Word, On the Go," a ten-minute podcast for families and is the author of several books, including The Radical Book for Kids, Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation, Radically Different and Why Do We Say Goodnight?. Champ and his wife, Robben, have three children.


ILLUSTRATOR: Rommel Ruiz was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and moved to sunny Southern California to pursue his passion for creative expression and storytelling. An accomplished designer and illustrator, he incorporates influences from theater, film, animation, and mid-century design. His work includes animated visuals for Cartoon Network and the award-winning Luther documentary, as well as illustrations for books including Golly’s Folly, The Gospel in Color, and more. He is also the cofounder and art director of Patrol. He and his wife, Anny, live with their two joyful girls in Los Angeles.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Always Look Twice Uncommon Justice #2 by Elizabeth Goddard

ISBN: 978-0800729851
Revell A Division of Baker Publishing
Softcover $15.99
My thoughts:  The story begins in a beautiful mountain setting with a gifted professional photographer enjoying her craft photographing a bear and the scenery. Then the action really begins to pop with a gunshot thundering, crashing the air. But it was neither the photographer nor the bear shot.  Her camera scope immediately scans the far terrain from which she sensed the sound of the gunshot.

Then the real action begins.

At this juncture, our heroine, Harper, meets our hero, Heath. Come to find out, they were devoted childhood friends now reunited in desperate and dangerous situations.

As the case investigation begins to discern clues and find evidence of who the perpetrator is, more explosive crimes occur.

While the story was a bit slow in places, the overall story was exciting and well crated. I loved the characters and their interaction.


I absolutely loved that I couldn't figure out who the culprit was until revealed at the end. Am I slow on the "uptake" and missed it? I don't think so. I think the author cleverly gave clues and adroitly hid the culprit.

I highly recommend it as a clean romantic suspense with strong faith overtones.

About the book: While photographing the Grand Tetons, Harper Reynolds unwittingly captures a murder on film. But when she loses the camera fleeing the scene, can she and rancher Heath McKade find the camera and solve the murder before the killer makes her his next victim?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Revell Reads to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

ArtMartin by Americook Steamer/Casserole Granito Tech [Review]

Oh my! This is an absolutely stunningly beautiful pot. I haven't had a "real" steamer and have had to improvise. This is definitely one to get!



It is large capacity with a glass lid. The lid has a little vent hole (watch out for escaping hot steam!). I used it tonight for some steamed veggies and they were so good. No seasoning. Just the goodness of the veggies. I steamed a combination of baby carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, and broccoli. So easy to use.



This is obviously a high quality product and very well constructed. The care in packaging speaks volumes to me about the product. Outstanding! Made of aluminum and coated with ceramic, it is an excellent heat conductor as well as non-stick. The pot (bottom portion) can easily be used for other cooking purposes. The steamer is beautiful and shinny and large capacity for holding a large amount of veggies to steam.



Perks in addition to this lovely steamer include two pot holders - a square and a mitt. Nice! And a little sac to place your pot in for storage to help you retain its new look a bit longer.

Storage bag
Protective sleeve for lid

Again, I just love this steamer and know my family will delight in having a "real" steamer to steam their veggies in when they visit.

Check it out: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Non-Stick-Ceramic-Coated-Die-Cast-Aluminum-Round-Casserole-Pot-Steamer-with-Induction-Bottom-10-inch/913756323



#sponsored #cookingwithVera
DISCLOSURE: I received this product to facilitate a review. I was not compensated other than the product. Opinions are mine, alone and given after actually using the product.

Friday, November 1, 2019

When faced with uncertain days....

There are days when it seems a tunnel is closing in upon you and you despair reaching the end or escaping it.

Days when the futility of that day is lost in the one you are facing tomorrow.

Giving in to the inevitable is not a given nor is it an acceptable fate nor easy state. One's determination must prevail and project itself uppermost in the overwhelming odds stacked against us.

Weak. We fight. Weary. We rest then we fight. Defeated. We rise again.

And we have that always certain and prevailing promise....

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." (Is. 26:3)

,,,, and the ever assurance of Heb. 13:5 "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Candlewick Non-Fiction Books for Ages 3-8

Each of these books for children ages 3 to 8 offers a look into our world. Our big cities - New York, our animal world - Sleep in Nature, and our underground history throughout the world.


What an imagination trip of exploration these books provide. Whether sprawling across the floor reading and perusing these grand picture books or sitting alongside a parent or other older reader as they read and explore the tidbits of information that are readily gleaned from the pages.

The underground book has delightful pages with lift-the-flap to reveal more and engage the listener or reader. 

I highly recommend these imprints from beloved Candlewick Press: Walker Books, Candlewick, and Big Picture Press.


My First Book of New York by Ingela P. Arrhenius (Walker Books US, 32 pages – Ages 3-7)


About the book: See all the best-loved sites of New York City in this stylish big picture book by Ingela P. Arrhenius.

Visit the Statue of Liberty, climb the Empire State Building, catch a show on Broadway — there’s so much to do in New York City! Take a taxi to Times Square, check out the Apollo Theater, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, and stroll in Central Park in this big word book about the Big Apple. With colorful, graphic illustrations of everything from iconic landmarks to mah-jongg players in Chinatown, this is a beautifully designed gift for New York lovers of all ages — the first in a series about the great cities of the world.


Sleep: How Nature Gets Its Rest by Kate Prendergast (Candlewick Press, 32 pages – Ages 5-8)


About the book: All animals sleep. But do they dream? Facts inspire imaginations in a beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book for curious young minds.

Some animals sleep alone. Others sleep in packs. Some slumber at night, and others prefer the daytime for getting some z’s. Whether large or small, familiar or unusual, all animals must find a way to get some rest. Did you know that giraffes sleep standing up? That sloths sleep upside down? Or that fish sleep with their eyes open? Take a close look at the sleeping habits of meerkats, bats, horses, birds, and other animals around the world in a book for young nature enthusiasts that is certain to spark a sense of wonder.


Walk This Underground World by Kate Baker and illustrated by Sam Brewster (Big Picture Press, 24 pages – Ages 5-8)


About the book: An around-the-world and back-in-time adventure exploring curious worlds hidden beneath our feet, from underground burrows to ancient cities and shopping malls.

This stunning lift-the-flap book takes readers on a journey around the globe and deep underground. There they'll find amazing hidden worlds teeming with life — from prairie-dog towns and ant cities to opal mines and treasure-filled tombs. Each spread is bursting with details and surprises to discover in the cutaway artwork and under the flaps. With so much to see and explore, this is a perfect gift for young adventurers.
GIVEAWAY
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DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate this post. Any opinions are my own and are freely given.  Winners' prize books are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.