Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg

About the book:  terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz's beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans -- especially Jews like Jacob and his family -- are treated like dogs.

When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare -- trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.

As World War II rages and Hitler begins implementing his "final solution" to systematically and ruthlessly exterminate the Jewish people, Jacob must rely on his wits and a God he's not sure he believes in to somehow escape from Auschwitz and alert the world to the Nazi's atrocities before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.

My thoughts:  One should not pick this book up anticipating an entertaining read. No. This is heavy stuff. This is intense. This is harsh because the reality of this unfathomable period of darkness in the history of man is formidable.

But we should, and we must immerse our minds with this reality because if we do not learn from the wrongs and mistakes of history, then history will inevitably repeat itself. That must not be allowed to happen.

A work of fiction, The Auschwitz Escape carefully takes us through the horrors surrounding the lives of the peoples of Europe as Hitler's army and his political machine methodically executed his plan to exterminate the Jewish race. Along with them were others who sought to hide, protect, save the Jews. This included Christians, individually, and even whole villages.

Auschwitz was created for the sole purpose of extermination of people, primarily Jews. This is where Jacob, a Jew, and Luc, a Christian, are taken. Both men were members of the resistance. This is where they eventually and miraculously escaped Auschwitz.

Joel C. Rosenberg writes with heart, clarity, and authenticity. Don't miss this moving book.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Hemp Seed Moisturizing Serum from Life Essentials Skincare [Review & Giveaway]

Really nice facial serum at the right price, too.

My thoughts:  After using this light, slightly opaque liquid, my skin is ready to receive a moisturizer. I choose to use the serum morning and evening followed by my moisturizer of choice. Since many moisturizers for day use contain sun screen protection, I think it best to use a specific night time cream and a specific day time cream.

The use of this hemp seed serum offers benefits that natural products alone offer and that is a purity and sourcing that is closer to nature. The derivatives of hemp seeds that make up this formulation do not contain any of the dreaded products associated with  non-legal hemp products. This is a safe (at my age you really need safe) product.

I like the way my skin feels when using this Life Essentials Skincare Hemp Seed Moisturizing Serum. I apply serums with an upward sweeping and rotating method gently massaging my skin, temples, neck. Kind of an "at home spa treatment" that I pamper myself with.

This product is priced so most every pocketbook or budget can afford to care for their skin.

I recommend.

Product information (click here to find product on their website) OR click here to find it on Amazon)

This Hemp Seed Serum is made with harvested and cold pressed hemp seeds. As per state to state regulations, the serum does not include any THC or CBD.
Here are some wonderful benefits of Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seed oil is perfect for most skin types as it can moisturize without clogging your pores. It can even help to balance out oily skin, hydrating it and regulating the skin’s oil production. Dryness can also cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can stimulate acne. Hemp oil can prevent dry skin without clogging pores. This helps reduce acne that’s caused by excess oil. 
Part of what makes hemp seed oil so beneficial to the skin is that it’s rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these nutrients can help to treat skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. 
In addition to moisturizing and soothing the skin, hemp oil has anti-aging properties. Hemp oil can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent signs of aging from developing. The linoleic acid and oleic acids found in hemp oil can’t be produced by the body but can play a crucial role in skin health and anti-aging, so they’re important nutrients to add to the diet.

Begins July 30
August 29 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product from Life Essentials Skincare to facilitate this review. My opinions are derived after personally using the product for over a week. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Life Essentials Skincare.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A beach book.... "Sea Glass Summer" and a bear writing his own story..... "Bear's Book" [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Bear’s Book by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Alison Friend - Templar Books, Hardcover ISBN: 9781536205718, Ages 3-7

My thoughts:  A lovely, gentle story of a kindly bear whose favorite book has come apart and he decides to write a new book. His own book. So he begins to meander through the beautiful forest in search of ideas for his story.

He encounters his forest friends, one by one. Each time there is some incident or action that takes place. Toward the end of the book, bear actually sits down to put together his ideas for his story.

The result is charming and is built around his own experiences and knowledge.

Beautifully soft illustrations that are just right for those youngsters to whom you would be reading it. And a grand encouragement for those budding authors who want to write their own story and publish their own book.

I recommend.

About the book: When Bear’s favorite book of stories falls apart, he is determined to write one of his own. He ventures into the forest for inspiration, but writing is harder than he thinks, and he soon discovers that he needs help from his friends. See how Bear transforms their day into a wonderful adventure in this story about creativity and friendship.

Sea Glass Summer by Michelle Houts & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline - Candlewick Press, Hardcover ISBN: 9780763684433, Ages 4-8

My thoughts:  Beautiful! The illustrations take me back to beloved children's books in the 30s, 40s, and 50s or are reminiscent of a type of Norman Rockwell art. Gentle. Moving. Beautiful. Realistic.

The story is sweet and is one of an easy going summer along the shore where the young boy spends his summer with his grandmother at her cottage by the sea.

As a boy does, he explores and he investigates, and he collects the stuff he finds. The boy finds glass. Beautiful pieces of broken glass that have been polished and imbued with a loveliness that the sea in its churning and tossing has imparted to the piece of glass.

But good things come to an end just as each summer does and the boy leaves. The boy grows up. And then.... well, the inference in the close of the story is lovely.

I recommend.

About the book: One summer, a boy named Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass that once belonged to his grandfather, and with it Thomas explores the beach, turning grains of sand into rocks and dark clamshells into swirling mazes of black, gray, and white. When his grandmother shows him a piece of sea glass, Thomas is transfixed. That night he dreams of an old shipyard and the breaking of a bottle. Could the very piece of sea glass on his nightstand have come from that bottle? For the rest of the summer, he searches for more sea glass and hopes to have dreams that will reveal more of the sea’s secrets. A stunning ode to stories and the seaside, this picture book invites readers to imagine the ocean of possibility that lives in every small or forgotten treasure.

1 Copy of Each Book to 2 Winners
Begins July 26
Ends August 25 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses
NO P.O. Boxes 
(Canadian winners must provided a phone #)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received copies of each book to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and are freely given. Winner's copies are provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publicist or publisher.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Wonder Seed Hemp Seed Oil Facial Scrub from Good Earth Beauty [Review & Giveaway]

It is considered by some that hemp seed oil products help heal skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dry skin, acne and itchy, flakey scalp), and that they can also provide anti-aging benefits.

The great folks at Good Earth Beauty carry some of The Wonder Seed products in their great online store of natural, organic, and vegan products. I had the opportunity to use The Wonder Seed Hemp Seed Oil Facial Scrub.

My thoughts on the Wonder Seed  Hemp Seed Oil Facial Scrub: 

This product is.....

The Wonder Seed Facial Scrub - water Lotus - is a lovely product. Made from Virgin Hemp Seed Oil this product gently scrubs or exfoliates your skin while providing a nourishing cleaning. 

Recommended use is twice weekly and that is quite adequate. The tiny exfoliating "roughage" is just enough to adequately remove dead skins and environmental trash that loves to cling to your skin. I think the cleansing and exfoliating safe for even gentle skin. But you don't want to over do anything. So you won't want to use more than twice weekly. 

When using, be sure to avoid the eye area because any cleaning product and especially one with particles in it can be an irritant to the eyes. 

This facial scrub leaves the skin fresh and clean feeling. 

After using I highly recommend you apply your favorite moisturizer product. I think using the Wonder Seed Facial Scrub in the evening prior to bed is perfect.

I recommend.


Soothing and purifying, this hemp seed oil facial scrub works for all skin types to remove impurities, heal inflammation and hydrate the skin while cleansing. Balances your natural oil profile, for a clean, fresh look. Hemp seed oil is easily absorbed by the skin and is one of the world's richest sources of essential fatty acids (EFA's) which are at an optimal balance for human absorption. This scrub tingles as it cleanses and leaves your skin feeling clean without feeling tight or stripped. No matter what your skin needs, this nutritious scrub will please. 

Made by The Wonder Seed - Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Water Lotus Blossom Extract, Virgin Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Water Lotus Essential Oil, Organic Water Lotus Juice, Ginseng Infusion, Almond Extract, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Soymilk Coagulase (Non-GMO), Coco Glucoside, Azulene Extract, Lithospermin Extract, Magnesium Cocoate (Coconut Oil), Pro-Vitamin B5, Glyceryl Cocoate (Coconut Oil), Willow Tree Extract, Potassium Sorbate (Plant Based), Organic Grapefruit Seed Extract, Jojoba Soften Particles, Azelaic Acid*(Azaleas Based), Alkyl Polyglycoside (Plant Based), Sugar Cane Extract, Vitamin Complex, Citric Acid, Mint Extract, Camphor Oil, Birch Bark Extract, Ascorbic Acid (Vit C), Flower Extracts, Dextrin, Sea Salt (*Concentration of Azelaic Acid of less than 0.5%)Price: $16.95

Chat With Vera's take on Hemp Seed Oil products.... 

Now before anyone says, "Oh! I can't believe Ms. Vera is promoting or using hemp products!" take a moment to read the actual facts and legitimacy of hemp oil production, use in cosmetics and other products, and its effect on folks.

It is declared safe and legal for consumers. It is not the addictive Cannabis that is associated with Marijuana. I think of using products with hemp seed oil as simply another type of essential oil based product. Use of a variety of essential oils in skin care, nutritional, aromatherapy, cosmetics, and soaps is well accepted. You can find information that clarifies the differences between the hemp and marijuana plants. Some generalized information is available at CBD Origin: Hemp vs Marijuana, but there are other sources of information as well.

Your opportunity to shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY where your USA order SHIPS FREE. And to sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using SUMMER10 discount code.
A tube of Facial Scrub
Begins July 23
Ends August 20 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given after I have personally used it. Winner's prize is provided and shipped by publicist or directly to the winner.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Empowered - How God Shaped 11 Women's Lives (And Can Shape Yours Too) by Catherine Parks

My thoughts:  This collection of short biographic sketches of 11 women who lived through the ages, including modern times, is quite well written with their young audience in mind.

The stories are interestingly written and will surely engage the heart and mind of the young girl. The goal of the book is to show how in the face of unfathomable situations that portend evil, destruction, harm, and emotional harm the individual can be strong and can take a stand for that which is right.

The Biblical Esther is, of course, included and she is representative of the Biblical woman of strength whose story is told. The two ten Boom sisters, Corrie and Betsie, who were strong during World War II in the horrors of German concentration camps are included. Some whose names I had never heard are in this group of 11 women but whose stories shine with strength and staying power.

I highly recommend this non-fiction book for all young girls to read. Age appropriateness: 8-14 years.

About the book:  Empowered takes the popular idea of what it means to be a strong girl and flips it on its head, using the stories of eleven faithful women to show that real power comes from our loving Father through His Son. In the pages of this book, girls will encounter women they may never have heard of. They will learn some of the character traits that go along with the Christian walk. But they will also encounter a God who is faithful to complete the work He has begun in them. They don't have to do the things these women have done to live a life of purpose; by making a direct connection to their daily lives, readers will have a bigger and a more personal view of their Father and His love for them.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from B&H Publishing Group's book review program. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Bitter Pill by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (novella)

My thoughts:  Typically Dr. Mabry's books are medical suspense with a light touch of romance. In Bitter Pill he veers from his normal story telling style and focuses primarily on the lives of individuals in church ministry. Yes, there is a medical connection that Dr. Mabry so aptly weaves into this short but complex story.

Each of the main characters - and there is a crowded stage in this short book, encounters soul-searching, heart rending personal life events that could easily be the main stay of a feature book. However, Mabry defly tells enough of their story and how they interact with the other characters that you feel as though you are a local citizen or member of the local church congregation.

A short 120 pages of intense reading will leave you feeling like cheering because issues are resolved, spirits are lifted, hearts are healed, and salvation or re-commitment takes place.

I heartily recommend.


“Brother” Bob Bannister is content with his life and his itinerant healing ministry, until one night he finds that the woman who walks off the stage under her own power isn’t one of his shills. At that point, doubts begin to intrude on his previously untroubled existence.

Dr. Abby Davis is tired of her family practice and at odds with God. Dealing with critically ill and dying patients has crushed her spirit to the point she’s ready to quit. But she soon realizes that there’s more to healing than ministering to the physical body.

Scott Anderson was the oldest graduate of his seminary class. Then again, most of them hadn’t turned away from a medical practice, hoping to atone for past mistakes (including his wife’s death) by ministering to men’s souls. Now he hopes he hasn’t made a colossal mistake in switching careers.

Each of these individuals becomes linked to the other, and each finds that God has a purpose for them—but, as it often does, the lesson comes with discomfort.

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

Monday, July 15, 2019

New series for ages 8-11 - "Awesome Achievers" by Alan Katz - Technology, Science [Giveaway]

From acclaimed author Alan Katz comes a new middle grade nonfiction series designed to make history fun and vibrant for reluctant readers.

Launches in early August from Running Press Kids, these paperbacks are sure to engage the interest of readers.

Awesome Achievers in Technology 

With Katz' signature humor and extras such as illustrations, imagined diary entries for a first-person perspective, comics, poems, and personal anecdotes like the time Katz met Dr. Heimlich himself, each title brings 12 lesser-known figures to life like you've never seen them before.

Everyone has heard the name Steve Jobs, but what about Nolan Bushnell--Jobs's boss before the invention of Apple, and the founder of the first major video game, Pong? Many of the most relevant figures in tech history have remained in the shadows, but not any longer! From Alan Katz's new Awesome Achievers series, Awesome Achievers in Technology gives kids a look behind the scenes at 12 lesser-known inventors whose contributions to tech are personally relevant to their lives today. Each figure is given a traditional biography but is also subject to Katz's unique brand of silliness, with humorous elements such as imagined poems, song lyrics, and diary entries by and about the not-so-famous figure accompanying each bio.

Awesome Achievers in Science & Strange Facts About Almost Famous History Makers

Everyone has heard the names Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but what about Michael Collins--the third brave Apollo 11 astronaut who didn't get to walk on the moon? Many of the most relevant figures in scientific history have remained in the shadows, but not any longer! From Alan Katz's new Awesome Achievers series, Awesome Achievers in Science gives kids a look behind the scenes at 12 lesser-known scientists whose contributions are personally relevant to their lives today. Each figure is given a traditional biography but is also subject to Katz's unique brand of silliness, with humorous elements such as imagined poems, song lyrics, and diary entries by or about the not-so-famous figure accompanying each bio.

Spot illustrations throughout add to the lighthearted and appreciative humor each figure receives. Reluctant readers and budding tech enthusiasts and scientists alike will delight in this imaginative and engaging new series of laugh out loud biographies.

About the Author: Alan Katz is the author of many highly acclaimed children’s books, including Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Don’t Say That Word! OOPS!, Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking, and The Day the Mustache Took Over and its sequel, The Day the Mustache Came Back. Alan is also a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for TV series including The Rosie O’Donnell Show, animated series Taz-Mania, Disney’s Raw Toonage and Goof Troop, the Grammy Awards and Tony Awards, and many network specials and game shows. he has also created comic books, trading card sets, web videos, TV commercials and hundreds of other special projects for kids and parents. He lives with his family in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Alan can also be found at

1 Set of 2 books to 1 winner
Begins July 16
Ends August 15
Open to USA/CANADA addresses.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of Awesome Achievers Technology to facilitate this book spotlight. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or its publicist.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Keeping your lips soft with fresh summer flavors of Lip Balms from Good Earth Beauty [Review & Giveaway - USA]

Taking care of the lovely lips of all the girls in your family just got delicious!

Pink and lovely. Fresh as summer.

Good Earth Beauty Exclusives takes the care of your smile seriously and they make it fun for each of you.

The "littlest ones" to the oldest will absolutely love the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Vegan Lip Balms and happily slather it on to protect those lovely smiles.

Today we're featuring 3 lovely new flavors in their plethora of lip care.....

💜Strawberry Margarita
💙Pink lemonade
💗Candy Hearts
Mild flavored and lightly scented and just simply packed with those oils and ingredients that soften and protect your smiles.

My grand-girls just love these.

I love them - my favorite is the Pumpkin Spice.

A dear resident in a nursing home loves these.

To Whom will you bring joy with some of these little sticks of joy? At only $6.25 each (less if you purchase the multiples), you can share them graciously.

Which of these 3 lovelies will you pick?


Vegan - natural -  soothing and moisturizing - helps heal chapped lips

Choose from fun, original scents - Candy Hearts, Bubble Gum, Coconut, Candy cane mint, chocolate mint, Pink Lemonade, vanilla mint, vanilla marshmallow, jelly beans, candy corn or pumpkin pie, Strawberry Margarita! Made by Good Earth Beauty Price $6.25 each Click here to find it

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

You don't have to wait to see if you win the giveaway. You can order your own products and  offers a nice DISCOUNT  CODE - SUMMER10 which nets you 10% discount. And as always, FREE SHIPPING in USA.

2 Winners - 3 Featured Lip Balms Each
Begins July 14
Ends August 13 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty or its publicist.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Express Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #9) by Kimberly Woodhouse [Giveaway - 3 Winners - USA & Review]

My thoughts:  The prologue begins in 1834 as a desperate young mother and her tiny infant desperately seek to escape from the cruelty of her abusive husband. Tense. Fearful. The beginning portends an exciting and captivating tale. Then the book actually begins as the story jumps years in the future to 1860 and we are at a Pony Express Station that doubles as a Stage Coach Station.

The story telling slows and the ground work is methodically laid by the author for this tale set in the "wild west" of the middle 1800s. The author has lavishly sprinkled details of the exciting days when the Pony Express valiantly delivered mail across country in just a matter of days requiring the use of very young men (teens, actually) who were small and quite lightweight. And of course, fast running horses.

But as in most things, corruption and thievery crept in. This is a side tale. The main tale is that of a young man who as an employee of a very wealthy man is searching for the wealthy man's runway wife even though it has been decades since she left.

The characters are strong Christians and there is much discussion amongst them about passages from Scripture as well as how their faith is important to them on a day to day basis.

A short reference to the Mayflower is near the end and shows the connection to the series.

I recommend this as one that Christians will enjoy for the strong references to faith and Scripture, the well told historical story, and the sweet (though predictable) romance that is nicely woven in.

About the Book: The Wilderness Is a Great Place to Hide

Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Jackie can’t decide if Elijah is friend or foe. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed?

Daughters of the Mayflower series:

  • The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
  • The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
  • The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
  • The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)?
  • The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
  • The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
  • The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)
  • The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse - set in 1849 California (April 2019)
  • The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse - set in 1860  Utah Territority (July 2019)

3 Winners Receive A Copy
Begins July 10
Ends August 9 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing to facilitate a review. Giveaway winners' copies will be provided and shipped directly to the winners by the publisher.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Book of Comforts: Genuine Encouragement for Hard Times by Kaitlin Wernet, Rebecca Faires, Cymone Wilder, Caleb Faires

My thoughts:  The idea of a book of comforts, or rather readings of several author's thoughts,  dealing with comforting one in various stages of life is quite appealing. So I was looking forward to this book as a treasure for myself, family, or perhaps to share with a friend.

I am sure the publishers and editors felt that the staid color - deep grey - of the cover with its elegant design would add to a calming, comforting ambiance. After all, for centuries our Bibles have mostly been bound in black covers. The Bible is the chief source of printed comfort.

And then the interior with its very staid coloration and sparse pictures done in muted shades, while surely has a calming effect, it is somewhat lacking in an uplifting visual experience.

Now the actual text is done by four authors and the scope of The Book of Comforts is "Genuine Encouragement for Hard Times." I found that the authors are drawing from their own personal experience and the comfort they have from Scripture for their experiences.

I chose to review this book because I and my family are going through a very dark place emotionally in these past weeks, months, and yes few years. We are already drawing on God's strength and support and have found Him to be the comfort we seek in the dark hours of the night of this life experience.

The section "Comfort in Dark Places" begins......
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. —Psalm 63:6-8
It continues.....
For those of us who rest in Christ, the darkest hours and the stillest silence are but the shadow of His wings over us. There, think on Him, sing to Him, cling to Him. He does not leave us but brings us help. He upholds the restless the weary, and the downtrodden. Keep watch, wait, and remember Christ, your "very present help in time of trouble."
So while I might have designed the cover a mite differently and colored the pages somewhat more colorful, the softness and gentle colors don't really detract and perhaps they actually let the weight of the words of comfort speak more forcefully to our souls.

A good book to have around, to share, to read from time to time.

About the book: When someone is grieving, what should we say? How can we help? How do we comfort without offering shallow platitudes? In times of sorrow Scripture beckons us to look up and out, because our help comes from the Lord. The Book of Comforts stands in the gap between suffering and hope, offering readers the abiding comfort found in Scripture.

The Book of Comforts is a beautiful four-color book of readings that offer biblical consolation and encouragement in seasons of trial and grief. Scripture selections are accompanied by brief devotions, alongside designed Scripture passages and photography.

Grief, loss, and pain are significant and unavoidable parts of the human experience, but they’re often overlooked or minimized. In moments of heartache and challenges we either crumble or we discover the richness of God's love. Scripture deals plainly and honestly with suffering and simultaneously points people the rich hope we find in God.

The Book of Comforts:

  • Offers long-term comfort in a beautiful and inviting format
  • Designed to be accessible to a wide audience
  • Visually attractive and engaging
  • Scripturally focused

The Book of Comforts offers a meaningful way to walk through hurt, heartache, challenges and difficulty, aided by the truth of God's Word. It is a beautiful and comforting gift for those in hard places—because though we don't always know what to say, the gift of divine consolation is always helpful.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimntary copy from the BookLook Blogger Review program to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

A RELUCTANT BRIDE (Bride Ships #1) by Jody Hedlund [Giveaway]

My thoughts:  Jody Hedlund has begun the new Bride Series with an in depth look at the poverty and tragedies that existed in London during 1862. There was the wealthy class and there was the poor. The poor who lived desperate lives without adequate clothing, food, shelter.

Mercer Wilkins was one of the poor. Her family lived crammed into a slum. At age 10 the children were often thrust out of the home and onto the streets to make it on their own or they had to go live in the "workhouse" where they were systematically starved and worked to death.

Then Mercy had the opportunity to board one of the Bride Ships and leave London and go to a new country, the new colonies of British Columbia on the Western side of what is now Canada. The story of the trip aboard the aging ship is a compelling read. The characters, the circumstances, the storms, the conditions all beautifully fleshed out in words that imprint themselves firmly in the reader's mind for their haunting clarity and desperate cry to be heard.

But the story doesn't end on board the ship at sea, it continues after they land in Columbia and the young women are exposed to the cheers and leers of the hundreds of waiting men who want a bride. Today we can hardly comprehend the situation with which these women were faced.

Again, Jody Hedlund makes history and specific parts of it come alive. Imprints the people and their situations firmly in our hearts and minds. She shows us the humanity of the characters. The good guys and those whose personalities leave much to be desired. She weaves a gentle romance into this beautiful story showing us that the heart can often win out and love can bloom no matter how fierce the storm of life into which we are thrust.

I totally enjoyed reading A RELUCTANT BRIDE and can highly recommend it.

About the book: Living in London's poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she's offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship's surgeon, he's in charge of the passengers' welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

Begins July 7
Ends July 30 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Any opinions expressed are mine and are freely given.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Lighting the way with refreshing scents and all done naturally - Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Soy Candles [Review & Giveaway]

What do you do to relax, refresh, renew, and draw from inner strength that you need on a daily basis?


There are various methods used to help one relax. Let's list a few.....

  • Take a nice bath
  • Listen to lovely music
  • Sip a refreshing cup of tea
  • Dim the lights and light a candle to flicker a glow of softness over your space
  • Enjoy a gentle fragrance
  • Pray
  • Sing

We all have our own methods. We all have our moments when we need to step aside from the noise and conflict of the day. We all have a need to renew our inner strength.

And today I lit a lovely Vanilla candle from Good Earth Beauty Exclusives. This all natural soy candle has a very light scent. Burns clean. Emits a soft glow.

I placed it in my kitchen area of the great room. Its just sitting there doing its bit of loveliness. Emitting its little glow. Wafting its gentle scent.

You can place it on the edge of your bath to glow and help you relax as you soak away your tensions.

Recently, my days, nights, weeks, and months have been filled with tensions. Tensions hard to escape. I've done all of the items listed above - even sung during the wee hours of the night.

Comfort can be gleaned in a variety of ways. Strength can be renewed. Joy can be found.

Go ahead sing. Go ahead, soak in that bath of frothy fragrance. Go ahead, light that gentle candle and realize that there is a light for you to lift, comfort, and guide.


Our 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 Find it - click here

Free of:  parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors
Made in small batches in the USA by Good Earth Beauty $13.00 each

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 don't have to wait to see if you win the giveaway. You can order your own products and  offers a nice DISCOUNT  CODE - SKINCARE10 which nets you 10% discount. And as always, FREE SHIPPING in USA.

2 Winners - Each 1 Candle
(Surprise scent by Good Earth Beauty)
Begins July 7
Ends August 6 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty or its publicist.

Don’t Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean By Marty Machowski, illustrated by Craig MacIntosh

"Unless you see that you have a problem, you don’t think you need a solution." -Marty  Machowski" author of "Don't Blame the Mud"

Retail Price: $15.99
ISBN 978-1948130967
Religion / Christian Life / Children

My thoughts: This well-drafted picture book clearly articulates the gospel helping parents create an environment of confession so kids can own up to their own mistakes in the freedom of Christ.

Max is our lead character and he is shadowed by a lurking companion - MUD. Max is dressed in navy blue pants, a white dress shirt, and a red necktie. He carries his backpack because he has been to school and is now on the way home .

First of all, Max must be enrolled in a private school or one of the few public schools that have stringent dress codes. He is dressed in his school uniform. But whether he is in uniform or casually attired in jeans, shorts, and/or shirt, he is still an active boy that tends to get in the dirt.

The author uses a dirt or mud aspect as representative of sin that lurks all around. The dirt of sin rubs off on us making us soiled. Can't wash that type of soil off in the laundry. Max's parents explain to him the problem of sin and the solution is Christ helping him own up to his own mistakes.

The entire gospel presentation is spot on Biblically sound.

The illustrations, though, left me somewhat wondering who the book's audience is intended to be. Boys the age that Max appears to be in the story - based on size - would not traipse through the mud, splashing, getting dirty. They would get muddy, dirty, grass stained playing ball in a field, fishing, hiking, etc. So I'm thinking that Max should have been a bit younger looking child.

I felt that Max's parents approached the subject of his soiling his clothes and hiding the evidence a bit intimidating and overbearing. Surely a gentler, less formidable manner would have resulted in the same outcome.

I have reviewed several of Marty Machowski's books and found each to be exceptionally well done and Biblically sound. Don't Blame the Mud while good, and Biblically sound, just doesn't quite meet what I have come to expect from Mr. Machowski's publications.

I still recommend the book because it is Biblically sound and children do need to learn that they can't blame a situation or the mud of life for things going wrong. They need to learn that they can be cleaned of their sin by Christ. I don't see this book appealing to non-Christian audiences so distribution would be limited to Christian households, church library, and  Christian schools.

About the book: Marty Machowski helps parents talk to their children about temptations, choices and consequences.

For young readers and families, Don’t Blame the Mud paints a vivid and accurate picture of sin and God’s plan of redemption. Written by best-selling children’s author Marty Machowski, this beautifully illustrated picture book teaches children how to recognize the lure of temptation and the truth that bad choices lead to bad consequences.

One day, Max takes the muddy path along the creek home, disregarding his mother’s reminder to keep his school clothes clean. After crashing into a mud puddle, he tries to hide his mistake and discovers the stain of his sin goes deeper than the mud he can wash away. In this lovable, relatable, and heartwarming tale, Max learns his heart needs to be cleaned, and Jesus is the only one who can wash away his sin.

By clearly articulating the gospel, Don’t Blame the Mud helps parents create an environment of confession so kids can own up to their own mistakes—in the freedom of Christ—rather than place the blame elsewhere. Parents, teachers, and caretakers can help children identify with the real-life draw of temptation and the real-life consequences of sin, understanding the value of God’s salvation through the cross. Instead of teaching kids how to deal with a problem, Machowski uncovers the real issue of sin and provides a gospel answer.

About the author: Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for thirty years. Machowski leads Promise Kingdom, the gospel-centered children’s ministry of Covenant Fellowship.

He is the author of numerous resources for churches and families, including The Gospel Story for Kids series, The Ology, and Parenting First Aid. His latest release is the children’s picture book, Don’t Blame the Mud.

Machowski and his wife, Lois reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania. They have six children and two grandchildren. He is also the Executive Editor for Children’s Resources at New Growth Press.

Learn more at He can also be found on Twitter (@MartyMachowski).

About the illustrator: Craig MacIntosh was a newspaper political cartoonist and illus­trator for 22 years and the artist for the widely published comic strip Sally Forth. He and his wife, Linda, live in Minne­sota and have two grown children.

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

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Merlot Sunrise Serum - A natural skincare antioxidant that is made in USA [Review & Giveaway]

The Merlot Sunrise Serum is the newest product to launch in the Merlot line. 

This is a light, refreshing serum that I find a joy to use. 

Since 2001 Merlot Skin Care has developed gentle, good-for-you beauty products, each packed with the sensational power of natural grape seed antioxidants. 

My skincare includes using serums, moisturizers, oils, eye creams. Sometimes I indulge in a spritz of Rosewater for refreshment. Today we're talking serums - and specifically the new-to-market Merlot Sunrise Serum.

Now I use my face serums to do two things. First, of course, is for the benefit to my skin; and the various serums produce different effects simply because they consist of different main ingredients. Most all of them help protect against environmental contaminants, help reduce the appearance of lines, and some even help dark spots to lighten. Merlot Sunrise Serum uses natural grape seed antioxidants as its main active ingredient. (If you check the Merlot skincare line website, you'll see that their focus is on the use of grape seed antioxidants in all of their products.)

My second use is my own personal "spa" massage. I literally massage the serum into my skin. I focus on my temples, forehead, jaw line, nasal bridge, between eyes, and crows feet areas. I apply a firm, upward rotating massage with my splayed fingers. I thoroughly believe this helps me to relax, relieves tension, and massages the lymph system to aid in drainage. I just feel this is good for me. I even do this more than once a day when I have a headache or a particularly stressful day. This will work with most any serum.

It works well with the Merlot Sunrise Serum because it in itself is refreshing, a light hint of "fresh air" scent, and literally feels good on my skin.

The recommended use is twice daily - morning and evening - on cleansed skin. Then followed by moisturizer. I am totally enjoying this lovely serum.

How is Merlot Sunrise Serum different from a Vitamin C serum?

Both Vitamin C serums and Merlot Sunrise Serum employ powerful antioxidants.  Vitamin C tends to focus on fading and preventing dark spots.  Merlot Sunrise Serum features concentrated resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps protect skin against environmental damage.  It also works to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Additionally Merlot Sunrise Serum contains two peptides that provide similar benefits to Vitamin A or retinol, improving skin’s appearance in a format that’s gentler and can be used by all skin types.

Sunrise over the city. Time to reach for Merlot Sunrise Serum

How should serums be used in a regular skin care regimen?

Serums can be used any time during the day, but morning and night are typically preferred.  Merlot Sunrise Serum is designed to be applied in the morning, after cleansing, and followed by a hydrating moisturizer (like Merlot Moisturizer).  The serum provides an extra dose of hydration — it can be used all over the face, or in targeted areas that might be prone to dryness. 

All Merlot Skin Care products are made in the USA (in Texas) and are cruelty-free. Find them at

Product information (from (1 fl. oz. $22.00)

Suitable for all skin types, this peptide-based serum helps to boost hydration and diminish visual signs of aging.  Hi-tech peptides deliver anti-aging benefits while acting gently on skin.  With natural grape seed antioxidants and concentrated resveratrol, the formula absorbs quickly and helps reveal firmer skin. Anti-aging. Absorbs quickly. Hydrates & helps reveal firmer skin

 Key ingredients: Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Resveratrol 

A bottle of Merlot Sunrise Serum
Begins July 5
Ends August 4 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Merlot or its representative.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Cuclie Baby Classic Contrast Stitch Cardigan (grey) [Review & Giveaway USA]

What a first-time Mom thinks of this lovely Cuclie Baby Classic Stitch Cardigan in Grey

This is such a beautiful sweater and it’s a perfect fit for growing Baby Caleb!

When I think of the Cucile brand, I think “quality.”

This beautifully constructed sweater is so versatile and the buttons are surprisingly easy to manage on a squirming little eight-month-old! The finely detailed knit stitching is exquisite. It is a dapper addition to any outfit while being flexible and comfortable too.

Baby Caleb has sensitive skin and the soft knitting is gentle on his sensitive skin yet proving perfect for any kind of outing from a casual stroll to more formal occasions. No skin irritation. Just the right amount of warmth. And, of course, that fabulous Cuclie Baby perfection and quality.

The sleeves are easy to roll up and I imagine this sweater will fit him as he gets bigger too, a quality any parent of a growing child will certainly appreciate! I’m so grateful to have this piece handy and will regularly pack it along in our diaper bag.
 —Rebecca, Mom of Baby Caleb

Now let's talk about this little one's fabulous sweater....

🔶It works equally well for boys or girls
🔷Our grey is inspired by Meghan Markle grey.  The color she supposedly painted little Archie’s nursery.
🔶Grey is great because it’s unisex.  Many new parents today are opting for neutrals vs the classic pink & blue
🔷Sweater is super light weight which is perfect for cool summer evenings or air conditioned areas.

Product information (from

A classic cardigan in the softest fabric to provide comfort for your baby. Perfect layering piece, and can elevate any outfit. This gender-neutral grey is perfect for boys and girls. Made of soft Peruvian Pima cotton blended with Modal to create a smooth feel with a nice stretch to the fabric. Materials: 70% Pima, 30% Modal (Price: $54.00) You can find this lovely sweater and so much more at:

On a fun note..... this delightful sweater comes with its own ROMPER and it comes in both the Grey and a lovely Navy. Click here to see it!

1 Grey Sweater in Winner's Size Choice
0-months to 24-months (24-Mo size in limited supply)
Begins July 3
Ends August 2 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a lovely sweater for Baby Caleb to wear so we could share our opinion to you. These are our true thoughts and they are freely given. Winner's sweater/prize will be provided and shipped directly to the winner by Cuclie Baby or its publicist.