Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Time-Saving Mom: How to Juggle a Lot, Enjoy Your Life, and Accomplish What Matters Most by Crystal Paine [Book spotlight & Giveaway]

About the book: 
Crystal Paine's The Time-Saving Mom offers a four-step system to organize and simplify your life so you can maximize your time and invest in what matters most. Learn to enjoy family life more with time-saving hacks and routines, and find spiritual and familial fulfillment even on your busiest days. Make time for God and family today! 

From Crystal herself........
The Time-Saving Mom is basically a download of my best tricks & strategies for doing what you need to do & want to do from a place of rest and joy! In this book, share:

➡️How simplicity is a superpower -- & very practical ways to eliminate decision fatigue in your life
➡️My 6x2 Priority System — it will radically transform the way you approach each day & eliminate so much guilt.
➡️An incredibly easy & foolproof habit-tracking system that breaks down big-picture ideas & ambitions into bite-sized baby steps.
➡️How my hybrid planning system works & how to adapt it for your personality/situation.
➡️All the details on making & sticking with a Time-Blocked To Do List & how it will free you up to get so much more done.
➡️The #1 time-saving tip that starts my day off from a posture of peace -- no matter how much needs to be done!
The Time-Saving Mom was written in the middle of a lot of unexpected extra things in our lives. Right after I committed to writing it, we said yes to adopting David (whom we'd been fostering for a number of months) AND we found out -- much to our shock! -- that I was expecting our fifth biological child.

Buy it on Amazon - click here
Listen or read some of book on Amazon - Click here

Begins February 26
Ends March 26 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: This is a complimentary post at no cost to the author. I have not receive  book or any other compensation. Winner's prize book is provided and mailed directly to the winner by author, publisher, or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel

My thoughts: Set in pre-WWII Ireland on an old estate converted to a boarding school for girls, the story of a lovely young lady who serves as lowest of the lowest as a servant in the school. Laboring from predawn to late at night, young Brianna is the brunt of hateful overlording by other servants and especially the head mistress of Ballymacool.

It is bewildering to her that she is the recipient of such misuse, but she accepts it as her status and knows no other life. Having no parents or other family to whom she can appeal, she does as she is told.

One of the boarders is a mischievous girl from a local, influential family. They send her grown, male cousin to Ballymacool to stay for awhile to try and get to the root of the girl's troubles. While there, he meets young servant, Brianna, and is appalled at her treatment. To further compound the girl's distress, she is injured during a storm and must heal before reassuming her responsibilities.

The story goes forth from there and is a true rags to riches story. I enjoyed reading this book and found it interesting in its portrayal of the abuse of the servant class in Ireland in the 1930s. The romance is sweet. The mystery surrounding Brianna and Ballymacool interesting.

About the book: Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Adventures of the Flash Gang: The Exploding Experiment by M.M. Downing & S.J. Waugh [Book spotlight & giveaway]

The first in a trilogy in which a street orphan and his ragtag crew valiantly foil a pro-Nazi plot in 1935 Pittsburgh

ISBN: 9781646033225

(Raleigh, NC) Delightfully Dickensian in spirit, The Adventures of the Flash Gang: The Exploding Experiment packs clever twists and ever-rising stakes into a perfectly-paced middle-grade novel. The Adventures of the Flash Gang is a bright flare of fun, a throwback gangster caper with irresistible kid sleuths, and loads of page-turning action.

About the Book:
That brief, blinding dazzle? The blue smudge and lingering stink? The Flash Gang has struck again! They are the most notorious thieves in Pittsburgh, food-stealing crooks the police and newspapers say are highly trained and very dangerous. But eleven-year-old Lewis Carter isn’t a thief; he’s just homeless and hungry. The flash is a recipe he invented from bits of his missing father’s scientific research. He uses it to pinch his dinners. It’s been going pretty well until now…Now his recipe is stolen, and he is in the clutches of nasty people. Enter tutu-wearing, starry-eyed, and all-around extraordinary (she will tell you) Pearl Alice Clavell. She is on a mission to uncover a Nefarious Deed she’s convinced involves the Flash Gang. Rescuing Lewis is right up her alley.

The truth is, a Nefarious Deed is afoot, one that threatens the entire country. It will take Lewis and Pearl joining forces to save the recipe and themselves against an enemy who will stop at nothing, including kidnapping and, very possibly, murder.

About the Authors: M.M. Downing & S.J. Waugh joined forces to write the sort of stories they loved reading when they were ten. They also write books for teens and grownups, but that’s for another day. You can learn more about them and The Adventures of The Flash Gang here:

Begins February 23
Ends March 19 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this post. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by MMPublicity, publisher, or author. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

All Through the Night: Important Jobs that Get Done at Night by Polly Dunbar | Ages 2-5 [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

My thoughts: 
We don't live in a 9-5:00 work world and much work that is vital is done throughout the day and night. The sun may set, but work still continues on through the dark night hours. In All Through the Night: Important Jobs that Get Done at Night the young child can see how adults work while the child sleeps and how they do the important jobs at night as well as during the day.

Bright, highly detailed illustrations show the continuous hustle and bustle of night. The story explores with brief text a wide variety of jobs that carry on during the night hours. For those families with a parent whose work involves night work, this will be invaluable in helping the child understand the multifaceted work of night. For other children, it will help them learn that while they sleep others are keeping the world safe, clean, fed, etc. 

About the book: This beautifully illustrated picture book showcases the workers that keep a city running all through the night and make it ready for the new day.

The sky is getting dark. In the city, a little girl is eating her dinner, brushing her teeth, and getting ready for bed. Meanwhile, her mother is putting on her coat and getting ready to go to work. Where is she going and who will she see along the way? As the night goes on, readers will see nurses, cleaners, delivery workers, doctors, police officers, journalists, and many other workers who help keep the city running all through the night.
Begins February 22
Ends March 17  @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA
NO P.O. Boxes
Canadian winners must provide Phone number
DISCLOSURE: I receive a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Forged In Love (Wyoming Sunrise #1) by Mary Connealy [Review & Giveaway]

When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?

My thoughts:  Mary Connealy has packed an exciting western frontier story with danger, romance, a winsome and protective dog, and women's rights all enveloped in her trademark witty style. This light hearted read is welcome in a world where there is so much darkness.

The story begins with a bullets-flying stagecoach robbery and ends with a daring rescue. Centered around a woman, Mariah, working as a blacksmith and a man, Clint, working as a fancy chef in his own restaurant and fluffed out with a borrowed dog whose big heart saves the day more than once.

Mary's books usually come in series of three. There were three young ladies in Forged In Love. I'm assuming one of these ladies will be the main lead in book two. I can hardly wait.

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

About the book: Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she's riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father's blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering--does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?

Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.

Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?


Begins February 16
Ends March 14 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and sent directly to the winner by author or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham

ISBN: 9781636094724

My thoughts:
It isn't often that I put a book aside unfinished, but sadly I just couldn't garner the interest at this time to finish The Cairo Curse. Perhaps another day. 

I found Lady Astley, "Grace," to be a frivolous young lady whose mind was so filled with the fictional books she has read that each and every action and reaction was wrapped with a connection or like action/reaction in a fictional story. It seemed that virtually every paragraph referenced some book or other. While this was the character and trait of this specific character as drawn by the book's author for this specific book series, I found a bit less would have been better.

Will I finish the book at a later date? I may because the story is not a total loss, but it is not one I'm drawn to either.

I look forward to future works by author Pepper Basham and think she most likely has some very good stories to give the world. I rate this ⭐⭐⭐because it has potential.

About the Book: Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?

The Cairo’s Curse is a delightful sequel to The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham in the Freddie and Grace Mystery series, but can also be read as a standalone novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review

Friday, February 3, 2023

Welcome to the Museum books: 1) Historium & 2) Anatomicum [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Historium Welcome to the Museum by Jo Nelson

ISBN: 9780763679842
US $37.99 / CAN $49.99

My thoughts: 
As with other books in the "Welcome to the Museum" series, Historium is packed with wonderfully illustrated information that will capture reader's attention and hold it.

Historium looks at artifacts gleaned from archeological sites across our Earth and has them divided by civilizations or peoples and time-lines. I found it interesting to see a two-page spread timeline that pictures artifacts through the ages. It is interesting to see some similarities that existed in separate cultures and to compare skill and artistry through the ages.

A welcome book to the home, school, or public library. My suggested ages: Grades 3 - 9.

About the book: Discover more than 160 exhibits in this virtual museum, open all hours.

Welcome to the museum! There are more than 160 historical artifacts to be discovered in Welcome to the Museum: Historium. Wander the galleries of this museum whenever you wish—it’s open 365 days a year!—and discover a collection of curated objects on every page, accompanied by informative text. Each chapter features a different ancient civilization, from the Silla dynasty of Korea to ancient Rome.

Anatomicum (Welcome To The Museum) by Jennifer Z Paxton

ISBN: 9781536215069
US $37.99 / CAN $49.99

My thoughts: 
This is a beautifully and accurately illustrated volume which older children may learn details of the human body. I think it is designed for the middle school age child and has limited, but adequate, text about each of the body's parts. The full body is display as well as intricately drawn smaller sections such as hands, skin, nerves, organs, etc. 

For parents information I will  mention that the human body is fully shown as well as internal arrangement body parts. 

As with each of the "Welcome to the Museum" series books, this is a large format book, is highly informative, of lasting value for the home, school, or public library. My suggested age range: Grades 3-9.

Amazon ranks: 
#4 in Medical Atlases (Books)
#58 in Children's Anatomy Books
#304 in Basic Medical Sciences

About the book: Welcome to the museum that is always open to explore... Step inside the pages of Anatomicum to enjoy the experience of a museum from the comfort of your own home. The 2019 offering from Welcome to the Museum guides readers through the human body, from the muscles we use to show emotion, to the delicate workings of the brain. With sumptuous artwork by Katy Wiedemann and expert text by professor Dr Jennifer Z Paxton, this beautiful book is a feast of anatomical knowledge.

2 Books, 1 Winner
Begins February 4
Ends March 1 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses
NO P.O.BOXES. Phone required 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Book prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Good Earth Beauty Exclusives©️ all natural & vegan Lip Balm Made in USA [Review & Giveaway]

There is a saying that "As the days get longer, the cold gets stronger," and we see that is a truism because often we see our coldest most brutal weather in January and February and even to mid-March.

That cold, icy, windy weather wreaks havoc on our skin and especially our lips. They get chapped, rough, split. We need rescue strength help but not necessarily "medical strength."

Find large selection of Good Earth Beauty Lip Balms

We need the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives all natural and vegan lip balms. I've told my readers how much I truly love these little sticks of lip balm. There are several "scents" or "flavors" that are favorites of mine and enough variety that most anyone can find his or her favorite.

Today we're looking at "new-to-me" flavors "Coffee Bean," Cinnamon Bun," and "Espresso" that will add that pick-me-up zest to your day. And as you read on, you'll also have the opportunity to win 3 lip balms of your choice for yourself.

LIP BALM -  NATURAL VEGAN Gift Set - set of 3 - Coffee Bean, Cinnamon Bun, Espresso... 

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

Lip Balm Natural Vegan set of 3 fun, original scents - coffee beans, cinnamon bun, espresso. Made by Good Earth Beauty $15.00/set
Ingredients: Meadowfoam oil, olive oil, avocado butter, candellia wax, vitamin E, natural flavor oil

So many fun, original scents that you may choose from - Coffee Bean, Espresso, Cinnamon Bun, Chocolate Mint, Day At the Beach, Pina Colada, Candy Hearts, Honey Almond, Bubble Gum, Coconut, Candy Cane Mint, Chocolate Mint, Vanilla Mint, Vanilla Marshmallow, Jelly Beans, Candy Corn, Apple Pie, Frosted Gingerbread, Pink Lemonade, Strawberry, Sugar Cookie, Vanilla Lemon Cupcake or Pumpkin Pie! Made by Good Earth Beauty Price: $6.25 each. Also, several sets-of-3 at a savings.

Shop Good Earth Beauty
10% off with Discount Code: VERA10

3 GEB Lip Balms "Winner's Choice" for 1 Winner
Begins February 1
Ends February 24 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty Exclusives or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.