Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Review of The Light Keepers

Brief Summary: In "The Light Keepers"  by Mande Matthews the reader is introduced to Astrid and her strange powers and story.

Long Review: Astrid's whole life has been spent running. Her mother and her mother's protector have been trying to keep her safe. Her mother has been trying to teach her to speak. While her mother's protector has been teaching her to fight. The book introduces the character and illuminates the reader to the struggles Astrid will come to face in following books. 

The book is written as a prequel. I found the story bland and strange. There is not much detail as to why she is so special and this makes the book hard to keep coming back to the book. The antagonist in the story is semi-interesting as she encounters him  not in the world she is in. The story just wasn't strong enough to pull me in and this will not be a series I will continue to read.

Rating: 2.5/5

Other works by the author: Bonded

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Color Street Review!

First I am sure you are asking yourself, "what is Color Street?". Color Street is 100% nail polish strips. They are a base, color, and top coat all in one and can be applied with no tools. The strips are very easy to apply and even a child can apply them! 

I was introduced to them by someone I used to work with at Devon. Now I haven't been one in the past to do my nails. I mostly haven't done them because applying nail polish and waiting for it to dry takes so much time. I am very bad at applying polish to my non-dominate hand as well. Color Street solves these problems and they have very cute designs! 

I decided to start selling them because of a few reasons. First, the nail polish is so easy to apply. Second, it will be nice to have a little extra income. Third, I think it is good to have something else to work on to continue learning and developing myself as a person. Color Street helps me feel like I am contributing financially to the family! Fourth, the buy in cost is low and we are encouraged to keep our inventory low and have our clients order directly from our website.

Here is a short video of me applying my nails:

If you are interested in trying a sample please fill out the request form here.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review of Born to Eat by Leslie Schilling and Wendy Jo Peterson

Brief Summary: "Born to Eat"  lays out how easy baby led weaning can be for the whole family. 

Long Review: Baby-led weaning (BLW) is introduced in this book but nutrition for the entire family is also covered. The book reminds the reader how a child mimics what they see and to be a good example for a new eater. The safety of baby-led weaning is addressed, and how to discuss with your pediatrician your decision to follow BLW. The book covers in detail how to cook foods for different stages of eating. I especially appreciated the examples of meals covered in the book. I look forward to cooking the meals and starting Miss A on food with BLW from Born to Eat!

Rating: 4.7/5

Other works by the author:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review of "A Promise to Believe In (The Brides of Gallatin County Book #1) " by Tracie Peterson

Brief Summary: Gwen Gallatin and her sisters have to figure out how to survive after the death of their father in rural Montana. 

Long Review: Gwen, Lacy, and Beth Gallatin have not had easy lives. Their mother died giving birth to a baby brother who also did not survive. The family moved around a lot and finally settled for a spell in rural Montana. The family runs a roadhouse serving the men who come through on the stage lines.

In "A Promise to Believe In" we mainly follow Gwen and her belief that she is cursed. She believes death will follow her as a fortune teller told her when she snuck to she her when she was a child. Death has seemed to follow her wherever her family has gone. The latest death of her husband and father has only further convinced her. Her husband's brother comes looking for items he took when he left the family. Gwen becomes inconsolable due to the lies of her husband. The book follows the search for the missing items and the growing relationship between Gwen and her husband's brother.  Eventually the items are found and the romance between the two end in marriage.

The book was good. I did enjoy it but there was no rush to read. The point of view changed from character to character in the book. The change was sometimes abrupt and I found it difficult to get back into the scene when this happened. The end of the book felt slightly rushed as the villain introduced a source of conflict and then the book wrapped up with a wedding. The end felt as if there was a conclusion to the romance but no conclusion to the conflict. The conflict was not interesting to want me to continue to read the series. 

If you are looking for a quick read about wilds of Montana and do not mind changing point of view this series may be a good read.

Rating: 3/5

Other works by the author: A Love to Last ForeverA Dream to Call My Own, & Many More

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review of "Every Last Kiss" by Courtney Cole

Brief Summary: "Every Last Kiss" recounts the story of Macy Lockhart who is at the mercy of her Fate.

Long Review: The tale begins with Macy Lockhart attempting to get over her cheating boyfriend. Her high school drama turns out to be the least of her worries. A gift appears on her doorstep of a bloodstone and Macy's life begins to unravel. A priest from the organization Macy is a part of has taken it upon himself to let Macy know she can be in charge of her own fate. She is supposed to be a Keeper and help her charge with their important part in history. The priest sends her back to her first life in ancient Egypt as Charmian. Charmian is the handmaid to Cleopatra and must help her with her fate to die to save Egypt. While in Egypt as Charmian, Macy gets to spend time with the love of her life and soulmate, Hasani. The book is spent attempting to keep history intact and Macy/Charmian must go to great lengths to salvage history. 

The book was very interesting. As a YA novel the sexual content is muted. Sex is alluded to and talked about but no graphic descriptions are given. The setting of the book captured my imagination as I have always had a fascination with ancient Egypt. The book concludes with Macy finding her soulmate in her current life. The first book was good enough to keep me coming back for more but I don't think I will be purchasing the other books to continue reading the series.
If you are looking for fantasy series to read with romance, I would recommend the Bloodstone Saga.

Rating: 4/5

Other works by the author: The Bloodstone Saga. Includes Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath, and My Tattered Bonds, House of Thebes,  Soul Kissed (The Moonstone Saga Book 1)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review of Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford

Brief Summary: "Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter" by Nikki Jefford is the first book in a series where we are introduced to Aurora Sky, accidental Vampire Hunter. 

Long Review: The first in a 6+ part series Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter while interesting is not a series I will be reading further. The main character, Aurora Sky, is not a likeable character at first. She seems a little distant from the beginning. Aurora suffers an automobile accident and awakens from her coma on the nearby base in Alaska. She comes to find out in order to save her, her mother has signed her up for a top secret program as a vampire hunter. Aurora is hesitant at first to accept this new responsibility. Over the course of the book she eventually comes to accept her new direction in life. She ends up falling in love with a vampire, but this is acceptable since he doesn't kill people. The book ends on a poor cliff hanger which did not keep me interested. While I would like to see how the relationships develop further between the characters, the pull is not great enough for me to purchase the books. I think this would be a good read for a young teenage girl. 

Rating: 2.7/5

Other works by the author: Northern BitesBad BloodNikki Jefford

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review of Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West

Brief Summary: "Yesterday's Tomorrow" by Catherine West follows the life of Kristin Taylor and her pursuit of a career in journalism during the Vietnam war. 

Long Review: After her father, a journalist, is killed in Vietnam Kristin the oldest of the Taylor's follows in his footsteps and becomes a journalist. Her brother, Teddy, ships out to Vietnam and against the protestations of her mother, Kristin follows to finish the story that got her father killed.

Upon arriving in Vietnam without work or a visa Kristin finds room with Catherine Maddox. Kristin first encounters Luke Maddox, Catherine's, brother when he points a gun at her face because he believes she is an intruder in his apartment. Kristin and Luke get off to a shaky start but with the help of Jonno, Luke's Army driver, they start working together. Luke is a photographer, and Kristin suspects, working for the CIA or the AGENCY. 

The book proceeds with the Luke and Kristin getting into various forms of situations. A romance develops and at first the motives behind it are not pure. Soon love begins to take hold in the most unlikely of places, Hell, as it is called. After a traumatic experience surrounding the loss of a main character for which Kristin feels responsible, she heads home. 

Once home Kristin struggles with readjusting to life. She is experiencing what we now know to be PTSD from her time in Vietnam.  Kristin is also waiting for the return of Luke to the States and heads to Jonno's sister's house as a refuge. Kristin's family eventually turns up to find her and she spends the next few years adjusting to life. 

In the end this book was a very easy read. The writing is very solid and the characters were well developed. The strife and emotion the characters felt was very well examined. The book did seem to have religion interspersed throughout but this did not detract from the reading experience. Overall, I was glad to have read this love story and was glad to be able to learn more about the Vietnam war. 

Rating: 3.7/5

Other works by the author: The Things We KnewThe Memory of You, and Bridge of Faith

Friday, June 23, 2017

Review of Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton

Brief Summary: "Sweet Masterpiece" by Connie Shelton drops the reader into the life of an aspiring professional baker Sam for whom life becomes strange after receiving a wooden box from a client.  

Long Review: Sam is a middle aged aspiring professional baker who hopes to someday open her own shop. Her day job as is to clean properties around the Taos, NM area for the government. At one of her properties she is given a wooden box from a suspected witch who promptly dies. The box seems to give her energy and the ability to see things others can not. The book continues with the discovery of a grave at another property Sam is working on and her second run in with Beau the sheriff. A relationship then develops between Beau and Sam. Sam's grown daughter is thrown back into the mix as well. 

Overall the story seems to be a bit lacking in several areas. As the first book in the series I expected more of Sam's backstory to be setup. The writer did go into some of the details of Sam's life such as age, marital status, and job. It was a surprise when a daughter who had previously lived in California was brought into the storyline. The daughter seems to be a burden on her mother's life and drains her emotionally and financially. There are several times in the book when a scene dramatically shifts and I was taken aback. The author sometimes goes from day to night without a smooth transition or chapter break. 

The book was a good attempt by the author at a book. It was be interesting to see if in the next book and the rest of the series the writing develops by the author. I do not think I will be purchasing an books to continue the series as it did not capture my attention very well.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Absence due to pregnancy

Well, long time no post. Why so long you ask? Well let me just fill you in on the last few months. In October I found out I was pregnant! We had decided to start trying to have a family. We had no idea we would get pregnant the first month we tried. Looking back now I am very glad I decided to drop out of the Route 66 marathon.

My doctor recommends no running while pregnant. I know there are plenty of people who still continue running but I am under her care and am going to follow her recommendations. She wants one foot on the floor during any exercising. I have as far as I can tell completely healed from my foot injury. My exercise routine has changed but not too much. I kept going to the gym. Workouts now include biking, walking, and elliptical. I had been going to the gym with a partner but we both have very busy lives. I cancelled gym membership and have been working out on bike, treadmill, and walking the dog. In an effort to prepare for labor and holding my little one I have started lifting weights again. Nothing to strenuous but I can tell when I have over exerted myself. I am trying to get at least 30 min of activity each day. I have been meeting this most weeks.

My weight gain so far has been about 20 lbs I would say. I haven't gotten too bad of remarks at the doctor about this except for a few weeks where I had severe pelvic discomfort. I became a bit too sedentary with not excessive eating but too many sweets consumed. I heard about it at my next appointment and worked harder for my future appointments. I have been doing better and hope my next appointment is good as well. I have a friend who is pregnant as well and she is walking 2.5 miles a day. She is an inspiration. I am going to try and step it up to make sure I am keeping my weight in check and make labor easier.

I hope to be back here more often in the future. I am going to need something to keep me occupied while I am off with the baby.