Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Penguin Christmas Classics Book Review



I have a collection of 5 Christmas books that are classics that Penguin Classics has released in these beautiful new covers that will delight you and your family. They would make awesome Christmas gifts for anyone who loves to read about Christmas or has a favorite Christmas Classic!
The first one is A Merry Christmas written by Louisa May Alcott:
A Merry Christmas collects the treasured holiday tales of Louisa May Alcott, from the dearly familiar Yuletide benevolence of Marmee and her “little women” to the timeless “What Love Can Do,” wherein the residents of a boarding house come together to make a lovely Christmas for two poor girls.  
Wildly popular at the time of their publication—readers deluged Alcott with letters demanding sequels—and drawing on Alcott’s family and experiences in the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements, these stories have the authentic texture and detail of Christmas in nineteenth-century America, while their emphasis on generosity and charity make them timeless embodiments of the Christmas spirit.
My take:

If you love feel good books, then this one will definitely make you smile. It's all about kindness and doing things that will make your heart feel good!


The 2nd book is Christmas At Thompson Hall written by Anthony Trollope:
Christmas at Thompson Hall brings together the best of the Christmas stories of Anthony Trollope, one of the most successful, prolific, and respected English novelists of the nineteenth century. Characterized by insightful, psychologically rich, and sometimes wryly humorous depictions of the middle class and gentry of Victorian England—and inspired occasionally by missives in the “lost letter” box of the provincial post office that Trollope ran—these tales helped to enshrine the traditions of the decorated Christmas tree, the holiday turkey, and the giving of store-bought gifts.  
Today, they open a window onto a time when carolers filled the streets and each house’s door displayed a wreath of evergreen boughs, a time at once distant and yet startlingly familiar.
My Take:

You will love all the stories in this book. They are about love and Christmas and how each person found the spirit of Christmas within themselves and others.


3rd book is called The Night Before Christmas written by Nikolai Gogol:
Written in 1831 by the father of Russian literature, this uproarious tale tells of the blacksmith Vakula’s battle with the devil, who has stolen the moon and hidden it in his pocket, allowing him to wreak havoc on the village of Dikanka.  
Both the devil and Vakula are in love with Oksana, the most beautiful girl in Dikanka. Vakula is determined to win her over; the devil, equally determined, unleashes a snowstorm to thwart Vakula’s efforts. Zany and mischievous, and drawing inspiration from the folk tales of Gogol’s far-flung village in Ukraine, The Night Before Christmas is the basis for many movie and opera adaptations, and is still read aloud to children on Christmas Eve in Ukraine and Russia.
My Take:

This book was my favorite because it is a battle with the devil who also wants the same woman that a man wants. It is full of some good laughs that all will enjoy! A must read for everyone!


4th book is the timeless A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens: 
First published on December 19, 1843, A Christmas Carol was an instant classic: Londoners thronged to hear Dickens read it in person and bought out the first printing in days. Its reception was so ecstatic that it is credited with helping to revive interest among the Victorians in Christmas traditions, including caroling and holiday cards, as well as inciting an unexpected wave of charitable giving from Britain’s Industrial Age robber barons.  
Originally conceived as a pamphlet against exploitative capitalism before taking its current form, it has inspired dozens of theatrical and movie adaptions, and its characters, from Scrooge to Tiny Tim, are forever inscribed in our hearts and minds.
My Take:

It's definitely not Christmas without this book! Where would all the fun be without this story at Christmas? It's a great story to illustrate what Christmas is really all about. And who wants to forget Scrooge, anyway?

 
Finally, the last book is The Nutcracker written by E.T.A. Hoffmann: 
Written in 1816 by one of the leaders of German Romanticism for his children, nephews, and nieces, The Nutcracker captures better than any other story a child’s wonder at Christmas. The gift of a handsomely decorated nutcracker from a mysterious uncle sets the stage for a Christmas Eve like no other for the little girl Marie. That night, Marie’s extraordinary present comes to life, defends her from the taunting Mouse King, and whisks her off to the Kingdom of Dolls.  
The inspiration for the classic ballet, E. T. A. Hoffmann’s irresistible tale of magic and childhood adventure continues to captivate readers of all ages. Today, many of the most enchanting symbols of Christmas, from nutcrackers to sugar plums to mistletoe, are still imbued with the power of this story.
My Take:

Of course, we definitely can't do without this classic! It's been beloved for many years and plays along with musicals have been made about this timeless story that delights families every single year! It most definitely would not be Christmas without this one around.

Give the gift of literature during the year & especially for Christmas.

Penguin Christmas Classics honor the power of literature to keep on giving through the ages. The five volumes in the series are not only our most beloved Christmas tales, they also have given us much of what we love about the holiday itself. A Christmas Carol revived in Victorian England such Christmas hallmarks as the Christmas tree, holiday cards, and caroling. The Yuletide yarns of Anthony Trollope popularized throughout the British Empire and around the world the trappings of Christmas in London. The holiday tales of Louisa May Alcott shaped the ideal of an American Christmas. The Night Before Christmas brought forth some of our earliest Christmas traditions as passed down through folk tales. And The Nutcracker inspired the most famous ballet in history, one seen by millions in the twilight of every year.

Beautifully designed—with foil-stamped jackets, decorative endpapers, and nameplates for personalization—and printed in a small trim size that makes them perfect stocking stuffers, Penguin Christmas Classics embody the spirit of giving that is at the heart of our most time-honored stories about the holiday.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop 2014**Closed**


 
Hosted by Bookhounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
 
Welcome to the Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop
& Mary's Cup of Tea!
 
I have a book that is a collection of Amish Christmas stories written by Cindy Woodsmall called Christmas in Apple Ridge, it's a collection of 3 stories that I thought you would like to read. This is a print copy book and opened in the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!
 
Don't forget to follow the Linky List to enter other blogger's book giveaways!
 
1.) Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall (click to read about the book from my review)
 

Christmas Past Book Review


 
I have a really special book to share with you today called Christmas Past written by Sharyn McCrumb.
 
Synopsis:
When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when the new owners decide to stay in their summer home through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls.  Nora agrees to help sort things out, and is drawn into a time and place she never expected to revisit.  
Meanwhile, Sheriff Spencer Arrowood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As the officers attempt to do their duty, it begins to look like they may spend Christmas away from home.  
In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits the mountains we call home, the folk we call family, and a familiar message that there is more to this world than the eye can see... especially at Christmastime.
My Review:

What a book this was to read! It's a great mystery in the spirit of Christmas and it will become one of your favorite stories to share at this special time of year.

Nora really is a good person and she just wants to help the new people who bought the Honeycutt's old house. She decides to give them some advice on gardening because the Honeycutt's garden used to be so beautiful and Nora would love to see it restored.

Of course, she is a little nervous about butting in and her friend, Jane Arrowood is not so sure she should offer her services. Even one of the other ladies who lives there named Shirley is hounding Nora not to do it but for different reasons.

She claims the house is haunted!

You will love reading this awesome book and will want to share it with your family and friends. It's a great book to share as it has no foul language and is good for young adults to read.

Happy Reading!
About the Author:
 
Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, including the New York Times best sellers The Ballad of Tom Dooley, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, and Ghost RidersNora Bonesteel's Christmas Past, releasing in October 2014 by Abingdon Press, is McCrumb's first Christmas novella in the Ballad series.
 
McCrumb was recently awarded the Mary Hobson Literary Prize for Southern Literature by North Carolina’s Chowan University. She has been named “Best Mountain Writer” by Blue Ridge Country Magazine and a “Virginia Woman of History” by the Library of Virginia. In 2006, she was a guest author at the National Festival of the Book in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the White House. McCrumb’s other honors include the AWA Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature Award and AWA’s Best Appalachian Novel, the Chaffin Award for Southern Literature, and the Plattner Award for Short Story.
 
McCrumb has presented programs and workshops at universities, libraries, and other organizations throughout the US and abroad. She lives and writes in the Virginia Blue Ridge, less than a hundred miles from where her family settled in 1790 in the Smoky Mountains that divide North Carolina and Tennessee.
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

Undercover Cat Book Review



I have another book in the cat mysteries called Undercover Cat written by Patricia Fry. This is the 4th book in the series and it's just as hilarious as all the others!

Synopsis:
A popular local journalist goes missing just before she has the opportunity to turn in her story exposing unscrupulous cat hoarders. Not only is Colbi a friend of Savannah and Michael Ivey, Damon (now out of prison and employed by the local newspaper) has a strong personal interest in her. In fact, Damon breaks some rules and some trusts in his search for Colbi.  
Is this a love connection? It’s doubtful because Colbi is a strong advocate for the feral cat population and Damon hates cats—or so he believes. Will a kitten in need change his heart?  
Colbi’s rescue is almost too late. She needs time to heal both physically and emotionally. So the Iveys invite her to recuperate in their home. Just when Colbi begins to feel safe, a body is discovered in the Iveys’ orchard and Rags (their kleptomaniac cat) goes missing.  
Can someone in a nearby homeless camp shed some light on the evolving mystery? Does Rags have a secret of his own? 
My Review:

These Klepto Cat Mysteries are really awesome to read and they are for all ages, which makes them a great book to give to anyone who loves reading mysteries and loves animals. It's like getting a twofer for the price of one!

This latest mystery involves a man who looks like Dracula and he murdered a homeless woman named Beverly and Rags, the Klepto Cat, is bringing home clues.

Like I said, it's a murder mystery but a clean one that I think anyone would enjoy reading and not have to worry about really bad language or too graphic crime scenes popping up to scare you or your young adults.

Rags, the Klepto Cat, is the hero of the book, just as he should be!

Happy Reading!

About the Author: 
 
Patricia Fry is the author of 37 books (and counting), including "Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author," "Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author," "Talk Up Your Book, How to Sell Your Book Through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences and More" and "Catscapades, True Cat Tales." She started her writing career in 1973 and had her first book published by a New York publisher five years later. She established her own publishing company, Matilija Press, in 1983, before it was fashionable or even convenient.
 
Patricia supported herself for many years by writing magazine articles, and currently spends most of her time working with other authors on their projects. She is the executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network), a networking organization for anyone interested in or involved in publishing.
 
Her interests, outside of writing and publishing, include grandchildren, her kitty cats, travel, gardening and her daily meditation walk.
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

When Mercy Rains Book Review



Well, it looks like Kim Vogel Sawyer has written once again a really awesome new book called When Mercy Rains!

Synopsis:
She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.
 
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.

Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.   

Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.

Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?
My Review:

You are really going to love reading this book! It has everything in it starting with a romance gone wrong 20 something years ago and one of the lovers left town in shame, ever to return. It's a shame that people don't sit down and talk things out before they make such life altering changes in their life.

Suzanne has kept a secret for quite awhile and when Paul sees Alexa, he wonders if she is his daughter and confronts Suzanne about it. It's not what Paul or her mother thought at all and the shock will definitely be confusing!

Suzanne returns back to Indiana, but for how long and will she come back to her hometown in Kansas and rekindle the love she felt for Paul? She will definitely have to come back some time as Alexa had decided to stay and help her grandmother.

Happy Reading!

About the Author: 
 
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives in central Kansas where she and her retired military husband, Don, enjoy spoiling their ten granddarlings.

Disclaimer:  "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." It did not affect my review of the book in any way.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

Attract Your Ideal Weight Book Review


 
I have a different kind of book to share with you guys today called Attract Your Ideal Weight written by Zaheen Nanji.
 
Synopsis:
What would life be like if you no longer struggled with your weight? What if you could look good, feel good, and most importantly, end the mind chatter about your weight and how you look! With these revolutionary insights to weight loss, you can! And best of all, you can kiss dieting goodbye forever.  
No matter what sort of history you have with weight gain and dieting, you can attract your ideal weight. And it s easier than you might imagine. If you want to stop struggling with your weight and start attracting your ideal body instead, this is the book you've been waiting for. This book is NOT based on a diet or exercise program. It dives into the behavior changes and mind set of people who have been successful and provides real life experiences of people who have lost weight and maintained their ideal weight. It reveals the 8 secrets to attracting your ideal weight and includes inspiring success stories, helpful self-assessment questions and fun food experiments.  
This print book now has a Daily Intentions Journal included so you can easily attract your ideal weight.
What you will discover in the book:
  • Understand how motivation may be keeping you from achieving your weight goal
  • Discover 6 ways to end your struggle with weight
  • Gain 5 tools to change your relationship with food forever 

  • My Review:

    This book is more of a self help book that helps you deal with distractions and bad behavior in you life that can lead down some dangerous paths, including eating too much and gaining weight. I think these lessons are good for just about anything you have an obsession with, especially if you over indulge in whatever your vice is, such as eating, drinking, gambling, dating, etc.


    Please be aware that there are no recipes, diet plans or anything of that nature in this book. It's more like a pep talk or rally to get you to understand why you are eating what you eat and to give you some extra tools to use in addition to whatever diet you go on.

    This approach may not be for everyone, but for those of you who like self help books, this will be one to read if you are also trying to lose some extra weight.

    Happy Reading!
     
    About the Author: 
     
    People who don't know Zaheen's background sometimes assume that achieving success was easy for her. That couldn't be further from the truth. She grew up in Kenya, East Africa, and moved to Canada at the age 15 without her parents. Suddenly immersed in a different land and culture, Zaheen taught herself to triumph over fears and use obstacles as stepping stones because she had one more thing to overcome - her speech impediment!

    Zaheen stuttered from the age 5 and sometimes it still crops up, but she has conquered that fear and is now a professional speaker. Her family still lives in Kenya, but she lives with her husband and daughter in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada.

    "Unlock the Power of You" is her first co-authored book and she is now writing her memoir to be released soon. She has recently published her own e-book - Attract Your Ideal Weight: 8 Secrets of People Who Lose Weight and Keep it off. Zaheen hosts a radio show on blog talk radio called. "Fat to Thin: Attract Your Ideal Weight."

    Zaheen also co-owns Shanti Wellness Centre with her husband who is a full-time massage therapist.

    Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    A Dream of Home Book Review



    I have a new Amish book to share with all of you called A Dream of Home written by Amy Clipston.

    Synopsis:
    When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community—and a special man—who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.
    Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiancĂ© a year ago—but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one. 
    Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His eleven-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community—and married another man—but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own. 
    But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they—and everybody else—have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?
    My Review:

    This is another heartwarming story set in the Lancaster Grand Hotel where Madeline works after losing her fiancé. She used to live in California and wasn't Amish so this is an adjustment for her.

    Of course, Saul is not in the mood for courting either as his wife had left him, so Madeline doesn't have to worry about him in the beginning. But, his daughter, Emma is the one hoping and praying that something will happen between them.

    Because of their different cultures, Madeline isn't sure and several other people are wondering the same thing. After much prodding from Emma and a helping hand from fate, Saul and Madeline spend time together and that is the beginning of something that Emma has always dreamed of.

    Hopefully, Saul nor Madeline will do something to ruin what Emma wants more than anything!

    Happy Reading!

    About the Author:

    Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.

    Visit her online at www.amyclipston.com | Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks | Twitter: @AmyClipston

    Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

    A Leg To Stand On Book Review



    I have a new book to share with you that is called A Leg To Stand On written by Colleen Haggerty. This is the author's story of how she became disabled and how she managed to cope with the loss of her leg.

    Synopsis:
    When Colleen Haggerty lost her leg in an accident during her senior year of high school, she could have retreated from life and let her disability become her defining quality—and no one would have blamed her for it. Instead, she went the opposite way. In the years following her accident, Haggerty explored her physical world with vigor, testing the limits of her body by joining a ski team, playing with a co-ed soccer team, and taking up kayaking and backpacking. She also tested the limits of her heart, pursuing love and passion with restless men.

    In A Leg to Stand On, Haggerty recounts her life as a disabled woman, from redefining herself as a young woman after tragedy—fierce and able, but haunted by hard choices and suppressed grief—to choosing marriage and motherhood. That choice comes at great cost to the physical freedom Haggerty has fought for, but ultimately she redemption, fulfillment, and self-acceptance in the bargain. No one will read this book without being inspired to accept their past and create the future they always wanted.
    My Review:

    You will be inspired by this true story of a girl who was out one night with friends in the snow and a tragic car accident left her with only one leg. It was a hard battle at first and she really had a hard time. It didn't help that she met 2 guys who really weren't there for her or gave her what she really needed.

    The man she ended up marrying was a godsend for her and her first pregnancy wasn't very pretty but it was well worth it in the end. Follow Colleen's story and cheer her on each time she meets a hurdle that might derail her life if not for her stubbornness to make it.

    I've always believed that you have to make a conscience decision to either let your past define you and swallow you whole or punch through it and become something different than what you or other people thought you would be. Just because your childhood or your teen years were not the best, you can still have a good life and be successful in whatever you decide to do. Colleen is a good example of that. I applaud her for not letting that accident be the end of her story.

    Happy Reading!

    About the Author:

    Colleen Haggerty is a writer of memoir and personal essay. She has contributed to four anthologies: The Spirit of a WomanHe Said What? (penned as Coleen Robinson), Dancing at the Shame Prom, and Beyond Belief. After Colleen lost her leg at seventeen years old she found feeling marginalized. She developed a deep empathy for and desire to help others living on the fringe of society, which led to her twenty-year career in non-profit management.

    She is an inspiring public speaker and was a speaker at the 2013 Bellingham TEDx event where she talked about the power of forgiveness. Colleen writes about walking through life as an amputee at http://www.colleenhaggerty.com/.

    She makes her home in Bellingham, WA with her husband and two teenagers.

    Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    The Unholy Book Review



    I have a truly Supernatural/Horror book to tell you about called The Unholy written by Paul DeBlassie III. I don't know how he came up with the idea of this story or the imagination to make it so darn real, but it sure did scare me!
     
    Synopsis:
    A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer.  
    Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
    Okay, like I said in the beginning, this book is really graphic and very scary! Of course, the idea that some priests or bishops in the church are not as innocent as they may like for us to believe, but this story goes a lot further than that.

    One in particular is so delusional that I think he really believes he is serving God and that he is going to Heaven. He says he is doing all of the sacrifices and other evil things that he has his church doing to help spread the word that people can truly be saved! It's like a church cult out in the open and he brain washes them all into doing things that they normally wouldn't do.

    Claire is what the old natives used to call a Medicine Woman and she has ancient powers but she denies them most of her life because it got her mother killed but when it's her life on the line, she needs all the help she can get and she has a choice to make if she has any hope of defeating this evil fanatic.

    All of you Horror/Gothic fans will simply love this book to death!

    Happy Reading!
     
    About the Author: 
     
    Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque, New Mexico who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
     
    Dr. DeBlassie writes psychological thrillers with an emphasis on the dark side of the human psyche. In The Unholy, a young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
     
    Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

    Night Terror Book Review


     
    Title: Night Terror
    Author: Jeff Gunhus
    Publisher: Seven Guns Press
    Pages: 400
    Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Horror
    Format: Kindle

     
    Synopsis:
    Ten years after her abduction and near-sacrifice to the Source, Sarah Tremont struggles to be a normal teenager. As much as she’s tried to suppress the power inside of her, it’s grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves.

    The nightmare that she thought was long over starts again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out. With her parents and Joseph Lonetree’s help, Sarah must stand up to an evil much more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger might come from the power living inside of her. 
    My Review:
     
    Wow, this book is seriously a total horror book right out of something like Freddy Kruger from Elm Street!
     
    I didn't expect it to start off right away with a victim being killed and taken for some occult ritual that will definitely have you a little bit queasy but itching for justice for the slain that these monsters have killed all for a thrill!
     
    Lucky for the victims, there are 2 bad to the bone ex-SEAL'S on the case and they mean business. It sort of reminds me of a tag team personal Mission Impossible type of thriller but with more serious consequences if they don't catch these seriously bad and evil killers.
     
    It all comes done to the same city that it started in 10 years ago and with the same victim that got away in that attack. Will she be strong enough this time to stop them along with the 2 SEALS?
     
    What they don't know is she has gotten stronger, now all she has to do is figure out how to use her power!
     
    Hang on for this one, because it's one heck of a book!
     
    Happy Reading!
      
     
    About the Author: 
     
    Jeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born.
     
    His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.
     
    Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.  

    Kulcar Solar Powered Car Ventilator Review


    No more heat and poisonous fumes in your car with Kulcar Solar Powered Car Ventilator


    Living in a hot city in America where the temperatures during summer days can easily reach up into the high 90's is not always a good thing, especially when you have to get into your car that is parked in the sun all day. The heat and humidity plus the odor of a sealed parked car can be very horrible and I don't know about you, but I get sick when I smell bad odors! You can’t even touch the steering wheel and if you have leather seats, forget it!

    What’s worse, according to a recent research, those plastic car interiors can easily emit poisonous gases in high heat. That means you, the driver and your family are inhaling dangerous fumes at the same time when they get into the car that has been parked for a good while and has gotten very hot.


    Here a solution for our family if you live in a really hot and humid area of the country. It’s called Kulcar, a solar powered car ventilator and it's made by a company called SonrayTechnologies in Taiwan. One of the distinct features of this device is that it can be totally powered by the sun, the cleanest energy in the world. No more batteries, no need to worry about running out of energy or gas on the road.


    The installation is quite simple and easy, especially for a person, like me, who knows nothing about all that high tech-stuff. Before purchasing Kulcar on Amazon (see link below), I read that once I have the widow visors in the car, the extra rubber strips enclosed in the package isn't necessary. Hurray!!

     
    Simply roll down your window, put Kulcar on it and slowly roll it up. That’s all. It was really quite simple and easy for my husband to install. I wasn't feeling good the day that we decided to install, so he did it for me.


    You can use the screw beside to tighten the solar panel, adjust it to get the most exposure to the sun.
    This is how it looks when he finished the installation. It really didn't take up much room and was neat and tidy.


    With Kulcar installed in my car, we don’t have to suffer from the humid heat in the awful heat that we experience here in Georgia. More importantly, we have clean and fresh air inside our car.


    When we are running errands like going to the grocery store or the mall, these efficient dual-chamber fans continuously circulate clean and fresh air and expels hazardous fumes from inside our parked car in the sun to keep our interior cooler.


    If you need to research for more information about this quite innovative design for your car, then please go to this website, Kulcar Solar Powered Car Ventilator In America and read what they have to say.

    Christmas is around the corner and I know there are a lot of people who are anxious about what to choose for their holiday gifts. Kulcar can be one of your choices if you live in the south or other hot region. Go to Kulcar.Amazon or Kulcar.Newegg to buy one for your friends or family.

    You can follow them and become Kulcar’s friend or simply give them a Like on their social media channels such as: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest.

    Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Swept Away Book Review



    I have another great book in the Quilts of Love series to share with you called Swept Away written by Laura Hilton and Cindy Loven.

    Synopsis:
    Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
    Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned. 
    Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter. 
    Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.
    My Review:

    This was a lesson to be learned about how love can come in the most unusual time and from the most unlikely source. I don't know about you, but I know a lot of children are raised by their grandparents and what you learn from them is really invaluable and in it's form, it is the truest and purest love, as grandparents have wisdom beyond our years.

    Sara Jane doesn't want to listen to her grandmother but Grandma is very stubborn and uses every trick in the book to get her to see Drew the way that she does. Grandma is hiding a secret of her own and she is running out of time to get Sara Jane to see the light.

    You will definitely want to read this heartwarming story of what a grandparent is really all about!

    Happy Reading!

    Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

    Exhile Book Review


     
    Title: Exile
    Author: Tom Stacey
    Publisher: Tom Stacey
    Pages: 389
    Genre: Epic Fantasy
    Format: Kindle
     
     
    Synopsis:
    On the fringes of the Verian Empire, two small boys stumble upon a strange altar, buried in the heart of a mountain.  
    There they awaken a horror unseen for generations, that will descend upon the realm of men while it is at its weakest. For Veria is a nation at war with itself, only recently recovered from a bloody rebellion, and the time of heroes has passed. The empire is in a state of chaos, and while its ruler, the Empron Illis, rids the land of his remaining enemies, unseen forces are gathering at the borders.  
    However all eyes are turned inwards. The Empron is not a well man, and there are whispers among the common folk that his advisors are spies; demons that only wear the flesh of men. In the distant mountains, a forester who has buried his past learns that he has not been forgotten, and that his crimes have sought him out at last. But he is no simple woodsman. He is Beccorban the Helhammer, Scourge, Burner and the Death of Nations, and his fury is a terrible thing.  
    For when all the heroes are gone, Veria will turn to those it has forgotten, before all is lost. 
    My Review:
     
    I love these type of books so this one for me was an awesome read! You have to really love this kind of book to understand this story as it deals in things not normal for our world or anything that we know of it, which is why I love it! I read to escape life into something that doesn't concern me and is pure entertainment and this book filled that bill quite nicely.
     
    It's about a super natural force that comes out of nowhere and takes over a lot of cities and everyone is stumped as to how to defeat them. Little do they know that while these creatures look funny, they are just as equally dangerous because of why they want the humans.
     
    What stands between total defeat and some sort of redemption lays in several key people in the book, including an old soldier by the name of HellHammer, a young boy named Loster who has a secret he carries with him wherever he goes, and a crazy noble named Calliston.
     
    All three of them have demons to slay but will they work together to rid this nation of this evil force?
     
    Happy Reading!
     
     
    About the Author:
     
    Tom Stacey is an English author of the fantasy novel, Exile. Tom was born in Essex, England, and has lived there his whole life. He began writing at school, often taking responsibility for penning the class plays, or writing sketches with his friends.

    While attending university to read history, Tom developed his writing by creating several short stories, some of which would later become to basis for his debut novel, Exile.
     
    Tom self-published Exile in summer 2014 and is currently working on the sequel as well as another unrelated novel. He earns a living as a video producer in London in the day and writes at night, a bit like a really underwhelming superhero.
     
    Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

    Home for the Holidays Giveaway Hop**Closed**


     
    Welcome to the Home for the Holidays Giveaway Hop,
    hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!
     
    We are right in the middle of the Holiday Season, stockings are hung by the Fireplace, the smell of an Evergreen fills your Home… I’ve teamed up with a great group of bloggers that want to fill your home with even more! The Home for the Holidays Giveaways are all centered around the perfect products for your home – whether it’s decorative gifts or appliances, each blogger has something for your home!

    Below is a list of prizes that I am giving away in the Home for the Holidays Giveaway Hop! Each prize is a link back to the Sponsor Spotlight Review. I do this so you can see what the prize looks like and also to leave comments on the review post for Bonus Entries on the Rafflecopter form. This is not mandatory, just a way for you to earn extra entries if you choose to do so.

    Remember to follow the Linky List to enter my blogging friends giveaways also. Open in the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

    1.)  Faucet Faces Graphic Design Bottle valued at $15.00

    2.)  Mighty Leaf Tea Combo Set valued at $46.00

    3.)  YumEarth Christmas Pops valued at $7.99

    4.)  Enjoy Men's Hair Care products valued at $62.90

    5.)  Toilet Tree 7x LED Makeup Mirror valued at $39.95

    So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Home for the Holidays participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

    Toilet Tree's LED 7x Magnified Makeup Mirror with Cosmetic Organizer Base Review


     
    I recently received this really great 7x Magnified LED Makeup Mirror from ToiletTree Products and I have to admit, it really does bring the face up close and personal. I didn't realize that my pores were so enlarged until I finished looking into this mirror! What a shock that was because I thought I had been taking pretty good care of my face, but according to this mirror, I need to step into high gear and start using all of my skincare products!
     
    Main Features:
    • 7x Magnification Glass Mirror Illuminated by LED lights
    • Mirror is fully adjustable to allow for any angle of viewing
    • Clear durable makeup organizing base
    • 9 multi-sized compartments will hold your cosmetics, jewelry, hair accessories and more.
    • Product dimensions - Lenght 6.5 inches x Width 5 inches x Height 12 inches up to 16 inches (depending on mirror positioning)

    It has an awesome tray that you can separate all of your makeup tools or actually makeup or you can use this mirror to help you look at yourself for real and decide which is the best doctor and/or supplier to such great finds.
     
     
    As you can see, this mirror will big enough that you will have no trouble in seeing your face and how to apply your makeup for maximum coverage without going overboard. I think that is the single most problem that women face today if their lighting is off, they put too much makeup on without realizing they have hidden their flaws. I know it's happened to me in the past. 
      
    About ToiletTree:
    ToiletTree Products began with a simple holiday gift from Mom. After receiving a fogless mirror as a Christmas present in 2008, Steven, who had always loved the concept of shaving in the shower, made it his mission to redesign the mirror that failed to stand up to its claims of being fog-free and unshakable wall adherence. Fed up with frustration and uneven shaves, Steven joined forces with his father and brother to design a mirror that not only stayed attached to the wall, but, most importantly, guaranteed a fogless face for life!   
    Connect with ToiletTree:

    Mailing Address:
    ToiletTree Products Inc.
    517 Rt. 9W North
    Upper Nyack, NY 10960
    Phone:  (888) 251-0985

    The awesome folks at ToiletTree will be giving the winner of my Home for the Holidays Giveaway Hop the same 7x LED Mirror that I just reviewed.  The giveaway starts on December 16th and ends on the 30th. Open in the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

    Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.