Tuesday, April 30, 2013

So Shines the Night By Tracy Higley


On an island teetering at the brink of anarchy, Daria finds hope among people of The Way.
She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her.
But the darkness she fled has caught up with her.
The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of The Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas’s exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She’s drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings.
When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul’s God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything—Lucas’s fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows.

MY REVIEW-I have to admit, I wasn't too sure about how much I would like this book. Tracy is an author I have previously enjoyed but with Biblical novels you never know. So I was pleasantly surprised by this one. So Shines the Night tells the story of a brave woman who risks everything.

You can tell that Tracy has done her research and I love a book where it shows! There is so much history and scenes of life in Ephesus that it literally feels like you have jumped into that time period. You will find yourself cheering on Daria(love that name!) as she runs from her pursuers and you will feel for Lucas as he tried finding his way, along with helping Daria. These two are so alike and yet so opposite in many areas. They are both strong and brave and yet vulnerable. They are both searching for the truth in a time where truth was often obscure. And yet it was there if they really wanted to find it. I can't tell you how much this book shows the time back then. Excellent job on research Tracy!

I felt that the characters were well written, even though I kind of wanted to dislike Lucas. He is very bold and in control. You all have met men like this and at times it is nice to be that way but other times you feel like screaming when they want to take charge. I think at times Daria felt like her choices weren't even her own to make and still things worked out. Tracy portrays the sorcerers very well and I won't begin to describe the Bible characters. What a novel!! Can't wait for the next one from Tracy:)

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Parnevu T-Tree Hair Products Review

Today I have a review for some different products. Anyone ever heard of Parnevu? I had never heard of this company but was excited to have the chance to review them. I was sent several products and was given the option of reviewing what I would use. So I reviewed the shampoo and conditioner. Check out my thoughts below!!

First up was the T-Tree Shampoo. You have to understand before I start my review, my hair is thin and long. I often have trouble finding a shampoo and conditioner that will work in my hair. Many of them are too heavy and thus my hair falls flat as can be, while others leave my hair feeling oily and shining like a grease pit:) So I was interested in seeing how these would work. This shampoo is supposed to aid in moisture, such as those who have trouble with itchy and flaky hair. I don't have these problems, but I was still impressed by the shampoo. It worked well in my hair and left it feeling very moisturized. I actually used this twice a week for some extra moisture in my routine.

The T-Tree Leave In Conditioner was my all time favorite! I loved how this worked and I loved the results. Normally I use a conditioner in the shower, but I was happy to try one that is a leave in. This is a very rich conditioner and yet it leaves your hair feeling weightless and airy. I also liked that the scent wasn't too strong but it was still there.

Overall these are products I enjoyed. They are pretty cheap as well which is something I look for in beauty products. You know how expensive some of those things can get out there? Pretty high if you ask me. A bottle of the conditioner is only $6 and it is a good sized bottle. For those of you interested in this product, please check out the Parnevu website. You can also find them at the links below.



**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Financing Your Dream Destination

An important part of your personal finance is how you can save money for traveling to your favorite destinations. Many consider this as an important part of their retirement plans. However, with the cost of living increasing day by day, it is necessary that creative methods are looked into for financing your travels.

Managing your savings
The first thing to consider is to increase your saving capacity. This can be done if you could have your monthly salary deposited in your bank account. After this, you can make a transaction based method in which, it’s possible for you to channel some specific amount to a savings account. In this way, your money would automatically be a part of your savings.

Cutting down strategy
Many people consistently talk about how there is a need to cut down monthly budget. God knows that it is easier said than done. You would have to come up with a strategy that allows you savings. For the purpose, you have to organize your finances. Think of cashing in coupon-based discounts in which ever commodity they are applicable, food for instance. There are travel coupons that you can check like Cost Plus coupon and others, which involve decent discounts. The idea is to be aware of what kind of discounts you can get, and how often are they available.

Travel bargains
There are many services online now that allow people to get tickets as a well as hotel accommodation at cheaper rates. This is because these companies have bought these tickets and packages in bulk. This allows them to sell at lower rate. The idea is that you can shortlist these data-based sites that have information on airports as well as offers and discounts. Keep checking them on frequent basis and see if they have a reasonable offer for the dream location of your choice.
You have to understand the fact that in order to finance your travel, the proactive approach is the ideal way. Your savings accounts are the ideal way to go about it. Understand how new job streams have been created through internet and similar means. Work out something that suits you, and use it to increase your savings.

Diversifying earning means
This is another attribute that many people associate with, but is hard to apply. You would have noticed that this post is actually telling you how to do these things instead of just mentioning them. For creating more revenue streams, you would need to work out the easiest way first.
For instance, looking for work online may just be your answer. If you are creative enough, you can sell some homemade items online. There have been numerous success stories where people have earned a lot using the online method. Last year, statistics show that one of the most profitable small scale businesses was selling creative items online.
The social media aspect also allows you to tap large, growing market online. Teaching online is another high paying venture and is becoming increasingly in vogue, especially language teaching can serve as a decent part time job.
If you gain a sizeable amount, a safe investment in bonds/stocks would be the best way to go about it. A little knowledge about how financing works would do wonders for you.

**DISCLOSURE: This is a guest post. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, April 29, 2013

NBC's Share and Tell App and Eco Prize #Giveaway!!

Hi readers, this evening I have a last minute giveaway for you all. NBC is partnering with the sharing site, Yerdle, to help with Earth Week. I am someone who is not all into the planet earth and stuff but I am big on recycling and re-using. You never know? What you might think is junk could be someone else's treasure!

What is NBC’s Share and Tell? 

Did you know that for every pound of new goods produced, 71 pounds of waste are generated during manufacturing? This Earth Week, NBCUniversal is partnering with the sharing site yerdle to help you minimize your impact on the planet by sharing your stuff. One person’s stuff is another person’s story!

Here’s how it works. 1) Join or host a Share & Tell Party (click the “Join the Party” button in the app below).
2) Post your stuff to share with friends. Discover other items that are up for grabs. 
3) Tell the story of your sharing experiences on your favorite social media site. #ShareandTell.

I went over and looked at the site Yerdle. Needless to say, I loved it! Who doesn't like going to yard sales and shopping around for something new. This is basically a yard sale from the comfort of your own house and hey, you don't even have to change out of your pajamas:)

Being Green has really become a big thing recently and for Earth Week, NBC is hosting this very unique and eco giveaway. Take the quiz below and you could be the winner in this contest!

NBC has provided a prize pack for one of my readers! 
The prize pack includes:

One Green is Universal canvas tote bag (made from recycled cotton)

 ... along with two of the items below (chosen at random):

- Planet Ocean DVD
- Green is Universal T-shirt (made by Alternative Apparel)
- Green is Universal colored pencil kits (made from recycled newspaper)
- Green is Universal Vapur water bottles (BPA-free)
- Green is Universal hardboard cover spiral bound notebook
- Green is Universal burlap FEED bag

Entering is somewhat simple with only three entries but you can tweet once a day so make sure to come back.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What A Week!!

The weather has turned rainy again here but at least it is better than the snow. I think if we had more snow I would have to scream. Not really but in all honesty, I was definitely getting tired of it. I love being able to get out and exercise, work in the garden and take a ride on the bike but with the snow there was no way of doing that. Now I can't wait to get started again. Have any of you ever been to a naturopathic clinic? I have never been to one but I was looking for ways to help with weight loss over the winter and found out that these clinics can help people in losing weight or maintaining your weight. I had no idea!! Naturopathic doctors also help in a lot of other ways and I personally like it because it is natural. Never would have guessed that from the name, huh? Well, they have a whole list of conditions and ways that these can be helped by naturopathic doctors. Check it out when you get the time!

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts are 100% mine.

**DISCLOSURE: Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Duchess Blog Tour by Susan May Warren!!

Book Three in the Daughters of Fortune series.

When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?

The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars. Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has found everything she’s wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she’s finally silenced the voices—and grief—of the past. Her future shines bright…until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies—plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life. Find out more about the series by clicking on these links. HeiressBaroness.

MY THOUGHTS-What a book!! Susan May Warren writes a novel that totally pulls you in until you are done and then throws you out in the cold! By the end of the story you feel like you know these characters and they have become friends you cried with and laughed with but they suddenly disappear to never come back. Oh how I wish they were real people. Okay Susan, now you know how much I fall in love with your characters:)

Duchess is the third book in the Daughters of Fortune Series and I am kind of hoping there will be another one. This can be read as a stand-alone novel but it would be best to read them in order so you know who the characters are and what has happened previously. Rosie happens to be a young lady who wants everything life can give her. A career in the movies is what she really wants and when she does get it, things don't turn out exactly as she had dreamed. There is a lot in this book including love, revenge, jealousy, and most important to me, redemption.

I felt the characters were well written and the only thing I can say is, "well done"! Rolfe is a likable man though at times his moods changed like the weather. He went from hot to cold very easily. But at the same time he was so very much in love with Rosie and I think in this degree he is like Christ. No matter what she went through, how much she changed, he made sure to have her taken care of. Even though she didn't think he was looking out for her. Loved the ending!! Another excellent book from Susan May Warren!!

Susan May Warren is celebrating the release of Duchess with a Kindle Fire HD Giveaway.


One "glam" winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire HD

  • Signed copies of Duchess, Baroness and Heiress

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 4th. Winner will be announced on 5/7/13 at Susan's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Brighten your day with Ace Collins’ Retribution v. Redemption 12-Day Giveaway!

Will grief push Meg over the edge?

On the same night she discovers she is pregnant, twenty-eight-year-old nurse Meg Richards’s husband is killed in an auto accident caused by a drunken teen. James Thomas comes from one of the most influential families in the community. He’s a star athlete and glamour boy at the local high school. But the accident he caused will change his life—and Meg’s future—forever.
Angered by her senseless loss and facing life as a single mother, Meg blames God for what has happened and considers a decision that could change her life even further. Enraged by the brutal trial and the court’s decision, Meg starts down a frightening path of retribution. When the opportunity for revenge comes unexpectedly, will Meg follow through? Or will the remnants of her faith lead her in a different direction?

MY REVIEW-Ace Collins is an author I normally enjoy reading. His books range in genre from biographies to fiction and they are all good to read. I was interested in reading this one as it deals with many touchy subjects such as abortion, alcohol, revenge and the preciousness of life. I believe Ace portrays the characters very well and they are soo realistic. At one point I was almost in shock over how Meg responded but I can't say that I would be any different in her place. The author really shows the the extremes between forgiveness and revenge.

This is definitely not a book that is a light read for enjoyment. Tons of relevant information that makes you think. There was one decision that Meg urged someone to do that kind of threw me for a loop. I am not sure I agree with that idea and I know it is showing how far she had turned but it was very different. Nancy was my favorite character out of the whole book. She is such a sweetheart and had so much wisdom to give Meg. If only we could be more like her as a Christian. Great book Ace!

In his latest novel, Darkness Before Dawn (Abingdon Press), Ace Collins leads readers on an emotionally charged ride from revenge to forgiveness.

fb-rafflecopter iconAce is celebrating the release of Darkness Before Dawn with a Retribution v. Redemption 12-Day Giveaway!

Go {HERE} or click the button for all the details. Follow along for a new giveaway each day. (Moleskin journal, books, Starbucks gift cards and so much more!)

**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood | Enter to win a “Downton Abbey” Kindle Fire Prize Pack from @SarahLaddAuthor

Pride goes before the fall . . . but what comes after?
Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything. An heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.
When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.
Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.
Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.
Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.

MY REVIEW-I was pleasantly surprised by this debut novel from Sarah Ladd. You know how some debut novels are. Sometimes they are just not that great. But not so with The Heiress of Winterwood!! I totally fell in love with the characters, even the side characters, and the plot was wonderfully exciting. I liked it so much I loaned it out to several people so they could read it:) of course I wanted it back when they were done so they had to go purchase their own copy. Again, an excellent book that makes me want more from Mrs. Ladd! Can't wait to find out about the second book. There is a second one, right? Please oh please!!


Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release of The Heiress of Winterwood with a Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!


 One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire

  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3

  • Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

    Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    Dial Kids Body Wash 6+ Plus 3 Winner #Giveaway With Contest!!

    Remember I told you last week I would be reviewing the new Dial Kids Body and Hair Wash for ages 6+? Well, here it is! This one is probably my favorite, and I think it turned out to be M's favorite as well. Check it out and make sure you enter the giveaway at the bottom. Three of my readers will win a coupon for this new product!!

    This special body wash is designed for children in mind. A bottle that looks fun and exciting for the kids, a scent that will have you swooning and a formula gentle on the eyes. You got it all with this 2-in-1 product. This wash for ages 6 and up comes in the Watery Melon scent. I actually fell in love with this and almost didn't give it to M. Just kidding:) I just loved the smell and have even used it a couple times in the shower. Needless to say, this has quickly become a favorite. And M loves that she has her own body wash and shampoo to use so she doesn't have to borrow mine. Plus she feels grown up with having her own bottle. I like how it helps her hair not get tangled and it smells delicious.

    Readers, as Dial is celebrating the launch of these new kids products by hosting a great sweepstakes!! You just might be the $1000 grand prize winner! Or you might win a bottle of the new kids body wash:) If you enter through this link I will get points in a contest so please go enter.

    Okay, one last thing here. I have three coupons for a free bottle of Dial Kids body wash that will be given away on my blog. Three winners will get one coupon each. This giveaway will end 5/8 and winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

    A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund | Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party! {5/8}

    Michigan, 1880

    Annalisa Werner’s hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That’ll be enough. A marriage for love…that’s something she’s given up on.
    So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.
    Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher–or so he says. He’s looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.
    With time running out, she accepts his help, but there’s more to this man than he’s admitting. He’s also gentle, kind, charming–unlike any man she’s ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.

    MY REVIEW-I have read a couple of Jody Hedlund's books previously and wasn't too sure I cared for them. So I had mixed feelings when I opted to review this one. I enjoy her style of writing, her characters are well fleshed out and the plots are always interesting. I mean, a noble prince who happens to go undercover working a farm? Not everyday you get a plot like that:) But I have also had problems before with things that were put in the books that I felt were somewhat borderline on too much information. I am sure some of you know what I mean. Just a little more detailed than I am accustomed to.

    This book starts out a little slow but quickly builds in intensity. You are drawn along wondering what will happen between Carl and Annalisa and if her real groom will appear before Carl feels led to marry her. And then the day he really arrives I about dropped. Not really but I wanted to slap them both and make them realize they were meant for each other. Carl was a little hard to like at first with his high ways but I really fell for him later. How he is with the children, pushing himself to work the land and then he up and leaves Annalisa. What a guy! LOL! There are several parts you might find yourself close to tears so make sure the tissues are handy.

    So how did I like the book? I enjoyed it and would read another one of Jody's if given the chance! There were still a couple things but not as many and they were very subtle. Definitely not as noticeable. Great book Jody!

    Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of A Noble Groom by giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 


    One "noble" winner will receive:

    • A Kindle Fire

    • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

    Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

    So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

    Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

    **DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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