Monday, March 27, 2017

Cover Reveal: Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise by Paula Berinstein


Today is the cover reveal for Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise by Paula Berinstein. The cover is designed by Anna Mogileva. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles SurpriseAmanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise (Amanda Lester, Detective #6)
By Paula Berinstein
Genre: Detective/ Mystery
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 27 March, 2017

Blurb:

What is Professor Scribbish hiding?

Amanda and her friends have known about the mysterious Detective’s Bible for some time. But what they never dreamed was that old Lovelace Earful, Legatum’s founder and the author of the precious book, had much more up his sleeve than that.

Now a strange pair of gold-rimmed spectacles he designed has fallen into the hands of the Moriarty brothers. But the glasses have been stolen, and it falls to Amanda to figure out where they are and get them back before . . . what? All she knows is that they’re powerful and the bad guys want them. But in order to acquire them she’ll have to penetrate a fortress where a new enemy is waiting—one who has already targeted Scapulus Holmes and is coming for her next.

What she doesn’t know is that sometimes you should leave well enough alone.

You can find Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise on Goodreads

You can get your copy of Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise for free for a limited time on Amazon

Excerpt:

In the deepest reaches of the basements he discovered Noel in the musical instruments room. Simon wasn’t the least bit musical but Ivy was, which meant he was deeply interested in anything along that line, and what in the world was Noel doing? He’d got the top of a grand piano open and the strings were hanging out all over the place.

“Greetings,” said Simon. “That’s quite a mess you’ve got there.”

Noel looked up with a confused expression on his face. “Oh, it’s you, Binkle. Say, come over here for a minute and hold this, will you?” He held up a string.

Simon tromped over to the piano and peered inside. “What are you doing? Did something happen?”

“Just hold this please,” said Noel.

Simon grabbed the string and pulled tight.

“No, not like that,” said Noel. “Just keep it out of the way.”

“Oh,” said Simon. He felt like an idiot standing there holding a loose piano string. But he was too curious not to ask. “What are you doing?”

“I dropped something. I need to get it out.”

“What?” He peered deeper. There was a teensy tiny frog inside. “Oh, I see it. Wait, it’s alive!”

“That’s right, it’s alive, and it’s going to be a disaster if I don’t get it out. It belongs to Professor Pargeter and it’s very valuable. It’s also poisonous so don’t touch it.”

“Really?” said Simon, reaching for the animal. “How poisonous?”

“What did I just say?” said Noel slapping Simon’s hand.

“Oh, sorry,” said Simon. He withdrew the hand but stared intently at the little thing, which was obviously so frightened it was turning colors.

“Now look what you’ve done,” said Noel. “It’s brought the poison to the surface. Stand back or it will spit.”

Paula BerinsteinAbout the Author:

Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.

You can find and contact Paula here:


Giveaway

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise. These are the prizes you can win:

- a 30$ Amazon gift card

- 2 paperback copies of Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Blast: Make It Happen Blueprint by Michelle McCullough



The Make It Happen Blueprint

Despite living in a world of abundance, many people still feel unhappy, over scheduled, tired, and unsuccessful. Yet there seems to be an group of people who “get it.” They catch all the breaks, accomplish more in a day, make more money in their business ventures, bounce back from trials faster, and always have their lives in order. Are they just lucky, or is there some sort of secret most of us are missing?

Michelle McCullough has spent thousands of hours studying, listening to, and learning from success experts including Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield, Brendon Burchard, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Darren Hardy, and more. Applying key principles (and learning a few things on her own) she’s built three successful businesses and while still maintaining a meaningful personal life. Everyone has the ability to be a high performer. All it takes is the right mindset, the right tools, and a willingness to work. As she shares eighteen practices for high performance, you too can learn how to take your business and personal life to the next level. Success is possible, happiness is achievable, so stop dreaming about it and get out and MAKE IT HAPPEN!


Excerpts - From The Make It Happen Blueprint
-Success is not a destination, it’s a practice. The actions we take every day, week, and month to make our dreams a reality are what determine our success and happiness.

-The most paralyzing thought keeping you from your goals is, “I don’t deserve it.”

- “Plan” is the four- letter word for success. Peak performers know this, and they find power in a plan and thrive on the execution and ultimate success of seeing it through to completion.

-Trying to do two things at once is a recipe for failure. The time has come for you to give up your “Multitasker of the Year” award.

-High performers don’t just understand the value of a person—they understand the value of every person.

- If you’re going for a gold medal in raising high performers (and I hope you are), daily ask kids this powerful question, “What did you do to make someone else happy today?” This helps them become more aware of others.


Praise for the Book

“I do love this book. McCullough is real and relate-able. I was only in the first chapter when I felt hopeful and empowered. While some of her golden advice is aimed mostly to those working in the field of Business (which I am not), there is more than enough real-life help that a Homemaker can use too. She doesn't create, yet another, list of things "I should be doing", but attainable solutions to MAKE TIME for the other things I really DO need to do. These recommendations are easy to do. I am so thankful for McCullough's inspiration and passion to share this knowledge; my life was immediately changed and improved for the goals her book motivated.” - Kristin Call; London, ENGLAND

"Michelle McCullough has one of those minds you love to be around! She shares fresh ideas, content, and strategies for creating a life and a business that you love. Reading this book will elevate your life!” - Tiffany Peterson, Professional Speaker, www.TiffanySpeaks.com; Utah, USA

“The beauty of Michelle's book & writing is that it is a lucid, unadorned reminder that we periodically need. It reinforces powerful practices which we often brush past and only remember when we fail to "make it happen". I love her earnest voice and really personal examples.” - Vilasi Venkatachalam; INDIA

"As entrepreneurs we often feel alone. McCullough's book Make It Happen reminds us that we are all in this together. She manages to rekindle your purpose as well as provide pertinent ideas and strategies to help you preform at your best. I love the way she provides a section at the end of each chapter to help you implement the things you read and learn in Make It Happen. Every purposeful entrepreneur should have this book on their nightstand!" - Nicole Carpenter, CEO of MOMentity.com and bestselling author of 52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family: 5-minute messages; Utah USA

Author Michelle McCullough

Michelle McCullough started her first business when she was 19 and currently runs 3 companies including consulting other businesses all over the world. A seasoned speaker, Michelle teaches success principles and leadership insights that help boost employee engagement and higher performance. In addition to running her own consulting businesses, Michelle is the managing director for Startup Princess, listed by Forbes as “One of the top 10 resources for Women Entrepreneurs”. She’s worked with top brands like Visa Small Business, UPS Store, AWeber and more. She’s spoken for the Air Force Reserve, Goldman Sachs and Ancestry.com, among others. She’s been featured in entrepreneur.com, in the 40 under 40, Fox TV and has been interviewed for television and radio over 100 times, including Good Morning America and The Today Show. She was recently named in the Top 100 Small Business Influencers with Inc Magazine, Michael Gerber and Grant Cardone. Her own radio show “Make It Happen” has over 1 million downloads.


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Blast Giveaway


$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/6/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: Courting Carrie in Wonderland by Carla Kelly



Courting Carrie in Wonderland, by Carla Kelly
2017, 320p, Clean Historical Romance
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way



Struggling through college and balancing her summer job in Yellowstone Park with the Wylie Camping Company, Carrie McKay simply doesn't have time to consider romance. Spanish American War Veteran Sergeant Major Ramsay Stiles also isn't looking for love, busy with his own complicated affairs. But as the magic of Yellowstone starts making its way into their hearts, both begin to see love move up their priority list.

This story takes place in Yellowstone Park in 1903. Sergeant Major Ramsay Stiles has recently returned from the Philippines and is currently stationed in Yellowstone Park. He meets Carrie McKay, who works at Yellowstone in the summers saving money for college. They hit it off right away but he needs to be creative to move their relationship forward.

I loved Ramsay and Carrie! Ramsay has basically been ordered to find a wife and isn't interested in doing that, but once he meets Carrie, he decides that might not be such a bad idea. Carrie has had a tough life but she is likable and kind. I loved watching their relationship develop. Ramsay does find a creative way to spend more time with her, which brings in another character who was fun to get to know! 

This is a slow-moving love story, which had some rough patches. There are lots of descriptions of the park, which was interesting to me. It's well-researched and well-written. I've only read a few of Carla Kelly's books, but I love how she writes characters who seem real and that are easy to relate to. This is a book I would recommend to anyone that enjoys clean, historical romance!


About the author:
Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for “Borrowed Light,” “My Loving Vigil Keeping,” and “Softly Falling.”



Tour Schedule:

March 14: Emmy Mom
March 16: LDS and Loving It
March 17: Kindle and Me || My Book a Day
March 18: Blooming With Books
March 20: Wishful Endings
March 21: Books and Benches
March 22: Robyn Echols
March 23: Heidi Reads
March 24: Mel’s Shelves
March 25: Deal Sharing Aunt
March 26: Jorie Loves a Story
March 27: Bookworm Lisa || Julie Coulter Bellon
March 28: Getting Your Read On
March 29: Singing Librarian Books || Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 30: Katie’s Clean Book Collection || Sweetly Made
March 31: Bookworm2Bookworm

Grand Finale Blitz: The Wedding March by Tara Randel


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for

The Wedding March
By Tara Randel

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out...

Launch - Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy Cassie and Luke’s journey in The Wedding March. And if you’ve read my previous books set in Cypress Pointe, you’ll catch up with familiar characters who pop up in this book. Thanks for stopping by!

— Tara

Falling Leaves - Excerpt

“I’d love to talk to you about your song-writing days. You’ve been—”

He held his hand up “Let me stop you right here.”

She blinked. His sudden displeasure indicated she’d gone too far.

“I’m not going to talk about music careers, song writing or whatever you have your mind set on.”

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“You didn’t. I just need you to know I’m not available for whatever it is you want.”


"The Wedding March needs to be on your TBR list. Clean romance, fun characters, and a sweet story. It’s a look at how to deal with the tough-to-love people in our lives, as well as encouragement to hold out hope to the people struggling to find their place. This book will put a smile on your face and in your heart!"


What had she been thinking? How had she expected to pull off a full-blown concert in two weeks’ time? Therein lies the problem. She hadn’t been. Her only thoughts were to impress Luke.

How’s that going?

Cassie paced the stage, clasping her sweaty palms together as the tech team buzzed with activity around her. A late afternoon coastal breeze picked up, swirling the ankle-length sheer skirt around her high-heeled boots, carrying with it the scent of salt water sweetened by the newly blooming orange blossoms. Her entire outfit, a black mesh with gold embellishments around the waist and hem, fit over a black tank minidress. She’d even dyed the pink streak in her hair black to match.


“Are you always so antsy before a performance?”

She shyly glanced at him. “It’s not every day I play with Luke Hastings.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“To me it is.”

He didn’t want to be flattered, but he couldn’t deny the pleasure her words brought. After his ex had pretty much flattened his ego, Cassie was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t try to railroad him. Didn’t go on and on about her place in the music business. She liked his friends. Had come up with this idea to raise money for the Klub using her own resources.


"I really loved the fact that there is a kids at risk program in this book. There need to be more “real world” centers like this. I really loved the teens in this book. They make great secondary characters and their stories are so real. Cassie and Luke are great too, and I love how they get together through songwriting.

Clean romance lovers will really enjoy The Wedding March."


Luke grinned as he viewed the scene before him. Denny and Kyle high-fived, laughing, while a group of kids clapped over their success. Erin stood on the periphery, biting a fingernail. Cassie stood beside him, dripping wet, but smiling. Despite the fact that Luke had just learned someone had stolen money from the Klub, his heart expanded. He’d figure out what was going on and fix this mess, just as Cassie suggested. Maybe even with her at his side.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"This is a cute and sweet story. The characters have both had a lot of heartache and suffer trust issues. The story is one of forgiveness and learning get to love again."


"I loved the sweetness of the story and even though I am not a fan of mushy lovey stuff, it wasn't heavy in this story. I really appreciated that this romance was clean as well as sweet and fun. All in all, this was a great read and I look forward to not only reading the first three in this series but the rest that will follow. This was definitely a fell good story with all the feels."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

“We aren’t talking about me.”

“Maybe we should.”

Her steady gaze held his. His heart pounded. This close, he could see the distinctive shade of green mocking his words. She knew, maybe even better than he did.

“Talent like yours doesn’t go away,” she echoed.

“Maybe it should.”


"I love a romance with some meat to it and this isn't a fluffy insta-love story. The struggles are real and the love is gradual. I love how the romance is mixed with music and the relationships with this group of troubled teens, which combined, puts some cracks in the emotional walls. There is a minuscule thread of mystery, which adds to the tension and makes for an overall well-balanced diet of words."

Mel's Shelves - Review

"I loved this story from the beginning and had a hard time putting it down! Cassie and Luke were both easy characters to like and the romance was natural. There were other great characters and side stories to keep things interesting. It's a fantastic, clean contemporary romance!"


"This is a wonderful tale presented by two different people’s concepts. It is a story of a few individuals raised in a dysfunctional and/or abusive life style. It offers a great concept for “at risk” children. Adventure, mystery and romance atre also a part of this book, written for Adults, but YA will love it, too!" - Lu Ann

"This a fun story. I like the theme of the story. It was quick to capture my attention and then interesting enough to hold it throughout the story. . . .

I would highly recommend this book to other readers. It was a great read." - Vickie

Wishful Endings - Review

"THE WEDDING MARCH is a steady-paced story that involves family drama, a teen outreach program, musical fame, and sweet romance. It embodied this Harlequin line of books with a story that is sure to touch readers' hearts. If you enjoy sweet romance with plenty of depth from complex relationships and situations, then definitely give this one a try!"


"I enjoyed the natural progression of Cassie and Luke's relationship. They were both so wary in the beginning but slowly became friends and confidants. It didn't feel rushed or over the top. It was just a gentle and sweet story. I really enjoyed it!'"


“Maybe it’s time.”

“To start again?”

He nodded.

“How about with me?” she asked, her voice small.

He froze. He’d thought about working with her. But the memory of their kisses stopped him. He’d been romantically involved with his last partner. He wasn’t sure he wanted to travel that same path with Cassie. He wanted something different with her.


"Seeing the story progress, watching Cassie and Luke interact with one another as well Cassie's involvement with the kids, was very enjoyable.

I feel this story can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I do want to read the first story now because of the scenes with Nealy and Dane. I think anyone who enjoys Harlequin's Heartwarming line will have a good time reading The Wedding March. I definitely recommend it."

Harlie's Books - Review

"By the end of the book, I was sad. I didn’t want it to end but alas, it had too. I will miss the colored streak in Cassie’s hair, Luke’s kisses (Oh my), Denny and Erin and the goings on in Cypress Pointe. Great character growth and depth from Cassie and Luke. And yes, Ms. Randal gets it too. She writes a beautiful love story that everyone can read and have a happy heart in the end."

Becky on Books - Review

"A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA."

Don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway below, if you haven't already...

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)

Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she's not a two album wonder. But her case of writer's block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids' lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they're not as different as he thinks…

GoodreadsAmazon│ 
Barnes & NobleHarlequin


Other Books in the Series

  

About the Author


USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.


Tour Giveaway


- US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: "Something beautiful is on the horizon," and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
- $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
- Ends March 28th

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Unexpected Love: A Marriage of Convenience Anthology



Unexpected Love: A Marriage of Convenience Anthology
2017, 256p, Clean Romance/Anthology
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way



Around the turn of the century, matches were made for all sorts of reasons--whether to keep a family together or simply to make ends meet. But love has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places! With four historical romance stories in one, this fun anthology will sweep you from the dance floors of aristocracy to the hearths of country living, leading to love through the most unusual circumstances.

Ashbrook Abbey
Though decidedly against marriage, when Ambrose Notley discovers it may win him his uncle's good opinion (and his inheritance), he married the orphaned Kate Mowbray. But will Kate be able to break down the walls that Ambrose has built around himself?

First Comes Marriage
When Mae's sister and husband unexpectedly die, a greedy uncle threatens to steal custody of the children and their money. David, Mae's brother-in-law, marries Mae in the hopes of retaining custody of their niece and nephew. But will this love for show become something deeper?

The Price of Her Heart
When Faity McKinney witnesses a crime she shouldn't have seen, she's forced into hiding to protect her own life. As part of this, her uncle arranges her marriage to small-town sheriff Geoffrey. But when the men searching for her find Geoffrey as well, will he be able to protect her?

Beauty and the Beholder
When a marriage arranged by chance brings Fanny and Percy together, they quickly learn that clashing personalities and battles of wit are not a recipe for a happy match. How could a marriage between quick enemies ever result in something such as love? But fate has a way of bringing even the most unlikely hearts together... 

I love anthologies because I can read the individual stories in a short amount of time. I've also read and enjoyed books by three of these authors so I was excited to start reading!

I liked that the settings for each of these stories was different. There are many ways to enter into a marriage of convenience! I'm always interested in seeing how the couple will overcome the awkwardness of the situation and how easily or difficult it is to get them to the point of agreeing to that type of marriage.

I enjoyed these characters and their stories! There were some tough, awkward moments, as well as some tender, loving ones. Each author has a different writing style which made it more interesting to me. Of course, I also love that they are clean so I feel comfortable recommending this to anyone. I'm looking forward to reading more from each of these authors in the future!


About the authors:

Heather Chapman: Being the youngest of four sisters (and one very tolerant older brother), Heather grew up on a steady diet of chocolate, Jane Austen, Anne of Green Gables, Audrey Hepburn, and the other staples of female literature and moviedom. These stories inspired Heather, and she began writing at a young age. After meeting and marrying her husband Mark, Heather graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and settled down in a small farming community with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Heather enjoys volleyball, piano, the outdoors, and just about anything creative.


Mandi Ellsworth: Mandi is an avid reader, a slow jogger, and disinterested in board games of any kind. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children and no pets.


Paula Kremser: Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for a few years after graduating from Brigham Young University. Several years later when she moved with her young family to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel, “Sophia,” and second, “To Suit a Suitor.”


Ashtyn Newbold: Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family and is the author of “Mischief and Manors.”



Tour Schedule:

March 14: Literary Timeout
March 15: Live to Read
March 16: Seeker of Happiness || Books & Benches
March 17: Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 18: Inklings and Notions
March 19: Kindle and Me
March 20: Hardcover Feedback
March 21: Writing Worm
March 22: Geo Librarian || Heidi Reads
March 23: Getting Your Read On || Bookworm Lisa || Mel’s Shelves || Singing Librarian Books
March 24: Bookworm2Bookworm || Making Life a Bliss Complete
March 25: Kaki Recommends
March 26: The Things I Love Most
March 27: My Book a Day
March 28: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
March 29: Blooming With Books || Inklings and Notions
March 30: Jorie Loves a Story || Wishful Endings
March 31: The Dragon’s Nook

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: Just the Essentials by Adina Grigore


About Just the Essentials

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Harper Wave (March 7, 2017)

The author of Skin Cleanse returns with a comprehensive guide to the ultimate ingredient for living an all-natural, plant-based lifestyle: essential oils.

For millennia, essential oils have played a key role in health and beauty rituals. From references in the Bible (frankincense and myrrh) to Hippocrates (who documented the effects of oils from over 300 plants) to Ancient Egypt (Cleopatra pioneered the use of fragrance), essential oils have been revered throughout human history for their healing powers and their unparalleled scent.

But in modern times, they’ve often been misunderstood, underappreciated, even cast as "dangerous"—and relegated to the dusty shelves of health food stores. That is, until recently. Today they’re back in the spotlight as increasing numbers of consumers are looking for all-natural alternatives to skincare products and opting for fragrance-free detergents and soaps, natural remedies for common ailments, and toxin-free home cleaning solutions.

Enter Adina Grigore, owner and founder of the wildly popular all-natural skincare line SW Basics. A former essential oil skeptic, Grigore learned everything she could about these potent plant-based compounds when she began formulating her products. And what she learned was that essential oils are some of the most powerful, healing, health-promoting compounds found in nature. That, and they smell pretty great too.

In Just the Essentials, Grigore offers a 21st-century guide to these ancient oils, offering a fresh, fun, and authoritative overview of what they are and how they can be easily incorporated into anyone’s life. From plant-based medicine to all-natural skincare to safer and cleaner household products to aromatherapy, this handy and entertaining guide provides detailed advice for a wide array of oils, safety guidelines, and a range of do-it-yourself recipes to get started. Inside you'll discover such fun facts as:
  • Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial that is proven to be as effective for treating acne as benzoyl peroxide; it also kills oral bacteria and is a life-saver for tooth infections.
  • Cinnamon oil is a circulation-booster that helps to ease everyday aches and pains as well as headaches (even migraines).
  • Peppermint oil is brimming with antimicrobial properties; peppermint oil can be used for everything from alleviating digestive problems to cleaning your kitchen counters.
With lists of the best oils for beginners; instructions for diffusing and safe handling; and DIY recipes from dish soap to toothpaste to facial masks, Just the Essentials makes it easy and enjoyable to reap the many benefits of these pure plant extracts.

I love essential oils and have used about ten of them over the last fifteen years. I already know they work so my interest was in learning more about them and possibly branching out. That is exactly what this author encourages in her book! She starts with the background and history of essential oils and does it in an interesting way. I enjoyed her writing style as I felt she was having a discussion with me so I got a lot out of it.

She also shares the benefits of using essential oils (and points out how much we are already using them since they are in a lot of products), and simple ways to use them, like through diffusing, cleaning with them, adding them to your daily moisturizer, or simply sniffing them. She also lists her top ten oils and shares simple ways to incorporate using them in your life.

Then, it's on to the DIY section, which was the most interesting to me. She shares recipes for skincare, perfume, personal care (shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash and more), home care (cleaner, furniture polish, candles and more), and aromatherapy blends.

The author does have her own company and promotes it throughout the book, but I felt like she gave great basic information that can be utilized no matter where you purchase your oils. It's a great resource for people that are just starting to use essential oils and, even though I've used them for years, I felt like I got great ideas on new ways to implement them in my life. It's written in a way that is interesting and easy to understand. This is a book I will keep on hand and refer to often!

My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received an ARC via TLC Book Tours, which did not affect my review in any way


Purchase Links


Photo by Liz Andrien
About Adina Grigore

Adina Grigore is the founder and CEO of the all-natural, sustainable skin-care line S.W. Basics, which she started out of her kitchen in 2011. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Adina has worked in the wellness industry since 2007 as a private holistic nutritionist, a personal trainer, and a workshop coordinator teaching people about the DIY nature of wellness. S.W. Basics products are now sold internationally and have been featured in Vogue, O Magazine, W Magazine, the New York Times, InStyle, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living, among others.

Follow Adina on Instagram.

Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, March 7th: Just Commonly
Wednesday, March 8th: Sapphire Ng
Thursday, March 9th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, March 10th: Wall-to-Wall Books
Monday, March 13th: Reading is My Super Power
Tuesday, March 14th: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, March 15th: Dreaming Big
Monday, March 20th: Rebecca Radish
Tuesday, March 21st: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Wednesday, March 22nd: Mel’s Shelves
Thursday, March 23rd: Library of Clean Reads
TBD: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft by Heather B. Moore



Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft, by Heather B. Moore
2017, 250p, Historical Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way



“This woman was one of the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy life.” —Reverend Cotton Mather, 1692

USA Today Bestselling author Heather B. Moore brings the life of her 10th great-grandmother to center stage. Susannah North Martin, accused of witchcraft in 1692, joins five women in the Salem Jail, all sentenced to death for their crimes. Amidst tragedy, Susannah finds hope and compassion as she remembers a well-loved life, and readers discover that love reaches far beyond the grave as Susannah faces the magistrates in Salem.


This book is based on Heather Moore's 10th great-grandmother, Susannah North Martin. She was found guilty of witchcraft and hung in 1692. Since this book deals with the Salem witch trials, I knew going in that it wasn't going to have a warm and fuzzy ending. Heather Moore told this story in such a way, though, that Susannah's story did have some hope.

It's told as she's in jail awaiting her trial and there are flashbacks to when she first met her husband, George Martin, and their courtship. I loved that because some of the jail scenes were humiliating, heartbreaking, and unbelievable, and that was broken up with happier days when she first met George and how their relationship progressed to marriage.

It was difficult to see how cruel and petty some people were and how ridiculous their claims were and how impossible they were to disprove. It was interesting to read about the other prisoners, too. Susannah was 71 and one other prisoner, Rebecca, was close to her age. Some of the women were in their child bearing years and the little glimpses we got into their lives made me sad.

Heather Moore is an excellent storyteller and did an amazing job with this difficult topic! This is a story that will stay with me for a long time. It's an excellent read whether you have read a lot about the Salem witch trials or if this is your first exposure to it.


Heather B. Moore writes historical thrillers under the pen name H.B. Moore; her latest thrillers include Slave Queen and The Killing Curse. Under the name Heather B. Moore, she writes romance and women's fiction, her newest releases are the USA Today bestseller Heart of the Ocean and the historical romance Love is Come. She's also one of the coauthors of the USA Today bestselling series: A Timeless Romance Anthology.


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