Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Gatekeeper's Trilogy e-book review

I received these items for free from Tomoson.com in exchange for an honest review. Blurb and image source Tomoson.com




Blurb:

A young adult fantasy about the ancient gods in modern times.

A teen becomes entangled with the gods of Mount Olympus when one of them, Thanatos, the god of death, wants his chance at love. He makes a deal with his father, Hades, to go to the upperworld to win Therese’s heart, but not all the gods are happy.

Part paranormal romance and part adventure story, this trilogy follows Therese’s adventures as she struggles to overcome the challenges the gods dish her in her quest to become like them.
Follow Therese’s adventures as she strives to become a goddess in the ancient Greek pantheon.


Available where all ebooks are sold. 


Review:

These books were a lot of fun to read, because there were a lot of twists and turns which I really didn't expect. Parts of the stories reminded me of Twilight and also the Vampire Diaries, to a small extent, due to somewhat similar themes. It was very interesting reading these similar themes with the Greek gods twist, however. I've always been really interested in mythology, so it was a lot of fun reading these stories and seeing the world through the eyes of the Greek gods.

Of the three books, I think The Gatekeeper's Daughter was my favorite. I felt the author really broke into her creative juices with this one, and avoiding some of the common themes of the genre. I felt The Gatekeeper's Challenge was rather morbid for younger readers, but I was satisfied with the ending.

I hope to read the other books in the series in the future. I think it would be fun if the author did some spin off series with some of the other characters, as well. A love story with Hip, for example, would be fun.

You can read more about all of Eva Pohler's books on her Web site. The first book in this series, The Gatekeeper's Sons, is available for free everywhere ebooks are sold (here's the Amazon link if you're interested.) These books sell individually, as the 3 pack I received or you can purchase the entire series in one collection. The original trilogy is priced at $5.98 on Amazon.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Nura Natural Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil Review

I received this item from Tomoson.com in exchange for an honest review.

Today I have another essential oil review for you, and this one is beauty related.

Blurb:

100% Pure Certified Organic Rosehip Seed Oil - This is the highest quality natural unrefined rosehip seed oil - No fillers, no additives, alcohol free and fragrance free
- Refreshes and revitalizes, to make your skin more radiant and youthful. Proven to deeply penetrate to nourish, hydrate and heal damaged skin.
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Soothes dry, sensitive skin. Significantly improves the appearance of age spots, acne scars, eczema and dark spots. Guaranteed to restore skin's natural glow
- This is the highest quality, 100% certified organic rosehip seed oil. We produce only the most pure, finest quality rosehip oil. This is NOT a low quality oil like the ones sold in bulk - you get what you pay for.
- Also used for scars, wrinkles, age spots, burns, dry skin, stretch marks, rashes, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, sun damage, anti-inflammatory, radiation and hyper-pigmentation.



Review:

 I had never used rosehip oil before so I wasn't really sure what to do with it, but I found if I applied it to my skin after washing my face it left my face feeling very soft. The oil is sort of a yellowish color but I did not notice any staining. It absorbed quickly and unlike some lotions I wasn't left with a greasy feeling. I also applied this to my nails and cuticles a few times. My nails do seem to be healthier, so this might be why, I can't be completely positive but I'll keep applying it if it seems to help. It seems like rosehip oil has many benefits for treating skin conditions, which I will have to try out some more with. Overall, I am very happy with this oil as it has worked well for how I used it.

As you can see from the picture, this oil does come in its own box which keeps the bottle safe during shipping. This is superficial, but this oil comes in a really pretty green glass bottle which I really like and I plan on keeping once I've finished up the oil :) The bottle is 30 mL or 1 fluid ounce which is an OK size size you only need to use 4 or 5 drops at a time. I like that this is organic, and Nura Natural does offer a money back guarantee.

You can purchase Nura Natural Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil on Amazon. It retails for $25.99 but is on sale for $19.99 with free shipping on orders over $35.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Using essentials oil

I received some of these items for free in exchange for an honest review.

Essential oils are one of those things which I've always wanted to try but never really got much of an opportunity to use much until now. I'm very thankful working with my blog has given me the chance to review some oils, and I truly hope I get more opportunities in the future. Today I'll be sharing a few different essential oils with you, but first I want to talk about my new oil diffuser because - yay! - I just finally got one this past week.

I bought the SpaRoom Aromafier Ultrasonic Diffuser from Amazon. When picking this out, I wanted something that was affordable and could easily be run with or without a plug. This one came with a DC cable so I can plug it in but so far I've just been running it off of AA batteries.


 As you can see from my picture, it's quite small so I do like that it doesn't take up much space. Even though it's small, it does seem to do a decent job.


 Unfortunately I didn't read the reviews quite well enough because the one thing I don't like about this diffuser is it uses these little sponges which you have to purchase separately (about $5 for a pack of 6 on Amazon.) According to the reviews, these do last a long time and can be reused and even washed so I'll see how that goes. My diffuser came with 3 so for now that's plenty and I'll have to get another pack sometime in the future.

Several months ago I received 2 product samples - which I'm very late in blogging about due to my unexpected need for a hiatus. I was supposed to also get a sample of lavender, my favorite, but sadly they were sold out. So today I have a review of InstaNatural Lemon and Peppermint oils. I have the peppermint oil in my diffuser as I type this :)





Blurb:
About Lemon Essential Oil:
Lemon Essential Oil is extracted from the rinds of lemon, which lends its fresh citrus fragrance. This cold-pressed oil has a strong bright scent that is both refreshing and uplifting. Its astringent and purifying properties also make it a great aid to help cleanse and tone the skin, while delivering a boost of Vitamin C antioxidant benefits.

Ingredient: 100% Pure Cold-Pressed Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus Limon)

About Peppermint Oil:
Peppermint Essential Oil is a multi-purpose oil that cools, energizes and refreshes the body and mind. This steam-distilled oil is extracted from dried or fresh leaves from the Mentha Piperita herb, giving it a sharp, menthol fragrance. Its pleasantly sweet and minty aroma makes it a premium choice for aromatherapy to improve the mind and lift the spirits.

Ingredient: 100% Pure Steam-Distilled Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha Piperita)

Review:

These scents are VERY strong so if you're prone to scent induced migraines, be warned. I could smell these before I even opened the package. I know lemon oil is supposed to be great for an energy booster, and cleaning. This is how I've been using it, in general. Oddly enough, almost all of my bathing soaps and whatnot are all lavender scented (my family knows my love of the scent) which is fantastic for night time baths (which I never seem to take haha) but not so good for the middle of the day. So a few times I added a few drops of the lemon oil to my bath. I did use it in my diffuser, and added it in my soap water when cleaning the house just to give things a fresh smell. If I'm feeling kind of tired, I also open the jar just to smell it. I'm not certain it's really giving me more energy or not but it certainly does smell nice.

The peppermint oil I've used quite a bit, almost exclusively for my headaches. I was very surprised to find that if I use it along with my emu oil, it does seem to help sometimes. Plus it does just smell wonderful, and what can be better than smelling like candy canes? Yes, I smell like Christmas a lot of the time now.

One last thing, these bottles are HUGE! These should last me a very long time. They are each 4 fluid ounces or 120 mL. I just noticed the bottle instructions say to dilute before using, which I never did. So I guess if I started doing that, they would last even longer.

I guess I'll have to experiment and research on how else to use these oils. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below!

Lemon Essential Oil is available for $19.97 on sale from $39.95. The Peppermint Oil is also $19.97 on sale. Shipping is free with others over $35.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Writers of the Future Volume 31 Review

Tomoson.com provided me with this item in exchange for an honest review. Image source Amazon.com

 Last year I was introduced to L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future when I was sent Volume 30 to review. I wasn't sure what to expect exactly, but I was surprised and impressed with the quality of the stories I found in the small volume. When I received a request to review this year's volume, I was excited and I jumped at the opportunity.

Blurb



The future is here…the future is now!  Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson and Larry Niven have seen the future. Now, you can, too.
A constellation of the brightest lights in the Science Fiction and Fantasy firmament have judged these authors to be the best, the brightest, the truest emerging stars in the field.
From Alien Invasion to Alternate History, from Cyberpunk to Comic Fantasy to Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, these are the winning writers who have mastered every version and vision of sci-fi and fantasy.
Don’t be left behind. Get a read on what’s next.

Review

Writers of the Future is a contest for aspiring authors, but it is also an illustrator's contest. Before reading each story, I looked at it's illustration to get a feel for what the story would be about, and to judge how effective the illustrations were. With this in mind, let me review the illustrators first.

While all of the artwork is of good quality, a hand full stand out at me and drew my eyes every time I flipped through the images. Michelle  Lockamy's artwork is a prime example of this; I was especially drawn to the piece, as I love the style and colors. Quinlan Septer, Trevor Smith and Megan Kelchner are my other favorite illustrators from this collection because their work jumps out at me and something about it just speaks to me.

Some of the illustrations remind me of other artists styles such as Tony DiTerlizzi (Choong Yoon and Megan Kelchner) and Josh Kirby (Emily Siu.) Greg Opalinski, Daniel Tyka, Shuangjian Liu, Trevor Smith accomplished the goal of making me want to read the accompanying story.

Switch by Steve Pantazis I found to be disturbing yet interesting. It was reminiscent of the Matrix if Morpheus hand simply given Neo street drugs to turn him into a drug addict super hero.

The God Whisperer by Daniel J Davis I found be funny, enjoyable, and while short and to the point, a great read.

Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light by Sharon Joss was excellent. I loved this story as it kept me on the edge, kept me expecting something terrible to happen and yet it ended nicely. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Art by L. Ron Hubbard logically made sense and yet to me it wasn't one of the easier reads. It came across to me as being full of double speak, snarky and insincere.

When Shadows Fall by L. Ron Hubbard was an inspirational, positive perspective of mankind's inherit nature.

A Revolutionary’s Guide to Practical Conjuration by Auston Habershaw was funny, quite good with an unexpected ending.

Planar Ghosts by Krystal Claxton was really good, an enjoyable post-apocalyptic view and left me with a lot of questions.

Fiction Without Paper by Orson Scott Card I felt was very informative for the novice writer. Appreciated!

Rough Draft by Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta was probably one of my favorites in this volume, and I found myself telling others about this story which is something I normally wouldn't do. It was interesting, thought provoking and inspiring.

Between Screens by Zach Chapman I found to be dark, disturbing and surprising.

Unrefined by Marin L. Shoemaker was well written but definitely not a favorite.

Half Past by Samantha Murray was a very quick, interesting and thought provoking read. I found the plot concept quite different and creative.

Purposes Made for Alien Minds by Scott R Parkin, sadly I couldn't read. Let me explain that each sentence is made of 5 words which I understand the author was going for a certain style but quite frankly I found it to be rather irritating. Each time I tried to read this one I walked away with a tension headache until I eventually gave up on trying to read it.

Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven was a fun, easy and interesting read with an ending which left the reader wondering what really happened.

The Graver by Amy M. Hughes was an easy read. Although full of clich├ęs, it was interesting with a good ending.

Wisteria Melancholy by Michael T Banker was excellent and I felt it was easily the most creative among the stories. I found it to be quite different and enjoyed it very much.

Lastly, I found Poseidon's Eyes by Kary English to be quite different from what I expected based on the artwork alone. The story was good, and I found the process of the artist within to be quite true of real life.

This volume offers many different unique, enjoyable stories for fans of science fiction and fantasy alike. My thanks to Tomoson.com and Writers of the Future for giving me the chance to review it.

You can purchase Writers of the Future Volume 31 on Amazon.com in paperback ($11.87) or ebook format ($5.38.) For more information about Writers of the Future, including full contest rules and author updates, check out www.WritersoftheFuture.com