icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: May 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

~Scents of the Season-Scentsational Spring Pinterest Contest~

Purex is having a Scentsational Spring Pinterest Contest!  5 winners will each win a 4-pack of Purex Crystals. 

To enter, click here.

Note: This contest ends Friday May 31 at 3pm PST, so hurry and enter! Good luck!

~Family Fun Magazine Giveaway~

Purex is teaming up with Family Fun magazine to give away 15,000 subscriptions to Family Fun Magazine!  What a great way to start summer with all sorts of ideas, recipes, crafts, and more! 

Click here to enter. 

Note that this sweepstakes ends Friday May 30 at 3pm PST, so hurry and enter!

Book Review~A Stitch and a Prayer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch and A Prayer
Abingdon Press (May 20, 2014)
Eva Gibson


(No image available) Eva Gibson is the author of twenty books, including A Stitch and a Prayer, the latest release in the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Fiction. She currently teaches Writing Your Life Story classes for Portland Community College and is an active member of Oregon Christian Writers. She has lived most of her life on the family farm in Wilsonville, Oregon, which is the setting for her novel.


After her fiancĂ© returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life. But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her. Will her labor of love—and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?
If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch and A Prayer, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS: A Stitch and A Prayer is part of the Quilts of Love series, a series of books by various authors, with quilts and quilting as the central theme of the stories.  I've read several of them, and have really enjoyed them.  Although I'm not a quilter, I'm fascinated by quilts and quilting.  A Stitch and a Prayer was a sweet story of a fragile young woman who is newly married and living in the woods in a cabin.  I enjoyed the story for many reasons, as it had several components of things I love reading about-new settlers in the West in the 1800s, pregnancy and birth, and quilts.   At the start of the story, there were several characters introduced and I had a hard time keeping them straight.  For a moment, I thought maybe this book was  a sequel.  As I got further into the story, I was able to keep everyone straight.  The story was a quick read at just 197 pages, with discussion questions after as well as a sneak peak at a new book, Rival Hearts

Wordless Wednesday~Cool Dude!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Book Review~9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom

I recently read the ebook 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with God's Best by Sue Detweiler.  It was such a blessing!  Even though I've been at this parenting thing for almost 23 years,  and now a Grandparent, I'm certainly not perfect.  I make mistakes.  This book will help you feel okay when you blow it as a parent, and guide you back on track.

There are 11 chapters, covering 9 traits: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.  Each chapter is full of personal stories, wisdom, inspiration, and plenty of scripture.  There is also prayer at the end of each chapter focused on that chapter's trait. 

There is a Bible Study that goes along with the chapters, composed of 11 lessons.  Each lesson has a woman's personal story, Reflection Questions, and Group Discussion.  At the end of the book are additional resources. 

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom was definitely a blessing to me.  We can all use a little (or big) reminder of the amazing job God has entrusted us with in raising our children. The author also reminds us to not beat ourselves up-that we are not perfect, and we should not be striving to be Supermom.  This book would be great for Moms with children of any age to read. 

Connect with author Sue Detweiler on her website , Facebook, Twitter , and Linked In.  9 Traits of a Life Giving Mom is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this ebook free from Christian Women Affiliate in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Review~Thankful by Shelley Shepard Gray

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray captures the beauty, devotion, and warmth of Amish life in this engaging tale of family, commitment, trust, and love set in the beloved community of Sugarcreek.
Christina Kempf has always known that God chose Aden Reese to be her husband. As children, he was there to save her when she fell through the ice, and he’s been by her side ever since. After his parents died in a car accident ten years ago, the Kempfs raised Aden as one of their own, and everyone sees Aden and Christina as brother and sister. But Christina has never given up hope that Aden will one day ask her to be his wife.
Aden always planned to court Christina. But losing his mother and father changed everything—except his love for her. Her parents generously welcomed him into their home and treated him like a son. He can’t betray their kindness by admitting his feelings for the girl who is like a sister . . . yet so much more.
Pressured by her parents to court, Christina begins to accept the attentions of Sugarcreek’s young men, and now, Aden must make a choice. Will he stand by and watch the love of his life slip away? Or will he risk losing the love and trust of the family he holds dear to tell Christina how he truly feels?
Thankful includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.

MY THOUGHTS: I was very excited to read Thankful, as I had very much enjoyed Hopeful, the first book in the Return to Sugarcreek series.  I was not disappointed with Thankful-it was just as great as I had hoped it would be!  I enjoyed the main story of Christina and Aden, and also the two other stories that were going on throughout the book.

 Having fostered and adopted children, I liked that the subject was part of the book, both in Christina and Aden's story and with Judith and Ben.  The sticky situation of two people raised as siblings that are not blood related, then falling in love, is fascinating.  Having been adopted myself, and having both biological and adopted children, it just really got me to thinking of how I would feel if something like that happened in my family. 

Bonuses to the book are some yummy recipes and a sneak peak of the next in the series, Joyful!

To learn more about author Shelley Shepard Gray and her books, visit her website and Facebook.  Links to purchase Thankful are available on her website. 


Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. The movie, produced by Mission Pictures International and filmed last fall in the actual town of Sugarcreek, will premiere on Sunday, June 1, 2014, at 7:00 PM EDT on Up TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel). Visit the movie website for more information.
Serena and Guideposts will be celebrating with a Facebook viewing party

Join Serena and readers on Facebook while you tune in to watch Love Finds You in Sugarcreek to share your thoughts about the movie, chat with other viewers, and win fun prizes. Just use hashtag #LFYSugarcreek to join the discussion on June 1st.

Check your local listing for UpTV (http://up.viewerlink.tv) to find out when it airs in your timezone.

Excited? Help me spread the word! Just share this link and information on your social media along with the hashtag #LFYSugarcreek! Plus, we'll be tracking the hashtag and giving away Amazon & Starbucks cards to people at random who help to promote all throughout the month of May. Winners announced at the Love Finds You in Sugarcreek viewing party on June 1st.

"This is so exciting for Serena Miller and Guideposts! We are thrilled that Up TV has chosen Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio to make into a movie,” said Lenore Lelah Person, vice president and editorial director of Guideposts Books and Inspirational Media. “With Serena’s wonderful story and a beautiful backdrop in Ohio Amish country, fans of the story and the series will enjoy seeing it on screen. For more information read the media release.

UPTV LFYSC.300x250.C.R3For those who are not familiar with the Love Finds You™ series, this will be a great opportunity to introduce them to these uplifting and engaging romances." Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio is one of more than 50 releases in the popular Love Finds You™ series uniquely titled after actual American towns with unusual but intriguing names and combines travel, romance and faith in one package. The series includes both historical and contemporary releases, and each fictional story draws on compelling history or the unique character of a real place. Stories center on romances kindled in small towns, old loves lost and found again on the high plains, and new loves discovered at exciting vacation getaways. Mission Pictures has purchased the movie rights to the entire series and plans to produce additional films based on the series in the future.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Review~The Miting

The Miting, by author Dee Yoder, is a fascinating look at an extremely strict Old-Order Amish community.  Leah is 17 years old and questioning her Amish beliefs.  When her best friend reveals she is being continually abused by her stepbrother, and the leaders in their community are not helping her, Leah begins to question even more. 

After hearing about a Bible Study that many ex-Amish attend, she is curious and attends.  Her heart is opened to learning about salvation, and she begins studying an English bible.  Her parents and church leaders see this as rebellion, and order her to stop.  Leah is stuck between two different worlds-does she push down her new beliefs so that she can stay with her family and boyfriend Jacob?  Or does she leave all she's ever known to begin a new life where she can learn and worship as she chooses?

The Miting was a great story.  It was different from many Amish books I've read in the past, as some of the rules of the Amish were so much more strict.  It was also interesting to read a book where the young person considering leaving the Amish was doing so for religious freedom, rather than to live an English lifestyle.  It was easy to read The Miting quickly, as it held my attention throughout the story. 

Through the end of May, Kregel is offering The Miting e-book for only $1.99!  Click here for more information. 

Disclosure: I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Product Review~Learning Success Program

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

 Does your child struggle in  school?  My youngest does.  He has dyslexia, and it makes every subject a struggle.  Learning Success is an at-home program you can do for 15-20 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week. 

There are 16 basic core skills that help our children learn.  Typical learning difficulties, such as ADHD and Dyslexia to name a few, are often a weakness in two or more of these core skills.  The exercises provided in this program help to strengthen these core skills. 

How does it work?  Each day, you are sent an email with an exercise to download and sometimes a video to watch.  Ive been receiving the emails for a few weeks now, and my son is loving these exercises because they are fun!  They involve movement and fun exercises that are games to him. 

According to the website, it can take up to three months to see results.  I already see that my son is getting better and faster at the exercises.  I'm excited to continue working on this program through the summer while school is out. 

For more information and to purchase the program, visit their website at http://www.learningsuccessblog.com/ .

Visit Learning Success on  Facebook.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Product Review~Adovia Purifying Mud Mask

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Adovia Purifying Mud Mask is a mask and skin care treatment for men, women and teens.  It's for all skin types but also works for acne, psoriasis, and eczema.  It can be used as a deep facial cleanser and exfoliator.  It is full of natural ingredients-Pure Dead Sea Black Mud, Aloe Vera, Vitamins A and C, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Olive Oil, and more.

My Adovia Purifying Mud Mask arrived quickly from the company, and was packaged well.  The 5.1 oz. tube came in a sturdy box that has the same design on it as the tube.  The colors and design on the tube are attractive, and on the back of the tube all of the ingredients and directions are clearly written.  The tube has a cap you screw off that is easy to open. 

The mask itself is a thick brownish green and doesn't have much of a scent.  The mask went on easily, and I waited the suggested 10-20 minutes.  After rinsing it off and drying my face, I immediately was struck by how soft my skin felt!  I have combination skin, and often masks can dry out areas of my face.  Not this time. 

Next, I let my young adult son and daughter try the Adovia Purifying Mud Mask.  They both suffer from occasional adult acne.  Both of them were impressed with their results, especially the tightness in their pores.  I never would have thought my son would let me take a picture of him in a face mask, but he is so impressed with this product, he agreed:

A session at a spa using a Dead Sea Mask generally runs $70-$120.  One bottle of Adovia Purifying Mud Mask, containing 30 sessions, is only $33!  Based on our results, this is a product we will be continuing to use.  You can purchase your own tube of Adovia Purifying Mud Mask at Amazon.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Product Review~Valentia Even Glow Vitamin C Serum

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

 Valentia Skincare's Even Glow Vitamin C Serum has 20% Vitamin C, with 98% of the ingredients natural and organic.  Those percentages caught my attention right away-20% is a lot of Vitamin C, and 98% natural is impressive!   I love knowing I'm using natural ingreadients. 

Other key ingredients include Organic Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil, Resistem (Plant Stem Cells), Hyaluronic Acid (Botanical),  and Green Tea Extract.  These key ingredients were all chosen for their ability to enhance and support Vitamin C's effect on the skin. 

The potential results from using Even Glow Serum are:
*Evens Skin Tone (including dark spots and discoloration)
*Increases Glow and Radiance
*Absorbs Rapidly
*Boosts Collagen Production
*Reduces Wrinkles and Fine Lines

My Thoughts: I have been using Valentia Even Glow Vitamin C Serum for about three weeks, and I have had great results.  First of all, as mentioned above, I love that it is 98% natural, with 20% Vitamin C.  I am also in love with the scent!  I can be picky about my skin care products smelling good-and this serum has a lovely citrus scent.  It goes on easily, and a little goes a long way.  It isn't greasy or messy, and absorbs into my skin immediately.  My skin feels softer and smoother, and my fine lines are not as noticeable.  It feels good knowing I'm putting such a nourishing product on my face!  

Purchase Valentia Even Glow Vitamin C Serum at Amazon.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Book Review~The Kissing Bridge

The Kissing Bridge is the latest book in author Tricia Goyer's Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series.  Rebecca Troyer is a young Amish woman who has decided to leave her strict community to travel across the country and attend nursing school.  After the devastating loss of her sister in childbirth, Rebecca is determined to not let anything like that happen in her community again.  As the Amish do not believe in education past the 8th grade, she must leave to get her schooling.  In secret, she has already received her GED and some college classes. 

On her way to Oregon, Rebecca stops to visit an old friend from her community who has since left the Amish and now lives in an Amish community in Montana.  This Amish community is different than most-more lenient, and Amish and Englisch work and socialize together.  While there, Rebecca meets Caleb, a daredevil Amish bachelor who is looking for an Amish woman that has his same sense of adventure. 

Rebecca and Caleb are drawn to each other, but there are numerous things that should keep them apart-among them her leaving the Amish for schooling, and his lack of faith in God.  Will Rebecca follow her dreams and continue on to Oregon, or stay and find out if love is more important?

My Thoughts: The Kissing Bridge was another wonderful story in this series!  Tricia Goyer is one of my favorite Amish authors, and she just amazes me with how she weaves a story and keeps you on the edge of your seat!  I enjoy reading about this Amish community in Montana and its differences from the Amish back east.  Rebecca was a strong character, and you could feel the pull she was feeling from two different lifestyles.  She wants to obey her family and community, but also wants to do what she feels is best.  I was wondering up until the very end how this story was going to work out!

*Disclosure: I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Silenced-Book Review and Rugged Romance Sweepstakes!

About the Book: Silenced, by Dani Pettrey, is the fourth book in the Alaskan Courage Series. " A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna’s route leads her to a face-to-face encounter with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake’s past now revealed, he’s ready to use his talent for investigation again-–but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.

Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger.

But the truth is far worse than either of them imagine."

My Thoughts: This book has it all-adventure, mystery, and romance!  I've read and reviewed the first three books in this Alaskan Courage series, and they were incredible!  You know how often in movies and books, the sequels aren't quite as good as the first book/movie?  Well, that's not the case with this series!!  Each book is just as exciting as the last!  Each book of the series focuses more on one of the siblings of the McKenna family.  Silenced is Kayden's book, and believe me I could not put it down!! 

Kayden McKenna is such a complex character-she has a wall up she is determined to not let down.  Family friend Jake has his own issues from his past, and the two are not close..  As they work together on a case, the walls start to crumble. 

Get your copy of SILENCED by Author Dani Pettrey!

I love Alaska (haven't been there yet though), and the description of the scenery just makes me feel like I'm there with the characters.  With each new book, I feel like I get to know the family even better.  I love series, and usually the series I read  have three books at the most, so I am thrilled that there is a fourth book in the Alaskan Courage Series, with a fifth on the way!!

Author Dani Pettrey is a talented writer, one of my favorites, and I highly recommend reading Silenced and the entire Alaskan Courage Series!  Believe me, you will not be disappointed!

For more information on author Dani Pettrey and her books, click here.  To purchase your own copy of Silenced, visit these online retailers:
Barnes & Noble

Rugged Romance Sweepstakes!!!

Enter the RUGGED ROMANCE Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey
To celebrate the release of Silenced, author Dani Pettrey and Bethany House Publishers are having the Rugged Romance Sweepstakes!! 
*Grand Prize: $250 certificate to Alaska Airlines, good towards travel to multiple destinations across the Continental US, Alaska, and Hawaii.
*2nd Prize: This beautiful Framed Art Print, 'The Kiss at Wonder Lake', 31"x23"

*3rd Prize: The ultimate picnic pack for a romantic afternoon. This insulated backpack includes silverware, plates, napkins, plastic long-stemmed glasses and a wide selection of gourmet picnic snacks. 

Enter the Rugged Romance Sweepstakes by clicking the banner above, or go to http://www.danipettrey.com/rugged-romance-sweepstakes/ 

Sweepstakes is open to US residents only through May 21st.  Winners will be selected on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 and announced at www.DaniPettrey.com   Good luck!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

It's not the clearest picture, but I love this one of Chad reading to his nephew Daniel.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Review~Echoes of an Angel

Echoes of an Angel is an amazing true story of the life of Ben Underwood, who lost both eyes at the young age of two.  Ben's family was poor, and his mother struggled to survive with her children.  However, Ben's mother Aquanetta (who is the author along with Chris Macias) was strong, and she was determined that  her son would have as normal of a  life as possible.  Through her determination and strong faith in God, as well as some wonderful friends, family, and teachers, Ben achieved more than anyone thought possible. 

Ben never used a cane-but he did ride a scooter, play video games, and did pretty much everything other children did.  Ben used echolocation-'seeing' through the reflection of sound waves.  He had a strong faith, and amazed everyone who heard of him.  He appeared on numerous shows, including Oprah.  Though unfortunately his life was cut short by cancer, he left quite a mark on this world. 

Echoes of an Angel was a wonderful reminder of putting our faith in God and watching what He can do!  The book contains pictures and a Discussion Guide.  You can learn more about the book, including links for purchasing a copy, at www.Tyndale.com

*Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with theFederal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review~Rumspringa's Hope

Rumspringa's Hope is the first book in the Spirit of the Amish series by author Beth Shriver. The main character of the story is Emma, a young Amish woman who is past the age most women marry in her community.  Her family would like her to marry their neighbor Zeb, a widower in his thirties.  Practically, it makes sense to Emma, as she thinks she could be happy with him, and merging their family's two farms would be good for both families. 

Emma still has feelings for Caleb, a former beau who left the Amish and is now helping young Amish who leave the community transition into 'Englisch' life.  When he returns to their community for a visit, her old feelings for him are stirred up. 

Mark is Emma's brother, who decides to leave and explore the Englisch life during his Rumspringa.  Emma decides to go with him to watch over him, even though she knows Caleb will take care of him.  Emma is drawn to Caleb's new way of life helping and evangelizing to the homeless. 

Which world (and man) will Emma choose?

My Thoughts: Rumpspringa's Hope was a great story that I was very interested in.  The topic of Rumspringa (the Amish teen running-around years) is fascinating, and I enjoyed it being a main topic of the story.  Emma was a very easy character to connect with emotionally, and I felt the pull she was feeling of the two very different worlds.  Rumpspringa's Hope kept my attention from the very start, and I read it quickly as I had a hard time putting it down!  I look forward to the next book  in the Spirit of the Amish series  by Beth Shriver. 

Connect with Beth Shriver:
Website: www.bethshriverwriter.com
Blog: http://www.bethshriverwriter.com/category/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Beth_Shriver

*Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Product Review and Giveaway~Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets

Purex has a new product I want to tell you about-Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets.  They come in two scents-Fresh Spring Waters and Lavender Blossom.  I got the Lavender Blossom, and it smells really good!  It's a nice floral, fresh scent, perfect for Spring! 

Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets give you 30 days of long lasting freshness, reduces static cling,  and leaves the laundry feeling soft.  Not only will these dryer sheets make your laundry smell and feel amazing, they can also keep your whole house smelling fresh!  You can tuck a sheet into linen closets, hampers, or anywhere that could use a boost of freshness. 

I love all the Purex products, and appreciate the high quality at such affordable prices.  I recently convinced my Mom to switch from the leading expensive brand that she's used all her life.  She was very surprised at how well the Purex products worked, and loved that she saved money!


The 'Try Your Luck and Win' Sweepstakes is going on now!  One lucky winner will win $500 and a years supply of Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets, and 50 people will each win a box of new Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets.  Enter here through May 9th, 2014. 


Two winners will each win a coupon for a free box of Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets.  Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  Winners will be notified by email within 48 hours of the end of the contest. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed are my own. 

Winners, Winners, Winners!

 We've had lots of winners over the past week at The Loose Screw!  I love having giveaways for my readers, and I'm thankful for the generous sponsors who help make it possible!

So, here are the latest winners, all who have been contacted:

Spider-Man 2 Prize Pack: Holly M.

Purex Crystals Fabulously Fresh: LaTonya T & Judy M.

Purex No Sort Detergent: Samantha L. & Tammy W.

 Congratulations to all the winners!  Speaking of giveaways, I have a new one posting later today-come back and enter!