icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: June 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Please Help!

My daughter Alyssa will be travelling to Serbia in one week with her dance group, Clog America.  While there, they will be bringing desperately needed items to a home for disabled and abandoned  children.  They only have a week to go, and aren't even halfway to their goal to be able to purchase the items once they are over there.  They'd appreciate anything you can give.  Here is a link to their Gofundme page:


Thank you!

Book Review and Author Giveaway~Forever Amish

Forever Amish is the third book in author Kate Lloyd's Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy.  Sally Bingham is about to get married, and has some reservations about her groom.  She and her now ailing father were abandoned by her mother when she was a toddler, so it has always been just the two of them. Sally is always haunted by her mother-who is she and why did she leave?  She is determined to find out.

Sally has been receiving emails from an Amish girl named Lizzie in Pennsylvania, first asking about the show dogs Sally breeds, but now asking for her help.  Feeling like she needs some time away to clear her thinking, Sally makes the trip to Pennsylvania to find Lizzie. 

What she finds in Pennsylvania are secrets that unlock a heritage she never knew existed, as well as a handsome young man named Armin who she is immediately drawn to.  Now Sally has to confront her father, and decide which direction her life will take. 

MY THOUGHTS:  I've read  the other books in this series, and feel Forever Amish could easily be read on its own.  I enjoyed the story of Sally and Armin, which was so romantic, and felt the entire story was a great mystery.  There are many issues being dealt with in Forever Amish, with an overall feeling of family and forgiveness throughout.  There are discussion questions at the back of the book, and I think it would make a great book for a book club!  There are so many deep topics within the story that would make for good discussion. 

To learn more about author Kate Lloyd, visit her website.  To read more reviews of Forever Amish, visit the book's landing page.  Click here for links to purchase your own copy of Forever Amish.

The latest book in Kate Lloyd's Legacy of Lancaster trilogy, Forever Amish, introduces us to a young woman about to uncover a shocking secret and find an invitation to a new way of living. This is a story of forgiveness, legacies, and the ties that bind through generations.

Kate is celebrating by giving away an Amish-made prize pack!

  One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • A Qillow (A pillow with a lovely surprise inside! It opens to a 40” X 60” quilt ideal for traveling, sports events, and home.)
  •  A Center Diamond wall hanging (Hand-stitched by Old Order Amish quilter Emma Stoltzfus of E.S. Quilts in Lancaster, PA. It measures 42” x 42” and is a traditional Old Order Amish design.)
  • Darling Amish-made faceless dolls (Hand-crafted in Lancaster County, PA. Each measures 12 inches and is individually named. Meet Martha and Henry!)
  • Forever Amish and the rest of the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy by Kate Lloyd
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 29th. Winner will be announced at Kate's blog on July 1st.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning and be sure to stop by Kate's blog on July 1st to see if you won!

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday~Summer Fun!

Product Review~Solid Cordz Premium 6' Extension Cords

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

At our house, it seems there is often a need for an extension cord-especially around the holidays!  We never have enough-we usually just swap the ones we have around to whatever we need it most for at the time.  When I asked my husband if he thought I should review Solid Cordz Premium 6' Extension Cords, he said, "YES!" without any hesitation. 

Upon receiving the cords, my husband was impressed. They are thicker and sturdier than what we normally use.  They are thicker because normal cords house a 16 AWG wire, but these cables are fully rated for 125 volt/13 AMP applications.  He also said they connect well, so I'm assuming that's a good thing!  The cords are bendable and have easy grip ends, for no grounding problems. 

We've used our new cords several times since receiving them, and are more than satisfied with their performance.  They come with a no questions asked lifetime money back guarantee! We will definitely purchase Solid Cordz products in the future. 

To learn more about Sold Cordz and all their products, including purchasing information, visit their website.  They are available for purchase on 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~Adovia Facial Serum

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

I'm at that age when I'm noticing  lots of fine lines, and my face has areas that are, well, saggy.  UGH.  Needless to say, I've been on the lookout for a product to help lift and moisturize, while preventing further signs of aging. 

Adovia Facial Serum  was just what I was looking for.  I have used another Adovia product before-the Dead Sea Mask, and my entire family loves it!  The facial serum is a favorite as well now.  It has a high concentrate of Dead Sea minerals and salt, as well as Vitamin C and Green Tea.  In fact, there are 21 essential minerals in this serum!

Adovia Facial Serum is non-oily for deep hydration.  It gives an instant lift and anti-aging affects, delivering anti-wrinkle results over time.  I have been using it for a few weeks now.  My skin is soft and does feel tighter.  The serum is not at all greasy-it is light but packed with nutrients.  It just makes me feel better knowing I'm putting such great nutrients in my skin.  You can learn more about this product and purchase your own bottle 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.

Children's Book Review~Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox

Tadeo Turtle is a sweet 28-page children's book written and illustrated by Janis Cox.  The story is adorable, with plenty of animals and action. It also has an important message-that God made us just the way we are supposed to be! I'm in love with all the illustrations-the colors are beautiful!  At the end of the book are some children's activities, and there is a corresponding curriculum for grades 1 & 2.  The curriculum is full of activities for every subject from art to physical education. 

My grandson Daniel is two years old, and he loves Tadeo Turtle!  We are going on a trip next week, and I plan on bringing my laptop on the plane so he can read the e-book.

For more information about Tadeo Turtle and author Janis Cox, visit her website.  You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.  Tadeo Turtle has his very own Facebook too!

You can purchase your own copy of Tadeo Turtle at Amazon.  After you purchase your copy, you can email the author at authorjaniscox@gmail.com for the curriculum that goes along with the book.

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

Product Review~UV Sight's #1 Ultraviolet Blacklight Stain and Urine Detector Torch

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

Three years ago, we got a puppy.  She didn't have too much trouble learning to potty train, just a few accidents, which of course we cleaned up immediately.  Eight months ago, my daughter (who lives with us) got a puppy.  This puppy had a hard time learning to potty outside.  Lots of accidents, but we thought we were on top of them and cleaned them all. 

My husband had just cleaned our carpets very thoroughly with a carpet cleaner, and a few days later my UV Sight Ultraviolet Light arrived.  I figured we wouldn't have any stains.  We waited until it was dark, turned it on and were horrified!  Absolutely horrified!  We have stains all over the place!  We couldn't believe it.  Now we can work on the stains one by one to get rid of them.  This is also a good tool to check the quality of hotel and bathroom cleanliness.  It really works well!  The picture below shows exactly what it looks like when you find a stain:

The UV Sight's #1 Ultraviolet Blacklight Stain and Urine Detector Torch is made of high quality materials, and has 12 high output LED UV Blacklights.  It is small and lightweight, making it easy to take on travels.  It comes with three AAA batteries included, and has a 60 day money back guarantee.
You can purchase your own 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.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Product Review~SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer

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

I've been trying to eat healthier the past several months, and I have been eating fewer carbs.  The SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer has been a fun, new way to eat those veggies!  It has also inspired my son eat more vegetables too!

The SuperSwizz has sturdy Japanese Stainless Steel blades that make loooong julienne strips out of your vegetables.  There are two julienne sizes included-2x3mm and 3.5x5 mm.  The SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer is nice and compact, so it's easy to fit in drawers.  It is very easy and quick to use-you use it like a pencil sharpener.  Firmer veggies worked best for me. 

We've had great fun with our new SuperSwizz.  Not only have we been eating healthier, it's fun to use!  My 11 year old enjoys using it, and eating what he creates!  You can purchase your own SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer on 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.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Product Review~Ozeri Brezza III Dual Oscillating 10" Desk Fan

Product description from the manufacturer: Featuring dual oscillation motors that deliver cooling airflow with automatic horizontal AND vertical motion, the newly released Brezza III by Ozeri raises the bar in fan performance with unrivaled technology. Built upon the success of the Brezza II Fan, this new dual oscillation fan now boasts 4 motor speeds, a 4-hour timer, a refined design, and a new record for the lowest noise output in its class. The Ozeri Brezza III's dual oscillating motors deliver airflow from left to right and up and down, liberating you from having to move or turn the fan to change the airflow direction. With the new extended-range remote control or via the push of button on the fan's control panel, the Brezza III 10" Desk Fan provides automatic dual motion oscillation for the ultimate in air circulation that ensures the widest distribution of cooling airflow and hot spot elimination.

What I Thought: When I first found out that I was going to review a fan, I thought, OK, how different could a fan really be?  Well, when I received the Ozeri Brezza III I quickly learned!  I had no idea fans now can have remote controls-very cool.  Or timers to turn off after a certain amount of time.  But, the most impressive surprise was that it moves not only horizontally but vertically!  It is also SOOOO quiet, and very stylish and compact looking. 

Two days after we received our fan, a pipe leaked under our kitchen sink.  After it was fixed and we cleared out everything in the cupboard, my husband put our new Ozerri fan just inside the cupboard and put it on to go both directions.  That area was dried out in a jiffy!  Next, my youngest son got the stomach flu.  We still had the fan sitting out, and the only thing that made him feel better was to have it blowing right on him.  Nice because it is so quiet he could still watch TV, and we could talk without having to talk over a loud fan. 

The Ozeri Brazza III 10" Dual Oscillating Desk Fan is a great little, but powerful, fan to have around.  It comes with a one year manufacturers warranty, and is available on Amazon.

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

Book Review~Seasons of Tomorrow

Seasons of Tomorrow, by author Cindy Woodsmall, is the fourth book in her Amish Vines and Orchards series.  I have read the three previous books, and was excited to read this new story.  Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite Amish Fiction authors, and she wrote another winner with Seasons of Tomorrow. 

The King and Byler families are continuing to work around the clock to make Orchard Bend Farms a success.  After breaking Jacob's heart by revealing their love for each other, Samuel and Rhoda are taking their relationship slowly and cautiously.  Leah and Landon are falling in love, but their relationship is frowned upon by her family and the community because Landon is Englisch.  Leah must make a decision-leave the only life she's ever known for love, or give up the love of her life to remain Amish? 

After a tragedy hits the families and several members must leave the farm, those remaining have to pull together to make sure the farm survives.  Jacob, who has been in another state since his breakup with Rhoda, returns to help.  Can they unite during this time, or will they be torn apart?  Will Samuel and Rhoda ever be able to express their love?

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this eagerly anticipated fourth book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series.  By now, I feel like I know all the characters so well, which is a talent that Cindy Woodsmall has.  I think you could read this book alone, but it would make much more sense if you read the other three books first.  As usual with Ms. Woodsmall's books, I had a hard time putting it down. 

To learn more about and purchase Seasons of Tomorrow, click here.

*Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Review~Unspeakable! A Mother's Journey

I think losing a child is every parent's absolute worst fear.  Nothing could be worse.  How do you go on after such a loss?  Kay Armstrong Baker has been through this nightmare.  Her beautiful, young, pregnant daughter Courtney was suddenly taken from her family in 2000.  While trying to cope with living after her death, she started a journal, hoping it would be therapeutic to get her thoughts out. 

After several years and the encouragement of family and friends, Ms. Baker published a compilation of her journal entries-Unspeakable! A Mother's Journey.  At 192 pages, this is a quick read, but not an easy one.  I was in tears after just the first few pages.  I could just feel the author's raw emotions, which went from such extreme sadness to anger and back again. 

This book would be very helpful, I would imagine, to a parent who has lost a child, but also helpful for those of us who may some day be in the position of knowing someone who has lost a child.  Along with the journal entries are some pictures of her family, and beautiful poems the author wrote. 

The only thing I did not agree with in the book, that does not go along with my beliefs, was the author's use of the paranormal.  But, I will say, in such deep grief, a person must be willing to try almost anything to understand, and to seek relief.  I pray that I will never have to experience the death of a child, and my heart goes out to the Baker family.

To learn more about Unspeakable! A Mother's Journey, as well as purchasing information, click here.

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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Product Review~Phonics and Reading with McGuffey

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

Most adults have heard of or seen the famous McGuffey''s Primer, which has taught tens of thousands of children the joy of reading for over more than a century.  LiteracySoft has now brought this most successful textbook of all time to contemporary technology with the Phonics and Reading with McGuffey app.

.This app guides students step by step and at their own pace.  It is flexible enough to be used with adult students, ESL students, Dyslexic learners, and homeschoolers.

This app includes:
  • All 52 McGuffey Primer lessons
  • All 44 letter sounds of English and their graphemes
  • 60+ letter sound animations
  • 400+ practice word vocabulary
  • 9000+ nonsense word audio dictionary

My youngest son, Chad, has Dyslexia, and  so I am always on the lookout for ways to help him make reading easier.  He's been working through the lessons, and although he already knows how to read, these lessons have been great for him as he struggles with letter sounds and rules.  The lessons are full color and vibrant, and the activities are made to be fun while learning-always a bonus!  Now that he is out of school for the summer, we plan to continue through the Phonics and Reading with McGuffey app. 

Click here to go to LiteracySoft's website and learn more about Phonics and Reading with McGuffey app, as well as their other products. You can even try out a sample of the program on iOS, iPad, Android and PC. 

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.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Book Review and Author Giveaway/Facebook Party~A Season of Change

A Season of Change is the first book in author Lynette Sowell's new series, Seasons of Pinecraft.  This is the first book I have read by this author. 

Jacob Miller is an Amish widower with a young daughter.  He takes his daughter on a trip to the Amish/Mennonite community of Pinecraft ( a real place), which is in Florida.  His daughter is injured, and as he stays by her bedside in a hospital, he meets Natalie Bennett, an Englischer who was an aerial silks artist with the circus. 

Natalie discovers she has Amish roots, and as she tries to find out more information, she and Jacob get closer.  As their love grows, so do the problems. Can these two people, who live completely different lives, figure out a way to live a life together?

My Thoughts: I love Amish fiction, and have read an insane amount of books in this genre.  So it was very refreshing to read a story in the setting of Pinecraft, a quiet beach town.  I also believe this is the first Amish fiction book I have read that has a main character that was a circus performer-how fun!  The characters in A Season of Change were endearing, and I just wanted to help Jacob and Natalie get together!   There is a Glossary and Discussion questions at the back of the book.  I recommend this book, and look forward to the next in the series!

To read more reviews of A Season of Change, click here.
To learn more about author Lynette Sowell, visit her website.
You can purchase your own copy of A Season of Change at Amazon.

In A Season of Change, book one of Lynette Sowell's new series, Seasons of Pinecraft, readers will discover a different side of the Amish community. A Season of Change follows Natalie and Amish widower Jacob Miller as they each discover the mysterious ways God works. Inspired by the image of a Plain woman sitting on a three-wheeled bicycle by the Pinecraft (an Amish community in Florida) post office, Sowell’s latest is a new take on the popular trend in fiction.

Lynette is celebrating with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on June 12th.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 12th. Winner will be announced at the A Season of Change Facebook author chat party on June 12th. Connect with Lynette for an evening of fun book chat, Amish-themed trivia, and prizes. Lynette will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the Seasons of Pinecraft series!

So grab your copy of A Season of Change and join Lynette on the evening of June 12th 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 12th!

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

Book Review~Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl

Gathering Shadows is the first book in author Nancy Mehl's new series Finding Sanctuary.  I loved the author's Road to Kingdom series, so I was excited to review Gathering Shadows.  What could be better than a mix of romance and suspense, all set in a quaint Mennonite community?

Wynter Evans is an up-and-coming reporter for a television studio in St. Louis.  There is just one thing that haunts her-the disappearance of her brother nine years ago.  When she comes across a photo of a boy that looks like her brother, but in Amish-like clothing, she has to find out more.  With a photographer in tow under the guise of researching a story, she heads to the small Mennonite town of Sanctuary, Missouri. 

Once in Sanctuary, it is obvious someone does not want Wynter to find out any information.  She presses on, even though she is being threatened.  She begins to become close to the town's mayor, Rueben King, who is helping her find the answers she needs.  Is finding her brother worth risking her life?

I was sucked into Gathering Shadows immediately, and could not put it down.  Well, I had to get some sleep but every available waking moment I was reading.  The characters are so easy to relate to, and there are twists and turns through to the very end of the story.  Definitely a must read!!  I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review~Simply Essentials Stainless Steel Nail Clippers

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

I recently received the Simply Essentials Stainless Steel Nail Clippers to review.  These are large professional nail clippers that work great on thick nails.  They have a satin matte finish and are heavy duty.  The cutting edge is super sharp, making nails easy to cut with precision. 

At my house, we have a lot of nail clippers spread in various drawers throughout the house.  But-there are only one or two pairs that work the best that everyone ends up using.  Now that we have the Simply Essentials nail clippers, there is a new favorite pair in the house!  These worked great on everyone in the family-nice and sharp, sturdy, and with a clipping catcher and edge guard.  Nice to not have nails flying everywhere as you cut them. 

You can purchase these nail clippers at Amazon..  You can't go wrong-there is a one year money back guarantee with the Simply Essential Stainless Steel Nail Clippers!

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.

Giveaway~Learning Success Program

 A few weeks ago, I posted a review of the Learning Success Program.  You can read my review here.  This program helps with learning disabilities, including Dyslexia and ADHD.  My son has been having great success with the program, and now I am able to offer one winner the full program, which is one year long!  To learn more about the program, visit the links above. 

The winner of the program will receive emails with links and downloads to the exercises for one year. This program currently is $398. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway