icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review and Author Giveaway/Chat Party~A Heart's Disguise

A Heart's Disguise is the first part of six in author Colleen Coble's Journey of the Heart series.   This is a reprint of the author's very first book, but it is now split into six installments.  Each installment is a short, 128 page book you can quickly read.  Colleen Coble wrote this story after the unexpected death of her brother.  The story is the re-imagining of what her brother might have experienced in his beloved Wyoming if he'd lived there as a frontiersman in the 19th century. 

About A Heart's Disguise: In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.  The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery’s marriage before it’s even begun. After Sarah receives word that her fiancĂ©, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner—despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive—and that Ben Croftner knew it—she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand. But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly—and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancĂ©, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife. But could Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

My Thoughts: A Heart's Disguise is a great Historical Romance.  At only 128 pages, it is a quick weekend read.  I find it fascinating to read about war time long ago and the effect it had on families and entire communities.  I was so excited that Rand arrived back before Sarah married Ben!  But, of course, Ben does not accept losing Sarah, and Rand questions why Sarah turned to another man so quickly. Colleen Coble does a great job of quickly engaging the reader in the story, and keeping the interest throughout the book.  I am excited to read the next book in the series, A Heart's Obsession!

About the Author:

Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.  Find Colleen online: website, Twitter, Facebook

You can purchase your own copy of A Heart's Disguise at the Thomas Nelson website.  Read more reviews of the book at the Litfuse Landing page.

In the midst of end-of-war celebrations, Sarah discovers her betrothed was keeping a devastating secret in Colleen Coble's A Heart's Disguise. Will Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the only man she’s ever loved? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

Celebrate book one in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession (blog tour coming in April)
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge (blog tour coming in April)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!

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

Monday, March 30, 2015

Product Review and Giveaway~Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap

Dial has a new Boutique Collection Hand Soap line, featuring a new bottle design and premium formula to bring a little luxury to your bathroom.  I received new Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap to try out.  This new Boutique Collection has vibrant scents, refreshing moisture, and gentle micro-scrubbers.  It is a deep cleansing formula to give you clean skin, while still moisturizing and hydrating with skin conditioners. 

My entire family has enjoyed new Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap from the Boutique Collection.  The bottle has a nice shape and looks great in the bathroom.  The scent, inspired by freshly cut Sugar Cane, is heavenly.  Its a nice, sweet smell, without being overpowering.  I especially like the micro scrubbers.  With a 12 year old boy in the house, any extra boost to the cleaning power of soap is appreciated!  Although this soap is a strong cleanser, it did not leave my skin feeling dried out like some soaps can do. 

To learn more about new Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap, visit the Dial website.  You can also check out Dial on Facebook. 


Two readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle of Dial liquid Hand Soap!  Winners will be emailed the day after the contest ends, and will need to respond to that email within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn.  Open to residents of the US only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap in exchange for a product review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Children's Book Review~If You Were Me and Lived In...Scotland

If You Were Me and Lived In...Scotland: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World is a great book for children of all ages.  Author Carole P. Roman has done a wonderful job with this series, taking kids around the globe to learn about other cultures and customs. 

First, you see a globe and map of Scotland and learn what the capital and other important cities are.  You learn common names for boys and girls, and what you would call your mother and father.  Next you learn about food, sports, schools, and myths in Scotland.  At the back of the book is a handy pronunciation guide.

This series is a big hit with my family-even the adults enjoy reading them, and we always learn something new.  The illustrations are always bright and colorful.  If You Were Me and Lived in...Scotland is a great addition to our family's library. 

About the book:
If You Were Me and Lived in … Scotland by Carole P. Roman
ISBN: 978-1500531331
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of publish: January 2015
Pages: 34
S.R.P.: $9.99
About the author:
Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the If You Were Me and Lived in… series, which won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Nonfiction in 2012. She collaborated on this installment in the series with her five-year-old grandson, Alexander. Roman also writes the Captain No Beard series, the first of which was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Remarkable Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award in 2012. Visit her website at www.caroleproman.com
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Review and Author Kindle Fire Giveaway~Halo Found Hope

About the book:
Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope? A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life… and her family waited.
Six days turned into eight weeks. She awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn’t feel half of her face, couldn’t hear from one ear, and could not speak. She couldn’t even tell anyone that she felt hopeless… or could she?

Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles. Helo’s story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo’s story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn’t need to be re cognized by you, to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope.

My Thoughts: Halo Found Hope is an amazing story of encouragement.  Helo (pronounced Halo) is an extraordinary woman who relied on her faith in God to get her through the most difficult days of  her life.  The story goes through Helo's diagnosis, surgery, and recovery.  What was supposed to be a six day stay in the hospital turned into eight weeks!  She had many ups and downs, and was very close to losing her life.  Throughout her ordeal, she trusted God with His plan for her life.  Having had neurosurgery myself (although spine, not brain), I can somewhat relate.  The slow healing afterward was very frustrating, and I found my faith waivering.  Helo's strength and faith were so inspiring. The book is filled with scripture references and uplifting quotes. I wish Halo Found Hope was around when I had my surgery, but I am certain it will help many people. 

Learn more about Helo Matzelle and Halo Found Hope at www.halofoundhope.com and on Facebook (Helo-Matzelle) or Twitter (HaloFoundHope).  You can purchase a copy of Halo Found Hope here.  A portion of author proceeds will go to the National Brain Tumor Society.  You can read more reviews at Litfuse. 

About the author: Helouise "Halo" Matzelle led a charmed life until receiving a shocking diagnosis in 2011 of a rare brain tumor sitting over the main artery in her brain. Matzelle's passion is helping those who face various challenges and afflictions discover where true hope is found. She resides in Redmond, WA, with her husband and their three children.

This story of hope and faith in the midst of great physical and medical adversity is sure to encourage you in your faith. Helo Matzelle's Halo Found Hope is a must-read. Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope? Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor.

Halo is offering a Kindle Fire to one lucky reader to celebrate the release of Halo Found Hope!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Halo Found Hope
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 3rd. Winner will be announced April 4th on the Litfuse blog.


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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review and Author Giveaway~The Promise of Palm Grove

The Promise of Palm Grove is the first book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft, author Shelley Shepard Gray's newest series.  In this story, Leona is a young Amish woman from Ohio who is on a vacation in Pinecraft, Florida with her two friends.  Leona is soon to be married to Edmund, and she is full of doubts about her upcoming marriage.  She has realized that Edmund is not the man for her, and she is stressed about how to tell her friends her troubles. 

Soon after arriving in Pinecraft, Leona meets Zachary, a young Amish man who lives in Pinecraft with his family.  There is an instant spark between the two of them.  As the days go by, they become closer, which leaves Leona in quite a predicament.  Should she call off her wedding?  Could she and Zachary have a relationship when they live so far away from each other?

My Thoughts: I have read many of Shelley Shepard Gray's books, and have not yet been disappointed.  She has a way of drawing the reader into the story immediately and keeping you engaged throughout.  Her characters are so believable.  Leona and Zachary are both sweet, likeable young people who are in a difficult situation.  I liked the story of Zack's sister, Effie, who has a disease that makes it difficult for her to walk.  Zack is a devoted brother helping to care for her.  The setting of Pinecraft was a refreshing change from the usual Amish fiction setting.  The Promise of Palm Grove is a great story full of love, forgiveness, and taking chances. 

At the end of the book is a P.S. section with even more information about the author, recipes, discussion questions, and more facts and pictures about Pinecraft. 

Shelley Shepard Gray
is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Find Shelley online:
Twitter: @ShelleySGray
Purchase your own copy of The Promise of Palm Grove here.  For more reviews of this book, visit the Landing Page.

Don't miss Shelley Shepard Gray's new series, Amish Brides of Pinecraft, and the first book in the series, The Promise of Palm Grove! Romantic Times said, "Vibrant descriptions and details bring the plot to life in this heartwarming tale of new beginnings and renewal." Does Leona follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

Enter to win a copy of The Promise of Palm Grove—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced March 30 on Shelley's blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Product Review~Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic 3 piece Knife Set and Stand

Anyone who cooks knows the value of having quality, sharp knives.  What a timesaver!  I recently received a set of Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knives and 3-piece Adjustable Ceramic Knife Stand.  The blades of the 100% ceramic knives are close in hardness to diamonds, and preserves its razor-sharpness 10 times longer than traditional steel blades.  Unlike metal knives, the Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knives do not corrode, rust or leach metal ions from long-term exposure to moisture, oils and acids in common foods.

Elite Chef Ceramic knives have perfectly balanced ergonomic handles, and each knife weighs less than half of an equivalent metal knife.  This means less pain and fatigue if you are doing a lot of cutting preparing big meals. 

The Ozeri 3-Piece Adjustable Ceramic Knife Stand is the perfect complement for the Elite Chef Ceramic Knives.  There are slots for the 3", 6", and 9" knives.  Each space has a protective enclosure that prevents blade damage from contact with other knives.  You can adjust the stand so that the knives are in a row or staggered.  The stand is made of durable acrylic with a reflective black veneer, and has slip-resistant rubberized feet.

My Thoughts: Once again, I am thoroughly impressed with Ozeri products.  They are high quality, durable, and stylish.  The knives are very sharp and make chopping a breeze.  I especially like the feel of the ergonomic handles, they feel great in my hand.  Both the knives and stand are stylish for any kitchen.  The stand is great as it does not slip or slide on the counter.  The ability to adjust the stand so that you can stagger the knives or have them lined up in a row is a great feature!  You can purchase your own set of knives and stand at Amazon:

Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic 3-piece Knife Set

Ozeri 3-piece Adjustable Ceramic Knife Stand

*Disclosure: I received a sample of these products from Ozeri in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Review and Giveaway~Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash

Dial has a brand new body wash coming to stores this month-Miracle Oil Body Wash.  Caring oils are a major trend right now, and this new body wash is infused with Marula oil for luxuriously soft skin.  Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash is formulated with Micro Oil Technology for a rich lather that is easy to rinse clean. 

My entire family is enjoying this new Miracle Oil Body Wash.  The scent is neither too feminine or masculine-perfect for everyone.  The body wash feels luxurious going on your skin, lathers well, and rinses off easily-you don't feel like you still have a layer of oil on your skin.  The oil soaked into my skin and left it feeling so soft, like I didn't need lotion. 

For more information, check out Dial on Facebook and read more about new Miracle Oil Body Wash on the Dial website.  


TWO readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle of new Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash!  Winners will be drawn at random and notified by email within 24 hours of contest end. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The Dial brand provided me with a sample of new Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash in exchange for a product review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review~So Much The Better

So Much The Better, by author Megan Means, is a chapter book written for the upper elementary age readers.  It is the story of Ari the lion cub, who is safe and secure at home in the mountains with his pride.  One day, the Black Wind comes and Ari suddenly finds himself lost, away from his peaceful home.  Ari is scared and doesn't know what to do. 

A majestic eagle named Eliezer appears and offers advice to Ari.  This begins a long journey that takes Ari through the forest, where he meets many creatures.  Each of these creatures impact his journey and he learns many important life lessons. 

What I Thought: My son Chad (12) and I read So Much The Better together.  We read one chapter a night, and we both enjoyed the story very much!  Chad loves animals, so this was a perfect story for him.  This story is full of valuable life lessons and virtues.  The author did  a great job describing the surroundings beautifully.  The animal characters are all very endearing.  Chad enjoyed the book so much that he has had many dreams about the characters. 

The author has created a free curriculum companion on her website (link below), containing 21 lessons on character building related to the book. 

To learn more about So Much The Better and author Megan Means:
Megan Means' Website:  http://www.meganmeansauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoMuchTheBetter
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Megan_Means

You can purchase So Much The Better at Amazon. and Barnes and Noble.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Book Review~Mercy's Rain

Mercy's Rain, by author Cindy K. Sproles, is a heartbreaking story set in the nineteenth century Appalachian mountains.  Mercy Roller has had a horrific childhood under the authority of her abusive father, whom she and everyone else calls 'The Pastor'.  The Pastor rules the community with sinful actions that he calls righteous, leaving everyone in fear. 

Mercy was married and widowed at only 13 years old, and had also had and lost a child by 15 years old.  Eventually kicked out of her home, she travels to the other side of the mountains, where she meets a preacher and family who teach her what true love and righteousness is.  She has a long path ahead of her, though, on the journey from bitterness to forgiveness. 

My Thoughts: First, let me just say that Mercy's Rain is a very emotional, heavy read.  Author Cindy K. Sproles is incredibly talented-I don't think I've ever read a book that made me feel every emotion possible!  It is full of love, hate, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and more.  The story of Mercy's Rain will stay with me forever. 

I was impressed with the book from cover to cover, and one thing that really impressed me was the author's use of the character's uneducated mountain speech throughout the story.  Also I was taken by the use of the main character's name, Mercy, which meant so much throughout the story, and also haunted Mercy herself.  The characters in Mercy's Rain were so real, and some were very endearing while others were downright evil.  When you read Mercy's Rain, be prepared to be taken from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other!

*I received a copy of this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Product Review~True Synergy Vitamin D3

A few years ago, I was really struggling with fatigue.  As I knew I had an autoimmune disorder, I blamed it on that.  Then I found out I was deficient in Vitamin D-severely deficient.  So I began taking Vitamin D, and my life took a big turn.  I had more energy and less fatigue.  I am so thankful for discovering what was going on!

There is a huge market out there for vitamins these days, and I recently tried TrueSynergy Vitamin D3.  This is a premium quality 100% natural Vitamin D3 Supplement to cure your Vitamin D deficiencies.  Vitamin D3 improves muscle, dental, breast and bone health immediately!  It also supports the immune system and prostrate health.  TrueSynergy Vitamin D3 contains 5,000 IU, which is a high potency so you don't need to take multiple pills per day.  Below is a picture of the soft gel-very tiny and easy to swallow, with no aftertaste.

This supplement is not manufactured with yeast, wheat, gluten, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, or tree nut ingredients.  It is important to me that it is all natural, and makes me feel good to know I am taking a pure, quality product.  As someone who is lactose intolerant and not the healthiest eater, I know my supplements are very important for my health.  TrueSynergy Vitamin D3 is a product I would continue to use. 
You can purchase your own bottle of TrueSynergy Vitamin D3 5000IU 120 count at Amazon.  It is very affordable as it is a high potency, the bottle will last a long time.