icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: April 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Product Review~Super Clear Shower Curtain Liner

One of our bathrooms has a shower curtain instead of a door on the tub/shower enclosure.  I have been using a clear liner with a fabric curtain over it.  Our clear shower curtain liner had a small tear in it, so I was happy to review Smarty Pants Supplies' Super Clear Shower Curtain Liner.  I quickly learned that there is a difference in quality with this new liner!

This 72"x72" super clear shower curtain liner resists the growth of mold, mildew and other harmful bacteria while not having a bad or chemical smell.  It is made of extra heavy gauge, antibacterial vinyl that retains its shape and stays in place.  It has anti-rusting metal reinforced grommets for maximum long term usage and durability.  This is the only mildew-resistant shower curtain liner backed by a lifetime guarantee!  

I thought all shower curtain liners were the same-I was wrong.  This liner is much heavier than the one I was previously using, and definitely better quality.  It was easy to install, and does not have a bad smell.  I am expecting this liner to last much longer than my previous liners, which would tear very easily.   We are also finding much less water on the floor after showers.  I would definitely continue to buy this product, and I'm impressed by the lifetime guarantee.  

You can purchase your own Shower Curtain Liner at Amazon.

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

Book Review & Author Kindle Giveaway~A Heart's Obsession

A Heart's Obsession is the second 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 book around one hundred pages that 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 the Book: 
Will Sarah’s journey west lead her back into the arms of the one man she can trust?
When her father succumbs to a long illness, Sarah Montgomery is freed from duty to family. At last she can be with the love of her life, Rand Campbell, who has gone out west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Sarah and her younger brother Joel make the arduous journey filled with hope.
But at Fort Laramie, the reception Sarah meets isn’t what she had hoped for. Her friend Amelia is thrilled to have her, but Rand seems to be in the clutches of Jessica DuBois, the scheming daughter of the post commander.  Sarah resolves to remain at Fort Laramie and try to win Rand back. But things will get tougher before they get easier . . . especially when her ex-fiancĂ© Ben Croftner arrives in Wyoming, obsessed with having her back in his arms.

What I Thought:  The excitement continues in A Heart's Obsession!  This second installment to the Journey of the Heart series was another one I couldn't put down.  Thank goodness they are short books or I'm afraid my family would be missing me for a few days!  In this book, Sarah arrives at the Fort, only to be very disappointed to find Rand involved with another woman.  She decides to be strong and stay at the Fort anyway.  I love Sarah's character-she is feminine and dainty on the outside, but still strong and always trying to do what is right.  I was surprised she decided to stay once she realized Rand was in love with someone else.  Sarah's involvement with the Indian children was touching.  The drama really intensified when her ex-fiance Ben showed up-he is very easy to dislike!

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, Facebook, Twitter
Purchase your own copy of A Heart's Obsession  here.  Read more reviews at the Litfuse landing page.

Can a woman held captive by her family make it back to the one man she knows she can trust? Find out in book two, A Heart's Obsession, of Colleen Coble's Journey of the Heart series. When Sarah Montgomery’s father succumbs to his long illness, Sarah is faced with a life-altering choice: submit to her brother’s will and marry the deceptive Ben Croftner . . . or escape through the dangerous American West to reclaim the heart of her beloved Rand Campbell at Fort Laramie, Wyoming.

Celebrate book two 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
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge (blog tour coming in mid-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 free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review~The Great Grammar Book

I have always enjoyed Grammar, and considered myself to be good at knowing all the rules.  It has always driven me crazy when people use the wrong their/there and your/you're.  I received The Great Grammar Book: Mastering Grammar Usage and the Essentials of Composition by Marsha Sramek.  This is the Second edition-the First edition was very successful, selling over 20,000 copies to the general public as well as to many education programs.

The book is laid out well and easy to read.  It begins with a 100 question Diagnostic Test, which I took.  I was so surprised!  I did not do as well as I thought I would!  I had a big problem with it's/its and a few other rules.  I then started going through the book.  In each chapter, there are definitions, explanations, examples, exercises, and Chapter reviews. 

The topics covered in The Great Grammar Book are:
* Subject-Verb Agreement
* Common Errors
* Pronouns
* Capital Letters
* Using Apostrophes Correctly
* Complete Sentences
* Punctuation
* Commas
* Irregular Verbs
* Usage Glossary
* Double Negatives
* Successful Writing Strategies

There is also an Appendix with Answer keys, and an Index at the back of the book.  I especially found useful the Usage Glossary, covering a variety of topics used in everyday life.  The Successful Writing Strategies is also a very useful Chapter.

I am  very impressed with The Great Grammar Book, and plan to use it this summer with my son, who is in Middle School.  This would be a great book for adults to brush up on those things that fade as the years go by and you get stuck in bad habits! 

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

Product Review~Large Insulated Lunch Bag/Cooler

With Spring here and Summer on it's way, it is time for enjoying ourselves outside in the beautiful weather!  With kids, that means packing drinks and food.  This Big Size Insulated Lunch Bag/Cooler by Sacko is perfect for packing your food and drinks! 

This cooler features quality insulated lining, a front pocket, velcro closure, a large Main compartment, and two side mesh-netting pockets.  It is 13"(W) x 13"(H) x 8"(D), which is a large size for a cooler.  On the top is a convenient velcro flap (see picture directly above) that allows you to access small items from within the bag without having to open up the main compartment.  This cooler is available in Black, Blue, Green, and Red.

I'm impressed with this insulated cooler.  It is really big!  In the picture above, I put in 5 water bottles, 2 bottles of soda, a cardboard box with 8 yogurt tubes, 5 tangerines, and a dozen string cheese sticks.  As you can tell, I still have lots of room left.  I especially like the extra pocket on top that lets you reach in to get something without having to open the bag.  The front and side pockets are very handy, and the insulation kept my items nice and cold.  The strap is padded, which is a great feature I appreciate.  Nothing worse than a strap digging into your shoulder!  I know I will be getting a lot of use out of my new Insulated Cooler this summer!

You can purchase your own Large Insulated Lunch Bag/Cooler at Amazon..

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

Monday, April 13, 2015

Children's Book Review~If You Were Me and Lived in...Hungary

Author Carole P. Roman has a wonderful series for children that introduces them to culture around the world.  The most recent book in the series that I reviewed is If You Were Me and Lived In...Hungary.  In this book, a girl and boy from Hungary tell you all about their country.  First they show you where Hungary is on a globe and map, and tell you about the capital city and other landmarks. 

Next, they share what names are popular for boys and girls, and what you would call your parents.  They also talk about toys, money,  and fun places to go.  You stop by their Nagy's (Grandma's) house and see what she is cooking.  They also tell you about a hero and holidays they have, as well as popular sports and school.  At the back of the book is a pronunciation guide. 

My family has enjoyed all of the books in this series.  They are a great way to teach kids in a fun and easy manner about other countries.  I always learn at least one thing (but usually more) in every book!  For example, in If You Were Me and Lived In...Hungary I learned that the Rubik's Cube was invented in Hungary!  This series is great to add to your family's book collection, perfect for homeschoolers, and would make a great gift. 

You can learn more about author Carole P. Roman and her books at her website. 

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

Book Review~Jaded by Varina Denman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
Varina Denman


An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.


As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man ... and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart ... and a thirst for hope.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Jaded, go HERE.

What I Thought: Jaded was a fascinating story that kept me up late several nights.  It is one of those books that is hard to put down. Ruthie had lived such a hard life with her father's abandonment, and then the fact that the church abandoned her and her mother as well made her unable to trust.  Living in a small town where everyone knows each other, Ruthie has lived her life feeling like an outcast.  The arrival of the Cunningham family turns the town upside down.  Ruthie having feelings for Dodd Cunningham, the new preacher, is just not acceptable to her or her mother, but she can't seem to fight her feelings.  Secrets are uncovered, and relationships are mended.  Jaded is a story that many can relate to in some way, and reminds the reader that hope can be restored. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Product Review and Giveaway~Purex Crystals ScentSplash Liquid Fragrance Booster

I've been using and promoting Purex products for years now, because Purex makes products that work great for less money!  Another new product is on the shelves this month-Purex Crystals ScentSplash! 

How is this product different from regular Purex Crystals, you ask?  It's liquid!  Now, I love my Purex Crystals, but this liquid infuses your laundry with long lasting freshness.  You choose how much scent you want-add a little or a lot!  Safe for use in regular and HE washers, and it is safe for use on linens and children's sleepwear too.  Also, Purex Crystals ScentSplash gives you 35% more wash loads than an 18 oz. bottle of Purex Crystals. 

I received Purex Crystals ScentSplash in Fresh Lavender Blossom, shown above.  ScentSplash is available in three different scents:

*Fresh Spring Waters: Wade into cool, enchanting waters and give your laundry an incredible just-washed freshness that lasts for months.
*Fresh Lavender Blossom: Wander through colorful, sun-lit fields of lavender and give your laundry an incredible just-washed freshness that lasts for months.
*Fresh Mountain Breeze: Capture the exhilarating moment of a crisp, fresh breeze and give your laundry an incredible just-washed freshness that lasts for months.

What did my family think of new Purex Crystals ScentSplash?  It was a big hit with everyone, even Finn the puppy!  We all love the scent, and how long it lasts on laundry.  I especially like using a lot of ScentSplash on our towels and sheets!  It's great to be able to control how strong you want the scent.

Connect with Purex:


Two The Loose Screw Readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle of new ScentSplash!  Open to US residents only.  Winners will be emailed the day after the giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: The Purex brand provided me with a free sample of ScentSplash in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Product Review and Giveaway~Dial Miracle Oil Hand Soap

I'm kind of picky when it comes to hand soap.  I like it to be liquid, it has to smell good, and it can't dry out our hands.  It also helps if the container is pretty :)  Dial has a new liquid hand soap hitting the shelves this month-Miracle Oil Liquid Hand Soap. 

Dial Miracle Oil Hand Soap is infused with Marula Oil, and is the first formula with Micro Oil technology.  Your skin will be clean and deeply hydrated, while being protected from skin damaging free radicals.  Dial Miracle Oil is also available in a Body Wash.

Here is a picture of new Dial Miracle Oil Hand Soap at our kitchen sink, where it got a good work-out!  The bottle looks pretty in my kitchen, and worked well for everyone.  The scent is fresh and clean, while not being too flowery or overpowering.  The soap lathered quickly and easily, and rinsed off well. The entire family felt that their hands were hydrated after using Miracle Oil Hand Soap.  I didn't get that feeling I sometimes do that I need lotion right away after washing. 

Connect with Dial!


TWO The Loose Screw readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle of Dial Hand Wash.  *NOTE: The coupon you will receive is not for Dial Miracle Oil Hand Soap.  It is for Dial Complete Omega Moisture Foaming Hand Wash as shown above. 

Giveaway open to residents of US only.  Winners will be contacted by email then day after the giveaway ends.  Winners will have 48 hours to respond to the email, or  a new winner will be drawn. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review~A Cry From The Dust

About A Cry From The Dust: (from the publisher)
A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of lives.

Gwen Marcey was tops in her forensic field. Then cancer struck, her husband left, and her teenage daughter engaged in active rebellion. Gwen's best chance to start a new life was a temporary job in Utah reconstructing faces from an 1857 massacre site.

The Mountain Meadows Interpretative Center asked Gwen to reconstruct the faces of three intact bodies that were discovered from the wagon train massacre of more than 120 people by Mormon fanatics calling themselves Avenging Angels. But just as she is nearing completion on her reconstructions, things around the center turn deadly.

Gwen discovers the ritualized murder of a young college student with a stolen identity and is called on by the local police to use her forensic art skills to aid the investigation. Soon she discovers an uncanny resemblance between one of her reconstructions and the death mask of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church. And realizes that she's the next target of the recreated Avenging Angels who believe she has an icon from the grave.

Gwen must weave through a labyrinth of Mormon history, discovering secret societies and festering grudges in a race against time.

Will she be able to stop another massacre?

About the Author:
Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. She teaches forensic art courses to law enforcement professionals and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing. Carrie began to write fiction while battling breast cancer and was mentored by New York Times bestselling author Frank Peretti. Now in remission, she continues to encourage other women struggling with cancer. 

What I Thought: My family moved to Utah 12 years ago.  I knew nothing about the history of the state and its people, so I investigated quite a bit.  I was immediately intrigued, and one of the stories that fascinated me the most was the Mountain Meadows Massacre.  So, when I read the description of A Cry From The Dust, I couldn't get my hands on it fast enough!

I am so impressed with author Carrie Stuart Parks' writing talent!  This book pulled me in immediately and was fast-paced, full of twists and turns.  The main character, Gwen Marcey, had a job that I found fascinating-she is a forensic artist.  I immediately felt for her-here she is recovering from cancer, lost her husband, and her teenage daughter is rebelling.  Then she gets pulled into this craziness in Utah, and is afraid for her life!  A Cry From The Dust was hard to put down, and kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end!

Update:  I'm so excited!  I just went to post my review of A Cry From The Dust on Amazon, and noticed that it is labeled as A Gwen Marcey Novel Book 1!!  So, there is  more of this story to come from Carrie Stuart Parks-hurray!!

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