November 30, 2014

Aromatherapy for the Soul by Valerie Ann Worwood

Aromatherapy for the Soul by Valerie Ann Worwood is a great reference book that combines aromatherapy with spirituality. If you are looking for an informative book which does this, this would be an excellent resource to add to your library for aromatherapy use.

Book Description
Renew Your Essence through the Divine Power of Fragrance

Fragrances possess a unique ability to evoke emotions, memories, and visions. Since the dawn of time spiritual traditions as diverse as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Shinto, and Buddhism have used fragrances to enhance the experience of the Divine. WithAromatherapy for the Soul, world-renowned aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood has created a comprehensive guide to the use of essential oils and aromas to enhance spiritual practice. 

Originally published as The Fragrant Heavens, this groundbreaking book draws equally upon the pioneering research of eminent scientists and the insights of leading spiritual teachers. Extensive charts and exercises demonstrate how to use fragrance in healing, prayer, and meditation and in conjunction with vibrational and energetic healing. This extraordinary guide covers more than seventy essential oils and will help you call upon the divine power of fragrance to enrich your spiritual journey.” – Aromatherapy for the Soul

My Thoughts
Aromatherapy for the Soul is a well-researched and well-written book. The charts, uses for the essential oils, aroma traditions of different cultures, how to use with prayer and meditation, and much more is included. The index is also of great help when you need to just grab the book to look up something quickly, making this an excellent resource to have on hand.

As with all of the books I’ve read from Valerie Ann Worwood, I was left with the enthusiasm for the subject and the desire to want to try out some of the suggested uses for the aromas. This is the type of book that any aromatherapy enthusiast should have on their shelf.

Overall, I think this is a very good book on aromatherapy used for enhancing spirituality. It doesn’t contain the recipes I was hoping for, but there are other books for that. I enjoyed reading through this book and will continue to use it for many years to come with aromatherapy. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Aromatherapy for the Soul, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 24, 2014

The Groom Says Yes by Cathy Maxwell

The Groom Says Yes by Cathy Maxwell is the final book in the Brides of Wishmore trilogy. Fans of the series and newcomers will enjoy this book that takes you back in time to the life of Sabrina Davidson.

Book Description
New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell continues her dazzling series, The Brides of Wishmore

He had a noose around his neck and a price on his head . . .

Sabrina Davidson, dutiful daughter, avowed spinster, thought she'd secured a place for herself in Aberfeldy society— until her hard-earned acceptance of her fate is challenged by the arrival of Cormac Enright, earl of Ballin, trained physician, soldier of fortune, and convicted felon.

A prim and proper miss was the last thing he needed . . .

Mac is determined to clear his name, but first he has to find the man whose testimony sentenced him to a hangman's noose. Of course, Robert Davidson is missing and protecting Mac is Davidson's daughter, the most entrancing, frustrating, beguiling, stubborn woman Mac has ever met.

And it doesn't help that he has already tasted her kisses. Or that he has found in her a passion for life and adventure to rival his own.

Mac has turned Sabrina's world inside out—but what will happen when he leaves?

Or will the Groom Say Yes?” – The Groom Says Yes

My Thoughts
The Groom Says Yes is the third in the series that me and other family members I have passed these books on to all love. This is a great series to read, so if this is the first book you want to try out, I will warn you – you’ll want to go back and read the previous two!

Sabrina is a brilliantly written character that you want to cheer for and know what will happen with. Sabrina and Mac take on trying to solve a mystery about her father, but what they uncover may not be what they would have imagined. Sabrina and Mac are characters on an adventure in this novel, and the romance is sure to spring into flames, or will it fizzle out after the newness of it wears off? I’m not telling, you’ll have to read it to find out!

Overall, I enjoyed this series and this is my favorite book in the trilogy. It has ab it of everything, romance, adventure, humor, betrayal, and more! I definitely recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Groom Says Yes, Avon Historical Romance, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 12, 2014

The Alliance by Shannon Stoker

The Alliance by Shannon Stoker is the last installment of the Registry Trilogy. This time, Mia is back risking her freedom to help others gain theirs, and put an end to the Registry.

Book Description
In this deadly endgame, the final move is hers . . .

In America, the Registry weds girls to the highest bidder and raises boys for its army.
Mia Morrissey escaped to make her life her own, and now that she has, she will risk everything so that everyone can be free.

Going undercover as part of a diplomatic mission, Mia returns to America. But life there is more dangerous than ever as the walls grow taller, and the forgotten country faces its most ruthless leader yet, Grant Marsden . . . a shadow from Mia's past. With the help of Andrew, Carter, and other members of the subversive group Affinity, she embarks on a perilous journey to defeat Grant, bring down the government, and destroy the Registry once and for all.

But when a terrible betrayal exposes the operation, Mia discovers that her enemies have used her—and so have her friends. Alone and frightened, she's uncertain of whom to trust—or whether the mission is worth the sacrifice.

With the fate of her friends and the future of her country on the line, Mia knows that her next step may be the last for her . . . and America.” – The Alliance

My Thoughts
The Alliance is a final in the “Registry” trilogy by the author. The conclusion to the series is definitely worthy of finishing the series, and shows real growth in writing skills from the author. I quite enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more from the author in the future.

Mia Morrissey is a strong female character that I could see kicking some serious butt in a movie one day – just sayin’. She has become a very likable character in this series that is fighting for freedom, and has some hero complexes that would show well on the silver screen. The last book does not disappoint with her character or the story, and fans of the series will definitely enjoy reading this one, too.

Overall, I liked this series and the final novel the most in the trilogy. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good dystopian series.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Alliance, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 6, 2014

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is a historical novel set in 17th century Amsterdam. The obsession with wealth and acquiring more desirable objects is the societal influences that the story navigates around. However, the characters involved are just as intriguing as all of the glamour that surrounds them.

Book Description
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's life changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways...

Johannes's gift helps Nella pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation...or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautifully written, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.” – The Miniaturist

My Thoughts
The Miniaturist is a book that I really enjoyed reading. It is a historical novel that shows how the obsession with having more material wealth continues today, and that isn’t necessarily such a good thing. The characters are all interesting, even ones that I didn’t really like. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, and what would become of all those involved. It is definitely a good book to read over a weekend!

At only eighteen years old, Petronella moves to Amsterdam into the arranged marriage she had with Johannes. Not an ideal situation, but she had no real choice in the matter. Her new husband is not at all what she had imagined, and the people in this new city are not as friendly as she had hoped for. The one nice thing he did for her though was to give her a wedding present of a miniature version of their home. However, it isn’t furnished, so she finds a miniaturist to help re-create the furnishings in the home for it. When these new furnishings come, they are amazing – but then, new pieces not similar to ones in the home start to arrive, and strikingly accurate copies seem to magically appear in the home. Who is this miniaturist, and what does all of this mean? No spoilers here!

Overall, I think that this is an excellent debut book from an author to keep an eye out for in the future. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Miniaturist, Ecco, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 1, 2014

Hanes Cotton Leggings Review

With the temperature outside falling, leggings are coming back into our wardrobes. For me, I love this time of year, and I have to admit, the clothing is a big part of it. For a large portion of my life, I lived in Florida where there is the Four H seasons: hot, humid, hurricane, and hell. Now that I a little bit further North, I can actually experience seasons changing and a wardrobe that actually corresponds to the seasons.

I was never a big fan of tights or leggings when I lived in Florida. However, I now absolutely love them and after some trial and error, I found a brand that is fantastic for both. Perhaps you have heard of Hanes? Yes, they are affordable, fashionable, and actually make products that last for more than one use.

The Hanes Cotton Leggings come in a variety of colors and sizes, so no matter what you are wearing, there is a pair of leggings that you could wear with it to keep your legs warm and your legs looking good. My favorite is the black legging. It is basic, but it seriously goes with 99% of my wardrobe.

I’ve washed my Hanes Cotton Leggings a few times now, and they are in perfect condition each time. Just be sure to use a machine washer, on cold, with similar colors, and use non-chlorine bleach if needed. To dry them, I just threw them in the dryer on low.

Overall, I really like these leggings and definitely recommend them to everyone who wants to stay warm and look great this time of year.

Thank you to Hanes for providing me with leggings for review for purposes of this article. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.