Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Product Review - Yoga Design Lab - Yoga Mat

Eco Yoga Mat Black

Manufacturer:  Yoga Design Lab

Review:  This mat is perfect for Yoga - it is designed well and functional - A friend of mine took this mat to yoga class and to barr class - she thought it was not to thick or too thin - she was sweaty and still she did not slip on the mat - she loved this mat and may not give it back to me.

The mat is comfortable to carry and easy to roll and unroll - the carry strap is easy to attach and works wonderfully.  It rolls up tight enough to put in your locker or store easily in your truck or under your desk if you are lucky enough to have yoga taught at work.

My friend is now going to order one for herself and maybe I will see this one again----maybe not she is sneaky - but if you love yoga and are looking for a new mat this is a great place to start !!!  Buy one today!

This ultra-sleek looking lightweight mat is designed to be the ultimate yoga mat for home, studio, and travel.
• Extra comfort and durability comes from our specially designed eco-friendly memory foam.
• Instantly reduce injuries with the thickness, grip and responsiveness of the mat which allows you to maintain perfect balance during poses.
• You'll love the convenient carrying strap included with your mat, that allows you to easily toss it under your arm as you head to class.
• 72 x 24 x 5mm 
• Zero odor.
• Eco-friendly: Free of Phthalates, Latex, metals, harmful toxins, and SGS Approved.
• Easy to wash: Simply wipe down your mat with a non oil based soap or detergent, then rinse off. Hang dry. DO NOT PUT IN DRYER.
$1 from every purchase goes to support Urban Youth Yoga Programs in need.

Other Review - 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review - Organized for Homicide - Ritter Ames

Title:  Organized Homicide Book 2

Author:  Ritter Ames

Review:   Nothing better than reading a book with a fun set of characters who you could see as your best friends and watching them grow and develop. Also I love the endless tips to help organize my home. Each chapter had great tips on how to organize yourself for a big move.  Which I plan to use if I ever move again.  (I hope not.)

Organized for Homicide is the second book in Ritter Ames cozy organized mysteries series. It is set in a small town in Vermont with Kate McKenzie and her business partner Meg Berman.  When they forget to take care of a few items in the house that they are packing up Meg decided to head back over and Kate joins her. What was supposed to be a quick in and out -instead they watch a murder happen before their eyes. When Sydney the daughter of the man who hired them to pack the house is accused of murder Kate and Meg know it can’t be her and instead of listening to Lt. Johnson and stay out they decided to find out who the murder truly is.

The organized series is like hanging out with your best friends who just happen to give you endless organizing tips and also help find a murder at the same time. This book draws you in from the first page until the last as the authors dares you to read the book in one sitting. The Ritter Ames introduces you to more characters from the small town and the author keeps the reader wondering who the killer really is. I have to confess I love Meg in this book and I feel the author really flushed that character out. I love the one eyed cat and it brought humor to the book. She also gave me another reason I don’t want a pet, early mornings.

Organized Homicide has endless laughs, tears, a hero you never see coming until the end as well as the endless organization tips that will help anyone out in life. At little over half way through the book you get a little fun nugget a Mac and Cheese Crockpot recipe I will have to try out on my kids.
This book is a perfect fall read while you are waiting to pick your kids up from school. One more note I love that the Ritter Ames thought to add an appendix to the book with Kate McKenzie’s 10 steps to an organized Move Along with some other great organizing tips.
I did receive this book from the author to give my honest opinion.

Thanks Heidi for this review.

Published:  Published September 8th 2014 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN: 9781940371368
Copyright: 2014
Pages: ebook
Quick Review: 5 stars (out of 5)
Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by the author

Synopsis:  USA TODAY bestselling series!
Organization expert Kate McKenzie is looking forward to her newest consignment: organize the cross-country move for a divorced father and his two children. But when a dead body turns up, Kate's carefully organized plans are thrown into chaos. Was it an accident? Or murder? Kate aims to find out and ends up falling more emotionally involved than she'd expected when the victim's teenaged daughter becomes the police's lead suspect. As a mother herself, she just can't let the girl not only lose a mother but possibly lose her freedom and future as well. While the police follow the chain of evidence, Kate follows her gut, leading her on a dangerous investigation that could result in more than one death if she doesn't watch her step...

Author Information:  Ritter is an award-winning author who writes the Body of Art mystery series and the Organized for Mystery series, both published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. She focuses most of her time and writing energies on globe trotting the world via her keyboard to create memorable characters and fascinating fiction novels for readers. In this great new endeavor, her cat muse remains faithfully by her side–only voicing displeasure when the food bowl sits empty due to Ritter focusing more on writing than on kibble. Ritter tries to blog regularly at http://ritterames.wordpress.com/ and uses her Pinterest boards at 
http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/ to capture great places and ideas she wants to use in both series. Follow her blog and boards to learn more about Ritter and her upcoming books.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Product Review - Expandable Hose


Quality Expandable Hose 75 Feet Green, No Kinking, Flexible, Lightweight, Super Strong, Superior 

Review:  I love this hose but I also don't expect it to last forever especially if I leave it outside with water in it when it gets cold - it needs to be taken care of and placed drained in a warmer space for the winter - like a garage or basement - leaving it out will shorten its life span quite a bit - taking care of this hose will pay off - I have had broken hoses in the past because of improper care.

This is a great product that I use everyday in the summer- spring and fall - I love how it expands to reach my garden and yet shrinks down to hang from the wall - great sprayer that gets far and can be changed from hard pelting to a soft spray for more delicate vegetation.  I really cannot say anything but good things about this hose - Buy one today!!!!

THIS QUALITY EXPANDABLE HOSE Starts out at 25 Feet, Hook it up to Water Pressure and it Will Grow to 75 Feet. When Finished Allow the Water to Drain From the Hose and it Will Return to 25 Feet For Easy Storage.

VERY LIGHTWEIGHT, KINK, AND TANGLE FREE. Forget about Lugging Around that Heavy Traditional 75 Foot Hose and Storing it Year Round. When not in use this Hose can be Stored in a Small Bucket or on a Shelf.

QUALITY SOURCE PRODUCTS Expandable hose is Very Strong With 100 PSI Working Pressure and 300-PSI Burst Pressure. You will not be Disappointed.

-Selling Fast so Don't Wait
Click Add to Cart Button Now and Start Enjoying a Hassle Free Gardening Experience.

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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, October 18, 2014

Book Author Interview - Demon Stone - Chris Datta

Today I'm excited to bring you a Guest Post and Kind Fire Giveaway from Chris Datta. His first Novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.

The Demon Stone by Christoper Datta

The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors. "Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!" -Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood Amazon.comBarnes & Noble  

Interview with Chris Datta

Novel Publicity: What drew you to writing about spiritual forces, and could you explain how spiritual forces can be both real and supernatural?
Christopher Datta: I want to write books that matter and do more than tell a story, although I think that telling a good story is critically important. What could be more significant than exploring our spiritual lives and to look for purpose beyond unexamined living and consuming day to day? I want to ask questions and lead the reader on a journey so that by the end of the book he or she hopefully comes to a new understanding about life. I read a great deal about new advances in theoretical physics. It is a fascinating field that increasingly shows us that the more we know, the more we come to see how little we really grasp about the mysteries of the Universe. There are things about the cosmos and our place in it that we may never fully understand; that are, in fact, beyond our ability as human beings to fully comprehend. In Demon Stone, I symbolically represent those mysteries through the supernatural.

NP: The two geographic locations in the book are very distant from each other. How did Africa & Minnesota become part of the setting for The Demon Stone?
CD: I lived for many years in Minnesota (I went to high school with Jessie Ventura!) and I loved camping in the isolated Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. The wilderness is both a thrilling and at the same time dangerous and even alien environment, which again serves as a metaphor in the story for life. There is an incident with a black bear in the book that is close to something that really happened to me. My career as an American diplomat took me to many places in Africa. The original inspiration for the book occurred when I was traveling through rural Uganda. I came across a hut with a hand painted sign advertising the services of a local shaman. Intrigued, I stopped and met the old man, who offered to cast a curse on any enemies I wanted eliminated. That got me thinking about what it would be like to have that kind of power, and what the unintended consequences of using it might be. The record of the human use of unbridled power is not very good. In my travels through many war zones I have seen incredible beauty and sacrifice as well as the most horrible and brutal acts of cruelty.

NP: Did you have to do a lot of research into different cultures and religions to write this book, and can we expect to delve into the differences between cultures throughout the book?
  CD: I have lived and worked for many years in several African countries. I also studied the belief in demons in Africa, and Agbadofrom my story is a demon well known in Sierra Leone. My son is an adopted war orphan from Sierra Leone who has been with me since he was 14 years old and he was a big help with some portions of the book. Religion and culture play a big role in the story.

  NP: How much of the book was inspired by your work overseas?
CD: I saw the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda, was in Sierra Leone at the end of the brutal civil war in that country, was the acting Ambassador to Liberia when the capitol was attacked by two rebel armies in a war that I helped to end and I was again the acting Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan when war broke out between that nation and Sudan. Again, I played a major role in helping to end that conflict. I have brought two African war criminals to justice and was active in a program to try to end the reign of terror led by Joseph Koney, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most brutal and deadly terrorist groups in Africa. General Mosquito in my book is based on a real warlord in Sierra Leone. I actually played a role in bringing him to justice. I have had to deal first hand with the bane of child soldiers and modern slavery in Africa.

NP: The Demon Stone seems to have everything from love & tragedy to religion and supernatural beasts. Can you expand a bit on your writing process, and how you were able to bring the characters together across vast distances and very different settings?
CD: That’s complicated! Many of the characters in the story are based on real people I have known. General Mosquito, for instance. Gem and Hampton, the two dogs in the story, are dogs I have known and loved very much. Basically, I took experiences and people from my life in America and in Africa, put them in an environment of my creation, and let them weave the story together. My books never turn out the way I think they will at the beginning of writing them. The characters at some point take over and they tell the story. Sometimes, in my experience, all a good writer has to do is listen carefully to what the people he creates are telling him. That certainly happened in Demon Stone. But that shouldn’t be surprising. If you are really on a spiritual journey in telling a story, and you do a good job of it, you should expect to wind up in unexpected places.

NP: Who were the easiest and toughest characters to write and why?
CD: The toughest character to write was Morgan. She is one of the main antagonists of the book, but I didn’t want her to be a caricature and there was a real risk of her being a two dimensional archetype instead of a real flesh and blood person. On some level, for an antagonist to work well in a story, the reader needs to identify or on some level sympathize with that person. Morgan does terrible things, but terrible things have happened to her. I hope that comes across in the story. The easiest character to write was Hampton. He’s a dog, a very loveable, dopey and fearless dog. I enjoyed writing about him.

NP: People often talk about feeling like they’re being followed, especially if they have to walk through a secluded area by themselves. What gave you the idea to play on people’s fear of being stalked for this book?
  CD: All the time I spent in the isolated Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. I love it, but there is nothing that will give you the heebie-jeebies faster than being alone in the middle of the deep forest in the middle of the night. I suspect thousands of years of human evolution dealing with the risks of being secluded in the dark in a wilderness just naturally puts the fear in us. We somehow intuitively feel the threat of being hunted.

NP: Demons are part of many religions and cultures myths. Was there a particular reason you decided to write about demons?
CD: We create demons, and we have always created demons. They symbolically represent the forces in life that we fear. A spiritual journey, which I hope readers of Demon Stone find the book to be, needs to confront those demons and the dark side of our natures.

NP: Symbolism plays a large part in The Demon Stone. The Demon within can sometimes be as scary as a supernatural being seems. Do you think that talking about human behavior through the use of symbolism makes talking about tragedies like murder easier or harder?
CD: The most frightening sections of Demon Stone are not encounters with the demon, but the real and terrifying things people do to each other, sections of the book based on real events. The demon Agbado is a symbol of that dark nature that haunts us, that leads some of us to rationalize the most horrible of acts andrepresents the loss of empathy that permits people to commit such unspeakable crimes as genocide, which I have personally witnessed. To me, the most terrifying story in the book is the tale of the child soldier Muctar. This story is based on a real child. The demon within is the real monster of the book. But yes, I felt the use of symbolism made talking about these horrors easier, just as Halloween or The Day of the Dead in Mexico make dealing with monsters and death easier for us to confront.

NP: This is a two part question. The cover of The Demon Stone is very unique and doesn’t focus on any particular character, rather an object. Who did you choose to do the cover art and why? How hard was it to settle on the cover, or was it love at first sight?
CD: The mask on the cover of Demon Stone is from my personal collection. I bought it in Rwanda when I was there helping to reopen our embassy directly following the genocide in that country. It was always in the back of my mind to use it as the cover for this book (and yes, I started this book that long ago). Finding that mask in Rwanda at that particular moment, and the way it looked, just made it seem right to me for this book. This type of mask is actually from the Congo, and is used in coming of age ceremonies for young men. A good friend of mine, Don Hurlbert, is a photographer for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, and he took the photo. Mallory Rock designed the cover. She is a terrific graphic designer I know and I use her for all the covers on my books.

NP: Civil conflict and slavery were both a focus in your working life. Do you find that your writing reflects this in The Demon Stone?
CD: Absolutely. It is a major part of what this book is about, and not just in The Demon Stone. I also have published Touched with Fire, a novel set in the American Civil War inspired by the true story of a slave woman who escapes by posing as a man. She later joins the Union army disguised as a man so she can fight her way South to free her husband. That story is turning into a trilogy, and book two, Fire and Dust, will be out in November. It also extensively addresses the issue of slavery in America before and during the Civil War, but is told exclusively from the Confederate side of the war. Book three will be set in the Reconstruction period of American history and the characters from the first two books will meet.

NP: Survivors’ guilt can be devastating to many people who work in war torn countries and come back home to a peaceful life. Having worked overseas, and in war torn countries, do you have any advice for others. Would you say writing The Demon Stone has been a cathartic experience for you? CD: I have been in some very tough situations involving life and death issues for sometimes thousands of people, as well as having been under fire myself. Sometimes I saved people, sometimes I couldn’t. I have had to deal with instances of PTSD. It was never easy, and there were times I had to step away from Demon Stone because it was getting too deep into places I was not, at the time, ready to go to for the sake of my own well being. What helps? Giving yourself permission to take the time to heal and being able to confront the demons with good friends are both important. Know and accept that you are not Superman, and don’t expect yourself to be. That’s not healthy. In the end, writing Demon Stone was cathartic, but there were times it was right for me to keep away from it until I was ready.


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About the Author

Chris1Debut author CHRISTOPHER DATTA is no stranger to civil conflict or the still-extant scourge of slavery. Most recently the acting ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan where he helped end a war in April of 2012, he has spent a distinguished career moving from one strife-torn country to another, including Lebanon, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. A lifelong student of the American Civil War, his research for Touched with Fire is exacting and based in part on a true story.

Product Review - Foxbrim Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Review:  I have been using this the past few weeks and I really like the way my face feels and looks - I was warned it might dry my skin out, but it did not - I have very oily skin and wrinkles and so this is a great product for my skin type and many others - it smells OK, it goes on smooth and soaks in fast so I can apply a moisturizer over the top - I use it in the morning and at night before bed.  

I use this and let it dry and then add a moisturizer and make-up in the day time and then at night I just skip the make-up.  I am 45 and my skin is aging - I like this product and would recommend it to everyone - because like it or not you are going to age - you think you might get away with out aging think again - everyone ages - its life - but this can help slow down the process - give it a try today!!!

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Bite's Review 

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.

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.