Friday, November 28, 2014

Wearever Incontinence Mattress Pad with Wings (not just for seniors) {Review & Giveway}

Babies are incontinent. Toddlers can be incontinent. Sometimes young school age children can be incontinent. Granny and Grandpa can be incontinent. That doesn't mean that all of these are incontinent or that if they are they are incontinent all the time. It is simply a fact of life. Sometimes incontinence happens. It can also happen to that lovely lady or strapping virile young man. It can happen because of illness or surgery. This is the stuff of life and life happens. So when life happens, what do we do about it?

I can remember the little pads placed under babies to protect their bedding. My babies were babies a long time ago. I can remember, too, that we bought plastic "rubber" sheets to go under the bedding (mattress cover and sheet) to protect our mattresses.They worked - at least up to a certain point. If an accident happened, we still had to change the sheets and mattress cover, wipe down the "plastic" sheet, remake the bed, and eventually go back to bed.

Now we have a nice solution. Wearever has products for incontinence that make life so much easier for those dealing with some of the little life issues. They make a number of bed pads that provide an easy solution that is comfortable to use. Today we're looking at their winged bed pad.

Sized large enough to use on a hospital bed, a twin (or bunk) bed, or even can be used for half of a larger bed. The 19" wings will tuck over the sides and a bit under the mattress to help secure it in place.

The pad I received launders nicely, folds compactly for storage, and is priced so that if more than one is needed you can afford it. I am delighted to add this to my linen closet for those occasions that call for a waterproof pad. You never know when that day will come (or little ones will visit who need one).
Product description: The Mattress Pad with Wings surface is soft and comfortable while protecting from wetness. It is complete with large, fabric wings to help secure the pad in place. It is washable and reusable making it far more economical than disposable bed pads used for incontinence.
This is a specially designed, reusable, and washable mattress pad that ensures protection for you or your loved one and the bed! The bed pad is 36 inches by 32 inches with three layers of protection. The 19 inch long wings attached to either side of the bed pad are long enough to tuck under one side of a bed or both (if twin or hospital type bed). The wings tuck under the mattress and prevent the pad from slipping or moving.
 The top layer of the bed pad is made from an 80/20 cotton/polyester blend called IBEX. This top layer is quilted to a top quality, 8 oz poly soaker which holds the moisture. The third, and bottom layer, is the moisture proof layer; it is made from a knitted, vinyl, barrier fabric. The bed pad is finished with double bound edges for a long life of many washings. This amazing mattress pad will hold up to 60 ounces of liquid.

More products by Wearever.....

Wearever Socks by Buster Brown: Wearever offers 100% cotton socks made by Buster Brown for maximum comfort and durability. Appropriate for those with poor circulation, easily irritated skin, or diabetes, Buster Brown 100% cotton socks are made with no elastic or synthetics. The seamless design of Buster Brown cotton socks with cushioning improve comfort, reduce binding, and eliminate skin irritation. Wearever currently offers three comfortable styles of socks. 
Wearever Men's and Women's Underwear: Choose Wearever Underwear for maximum protection and reusability. Our selection of absorbent male and female incontinence undergarments feature sewn-in Unique-Dri™ pads that trap liquid and are treated with odor eliminating Agion™ antimicrobial fibers. Wearever offers various styles to meet every preference. More economical than disposables Wearever incontinence underwear is recommended good for hundreds of washes. 
Wearever Bed Pads: Made with absorbent materials and a waterproof liner our bed pads keep furniture and fabrics dry while protecting against wetness. Our selections of incontinence bed pads are perfect for every night mattress use or on household furniture. The Unique-Dri™ inner core and IBEX Cotton Polyester blend incontinence pads are washable and reusable for long lasting lifetime use. Cost-effective and absorbent bed pads by Wearever let you sleep easy knowing you're protected by one the most trusted name in incontinence supplies.

History of "Wearever" - I lived in the Triangle area of North Carolina, near Durham, for over 40 years. I now live a bit distant from the Triangle but still in North Carolina. I was so excited when I discovered that I was given the opportunity to review a "home grown" product! North Carolina is well known for its manufacturing, innovation, discovery, educational institutions, and entrepreneurs. Prime Life Fibers, makers of Wearever, is a prime example of that. The following is from a news promo from 2012 upon their 10th anniversary:
Prime Life Fibers was officially founded in the Triangle area of North Carolina in 2002 under the direction of Bob Deerin. Its history, however, began about 10 years earlier when Bob first started research and development to create a reusable incontinence undergarment that would provide a better solution for Americans. Today, the company continues its philosophy of innovation through ongoing development of new products that address common wellness concerns by offering practical and stylish solutions.
“Not many companies, especially in this economy, get to celebrate 10 prosperous years,” said Deerin, the founder and President of Prime Life Fibers. “Prime Life Fibers is thrilled to reach the one decade mark and without a doubt this success is due to our loyal consumers. We’re honored to thank them with this discount, and we’re looking forward to another 10 years of innovation and product development on their behalf.”
 One of Prime Life Fibers’ most recognized lines, Wearever, and its sister brand Eversures, offer alternatives to adult diapers that are more comfortable, affordable and environmentally friendly. The washable, reusable men’s briefs and women’s panties come in a variety of styles and sizes to meet the needs of active seniors, women who have birthed multiple children and others with health conditions such as prostate cancer or multiple sclerosis that can lead to incontinence. With its innovative Unique-driTM three-layer absorbent fabric, Wearever undergarments help reduce the stress and anxiety caused by incontinence so people can continue their normal lifestyle without worry.
Prime Life Fibers is also the exclusive manufacturer of the Buster Brown® sock line. They are designed for maximum comfort essential for the elderly and anyone with poor circulation, easily irritated skin or diabetes. The 100 percent cotton socks are made without seams, elastics or synthetics to improve comfort and reduce binding. Additionally, the popular loose-top socks feature cushioned foot beds, and moisture-wicking and odor-fighting fabric for optimal all-day wear.

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DISCLOSURE: 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 open to USA addresses only.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nidra Patented Contoured Sleep Mask - Review


A study from Sleep Medicine showed that one night of interrupted sleep is enough to make you more depressed, confused, and tired. (Nidra Facebook pg.)
If someone needs to sleep during the daytime, a sleep mask could assuredly be beneficial. Closing the blinds or other window treatment does not totally close out the light.

The Nidra sleep mask is very lightweight, thin, foldable, and the domed area for one’s eyes is wonderful in that it doesn't rest on the eyelids and push against the eyelashes (which would be a terrible annoyance). The nose area is cut out so that the nose is not covered. This is a plus because it could prove claustrophobic if it interfered with one’s breathing.


I can see advantages to having this lightweight mask along on long trips simply tucked away for a quick retrieval for a nap.

It is soft, lightweight, has a strap to go around the head that adjusts and fastens with Velcro. Hand washable is a real plus, too.

If you're a side-sleeper or a tummy-sleeper, you won't have a problem using this mask as it is comfortable in any position.

Very inexpensively priced so that you can travel with one and keep one in the bedside nightstand at home.
Check them out: Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nidragoods or - Amazon Product: http://amzn.to/1xtBGJw.

DISCLOSURE: 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.

Furry Logic, 10th Anniversary Edition A Guide to Life's Little Challenges Jane Seabrook

ISBN: 978-1-60774-716-1
About the book: The adorable and high-profile Furry Logic series celebrates its 10th anniversary with a menagerie of illustrated animals and hilarious sayings about life, love, and everything in between.
     No one understands the ups and downs of life's little challenges better than the frisky critters of Furry Logic. The inspirational and tongue-in-cheek advice from series creator Jane Seabrook and her plucky animal characters will tickle the fancy and the funnybone of readers everywhere. Each intricately illustrated spread features a member of the animal kingdom with a unique take on life, from the adorably grumpy owl who advises "Smile first thing in the morning. Get it over with" to the fluffy hawk who admonishes, "If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished." So join the original flock of penguins, bears, frogs, and more in celebrating a decade of wit and wisdom with ten new illustrated spreads for fans looking for fresh inspiration.

My thoughts: This book is FUN! The innuendos and sly humour are absolutely terrific. Droll expressions on the critters drawn by the artist are so apt to the "logic" of the expression. 

I really can't wait to share this book. I'm thinking it will make someone on my list a super gift. What better gift than logic, especially subtle and apt. 


The watercolors and detailed line drawings are beautifully done. Some pages leap at you with brilliant color. Others are done in the subtle shades of nature.

Each page is infused with wise yet funny logic, beauty, joy, and "tickle your fancy" fun.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Blogging for Books on behalf of the publisher and author in exchange for my review. I received no compensation for this review.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Foxbrim Vitamin C Lotion [Natural & Organic] Review


I've used several products by Foxbrim and they have all been nice. The Foxbrim Vitamin C Lotion is a true winner, though, bringing a feeling of luxury and richness to skin with the use of this mild, silky lotion.

Dispensed via a nice pump bottle, a generous and adequate portion is provided for application to one's face, neck, and chest. It glides on and is absorbed quickly. I really like the feel of this lotion either without makeup or with makeup applied after.

It is encouraging to see that Foxbrim is using natural and organic ingredients to create this lovely lotion. It is my understanding that much of what is applied to our skin is absorbed into our body's system. We certainly don't want anything but good ingredients to be rubbed on our skin - our body's largest organ. (check out the list of ingredients below)

Foxbrim has indicated that this product is good not just for our face but all over or body. While certainly affordable for a face, neck, and chest, it would, however, be rather pricey to use full body. But I have applied it to my hands and arms and it feels absolutely lovely.

Product Description - It Starts With Quality Skin Protection With Proven Vitamin C. Moisture and More. All The Benefits In A Single Bottle. (product description provided by Foxbrim)

  • Effectively lighten spots and discoloration
  • Reduce wrinkle formation and existing wrinkles
  • Refine and even skin texture 
  • Promote skin cell turnover

Key Ingredients include:

  • Vitamin C (15%)
  • Aloe Vera
  • MSM
  • Shea Butter
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Green Tea
DISCLOSURE: 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, November 22, 2014

The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton

About the book: A friend's deception. A family's dilemma.

While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, archaeologist Grace Madison learns that her daughter has disappeared in France, and daughter-in-law has been attacked in Switzerland. But before the Madisons can save themselves, they must rescue an old friend---if he'll let them. Navigating a deadly, four-thousand-year-old artifact trail that crosses three continents, they jeopardize hearts and lives against a foe as old as time---as time runs out.

Because choosing what's right is all that's left.

My thoughts: This was a different style read and required effort on my part to get through 200 pages. The book tops out at nearly 400 pages.  First of all, it was somewhere around 150 pages before the gist of the title stuck me. Ahh. It was beginning to come together for me. But I digress...

NBL Horton, author, has a way with words and phrases that makes a read enjoyable, that is, up to a point. But when words and phrases and oblique meanings cloud the plot, then it becomes tedious. And I really hate that because I do love when an author has the skill and wit to weave beautifully the tapestry of words.

Grace, Mark (her husband), their son and daughter with spouse or intended, plus an entourage of CIA, M16, Mossad and other types cavort all over Europe ending back in Israel tracing the meaning of a carved rock dating back thousands of years. These multiple locations, descriptions of scenes, beautiful phraseology, and two old geezers in their 80s are the genesis for a meandering tale.

It would have helped tremendously to have read the first book in the series. I had not done so.

Frankly, I've had to put the book down. I may come back and finish it one of these days because as I said, I do enjoy beautiful use of words. But for now, it is being laid to rest.


DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation for this review.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Good Morning, God! by Kathleen Long Bostrom & illustrated by Tammie Lyon {Review & Giveaway}

ISBN: 9780824919399
Boardbook $6.99

About the book: A delightful look at a child's morning activities.
This sweet little board book follows a child through her morning routine from the time she jumps out of bed to when she goes outdoors to play. In simple rhyming text, the author gives relatable examples of a child greeting God as she greets the day.

Little ones will enjoy the engaging verse and bright illustrations as they learn that God is with us throughout the day. Ages 2-5.

My thoughts: Sweet, sweet little
 book. What an adorable way to teach little ones to look to God first thing in the morning and on through the day. Oh, that we adults would be diligent in speaking first to God when we awaken and begin our day. 
I kick the covers off  the bed.
I STRETCH my arms above my head,
put on a shirt that's WHITE and RED.
GOOD MORNING GOD!

And on throughout the day, the rhyme goes with greetings to God. Charming. Sweet. Tender. And delightful, playful illustrations will charm child and adult throughout the book.

GIVEAWAY: Good Morning God! along with a copy of Good Night God! are being reserved by Ideals Publications for one of Chat With Vera's readers. Who will win this to delight a child? Giveaway begins November 20 & ENDS December 10 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE: I was provided a copy of Good Morning, God! by Ideals Publications in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Good Night, God! by Kathleen Long Bostrom {Review & Giveaway}

ISBN: 9780824919405
Boardbook $6.99
About the book: A delightful look at a child's bedtime rituals.
This sweet little board book follows a child throughout his evening from the first hint of bedtime to those sleepy moments as his head hits the pillow. The author provides relatable examples of a child saying good night to God during his evening routine.

Little ones will enjoy the engaging verse and bright illustrations as they learn that God is with us throughout the night. Ages 2-5.

My thoughts: Delightful! As the day winds down this little boy prepares for bed and, like many children, wants various things - a treat, a story, a drink. How many parents have gone through the same bedtime ritual? And then, the very final is a Good Night, God! before the child closes his eyes in comforting, secure sleep.

"I've brushed my teeth
and washed my face and put my toys all back in place.
Do we have time for one more race?
Good night, God!"
GIVEAWAY: Good Night God! along with a copy of Good Morning God! are being reserved for one of Chat With Vera's readers. Who will win this to delight a child? Giveaway begins November 20 & ENDS December 10 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE: I was provided a copy of Good Night, God! by Ideals Publications in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Body Merry RETINOL MOISTURIZER - Professional Grade 2.5% Retinol Cream


I like it! Well, I like moisturizers for my face and neck but I don't like all moisturizers.

This Body Merry 2.5% Professional Grade Retinol Moisturizer is very nice. It feels good on my skin. It looks good on my skin. It absorbs well. My skin looks very nice the next morning after using this product.

Body Merry has come through with another good product. I can confidently endorse this Retinol Moisturizer. Now some folks have a little problem with retinol products and have to use care that it doesn't dry their skin out too much. Personally, I have not found this product to be drying to my skin at all. It simply works nicely.

Product information (source: Body Merry, Amazon)

  • BEST Natural & Organic Anti-Aging Facial & Neck Firming Moisturizer for Wrinkles, Fine Lines, Acne and Dark Spots - Evens your skin tone for a Youthful and Radiant Glow
  • MAXIMUM STRENGTH RETINOL: Body Merry's Retinol Surge Moisturizer contains 2.5% Retinol, which has time and again proven itself to be a potent youth reviving ingredient. This unique formulation is specially designed for you to be able to get the most out of this wonder ingredient, without suffering from any dryness or irritation that is typically associated with the use of Retinol.
  • NATURAL + ORGANIC: The cream also contains Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid, which nourishes and hydrates your skin. Wildcrafted Green Tea, Organic Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5 and Shea Butter add their goodness to create a formula that is potent and proven to show results.
  • ANTI-AGING + MUCH MORE: This moisturizer not only effectively addresses wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and other signs of aging, but also helps to provide a flawless tone and texture by working its charm on discoloration, acne and other marks, hyperpigmentation and sun damage. Both men and women can use this moisturizer, and it is designed to work well for all skin types.
  • MADE IN USA + CRUELTY FREE + NO HARSH CHEMICALS: The moisturizer is made in the USA in an FDA registered and GMP compliant facility. It is not tested on animals. The formula does not contain any harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulphates or Phthalates.
  • MANUFACTURER GUARANTEE: Body Merry's products are backed with a 90 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you don't like this moisturizer, just contact us and get a full refund. You don't need to return the bottle.
DISCLOSURE: 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.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Look Inside the Time of Jesus: A Lift-the-Flap Discovery Book by Lois Rock; Illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi

ISBN:  978-0-7459-6398-3 $14.99 Hardcover

About the book: Keep curious young minds busy with these detailed depictions of Bible history, and a glimpse behind the scenes with flaps to lift on every page


Jesus took his message to all kinds of people in all kinds of places—from the shores of Lake Galilee to the bustling streets of Jerusalem. This book takes readers right into the world that he knew, with appealing illustrations and flaps that open to reveal all kinds of fascinating details. Brief text explains the setting, and references events and stories from Jesus' life. The book covers the first Christmas, illustrations of a synagogue and carpenter's workshop in Nazareth, fishing in Capernaum, farming and shepherding in the hills of Galilee, homes of the wealthy and everyday people, the temple in Jerusalem, the way of the cross, and the first Easter.

My thoughts: This is a large, sturdy board book and each spread of pages has several "lift-the-flaps" designed in a variety of sizes that offer engaging educational opportunities for the child. Even though it is a "board book," it will be valuable and enjoyable for young readers as well as non-readers.  Parents can use this as an invaluable teaching tool.  But most of all, it is a very pleasant and lovely book for the child. The child is the important key word here. Engage the child. Educate the child. Help the child to learn of Jesus. This book will successfully do just that.

Look Inside the Time of Jesus is spot-on accurate (not an archeological "dig" type of book, though) to Bible times and Bible events. Each picture is replete with details that the child can engage in seek 'n find activities as well as the lift-the-flaps. I like that the flaps each are designed so that little fingers can lift them without difficulty.

I heartily endorse this book produced by Lion Hudson and distributed by Kregel. Hint: This would make a terrific Christmas gift for a child.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publishing in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are mine and I received no compensation for the review.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke at Master Books of New Leaf Publishing Group


ISBN: 9780890518359 - Hardback - 80 Pages - New Leaf Publishing Group

Quick Overview - Insects are small signposts to God’s brilliant creativity. With their alluring beauty, incredible design features, and limitless variety, they are a living testament to an all-wise, wonderful Creator.

Children will see the world’s largest insects, insects designed with camouflage, the most beautiful insects, the weirdest insects, and more. What you will see, page after page, are these creatures
doing just what they were designed to do, and doing it well. God is amazing!

My thoughts: I am always so amazed at the beauty and quality of books produced by New Leaf Publishing Group and its imprint Master Books. When you factor this in with top notch scientific information and evidence and Biblical focus, you have an unsurpassable product.

What little boy, middle grade boy or even older doesn’t have an innate fascination for bugs and insects. I know my two sons would absolutely have loved this book when they were growing up. Well, even girls like bugs, too. Well, some girls. Now, about the book.....

The author William Zinke presents first of all the fact that "bugs are insects, BUT not all insects are bugs." And then he goes on to explain different categories of bugs.

  • Amazing Creepy Crawlers
  • Jumbo Giants
  • Weird & Wonderful
  • Bugs in Camo!
  • Bizarre and Beautiful
And there are lists of Words to Know.... Entomology, Exoskeleton, Decomposers, Mandibles, Metamorphosis, Thorax, Setae, etc. And he has also included some tear out cards that can be used as flash cards for quick recognition and learning names and facts.

The photographs are absolutely stunning. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say I loved the bugs and insects, because I have this phobia about all things creepy and crawly. But kids need to learn and this book sure gives them a wonderful peak into the world of entomology.

I just love the way Master Books focuses on God the Creator and how He created each of these bugs with a distinct purpose and how they are wonderfully designed for the job they do.

And even though bugs just simply aren't "my thing," I recognize that God has a purpose for them and His Word says that everything God created was beautiful in His sight.

I highly recommend this book for kids of all ages, libraries of all types, and folks of all kith and kin. 


Sneek a Peek Preview
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Master Books A Division of New Leaf Publishing Group in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review. The pages from the book pictured in this review were scanned by me and the poor quality does not do justice to the great quality of the book.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sara Sundin (Christmas Christian Fiction - GIVEAWAY)

Multnomah WaterBrook Press
ISBN: 9781601426482
About the book: Discovering romance during the Christmas season is more magical due to the looming hardship of World War II. The three Turner siblings take a chance on love when the future is uncertain in these three connected novellas. Set in 1940s Lafayette, Indiana, Where Treetops Glisten tells the tale of Abigail, Pete, and Merry Turner--- each whom faces the uncertainty of life during wartime and relies on personal faith and God's leading to find lasting love and enduring hope for the days ahead.

White Christmas by Cara Putman follows a candy cane-making Purdue student with a vow to avoid romantic entanglements and the stoic farm boy dedicated to saving his family home who desperately needs the help the Turners can provide.

My thoughts: Early 1940s war rages and yet life goes on. Abigail's father is an attorney and she is a college student, but still she works two jobs and attends school. She meets Jackson in the candy store and learns that he is working to save the family farm (but not working the farm, more on that later) that is about to be foreclosed on. Sensing Jackson needs help to unravel the problem, Abigail takes him to her father who begins working on the issue. Jackson is not off fighting nor is he farming the land because as a child he had polio. Can Jackson's problems be unraveled? This is a sweet story abounding in friendly help and sweet romance.

Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmas tells the story of a fighter pilot running on empty, a lonely widow, and a little girl searching for what she has lost. Will an unusual Christmas gift fill their hearts again?

My thoughts: When Pete Turner returns on furlough he meets Grace and it is under a distressful situation - Grace's little daughter has run off again. She does this looking for her father who died in WWII as a pilot. The sparks fly between Pete and Grace in more ways than one.  They knew each other as children. Grace has issues with trust. The romantic interest twinkles and glows. But the heart of the story is little Linnie. You'll love her as she melts your heart and those of the characters in the story.

Finally, Tricia Goyer's novella Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas follows a combat nurse offering care and cheer to injured soldiers on the front lines as Christmas nears. When her patients and the Dutch villagers discover it is her birthday, they work together to give her a great gift---a reason to believe in love again.

My thoughts: This time the Turner family member is in the heart of WWII as a nurse tending the Allied wounded and some German soldiers as well. Tending a broken heart of her own, Meredith guards herself as she cares for the broken bodies of the soldiers. Her broken heart's past catches up with her in the Netherlands. What does it take to mend Meredith? 

As I read these three intertwined novellas I was impressed with the talent these three gifted authors have for blending the lives of the Turner family from different character's aspects. The fact that the stories take place in different years and during the Christmas season of each year brings warmth and charm to them. I enjoyed these stories and think the quick novella reads are just right for the busy holiday season.

 TRICIA GOYER is the author of 35 books and has published over 500 articles for national publications. CARA PUTMAN is the author of twelve novels and two novellas including Shadowed by Grace, and she is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. SARAH SUNDIN is the author of the Wings of the Nightingale series and the Wings of Glory series.
GIVEAWAY: Begins November 14 & ENDS December 5 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open for USA addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for this review by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author and publisher. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (Review and Giveaway)

About the book: A grandmother's last wish is to communicate God's love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she's easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree---something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn's grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project---an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

My thoughts:  A small mountain town in North Carolina. What a perfect setting for a North Carolina gal to read a book about and it is also a charming Christmas read. Gotta be good! So let’s see…..

High school sweethearts Taryn McKenna and Justin Callahan don’t quite make it to the altar. They go their separate ways – Taryn to college and Justin into the military. Twelve years pass. During that period of time the two have lived full lives.  Taryn is a school teacher, loved, respected. Justin has returned from honorable military service to take over his father’s construction business.


Into the mix is a beloved grandmother – Jemma. Feisty, hard and robust as mountaineers go, beloved by granddaughter Taryn and Justin as well. But an accident looms and it brings down Jemma and lands her in the hospital. It brings Taryn and Justin back together again because of their love for her. And then the fun begins.


Now how in the world does a quilt come into play in a Christmas story, a story about an injured grandmother, and boy meets girl after twelve years? Well, it all comes down to tradition – mountain and family tradition.


We get a bit of romance (sweet), a bunch of anger, a heaping of secrets, and a bit of sewing by……. well, you’ll just have to read it yourself to find out.


a Rafflecopter giveaway Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to Edie Melson's devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle-schoolers to love writing as much as she does (if she's lucky that day and they're actually listening...). Jodie loves to bake, ride the Harley with her husband, and fish the Outer Banks with their daughter.  Connect with Jodie: websiteFacebookTwitter

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for the review.

Ideals Christmas Magazine 70th Anniversary Edition (2014) {Review & 2 Giveaways}

  • ISBN-13: 978-0824913465
  • Paperback - 64 pages
Who amongst Chat With Vera readers remembers the Ideals Magazines? They came several times a year and were chock full of beautiful pictures and poems. Some of the poetry was great and some was just plain good rhyme. The pictures were always outstanding. I remember....... I remember keeping my mother's old copies and carrying them with me into my marriage. They sat on my coffee table - Spring, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Oh, I especially loved the Christmas Ideals Magazine. Eventually, they became a bit tattered around the edges.

2014 marks the 70th year of publication for Ideals Magazines. Here is a little about the magazine's history:

About - IDEALS Magazine, a part of family traditions for 70 years, brings to mind—and brings to life—holidays full of warmth, hope, and love.

IDEALS Magazine was begun in 1944 with a Christmas issue printed by Van B. Hooper, a public relations manager for a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, manufacturer. The magazine, which had started as bits and pieces of poetry and homey philosophy added to his company’s newsletter, struck a chord in its readers. Circulation grew through word of mouth, and at the magazine’s height, eight issues a year were published with various themes. The Christmas issue has always been the most popular and has been a Christmastime tradition in countless homes for decades. Although the magazine has since been relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, and many years have passed, the values celebrated in its pages are unchanged and continue to inspire readers. Today, Ideals is still treasured by families who believe that no matter how times change, the vital things—family ties, love of country, and faith in God—are what see us through. (information on history from Facebook)
I am already enjoying this 2014 Christmas Ideals Magazine. I especially enjoyed the pages of beautiful stained glass windows and the Biblical passages about the birth of the Christ child. There are a few pages of Christmas cookie recipes, the music and story behind "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," lovely pictures, and lots of little stories and poems. A treat for yourself or someone you wish to treat.

Ideals has partnered with Barnes & Noble to offer an exclusive, expanded edition of the 70th Anniversary issue of Christmas Ideals! This special 96-page edition contains flashback selections from past Christmas issues in addition to the pages from the regular Christmas issue. The added pages feature some of your favorite contributors, such as Grace Noll Crowell, Lansing Christman, Gladys Taber, and Garnett Ann Schultz. *This edition is available exclusively at Barnes & Noble.*
-->> http://tinyurl.com/lmnqtt4

GIVEAWAY:  The good folks at Ideals Publications  are holding a copy of "Ideals Christmas 70th Anniversary Edition" and also a copy of the Barnes & Noble exclusive, "expanded edition of the 70th Anniversary issue of Christmas Ideals" for two of Chat With Vera's readers. Two winners get one copy of the Christmas Ideals each. Let's see who will win. Hopefully, the book will arrive in time for Christmas enjoyment. Begins November 13 & ENDS November 28 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to US addresses only.

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While IDEALS is no longer available by subscription, it is still available for purchase from your favorite retail outlet (stores or online) and by visiting our website at: www.IdealsBooks.com. Other links:
Facebook.com/IdealsBooks
Facebook.com/IdealsMagazine
Pinterest.com/IdealsBooks

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Ideals in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

God Gave Us Angels by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

ISBN: 9781601426611
Hardcover $10.99
WaterBrook Press
Teaching little ones about angels can be tricky. Some folks attribute too much presence and power to angels and some shy away from even considering the fact that there are angels amongst us. In God Gave Us Angels the author gently and sweetly and with clear Biblical teaching explains to the young ones that there are angels and that God gave them to us.

The art is sweet, beautiful, engaging, and has a sense of loving about it that parents, grandparents, and children will thoroughly enjoy. Soft colors further enchant. The author is not new to the "God Gave Us" series having previously published seven of the themed God Gave Us books.

Papa bear shares the truths of angels with Little Cub and Little Cub asks...
"Have you ever seen one?" Little Cub asked. "I mean, for reals?" "I haven't, but I agree with the bunnies. They're often with us." "Are some here now?" she whispered. "Maybe," he whispered back.
In the illustrations, each page has other woodland critters going along with the bears. There are angels, too, on every page.

Now, I have shared that I do like the book, the Biblical teaching in the text/story, and the lovely illustrations. But I have issue with a couple of other items.
  1. Little Cub can't pronounce the words sometimes - like lots of little children. However, I personally believe that books should spell the words correctly and avoid spellings for mispronounced words..... "for reals?"  "They're imbisible.
  2. The angels depicted in the illustrations are bears with wings. They are drifting, floating, flying on the pages. My question is, will this give the idea to a child that there are animal angels?
I will give this book a 4-star rating because it is very good except for the couple of issues I have just stated. I will be sharing my copy with my grandchildren knowing their parents are astute enough to get past these items. 
SNEAK PEAK - CLICK HERE
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy from Blogging For Books Review Program on behalf of the publisher WaterBrook Press in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.

Monday, November 10, 2014

God's Greatest Gift by Deborah Burch

About the book: God's Greatest Gift, written and illustrated by acclaimed artist, Deborah Burch, is a lively, rhythmic and heartfelt story about a child discovering that he/she is a blessing from God. It demonstrates that every child living in our wonderous world is a unique and miraculous creation. Hardcover with dust jacket, 32 brilliantly illustrated heavy duty pages.

My thoughts:  I was highly anticipating reviewing God's Greatest Gift picture book. As Chat With Vera readers must know, I am an avid fan of children's picture books. I think they are beautiful and wonderful learning/teaching tools. The real beauty, though, lies in the beauty and glow of a child's rapt attention as they absorb the book like a feast for their eyes. And as this eye-feast is devoured, their minds are absorbing the message the text is conveying. That is why I am so profoundly disappointed in this particular book.

Frankly, I see where the author/illustrator is coming from and the idea is superb. However, I believe she would have been better served giving it a title such as "God's Special Gift" or "God's Wondrous Gift" and leave the title alliteration for something else.

To teach a child that he or she is God's greatest gift is doing them a great wrong. Jesus Christ is God's greatest gift to mankind and to each and every child. A child is, however, a very special and wondrous gift from God to parents and to the World. That is where the error in the author's theology is. Children begin to absorb theology in little bits of truth very early in life and it is the parent's responsibility to ensure that the theology is correct.

I don't think the author has meant to present an error in theology. I think the presentation is from her heart where she loves her own children and wants them to know just how special they are to her and to God. But the possible cost to a misconstrued theology is too great for me.

I give the author/illustrator an A+ for her illustrations. The books is very nicely bound and made of durable pages that will hold up to much use. The extra of looking for items of 7 on each illustration is a nice extra touch though the items are a bit difficult to discover on some of the pages. They do present an extra focus and opportunity for discovery which is always nice. And the concept of the number 7 being the number for God's perfection can be presented to children this way.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for a review from the BookCrash Book Review Program. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hidden (Jacobs Family Series) by Vannetta Chapman - Contemporary Romantic Suspense (Review & Giveaway)

Favorite author, Vannetta Chapman, has now dipped her pen in the inkwell of contemporary fiction. Leaving Amish buggies behind in a cloud of New Mexico dust, she has woven a tale that moves with fascinating speed and intrigue in the dangerous world of Homeland Security.

A deranged man who has brooded for decades over a perceived wrong done his family when he was a teen has created a target that has eluded the team of professionals who secure our land. Dana is the female protagonist and is supervisor of a team of 30 Homeland Security personnel. Newcomer to the team, Ben Marshall, is an army veteran trained and experienced in explosives. Those talents and his experience become invaluable in the hunt for this desperado.

Got to factor in a teenage boy who has gotten in deeper with evil than he ever thought possible and all in the hopes he could help his Mom and two younger brothers. (The youngest brother is a real charmer that will capture the reader’s heart!)

The pace of Hidden is constant and fast. The dialogue and word pictures enrich the story and again reveal the talents that Vannetta Chapman brings to her writing.

This time Chapman has chosen to self-publish, but I foresee publishers clamoring for rights to publish subsequent books along this line.

Want to give HIDDEN a try! You can read the first few chapters for free at Amazon and also at https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/37273i7-hidden.

GIVEAWAY: Vannetta has graciously agreed to bless one of Chat With Vera's readers with their own copy of  HIDDEN. Just use the Rafflecopter form below to try win your very own copy. Begins October 12 & ENDS November 17 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
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Read Chat With Vera's interview of Vannetta Chapman HERE!
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for a review. Opinions are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller (Review & Giveaway)

ISBN: 9780784212550

About the book: Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man---a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

My thoughts: I found The Brickmaker's Bride interesting in its treatment of Scotch-Irish immigrants and their treatment by society and the general populace during this post Civil-War period.  The story features Ewan, a Scotch-Irish immigrant who had been brought to America by his Uncle Hugh for the sole purpose of purchasing and operating a brick making refinery.

Judith Miller created a complexity of characters for this story. Margaret the brash, rude, and frankly unbelievable wife of Uncle Hugh. Ewan who is a noble man in character, kind, patient, hard working, and knowledgeable about business and the workings of the brick factory. Winston, the banker is courting the leading lady, Laura, and he is a snob, a political wanna-be, and a general clout. And of course, Laura's mother who is gracious, generous, and kind.

At times during the reading, I grew weary of the characters and their behavior; but as the story progressed, I enjoyed it and grew to appreciate the detail Judith Miller had taken to create their individual temperaments and behaviors.

The story ends rather abruptly and I would have liked to have had some more details fleshed out or resolved. But perhaps the author is planning on revealing those in a subsequent book. We shall look forward to that possibility.

GIVEAWAY: Now you have an opportunity to win your very own copy provided compliments of Litfuse on behalf of the publisher and author. Begins November 8 & ENDS November 21 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open for USA addresses only.
Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. When time permits, Judy enjoys traveling,  visiting historical settings, and scrapbooking the photographs from her travel expeditions. She makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.

Find Judith online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Want to read more reviews? CLICK HERE

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. The giveaway copy is also provided by Litfuse who will send the prize directly to the winner.