Month: November 2018

You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston

Author: Natasha Preston
Published: February 6, 2018
292 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4  stars

Book Description:

ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLUE
WATCH YOUR BACK
I’M COMING FOR YOU

Lylah and her friends can’t wait to spend a night out together. Partying is the perfect way to let loose from the stress of life and school, and Lylah hopes that hitting the dance floor with Chace, her best friend, will bring them closer together. She’s been crushing on him since they met. If only he thought of her the same way…

The girls are touching up their makeup and the guys are sliding on their coats when the doorbell rings. No one is there. An envelope sits on the doormat. It’s an anonymous note addressed to their friend Sonny. A secret admirer? Maybe. They all laugh it off.

Except Sonny never comes home. And a new note arrives:
YOUR TURN

Kim’s Review:

Preston does it again!

One major note right at the very beginning: Do not look at the last page unless you want to be spoiled! All I did was look at the page number on the last page; I accidentally saw the illustration and I spoiled it for myself and that brought my reading down! I was pretty pissed with myself . . . for a good while.

But aside from that! This was a good mystery. I was still very surprised by the resolution and Preston kept the tension and suspense going throughout the whole book. My only issue was Lylah and her weird attitude. She seemed incredibly contradictory to me, in a really immature way. Sometimes she would be a typical college student but then she’d switch to the traumatized teenager, but then switched to a needy little girl and there was no consistency. Thankfully, it wasn’t so bad that it distracted from the story. The emotions from most of the characters were palpable and I could feel the strain. Preston manages to create stories that would be welcome on Criminal Minds . . . always creepy and chilling. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good thriller! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Sunday Series Review: When Tomorrow Calls Boxset by JT Lawrence

Today the Sunday Series Review is back and today Kim reviews the When Tomorrow Calls boxset on Audible by JT Lawrence.  We originally meant for this to be a Double Review, but I have not listened to it and I did not want Kim’s review to wait anymore since we were sent this copy by the author herself. Once I listen to the books, I will share the reviews with you! (Mine may be individual reviews.)

Books in the Series:
Why You Were Taken

How We Found You
What Have We Done


Why You Were Taken
Published: February 23, 2017
408 Pages

Imagine discovering your murdered parents were really your abductors. Then you find out you’re on the hit list. In tomorrow’s world, a troubled woman approaches Kirsten with a warning and a wafer key and is later found dead. Was she just another victim of the Suicide Contagion, or is there something more sinister at play? The key leads Kirsten on a chase to the Doomsday Seed Vault and a hit list of seven people … and her barcode is on it.

How We Found You
Published: May 18, 2017
489 Pages

Would you sacrifice your son to save your daughter? There’s something different about Kate’s four-year-old son. He wasn’t created the old-fashioned way. Now a violent cult wants him dead and Kate will do anything to protect him – until they take her daughter. Who will she choose to live, and who will she have to sacrifice?

What Have We Done
Published: October 23, 2017
550 Pages

In tomorrow’s world where the edges blur between addictive virtual reality and real life, would you hurt your daughter if it was the only way to set her free?

When gaming junkie Silver doesn’t make it home on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Kate and Keke go out to find her. It’s a treacherous journey navigating a city in the midst of a flash civil war. Shrouded in electrosmog and panic, it’s been taken over by vigilante bot hunters as a violent AI uprising puts everyone Kate loves in danger, especially Mally and his anthrobot girlfriend. 

Suicide Agent Zack’s in trouble. After a charade of a trial he’s sentenced to hard labour at SkyRest, the most controversial penal labour colony in the country. He’s shocked by what he finds there, deep underground, but the more he resists it, the more they brainbleach him into submission. If he doesn’t find his way, he’ll never be able to tell Kate what he needs to tell her. Which is a problem, because it’s the whole reason he exists.

With the Doomsday Prophecy looming large, Kate discovers there are forces at play she’d never guess at, and much more at stake than just her or her children’s lives. What she’ll need to do to keep everyone safe will stretch her beyond every hard limit.

Will Kate play the game?

Cyberpunk meets the robopocalypse on the edge of litRPG in this dark dystopian thriller. Jack in and get ready for a headsplosion with this third book in the riveting series When Tomorrow Calls.

Ready? Your next addiction starts now.


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars

Kim’s Review of the Series:

I received this series for free on Audible in exchange for an honest review. I listened to all three books. I really enjoyed the first book. It’s unique and I liked the narrator a lot. I fell in love with Seth very quickly and although Kirsten wasn’t my favorite character, I cared about what happened to her. Keke was easily one of the best characters in the series. The futuristic world of Johannesburg with all the cool tech was well developed and I wouldn’t mind visiting someday! The ending came out of nowhere and when I finished, I couldn’t wait to move on to the next book.

Book two wasn’t as good as the first, mainly because of Kirsten, now called Kate. She was whiny through the whole book! Seth and Keke were still strong and the story was engaging. I found the religious conspiracy interesting, though not really unique. The ending was strong, but I wasn’t sure what more needed to be said.

Book three is the weakest of the series, and honestly, I don’t think the series needed it. The ending is what really disappointed me. It was weird and completely unconnected to the rest of the series. Overall, I really liked books one and two, and didn’t like book three.

A good series and I think fans of sci-fi and futuristic fiction would enjoy it!


Once you have finished the series…There is more! JT Lawrence has written more:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
Published: March 16, 2018
193 Pages

Joni is a state surrogate: young, bright, and most importantly: fertile.

… and someone wants her dead.

Keke is a smart, sexy biker; a renegade with a hunger for justice. She won’t stop until she exposes the truth, even it means putting her life in danger. Will Keke’s reckless ambition help the state surrogates, or harm them?

Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, Never Let Me Go and Mr Robot.

Keke’s story is waiting for you.

The Stepford Florist (short novel)
Published:
October 21, 2017

78 Pages

Jasmine is arrested for performing a bootleg vampire facelift in her modded-out steampunk caravan.

She’s thrilled, because it’s worked out exactly as she planned.

Jasmine has mastered moonlighting. She’s a steampunk inventor, a cosmetician, and a gene-hacking florist. And then there’s her real job: exposing evil corps and dodgy clinics.

When Jasmine, the head of Alba—an underground biopunk organisation—is tipped off that something morally dubious is happening at the city’s most luxurious high-tech spa, she takes it upon herself to investigate, and discovers a whole lot more than she bargained for.

(Warning: Contains colorful language and sex.)

This short novel is set in the near-future ‘When Tomorrow Calls’ world, and introduces Jasmine, Seth and Keke, just before we meet Kirsten, the kick-ass main character in ‘Why You Were Taken’.


Purchase Links:

Amazon US:
Why You Were Taken
How We Found You
What Have We Done

Free on Kindle:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
The Stepford Florist (short novel)

Amazon UK:
Why You Were Taken
How We Found You
What Have We Done

Free on Kindle:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
The Stepford Florist (short novel)

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A Review of Royal Essence Products

Today’s post is a little different.  This is where the “& More!” part of the site comes in. It IS a review but not of anything book related: It is a review of some of Royal Essence’s bath products!  If you have been following me on Instagram at all, you know I am a bit of a bath snob and love my bath bombs and bath related products! I’ve been ‘mini-reviewing’ them on Instagram as I use them, and today I am featuring one of those companies! 

My Instagram: @jessica42980

I found out about Royal Essence via an ad on Facebook and decided to give them a try. They are located in Adelaide, South Australia and the products are hand made and personally packaged! You can also tell from the products themselves that they are not mass produced. 

Royal Essence sells a variety of products with jewelry inside! They sell:

candles (including special occasion editions)
diffusers
bath bombs
bath scrubs
bath crumbles
whipped soap

There are three kinds of jewelry you can order in their products: rings, earrings, necklaces. For a short time they had “essential bath bombs” which came jewelry free and cost less than the bath bombs with the jewelry.

All of their jewels are guaranteed 925 sterling silver with semi precious stones or man made crystals. Each jewel has a minimum RRP (Recommended Retail Price)* of $90 (Australian dollars).

* RRP is an approximate value of how much your jewel could sell in a jewelry store in Australia.

Every purchase of a Royal Essence product gives you a chance to win a jewel worth up to $5000 made with 14 or 18 Carat White/Yellow/Rose Gold with natural gemstones and conflict free diamonds.

For me it is NOT about the jewelry, it is about the product. The rings are a nice bonus.  I will buy the product if I like it and I found a product I love: the Cookie Dough Whipped Soap!

At first I was not sure of the scent but it slowly grew on me. There are even some real chocolate chips at the top of the soap. The soap really is whipped and I LOVE the texture! Sadly, they discontinued the chocolate chip  cookie dough whipped soap. When I found that out I ordered several of the soaps, not caring about the ring size. I loved the soap and had to stock up!

I was excited when they added a necklace option. They also offer earrings, but I am not an earring person, so I did not order any earrings in products.  Here is my necklace I got in my candy kisses whipped soap:

Packaging: 5 stars These items arrived VERY well packaged! Again, they come from the other side of the world: Australia!  I was pleasantly surprised with the packing with my first order. Great care was apparently taken with my order to ensure the products arrived safely!  Bravo Royal Essence! 

Shipping Time: 5 stars I was thinking it would  take at least three weeks to a month for my orders to arrive.  I was pleasantly surprised that each time I have ordered my packages arrived in as little as 1.5- 2 weeks!  One time I had to go to the post office to pick up my package and sign for it, the other times it arrived on my doorstep.

Customer Service:  5 stars A stone in one of my rings fell out not even a couple of weeks after getting it. I had worn it maybe a handful of times. I contacted Royal Essence about this (either through email or Facebook messenger- I can not remember which). I was not expecting much about this but then…. They sent me another ring at no cost to me to replace the one with the missing stone! I did not have to send the other ring back.  They just wanted a picture of the ring with the code that had the RRP (which I still had). It was not the same ring, but of a similar RRP.  At first i did not like the replacement ring, but it  has since become one of my favorites! I wear it a lot:

Cost: 4 stars  The products can be a little costly, but remember you are getting the product and a pretty piece of jewelry!  Part of the magic is finding out what your pretty jewelry item looks like! You can also enter the code online to find out what the value of the item is. It seems like their is no free shipping to the USA, but the shipping hasn’t been bad, if memory serves, it was just around $8.00 (which was why I expected a long arrival time).

Products: 5 stars I have ordered from Royal Essence four times! I have ordered the bath bombs, essential bath bombs and  the whipped soaps. The whipped soaps are my favorite by far. It is a texture thing and I LOVE it!  Maybe at some point I will buy a candle to try, but not yet. I have enjoyed all of the products I bought! and the bath bombs are huge!  The one pictured below was an essential bath bomb( no jewelry inside) and it was so large it could have been used for two baths! 

Giveaways: (not rating)  Royal Essence seems to have giveaways/sales a lot and free items shipped on orders- but only if you are in Australia. I wish I could participate, but I understand: I am on the other side of the world from them!

Reward Program: 5 stars They have a reward program where you can earn points based on what you do: enter a birthday, share on Twitter, and even ordering items: You can earn 5 points for every $1 you spend! It adds up quickly and you can get money off of future orders: from $5 to $50! I have personally received the $10 off reward.

 

Overall, I rate Royal Essence 5 stars! They seem to be a great smaller company and when you buy from them it truly matters and helps! As previously mentioned, I have ordered from them four times and will continue to use them! They are a great company!  I am so glad I discovered them.

They currently have their Christmas products available.  They had some products for Halloween as well. I look forward to seeing what products they offer in the future. I am and will continue to be a repeat customer! 

Contact Royal Essence:
Website
Email: support@royalessence.co
Instagram @royalessenceco

I WILL be reviewing more companies with similar products. If you know of anything you want me to review let me know, and if I am interested, I may look into it. 

**These orders to Royal Essence were from my own money, that I purchased on my own. I was not compensated in any way for a review.

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