Tag: review

Blog Blitz: Him with the Beard

Today I share my review for the short story Him with the Beard by Pernille Meldgaard Pederson. This Blitz comes at the perfect time of year as we are all thinking about Christmas and Santa. Which begs the question: Do YOU remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

There is also an international giveaway going on!

Book Description:

Do you remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

When nine-year-old Mille suddenly no longer believes in Santa Claus, it turns the house upside down.

Her mother, Stella, is in a pickle as the hunt to find Santa Claus unearths some family secrets.

Christmas is at risk!

And there’s only one person who can save it.

Author: Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen
Published: October 10, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 23-24, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Jessica’s Review

This is a short story with a family coping with nine year old Mille not believing in Santa anymore, which is what every parent dreads. One parent is having a harder time dealing with it than the other.  Then there is a twist: which throws everything for a loop.  The twist did not personally work for me, but it is all part of the story.

This is a story that shows the magic that is Santa: Is he real or not? What does Santa mean to you? This story can show the magic that the Christmas season has!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Kobo
I-Tunes US
I-Tunes UK

About the Author:

Pernille was born in 1988 and loves that she was born in the decade with the tallest hair, the most colourful clothes, and the best music.

Her imagination never stands still, and it’s often expressed in words and pictures.

She wrote her first story when she was six years old. It was about the cat she unfortunately never got but wished for more than anything.

She loves autumn and Christmas and believes in elves.

From day to day she is a knight in training, an animator, and a secret agent – she has saved the world a few times by now.

She’s also a professional daydreamer.

She thinks the recipe for a good book is the same as the one for having a good life – a sense of kinship, humour, love, and that one thing that gives you a daily smile.

Vestercity is a fictional city based on her upbringing near the city of Herning in Denmark.

Contact Pernille:
Website
Twitter @Pernille56
Instagram

https://www.facebook.com/PernilleMeldgaardPedersenAuthor

**International Giveaway!**

Win A Cosy Christmas Pack:
One Jim Shore Santa Claus Ornament

Santa Claus Marshmallows
A Chocolate Advent Calendar
A Pretty Christmas Storage Box
A Signed Copy of Him With The Beard

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

https://www.facebook.com/pg/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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Author Spotlight: Taylor Saville

Today we are bringing you an Author Spotlight for Taylor Saville!  We have all kinds of goodies for you today: Information on Taylor and her novel Jagged Mind, which also includes Kim’s review. As a bonus, Taylor is being awesome enough to do a giveaway of not one, but THREE novels and more (US Only).  Come on and get to know Taylor and her work:

Taylor Saville is the author of Jagged Mind, and while it is not her first novel, it is the first novel she chose to publish. Her husband, Jeffrey Smith, or Ascending Storm, is a professional artist and designs all of her book covers. She has a new title planned to be released this Fall, and a fantasy trilogy that is well under way. She is also currently writing three new novels simultaneously, so expect many more titles in the future! She will be an author to look out for! 

“Jagged Mind took years to bring to life. I’m elated for people to experience the story that took so much out of me to create. This novel is also complete with eleven full-page, interior illustrations.”

Jagged Mind:

Is there any true deliverance for the depraved? Does love change people? These questions surround the life of Harper Nolan. The foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, self-destructive lead singer of the metal band known as Jagged Mind. Locked in a cycle of self-mutilation, violence, and alcohol abuse, the threads of his life slowly begin to unravel, much to the unease of his more levelheaded bandmates. Though right when his world is ready to collapse entirely from beneath his feet, he falls harder than he ever could have imagined for the naive, sheltered girl who changes everything. He believes her love can save him, when in reality, she is merely the flame which detonates the bomb, sending their lives spiraling into a nightmare too intense to fathom. A nightmare which leaves him convinced he must end his own life. Though to his horror… life refuses to let him go.

Buy Jagged Mind Now!
Amazon US
**You can also download Jagged Mind for free via Taylor’s website! **The free, digital version does not include the artwork.** Her website is here.

Publication Date: April 10, 2017
522 pages

Reviewed by: Kim
Kim’s rating: 4.5 stars

Kim’s Review:

So, add another book to the list of “books that made Kim ugly cry.” Taylor was so kind in giving me a free e-book copy and I’m gonna give the most glowing endorsement a booknerd can possibly give: I bought a physical copy off of Amazon. That’s right! On top of the free e-book copy, I ordered a physical copy because I want it tangibly sitting on my shelf. Before I even start talking about the story, I want to mention the brilliant illustrations that are included in this book. Taylor’s husband, Jeff, is a professional artist and he created several gorgeous pictures to go along with the story. Once my copy arrived, first thing I did was flip through the book looking for all the artwork. They are amazing and enhanced my reading.

Now, the story . . . fair warning, Taylor is a soul torturer. To be honest, when I first started reading, I was expecting to hate Harper and sludge through another cliché love story of good girl falls for bad boy and she helps him discover the teddy bear within. Nope! The story is a roller coaster of emotions and feelings and tragedy and happiness and love and hate and disgust and stomach-churning and hope and I didn’t think my heart could take anymore, and that was barely half way through! I do not remember the last time I connected so emotionally to a character like I did with Harper. Every single thing that he went through, that happened to him, that he did, I took personally. There were times when I was literally sick to my stomach because of the things Harper did and participated in. As the darkness inside him got darker and bleaker and deeper, I wanted to jump into the story and beat him and hug him all at the same time. Hope and despair go hand in hand throughout the entire book! I’m pretty sure I developed an anxiety disorder while reading Jagged Mind, in all the best and worst ways! I wish I could accurately describe just how much this book made me feel. And y’all know that I’m a relatively shallow person so that’s a pretty big deal! When I finished the last page, I just sat and cried. My heart broke so completely and it felt so good and so bad simultaneously.

I identified with Emmaline. She and I are the sheltered chicks thrown into a crazy world and I appreciated her realism. There were times that she frustrated me because she was so cautious and reserved with Harper, when my “happily ever after” brain just wanted them to fall in love and everything to work out perfectly, and sometimes it just felt like she was leading him on and it really bugs me when girls do that. The other members of the band were just as turbulent in my mind. Gray, Harper’s best friend and the band’s bassist, alternated between love and hate for me. But I absolutely loved the banter between all the guys. It cracked me up! Indeed, I did laugh out loud several times when the band got together and joked and mocked together. I just became so invested in the characters and I find myself missing them, now that I’ve finished the book. Even the secondary characters that have very small parts in the plot were so real and so genuine that I’ve already asked Taylor to write another book to tell the story of one of them. Ok, two of them! 😊

The reason I gave Jagged Mind 4.5 stars instead of a full 5 stars is relatively minor, once I got used to it. Taylor gets so deep into the minds of all the characters that sometimes the distinction between everyone gets a little murky. One minute, you’re in Harper’s head, contemplating his deep-seated self-hate, then the next sentence, you’re in Rence’s head, pondering the future of the band. And the easiest way to fix it would be the pronouns, but even those got confusing. Once I figured it out, I was able to easily think my way through it, but it did get a bit distracting at times. However, I definitely wouldn’t trade the window into everyone’s thoughts for all the clear pronouns in the world, so overall, it worked out well.

I’m going to include the message I sent to Taylor as soon as I finished the book so hopefully I can convey just how much this book meant to me:

“I’m not sure what to say …

Thank you for sharing your book with me. I usually rate books by the emotions they illicit and I gauge my emotions by their physical manifestations. I’m in tears, Taylor. I had to blink to clear my eyes so I could even finish the last 2 pages. Once I closed the book, I sobbed. Very few books have brought out that kind of reaction, and your book is one of them. I don’t want to say that Jagged Mind is “awesome” or “amazing” because they’re too shallow and they don’t do it justice. I don’t know what word to use yet … you’re a writer, give me a word! All I can say is that I love your book and I plan on keeping it on my shelf for the rest of my life and I plan on rereading many times.”

I hope that, in some way, channels a few of the feelings that I had to endure while reading Jagged Mind. I absolutely recommend this book, definitely not to teens, but to anyone looking for a deep, poignant, disturbing, moving read.


Contact Taylor:
Website
Instagram @taylorsavilleauthor
Goodreads

https://www.facebook.com/taylorsavillebooks/

 

Contact Ascending Storm:
Website
Instagram@ascendingstorm
Inprnt

https://www.facebook.com/pg/ascendingstorm

**US Giveaway**

There will be three winners: You will receive a signed copy of Jagged Mind and a limited art print signed by the artist! Thank you for this awesome giveaway Taylor!Giveaway runs from today through 9/26 at midnight.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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