Book Review- ‘Crystal Basics’ by Nicholas Pearson (Metaphysical, Spiritual) 5 Informative Stars!

CBThank you to NetGallery for my free copy in exchange for an honest review. This is the second metaphysical book on crystals I have received, and in all honesty while they are both excellent I think I’m in love with this one more!  I bought a hard copy for the book shelve. Let’s get into the review

Blurb

A full-color practical handbook of essential techniques with an in-depth directory of healing stones

• Offers guidance on selecting your crystals and gemstones and step-by-step instructions on how to cleanse, charge, activate, and program them

• Includes templates for crystal grids and healing layouts, recipes for crystal elixirs, and directions for crystal meditations and energy clearing with crystals

• The full-color directory includes 200 different rocks, minerals, gemstones, and crystal formations, organized alphabetically and featuring the physical, psychological, and spiritual healing qualities for every stone

In this in-depth yet easy-to-follow guide, crystal healing teacher Nicholas Pearson offers a full-color compendium of 200 crystals and gemstones as well as a hands-on practical handbook on crystal healing, perfect for those just beginning their crystal journey as well as long-time stone lovers seeking an all-in-one reference.

The handbook of crystal use opens with a thorough explanation of crystal energy, including its interactions with the human energy field, and teaches readers how to extrapolate what a crystal does based on its composition, crystal structure, formation process, and other properties. In the chapters on techniques, Pearson offers guidance on selecting your crystals and gemstones, then step-by-step instructions on how to cleanse, charge, activate, and program them. He explains how to make crystal grids and healing layouts, including templates for both, and also discusses the numerology and geometry of crystal grids. He explores the essentials of crystal elixirs, complete with elixir recipes, and details how to perform crystal meditations, clear the energy centers and the aura, and practice more advanced techniques, such as engaging with the crystal devas, creating sacred space, and practices for spiritual hygiene and protection.

The compendium includes 200 rocks, minerals, gemstones, and crystal formations, organized alphabetically and featuring full-color photographs. Each entry includes geological information and the physical, psychological, and spiritual healing qualities for every stone. Some stones, such as jasper and quartz, have multiple varieties, each given their own entries to provide a thorough reference guide for crystal healers and collectors.

This accessible yet comprehensive guide offers the essentials of crystal energy healing paired with a highly illustrated stone directory to give you everything you need to know about crystal basics in one handy volume.

Kim’s Review 5 very informative stars!

I’ve always been a big fan of the metaphysical world and crystals. This book is an excellent resource in my view for anyone who has an interest in crystals and gems, their uses, and how they can benefit you in life. What I really enjoyed about this book is the level of detail. First it really breaks down how and why crystals are formed, in the natural world. The differences between them, then it goes on to give informative information on building a collection, which stones are best for what, healing, cleansing and a wealth of other useful information! It also has a very in depth encyclopedia of 200 crystals and their uses.   The pictures are clear, bold, and very beautiful too. Therefore, if you are looking for a particular crystal for  your needs, or just need to clarify things it has a very detailed area to answer all your questions.

I would recommend this book for any and everyone who has an interest in the metaphysical world, crystals and how to use and apply their energies in your own life. I also found that this book is written in such clear, easy to understand and basic language. Making it wonderful for beginners and those who are already knowledgeable. It’s well worth investing in. Five stars from me, and worth the money!

Book Review- “Under The Mistletoe” by Siobhan Kinkade. (Short Story Romance), 5 Well Written Stars!

UTM.jpgThank you to Mocha Memoirs Press for my free copy, in exchange for an honest review! Gosh am I glad I found this lovely little short story of just twenty pages.  Let’s get into the review, I just loved it.

About the short story

Military widow Rhea Blackmon is forced by her late husband’s best friend Sebastian to attend Fort Mitchell’s Christmas party, much against her will. All she wants is to go home and be alone but Sebastian has other plans. He has a present for her; one that she will not soon forget.

 

Kim’s Review 5 Well Written, Surprising & Heart Warming Stars!

I came across this publisher on Facebook, offering avid readers the chance to read some free books. I picked this book as the title drew me in,  I do like Christmas themed stories and I’ve never read a military one. The first thing I have to say is it’s just twenty pages, and therefore a short story. That said, it deserves five stars I feel from  my reading experience,  it’s length did not in my view as a reader take away anything at all. Yes, I did want more,  when a reader says that it’s never a bad thing, a compliment to the author! We loved your work. Here’s what I loved about this little romance story.

Development– Like I said, this story is just twenty pages, but I found as soon as I read the first few pages the author really did do a great job at showing how the main character felt, over the loss of her husband. In such a short story,  the feelings are developed well, I appreciated  the author’s ability to draw me right in, and  make me care about this lady’s story and her loss.

The writing style- clean, crisp, and a plot that moved along. I was very engaged. Read it in one sitting.

The surprise twist-  my five star experience as a reader really was here! There’s an unexpected twist that just touched my heart. I don’t like to give spoilers, let’s just say it’s everything a romance lover could expect. The twist in the plot made me go ‘ohhh wow” and giggle a bit.

Overall, five stars from me, a well crafted short story and a good example of how to write an engaging plot in such little words. Romance was there, love, loss and happiness. What more could you ask for? I’d read more from this author!

Also free on Kindle Unlimited to read.

 

 

 

 

Book Review-‘An Affair In Las Vegas’ Book #1, By Rachell Nichole (Romance) 4 ‘Adorable’ Stars! #amreading #romance

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We have some rainy and stormy weather today, my son’s birthday party is called off as he is very ill and sleepy, what else is there to do but read? Recommended to me by Kindle Unlimited ‘An Affair in Las Vegas’ I stumbled across this romance series, and it was a good recommendation. I have never read this author’s work and to be honest it was very surprisingly different! Read in a few short hours also, I am for sure reading more. Let’s get into the review.

 

Blurb

Does what happens in Vegas truly stay in Vegas?

Dawn has only ever wanted one thing: to provide a life for her daughter in New York City, away from the small-town minds of her family and her upbringing. She has fought hard to become hotel manager, and one of her first duties is to attend a conference at the Marietta Las Vegas. But when she meets Barnaby, the man with the job she’s always wanted, there was one thing she didn’t count on. A sizzling attraction that won’t be denied.

Barnaby has always had one goal in life: to help people. He’s found his calling as manager of the Marietta Times Square, and since his past failed relationship, has focused all of his energy on being the best manager he can be. This year, that means helping to run the Marietta Hotels second annual Hoteliers’ Conference in Vegas. But as soon as he notices Dawn in the crowd, his focus instantly splits, his desires for her swift and fierce.

When he realizes the attraction is mutual, he doesn’t waste any time seducing her to his bed. But when he suspects she’s hiding something from him, he worries that maybe he’s just destined to attract two-timing women to his life.

Can what began as a fling in Vegas turn into something more once they’re home in New York? Or does what happen in Vegas truly stay in Vegas?

 

Kim’s Review 4 ‘so different and adorable’ stars

I really enjoyed and liked the first part of this series,  as a first time reader  I liked  how the story picked up quickly  it had good pacing for me. I also really enjoyed that the author decided to spin a rather different tale, featuring a single mother who goes on to find a man who is so good for her and her daughter.

Without giving too many spoilers both characters Dawn and Barnaby have their own ‘baggage’ from past relationships. However this does not come to surface until they need to depart the conference they meet at. The push and pull and tension was enjoyable and realistic to read.  Overall I feel that the issues both characters had from the past, and even relationships with their parents really helped to develop the story, and their reactions to events that happen in the story.

I also really enjoyed the character’s themselves, Barney is such an unassuming man…not to mention a bit of a freak in the sheets!! He is slightly older than Dawn and his sexual experience showed, I enjoyed the way the author played on this. He is also British so as a British reader I liked it!

Dawn is a like-able and very relate-able  younger female, her background, current place in life and attitude to survival felt realistic and enjoyable to read. 

The story also had a very good twist at the end to bring the two together, as they depart ‘leaving what happens in Vegas in Vegas’ , and they don’t part on good terms. But all ends up well with unexpected twists.

Overall, this was a very  steamy, different and adorable story line that ends well. It’s also rather steamy in places too which I did enjoy!  I will be reading the rest of the Las Vegas Series, but first ‘An Affair Across Times Square’s’ blurb at the back of this book looks good,  following a murder trial I’ll start here with this book.

Four really good, adorable and enjoyable stars from me.

Free on Kindle Unlimited too!

 

Book Review; ‘When Love Matters’ ( Non-Fiction), by Jessica Minasian – 3.5 stars

This was a super quick read a few hours if that. Thank you to NetGallery for a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I found this an interesting approach to love and relationships,  but unbalanced for the average reader. Let’s get into the review.

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Kim’s Review 3.5 Interesting Stars

Well, after browsing the non fiction section the cover and title caught my eye for sure. The blurb also pulled me in, as well as the advance praise for the book. With my own interest in universal laws and esoteric subjects, I was so intrigued at how this could be connected to relationships, love and even the concept of ‘soul mates’.

Here’s what  I loved

  • The logic.
  • The alternative way of looking at relationships,  love and connecting with others.
  • The idea of a ‘practical’ informative book, using science.
  • This book is for everyone no matter your relationships status.

I  enjoyed the scientific aspect of this book to start with as I read, as it touches on astronomy, how the universe, planets and solar system work. Areas I naturally enjoy this made it very easy for me to follow the direction of the book. However, while it helped hold my interest personally,  it also hindered the book’s overall purpose and main direction – to help others and inspire them when it comes to love and relationships, regardless of  being married, single or looking for love. I felt the heavy delivery of science took the book in a different direction, almost a pure academic direction. Given the genre, I  feel more balance between science and ‘self-help’ ‘inspiration’ is needed.

I would imagine an average reader who does not have GREAT interest or even knowledge in astronomy, astrology or the science of the universe and its function might become turned off quickly.  In addition even if you love these things like me, this probably is not what you may expect, or even hope to read mostly about, based on the book’s blurb and gene.  Too much science  took away the beauty of ‘self help’ and ‘inspiration’ when it comes to the subject matter of relationships, love and soulmates. This was the main downfall for me as a reader.  Too much science, less practical every day language and content.

Overall, it is a very interesting read ( if you like science), and the concept is intriguing, but the approach to delivering the  message  could be better balanced, for general readers and just generally.  Sadly, the book does need a bit more formatting and editing for readability too. But if you love the subject matter of the universe and it’s function, how it impacts on life here on earth this could be for you.  Note that the ‘ inspiration’ or practical ‘self help’ may not be fully gained, due to the balance of the content. 3.5 stars from me. More balance could have easily increased my enjoyment and overall star rating!

Book Review; ‘Stone De La Bru’ by Peter Mack (Crime Fiction) 5 ‘need more’stars!

Oh I just love crime fiction and thriller! Well, what do we have here? This is a short novella as an introduction to the full novel S’Murda At Sweetwater Manor. I found this book in a Facebook group, free on Kindle Unlimited, I very much enjoyed it and downloaded the full novel. Let’s get into it!

Peter Mack.jpgStone de la BRU Familia
Stone Sweetwater plans to marry the last virgin in Los Angeles and adopt his murdered friend’s daughter. When a tenant of an apartment unit he owns is murdered, the investigation threatens to expose his secrets. He offers a reward to the tenants of Sweetwater Manor to find the killer before an eager detective.

 

 

 

 

Kim’s Review- 5 ‘Need To Read More’ Stars

I have never read this author’s work, and like you all know I love this genre, the cover and blurb pulled me in. There’s a murder? We don’t know who done it? Okay I’m interested! Let’s get to the bottom of the mystery.  This is a seventy-two page beauty of an introduction, I instantly connected to the story. The blurb does not give much away, but here’s what I loved.

Story line- it seems like this may be one of those past paced, yet complex ‘who dun-it’ crime mystery/thrillers. From the seventy- two pages I read I was drawn in, it held my attention. The plot itself surrounds Stone, his new affiliation with Bru Familia and rise in the ranks, and also real life- he’s  about to get married and not sure if he should, he also now has the new responsibility of raising the small child of  his murdered friend. Overall, a very good taste of what could be in the full novel.

While all this is going on and we follow his investigations and new affiliation, another body shows up *face palm*.  Stone was close to this murdered female also. They are dropping like flies. But what’s the connection? Is how I felt as I read I need more!

Characters- I immediately liked Stone, because he came across as a very street smart young man,  with a lot of money, respect, powerful and on a mission. But not your typical mean ‘thug in the streets’ and stereotypical ‘gangster’ at all. He seemed level headed, and not someone who is after the wrong things in life with his status, he was humble. I like him. He also seems extremely respectful towards women. For me as a reader I’m not keen on  reading a man in crime, street lit, urban fiction etc who thinks all women are, are ‘bitches and hoes.’ it turns me off, I never got that from him.

The secondary characters  like Stone’s mother, sister and the other female characters all have their own ‘sass’, and were like-able to read and meet. The wife to be though, I’m not sure about her and her game.  I am interested to see how she develops in the full novel.

Overall, from just the seventy-two page novella I read in one sitting, it left me wanting to read the full novel. I found the story engaging, one that could potentially deliver more than expected and rather gripping. I do love a good ‘who dun-it-‘ and really look forward to more. I would recommend this book to all crime/thriller lovers, those who enjoy mafia involvement, links over seas with other nationalities involving organised crime, like the experience of the crime underworld, and want something different other than petty low level drug dealing and street crime in a crime fiction read! Great attention grabber five stars from me.

Book Review: 3 stars – Willow #2 (Romantic Comedy) by Daphne Hargrow

Willow Book 2.jpg

Publication Date: February 27th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Length: 256 Pages

Blurb

How does a woman enjoy the company of a man without committing to a long-term relationship? Easy, love him for ninety days and leave him.

Willow gave up on love a long time ago, but she hasn’t given up on sex. So, to keep her chakras aligned and life force flowing, she abides by her tried-and-true rule: love him for ninety days and leave him. Consequently, she can feed her body while protecting her heart.

Willow’s practice of purposeful detachment serves her well until she sets her sights on Kendall’s friend Josh. Even though Josh expresses interest in Willow, he wants a more traditional relationship than she’s willing to give.

Despite their apparent differences, the universe seems to have other plans for the couple as their lives become increasingly intertwined. When Willow finally decides to follow the universe’s lead, she’s betrayed by her ninety-day rule and must rethink her life plan or face the future alone.

 

Book Review – 3 stars

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Thank you to R&R Book tours for a free Author Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I recommend this book to those who genuinely like romantic comedies,  as I was reading through there were some moments that I found amusing, and at times did more than turn the corners of my lips into an amused smile. I don’t often read this genre,  but I do enjoy it. The last book I did read in this genre well over a year ago (written by a man too!) really made  me want to read more romantic comedies. I was drawn to the blurb of this book and genre as I thought, ‘this sounds funny’ and also it reminded me of the movie Act Like a Lady , Think Like a Man with the 90 day rules, in reverse!  Overall, it is well written, some areas are amusing, and the writing goes in many directions with the plot. That said it took me one month to read less than 250 pages, I struggled a tiny bit at times to connect…I closed the book, reflected for a few days and settled on 2.5 – 3 stars based on my reading experience, and the story itself. While it was an okay reading experience, some stories call you more than others, I kept reading as I did want to see how it ended up, by the end I had three main areas that I found a little difficult  1. the story line 2. reality 3. the main female character herself…. here goes! ( I do recommend this book to romantic comedy lovers to check out though).

Story line & Reality; Willow is thirty, and has sworn off love due to a bad experience maybe ten years ago with an ex, but is happy to have sex with guys for just 90 days. To cut a very long story short there is a family gathering coming  up a wedding.  This messes with her rules, her mother does not want her to attend alone, as her grandmother will nag her ( the mother) and Willow for being a ‘spinster’. To not rehash the story or give spoilers, basically Willow’s mother tells her grandmother she has a boyfriend, a man they both know to stop her nagging.  This puts Willow in a ‘situation’ as you can imagine. As she moves on from this guy, the mother tells the grandma she has a new man, which of course Willow does not. At the family gathering Willow is forced to ‘act’ with the guy for the sake of what her grandmother will think. The  guy has no idea about Willow’s rules either.

Hmmm I’m a mother and I tried to imagine telling my mum, (my son’s gran) that he has a girlfriend who she  knows, to shut her up and stop her nagging him and me about him being single. I also tried to imagine my mum telling my gran, that I have a boyfriend to shut her up too.  As I was reading I found it a little hard to imagine any mother including myself, putting their child in this situation for the sake of  trying to stop ‘nagging’ over their child being single. I had a few other areas of the story line that I found hard to connect with.

Reality:  The romance genre is battered for having stories that are unrealistic, or ‘ insta-love’ between characters.  I don’t mind a bit of insta-love as a reader or as a writer either, but the reality of  it is important. The guy Willow’s drama surrounds is a man she met a year ago, at another wedding, slept with and never saw  or heard from him for a year- he never called her. Then, one year later they meet, have sex a few times,  circumstances throw them in each other’s circle, then all of a sudden (a matter of weeks maybe) ‘he loves her’,  she does not love him, but is pushed to tell him she does in order for the drama to settle.  I found the element of reality around their relationship as f*ck buddies vs love, and Willow being pushed a little hard to connect with too. Based on reality of not seeing someone for one year, having sex a few times and all of a sudden, it’s love.

Main character: ahhhh Willow…. she came across as a free spirited girl from a wealthy background, who smokes a lot of weed which gets her into trouble, and blames her need for sex on her ‘chakras’, she meditates to detach herself from men. I just could not connect with this chick or her motives.

This is just my experience as a reader, but I do recommend you check out this book and series if you really dig romantic comedy, don’t mind insta love, and Willow sounds like someone you’d find amusing. Final thoughts 2.5 -3 stars, there are areas that made me laugh, a little, the story has many different dynamics to it to keep you reading.  However, reality, time frame, and character development are areas that could be developed a tiny bit for me to of had a 4- 5 star reading experience. 

I do wish this author a lot of success with her series and hope she finds the perfect readership for her work. Romantic comedy lovers check her out!

Meet the Author

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Daphne Hargrow is a romance writer, avid reader, and novice yogi. She has also published a few young adult novels under a different name. When Daphne is not writing, thinking about writing, or reading about writing, she watches YouTube conspiracy videos and dreams of the day when she, too, can join the ranks of the Illuminati.

Author Website https://daphnehargrow.com/

Bad Reviews- In My View They Ain’t So Bad! #MFRW

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So it’s Monday and like clockwork I woke up at 7.00a.m after snoozing the alarm a few times, with a list as long as my arm, with things I want to complete today, in order to have a productive writing day. For one we’re one week into National Novel Writing Month, I’m participating this year, while I have 20,000 words down I’m still not quite happy with all of it, I have emails to respond to, one half of a story for The Suspenseful Collection #2 to write…. before tomorrow!  And let’s not forget the ‘day job writing’ also… I’m a translator by day!

Waking up to this list,  I knew today would be busy, right on cue my five year old son moseys into my room, jumps under the covers…”mama, I’m sick.” I sigh, roll my eyes, peel his warm five year old body off me and look him in the eye, then ask what’s wrong? He  holds his legs in the air like a tent under the covers. When he was born he had complications with his legs, now it’s fine but  I take his complaints seriously. I roll over thinking ” no school looks like today’s a sick day then, some much for productivity.”

It’s lunch time, what is he doing as I write this writing response?  Dancing and singing (rather loudly) to the Lion King movie, before that it was Frozen the movie. What else has he done today, given me firm instructions to leave my desk, to play kick the ball in the garden , attacked the washing line then ran around the house with my bra on his head, pretending he’s a “pirate of the Caribbean.” Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the little shit, boy… whoops sorry. He just fancies a day off to watch Disney all day, and disrupt his mama!

So I may as well do a writing prompt as it’s clear I won’t get to focus on any manuscripts until this evening after bed time…. sighs #shoutoutallparents.

 Bad Reviews, How They Can Help?

So bad reviews? The question  and writing prompt this week is how to overcome them. In all honesty, I don’t think bad reviews are really that bad as you grow as a writer. You soon learn that you can’t, should not try to, and DO NOT EVER want to try to write to please everyone, it’s impossible. If you do that, you’ll lose who you are as a writer,why YOU WRITE and you’ll have no idea of who you actually please- your target market and actually create sales, and a readership.

I also say this as I personally feel as a writer you get to a point where a bad review, you realise does so much more than make you feel bad if you have done the best you can on your work. 1. a review is a review whether good or bad, and sometimes the odd 1 star or someone not feelin’ your work shows a genuine picture or balanced picture. 2. a bad review can cause other people to pick up your book, out of curiosity anyway. How many times have you read reviews on somethings you wish to purchase, or a new product you wish to try and noticed the odd bad one or less positive review but decided ‘I think I want to give this a try, and see for myself.’ 3. it can also allow you to see what someone did not enjoy, genuinely as  long as they are not just on a bitchfest for no good reason.

So… how could you overcome a bad review?

I feel there  is the difference between a ‘moaning’ review and a genuine less positive review that’s more like ‘ this is critique that’s useful.’ I also feel it’s our job as a writer to weed out the two. If you can do this, that’s half the job of ‘overcoming’ a bad review. If the person is just going on, and on, and on, and on about why they hated your work with no real depth to it just…. just “hatin”’ on your work, disregard it and see that they are ‘moaning’. Instead pay attention to those who seem to be more realistic in their less positive review, and see what’s of use for you to know. Even then, take what’s helpful and leave the rest and focus on writing the next book.

Lastly, try  recognise if you have just sadly attracted the ‘wrong reader’ I hate to say this, sometimes it happens. It has happened to me, and I have also been the wrong type of reader for other books. This is when the book calls you,  the cover, blurb, genre whatever…you dive in and the connection is not there. If you can recognise within less positive reviews if this is ‘the wrong kind of reader, not someone you’d hope to attract or genuinely  a target reader’ for your work, this helps you to overcome bad reviews also. It is also helpful to define for  yourself as a writer who is, potentially could be, and definitely is not a target reader for you. Within the less positive reviews.

This is my honest approach to this subject that so many of us writers lose sleep over… a bad review pifff… I don’t allow it to bug me out so much these days. I take what I need and leave the rest, and know that it’s impossible to please all, and I would not ever want to, how the hell do I stand out if I do that?

Take what’s helpful, leave the rest. Just like when your work is rejected by a publisher, or an agent or an editor requests your work …but asks you to make what you would call major changes….that you’re not really feeling. Leave it if it does not help or changes your work too much in your view in a way you’d not really want it to. There will be someone out there that will say ‘yes, gimmie that’ as it is, you just have to find them.

Lastly, don’t ever lose your confidence over a bad review, once you develop that thick skin, this is impossible to happen anyway. But on the way to getting to this place of thick skinned and unflappable, don’t beat yourself up if someone did not connect, as remember you write for those that do connect.