Category Archives: *** OK – Don’t Love It, Don’t Hate It

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

Title: Body of Evidence
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3619-4

“But he wasn’t a quitter–and from what he knew about Grace, she wasn’t, either. Between the two of them, they’d solve this case and bring BK to justice,” Nate concludes in Irene Hannon’s novel, Body of Evidence.

~ What ~
The third book in the Triple Threat series, this three-hundred-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those interested in a romantic suspense about finding a killer who is targeting the elderly. With slang words such as dang, drat, and heck, the topics of harassment, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. While the beginning has praises and a list of other books written by the author, the ending includes an excerpt for another book series, the author’s note and biography, and advertisements.

In this ongoing current-day story about three sisters, thirty-year-old forensic pathologist Grace Reilly has been living in a rural Missouri town where elderly people are dying of natural causes, yet she believes there is a pattern developing with their deaths. When Sheriff Nate Cox gets involved, the two have to work around the clock to find the killer while they flirt through their budding relationship.

~ Why ~
If you like a series about siblings with a deep bond who are community-driven, this one is about the youngest sister and her attraction to Sheriff Nate Cox as they piece together to find out why so many older residents in their county are dying. I liked the medical details of the autopsies, although some were gross and graphic.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand the importance of prayer. Others may not like the references to body parts doing an autopsy or small-town living where everyone knows everyone else’s business.

~ Wish ~
Although the tale briefly mentioned praying to God, it lacked relying on Christ during day-to-day challenges and did not have the eternal plan of salvation. I figured out who the killer was about halfway into the read so found the romance became more of the focal point. I prefer no slang in Christian reads.

~ Want ~
If you like a romantic suspense about a couple finding love between searching for a killer of the elderly and doing autopsies at the morgue, this may interest you, but I found it lackluster on the suspense and heavy on the romance.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book to read and review.

#Revell #BodyofEvidence #IreneHannon #TripleThreatSeries

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/3C4b2wj

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Review: Dangerous Beauty

Title: Dangerous Beauty
Author: Melissa Koslin
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-4017-7

“She refused to think of herself like that, as a victim. She was a fighter. Even if she lost sometimes, needed help sometimes, she would never stop fighting,” determines Liliana in Melissa Koslin’s novel, Dangerous Beauty.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like romantic suspense involving escaping human trafficking. Without any profanity, topics of abduction, physical abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a sneak peek at another novel by the author, her biography, and advertisements.

In this current-day tale, gorgeous Liliana Vera has been kidnapped from her murdered family and is to be sold when she escapes with the help of Meric Toledan, a rich single guy who shies away from the public and press. To remain in the States under his protection, the woman agrees to marry one of America’s most wanted bachelors but finds he has his own agenda and reasons for sheltering her. As they uncover who wants to desperately own her, both protagonists must deal with their pasts to know if they can become more than friends.

~ Why ~
Although the main theme of this book is heartbreaking as it relates to women being abducted and sold, the tale shows how Liliana avoids those who want to recapture her while she comes to the aid of Meric and others who need her help. The tragedy of trafficking is well documented, explaining how one can heal and grow after experiencing it.

~ Why Not ~
Those who prefer not to read books about the kidnapping and abuse of women may want to avoid this one, but it does not go into too much physical detail about what really happens. Others who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand how trusting in Him is pertinent to surviving life. I found several of the scenarios unrealistic and the two main characters rather disconnected, even though they both were determined and stubborn.

~ Wish
Writing about human trafficking is a hard topic, especially when there is a potential for romance between the hero and heroine; I wish the way the story was presented did not remind me in a strange way of Pretty Woman with a twist. With the few references to God and prayer, it would have been thoughtful to include the plan of eternal salvation. I prefer all pronouns of the Almighty capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like reading a Cinderella story where a beautiful woman is taken advantage of and fights back plus a wealthy man wants to protect her and others due to his past, this may be a good book for you, but it often did not seem like a feasible storyline to me.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Revell #DangeousBeauty #MelissaKoslin #FightingBackHumanTrafficking

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3xhwOLj

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Review: Extreme Test Testosterone Booster

STAMINA, ENDURANCE, & STRENGTH

~ What ~
This bottle of 60 powdered-filled capsules is a 1,484 proprietary blend of natural testosterone booster for men. Used to support men’s performance and energy, the oblong off-white capsules are large, being about a half-inch long. Its ingredients include horny goat weed, Tongkat ali root extract, saw palmetto, nettle root extract, sarsaparilla root extract, and wild yam root extract. Suggested use is to take 1 to 2 capsules a day and to take an additional capsule 30 minutes prior to activity if desired. Lot # SB6288 and Expiration date of 02/28/2025 are posted on the bottle.

~ Why ~
One of the best features is that the product is made in the United States in a GMP-approved facility. I appreciate that it contains a high percentage of natural herbs instead of drugs that help boost energy levels and increase circulation and blood flow in men.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like there are only enough pills for about a month. Others may question if herbal supplements may cause pseudo male enhancement issues in men so the product should be reviewed with your doctor.

~ Wish ~
I wish more than a month’s supply was included in the bottle

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a men’s testosterone booster that is made in the United States and has plenty of natural herbs in it, this is a viable option, but I have marked it down due to its limited contents.

Thanks to Extreme Test for this product that I am under no obligation to review.

#ExtremeTest #TestosteroneBooster #StaminaStrengthEnergy

This product can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3O7xGbS

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Review: NextEvo Naturals Stress Reset

60 ASHWAGANDHA GUMMIES

~ What ~
Containing 60 supplements in a tropical fruit flavor, these soft chewables for men and women are whole plant optimized adaptogens that help promote mood, emotional well-being, energy levels, and mental clarity. The bottle states to take 2 dietary supplements twice a day. The ingredient includes 62.5 mg of Ashwagandha Root and Leaf Extract. The bottles are stamped Lot # WCD011-01 with the expiration date of 03/2022.

~ Why ~
The best thing about these gummies is that they are made in the USA and have 8-times the normal amount of ashwagandha. They are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free plus have a sweet taste and are easy to chew instead of swallow.

~ Why Not ~
Those that are skeptical of non-prescription natural supplements may avoid this product, but they do have healthy benefits. Others may be concerned that some of the ingredients will negatively interact with prescription drugs, so contacting a physician or pharmacist is ideal. The bottle received expired 3 months ago, so I have marked their quality down drastically although I am sure they work well.

~ Wish ~
I wish more than 15 days’ supply (if 4 are taken daily) were included in the bottle. With corn syrup and sugar listed first and second in their “Other Ingredients” section, it would be better if they contained less of each.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a way to feel less stress and anxiety while improving your mood, this may be a good choice if it was not an expired product.

Thanks to NextEvo Naturals for this product that I am not obligated to review.

#NextEvoNaturals #StressReset #AshwangandhaGummies #WholePlantOptimizedAdaptogen #GetRidofStressNaturally

This product can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3afHWzI

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Review: Time After Tyme

Title: Time After Tyme
Author: Kay DiBianca
Publisher: Wordstar Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-735788821

“I heard you say there was a murder. We want to help you solve it,” Reen tells Kathryn in Kay DiBianca’s novel, Time After Tyme.

~ What ~
The third in The Watch series, this two-hundred-and-forty-six-page paperback targets mainly Christians who like a fictional mystery that contains scripted clues. Using the English Standard Version of The Holy Bible, the story contains no profanity, but due to its topics of sexual harassment, injury, and murder, it may not be appropriate for immature readers.

In this contemporary tale written in both first and third person, sisters Kathyrn and Cece decide to help solve a murder at Bellevue University. With the unprompted help of two young curious girls, the four try to uncover the killer through sleuthing and code deciphering as they sometimes jump to conclusions to find the truth.

~Why ~
Although this is the third in the series, it is a stand-alone read that may be enjoyed by those who like puzzles, alphabet codes, and trying to determine the whodunnit. I like the first-person writing from the ten-year-old’s perspective as it was interesting and accurate.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not relate to this story that does not include the eternal plan of salvation. Others may feel there are too many characters, making it confusing at times. More than once, the main characters say they are not going to tell anyone about something, yet they do. I had trouble with the little girls being able to freely roam a college campus. The printing format wastes paper often at the end of chapters.

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful if the story targeted a specific age group as initially I thought our eight-year-old granddaughter would like this one based on Reen, but there is too much adult talk about graduate programs, Christian and Jewish theology, and psychology that a middle-schooler would not understand. It may promote lying when Kate and Cece come up with a plan to get information.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for the third book in a series about uncovering a murderer, this may be for you, but, unfortunately, I had some issues trying to figure out its target audience. But who knows, you might like this type of mystery.

Thanks to Christian Indie Publishing Association and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#CIPA #ChristianIndiePublishingAssociation #TimeAfterTyme #ChristianMystery

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/39YYeN7

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Review: All the Places We Call Home

Title: All the Places We Call Home
Author: Patrice Gopo
Illustrator: Jenin Mohammed
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1266-5

“Here I’ll sleep. And here I’ll dream of these places that matter to me,” Patrice Gopo ends in her children’s book, All the Places We Call Home.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound with a jacket cover targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it shares memories and stories of one’s upbringing around the world. Engaging, colorful designs grace the pages with a decent font size.

In this tale, every night when a little girl goes to bed, her mama tells her family stories from lands she and the girl have lived. With the child asking if she can visit each country, the mother mentions memories from South Africa when the girl was a baby, her great-grandmother’s home in Zimbabwe, and her mother’s house in Jamaica before she drifts off to sleep.

~Why ~
This is a calming book to read to a young child at bedtime who wants to know more about her past as it promotes how a girl is connected to other people and places around the world. I appreciate the added highlights in the countries such as Table Mountain in South Africa, the lush hills and msasa trees in Zimbabwe, and the tropical flowers of Jamaica.

~ Why Not ~
Those who were born in one country and lived there their entire life may have no interest in this read unless they are inquisitive about other places. This book has complicated wording so would not work for beginner readers. It may not interest older children as its informational content is limited.

~ Wish ~
While I liked the idea of a book about one family’s culture and community, it may not relate to others. I found some of the writing confusing, which may make it hard for young ones to understand.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that briefly covers three continents and how a family lived in each, this may be something for your child.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, WorthyKids, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Hachette #WorthyKids #AllthePlacesWeCallHome #PatriceGopo #JeninMohammed #CultureCommunity

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3Nqkeir

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The Master Craftsman

Title: The Master Craftsman
Author: Kelli Stuart
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-4042-9

“I think maybe you did find the treasure you were looking for,” Ava is told in Kelli Stuart’s novel, The Master Craftsman.

~ What ~
This four-hundred-page paperback targets those who like a treasure hunt told between three generations. With the use of slang words such as hell, hellhole, and heck, topics of abandonment, physical abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes the author’s notes, acknowledgments, her biography, and advertisements.

In this story told in two different eras during the Russian revolution and current day, the famous Karl Faberge confides in one of his master craftsmen about a secret egg he has created. Alma escapes to Finland, keeping their secret hidden, even from her husband.

Decades later, a young woman named Ava who has not found her footing in life yet, reconnects with her ill treasure-hunter father who is determined to make one last mission: finding the missing egg. As they uncover the past involving the Romanov family and the exquisitely carved art, all must find the treasures that are buried within them.

~ Why ~
This fictional hunt includes the history of Russia’s troubles, St. Petersburg’s glory, and Faberge’s dedication to his beautiful craft. I enjoyed reading the background of the eggs and how they were designed and created.

~ Why Not ~
Those who prefer not to read books about Russia’s tumultuous history during the early 1900s may have no interest in this book. Others may not care for the jumping back and forth in time, focusing more often on the current day tale. The story builds slowly and is sometimes repetitive until the last thirty pages.

~ Wish
Having read and enjoyed one of Stuart’s prior novels, I was looking forward to this one, but I often struggled with its stifled conversations, repetition of history, and lack of action. Having several characters whose names started with A made the read complicated.

~ Want ~
If you like reading about Russia and Faberge’s artwork, this novel may be engaging for you but I found it a tad dull and predictable.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Revell #KelliStuart #TheMasterCraftsman #HuntingforAFabergeEgg

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/377fnTZ

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My Daily Pursuit

My Daily Pursuit: Devotions for Every Day

Title: My Daily Pursuit
Author: A.W. Tozer
Compiler: James L. Snyder
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-3841-3

The one goal of this devotional is to stir up in the hearts of serious-minded Christians such a passion for God,” James L. Snyder writes in the introduction of A.W. Tozer’s book, My Daily Pursuit: Devotions for Every Day.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-eighty-four pages, this small hardbound is designed to promote pursuing God daily throughout the year. Using only the King James Version of The Holy Bible, the beginning has an introduction followed by three-hundred-and-sixty-five devotions.

Each day’s writing is one page and begins with the date and one or more written out Bible verses. There are several short paragraphs about the topic and how they apply to everyday living. All contain four to six lines from a quoted hymn and its author plus a short prayer.

Some of the readings involve Exodus, Deuteronomy, I Samuel, Job, Psalm, Proverbs, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Luke, Mark, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, I John, and others. Some of the hymnists include Bathurst, Cowper, Crosby, Faber, Grant, Smith, Thompson, Watts, and Wesley.

~Why ~
I love devotionals that do not have commentary of the writer’s personal experiences and appreciate that this one rarely mentions himself. Able to read each in a few minutes, the devotions are short and to the point. I appreciate the hymns are added with the authors’ birth and death years noted. The prayers are tender and helpful.

One I enjoyed was August 15th with Job 38: 4 and 7 written out about the morning stars singing together to God. The commentary reminds us to not look at God gloomily and stop thinking like a mechanic or technician. We should be in awe of the Creator and all He has made. The hymn is “This is My Father’s World” by Babcock. The prayer is about focusing on the tokens of God’s will and pleasure.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will not appreciate this read. Some may not realize that Tozer may have believed in Lordship salvation and various forms of mysticism that are contrary to the Word of God. Others may find the writings dated and hard to follow.

~ Wish ~
While I love the idea of pursuing God every day, I wish the readings did not suggest that one must have moral reformation to later receive spiritual regeneration and become a child of Christ, whereas John 20:31 states “… that believing ye might have life through His name.” It would be helpful if each day had a titled theme and the ending had an index of Bible verses and hymnists used. Adding a ribbon marker would be ideal.

~ Want ~
If you like a famous writer’s works about pursuing Christ with the caveat that you must completely change before you choose Him, this may work for you, but please be aware it teaches there must be an “intent to reform” in order to receive the Lord’s free gift of eternal life. Due to its limitedness, it should be read daily along with the Bible.

Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/362ig7x

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Once “A Pun” A Time

Title: Once “a pun” a Time
Author: Wolf Cub Chlo
Publisher: Wold Cub Chlo LLC
ISBN: 978-1-64943061-8

“Now, it’s YOUR turn to create silly jokes! To help, I will give you a word and picture so you can write something silly about it,” Wolf Cub Chlo writes in her children’s book, Once “a pun” a time: A guide to reading and telling jokes.

~ What ~
This twenty-eight-page paperback targets children ages four to ten years old who enjoy reading, understanding, and creating jokes based on word puns. There are no scary depictions with simplistic, colorful, cut-and-pasted illustrations.

After dedication and autobiography pages, the first part contains fourteen jokes, one per page, with questions and answers in bubble designs with animals, food, and toys against white backgrounds. The second section has instructions on how to create your own jokes with five suggestions and lines to write them down. The ending includes congratulations and a thank you for reading the book.

~ Why ~
Since this book was written by a six-year-old, it has corny yet funny jokes that most kids can comprehend. I like jokes that contain play-on-words, and these are silly and innocuous. Explaining ways to create jokes is creative and unique to the book.

Here are two of the puns:
What did the coffee drinking pup say to the coughing kitten?
~ Answer: Stop “coffeeing” on me.
Why couldn’t the librarian hang out over the weekend?
~ Answer: Because they were “booked” and busy.

Here is one of the joke-writing instructions:
Orange ya glad you get to write your own jokes too!! Use the word orange to create a silly story or sentence.

~ Why Not ~
Some of these jokes are pretty lame, but they fit their age group. However innocuous they are, the silliness will bring joy to children. Beginner readers may have trouble understanding some of the jokes, especially if they are play-on-words. A few may find the font too hard to read and too small.

~ Wish ~
The fact that a six-year-old wrote this book is an accomplishment, but it has many capitalization and punctuation errors plus slang words that may confuse new readers to think using them are acceptable (some examples are the partially capitalized title, missing commas, and words like gotta and ya).

~ Want ~
If your child or a young one likes and understands puns, this may help them write their own jokes, but I wonder how much of it was written by a six-year-old due to its content.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WolfCubChlo #OnceAPunATime #JokeBook

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3A39WPN

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The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water

Title: The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water
Author: Erin Bartels
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3837-2

“Truth has a way of working itself into any story, whether the writer means it to or not,” Kendra is told in Erin Bartels’s novel, The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like a tragic tale involving broken friendships, painful memories, and trying to forgive others and oneself. With the use of slang words such as crap, dang, and heck, topics of alcohol use, sexual harassment, abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes the author’s notes, an excerpt of an upcoming novel, her biography, and advertisements.

In this story based in a small Michigan lakeside community, twenty-six-year-old Kendra returns after eight years to her grandfather’s cabin to try to overcome writer’s block on her second novel and figure out who wrote a negative letter about her prior successful book. As she deals with her hurtful past, she tries to understand the truths and mistakes that happened so long ago and how they affected both her and those around her.

~ Why ~
Using an unusual first-person writing style, Bartells expertly shows the emotions, fears, and frustrations of a childhood friendship gone awry based on unbelief, lack of trust, and rejection. I loved how the author detailed the relationship between Kendra and Cami began, progressed, and deteriorated while the thread of three men divulged the past’s problems and future hopes. The discussions of intimidation, predatory actions, and unspoken shame were explicit yet well written as if confiding to a best friend.

~ Why Not ~
Those who prefer not to read books about secretive abuse will want to avoid this dark and sad read. Others may wish the cover contained more information about its contents as it may be too sensitive for a few readers. Some may feel blindsided by its honest and poignant portrayal of feeling shame and unable to report abuse to others. Unfortunately, it contains no eternal plan of salvation.

~ Wish
Vaguely touching on the writer’s personal experiences, it is too bad the redeeming love of Christ is not mentioned within the story to help one deal with forgiving the abuser or accepting oneself. Considering it supposedly Christian fiction, I wish more references of relying on God were included, all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence, and no slang words were added.

~ Want ~
If you prefer stories of dealing with overcoming past mistakes, being taken advantage of, and not knowing the entire truth, this is an engaging but dramatic read, but I have marked it down explicitly for not divulging enough of its traumatic content on its cover and its lack of a Christian perspective until its ending author’s notes.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

#Revell #ErinBartels #TheGirlWhoCouldBreatheUnderWater

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3qoBDhI

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