A Brush with the Beast

A Brush with the BeastTitle: A Brush with the Beast
Author: Richard Sones
Publisher: Richard Sones
ISBN: 978-0-692-8161-2

“God always takes care of his people, even in the middle of persecution,” Sarah is told in Richard Sones’s novel, A Brush with the Beast.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-ninety-two pages, this paperback is a story about good versus evil between God and the Devil through three main characters who are living during the end times. With profanity, taking the Lord’s name in vain, alcoholism, drug abuse, pagan worship, and other adult situations, it may not be appropriate for immature readers.

This tale involves business mogul, Nick Gooseberry, and his chronic pain that disappears when he agrees to be part of the Order, a demonic sect that controls the world, its politics, and its religions. While a young Muslim man takes his vengeance out on destroying America, a female methadone addict is set up and chosen to be one of several who help promote the Antichrist’s coming to power. Mentioning the mystical, microchipping, loss of constitutional rights, and the Queen of Heaven, it gives the author’s viewpoint of the future Tribulation.

~ Why ~
Those who are fascinated with the end times and how Christians will be punished and tortured while the Antichrist takes over the world may like this read. Readers will root for the protagonist who realizes God is always in control as she finds comfort quoting and reading Scripture. Others may be interested in the international expanse of terrorism and hatred toward Christ, yet they know the final blessed outcome of our Savior as King.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personable relationship with Jesus Christ may avoid this book. Some, like me, may be disturbed by the profane and occult content. Others who know prophecy in the Bible will find the book anticlimactic as the ending is open-ended, with little closure. I found the writing to be scattered with too many stereotypical characters and unexplained loose ends. The plan of salvation is given, but there is little mention of Christ dying on the cross and shedding His blood for our sins and the rapture of the church (I am a pre-trib believer; the writer may not be).

~ Wish ~
There were many grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling errors; the book should be professionally edited. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fast-paced story of one author’s viewpoint of the coming Tribulation, this may be a quick read, but I cannot recommend it mainly due to the profanity.

Rated 2.5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for this book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Christian, Fiction

Cucgen Addictive Bath Fizzies

LUXURIOUS BATH BOMB SET

~ What ~
Made in the United States, this set of 6 handmade bath bombs arrives in a white cardboard box with a designer label. The scented 4.5 ounce balls contain coconut oil and Bramble Berry® fragrance oil as well as natural sulfonated castor oil which dissolve in the tub without leaving a residue. Scents include Black Amber and Lavender, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Surplus Cherry Almond, Lemon Verbena Yankee, Tobacco and Bay Leaf, and Yuzu Cybilla. Pictures of the balls without instructions are on the inside of the lid.

~ Why ~
I love giving bath bombs to my sisters and friends. These larger-than-normal bath balls smell delightful as they fizz up a foot bath, bathtub, or jacuzzi tub. I like how each ball has a unique and different combination of scent. The Lemon Verbena is my favorite as it contains aromatic Italian Bergamot with Lemon Verbena, Primrose, and Violet. Another plus is they are made in Colorado so should be well tested.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like taking baths will not like this item, but it makes a lovely gift for a woman or man who loves private bath time. Some may not like some of the scent combinations.

~ Wish ~
I wish the colored label of the balls matched the color of the balls. For example, the label shows a purple, red, blue, green, and 2 yellows, but I have no way of knowing what scents they are as I received 2 purples, 1 yellow, 2 blue/green, and an orange. A small label on each would be beneficial.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a nice gift for someone who needs to be pampered such as yourself, this would be a greatly appreciated choice. I have marked the product down a half point due to the color issue.

Rating 4.5 of 5 stars.

Thanks to Cucgen for this product that I am freely evaluating.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Product Reviews

IDStore Portable Cell Phone Mount

TALK SAFELY ON YOUR CELL PHONE WHILE IN THE CAR

~ What ~
Made of sturdy black plastic and rubber, this product locks in a standard vehicle’s air vent system for support and has an adjustable wide spring-board jaw that can hold and secure a smartphone or other electronic up to 3.5 inches wide. The unit has rotating 360 degrees clip so the viewer can adjust it the best way. Instructions are not included.

~ Why ~
With Oregon implementing a no-touch, only-swipe law recently, my husband needs a car mount to access his cell phone. I like that it can be secured quickly to any air vent in the car and adjusted to a perfect viewing position by rotating it. Another plus is it can be removed and taken anywhere due to its compact size.

~ Why Not ~
Since I have a car with built-in Bluetooth for my smartphone, I do not need this unit, but it is a great accessory for traveling or vacationing. Others may worry the adapter will scratch the car’s vent, but the part that slides onto the vent is made of rubber so does not; in fact, the product keeps a smartphone from being scratched or damaged as it remains stationary in the car.

~ Wish ~
I wish the two-prong rubber section were a little longer as it does wobble around a bit when driving unless pushed in all the way.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to support your phone in your car and are only allowed to swipe it, this gives you the hands-free opportunity.

Thanks to IDStore for this discounted product that I am freely evaluating.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Product Reviews

GetLife Basics Illuminating Globe

DAY & NIGHT WORLD GLOBE

~ What ~
This 13-inch globe that sits on a rotating angled axis shows all the world’s countries, oceans, and major rivers as well as illuminates the night sky’s constellations. It comes with the round sphere, steel stand and holder, USB adapter, and electrical plug plus a working compass and a downloadable educational ebook.

~ Why ~
Our son loves to travel and has several globes, but this gift to him will be one of the most impressive as it lights up both day and night, showing the aspects of the world as well as the heavenly constellations. I like that it the world has a shiny gloss finish with counties, states, and some large cities noted and the overlay of the several-named star constellations. The compass has a cover with an O-ring, and the digital book includes games, fun facts, and information about our world.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like that the product glows in the dark, but this feature could be unplugged and not used. Others may want a larger or smaller globe, but it is an adequate size with plenty of features.

~ Wish ~
I wish the globe included the raised mountain ranges, making the surface three-dimensional.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a quality world globe that includes constellations, a compass, and ebook, this is an excellent gift for the world-traveler or to be used in an educational setting.

Thanks to GetLifeBasics for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Product Reviews

Vengeance

VengeanceTitle: Vengeance
Authors: Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 978-1-4789-2304-6

“Besides, there’s nothing like hatred and a need for revenge to motivate someone. I want Major Grant on our KTB team,” the president of the United States demands in Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley’s novel, Vengeance.

~ What ~
The third in the series, this four-hundred-and-thirty-two-page hardbound targets those who enjoy current-day political fiction with intrigue and covert planning. With light profanity, sexual situations, torture, and murder, it may not be apropos for immature readers.

Minutes before Marine Major Brooke Grant’s can say her wedding vows, she and her daughter become the only survivors of a Washington D.C. terrorist bombing. Recruited to be on the elite but subversive KTB team to eliminate her zealot nemesis, the Falcon, she joins a Saudi intelligence officer and an Israeli Mossad agent to find the diabolical killer who plans on detonating a “nuclear sword” on America.

~ Why ~
Having read one of the prior books in the series, I like that the protagonist is challenged deciding when killing someone crosses the line of hatred and vengeance versus self-defense. The well-written scenes involve a bitter reporter, African billionaire, and serial murderer being tracked by a determinedly focused female, aloof assassin, and questioning woman of motives.

~ Why Not ~
If you do not like fiction with minor profanity, adult situations, religious differences, and scenes of torture and murder, pass on this one. This is another book that has an ending that leaves the reader a little frustrated in not tying all the loose ends, offering the avenue of a future story. I found the survivorship of a couple of characters questionable.

~ Wish ~
While I appreciated the book’s explanation of the differences between Christianity and the Muslim religion, I wish all pronouns of the Almighty God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like political intrigue with a protagonist struggling between right and wrong in a world of good versus evil, this page-turner will have you pondering how realistic an another assault on American soil could be.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for offering this book to review for my honest opinion.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Fiction

Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions

Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions: Don't Let the ANTs Steal Your HappinessTitle: Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions
Author: Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Illustrator: Brendan Kearney
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75832-7

“Don’t surrender to this bad ANT! Challenge it with your Super Power Questions,” Captain Snout suggests in Daniel G. Amen’s children’s book, Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions: Don’t Let the ANTs Steal Your Happiness.

~ What ~
At forty pages, this oversized hardbound with a front cover targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a story about a superhero anteater who helps children overcome negativity and disappointment and to look at the brighter, happier side of situations. Containing some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers.

When the Pennypepper children want a puppy, they decide to do a car wash to earn money to buy it. Later the car wash sales diminish, and the three children are discouraged, believing they will never get a puppy. Captain Snout comes to their rescue by explaining his automatic negative thoughts (ANT) theory. Naming the five types of ANTs, he advises ways to avoid the All or Nothing, Just the Bad, Fortune Teller, Mind Reader, and Blaming ants. This form of psychotherapy helps the children overcome their insecurities, anxieties, and frustrations.

~Why ~
This is a charming tale of an anteater and ants for those who understand how life is not always cheerful and happy as they work through daily challenges. I like how an anteater is a hero who helps the children change their negativity into truer and happier thoughts to accomplish their goal.

~ Why Not ~
The story has a happily-ever-after ending so may not mimic real life situations when a child is going through a crisis or problem; however, changing one’s perspective into a positive will help some situations. There are some who may find the large eyes of every character being the focal point in the illustrations, distracting them from the meaning of the story. A few may wonder why the anteater did not simply eat up the ants to get rid of them.

~ Wish ~
With the book concentrating on changing a mindset from negative to positive regarding a situation, it would be helpful if it added how praying and depending on God can help the most. Although I understand and respect the author’s techniques completely, I noticed the book is from a Christian-based publisher so expected a Biblical aspect to its contents.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a psychotherapeutic book for children on positive thinking, this may be a good selection for you, but I assumed more from a Christian publisher.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Childrens

God Loves Me: My First Bible

God Loves Me, My First BibleTitle: God Loves Me
Author: Susan Elizabeth Beck
Illustrator: Lisa Mallett
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75931-7

“It’s never too early for little ones to learn that ‘God loves me!’” states the back cover of Susan Elizabeth Beck’s children’s book, God Loves Me: My First Bible.

~ What ~
This unnumbered thirty-four-page board book with a padded front cover that includes glitter targets preschool-age to third-grade children who want a beginner’s Bible. Containing sixteen stories rewritten in rhyme from the Old and New Testaments, there are corresponding full-colored, fanciful illustrations. It would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some of the complicated three syllable words.

After an ownership page, each short story covers two open pages with a title in bold and four rhyming lines with an ending about God’s love. With eight from each testament, the stories range from Adam and Eve, Joseph, Samuel, and Esther to Mary, the twelve disciples, little children, and the risen Jesus to name a few.

~ Why ~
I like that each story is short and to the point in rhyme so they can be memorized by a young child while providing the opportunity to discuss them further in detail. Including the “God loved …” ending to each reinforces to a little one that God is love and loves each of us. The pictures have enough detail to keep a child’s attention.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God and His Son may not be interested a book of Bible stories. Others may be concerned that the shortened stories do not exactly retell those in the Word of God, but they are concise. Some may be concerned regarding Daniel and the lions and Jesus dying on the cross, but there are no vivid pictures depicting the violent circumstances.

~ Wish ~
I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s book that has shortened Bible stories told in rhyme with engaging illustrations, this is a good choice.

Thanks to Z-blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

VIPMOON 3-IN-1 USB CABLE

CHARGE 3 DIFFERENT UNITS WITH 1 CABLE

~ What ~
Nylon braided with aluminum alloy, this set of 2 3.2-foot cables are for charging or syncing Apple Lightning, USB Type-C, or Micro-USB mobile devices using a single cable. With one end having a USB port, there is a 3-way splitter that can charge Apple iPhones, iPads, and iPods as well as Samsung smartphones that use micro USB and Type C connectors. Instructions are not included.VIPM

~ Why ~
What I like most about these cables is the ability to have only one cable on the counter to charge our Samsung Galaxy Core Prime smartphones and Apple iPad instead of 3 cables. Having the braided wire makes them more flexible. Containing 2 in the pack makes it easier to keep one in the car and one at home.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have multiple electronics that need charging will not need this product. Others may wish the cables were longer than the 3 feet, but they are ample enough for charging. It states this multi USB cable can charge only one cable at a time so some may wish they could do 2 or 3 at a time.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were a way to charge 2 or more electronics at the same time.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a pair of USB 3-to-1 different connectors that save space and time when charging or syncing your electronics, this is a viable option.

Thanks to VIPMOON for this discounted product I am not obligated to review.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Product Reviews

Seeing the Unseen

Title: Seeing the Unseen
Author: Randy Alcorn
Publisher: Multnomah
ISBN: 978-0735290792

“Life on Earth matters, not because it’s the only life we have but precisely because it isn’t—it’s the beginning of a life that will continue without end,” Randy Alcorn pens in the introduction to his book, Seeing the Unseen: A 90-Day Devotional to Set Your Mind on Eternity.

At two-hundred-and-eight pages, this paperback that is meant to be read daily for three months targets those who want to focus on life with Christ for eternity. Using mainly the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the CEB, GNT, NET, NIV, NLT, and Phillips. After a table of contents and introduction, the ninety devotions are followed by the author’s biography, information on a non-profit ministry, and notes.

The book is separated into ninety two-page devotions that start on the right side of the page with a day number. Each chapter has a title and short statement, followed by several paragraphs that begin with a topic related to the subject and sometimes referencing Bible verses. The devotion ends with perspectives from God of written-out Bible verses and God’s people, usually well-known pastors, evangelists, authors, speakers, or individuals. Every devotion includes an epm.org blog link for more discussion.

~Why ~
I love devotionals that do not have commentary of the writer’s personal experiences and appreciate that this one contains little. Instead, there are current day topics and ideas that are blended with a Biblical tone of what we do here on Earth affects us later in Heaven. Samples of the titles include Only One Way, Homesick for Heaven, The Master Artist, Delighting in Him, The Audience of One, The Brief Window of This Present Life, The Universe’s Greatest Tragedy, and Under Grace, Not Sin. Able to read each in under a few minutes, the devotions are short and to the point.

One devotion that stood out to me was Finding True Contentment for Day 59. The writer mentions the way to contentment is to see the present advantages of the phases we are in throughout our lives and to trust God’s purposes in our circumstances. Keeping away from idols helps us find true contentment through Christ. The written out Bible verses are from I Timothy 6:6 and 2 Corinthians 12:10, and Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Hall are quoted with further reading on the noted blog.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like themed devotions so would pass on this book. Others may prefer longer or deeper devotionals that explain Bible verses or concepts in depth or only reading the Scriptures as their daily reading.

~ Wish ~
With the title mentioning eternity, it would be more beneficial if there were more explanations of what Heaven will be like for us that is more akin to the author’s expected writing.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals that focus on day-to-day living as we anticipate a future eternity with Christ, this may be a good selection. Due to its limitation, it should be read daily along with the Bible.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Christian, Non-Fiction

Coloring Christmas Devotions

Title: Coloring Christmas Devotions
Illustrators: Lizzie Preston, Claire McElfatrick, and Suzanne Khushi
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-08809-7

“Because of Christmas, Lord, we can be made new,” the ending prayer states in the book, Coloring Christmas Devotions.

~ What ~
Part of the Coloring Faith series, this ninety-six-page small paperback targets both young and old whose creativity and artistic interests enjoy focusing on Christ at Christmas. The book has thirty-one devotionals with Bible verses and prayers on the left side of the pages and black and white drawings on the right sides. Including a few Bible verses printed in a fancy font, the versions used are the ESV, HCSB, NKJV, NIV, and NLT.

Each devotion has a title with a written-out Bible verse and several paragraphs followed by a short prayer. Some topics include the stress of Christmas, family traditions, ornaments and lights, memories, jammies, and the birth of Christ. Colorists can fill the pages of simple to complex drawings while relieving stress and doodling as they read the short devotions on Christmas. The illustrations include animals, birds, Christmas decorations and trees, churches, ornaments, shepherds, kings, and the nativity to name a few.

~ Why ~
With the book being smaller in size than others, I like that the designs are well defined and easy to interpret. Focusing on the true Spirit of Christmas and the birth of Christ are important when it is such a stressful, busy time. I was glad to see no pictures of Santa or his sleigh.

My favorite was the devotional titled Real Christmas Trees about artificial ones, correlating them to being fake and artificial with our walk with Christ. The Bible verse is from Matthew 15:8 with the prayer about asking God to examine our hearts. The illustration is patterned holly.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not care for coloring or doodling will pass on this type of book. Some may not like that there are only a few pictures of Jesus being born and the shepherds or kings visiting our Savior. Due to the paper quality, gel pens, watercolors, and felt tip markers may bleed through to the other side, but colored pencils and crayons may not.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were more scenes about Christ’s birth such as the star, angels singing, and the manger than what is included. It would be helpful if the pages were perforated or printed further out from the binding so they could be removed and framed as gifts.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an adult coloring book that centers on Christmas, this may work for you, but I expected more scenes that included Jesus and thicker paper.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this book that I am freely evaluating.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian