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J. B. Hoyos RSS Feed (Chesapeake, VA)
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Mikasa Antique White 4-Piece Place Setting, Service for 1
Mikasa Antique White 4-Piece Place Setting, Service for 1
Offered by King Closeout
Price: $39.58
5 used & new from $34.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong, Sturdy, and Generously Proportioned Dinnerware that has a Design of Simple Elegance!, May 5, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am happy to report that the Mikasa Antique White, Four-Piece Place Setting arrived at my home undamaged. It was nicely packaged. The dinnerware consists of four pieces: dinner plate, salad plate, bowl and mug. All are large and thick. That is one reason they survived shipping unscathed. I’ve ordered glassware before from Amazon that didn’t fare so well. All four pieces are pure white and have a design that I call “simple elegance.”

Most importantly, each piece is generously proportioned. The mug is large enough to hold two cups of coffee. The bowl is large enough to hold an entire can of Campbell’s soup. I don’t have to worry about spillage when I am carrying the bowl over to the dinner table. These dishes are safe to be used in the microwave. They don’t have a gold trim that would spark and burn. This set of Mikasa dishes would make a perfect gift for a loved one.


DII 100% Polyester, Machine Washable, Holiday, Dinner Solid Tablecloth 52 x 70", Dark Green, Seats 4 to 6 People
DII 100% Polyester, Machine Washable, Holiday, Dinner Solid Tablecloth 52 x 70", Dark Green, Seats 4 to 6 People
Price: $17.99
6 used & new from $10.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Surprise! Gorgeous Tablecloth Looks and Feels Like 100% Cotton but Doesn’t Shrink!, May 4, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was excited to receive the DII 100% Polyester Holiday, Dinner Solid Tablecloth. I have both the green and the red. Both colors are subdued and blend well with my dining room set of dark hardwood. I prefer the hunter green for everyday usage. Both tablecloths look wonderful with my multi-colored placemats, burnt-orange (variegated spice) napkins, and brass napkin rings (all are from DII). Both tablecloths perfectly fit my oblong table which has six chairs around it. They look as though they were designed specifically for my table.

I was wonderfully surprised and thrilled to discover that the 100% polyester tablecloth looks and feels like genuine 100% cotton. The material is thick and strong and well-hemmed around the edges. It doesn’t have a shiny, plastic-like sheen that I feared it would have. The tablecloth isn’t slick to touch. My girlfriend, Tammy, loves the hunter green tablecloth. She, like me, feels that the red one would look more appropriate for the holidays, especially 4th of July and Christmas. Also, I have placemats and napkins from DII that are suitable for many holidays and celebrations.

The DII 100% polyester tablecloth was easy to clean. I allowed it to soak in cold water for a couple of hours. (I soak and wash most everything in cold water to prevent stains from setting in.) I washed the tablecloth on hand wash cycle to prevent bleeding. I then dried the tablecloth on LOW heat to minimize wrinkling. The tablecloth had a few wrinkles when it came out of the dryer but none of them required ironing. A few wrinkles make the tablecloth look more natural. Overall, I am really pleased with the DII 100% polyester tablecloth; it would make a great gift for anyone who love to entertain around the dining room table.


King Maybe (A Junior Bender Mystery)
King Maybe (A Junior Bender Mystery)
by Timothy Hallinan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.74
97 used & new from $10.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King of the Hollywood Burglars Battles the King of the Hollywood Movie Moguls!, May 3, 2016
During his long, illustrious career as a Hollywood burglar, Junior Bender has never been arrested. That may change when slimy, vindictive associates begin betraying him when he is performing his B&Es (breaking and entering). Junior is pursued by professional hit men and, more importantly, by Hollywood's greatest movie mogul, Jeremy Granger. Granger is known as King Maybe because maybe he will make your movie and maybe he won't; he enjoys wielding his power, using it to mentally torture his victims. Unless he can escape King Maybe's evil clutches, Junior will lose more than his sanity; he will lose his freedom, and his life.

At the request of his many fans, Timothy Hallinan has Junior Bender performing more B&Es in his latest comic mystery, "King Maybe." Unfortunately, these B&Es are ending in disaster. During the first one that goes awry, a hit man known as the Slugger beats to death a young Filipino house boy, Jejomar (short for Jesus, Joseph and Mary). Jejomar's employer (and Junior's favorite fence), Stinky Teitweiler, goes into hiding. With names like Eaglet, Ting Ting, and Louie the Lost, I sometimes think that I'm reading the spoof of a James Bond movie. Junior Bender novels have a two-fold purpose. The first is to make readers laugh out loud. The second is to make them feel good about their normal, average lives, because the novels' characters are the screwiest losers you will NEVER want to meet.

If you ever dream of moving to L.A. and becoming a movie star, purchase and read a Junior Bender novel. You will quickly change your mind or SOHO will personally refund you the price of the novel. (Just kidding!) Hollywood is a creepy, slimy, backstabbing, two faced, brown nosing, soul selling industry--much like the Federal Government. Seriously, the Junior Bender novels are full of witticisms and Junior always teaches me something new. In Hollywood, a poseur who claims to worship Buddha while exhibiting gruesome behavior, such as ripping people off, is known as a Grueddhist.

There is a little bit of Junior Bender in all of us. Most of us see the system as a corrupt beast and wish to steal from the rich and give to ourselves. Humor takes the edge off of some of the more intense moments in "King Maybe" when likeable, family-oriented Junior finds himself wading knee deep in horse manure. There have been times when we, like Junior, have found ourselves trapped in the proverbial house of horrors, surrounded by wailing sirens and flashing red-and-blue lights. I read the novel's last one-hundred pages in a single gulp; fortunately, it ends on a happy note. Junior does his best to avenge loved ones as well as innocent strangers. Tinsel Town glitters triumphantly once again.

My youngest nephew, Jordan, is an avid reader and a great fan of my book reviews. However, he sometimes irritates me when I ask him to do something. His answer is, "Maybe, maybe not." Jeremy Granger, a.k.a., King Maybe, is the ultimate in irritation and frustration. By not providing a definitive answer, he wields a blackmailing type of power over his subjects--those individuals who seek to have their movie scripts depicted on the big screen. If asked if I will read Timothy Hallinan's next Junior Bender novel, I can definitely answer, "Yes, I will. There are no maybes about it." Full of action, suspense, witty humor and bizarre characters, a Junior Bender novel is guaranteed to entertain all types of mystery fans.


Dark Tides: A Thriller
Dark Tides: A Thriller
by Chris Ewan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.81
76 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Halloween, One of Claire's Friends is Brutally Murdered in Chris Ewan's Horrifying Mystery, "Dark Tides", May 3, 2016
This review is from: Dark Tides: A Thriller (Hardcover)
Claire Cooper lives on the Isle of Man. When she was eight, her mom disappeared on Halloween night. Everyone suspected that her wealthy, cantankerous employer, Edward Caine, was responsible. Ten years later, Claire and her friends break into the Caine mansion in order to perpetrate a Halloween prank. The prank turns tragic and one of her friends is arrested. Six years later, beginning on Halloween, the friends begin dying in what appear to be tragic accidents. Every Halloween, another friend dies until only Claire and two others remain alive. She must race against time to discover the killer's identity before she is also brutally murdered.

Chris Ewan's horrifying mystery, "Dark Tides," is reminiscent of the teen slasher flicks on which I was practically raised during the eighties. An immature prank has disastrous consequences and now someone is hell bent on vengeance. This was the theme behind such classic horror films as "Terror Train" (1980), "The Burning" (1981), and "The House on Sorority Row" (1983). In fact, "Dark Tides" reminds me very much of Tom Savage's best-selling novel, "Valentine," and its film with the same title. If you enjoy holiday slasher fare as much as I do, "Valentine" is perfect for reading on and around Valentine's Day just as "Dark Tides" is very appropriate for Halloween.

The setting for "Dark Tides" is awesome. Claire Cooper lives on the Isle of Man, which is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea; it has a population of 80,000 and is 32 miles long and 14 miles wide. It is a rocky island with winding roads, steep cliffs, thatched-roof cottages and noble lighthouses. The weather is cold, rainy and gloomy. All of the novel's action occurs on Halloween or, as the natives call it, Hop-tu-naa. On Hop-tu-naa, children must sing songs for candy, carry lanterns carved from turnips, and wear homemade costumes. There is plenty of action; locales vary from dark woods to rocky cliffs and from inside abandoned cottages to spooky mansions and even include a high-security prison.

What happened to Claire's mom? That is the main question that haunts the characters and will haunt the reader until nearly the novel's end when startling revelations are made. Who is killing Claire's friends? There are numerous suspects. One by one they are eliminated as characters die. "Dark Tides" is a great whodunit. I zipped through it in only a few days because it was the perfect read for me--a holiday mystery, the likes of which I haven't encountered since Tom Savage's bloody revenge slasher, "Valentine." I would love to see "Dark Tides" made into a film, but it would probably garner more attention if named "Hop-tu-naa." More and more Americans have a growing interest in foreign horror films.

Claire Cooper is a likeable heroine. Everyone will root for her, especially towards the end when the killer confronts her at the top of a lighthouse. (This scene is very reminiscent of the climax in the horror film, "Darkness Falls," which, like "Dark Tides," is steeped in superstitious beliefs.) With his latest novel, Chris Ewan has masterfully and cleverly crafted a spooky horror mystery that will appeal to a variety of fans. It has enough medical and police procedures to satisfy die-hard mystery aficionados and enough blood and guts to satisfy gore hounds such as me. Nevertheless, "Dark Tides" is best read at Halloween (Hop-tu-naa) or on a dark, stormy night. Ewan is the author of the best-selling Good Thief mystery series but I hope he writes more standalone thrillers that are on the same par as "Dark Tides."


Dasani Sparkling Water, Raspberry Lemonade, 12 Oz Can (Pack of 24)
Dasani Sparkling Water, Raspberry Lemonade, 12 Oz Can (Pack of 24)
Offered by Tal DG
Price: $26.00

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Carbonated Water with Strong, Overpowering Lemonade-Like Flavoring, April 29, 2016
My supervisor, Michelle, is on a health kick. She is drinking more flavored water in the mornings in lieu of soda. She tried the Dasani Sparking Water, Raspberry Lemonade. Bad mistake. Michelle didn't like it. Before leaving for vacation, she gave me a tall, skinny twelve ounce can to sample for myself. I had to agree with her. The lemonade is too strong and overpowering. I couldn't taste any raspberry. This Dasani water is very carbonated. It doesn't have any juice. Also, instead of being named Raspberry Lemonade, it should be Lemonade. One would think that it would be a raspberry drink with only a hint of lemonade.

When Michelle returned from vacation, she acted very surprised to see me. I guess she thought the Dasani Sparkling Water, Raspberry Lemonade, would have killed me. After drinking it, I wonder if Michelle is really my friend. The ingredients on the can are mysterious. The can simply reads: Carbonated Water, Natural Flavors, Unsweetened. What are these “Natural Flavors?” There wasn’t anything natural about this sparking water. I think I’ll continue making gourmet water with my SodaStream Genesis. Consumers who like lemonade may like this drink, but I doubt it. Please sample one can before committing to a pack of twenty-four.


DII 100% Cotton, Oversized Basic Everyday 20x20" Napkin Set of 6, Red , White & Blue Check
DII 100% Cotton, Oversized Basic Everyday 20x20" Napkin Set of 6, Red , White & Blue Check
Price: $14.99
3 used & new from $11.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Large Patriotic Placemats for 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Other Holidays and Celebrations!, April 25, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First, let me say that these DII napkins with the Red, White and Blue Check pattern are gorgeous. (My girlfriend, Tammy, agrees with me.) They are large and they coordinate well with my Silver Star napkin rings and eggplant placemats that are also from DII. Reds and blues blend together to form other colors that are very similar to eggplant, blackberry, wine and other dark colors that are “warm” according to DII’s color chart, which is posted on Amazon’s website. I can’t wait to use the red, white and blue check napkins for celebrating the next holiday--the 4th of July. I’ve always loved using cloth napkins and placemats. Recently, I went to a birthday party for my niece, Theresa, which was held at Olive Garden. Their creamy, light orange napkins always add a touch of class. Handling them made me think of the ones that I had recently received from DII.

Taking care of these DII napkins is another story. Don’t ever wash them in warm or hot water. In fact, I never wash anything in warm or hot water; I always use cold water. I learned my lesson when I accidentally put a bright red T-shirt in with my white underwear and washed everything in hot water. The result was one badly faded red T-shirt and a load of pink underwear. (Imagine wearing pink underwear to the gym.) Eventually, the pink faded until it was gone. The DII napkins are best washed in COLD water and dried flat. Unfortunately, because of lack of space, the second best thing to do is to dry them on LOW heat. They will experience some shrinkage, fading and wrinkling but one has to remember that these napkins are made of 100% cotton. Overall, the DII napkins make wonderful gifts for those who enjoy high quality dining in their homes.


DII 100% Cotton, Oversized Basic Everyday 20x 20" Napkin, Set of 6, Wine
DII 100% Cotton, Oversized Basic Everyday 20x 20" Napkin, Set of 6, Wine
Price: $16.99
6 used & new from $10.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Love Dining on These Wine-Dyed Napkins Almost As Much As I Love Drinking Wine!, April 23, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wanted to add some class to my drab dining room table. Therefore, I requested several varieties of DII placemats and DII napkins from the Amazon Vine Program. So far, of all the napkins I have chosen, my favorite one is the wine. It has a rich, dark color that blends well with my dark antique furniture. Wine is a warm, inviting color. It coordinates well with most anything. Mostly, I requested it because I thought it would look great with my DII ribbed placemats with the summer check pattern. This is a plaid design with a gorgeous variety of primary and warm colors. Also, my silver star napkin rings and my hammered antique napkin rings (both from DII) look great on the wine napkins. The napkins themselves are very large, which I like. They cover my lap, unlike small, cheap ones that are barely large enough to wipe my mouth.

Washing the DII wine napkins is another story. One must baby them. In order to minimize shrinkage, wrinkling and bleeding as much as possible, I did the following: Washed them in cold water on hand-wash cycle and dried them on low heat. (Use delicate cycle if your washing machine doesn’t have hand-wash.) It is best to line dry them or, better yet, lay them flat to dry. The first time I washed these napkins, I laid them flat on my ironing board. I only had two to wash and dry because it was just my girlfriend, Tammy, and I who ate dinner using them. Eventually, we had a sit down dinner for all six of the people living in my condo and I had to wash each of the wine napkins. Nevertheless, I highly recommend the DII napkins for their high quality. You just need to remember that 100% cotton will shrink if not babied when washing them.


DII Napkin Rings for Dinners, Parties, Everyday, for Dinners, Parties, Everyday, Set of 12, Silver Star
DII Napkin Rings for Dinners, Parties, Everyday, for Dinners, Parties, Everyday, Set of 12, Silver Star
Price: $37.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silver Star Napkin Rings from DII are Great for Decorating Napkins for July 4th, Christmas, Birthdays and Other Celebrations!, April 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love the Sliver Star Napkin Rings from DII. These silver-plated ornamentations are large and heavy. They are ideal for using with my patriotic red-white-and-blue 100% cotton napkins and 100% cotton blue placemats. (My dining room table is going to look great for the 4th of July.) These rings coordinate well with my wine napkins and white placemats. These will look awesome for Christmas. They can be used on a variety of solid napkins that have warm colors such as spice, wine, eggplant and blackberry. They are also excellent for helping to celebrate birthdays.

The Silver Star Napkin Rings can be easily cleaned using a damp sponge. I wouldn't use harsh, abrasive cleansers on them because the silver will rub off. I had a couple of stars that had already been scuffed even though they all arrived well packaged and protected. However, from a distance, you can't notice the scuff marks. Besides, the scuff marks lend a type of ruggedness to the stars. I highly recommend the Silver Star Napkin Rings from DII. They will make the 4th of July, Christmas, birthdays and other holidays and celebrations very special.


DII 100% Cotton, Oversized Basic Everyday 20x 20" Napkin, Set of 6, Variegated Spice
DII 100% Cotton, Oversized Basic Everyday 20x 20" Napkin, Set of 6, Variegated Spice
Price: $18.99
4 used & new from $13.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Beautiful Variegated Spice Napkins Coordinate Well with My Summer Check Placemats and Can Be Used for Many Occasions!, April 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The variegated spice napkins from DII are awesome. They are large and soft and do a great job of protecting my lap from falling food. Most of all, I love their color. It resembles a burnt orange, which has been very popular for the past few years. It is a very popular fall color. I can’t wait to dress these napkins up with some pumpkin or spider web napkin rings from DII. The variegated spice will look great for Thanksgiving and Halloween, especially if they are placed on dark brown and black placemats, respectively. For right now, I plan on using the spice napkins with my DII summer check placemats which have a multitude of primary and warm colors. These placemats remind me of Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors from the Old Testament.

Before initially using them, I washed the spice napkins in my washing machine on delicate cycle in COLD water. Then I dried them in my dryer on LOW heat. I did this in order to minimize shrinkage and wrinkling. I didn’t notice any visible shrinkage after washing my napkins. Also, I washed and dried them with many blue towels that I’ve owned for years in case there was excessive bleeding. I didn’t’ want the spice napkins bleeding on my expensive, light-colored clothing. The napkins were a little wrinkled after drying but I wasn’t concerned. Slight wrinkling imparts the napkin with a rugged, rustic appearance. After all, these napkins are 100% cotton. I expected some shrinkage and wrinkling.


DII 100% Cotton, Ribbed 13x 19" Everyday Basic Placemat Set of 6, Summer Palette Check
DII 100% Cotton, Ribbed 13x 19" Everyday Basic Placemat Set of 6, Summer Palette Check
Price: $24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Placemat that Coordinates Well with Many Solid Print Napkins, April 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I knew, the moment I saw them, I would like the Summer Palette Check Placemats from DII. (I received six of them inside one package.) They reminded me of Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors from the Old Testament. This placemat is 13” X 19” and can lie on my table all year long. It’s not just for summer. It goes well with a multitude of “warm” and “primary” colors. (See the color chart posted on Amazon’s web site.) The variegated spice napkin and the wine napkin look great next to the placemat. Both napkins are 100% cotton and are the Basic Oversized Everyday 20” X 20” type. Both napkins are warm colors that are very dark. They actually match my dark hardwood dining room table very well.

The DII hammered antique copper napkin rings give them an extra touch of style and class. When I washed the placemats, I washed them in cold water on hand wash cycle. I never use warm or hot water for washing clothes. I don’t want my clothes to fade, bleed or shrink. I laid the placemats on my living room floor for them to dry. There is a large empty space in the living room floor. They dried overnight while everyone in my condo was sleeping. There was hardly any shrinkage at all. The few wrinkles that they had gave them a rugged, rustic appearance. I highly recommend the DII placemat with the Summer Palette Check design.


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