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Customer Reviews: 1158
Top Reviewer Ranking: 84
Helpful Votes: 10775


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Lynne E. "Lynne E." RSS Feed (California, USA.)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

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DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable Oversized Fleur De Lis Jacquard Dishtowel, Set of 3
DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable Oversized Fleur De Lis Jacquard Dishtowel, Set of 3
Price: $12.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Decorative But Absorbent Dishtowels, June 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These DII OVERSIZED FLEUR DE LIS JACQUARD DISHTOWELS are decorative, but absorbent, so they work well as ordinary dishtowels. The beige, light brown, and black color scheme goes well with any kitchen. I particularly like the woven fleur-de-lis design.

Because these dish towels are oversized, I like to use them underneath jars of home-canned pickles, when the jars come out of the water-bath canner. The folded towels absorb the small amounts of water from the hot, wet jars, and help keep the temperature of the jars stable as the jars slowly cool.

I have several DII tablecloths that still look good as new after several washings. I have generally had very good experiences with all of my DII linens and towels.


Two Rivers Hot Cocoa Sampler Pack, Single-Cup for Keurig K-cup Brewers, 40 Count
Two Rivers Hot Cocoa Sampler Pack, Single-Cup for Keurig K-cup Brewers, 40 Count
Offered by TRC Coffee
Price: $19.95
2 used & new from $19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Sampler of Great-Tasting Cocoas Flavored Like Name-Brand Candies, June 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This TWO RIVERS HOT COCOA SAMPLER PACK has an extraordinarily good selection of K-cup cocoas. Brewed in my Keurig K45 Elite, all of these interesting, specially-flavored, kid-oriented cocoas--made with water--taste almost as good as cocoa made with milk. (For the best results, I use the Elite's "small mug" setting.) Cocoa is a genuine "comfort drink"; and these K-cups aren't loaded with calories. The Brooklyn Bean cocoa varieties have only 70 calories (from 3g fat, 10g carbohydrates, and 1g protein); and the other varieties are probably about the same.

In this sampler pack, you get four K-cups for most of the flavors (Peanut Butter Cup, Carnival, Junior Mints, Sugar Babies, Charleston Chew Vanilla, Charleston Chew Strawberry, Charleston Chew Chocolatey, Tootsie Roll, Brooklyn Bean Midnight). For the remaining three flavors, you get one or two K-cups (Brooklyn Bean Mexican (1), Brooklyn Bean Campfire (2), and Brooklyn Bean Milk Chocolate (2)). If these three turn out to be your personal favorites, you may want to try the Brooklyn Bean Hot Cocoa sampler.

The fun thing about this Two Rivers cocoa sampler, is that all of the name-brand-candy-flavored cocoas really taste like the candy. My favorite kid's flavor is Junior Mints, because I've loved those ever since I was a child. I'm not as familiar with the Charleston Chew and Sugar Babies candies, but these cocoas taste the way I remember the candies. The Peanut Butter Cup cocoa tastes very much like a Reese's peanut butter cup, and the Tootsie Roll cocoa closely resembles a Tootsie Roll (which I don't like as much now that I'm a grown-up and a chocolate snob).

Of the more adult cocoa varieties, my favorite flavor is Midnight (dark chocolate). I usually prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate, but Midnight has a rich depth of flavor that makes it stand out. I actually ordered a full box of the Midnight K-cups to satisfy my cocoa cravings after I've polished off this more child-oriented sampler pack. Milk Chocolate is my next adult favorite, closely followed by Campfire (hot chocolate with marshmallows), and Carnival (hot chocolate with salted caramels). Then comes Mexican (hot chocolate with cinnamon and chili pepper), which is good, but not really to my taste in hot chocolate drinks.

This is an absolutely wonderful sampler of twelve very good varieties of K-cup cocoa. I like the Two Rivers/Brooklyn Bean cocoas much better than the decent (but more watery-tasting) K-cup cocoas offered by Swiss Miss, Grove Square, and Cafe Escapes.


Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense
Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense
by Julia Heaberlin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woman Rescued From Grave Containing Four Victims of Black-Eyed Susan Killer Works Against Time to Identify Real Killer, June 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
BLACK-EYED SUSANS is a fast-reading suspense novel that relies heavily on flashbacks (my least favorite story-telling method). However, the chapters that alternate between "Tessa, present day" and "Tessie, 1995" make sense here. This novel is the story of the two identities of one Black-Eyed Susan--of the two identities of a woman who survived her burial in the middle of a field of blooming black-and yellow-flowers, in a grave she shared with three other victims of the Black-Eyed Susan killer.

In 1995, the teen-aged Tessie is undergoing psychotherapy in preparation for her testimony against the four Susans' accused murderer and attacker. In the present day, 17 years later, Tessa is no longer sure that the man her testimony convicted at trial is the real killer. On her birthday, someone has planted a bed of black-eyed susan flowers where she can't miss seeing them--for the fourth time since the Black-Eyed Susan killer was arrested, imprisoned, convicted, and condemned to death. The convicted man, who has always maintained his innocence, has now exhausted his appeals and is scheduled to die in a matter of weeks. Thus Tessa has to work against time to reexamine her old memories--Tessie's memories--and determine the identity of the real killer, with the help of two "innocence project" volunteers who have been trying for some time to free the convicted man.

This is a novel of relationships--the relationships between Tessie, her therapist, and Tessie's best friend Lydia; the relationships between Tessa, the innocence project volunteers (an attorney and a forensics expert), and the convicted man; and the relationship between grown-up Tessa and teen-aged Tessie. However, the novel is suspenseful throughout, and has plenty of interesting, unusual plot twists that keep the reader turning the pages. The ending is not totally satisfying, but surprising and unguessable (by me at least). This is a well-written, entertaining mystery/suspense read.


Hot Wheels DC Universe Die-Cast (5-Pack)
Hot Wheels DC Universe Die-Cast (5-Pack)
Price: $19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newly Imagined Wheels for "Justice League" Comic Book Stars Work With Standard Hot Wheels Track Layouts, June 21, 2015
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 0:39 Mins

This HOT WHEELS DC UNIVERSE set of five die-cast cars includes newly imagined wheels for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, The Flash, and Batman. The characters are stars from the "Justice League" DC comic books. (There is another set of similar die-cast cars available for the Marvel Avengers superheroes.) My personal favorites in this set are the Wonder Woman and Batman cars, because of all the decorative details (see the accompanying video slide show). But I love all the cars, because they're so well-made, and have all the design elements associated with each character (e.g., Superman's cape spreading out at the rear of his car).

These cars work with my standard Hot Wheels track sets, but they tend to hang up on the complicated stunts (e.g., the Spiral Stack-Up Track Set), because they're a little longer, taller, and heavier than standard Hot Wheels cars. (The Superman and Flash cars generally work best with the stunts.) All of the cars work well with simple, straightforward track layouts that don't have tight curves or gates with low-clearance triggers.


Mini Composite RCA CVBS AV To HDMI Converter (Input: AV; Output: HDMI) For VCR DVD 720P 1080P With High-Speed HDMI Cable (6.5 Feet / 2 Meter) EnKo products
Mini Composite RCA CVBS AV To HDMI Converter (Input: AV; Output: HDMI) For VCR DVD 720P 1080P With High-Speed HDMI Cable (6.5 Feet / 2 Meter) EnKo products
Offered by Pioneer Marketing Products
Price: $35.00
3 used & new from $35.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wasted Some Hours Trying to Make Defective Converter Work, June 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The converter I received was apparently defective. I wanted to connect either a legacy DVD player or a legacy VCR to an open HDMI port on my Samsung Smart TV. Both legacy devices worked when connected to the TV's single set of RCA ports; neither worked when connected to the converter and then to the TV via an HDMI cable. (I tried both the supplied HDMI cable and an AmazonBasics HDMI cable; the AmazonBasics cable had successfully connected another device to the open HDMI port on the TV.)

Like some of the other reviewers, I wasted a couple of hours trying to make this converter work. I rate this converter at 1 star ("I hate it" on the official Amazon scale).


Captive Cables - Cable Management Sleeve [4 Pack] - Cord Management System for PC / TV / Home Entertainment
Captive Cables - Cable Management Sleeve [4 Pack] - Cord Management System for PC / TV / Home Entertainment
Offered by Otley Creations Limited
Price: $13.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-Made, Easy to Install Cable-Management Sleeves; Length May Not Work for All Setups, June 19, 2015
These CAPTIVE CABLES NEOPRENE CABLE MANAGEMENT SLEEVES are well made, with strong nylon zippers, solid stitching, no hanging threads. They wrap fairly easily around bundles of TV cables, and the black color effectively conceals the cables behind my 40" TV. For about $12, you get four sleeves, which is good value.

However, if you're thinking about buying sleeves like these, you should have a look at your TV cables and see whether a 16-inch tube will contain or conceal those cables to your satisfaction. In my situation, the 16-inch sleeves are too long for simply bundling the cables, and too short for completely concealing them. For this reason, I rate this product at 4 stars ("I like it" on the official Amazon scale).

Disclaimer note: This review is based on a product supplied to me by the seller free of charge for review purposes. I have no financial interest or business relationship with the manufacturer or seller, and this review represents my independent opinion of the product.


Sterling Silver Amethyst Diamond Pendant Necklace (1/5cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity), 18"
Sterling Silver Amethyst Diamond Pendant Necklace (1/5cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity), 18"
Price: $100.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Pave Diamonds Surrounding Natural Amethyst Set Off Purple Gemstone to Perfection, June 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 0:27 Mins

Amethyst is the February birthstone, and this STERLING SILVER AMETHYST DIAMOND PENDANT NECKLACE will make a wonderful gift for any female with a February birthday. I think that the actual pendant is even more lovely than its photos here suggest. The pave diamonds on the locket bail (the part that holds the pendant on the chain) and the pave diamonds surrounding the natural amethyst set off the large purple gemstone to perfection. I've never seen a prettier setting for an amethyst.

Amethyst colors can vary. The stone in my necklace is perhaps a little lighter in color than the stone in the product page photos. However, amethyst can be a bit of a chameleon, and the stone in my pendant is no exception. It looks darker or lighter, depending on the surrounding level of light.

I love the detail in the sterling silver setting. It has curlicues on the sides and a stylized flower (or four-leaf clover?) on the back. The chain is 18" long (fairly short), but is the perfect length to display this delicate piece of jewelry. The silver chain has a lobster claw safety clasp to hold the necklace securely.

The pendant necklace comes in a pretty black Amazon presentation box. Or, more precisely, presentation boxes. The first box--lined with bright blue paper--has a drop-down side that reveals an inner box. The inner box is a black, hinged, traditional jewelry presentation box with a bright blue ribbon opening tab. Inside that box, the necklace is displayed on a blue-ribbon-tabbed card that is covered with faux velveteen. Opening this gift box is a memorable experience.

Because of the chain length, the pendant looks best on a dress or top with a simple collar or no collar. The pendant itself is so elegant, it will go with anything. (Even a cotton turtleneck, as shown in the accompanying video slide show.)


Belkin Qi Wireless Charging Pad, Compatible with any Qi-enabled smartphone including Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge and Nexus 7- Retail Packaging - Black
Belkin Qi Wireless Charging Pad, Compatible with any Qi-enabled smartphone including Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge and Nexus 7- Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $39.95
5 used & new from $34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wireless Qi Charging Frees You From Fumbling With Cellphone Charging Cables, June 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wireless Qi (pronounced "chee") charging makes a LOT of sense for cellphones, smartphones, and other fast-charging mobile devices that require frequent recharging. To recharge a Qi-enabled device, you simply lay it down on a Qi-charger pad--such as this BELKIN QI WIRELESS CHARGING PAD--and let it charge. There's no need to fumble around with inserting a tiny charger cable plug into your mobile device. Of course, a Qi charger isn't totally wireless--the Qi-charger pad itself must be plugged into an electrical outlet, using a USB cable and AC adapter. (A USB cable and AC adapter are included with this Belkin Qi-charger pad.)

When it's properly placed on the Qi-charger pad, your device will display a message that it's charging wirelessly. Also, the Belkin Qi-charger pad will show a blinking green light at the edge to show that the device is properly positioned and charging. Wireless Qi charging is a little slower than direct charging with a cable charger connected to an electrical outlet. (The Qi rate is about 75% of the direct rate). However, wireless charging easily adds a full charge overnight to my household's Samsung Galaxy SIII and S4 smartphones.

It can be difficult to determine whether your particular device is capable of Qi charging, because sellers don't include this information in the product specifications. Either look for the Qi symbol (a bold, stylized lower-case "qi") on the device, or Google for "Qi-enabled devices" to find a current list.

A "Qi-enabled" device has a built-in Qi receiver, and is ready to be charged by any Qi-charger pad, including this Belkin Qi-charger. A "Qi-capable" device needs to have a Qi receiver added to the battery; or, if it's a cellphone, there may be special Qi-receiver backs available. My Samsung Galaxy SIII and S4 smartphones are only "Qi-capable", so I added Qi-receivers to the batteries (see TechMatte Qi-standard Receiver Coil). However, the phones would get fairly hot during long charging sessions (without suffering any damage that I know of). Eventually I replaced the battery receivers on both phones with Samsung Qi-receiver backs. The phones seem to stay cooler now, no matter what brand of Qi-charger I use. Some Qi-charger pads seem to heat the devices more than others during charging. This Belkin Qi-charger pad seems to be one of the "cooler" charging pads.


Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings
Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings
by Shirley Jackson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Opportunity for Aficionados to Rummage Through Jackson's Jumbled Storeroom of Ideas, Events, Conversations, June 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Probably the new stories in this collection, LET ME TELL YOU, were not published in Shirley Jackson's lifetime because she didn't consider them completely finished or good enough to send out for publication. Still, stories like "Paranoia" (which opens the collection) are worth the attention of any who appreciate Jackson's work. "Paranoia" turns a perfectly mundane event--a husband's homeward commute from his office--into a memorable, disquieting-for-the-reader experience; and the polished, easy writing is a treat because it's so unmistakably Jackson's.

This collection is illustrated by some of Jackson's doodles--little pencil sketches that are charmingly unskilled in their execution. The collection is divided into five sections: (1) unpublished and uncollected short fiction; (2) essays and reviews; (3) early short stories; (4) humor and family; and (5) about the craft of writing. I think that the collection is best understood and appreciated with this quote taken from "How I Write", which is included in the "about the craft of writing" section.

Jackson writes: "One of the nicest things about being a writer is that nothing ever gets wasted. It's a little like the frugal housewife who carefully tucks away all the odds and ends of string beans and cold bacon and serves them up magnificently in a fancy casserole dish. A writer who is serious and economical can store away small fragments of ideas and events and conversations, and even facial expressions and mannerisms, and use them all someday. It is my belief, for instance, that somewhere in the back of my own mind is a kind of storeroom where there are hundreds of small items I am going to need someday, and when I need them I will remember them. I am also sure that this storeroom must look a good deal like my desk drawers, which also contain things I am sure I am going to need someday, such as a pair of roller skates and the curls cut off the children and old compact and what I think is the inside lining for my heavy winter boots."

This collection gives Jackson aficionados another opportunity to do some rummaging through Jackson's jumbled storeroom of unused ideas and story fragments. The collection also reminds us that Jackson the writer was--perhaps first and foremost--a housewife and mother. In the same "How I Write" essay, Jackson also confesses that she spent most of her time "doing things that require no very great imaginative ability, and the only way to make these mechanical jobs more palatable is to think about something else while doing them. I tell myself stories all day long . . . . And sometimes it turns into real stories."


iEGrow Ultra-Slim Aluminum Alloy Buttom Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Case with 7 Colors LED Backlight for iPad Air 2 - Not Fit iPad Air - (Silver)
iEGrow Ultra-Slim Aluminum Alloy Buttom Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Case with 7 Colors LED Backlight for iPad Air 2 - Not Fit iPad Air - (Silver)
Offered by iEGrow
Price: $51.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive-Looking, Comfortable Keyboard, But Fits Too Snugly, June 15, 2015
This inexpensive (about $52) IEGROW ALUMINUM BLUETOOTH KEYBOARD CASE FOR SILVER IPAD AIR 2 looks like a million dollars, and fits my iPad Air 2 tablet like a glove. The keyboard arrives already charged, and the Bluetooth pairing works quickly and flawlessly. The seven different color choices for keyboard backlighting is an extra-nice feature.

The keyboard itself is comfortable to use. The keys are flat, but responsive, and are spaced just right. In effect, this case turns your iPad Air 2 into a laptop. However, you must be committed to using your Air 2 with a physical keyboard, because removing the Air 2 from this case is extremely difficult. (There is a picture of the correct removal method in the instruction booklet, but I needed spudgers to pry my tablet loose.)

The keyboard doesn't add a lot of bulk to the Air 2. It isn't a heavy keyboard, but it does add a fair amount of weight to the Air 2 (which is of course sold as being incredibly thin and lightweight). The hinge rotates smoothly and supports the "screen" (the Air 2 tablet) at any desired angle through 135 degrees. Opening the case activates the iPad Air 2's automatic wake-sleep feature.

To my eye, this silver case looks expensive, so that it is a fitting enclosure for the iPad Air 2. However, because I want to use my Air 2 as a tablet when it's not needed for serious composition (requiring a physical keyboard), I need a case that will release the Air 2 much more easily. Because it fits too tightly, I rate this otherwise excellent keyboard case at 4 stars ("I like it" on the official Amazon scale).

Disclaimer note: This review is based on a product supplied to me by the seller free of charge for review purposes. I have no financial interest or business relationship with the manufacturer or seller, and this review represents my independent opinion of the product.


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