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Profile for Liz > Reviews


Liz's Profile

Customer Reviews: 71
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Helpful Votes: 329

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Liz "Liz" RSS Feed (Tennessee)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, November 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought two of these to light jewelry for an art show and they made the work sparkle. Very bright and neutral colored light with very flexible necks and heavy bases so they are very adjustable. Easy to assemble with the silly Ikea picture instructions. Only complaint being that one of the lamps had a screw that didn't fit into the hole. So where it joins to the base it has one instead of two screws so it isn't the most secure. If I had put in a little effort I'm sure I could find a screw that fit properly or returned the lamp for a replacement but I needed it 'now' so that's what I got. Am now using them in my jewelry workspace until I need them for the next show and they really make the work easier. Didn't even realize I was struggling to see what I was doing until I had these. They are directional, spot light style so they don't light up a general area but are great for what I need them for.

Waking Hours (The East Salem Trilogy)
Waking Hours (The East Salem Trilogy)
by Lis W. Wiehl
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.65
210 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, November 20, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Dani is a forensic psychologist in the small town of East Salem when a gruesome murder of a teen girl shocks the community. She teams up with ex-football star Tommy who she crushed on in high school.

It kept my attention but still took me a couple of weeks to read and I didn't exactly have any trouble putting it down. The writing style was a bit graceless but okay and you get the feeling the author wasn't that comfortable with the supernatural elements of her own story. The characters' reactions to the occurances are off. Like something strange occurs and they believe the answer is paranormal too easily when there could be another logical answer(she's a forensic psychologist after all) and then alternitively when it's clear that something supernatural is definitely happening she refuses to buy it. Also, the paranormal bits are tacked on to the murder mystery and in the end are arbitrary and don't seem to have anything to do with the resolution. It did seem like maybe it was setting it up to play a more integral part in the future books in the series though.

Even though Tommy is smart and studying to be a PI, Dani doesn't know that when she agrees to partner with him to solve the crime and it seems very unlikely and pointless that a forensic psychologist who works for the district attorney would do that. And the "romance" that develops between the two is pretty much non-existent. The characters don't have a personality and they can't muster up any real passion for each other either.

It definitely wasn't bad, but I don't think I'll seek out the coming books in the series as they're released. And it could just be that this kind of crime drama isn't my cup of tea.

A Little Night Magic
A Little Night Magic
by Lucy March
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.91
111 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely engrossing from start to finish, November 7, 2011
This review is from: A Little Night Magic (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Olivia is a 28-year old waitress in a waffle diner in a quirky small town. She is hopelessly in love with the cook, who may or may not share her feelings. She has three life long best friends who meet at her embarrassingly giant pink Victorian house, that her mother willed her, once a week for margaritas and 'confessional'. But Olivia doesn't want to be stuck there forever slinging waffles so she books a ticket to Europe and doesn't plan to return. That's pretty much the gist of it until a mysterious hoodoo woman strolls into the diner late one evening and reveals Olivia's true self along with a whole new weird world. What unfolds is a non-stop roller coaster ride of awesomeness.

I think this book was just really great, a lot of fun. I would have read it in one go if my husband hadn't said, "Turn off the GD light and go to sleep". Whenever a book's premise involves an abundance of serious supernatural, magical elements, and life or death situations, I think a sense of humor really goes a long way. And Olivia is a riot, I absolutely adored her self-deprecating or smart-a#%, surly quick wit. And all the characters and the settings were so unique and well detailed I felt like I was in the book. There's a wonderful sense of small town warmth and eccentricity throughout. For example, at one point Olivia is in the shower and is startled because one of her best friends, Peach, who lives next door, pokes a broom handle out of her bathroom window across the alley between their houses to bang on Olivia's bathroom window so she can borrow some conditioner. Just cute.

About the only problem I had with A Little Night Magic is that the big mystery conclusion was glaringly obvious from really early on, as were a lot of the 'surprise' bits throughout. So I wanted to shout at Olivia to get with the program sometimes.

And happily, it seems this is the start to a series. But don't worry that you'll be annoyed by another series with cliffhangers you have to buy into, it has a satisfyingly resolved ending and is a stand alone book. It's not rocket science but it was a true joy to read. If your goal is to escape into your fiction, I highly recommend this book.

Newman's Own Family Recipe Cookies, Ginger Snap, 6.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)
Newman's Own Family Recipe Cookies, Ginger Snap, 6.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)
Price: $16.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real spicy ginger flavor in a biscotti-like cookie, October 24, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Woooo these are addictive. I think it's the power combo of spicy ginger, sugar, a bit of pronounced saltiness and crunch. They are about an inch in diameter and pack a real subtly-heated punch of authentic ginger flavor. I love ginger any way I can get it; pickled, candied, fresh in sweets and savories, you name it. It says they have candied ginger pieces in them but after popping about ten of these I have only encountered one chewy morsel. They are organic and all natural, so that might account for the inconsistency in texture. Some were exactly like a puffy, hard-crunch biscotti and others were flatter, denser and slightly chewy with crunch around the edges. But all of them were extremely delicious when dipped in coffee. They're okay alone, but the coffee dipping made them truly awesome. Really yummy and great for Fall and holiday time. I bet you could blend them up nicely with butter like you would for a graham cracker crust for pies or cheesecake. 2 cents.

Ingredients: Organic unbleached wheat flour, organic sugar, molasses, organic palm fruit oil, candied ginger, ground ginger, salt, leavening(sodium bicarbonate, monoccalcium phosphate), soy lecithin, spice.

Serving size 5 cookies
130 calories
Total fat 3.5 g
Saturated fat 1.5 g
Sodium 180 mg
Total carb 24 g
Fiber 0
Sugars 12 g
Protein 1 g

Maxwell House International Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte, 9-Ounce Cans (Pack of 4)
Maxwell House International Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte, 9-Ounce Cans (Pack of 4)

4.0 out of 5 stars Creamy, rich, pumpkin spiced and not overly sweet, October 24, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Remember those International Cafe powdered hot drink mixes from the 90's when lattes were first becoming a popular mainstream thing? Apparently they still make those. It's Maxwell House International Latte Pumpkin Spice. It genuinely tastes like a real latte with pumpkin spice flavor and it actually has foam on top. I don't know how they do that but it makes a tiny fizz sound when you add the water. The directions say four tsps per six to eight ounces of boiling water but that you can customize your flavor by adding more. I found the four tsps in eight ounces very weak, clear and watery. Five wasn't enough either, six was getting there but I found seven was the closest to getting the full strength correct. So that comes to 105 calories and I think that's fairly low for a treat when compared to a Starbucks latte for example. It's not overly sweet with mostly coffee, cream and subtle pumpkin spice flavors. I really enjoyed it on this fall afternoon. The container is recycleable.

For 1 1/3 tbsp (4 tsps)
Calories 60
Fat 2 g
Sat fat 2 g
Sodium 60 mg
Total Carb 11 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein <1 g

Dark Eden
Dark Eden
by Patrick Carman
Edition: Hardcover
53 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars for fast-paced psychological thriller, October 23, 2011
This review is from: Dark Eden (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Will Besting has a crippling phobia that his psychiatrist has been unable to cure. There are six other teenagers with six unique phobias she can't cure either. Her solution is to send them to a bunker in the woods that is a strange treatment facility with a mysterious doctor where they will be cured. I was drawn in right away by just wanting more information. We aren't told what Will is afraid of until late in the book. And it's slowly revealed what each of the teen's phobias are. It was very suspenseful, mysterious, creepy and fast-paced.

However, I feel like this book had a lot of potential that wasn't fulfilled. Though there were a few big suprises revealed that I didn't see coming, the momentum builds consistently to a resolution that was just so so and that I saw coming from early on. And then the most interesting part of the entire book reads like an afterthought after the resolution has taken place.

A quick, enjoyable read but it isn't that memorable overall.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.05
75 used & new from $0.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Adventure Epic with Awesome Heroine, October 5, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have yet again underestimated a YA book. I think The Girl of Fire and Thorns could easily stand side by side famous epic fantasy/adventure books outside of the teen genre. YA has been hot for a long time now, and the main character is 16, so I get the choice, but it's so much more than the love and drama of a teenaged princess (not that I don't enjoy that sometimes as well).

This is just the best kind of transformative, coming of age saga. Elisa starts out as an insecure, confused, clueless, overweight, embarrassed, fearful, ignored, inconsequential princess who marries a king from across the desert in a political agreement between the two nations. But though Elisa has no apparent usefulness, she is special. She has been chosen by God for `Service' and is marked with a Godstone in her navel when she is an infant. Though I felt sorry for her in the beginning, I didn't really like her. But things start to take shape and you begin to see her strength in small ways at first. Just know that you'll love the intelligent, powerful person she becomes and the incredible journey she undertakes. She is my hero and I loved her by the end. I won't spoil things by telling you any more than that.

And don't let the religious angle throw you. I think a person of any faith and atheists alike could enjoy the book. Though the whole premise is based upon Elisa's Service to God and she prays constantly throughout the book, there isn't any specific dogma or it is a vague fictional religion perhaps. And, in fact, there is a theme of condemnation of religious persecution and dogma throughout and a focus on finding an individualized and personal relationship with spirituality/deity. And the intrigue, relationships and adventure are more important to the story than that aspect too.

There is subtle humor that counters the weighty themes of war and violence. The characters and world are well-developed and richly described and relationships slowly and intricately build. And thank you Rae Carson for writing a book in a series that can stand alone and has a proper conclusion. As I knew in advance I was reading the first book in a trilogy, and totally invested very early on, I was freaking out the last third of the book thinking I'd not have the ending I was awaiting. Not that I can't wait to pick up the next book to see what Elisa does next. Adults and teenagers both will have no trouble loving this one.

Tempest: A Novel (The Tempest Trilogy)
Tempest: A Novel (The Tempest Trilogy)
by Julie Cross
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.78
143 used & new from $0.01

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to read, September 28, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
An aptly named whirlwind of a book, Tempest is a suspenseful, exciting, mystery/sci-fi/romantic first installment in a trilogy to come. It is fast paced with few breathers. It was focused largely on the time travel aspect with the romance coming second until the latter part of the book. And I don't mean physical romance, though there is a little bit. A time travel premise can be confusing, but this comes off as smart, yet clear cut, without weighty physics explanations about parallel universes.

Jackson, a college student, has found out he can time travel and has been experimenting with his geeky friend Adam. All is well and fun until his girlfriend Holly is shot by strange men and he involuntarily jumps two years into the past and is stuck there. Mayhem ensues with lots of jumping around in time, being pursued by mysterious time-travelling baddies with indecipherable motivations, a father with a serious secret identity (and indecipherable motivations) and best friend and girlfriend who are two years younger in this time and who don't know him. Not to mention the tear-jerking run-ins with his twin sister who in the present day has been dead for several years.

Upon reading the first couple of chapters, while it wasn't slow exactly, I was sure it was going to be a disappointing and generic teen thing. But it soon took off into something with a lot more depth and complexity.

I enjoyed this book, welled up at least twice in fact, and am interested to find out what happens to Jackson in the future...or the past.

Wonderstruck (Schneider Family Book Award - Middle School Winner)
Wonderstruck (Schneider Family Book Award - Middle School Winner)
by Brian Selznick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.74
182 used & new from $6.33

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A special book, September 26, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very special little book. At over six hundred pages (more than half of those are pictures) it's not little at all actually, but I mean it feels like a small treasure. And even though the book is a very fast read, I read it in maybe three or four hours straight, it is full of heart, depth and content.

It consists of two plot lines, one written in words alongside one drawn in pictures. Ben is a boy from a small wooded town, Gunflint Lake, Minnesota, who has just lost his mother, and only parent, in an accident and must live with his aunt, uncle and cousins; he is lost and alone. The other story, in images, is of a sad and lonely young girl, Rose, in Hoboken who runs away from home under mysterious circumstances. The stories unfold for both in an exciting and at times frightening series of events, Ben in the present day and Rose in the 1920's. I wasn't sure exactly how the stories were going to be connected, but assumed they would have to be. I won't spoil anything, but it is slowly revealed that the two are connected in a wondrous way.

Wonder Struck begins with loss, grief, sadness, loneliness and fear, all of which are eventually countered by adventure, discovery, awe, love and friendship, which makes each feeling vibrate more loudly. I really think anyone would enjoy this book, from the youngest to the oldest reader. It's a rare book that manages to leave you with a sense of awe at the workings of the world, that things are possible, that we can form our own realities. I wish it could last longer. I am not a parent yet, but this book is absolutely going on the very slim shelf of my bookcase marked `Books to Read with my Kids'.

Darkness, My Old Friend (Jones Cooper)
Darkness, My Old Friend (Jones Cooper)
by Lisa Unger
Edition: Hardcover
134 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars, September 26, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really enjoyed this moody, dark, evocative book. It is a murder mystery and psychological thriller in the sense that the characters seem to be either psychologists, are in therapy, or have a diagnose-able disorder of some type. And it's all about the inner workings of their minds, why they do things, relationships, etc.

Artfully, gracefully written, there are several main and supporting characters with seemingly separate storylines but we eventually begin to see how they are all connected in the quiet, small town of The Hollows, which was also the setting for Unger's book Fragile. The characters and setting are all lushly described with plenty of depth. The town of The Hollows reminds me a bit of Sleepy Hollow. It's set in the fall and events are often played out in a damp forest with fluttering orange leaves or in houses bordering the dark woods or a in a crumbling cemetary. This type of setting happens to be my absolute personal favorite for books and movies.

I loved Jones Cooper, the detective who retired early due to an injury caused by a vaguely mysterious event, who is struggling with a phobia of death and is having a hard time finding his place in the world as a retiree. Early on he is visited by a psychic who reveals she's had a vision of his impending death to which the skeptical no-nonsense Jones scoffs. I don't want to give anything away, but his story and all the characters' stories are very interesting and unfold beautifully and dramatically and we see them change or see them revealed in a new way. I won't give a synopsis or cast of characters as other reviewers have done a good job there. And there are almost too many threads in this book to outline in any useful way and without spoilers.

Though the events leading up to the conclusion were intense and I was rapidly turning the pages, I have to say the ending was pretty obvious from early on. There were a few surprises along the way but it was clearly not meant to be a murder mystery in the traditional sense where we don't know until the last minute whodunit. It was way more about the facsinating development of the characters than the actual mystery. There were a few hanging threads also. The way the ending was written though, it's possible that that was intentional and the author intends to write not necessarily a sequel but a connected book. But none of that really bothered me, just a note.

A fast-paced and very satisfying read, I highly recommend it.

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