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Honeywell HCE100R Heat Bud Ceramic Heater, Red
Honeywell HCE100R Heat Bud Ceramic Heater, Red
Price: $24.99
3 used & new from $23.74

4.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of heat, December 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a small heater meant for individual spaces. It has a long enough cord that it can be plugged in a wall outlet and still be able to be placed up and over a large desk.
It does get hot, so it should be kept away from small children. It has a fan which you can feel from about a foot away and 2 heat levels.
There is a piece on the bottom that will indicate if the heater is lifted up or tipped over and it will turn off the heater. The light that tells you the power is still on will remain lit.

I was hoping this heater would be able to warm a small 4x4 bathroom we have that is over an overhang of our house. The floor gets extremely cold in the morning and I thought with a closed door this heater would at least give some semblance of warmth. It raised the temperature about 1 degree after 40 minutes of running on high. So, one can see that this is a very small individual space heater.
It would be perfect on a desk or under it to keep cold drafts away. Do not count on it warming up any space bigger than that.

Charleston: A Novel
Charleston: A Novel
by Margaret Bradham Thornton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.04
71 used & new from $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not finished with Charleston, December 27, 2014
This review is from: Charleston: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The writing and descriptions of Charleston and its people make you feel as if you are in Charleston and a part of its social life and customs.
Eliza left her city of Charleston and has been away for 10 years. She is shocked when she runs into an old boyfriend, Henry while living in England. She returns to her home and sees him again and again, seemingly restoring some of their old friendship. There are mysteries that are not revealed until later in the story. Why did Eliza leave? What did Henry do? What part does his young son play in all of this?

There is an abundance of descriptions of Charleston and the surrounding south. The area and even Henry seem to have her heart and soul, but she still thinks back to her boyfriend, Jamie in England. This is a story of someone torn between her past and what might be a different future.

This is a storyline more in line with real life, rather than a sweet romantic novel. Those who enjoy stories of the south and even the conflicted emotions of someone torn between her past and trying to find her way will enjoy this interesting novel.

All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir
All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir
by Shulem Deen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.08

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belief, December 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Shulem Deen was brought up in one of the more unknown and stricter Hasidic sects. He begins to reach out and then question the beliefs and restrictions that have surrounded him. As he explores the world outside his group his fear of not only the unknown that lies out there but what will happen if he is discovered is well recounted.

The reader is brought into this little known religion, its views and rules. The writing pulls one in, so that you can feel his questioning and especially his dread - what he will lose- his family and all he really knows as the result of his questioning and exploration.

The specifics of his religion and what it requires are fascinating. It is literally an unknown world for most who read this book. This is a sad, but compelling story about loss of family and belief and about the discovery of a new way of living and the quandaries that have come with that choice.

The Patriot Threat (Cotton Malone)
The Patriot Threat (Cotton Malone)
by Steve Berry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legalities, December 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is another novel with a plot that tells of secrets, intrigues, mysteries and symbols all hidden and with the potential to change national history. In this instance it seems that the 16th amendment which gives the federal government the power to levy income taxes might be invalid.

Cotton Malone is called out of retirement to follow a North Korean man who has plans to rule that country and financially ruin the United States. The trail leads from Venice to Croatia with the secrets of the past slowly being uncovered.
Franklin Roosevelt is vilified by many in this plot as a president who was tyrannical and was presented an enigmatic puzzle by Andrew Mellon- one which could bring financial ruin to the US government in two ways; by an illegal amendment and by a debt owed during the American Revolution and never repaid. This cryptic dilemma lies at the heart of Cotton Malone's chase in Venice and Croatia and in the search around Washington DC including a painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art.

The book brings up recollections of other storylines both in novels and movies where the fate of present day institutions and governments rests in deep secrets of the past. The reader is presented with symbolism on the dollar bill, the influence of masons and legal maneuvering with Constitutional amendment ratification. There are the usual intra-agency disputes that have to be overcome.

Somehow Steve Berry is able to still make a new intrigue with some thought-provoking historical anomalies and legalities that remain mysteries in actual fact. A reader should not omit the author's note in the end where Barry separates fact from fiction.
This is a book that fans of Steve Barry and those who enjoy political thrillers will want to include on their reading list.

An Appetite for Violets: A Novel
An Appetite for Violets: A Novel
by Martine Bailey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Life below the stairs, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is not the typical story of servants living and attending to an upper class family. Instead it is the tale of Biddy who just wants to be married and run her own tavern. Instead she becomes involved in the intrigues of the new wife and accompanies her to Italy.

It is an interesting viewpoint to witness what Biddy sees and thinks during her journeys. It is not a story that one often runs across. Biddy is faced with having knowledge that could ruin her or be her salvation. There is an aura of mystery in the plot. Not all runs smoothly for the characters and at some points the reader might become confused with the dialogue that it is written in

There are recipes inserted that add interest and an authenticity to the setting of the storyline. The characters are well drawn out and the reader is able to find out what life was like for both the upper classes and those that served them.
Those who enjoy historical period novels, especially dealing with the various social classes will enjoy this novel.

MulchLock HG-16000 1 Count Mulch-Lock, 1.5-Gallon
MulchLock HG-16000 1 Count Mulch-Lock, 1.5-Gallon
Price: $24.97
8 used & new from $19.32

4.0 out of 5 stars Stone lock, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have a hilly yard and one of the things I have done, is to spread small stones around the perimeter of my house and under where I wind up my garden hoses. Inevitably, gravity and the downhill slope takes its toll and the stones begin to move. I thought this would be perfect to keep them in place and it seems to work well.

I'm not so sure that I would want to use this on mulch, since I like things very natural looking. This dries like Elmer's glue, which leaves a slightly shiny and in some lights a somewhat milky looking coating. I would not want my mulch to look like this - for my stone beds it is fine and solves the problem of rolling stones.

Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth
by Marc Peyser
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Roosevelt family feud, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer tell the story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth (in one of the better titled books) - cousins and both residents at one time in the White House. Comparisons are made continuously through the pages rather than in separate chapters. One can get a smooth accounting of these two women by this method. We read of their upbringing, one from the Oyster Bay Roosevelts and one from the Hyde Park side of the family dynasty.

Thankfully there is a family tree in the beginning to help sort out the numerous members of these relatives. The family tree is complicated and at times during reading it is hard to distinguish who is who because of the tendency of many of them having the same name. The insertion of nicknames for various members is not always made clear and can lead to some confusion and the need to turn back to discern which family member is the subject.
Footnotes are an added bonus that explain political, world or familial background. When money is mentioned, it is translated into 2015 dollar worth, which also adds to an understanding.

The commentaries between Alice and Eleanor are good. We read excerpts from diaries, letters, public statements and private conversations. Their fluctuating moods and relationships with each other, members of the family and friends are well explained and detailed.

This is not a history of world events. Little is mentioned of even WWII. Instead the focus is on the two women themselves and how they dealt with their lives and those around them. What happens in the wider spectrum of world events is secondary.
This is a good book for those who wish to learn more about a family surrounded by politics, society, life in Washington and of course what Eleanor and Alice were really like as individuals.

A Brighter Tomorrow: My Journey with Julie (American Girl Beforever Journey)
A Brighter Tomorrow: My Journey with Julie (American Girl Beforever Journey)
by Megan Mcdonald
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.18
46 used & new from $5.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Flower power mood, December 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is another in the series of adventures where a girl from today finds some talisman to take her back in time.
The era in this book is the 1970's in San Francisco. By reading the various stories and different endings one can learn about this time and place. It included Title 9 and a girl trying to get on the basketball team. There are references to parents being divorced and separated which might help those who are experiencing that in their own lives.

There are some details in the book that are not put together very well. At one point the clock says 12:34 then 5 minutes later, when she looks at it, it says 12:35. The book cover says Julie 1974, but in the story itself is in 1975.
Still this is a story that can teach and interest young readers to read by themselves or to have a parent read with them.

OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Plastic Measuring Spoons, Black
OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Plastic Measuring Spoons, Black
Price: $4.95
5 used & new from $4.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Snap measures, December 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These measuring spoons snap together along with a combined hook/scraper/level edge.
The descriptions say you can "easily unsnap one spoon at a time while the rest stay connected". If you want the middle 1 teaspoon you have to unsnap it apart from the spoons on each side. You cannot just remove it alone from the set. The spoons do not easily snap together either. It is extremely difficult to get them snapped back together.

The snaps form a rest where the spoon, for the most part will remain level on your counter. The measurements themselves are easy to read, but also seem to be easily scratched, so the labeling will not last long and then it will be too hard to try to see which spoon is which measurement.

I appreciate the dishwasher safe, but in order to make sure they are clean you would have to snap them apart. They are thick solid plastic and take up about 3 times the room in my drawer than my old metal measuring spoons. I like the 1/8th spoon, which I have not had in sets before; but in all my years of cooking I have never had a need for a ˝ tablespoon which is included. The thickness of the spoon does let you put them into smaller spice jars.
It's a nice set but, frankly I still prefer my metal measuring spoons.

Searching for Grace Kelly
Searching for Grace Kelly
by Michael Callahan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.37

4.0 out of 5 stars She didn't want to be any place else, December 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Laura, who is described as the typical patrician young lady goes to New York in hopes of becoming a writer. As all proper young ladies did, she stays at the Barbizon - previous residence of many others like her, including Grace Kelly. The story revolves around Laura and 2 of the other residents, their love life, their hopes, disappointments and heartbreaks.

There are sometimes awkward passages where you have to go back and reread to understand, such as relating each woman as locked on the other side of her door and the ladies are portrayed as wearing panty hose. This is 1955 and pantyhose were not on the market until 1959.
The beginning starts with a good night to die, which seems a technique to involve the reader's curiosity as to which young lady will wind up on the roof.

The book does a good job of telling the tale of 1955 New York and what these young women at the Barbizon would encounter. It is in some respects the run of the mill soap opera, but for those who enjoy this type of storyline, they will not be disappointed.

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