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The Last September
The Last September
by Nina de Gramont
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.23

5.0 out of 5 stars riveting - 4.5/5 stars, September 2, 2015
This review is from: The Last September (Hardcover)
In The Last September the reader learns immediately that Charlie Moss has been murdered, but who did it and why? Although we find out in the end, the story itself is no ordinary murder mystery -- it is so much more.

Brett Mercier meets Charlie Moss in college in Colorado through his brother, Eli who was Brett's friend. Eli warned her that his brother might break her heart as he was a bit of a dreamer and liked to play the field, but for Brett it was love at first sight. After and intense start to the relationship, Charlie disappears, but eventually the two reconnect, marry and have a daughter together. Life for Brett is not what she imagined. With a passion for Emily Dickinson, she works on her dissertation. The couple barely has enough money for necessities and they live in a run-down Cape Cod beach cottage belonging to Charlie's dad. Charlie does not have the same passion as Brett or career drive.

Eli, once bound for Harvard, was diagnosed with schizophrenia during college, and has been institutionalized off and off, and he bounces in and out of their lives as a result. On the day Charlie's bludgeoned body is found, Eli is at the beach cottage, he's hysterical and has stopped taking his meds.

The story delves deep into the backgrounds of the characters, who are richly developed and deeply flawed. Some felt like people I knew at an earlier time in my life. A literary mystery of sorts, the story offers beautiful references and quotes of Emily Dickinson, the breathtaking setting of Cape Cad in fall, the college town of Amherst, Ma, and the home of Emily Dickinson.

It's a story that hooked me early on and never let go. The Last September is a beautifully written story of life, love, family, conflict and betrayal. This one is definitely worth reading.

4.5/5 stars

Mouth Guard from ProDental - BPA Free - Teeth Grinding Night Guard, Athletic Mouth Guard, Teeth Whitening Tray - Includes 3 Customizable for Comfort Dental Guards - Hygienic, FDA Approved Soft Material - Made in USA
Mouth Guard from ProDental - BPA Free - Teeth Grinding Night Guard, Athletic Mouth Guard, Teeth Whitening Tray - Includes 3 Customizable for Comfort Dental Guards - Hygienic, FDA Approved Soft Material - Made in USA
Offered by MKC Products
Price: $29.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful product and company to do business with!, September 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Pro Dental Mouth Guard was too big for my mouth even after trimming it. BUT, this Company stands by their product and could not have been more helpful. They offered to thin my mouthguard for me and returned it very quickly. It was then a perfect fit. A wonderful company that stands by their products. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this company and the mouth guard.

The Sunken Cathedral: A Novel
The Sunken Cathedral: A Novel
by Kate Walbert
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.99
82 used & new from $2.53

4.0 out of 5 stars different in a good way, August 28, 2015
The Sunken Cathedral is a character driven novel with not much plot, but still a very interesting read. There is a sense of dread throughout the novel about some catastrophe looming, with surreal images of the Hudson River flooding NYC as strange storms threaten to devastate New York.

Marie and Simone grew up in France and later moved from Europe to Chelsea after WWII reuniting as young mothers after both women married Americans. Now widows in their 80's it's hard not to notice just how much life in their NY borough has changed. Both are still active women but anxious women as well.

The women begin a painting class from Sid Morris along with Helen a former art historian who is also in her 80's. Sid leaves a lot to be desired. His studio is filthy, his manners missing and he's eccentric to say the least. Both Marie and Simone oddly seem interested in the uncouth Sid.

Elizabeth is another character, a tenant of Marie. She is a 40-something woman with not much self-confidence. Elizabeth struggles with the uncertainty of life. Her young son Ben attends a progressive K-8 school where parents are thoroughly involved, and seem to have it all together which intimidates Elizabeth all the more. Children at this school are prepared at an early age for terror attacks, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Told from the third person POV, I liked the fact the central characters were seniors, something you don't see as often in fiction today. The story was well written and footnotes can be found at the bottom of many pages which further explores the more personal inner thoughts and details of various characters -- this worked extremely well IMO.

Overall, I was very pleased with this novel. It's different, but in a good way and fewer than 300 pages as well.

AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - White
AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - White
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great cord and saves u $$$ as well, August 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have purchased Amazon Basic products like this in the past and have found them to be excellent and a cost savings as well.

I used this to charge both my iPhone 6 and my iPad mini and both devices charged quickly and stayed charged all day with pretty heavy useage (on line games ). No problems thus far and the extras get length is a nice bonus as well.

North American Bear Dolly Pockets Goldilocks and The 3 Bears Plush
North American Bear Dolly Pockets Goldilocks and The 3 Bears Plush
Offered by Corydor
Price: $12.95
13 used & new from $12.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Cute, cuddly and washable too, August 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the cutest, most squeezable doll I've seen in a while besides Baby Stella. She floppy and cute and easy for lite toddlers 12 mths ++ to tote around with them. The 3 beasts in each pocket can be removed and played with as finger puppets too which makes this doll even more fun. Our 26 mth granddaughter keeps it close by at all times. A real hit and washable too.

iHealth HS4 Scale Lite
iHealth HS4 Scale Lite
Price: $64.99
2 used & new from $64.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Annoying than it's worth!, August 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had high hopes for this scale, hoping it would make us more aware and more health conscious as we would be able to track our weight loss progress via an app and our iPhones, but it's ultimately NOT worth the aggravation.

First it uses 4-AAA batteries that wear down in no time because of the draw off Bluetooth. (Ugh) next, the scale is set to kilograms and can't be changed (CRAZY). Once you hook up and connect to app you can see your weight in pounds but this is just crazy that I can't step on the scale and see my weight in pounds and BMI.

I would have given this just one star but decided to be generous based on its sleek look.

GoGreen Power 24048 - Alkaline AA 48pk
GoGreen Power 24048 - Alkaline AA 48pk
Price: $16.06
2 used & new from $16.06

4.0 out of 5 stars So Far so good, August 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although we tend to use more AA batteries than any other size, I've never seen a package this large (48) batteries.

So far we've tried these in a digital camera, cat toy and Childs toy and have not had any issues but it has only been a few days using them.

The price is great so if they even hold up as long as the generic brand it's not a bad deal. I was disappointed to see a Go Green product like this was made in China:(

I plan to give the batteries another month and then update this review if the batteries wear out before then.

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure
Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure
Offered by Quidsi Retail LLC
Price: $89.95
15 used & new from $79.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful educational toy but pricy, August 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This toy is impressive and well made. Assembly was pretty easy as long as you have a screwdriver.Really cute. Well made with easy assembly but you need your own screwdriver.

A spinning flower sits in the middle of delightful graphics. Leaves, apples, birds, flowers, this tree is alive with creativity and color.

We hate purchasing plastic toys so we're pleased this wooden toy really is a learning tool as well for kiddos who can sit and reach. It helps them to develop hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.

There is so much to grab the attention of little ones. Bright colors and decals, there are 4 sections with 6 critter maze with cute animals, beads move easily between spirals, straight lines and circles and there are little doors that open and close.

Our littlest grandchildren 12-15 months really enjoy playing with it together.

It is pricy at $90.00 and because of that I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

Valley Fever: A Novel
Valley Fever: A Novel
by Katherine Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.32
75 used & new from $7.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too much dialogue, not enough plot, August 19, 2015
This review is from: Valley Fever: A Novel (Hardcover)
NTRO---"I don't return to places I've lived. I avoid my high school dorm by not going back to all of Massachusetts. In London, I'll avoid Holland Park so as not to be reminded of the basement flat on Addison Road. The furnished two-bedroom on Via Annia in Rome, the bright studio in the white brick building on West Eighty-fourth Street with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, the two bedroom in Prenzlauer Berg I shared with a publishing-heiress insomniac who would speak only Russian: some of those places were good for a while. Still, whole neighborhoods, whole cities can be ruined by the reasons you left."

It's probably not a good sign when you move across the country from NY to CA to be with your significant other and less than a year later he tells you, "I think I only love you when I'm drunk." Such is the situation for Ingrid Palameade who hasn't had the best of luck with relationships.

With her sister Annie coming to her rescue at the airport after this latest breakup, she takes Ingrid back to her home to think about her life over the last (10) years since she finished college. Why has she moved from place to place and relationship to relationship? With some hesitation Ingrid decides to return home to her family and their 20,000 acre vineyard around Fresno. Her father's health is failing, her mother is stuck in a rut and her uncle drinks a bit too much (wine goes well with every me
al). With her father's illness, Ingrid soon begins running the family business, and even connecting with friends from her past.

I had a tough time with this novel. The writing is mostly dialogue driven with almost no character development. It could have been so much better if there was more of a plot progression and subsequent resolution. One of the best features of the story was the way the story appealed to senses when the author describes the perfect conditions for wine making, facts about growing and harvesting almonds and CA agriculture in general. I thought the cover was pretty cool as well, but overall, this novel didn't work well for me.

2.5/5 stars

OurPets Catty Whack Electronic Motion Cat Toy
OurPets Catty Whack Electronic Motion Cat Toy
Price: $39.99

2.0 out of 5 stars This item was a snoozer for our cats, August 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First off we have 3 cats in the 12-13 year old range. The 2 males love to play with us when we use the cat dancer toy, the girl does not generally care to join in playtime.

This toy was super easy to set up, although you must supply your own 4-C batteries. At first oddly our playful boys had no interest only the girl cat tried it out. None of the cats were over impressed with this item although the boys say around it later to check it out.

Overall, our felines were less than impressed and for a $40.00 item, I can't recommend this toy. It's plastic, makes a rustling sound and the feather pops out of one of the 6 he's randomly. The top has a tiny star shaped scratching surface that did not interest them either.

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