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Customer Reviews: 113
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Helpful Votes: 465

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Hunting Crimson (Silverlake City Stories Book 2)
Hunting Crimson (Silverlake City Stories Book 2)
Price: $0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars - Hunting Crimson, September 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
3.5 stars for Amazon rating scale - A girl is attacked by a vampire after leaving a nightclub. Another vampire saves her. When she realizes her friend is missing, she asks vampire rescuer for help finding her.

This is the second short story in this series and honestly, I feel like I could just copy the review I left for the first short story, Hidden Falls (Silverlake City Stories Book 1) other than the story specific details. To sum it up, I liked the writing style, dialogue, characters and the storytelling overall, but it felt like the beginning of a romance rather than a complete story. The ending was more like a happily ever before instead of a happily ever after. The heat level in this story is also sweet with just a kiss and embrace at the end. There were a handful of typos (or maybe a smidge more in this one) that stand out more in a short story than it would in a novel. I like the story in general but was disappointed that it felt like more of a beginning to a story than a complete story, so I am using the dreaded "it's too short" complaint. On the other hand, if I didn't like it then it wouldn't be short enough, so in a way, it's a compliment. I liked it enough that I wanted more thorough story.

Hidden Falls (Silverlake City Stories Book 1)
Hidden Falls (Silverlake City Stories Book 1)
Price: $0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars - Hidden Falls, September 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
3.5 stars for Amazon rating scale - In a nutshell, girl goes to visit her cousin in Hidden Falls, which is out in east doo-dah somewhere, and discovers there are more things in them thar woods than she ever imagined. An incident happens that opens her eyes to the fact that werewolves really do exist and one them seems more than a little interested in her.

This is a short story of about 30 pages per Amazon’s estimate. The heat level is sweet and there is just a kiss and embrace at the end. The writing and dialogue flowed smoothly for me and was comfortable to read. There were a handful of typos, which would not stand out in a novel but they do somewhat in a story this short. There is a dog in the story that I enjoyed. I love it when animals are given a role in a story.

I’m struggling a bit with what to rate this story. It is really hard to find PNR short stories that are satisfying and written well. This one is actually one of the better ones I’ve read. I liked the author’s writing style, dialogue, and characters, and also the story overall; however, it felt more like the beginning of a romance to me rather than a complete story. Instead of Happily Ever AFTER, the ending felt more like Happily Ever BEFORE. There is no I Love You because it is too soon for that. They are attracted to each other but not in love yet because they have not overcome the obstacles to get to the HEA.

It was an enjoyable story even though the ending disappointed me somewhat, but I plan to try more by this author. I would be interested to see what she could do with a full novel size romance.

The Valkyrie
The Valkyrie
Price: $2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars valkyries, gods and goddesses, norse and greek mythology, sarcasm, satire, cussing, very British, needs editing/proofing, September 5, 2015
This review is from: The Valkyrie (Kindle Edition)
I decided to read and review this book because I like humor, mythology, and urban fantasy. I looked at the related website and it seemed to have a flavor that I would like and it looked like it would be funny. I also looked forward to reading about a Valkyrie as that isn’t a character I come across that often. As it turned out, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I expected. The book was full of sarcasm, which I could certainly appreciate, but I didn’t really find it particularly funny. I was actually somewhat confused as to what was going on for a good portion of the story.

The characterization of Glory and her friends as Valkyries fell flat. We are told what they are but you don’t really get any significant scenes of them being a Valkyrie. The only thing they really did as Valkyries was plan the next big war so they can reap the souls of the soldiers. It seemed they needed to get as many as possible. Not sure really why they needed them. Glory is also supposed to be the head of Valkyrie Unit 401, but I had no sense of her being the leader of anything.

Considering the book is supposed to be humorous, I was surprised at how melancholy the beginning felt and how jaded Glory seemed to be . Glory and her Valkyrie housemates popped pills, drank a lot of alcohol, snarked a lot, and didn’t seem to enjoy their existence much. The story does reveal why Glory gets that way and how she changes by the end of the book. Her character does show growth, but there are also things she does that made me think, “Why the hell did she do that?” For example, at one point, Glory kills another immortal. I won’t say who so I don’t spoil it but it seemed to really come out of nowhere, and I didn’t feel there was enough motivation or reason why she would do this. It also seemed crazy simple for her to kill this person. A simple quick stab with a simple knife, not even a special super-duper knife made with some kind of magic or god-killing property. Immortal gods and goddesses are usually portrayed as really hard to kill. I don’t know how they could last for millennia if they are so easy to knock off. So that was another characterization fail for me.

Then there is Apollo. At first he seemed like a total philandering jerk, but then you start to see another softer side to him. But then his personality changes again and he starts to act kind of psycho. As the story moved toward the end, I was flabbergasted at how it looked like it was going to end and was about to throw my kindle against the wall (well, actually a proxy book—can’t hurt my precious kindle!) then something happens to spare my wall from damage. Phew! That was close. Thinking back on it though, I actually cannot remember exactly how this book ended (I had to go take another look see to remind myself) so I guess it didn’t really make much of an impression on me. I do remember the implied ending before the twist.

This book reminded of a mythological Peyton Place. It was a soap opera of devious calculating gods and goddesses of multiple pantheons (though mostly Norse and Greek) bent on manipulation, betrayal, and backstabbing to achieve their own agendas--pretty much how gods are usually portrayed, I guess. There aren’t really any mortals in this story to speak of. One or two appear briefly in the story but it is primarily just about gods and goddesses.

Besides the lack of characterization, some of the issues I had with this book were mechanical such as typos and punctuation. First the typos, of which there were more that I would find appropriate in a published work. It really needs another proofread. There was one particular word “draw” that was used to mean “drawer” and occurred frequently and repeatedly. It happened so much that I started to wonder if it is British slang I am not familiar with. An internet search didn’t find evidence of this and there were a couple of instances of the correct word being used so I am considering this a chronic typo unless I learn otherwise.

Secondly, the punctuation was lacking. I’m not a pro at it and generally not too picky as I know it can be a fluid thing. As long as it reads smoothly, I’m good. But when it’s lacking, it makes for difficult or confusing reading and becomes an issue. There was quite a bit of what I felt were run-on type sentences that would have benefited from a pause or stop to make it easier to read. Commas after an introductory word were mostly missing and that really drove me bat guano crazy. The punctuation issues didn’t make for smooth reading.

So overall, I had to really push myself through the first part of this book. It did pick up a bit later but I still wasn’t being pulled through it. At some point in the book I actually put it down to read something else. The story just wasn’t engaging me. I was disappointed in the lack of humor that I was expecting and there was a lack of characterization of Glory and her friends as Valkyries. The story felt confusing at times and the mechanical errors distracted me. There is a lot of cussing which didn’t bother me—just a warning for those who don’t like it.

I did really enjoy the mythological aspect and the interaction of all the gods and goddesses. The name Glory, and the names of her Valkyrie friends Liberty and Honour, ended up having some meaning to the story at the end which was interesting. This book’s narrative and dialogue are very British, which I enjoyed though occasionally I had to look up a word or two. I have no idea if this is a standalone story or part of a future series. Though it seemed mostly wrapped up at the end, there also seemed to be an opening for a continuing story.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Heat Level: Fade to black - sex scenes are implied and happen off screen.
Word count: ~74,000
Kindle Locations: 4660
Story text ends at 99%

Jif Whips Whipped Peanut Butter & Salty Caramel
Jif Whips Whipped Peanut Butter & Salty Caramel

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moar Peanut Butter....Moar!, August 29, 2015
I love me some peanut butter so when I saw this in the store I had to try it. It's a lighter and airier peanut butter just as you would expect from the name and I thought it might be good with a snack of apple slices instead of regular peanut butter, especially with the extra caramel flavor. I liked it, though I can't say I taste the caramel all that much. It mostly tasted like just PB. So far I have only used it with apple slices. I haven't tried it with anything else yet--not sure what else to use if for other than a PB&J sammie. Will have to try that next and see if whipped PB works well that way. There is slightly less fat than regular PB but not a huge amount (about the same as Jif Reduced Fat PB) and less calories per serving (2 tbsp). Will have to try the chocolate flavor next :) Anyone have recipe ideas for this stuff?

Wish-Bone Russian Dressing, 16 oz (473mL), Pack of 3
Wish-Bone Russian Dressing, 16 oz (473mL), Pack of 3
Offered by R&W Forever
Price: $17.99
9 used & new from $17.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Finally I can get this dressing again..., August 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just cannot find this flavor dressing locally these days, at least not in my area. My mother used to make a chicken dish with this dressing when I was a kid. It's really good on chicken, but I then I realized the other day that I've never had it on salad, ha! Soooo... I had it on a salad and it was good but unfortunately there isn't a lite version. Good stuff.

No Title Available

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy with the results, August 22, 2015
Against my own better judgment, I bought stainless steel appliances for my kitchen (totally regret it and don't recommend it if you don't like cleaning them constantly and definitely not if you have kids!). Anywho... it is what it is and now I had a mission to find a way to clean off all the messy, annoying, and ugly marks I get on the them on a daily basis. I saw this product here on Ammy, read the reviews, and was a little concerned that some people reported having a problem with streaks and such. Welp, I then saw these wipes at my local K-Mart and decided to give them a shot anyway. Based on one application, I can say I am pleased with the result. I picked up a microfiber cloth at the same time, which you will definitely need. You just wipe on cleaner then immediately wipe it off and buff with the micro cloth going in the same direction as the grain of the stainless steel. You have to buff well, not just a quick wipe, but it doesn't take much time and the result was a nice shiny fridge. It doesn't have a bad smell either, at least not to me. I was expecting a strong odor, but it really isn't bad at all. My only complaint at this time is that the wipes are rather small and you may need more than one depending on the area you need to clean.

I will continue using this product unless I find something better. I don't know if it makes a difference, but my fridge is a Kenmore and the stove and dishwasher are GE.

Jif Chocolate Peanut Powder, 6.5 Ounce
Jif Chocolate Peanut Powder, 6.5 Ounce
Price: $11.50
6 used & new from $8.25

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate Peanut Butter... Yummm!, August 10, 2015
I don't know how long this product has been on the market but I just stumbled across it at my local grocery store the other day. I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did. I tried the smoothie recipe on the back of the package (super simple) and it was really good! I like that the powder doesn't have all the fat that regular peanut butter in a jar has (hey, how do they do that anyway?) so I can work this into my diet plan. Between the powder and the milk for the smoothie, I got a good dose of protein and calcium. It made a quick, easy, yummy, and low cal breakfast drink. I'm looking forward to trying some other recipes with it.

You can also reconstitute the powder with water to get it back to a peanut butter type consistency. I gave this a try tonight and it was okay. I used it as a dip for some apple slices. I'm not sure I like the chocolate peanut flavor that much this way. Will have to try this with just the peanut flavor next time and see how good a replacement it is for regular PB. It would be awesome if you could get a PB fix without the calories and fat!

The bag has a resealable closure, which is super helpful especially since it's not one of those crappy zip lock style closures that is a royal pain in the butt to get the ridges to line up and close. You know what I mean, right? It's more like a velcro style so one swipe and it's closed. I can't remember what I paid for it in the store but I'm pretty sure it was way less then the price here. $11.95 is ridunkulous! I'll check it out at the store and post an update later.

UPDATE: I'm back! Checked out the grocery store price and this product was $4.69. So $11.95 is more than 2.5X the grocery store price... criminy! I also tried to look up the recipes showing on this product page and could not find them on the Jif website where it says to find them. Seriously, Jif? You tell me to go there for the recipes and they aren't there? Hummph! I guess I'll have to do some surfing to find some recipes but I think I'm likely to use this product mostly for smoothies anyway.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2016 6:28 AM PST

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson Book 5)
Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson Book 5)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Now that was one hell of a foocking ending!, August 9, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
That ending. Holy crap, that foocking* ending! I think I literally squee'd. My toes may have even curled. *fans self* Sorry, Curran. Reyes just knocked you off the podium for favorite male lead character. And the humor? It had me chuckling, snorting, and lol'ing constantly. Why on earth did I put off reading this series for so long? If I only knew then...

*if you've read the book, you'll get that one!

Honeymoon of the Dead (Paranormal Romance (Berkley))
Honeymoon of the Dead (Paranormal Romance (Berkley))
by Tate Hallaway
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.19
80 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay read but unexceptional end to series, boring vampire, overly descriptive at times, July 20, 2015
It has been a looong time since I read the previous book in this series so I wasn't sure how much I would remember of the characters and if I would be into it at all. Well, it turned out I did remember most of the main players, but Sebastian was a boring vampire and I would like to have seen more of Matyas and William. Overall, it was okay and I enjoyed it well enough but I think it fell flat as an end-of-series book. On the other hand, IIRC, the series was canceled by the publisher instead of reaching it's natural end so that might have something to do with it. I was also getting impatient with the descriptions of things (hotel rooms, neighborhoods, etc) to the point that I found myself skimming over them. Note on the cover: the girl's gumby arms kinda freak me out! It's also not in the same style as the previous books and I don't think it represents the story or Garnet herself, who has a pixie haircut not long hair that can be put in an up do.

Sony ICF-C707 Clock Radio with AM/FM Dual Alarm and Large Easy to Read Backlit LCD Display
Sony ICF-C707 Clock Radio with AM/FM Dual Alarm and Large Easy to Read Backlit LCD Display
Offered by stores123
Price: $33.99
136 used & new from $7.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor human factor design, April 4, 2015
The clock radio that I had since maybe the eighties or nineties finally bit the dust. I needed a new one but I wanted to make sure it had a few specific features. I found this clock at a local electronics store and it seemed to fit the bill, for the most part, at the time. It needed to have the following:

- AM/FM radio... check

- Dedicated buttons for features instead of multifunction buttons... check

- A dual alarm... check

- A gentle sounding alarm (vs. a harsh buzzer sound) or an alternative alarm... check (I think...I've been using the radio alarm so not sure what the buzzer sounds like.)

- A small footprint so it wouldn't take up too much space on my small bedside table... check.

So if the clock seemed to meet my needs as listed above, why the lower rating? Because, as many other reviewers have pointed out... this clock is horribly designed. I don't know what they were thinking when they designed this. Here's my laundry list of whadafuq were you thinking Sony?

- The radio tuner is a small bar-type button located on the back of radio. Seriously? The only more awkward place for it is on the bottom and thank gawd they didn't do that. There is also no fine tuning and a station that I normally had no problem receiving in the past with my old clock radio does not come in well at all on this one.

- The buttons are very small and impossible to locate in the dark as there is no backlighting at all to see which button does what and they are mostly all the same size.

- The clock display (one of my biggest issues with this clock) comes in bright blue with faded black letters, subdued blue with faded black letters, or gray with faded black letters. It does not provide enough contrast. The blue looked pretty in the store but in actual use, it is incredibly hard to read from more than a few feet. Even in bed only a couple feet away it does not stand out well. I've also experienced a very strange phenomena. When I first wake up in the morning and look at the clock, it actually looks blank for one or two seconds before the numbers start to appear. It is so freaking weird! I assume it is a combination of the clock display colors and my eyes adjusting as I wake up but this never ever happened to me with my old clock radio or any other digital clock I've used. It happens consistently and is actually becoming quite annoying.

- Setting the clock feels like a complicated process and I have to refer to the directions every time. Luckily, I haven't had to do it that often.

- The sound is not the best. I didn't expect Bose quality sound but for a Sony product (and the price I paid) I did expect better.

- This unit comes with nature sounds which I tested out briefly, but I was not impressed with them. The quality was not good and some of them sounded too similar. I actually don't use the nature sounds and never intended to when I bought it so it's not that big an issue for me. They just happened to come with this model. Sometimes I hit these buttons by mistake when I'm groping around in the dark trying to find the right button to turn the radio off/on. It is rather annoying.

Some features that I do like:

- The alarm can be set for weekdays only. It will automatically turn off on the weekend and then back on again for Monday thru Friday.

- I use the radio alarm which is something I could never have done before because I go to sleep with the radio on low and it probably wouldn't wake me up, BUT I can set the volume of the radio alarm to be louder than the radio I go to sleep with so I can wake up to music instead of a buzzer. This is why I don't even know what the buzzer sounds like. If I try it someday I'll come back and edit the review to make note of whether it is an annoying one or not. The only downside to the radio alarm volume is that I have to turn it down every morning as it will stay loud instead of going back to the lower volume level.

- There is actually an indoor temperature reading on the radio which is a nice extra. There is a wire with a temperature gauge on the end that comes out the back of the unit.

So though this clock fulfills the basic alarm and music requirements I need, I think the human factor design is poor and it's a bit pricey for what I ended up with. And the magically invisible clock display in the morning is getting on my last nerve. I don't know how much longer I will use this clock. I may look for something else, but now that I have this clock to use for now, I can be more careful shopping for one that has the features I need and the annoyances I don't need. I will also be wary of any blue/black clock displays. Unfortunately, I am also starting to become wary of Sony products in general due to some other disappointing Sony purchases.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2015 2:44 PM PDT

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