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Thursday, April 23, 2015

I went into my local Sleep Number store in Palm Desert and spoke to Barton about the SLEEP NUMBER SleepIQ technology. He showed me on an iPad exactly how this amazing technology works to help you get the best sleep possible. This new, optional system has sensors that work with their Dual Air technology to monitor many different factors. These include heart beat, breathing rates, motion, temperature and how many times we get out of bed during the night. This helps to determine the quality and length of sleep we experience each night. Also, you can go online and fill in other criteria like what your diet and exercise patterns were for that day. It takes all this information (along with your personal goal of how many hours you'd like to sleep) and makes suggestions as to how much to adjust your sleep number and improve sleep.

Barton explained that if you enter information that you exercised and had caffeine late in the day and your sleep was not optimal, the SleepIQ system might suggest doing these things early in the day instead. It has preset criteria like caffeine, medications, exercise but also allows you to enter your own category so that it is easier for you to track what may be interfering with optimal sleep. You can track all this information (and it is saved for up to two years if you need to go back and compare) on your computer or device. It is easy and user friendly. 

This awesome technology is now available on their new bed models AND can be added to an existing Sleep Number bed. I know MY next mattress will be a Sleep Number bed with SleepIQ!

(Free item from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review. The opinions are mine alone.)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Today, I wanted to talk about TAZO Chai teas. TAZO Chai teas use quality spices such as ginger, pepper and cardamom blended together for a unique taste. The taste is rich and smooth. They come in individual filter bags for the perfect cup of tea in just minutes. There's a perfect variety for everyone now that they come in different flavors. Flavors such as Chocolate Chai, Vanilla Caramel Chai, Pumpkin Spice Chai and Classic Chai. TAZO Chai also comes in a concentrate to make delicious lattes straight from the carton. Hot or cold. I love the variety of flavors that TAZO Chai teas offer. My favorite filter bag variety is the Vanilla Caramel Chai. So rich and flavorful that I don't even need to use sweetener. I also love the concentrate latte varieties. My favorite latte variety is the Classic Chai latte. I use 1/2 cup of TAZO Chai tea latte concentrate and 1/2 cup cashew milk (but you can use any milk you like) and add ice. It is such a creamy, delicious treat! Get the pumpkin spice variety while it is still available! ***I received samples from Smiley360, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own.***

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I absolutely have to share this book I just finished! I recommend it to anyone who loves a good story...not just zombie lovers.

I have read many zombie novels in the last few years. Usually, it's the same basic story with a few modifications. The character development is often lacking and there's no real way to feel connected to the people trying to escape the living dead. However, Induction (Time of Death) was a refreshing change of pace.

The story revolves around Emma, her husband (Jake) and her beloved Yorkie (Daphne.) When a quick-spreading virus brings their world to a crashing halt, they are on a desperate mission to find any safe place they can find.

The premise may sound familiar, but the difference here is the character development. The main character (Emma) is smart, funny, snarky and believable. I could definitely connect with her and even see myself saying and doing some of the things that she does throughout the book. I found myself laughing out loud at times. Other times, my heart caught in my throat as I waited to see how she would escape a dangerous situation. I can truly say I loved Emma's character and I can't wait for the next installment.

This book was highly enjoyable and I was thoroughly entertained. The characters and the story were both convincing. It takes a talented writer to make me believe something that I know doesn't exist. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

***I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The book I'm reviewing today is The Burning by Jane Casey.

I really enjoyed this mystery. Detective Maeve Kerrigan and her partner Rob are on the case trying to catch the "burning man." The burning man is a serial killer who has bludgeoned then burned 4 (possibly 5) young women. However, there is some question about the 5th victim, Rebecca Haworth, being an actual victim of the burning man. 

Maeve is a dedicated detective who has to deal with a work environment which is sexist and less than friendly. Also, her workaholic tendencies are killing her relationship. Therefore, she concentrates on trying to solve this case.

As Maeve interviews Rebecca's family and friends, it becomes increasingly clear to Maeve that Rebecca's life was not what it seemed at first glance. 

The story is told from the points of view of Maeve and Rebecca's best friend, Louise. Sometimes alternating points of view can be distracting, but the author makes it work in this case. The burning man is actually only a small part of the story. As Maeve begins to discover that there is so much more to Rebecca's death, she is not convinced it is the work of the burning man. She fears it may actually be a copycat murder... and that becomes the focus of the story.

I really liked the way that Rebecca's true story was gradually revealed. Her relationships with her ex-boyfriend and her friends were also intriguing. Maeve and Rob were the most likeable characters in this story and I wanted to know more about them. 

All in all, this was a pretty solid mystery. The writing was good and it kept me wanting to know what happened next. There was no overuse of red herrings (which I dislike.) I did guess who the killer was only partway into the book but it didn't keep me from continuing to read...I still enjoyed the journey. I look forward to reading the next installment in the series. This was my first book by this author and I would definitely pick up something else by her.

***I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are mine.***

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Here's the newest book review! It all begins with one high school girl going into convulsions during class. It is sudden and unexplained. As her condition worsens in the hospital, other teens seem to succumb to the same mysterious affliction. Panic spreads through the community.

  I really wanted to like this book. The Nash family is likable enough. The story jumps back and forth between their different perspectives. There's the dad, Tom, who is a teacher at the high school which is being affected. There's Deenie, Tom's daughter, who is a student at the high school and also best friends with the first victim. Eli, Deenie's brother and Tom's son, also attends the high school. The fact that the perspective jumps around is disruptive.

  The author throws red herrings around freely. What is causing this outbreak? Is is the HPV vaccine that the girls recently received? Is it an STD? Is it the contaminated lake with the glowing, green algae? Why is affecting only girls?

  The author certainly knows teenagers well. Deenie struggles with problems that most teenage girls experience. She is dealing with her sexual awakening, insecurity about her position within her group of friends, and feelings of abandonment due to her mom leaving. On top of that she is filled with fear at this outbreak.

  My biggest problem with this book is that it dragged on and on. It was a good start but the middle section of the book went on too long. When the ending finally came, it was almost a relief just to be done. The actual ending left unanswered questions but not in a good way. This was my first book by Megan Abbott. The writing itself was good so I might give this author another chance.

  I received this advance copy from NetGalley for honest review.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's been a while but I have been busy reading lots of books so I should have plenty of reviews coming soon!

Today's book is Close Reach by Jonathan Moore. I received an advanced copy of this book at no charge, courtesy of NetGalley.

Kelly and Dean have been sailing for three years trying to repair what is broken in their marriage. Things finally seem to be coming together when they find themselves being pursued by a pirate ship full of sadistic men. Kelly must find the courage and inner strength to try to save her husband and herself.

This book is a definite thrill ride. I kept wanting to read faster to find out what was going to happen next. At the same time, I didn't want to know what new horrors or humiliations lay in store for Kelly and her husband.

I really liked Kelly's character. She was human and flawed. She was sometimes unsure and very afraid but her will to live gave her the strength to fight. She was conflicted when faced with moral choices but managed to make realistic decisions in the situation.

I loved the fact that the author seemed to really do his research regarding sailing. I enjoyed that he did not tie up the ending with a neat little bow. It was an exciting read with lots of horrifying, nail-biting moments. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wow! Here we are in February already! This week's book is a sequel to the best splatterpunk book I've ever read.

  Another great, gory adventure from the brilliantly twisted mind of Ryan C. Thomas. This story is the sequel to The Summer I Died. In my opinion, TSID still reigns supreme but the sequel is still a fun, bloody read. What I like about the Roger Huntington saga is that his character is so well-developed...human, flawed and believable.

  If you're looking for a book where the hero gets the girl in the end, surrounded by puppies and rainbows, this isn't the book for you. However, if you'd love a ride full of thrills, heart thumping, wondering what's going to happen next when things just keep getting worse and worse for our leading man...then you've come to the right place. I am anxiously awaiting another installment!

Click on the book cover below to get your own Kindle copy!