Thursday, February 07, 2019

REVIEW: The Dark Victorian: Bones (Volume 2) by Elizabeth Watasin

My Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

The second installment in the Dark Victorian series finds Secret Commission agents Art and Jim Dastard, a reanimated artificial ghost and animated skull respectively, on the hunt for a black market doctor removing the bones and organs from particular individuals and transplanting them into others. Known as the Bone Stealer, this doctor of highly questionable morals is literally taking from the poor and giving to the rich, those wealthy enough to afford his services.

This was a highly entertaining read, which I finished back in 2015, but for some reason never completed a review for. For that reason, I can't really comment more specifically beyond the original blurb I wrote above. However, I do recall liking it just as much, if not more so than Risen, the first in the series.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

REVIEW: Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face
My Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

I know a lot of people that loved this book, but it didn't contain any earth-shattering revelations for me. Sure, it was fun and quirky, and I like her writing style, but for me personally, it wasn't as "self-helping" as I'd have hoped.

Still, it gives a lot of good advice—with plenty of entertaining storytelling—that will probably help a lot of people feel better about themselves and possibly even give some direction to their lives. For me, I probably need the more advanced version of these concepts. LOL :D

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

REVIEW: Vitality: The Young Living Lifestyle by Jen O'Sullivan

Vitality: The Young Living Lifestyle
My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★

Jen O'Sullivan is a great resource for all things essential oils, and her Vitality book is no exception. Not only will you learn a great deal about using essential oils for health and wellness, but you'll also learn how to fully embrace an oil-infused lifestyle.

Aromatic, topical, and internal use are all covered—and yes, it's totally safe to ingest certain oils in moderate amounts—as are the abundance of essential oil infused cleaning, personal care, and supplement products that Young Living offers. By the time you've finished reading, you'll have all the tools you need to eliminate those nasty toxins and endocrine disruptors from your home, and get your wellness back on the right track.

I'd love to be your guide on your oily wellness journey, so please reach out to me personally when you're ready to embark and I'll help you get started. :) You can also visit me at MadlyDivineEssentials.com for more oily information.

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Sunday, July 08, 2018

REVIEW: Return To Life Through Contrology by Joseph H. Pilates

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Return to Life was written by Joseph Pilates back in 1945 when he was 60 years old. Contrology, as he called it back then, became the basis for our modern day Pilates. Many of the principles introduced then have been brought forward into how we practice today, while others were slightly changed, refined, or modernized as we learned more about the various systems of the body.

The style of writing immediately struck me as old fashioned as it was originally written in 1945. While oftentimes a bit wordy in trying to get his point across, the writing was still typical of it's time, whereas today we focus on employing as few words as possible to get our point across. Unfortunately, it sometimes got a bit tedious in the reading, waiting for him to get to the point with all the comparisons and examples, and often taking 500 words to say something that today we could easily get across in 100. But then again, seeing as exercise and fitness was not a common subject of the time, perhaps these people needed it hammered into their head in such a way!

Joseph continually emphasized proper breathing technique, and breathing through the exercises—though we've refined that a bit more today to incorporate what we call 360 degree breathing. Balance is another key concept in his work—balanced muscles, balanced body, balanced mind—and was essential to bring to life your otherwise dormant muscles for optimal balance, health, and better brain functioning. He touches on improved blood circulation and talks about brushing with a stiff brush in the shower, what we refer to today as dry brushing or lymph node brushing. Definitely a pioneer of his time.

A few things that have evolved from his original exercises have more to do with specifics of how they're performed. For example, in many of the exercise descriptions, he says to flatten your spine to the floor, whereas today we often work in a neutral spine for some of these same poses. In addition, when legs are extended, he advises to lock your knees. Perhaps the meaning was different back then, but in today's terminology, locking your knees often leads to hyperextension in many people so we don't really use that term anymore.

Going forward, I'd like to see more men practicing Pilates. It certainly appears that Joseph focused more on men in his original design. Of the men practicing today, at least they seem to understand some of the main principles behind Joseph's work and it's value in overall wellness. As a Pilates Instructor, I hope to help spread that word far and wide, and prove that Pilates is not just for women.

Joseph Pilates was indeed a pioneer of his time, and were he alive today, I'm sure he'd be extremely happy at how his work has progressed while still remaining true to his original vision.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

REVIEW: Lucy Libido Says... There's an Oil for That: A Girlfriend's Guide to Using Essential Oils Between the Sheets by Lucy Libido

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★

Awesome awesome awesome!! I picked up this book before I even knew Lucy would be offering her hilariously amusing online Facebook class again. I learned so much about the right oils to use in the bedroom for libido and hormones—how to not stuff a dry turkey, and how to keep his soldier standing at attention! ;)

If you need a little more bow chicka wow wow in your life, then get yourself this book and some Young Living essential oils pronto! (contact me if you need an oil hook-up.) The recipes section is detailed and precise, and you'll be a maven mixer in no time—from Inner Thigh Potions to Love Button Lubes, Soldier Serum to Perky Pellets, this book lays it all out for you. You can thank me later! :*

Friday, February 09, 2018

REVIEW: Fearless: Confidence with Essential Oils in 2 Hours by Sarah Harnisch

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

This is a great book for an Essential Oil beginner. While I'm not a newbie to EOs, I wanted to read this before handing it off to one of my new members—as well as being able to reliably recommend it to others down the road, which I certainly will.

Sarah Harnisch presents a no-nonsense hands-on approach to using essential oils by diving right in and doing—while providing guidance and safety information along the way. Challenge action items encourage the reader to step out and try new things while learning interesting tidbits along the way. A fun, light read that for a new user can be used as a guide to help them get the most of all the oils in their starter kit.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

REVIEW: A Perilous Undertaking: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

The second book in the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries is just as much a tour de force as the first. Veronica and Stoker are set upon yet another adventure, attempting to clear a man of murder, someone close to the royal family. Veronica is determined to step up to the challenge and prove herself, Stoker faithfully by her side. But will their meddling put them on the wrong side of the law, or piss off someone else who's trying to cover something up?

I've been really enjoying Veronica's tales. As a lepidopterist (butterfly collector), and of late, amateur detective in Victorian England, Veronica has a lot of spunk, particularly for a woman of her time. She's unconventional, witty, and fearless, a perfect counterpart to Stoker—taxidermist by trade, black sheep of his family, and adventurer in his own right. The two are the perfect alchemy, even if they don't know it yet. Sure, they're best buds, but the sexual tension between them has become quite palatable and though I'm not much of a romanticist, I'm hoping they'll just get it on soon! ;)

I love how the author has been slowly peeling back the layers of our two main characters rather than fully reveal them in the first book. In this second book, we learn even more about Veronica and Stoker, particularly Stoker and his background with his family. Coming to know them in this way is akin to getting to know a friend, a bit at a time, and I'd definitely love to have either or both of these two as friends. They just seem so fun!

I'll definitely be on the lookout for future books in this series as they're published.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 17, 2017

REVIEW: A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

A Curious Beginning is the first in an exciting new steampunk mystery adventure series from Deanna Raybourn.

The author brings us back to Victorian London, 1887 to be exact. Veronica Speedwell has just buried her aunt, and now the trouble starts and she's running for her life, no idea why anyone would be after her. Placed into the care of the roguishly handsome Stoker, the pair are determined to get to the bottom of who killed the Baron, and why they would be after her as well. The shocking secrets they discover make for an intriguing tale that kept me on my toes to the very end.

The chemistry between Victoria and Stoker was intense. Why don't they just kiss already? Haha! I'm not a big fan of romance when it's the main premise of the story, but the budding background sexual tension between the two of them served to add another emotional layer to the whole story. I'm definitely looking forward to further adventures between these two, and fortunately I have the next in the series, A Perilous Undertaking, waiting on my Kindle up next. :)

The Kindle edition of this book is only $2.99 right now. Click the link or picture above to get it!