Chance of Loving You — Review

Chance of Loving You Romance Collection by Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert, & Susan May Warren

Synopsis:

An anthology by three bestselling romance authors

For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock Trying to launch her own design firm while waitressing on the side, Julie Sheffield was drawn to the kind man she waited on at the restaurant last night . . . until he stiffed her on the tip by leaving her half of a sweepstakes ticket.

The Recipe by Candace Calvert Hospital dietary assistant Aimee Curran is determined to win the Vegan Valentine Bake-Off to prove she’s finally found her calling. But while caring for one of her patients—the elderly grandmother of a handsome CSI photographer—Aimee begins to question where she belongs.

Hook, Line & Sinker by Susan May Warren Grad student Abigail Cushman has agreed to enter the annual Deep Haven fishing contest. She’s a quick learner, even if she doesn’t know the difference between a bass and a trout. But nothing could prepare her for competing against the handsome charmer she’s tried to forget since grief tore them apart.

One chance for each woman to change her life . . . but will love be the real prize?

My Thoughts:

Chance of Loving You is a romance collection comprised of three unrelated stories. The collection begins with For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock. This is my favorite story of the trio! Julie is a struggling waitress, and Blake is down on his luck and unemployed. When Blake doesn’t have the money to leave a tip, he leaves Julie half of a sweepstakes ticket. You can guess where this is headed; think Nicholas Cage in It Could Happen to You. I expected the story to be predictable, but it actually surprised me several times! Blake and Julie are relatable characters who are all too human. Fans of inspirational fiction and Christian romance will adore For Love of Money!

The Recipe by Candace Calvert centers on Aimee, current dietary assistant at a hospital but aspiring culinary star. One of her edible decorations at the hospital isn’t well received, and she finds herself constantly trying to make up for it. It doesn’t help that a patient’s gorgeous grandson is always around throwing her off balance. The Recipe is enjoyable and had my mouth watering for strawberry rhubarb crumble. The story moved slowly and seemed repetitive at times, but it’s an overall good read.

Susan May Warren’s Hook, Line & Sinker rounds out the collection. Abby and Ross have a somewhat complicated past, and now they’re competing against each other in a fishing contest. Like all of Warren’s stories, the characters are realistic and have a magnetism about them. If you’re a fan of Warren’s Deep Haven books, you definitely don’t want to miss Hook, Line & Sinker!

Chance of Loving You is a wonderful collection of stories in a gorgeous package. (Seriously, check out that cover!) I love that they included a recipe at the end of each story. Highly recommended for Christian Romance and Inspirational Fiction fans!

About the Authors:

To learn more about the authors of Chance of Loving You, visit the links below.

Terri Blackstock – BioWebsite

Candace Calvert – BioWebsite

Susan May Warren – BioWebsite

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

A Marriage Carol by Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman – Review

A Marriage Carol

Synopsis:

On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm.   This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they’re traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer’s office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Jacob is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs-and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose?

My Thoughts:

A Marriage Carol is an emotional take on A Christmas Carol, but with a twist. In this story, Marlee and Jacob are a couple struggling to survive in more way than one. A car crash and a mysterious man lead them to critical moment where they must choose which path to take. This story is incredibly engrossing, and it will grab your heart! While it is technically a Christmas story, it can be enjoyed any time of year. Jacob and Marlee are extremely realistic. Other parts of the story include a bit of fantasy, keeping in time with A Christmas Carol. I highly recommend A Marriage Carol to fans of Christmas fiction, inspirational fiction, and retellings of classic stories. Read this book. It will only take you an hour or two!

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

Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson – Review

Every Bride Needs a Groom

Synopsis:

Somewhere in a sea of tulle and taffeta, satin and crepe, Katie Fisher needs to find a key ingredient of the perfect wedding–the groom.

Small-town girl Katie Fisher is busy planning her fairy-tale wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn’t managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t enter a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? Anyway, she’s sure he’ll be getting down on one knee any time now. And a one-of-a-kind designer dress doesn’t just fall out of the sky right when you need it.

But when Katie’s boyfriend takes a job in another town and breaks up with her–on the very same day she wins her dream dress–her world is turned upside down. Dare she go to Dallas to claim her prize? And will the hunky pro basketball player who runs the beyond-swanky bridal shop–yeah, you read that right–discover her humiliating secret if she does?

My Thoughts:

Janice Thompson is one of my favorite authors, so of course I loved this book! Katie Fisher is so easy to identify with and root for. Being a Texan, I love the setting! I only live a couple hours from where this story takes place, and that always makes a book special. Thompson’s writing is both realistic and comical. Like most of her books, this one is a lighthearted story with some underlying emotional turmoil. I’ve fallen in love with the Fisher clan and hope to see more of them in the Brides with Style series. Looking forward to book number 2!! Highly recommended for fans of inspirational fiction romance, contemporary fiction, and wedding stories.

[Every Bride Needs a Groom is currently only $4.99 on Kindle!!]

About the Author:

Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas. Learn more at http://www.janiceathompson.com.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

InstaNatural Lemon & Peppermint Essential Oils — Review

Peppermint & Lemon Essential Oils by InstaNatural

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What is it?

InstaNatural’s Lemon Essential Oil is extracted directly from lemon rinds for a fresh citrus fragrance. This oil is cold-pressed and has a powerful bright scent that is sure to refresh and uplift. It also works well as an astringent to cleanse and tone your skin while delivering a boost of beneficial Vitamin C.

InstaNatural’s Peppermint Essential Oil is directly extracted from the leaves of the Mentha Piperita herb for a sharp and sweet minty fragrance. It is a multi-purpose oil that cools, energizes and refreshes the body and mind. Its scent makes it perfect for aromatherapy to lift the spirits.

How does it work?

Lemon:

  • Great as a cleaner – use to remove gum, oil, grease spots and crayons on most surfaces
  • Can be used to remove that dusty smell from vacuum cleaners
  • Dilute well before use – especially when applying onto skin
  • Not recommended for internal use

Peppermint:

  • Diffuse oil to soothe nausea and motion sickness
  • Place a couple drops onto your wrists to gently inhale and help clear nasal congestion
  • Dilute well before use – especially if applying oil to the skin
  • Not recommended for internal use

What’s in it?

Lemon: 100% Pure Cold-Pressed Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus Limon)

Peppermint: 100% Pure Steam-Distilled Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha Piperita)

How is it used?

Lemon:

Directions For Aromatherapy: Use in tandem with an Essential Oil Diffuser to fill your living space with the refreshing, cheerful citrus aroma.

Caution: For external use only. Avoid sun exposure after application to the skin since this is likely to cause photoirritation. Dilute well before use. A small patch test on skin is recommended to ensure no adverse reactions. Keep away from flames. Avoid contact with eyes. If contact occurs, rinse well with water. If you’re pregnant, consult your doctor before use. Keep out of reach of children. Discontinue use if redness or irritation occurs.

Peppermint:

Directions For Aromatherapy: Use in tandem with an Essential Oil Diffuser to fill your living space with the revitalizing minty aroma.

Caution: For external use only. Dilute well before use. A small patch test on skin is recommended to ensure no adverse reactions. Oil may crystallize due to high menthol content. To resolve, submerge bottle in hot water until oil liquefies and shake bottle before use. Keep away from flames. Avoid contact with eyes. If contact occurs, rinse well with water. If you’re pregnant, consult your doctor before use. Keep out of reach of children. Discontinue use if redness or irritation occurs.

Who is InstaNatural?

“IT IS IMPERFECTION THAT MAKES US DISCOVER WHAT’S PERFECT FOR US.
Enhance Your Beauty From Head To Toe With InstaNatural.”

InstaNatural was started as a small local business in Florida with a vision to provide safe, effective, and affordable skin care products – without sacrificing quality. InstaNatural is constantly in search of wonderful wholesome ingredients to enhance the natural beauty that is often lost due to various external and internal factors. The product line was developed by focusing on using premium organic and natural ingredients in their formulations without the use of harmful alcohols, parabens or sulfates.

At present, InstaNatural is a leading online distributor of a collection of nature-inspired beauty and cosmetic products. All of InstaNatural’s products are produced in small batches and packaged in FDA-certified facilities in the USA to ensure freshness and safety for customers. With results-driven products backed by a satisfaction guarantee, InstaNatural is focused on providing the best collection of beauty products to address a wide variety of skincare needs.

Vision and Philosophy

“We are committed towards researching and developing the BEST natural and organic skincare products, so you can feel comfortable and proud about what you put on your body. We at InstaNatural value the safety of our customers, therefore we reveal every single ingredient included in our products on the label. We wake up each day with a vision to provide the maximum value to you, our beloved customer. We are so confident in our products, that we back them all with our satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied for ANY reason, all you have to do is contact us and we will take care of you, no questions asked. Even though we have thousands of customers from all around the globe, our mission is to treat you as if you’re our only customer!” – AJ, Founder – InstaNatural

Does it work?

I’ve been pretty impressed with InstaNatural’s Lemon & Peppermint Essential Oils. I already use YoungLiving Essential Oils for topical applications and diffusing, so I used these oils around the house. The lemon oil worked really well as a laundry additive. I added 2-8 drops to the soap dispenser in my washer or to a dry washcloth and threw it in the dryer to give my laundry a refreshing scent. My laundry came out smelling so good!! I also used the lemon oil for cleaning and was happy with the results. The peppermint oil was used to make the house smell nice. I put a few drops in a drawer or in the edge of a cabinet to give the house a minty smell. I also use peppermint oil as a mouse deterrent by putting several drops on a cotton round and placing it where mice are likely to show up. All in all, I really liked these InstaNatural essential oils. The lemon smells amazing, so I’ll probably be purchasing it in the future. I was satisfied with the peppermint, but I didn’t notice a huge difference from less expensive peppermint oils I’ve tried, so I probably won’t purchase this one. The bottles are sizable (4 oz) so both oils last awhile. InstaNatural also makes a Lavender Essential Oil that I’d be interested in trying in the future. I’d highly recommend ordering these oils if you’re looking for large bottles of essential oils to use around the house. NOTE: These are for external use only!!

Where do I get it?

Purchase InstaNatural Essential Oils on their website (peppermint, lemon) or on Amazon (peppermint, lemon). They are currently priced at $19.97 each.

*I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.

Amara Organics Trio Giveaway

Amara Organics is giving away a trio of their products to 25 people!! The products are Vitamin C Serum, Total Repair Eye Gel, and Retinol Serum (total value of $57.85). I reviewed the Vitamin C Serum here. The giveaway ends 11 days from today and is US only.

You can learn more about each product here:

Vitamin C Serum

Total Repair Eye Gel

Retinol Serum

Go HERE to enter the giveaway. Good luck!!

Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum — [REVIEW]

Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum for Face with Vitamin E & Hyaluronic Acid

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What is it?

Enjoy radiant, youthful skin again with our potent blend of ingredients, professionally formulated using the highest quality Vitamin C, E, and Hyaluronic Acid available.

Forget the facelift, lasers, and chemical peels! Vitamin C has been shown to be just as effective at reversing the effects of time and environmental damage to the skin.

Notice brighter, smoother skin after your first use of our Vitamin C Serum. As the serum penetrates deep into your skin, you can feel confident knowing you are reversing skin aging and preventing further damage at the same time.

You deserve to have young, beautiful skin at any age, and now you can!

How does it work?

The Anti-Aging Power Of Vitamin C

Our Vitamin C Serum replenishes your skin’s vitamin C levels to give you these benefits:

-Increases the production of collagen to bring back skin’s natural elasticity and counteract fine lines and wrinkles

-Powerful antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals to reverse damage caused by the sun, pollutants, and cigarette smoke

-Protects your skin from UV damage such as age spots, discoloration, and fine lines

-Improves skin texture to give you a smoother, brighter complexion

-Combined with Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid for extra powerful anti-aging effects

What’s in it?

Natural, Vegan, & Cruelty-Free

We use only the best, natural plant-based ingredients available, with no parabens, no alcohol, and no animal testing. Made in the USA.

Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, d-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant Extract), Organic Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Extract), Organic Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract).

MaQTbg3QK6ZsBgwAmHFg_Vitamin C Serum 3

How is it used?

Wash and pat skin dry. If using toner, apply toner first. Apply a small amount of serum with fingertips to entire face, neck, and décolletage. Allow to dry. Follow with a moisturizer. Can be used daily, morning or night.

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Who is Amara Organics?

We are a small, family-owned business dedicated to providing quality products and excellent customer service. Our customers are our top priority. All our products are backed up by a hassle free 365-day money back guarantee (no returns necessary). We follow up personally on every purchase and are always available to answer questions or address any concerns our customers may have. We enjoy connecting with our customers on a personal level to get their feedback and suggestions on our products.

Does it work?

Amara Organics is the latest in a series of Vitamin C Serums I’ve been trying. It comes in a slim white box with the green & pink Amara Organics logo on it. Inside the box is a dark bottle with a medicine dropper, which is one of my preferred packaging methods for serums (the other being a bottle with a pump). The dropper ensures the serum stays clean and free of bacteria that may transfer if you were digging cream/serum out of a pot. The dark brown bottle protects the serum from light. Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum does not have a fragrance. I prefer a fresh citrusy scent (I’m looking at you, Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum!!), but fragrance free is the next best thing. The serum has a good consistency and feels nice going on the face. It’s easy to spread, and a little goes a long way. I noticed positive results when using this serum–my skin appeared brighter, healthier, and smoother. This (1 oz) bottle lasted me around 3 weeks, & I used it morning and night. If you use a separate night serum, you could probably get a good 2 months use out of 1 bottle of Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum. While it’s not my favorite serum, it holds steady in the top 5 of my list. It’s much cheaper than my personal favorite (Murad), and if you like fragrance free products, this is the serum for you. The company seems to have great customer service as well. Not only do they offer a money back guarantee, but I received an email from the company when my product shipped from Amazon. The email included directions for using the product and a way to get in touch with questions or problems. I also received a follow-up email about a month later asking for direct feedback. It’s impressive that the co-founder of the company is so involved and customer-centric! Amara Organics has made a good impression on me, and I’ll likely try more of their products in the future. Highly recommended!! (I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)

Where do I get it?

Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum is available on the company’s website (currently $19.95) and on Amazon (currently $17.95 with Prime shipping).

*I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.

How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck — Review & Giveaway!!

How to Catch a Prince

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Synopsis:

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey’s life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she’s shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.
When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen’s pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it’s own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.
Or let it be lost forever?

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel Hauck’s newest royal novel. How to Catch a Prince is the third book in the Royal Wedding Series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. I’ve yet to read the first 2 books in the series (Once Upon a Prince Princess Ever After), but they’ve definitely made my To-Be-Read list! Hauck is the author of one of my favorite books, Love Starts with Elle, so I had high hopes for How to Catch a Prince. The story feels authentic, contemporary, and realistic with a touch of fairy tale magic. Hauck’s descriptions of Cathedral City instantly transported me to a world of majestic architecture and had my mouth watering for those famous puffs. The book is surprisingly unpredictable, which seems to be rare these days. I very much enjoyed getting to know Stephen and Corina, and the addition of Brill & Adelaide (I’m being vague to avoid spoilers!) was both surprising and perfect for the story. They add an additional layer of emotional depth and an element of faith to How to Catch a Prince. Hauck invokes just the right amount of humor to balance out the serious side of the story. Reading How to Catch a Prince is time well spent. Highly recommended for fans of inspirational fiction, contemporary romance, and royal romance.

Favorite Quotes:

Love had a way of making a girl empty herself. -page 101

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Royal Giveaway:

Catch Prince Rachel Hauck

About the Author:

 Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.
Find Rachel online: website, Facebook, Twitter

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.