Book Review: 365 Tarot Spells by Sasha Graham

Book Review: 365 Tarot Spells by Sasha Graham Review by Dawn Thomas 408 Pages Publisher: Llewellyn Publications Tarot, Divination, Ritual, Magic, Spirituality Ms. Graham begins this book with a homage to Janina Renee’s Tarot Spells. She describes her first experience using Janina’s book. During her reading, the author realized the question she asked was not what she needed to know. There were more ways to connect to nature and create sacred space. This prompted her to create this book. Sasha believes magic is understood in a threefold process using desire (thoughts and ideas), feelings (align yourself and visualize) and action (the spell). She explains the importance of magic and shows readers how they can connect with it. The author realized her first book, 365 Tarot Spreads, was a great starting point for a spell book. As in her pervious book, a bit of trivia is at the beginning of each daily spell. Reader can pick any tarot deck they feel comfortable using. Ms. Graham suggests reading each spell in advance and any tools needed gathered before the reader begins a spell. It is important to follow her guidelines to create sacred space and the three steps to responsible magic. Each…

Book Review: The elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian

Book Review: The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian Review by Dawn Thomas 336 Pages Publisher: Midnight Ink Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Alchemy, Women Sleuths, Culinary Zoe Faust is an alchemist trained by Nicholas Flamel. Dorian, her gargoyle friend, is turning back to stone. In an effort to reverse the action, she travels to Paris, France in search of a backwards alchemist. The owner of a bookstore, Lucien, tells her about a book created by backwards alchemists. He promises to ship it to her as soon as he locates it. While visiting Notre Dame Cathedral to investigate a missing gargoyle, a woman from her past spots her. Madame LeBlanc accuses her of murder and has her police officer nephew interrogate her. Zoe flees Paris and returns to her home in Portland, Oregon. Upon her arrival, Zoe finds Dorian in worse shape and confides in him about the encounter. He agrees she was right in leaving France. Brixton, a teenage friend, tells her about a spy he found peeking in windows. Zoe is afraid the man is the French police officer looking for her. When the mummified remains of a man are found in an abandoned shed, Zoe fears…

Book Review: Gratitude by Dani Di Pirro
Health , Mind & Body , Self-Help , Uncategorized , Watkins / September 10, 2016

Book Review: Gratitude by Dani Di Pirro Review by Dawn Thomas 128 Pages Publisher: Watkins Publishing Self-Help, Health, Mind & Body This is a short book discussing the attitude of gratitude. It begins with a definition of the word. The first section shows the reader how to recognize, appreciate and rejoice gratitude. There are affirmations in each section. The first affirmation is “Today I am grateful for what I have right now.” The second section asks the reader to tell people how grateful you are. This is followed by another affirmation and quotes. The next section addressed appreciation followed by a task to write down a memory. The author asks the reader to find wonderment in everyday experiences.  She also advises to look for the positive instead of the negative and appreciate life. This an uplifting book. Although it is small, there are many quotes throughout the book that make the reader take notice and feel good about the small things in life that are often overlooked. She discusses the importance of courtesy and giving back. At the end of the book, there are several top ten lists of ways to be grateful. This is a book that can be…

Book Review Botanical Beauty by Aubre Andrus

Book Review Botanical Beauty by Aubre Andrus Review by Dawn Thomas 162 Pages Publisher: Capstone Publication Release Date: March 1, 2017 Crafts, Hobbies, Spa Treatments This book is all about making yourself feel good. The introduction includes specialty ingredients and the uses for each one along with a list of essential oils. There are explanations for measuring and melting ingredients, storing products, allergies and the importance of cleaning. The chapters are divided into body areas. The first chapter covers treatments for the hands and feet. I fell in love with the chocolate sugar hand scrub. It was so easy to make and smelled so good. I was so tempted to taste it! There are variations for cuticle balms, hand cream, salt scrubs and foot soaks. The nail strengthening serum feels good when rubbed into the nail bed. The warming wrap makes your hands and feet feel so soft after rinsing. The author even includes a section on DYI section. The first project is how to create press-on nail designs. This was a surprise since I did not know you could do this at home without commercial prepared designs. She also provides directions to make your own pedicure slippers. How ingenious!…

Book Review: Caramel, Caramel and More Caramel! by Michal Moses and Ivana Nitzan

Book Review: Caramel, Caramel and More Caramel! by Michal Moses and Ivana Nitzan Review by Dawn Thomas 128 Pages Publisher: Imagine by Charlesbridge Cooking, Food & Wine, Sauces & Toppings, Confectionery I love cookbooks. Every time I open one, I am immediately drawn into a world of wonderful pictures and endless possibilities. This book did not let me down. The authors are founders of Petit Gateau, a catering company that creates pastries, graphic design and food styling. They also co-wrote Cupcake Nibbles and Organic Sweets & Treats. I knew I was in for treat when I opened the book. There are over 50 recipes in the book. They range from sweet and savory so there is something for everyone.  The opening line is “Who Doesn’t Love Caramel?!” and I have to agree. The photography in the book is wonderful. The food jumps off the page at you. The recipes are easy to follow and most have simple ingredients. There are many sweet dishes but also savory dishes with chicken, onions and salmon. I never expected to find those items in a caramel book but the recipes sound intriguing. It was hard to pick out just one favorite from this book….

Book Review: A Cold White Fear (A Meg Harris Mystery) by RJ Harlick

Book Review: A Cold White Fear (A Meg Harris Mystery) by RJ Harlick Review by Dawn Thomas 344 Pages Publisher: Dundurn Publishing Murder, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Canada, Native American This is the seventh book in the Meg Harris Mystery series and takes place in Canada. Meg Harris and Jid, a twelve-year-old Algonquin boy, are preparing for Christmas in her isolated home. A winter snowstorm is bearing down on them when there is a knock on the door. Two men are on the doorstep asking her to open the door. She is apprehensive but one of the men tells her he is from the Indian reservation and needs medical attention. She opens the door and lets them in. Viper, covered in snake tattoos, explains how his friend Larry was injured in a car accident when they slid off the road. Meg is suspicious of the man’s injury since it appears to be a gunshot wound. She tells Jid, who is out back gathering wood, to go to the reservation and get help. Meg escapes out the back door while the two men are resting. While hiking through the woods she hears voices. She recognizes Jid but not the man with him….

Book Review Blood Defense by Marcia Clark

Book Review Blood Defense by Marcia Clark Review by Dawn Thomas 398 Pages Publisher: Thomas & Mercer Mystery & Thriller, General Fiction (Adult), Legal, Courtroom Drama, Women Sleuths This is the first book in the Samantha Brinkman series. In this series, Samantha is a defense attorney as opposed to the Rachel Knight series where the main character is a prosecutor. The news is full of stories about a police detective accused of murdering two young women. Samantha needs a case like this to keep her office afloat. She knows taking his case would be good for her career and would give her publicity. On the other hand, everyone knows she is not fond of the police. She has mixed feelings when she receives a call from the detective that he would like to meet with her. Dale, a well-known police office without any blemishes in his career is accused of the double murder and asks Samantha to represent him. In the case, she knows she does not have to prove anything; she only has to provide reasonable doubt. When Dale reveals some surprising news to Samantha, she is shocked to her core. The case turns personal to Samantha when her…

Book Review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman

Book Review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman Review by Dawn Thomas 288 Pages Publisher: Storey Publishing Crafts & Hobbies, Crochet, Yarn I was so happy to get this book. We are expecting our seventh grandchild this fall. The parents have decided not to know the sex of the child so I am planning making neutral color projects until the baby arrives. The book is divided into different themed chapters. Little Hats & Caps: There are hats for newborns and toddlers in this section. There is even a hat for a doll with a matching child’s hat. Little Socks & Bootees: I had such a chuckle when I saw the Sunshine Boot Toppers. There was also a pattern for Mommy and Me leg warmers that are so cute and practical. A few patterns are given in multiple sizes so they can be made for babies and toddlers. Little Tops & Dresses: I found a pattern called Dad & Me Necktie Shirts for a father and son look alike moment. There is a pattern for a Tiny Tango Vest that is adorable with ruffles along the bottom. Little Bottoms: This chapter had several patterns for diaper…

Book Review: 24-Hour Crochet Projects by Rita Weiss

Book Review: 24-Hour Crochet Projects by Rita Weiss Review by Dawn Thomas 128 Pages Publisher: Dover Publications Crafts & Hobbies, Crochet, Yarn I am a beginner at crochet and have attempted simple projects. So far, I have made wrist warmers, a scarf, blocks for an afghan and a dozen Granny squares that are anything but square. I was excited to read this book for inspiration and quick projects. I still have the Granny square afghan my grandmother gave me a when I was a teenager. My goal is to make something for each of my grandchildren. This book has 23 different projects. They range from headbands and hats to sweaters, purses and blankets. There is even a pattern for beautiful lace doilies. I love the Heads Up hat and it only takes two hours to make. The Baby Dreams blanket looks amazing and takes 14 hours to complete. I am going to attempt to make the Child’s Helmet Hat for one of my granddaughters who loves that style. I just purchased yarn to make the Huggable Afghan for another granddaughter. Now I just need to plan on the ten hours it will take to make it. At the end of…