Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss
Uncategorized / November 28, 2018

Title: Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss Author: Shirley Melis Publisher: Terra Nova Books Release Date: March 8, 2017 Pages: 316 Banged Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss by Shirley Melis Review by Dawn Thomas 316 Pages Publisher: Terra Nova Books Release Date: March 8, 2017 Memoirs, Death and Dying, Grief In this memoir, Shirley shares her short relationship with her husband John. After healing from Joe’s death, her first husband, Shirley travels to Raleigh, North Carolina for Christmas. She hopes to meet up with an old friend of Joe’s to see if they are compatible. Things do not go according to her plan. Instead she meets her friend’s brother-in-law, John. They begin emailing each other and make plans for John to visit her in Virginia. Their’s is a world wind courtship. John has a rare form of blood cancer and his health is a big part of their story. She goes into detail about his care and treatments. The story is touching but sad. At times, I had to take breaks from reading because it was too emotional. Shirley and John lived life to the best of their ability for the time they had. This book made…

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
Uncategorized / November 28, 2018

Title: The Little Shop of Found Things Author: Paula Brackston Publisher: St. Martin's Press Release Date: October 16, 2018 Pages: 320 New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance guaranteed to enchant in The Little Shop of Found Things, the first book in a new continuing series. An antique shop haunted by a ghost. A silver treasure with an injustice in its story. An adventure to the past she’ll never forget. Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. When she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more. It is while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century where it has its origins. She discovers there is an injustice in its history. The spirit that inhabits her new home confronts her and charges her with saving her daughter’s life,…

Everyday Enchantments by Maria F. DeBlassie
Uncategorized / November 27, 2018

Title: Everyday Enchantments Author: Maria F. DeBlassie Publisher: John Hunt Publishing Ltd / Moon Books Release Date: October 26, 2018 Pages: 200 Micro-meditations and celebratory reflections on actively living as a wild woman. Everyday Enchantments is a love letter to the magic of everyday life, the sweet moments and the profound that we often overlook in our hurry to get from one place to the next. This collection of essays reminds us to escape into the ordinary, find beauty in a simple cup of tea or rereading a beloved novel, and joyfully let our world turn upside down when synchronicity strikes in the form of wrong turns down forgotten lanes and unexpected midnight conversations with the moon. Everyday Enchantments is a study in what it means to live deliciously, joyfully, and magically. And it’s an invitation to conjure your own bliss, because, let’s face it, we could all use a little more magic in our lives. ‘An insightful collection of short writings that make you look at the everyday in a whole new light.’ Erin Elliot, The Sword of Lumina Everyday Enchantments by Maria F. DeBlassie Book Review by Dawn Thomas 200 Pages Publisher: John Hunt Publishing Ltd / Moon…

Runic Book of Days by S. Kelley Harrell
Uncategorized / September 14, 2018

Title: Runic Book of Days Author: S. Kelley Harrell Publisher: Inner Traditions / Destiny Books Release Date: September 11, 2018 Pages: 208 Description A step-by-step guide to working with the runes throughout the year • Explains how the 24 runes of the Elder Futhark each rule the calendar for a half-month • Details the runes most powerful during each runic half-month, what they portend for personal and spiritual wellbeing, and techniques for creating relationships with them • Includes structured devotionals for each half-month and runic initiation rituals for the 8 pagan Sabbats, or holy days, such as the Summer Solstice (Litha) and Lughnssadh (the first harvest holy day) The Old Norse runes, known as the Elder Futhark, have long joined forces with the cycles of the seasons to offer powerful initiations, guidance, and wisdom. Aligning the sacred festivals, plantings, and harvests of ancient runic calendars with our modern 12-month calendar, Kelley Harrell reveals how the runes can once again offer initiations as well as instruct us on the holy days and creative rhythms of today. Drawing on her more than 25 years of shamanic practice and runic study, Harrell offers a step-by-step primer to work with the runes throughout the…

Kitchen Witchcraft Spells and Charms by Rachel Patterson
Uncategorized / July 27, 2018

Title: Kitchen Witchcraft Spells and Charms Author: Rachel Patterson Publisher: John Hunt Publishing, Ltd / Moon Books Release Date: July 27, 2018 Pages: 144 Description There are a lot of things in the universe that we don’t understand. When something is meant to happen, it will whether you cast a spell or not. But you can help it on its way by guiding and encouraging it and maybe even tweaking events a little too. A spell can be worked in many ways, from a simple pointing of the finger to a complicated ritual involving lots of herbs and crystals and, of course, any variation in between. What will happen for sure is the boost of confidence and happy buzz you will receive as you cast the spell, as well as the positive vibe you get from putting something into action. Kitchen Witchcraft: Spells & Charms is a the first in a series of books which delves into the world of the Kitchen Witch. Each book breaks down the whys and wherefores of the subject and includes practical guides and exercises. Other titles include Garden Magic, Altars & Rituals and The Elements. Kitchen Witchcraft Spells and Charms by Rachel Patterson Review…

Book Review: 365 Tarot Spells by Sasha Graham

Title: 365 Tarot Spells Author: Sasha Graham Publisher: Llewellyn Publishing Pages: 408 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…

Book Review: The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian

Title: The Elusive Elixir Author: Gigi Pandian Publisher: Midnight Ink Pages: 336 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…

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

Title: Gratitude Author: Dani Di Pirro Publisher: Watkins Publishing Pages: 128 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…

Book Review Botanical Beauty by Aubre Andrus

Title: Botanical Beauty Author: Aubre Andrus Publisher: Capstone Pages: 162 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…