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Product Review of Your New Favorite Light: OttLite

I was recently contacted by Marcea Cazel, the Marketing Manager for OttLite about reviewing two types of their lights. When I learned that OttLite is the leader in craft and reading lighting because they reduce glare and eyestrain, I was sold! After accepting, I immediately received my first light...well lightS because it was a 2 pack Book Light. 
(not the best picture of the light itself, but look at the light it produces!)

This LED Book Light was just released about two months ago. You can use it with its clip on a book or you can stand it on a work desk or table. It works with batteries or a USB cord, both of which are included. The clip is extra big (but not bulky) and no flimsy neck. The light produced is perfect to read in bed without waking your partner. My daughter (the college freshman) tried the second Book Light and loved that she could study in bed and not have to get up to turn out the light. We each gave these two thumbs way up! The Book Light currently is only available at Costco.

The second lamp I tested was the Tulip Lamp. It’s a great reading light because it has a flexible neck and you can use it facing the ceiling or pull it out and point the light where ever you need it. This light would be perfect for reading, but especially crafting. I love to cross-stitch and I need a strong light that doesn't cast shadows. This lamp will definitely do the trick!

The Tulip Lamp is available on our website (www.ottlite.com), JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels.

***Disclaimer: I received these products in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation.***

Book of the Month Club Relaunch

This fall, Bookspan is relaunching its iconic Book of the Month club as an online subscription service for avid readers. Building on nearly 90 years of history, the new Book of the Month club connects users with new and exciting books selected by an outstanding panel of Judges. Book of the Month is the only online boutique, community-oriented book service that provides relief from the tedious superstore experience that most readers have to wade through to find their next book.

Joining Book of the Month is a simple and fun way to find hot new books. Each month you select and receive one of five featured titles chosen by the Judges. (Check out the current Judges here.) Then you visit the discussions forum to chat about your monthly selection.

Here are my latest reads from Book of the Month:
August: Freedom's Child by Jax Miller

(Book of the Month Judge's summary)Freedom, a bartender and a self-described "murderer, cop killer, fugitive, and drunk," pours potent drinks as customers in Painter, Oregon, spill their sins to her. What the patrons don't know is that Freedom is full of her own secrets too. For starters, the ink-stained redhead is living under a Witness Protection Program for killing her abusive, police officer husband. Now, Matthew, Freedom's sleazebag former brother-in-law, has just been released from prison and is looking to avenge his sibling's murder. To lure Freedom out of hiding, Matthew uses the toughest line of bait to tug on Freedom's hardened heartstrings: the two grown children she gave up for adoption long ago.

What's a woman to do? For Freedom, that means hopping on her Harley-Davidson to protect her shattered family. What's a reader to do? Sit back and enjoy a wild ride through America's rusty, neglected back roads, where loners and hitchhikers have created an informal economy with its own bizarre rites and rules. This razor-sharp journey is littered with some shady and scary characters including bad-to-the-bone bikers, an apocalyptic cult, and a 600-pound, cocaine peddling mean mama who wants to take Freedom out, for good. That we care more deeply about Freedom through each of these dizzying and dangerous encounters makes Miller's audacious first novel that much more remarkable.

September: A Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

(Book of the Month Judge's summary)In The Marriage of Opposites, the prolific author creates a colorful canvas on which she tells the fascinating story of Impressionist painter Camille Pissaro's spirited and defiant mother Rachel Pizzaro, whose love for her son helped shape the future of painting.
Growing up in a strict refugee community in St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel is a difficult and willful child, a trait on display from the story's opening lines: "I always left my window open at night, despite the warnings I'd been given. I rarely did as I was told. According to my mother, this had been my response to life ever since my birth, for it took three days for me to arrive in the world." Her independence and daring ultimately results in a torrid and forbidden love affair that has long-reaching consequences for everyone in her life, most of all Camille.
St. Thomas proves a worthy playground for Hoffman's signature blend of folklore and family, intrigue and magic. She constructs an intricate world where pirates have "more than a dozen wives," parrots "speak four languages" and shells not only "reveal pearls," but also "birds as tall as men who danced for each other in the marshes." Juxtaposing this dreamscape are (literal) ghosts haunting descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews expelled by Queen Isabella during the Inquisition.

I am very pleased with the selections offered each month. There is a great mix of books I do and don't know about. This service would be great for any reader but I think it would be a really great gift for the upcoming holiday season. To start your subscription or to give a gift subscription, get started here.

Book Talk with R and T: My Review of The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick

Title: The Sparrow Sisters
Author: Ellen Herrick 
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
ISBN: 9780062386342
Number of Pages: 384
How I Got It: NetGalley
Format: Kindle

Goodreads Description:
With echoes of the alchemy of Practical Magic, the lushness of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and the darkly joyful wickedness of the Witches of East End, Ellen Herrick’s debut novel spins an enchanting love story about a place where magic whispers just beneath the surface and almost anything is possible, if you aren’t afraid to listen. The Sparrow sisters are as tightly woven into the seaside New England town of Granite Point as the wild sweet peas that climb the stone walls along the harbor. Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are as colorful as the beach plums on the dunes and as mysterious as the fog that rolls into town at dusk. Patience is the town healer and when a new doctor settles into Granite Point he brings with him a mystery so compelling that Patience is drawn to love him, even as she struggles to mend him. But when Patience Sparrow’s herbs and tinctures are believed to be implicated in a local tragedy, Granite Point is consumed by a long-buried fear—and its three hundred year old history resurfaces as a modern day witch-hunt threatens. The plants and flowers, fruit trees and high hedges begin to wither and die, and the entire town begins to fail; fishermen return to the harbor empty-handed, and blight descends on the old elms that line the lanes. It seems as if Patience and her town are lost until the women of Granite Point band together to save the Sparrow. As they gather, drawing strength from each other, will they be able to turn the tide and return life to Granite Point? The Sparrow Sisters is a beautiful, haunting, and thoroughly mesmerizing novel that will capture your imagination.
My Review: 
I LOVE Practical Magic. Last year I praised The Glass Kitchen for its similarities and now I will say the same about The Sparrow Sisters. I might have missed this book if it weren't for Tamara pointing me in the right direction. Knowing we both loved Practical Magic, she suggested it for our Book Talk with R and T selection and after eliminating a couple other very close contenders, we chose it. While I loved the sisters, it was the setting I fell in love with. Just as every scene at the house, the shop, and the town in the movie mesmerized me, so did my vision of Granite Point. I want to go to the Nursery, the pub, and the gardens. Sometimes you read a book at exactly the right time and I felt this way about this book. With hints of autumn around the corner, this book was a sweet, comforting read.

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