Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts

Saturday, March 23, 2024

National Cleaning Week Review

The fourth Sunday in March each year marks the beginning of National Cleaning Week. 

A collection of Spring Cleaning Items

National Cleaning Week

Spring is the most popular time for giving your home a deep cleaning. It has become a time-honored tradition going back to ancient times and has both religious and practical significance. Thus, having a 'cleaning week' to celebrate in March – the start of Spring, and the times of Passover and Holy Week – makes a lot of sense. 

The cleaning (and cleaning products) industries have been celebrating National Cleaning Week for a long time. Over a hundred years ago, Johnson & Johnson once ran an advertising campaign to encourage people to clean their homes.  Today this 'Spring cleaning time' is even recognized by several state governments. 

Our homes are not the only places that benefit from Spring Cleaning. We are even encouraged to use this time to clean out our computers, weed out our filing cabinets at home and at the office, declutter closets and storage bins, and even the kid's toy boxes. It can be very satisfying to see the end result of a thorough cleaning. 

Many books have been written on the subject of cleaning and decluttering, including a couple that have been reviewed here on ReviewThisReviews! such as: 

Additionally, there are uncounted number of websites and blogs online which will give you tips and tricks to aid in your cleaning chores.  Some nationally known brands include:

And, for those who prefer their housecleaning tips in video form, You Tube is invaluable. 


So, begin your Spring Cleaning during National Cleaning Week by gathering those cleaning tips you need, then put on some old clothes, get out those sorting boxes, cleaning products, brooms, mops and rags.... and GO! Your house will love you for it. 

Related Links:

  • Spring Cleaning Review
  • NATIONAL CLEANUP DAY | Third Saturday in September
  • NATIONAL CLEANING WEEK | Starts the fourth Sunday in March

*A Review of National Cleaning Week written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, March 9, 2024

The Head That Wears the Crown by Mariah Stewart – Book Review


From South Philly to Fairy-Tale Castle

A Princess wearing a crown

Mariah Stewart's writing career has included more than 45 books in six different series, plus several stand-alone titles. Most of her novels are in the Women's Fiction/Contemporary Romance genre, plus her FBI series of Romantic Suspense stories (my favorite series). 

I own most of her series books. Recently, I found her latest non-series novel published in  2023 ~ The Head That Wears The Crown.

What little girl doesn't dream of growing up to be a Princess and live in a castle? 

What if it came true?


Annie (Annaliese) Gilberti is an ordinary divorced mother of two teenagers, living in South Philadelphia.  She works a nine-to-five job, takes care of her kids, socializes with her friends and her two sisters; in other words, living a life similar to many others.

Suddenly, what was just another average day, reveals a shocking discovery that turns her world upside down. Annie learns that her late grandmother was the exiled ruler of a small European country, and she is next in line to wear the crown and restore the monarchy. 

The country, Saint Gilbert, is a tiny little land located between Switzerland, France & Italy. It was invaded first by the Germans, then taken over by the Russians. After many years, the land is finally free and the monarchy reestablished; hence, the next-in-line ruler was searched out and found to be the oldest granddaughter – Annie Gilberti. 

After a week-long trip to St. Gilbert to find out what this was all about, Annie commits to moving there. She does so with her two children and her two sisters. Annie then becomes European Royalty ~ Her Royal Highness, Grand Duchess Annaliese Jacqueline Terese of the Grand Duchy of Saint Gilbert. The family moves into the ancestral home, Castle Blanc (a  beautiful white castle with many rooms) and are looked after by the castle staff and guarded by the castle guard. The Castle Guard Captain – Maximilien Belleme (very handsome and dashing, of course) – makes sure the family is always looked after. 

The country is beautiful and the villagers friendly. But the country needs to be brought into the modern age and Annie has never been one to walk away from a challenge. She is determined to be worthy of the crown and the throne that has been offered and take her rightful place as the Grand Duchess of Saint Gilbert and carry on her grandmother's legacy. 


The Head That Wears The Crown is a delightful contemporary romance story I thoroughly enjoyed. I recommend it to all fans of author Mariah Stewart and those who enjoy sweet, romantic, stories. 

Links to More Reviewed Books by Mariah Stewart:

For More Book Reviews, Click on

*Book Review by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, March 2, 2024

No Reserve by Felix Francis – Book Review


A Dick Francis Novel

Race Horses in stalls

Author Felix Francis continues following in his father's footsteps with the series of books which are always placed in the horse racing world in Great Britain.  Each main character in these books written first by Dick Francis, and then continued on by his son, Felix Francis, is related in some way to horse racing.  The character may be a jockey, a horse trainer or owner, or in some way work in a related field. 

In this latest book, No Reserve, the reader gets to follow the actions and adventures of an auctioneer in Newmarket at the bloodstock yearling sales.

Synopsis of No Reserve

The higher the stakes, the greater the risk.... 

Theo Jennings has been working for a bloodstock sales company these past three years, hoping to continue climbing the ladder in his chosen field. On Day 1 of the Newmarket October sales he makes his first-ever multimillion-dollar sale of a yearling colt. A few days after the sale, Theo finds out that the colt has died. After having accidentally overhearing a conversation about that colt and insurance, he becomes suspicious that foul play was involved. 

Theo begins to investigate the death of the colt, with the help of a young woman friend who works in the accounting department of the sales company. But no one really wants to talk to him or answer any questions. Then a person's body is found in the same stable where the colt was found dead. 

Suddenly, Theo finds fingers pointed at him and his world turns upside down with the accusations. The only way to clear his name is to find the real murderer. 


Another exciting adventure in the English world of race horses by mystery writer, Felix Francis. A thoroughbred thriller for sure! 

Related Links:

*Book Review of No Reserve written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Book Review of 'Nightmare' by Lesley Egan/Anne Blaisdell


A spellbinding tale originally published under the name Anne Blaisdell in 1961 and later reprinted under the pen name, Lesley Egan. 

A Welsh countryside

Lesley Egan, Anne Blaisdell, and Dell Shannon are all pseudonyms of the 'Queen of the Police Procedural', Author Elizabeth Linington. She was one of the first women authors to write in this genre; usually a male-dominated area. Prior to the beginning of her many mystery series totally over 77 books, she wrote 'Nightmare', a fascinating thriller. 

Synopsis of Nightmare

Nightmare Book Cover
A young American woman, Pat Carroll, having inherited a small legacy, takes herself on an extended tour of the British Isles. Her interest stems from the fact that she was once engaged to a man from Wales who was killed in an auto accident several years ago. When her tour takes her to Wales, she plans to make a brief duty call on her dead fiance's mother whom she had never met. 

While driving through the Welsh countryside, in a driving rain, she happens upon a stranded young man whose car had broken down. Pat rescues Alan Glentower, a writer, and they take shelter from the storm in an Inn in the next town. After spending dinner, the evening and  breakfast the next morning together, Pat and Alan are quite taken with each other and Pat agrees to let Alan show her Wales after her visit to the bereaved mother in a small Welsh village.  They plan to  meet the following week. 

Arriving at her destination, Pat discovers her hostess, Mrs. Trefoile, to be rather eccentric – Pat's private explanation for the mandatory attendance at Bible readings, the bad food, and the insistence that Pat conduct herself as a proper “widow”, giving up bright clothes, jewelry and makeup. But the truth is that Mrs. Trefoile is quite 'mad' and Pat soon discovers that she is not permitted to leave.

Pat is locked up and brutalized by this madwoman and her servants. Her only salvation appears to be in getting a message out to Alan Glentower so he can search for her and free her. 


Long out-of-print, Nightmare is still available in used condition on Amazon and Ebay. I acquired my copy many years ago at a used book sale and just recently discovered that I had never read it. Having now just finished it, I found it to be a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. It is every bit as good as all the other books I own by author Elizabeth Linington.

NOTE: The original cover design of my copy of Nightmare has since undergone several different designs. Therefore, if you do a search for it on used book sites, keep in mind that the covers may be different.

One more interesting note: Nightmare, published in 1961, was made into a movie in 1965. I have not seen the movie, but the write-up on Wikipedia shows some of the storyline to be somewhat different than the book. Not an uncommon occurrence.  But for 'movie buffs', you might be interested to know that it is listed as a British horror thriller film called 'Fanatic' in England and 'Die! Die! My Darling! in the U.S. It starred Tallulah Bankhead (in her final feature film role) as Mrs. Trefoile, along with Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughn and Donald Sutherland. 

Book Review of Nightmare written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Book Review of Judgment Prey by John Sandford

 Author John Sandford has written 32 books in his 'Prey' series. Each book in the Prey Series has the word 'Prey' in the title and the main character is Lucus Davenport. In the earliest novels, Lucus is a police officer for the Minneapolis Police Department. Later novels have him with the Minnesota BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) and then with the U.S. Marshall's office.

Sandford has also written another series of books starring Virgil Flowers, who once worked with the St. Paul, MN police department and now for the Minnesota BCA. 

Throughout these two series, the reader finds intermittent interaction between Lucus and Virgil.  Now, for the first time, Sandford has combined these two characters in their own Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers novel in his latest book, Judgment Prey.

Judgment Prey, a Lucas Davenport & Virgil Flowers Novel by John Sandford

Synopsis of Judgment Prey

As the story begins, Lucus is home recovering from a shoot-out several months earlier at which he was severely wounded. One afternoon he receives a call from his U.S. Marshall's boss about a high-profile murder that just took place near his home in St. Paul. A federal judge and his two young sons have been murdered in their home. Since he's only 5 miles away, his boss wants Lucus to meet up with Virgil Flowers at the Judge's residence to just see what the scene looks like. Reluctantly, he does so.

As it turns out, the FBI and local law enforcement are all stymied as to who the killer is and what reason the killer would have to shoot this family in cold blood. As they hit dead end after dead end, Lucus and Virgil team up to follow both leads and theories until they figure out who killed the Sands family. 


As with all Sandford novels, the interplay between the characters is fascinating and humerous and interesting. Both Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers are delightful characters and Sandford's plots are always outstanding. 

Now that John Sandford has combined my two favorite characters in one novel, I hope he will continue with more books starring them. This Sandford fan would love that, and I loved Judgment Prey (A Prey Novel #33 of 34)!

More Reviews of Books by John Sandford

For more Book Reviews on Review This Reviews

*Review of the novel Judgment Prey is written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Review of Unique Gifts That Fit The Recipient


A selection of gifts

Throughout the year, there are numerous occasions when a gift is needed. Naturally, when we think of buying gifts, Christmas and Birthdays come first to mind. But there are numerous other times too, such as weddings and anniversaries, a new baby, a graduation, or a retirement. 

There are always the standard gifts of clothing and toys, tools and sports equipment needed or wanted by the person you are gifting. But for someone difficult to buy gifts for, or for that special someone, a unique gift that exactly fits the personality of that person will be remembered forever. 

How to Find the Gift that is Perfect and Unique

To come up with that unique gift idea, all you have to do is listen to, or observe, your children, relatives, and friends you are shopping for.  Perhaps they have a favorite sports team and would love a T-Shirt or hat with their team's logo. Maybe they collect certain things and would enjoy an addition to their collection.

But to be truly unique, I've found that a word or phrase often becomes associated with people, or seem to suit someone's personality to a 'T', and these can make for very unique gifts.

A Few Fun Examples From My Past

Many years ago a luncheon was given for my youngest son and his fiancee where the future in-laws came together to meet one another.  The couple had often been heard to say to each other “I'm doing the best I can.”  One of my favorite books featured an English Manor House known as 'Quantum' because the Latin inscription carved into the Lintel over the front door read “Quantum in me fuit”. Roughly translated, the phrase reads “I did the best I could”. I thought it was the perfect phrase to have put on a pair of T-Shirts for the couple. 

Man wearing a personalized T-shirt
One recent Christmas I came up with the perfect gift for my oldest son. He and I regularly played cards on Wednesday evenings. His favorite phrase to tease me when he was on a winning streak was that his 'Mojo' was working for him. So, at the Mall, I bought a T-shirt and had a shop put decals on it of a hand of cards and the word “Mojo”. My son absolutely loved it and would often wear it on 'cards' night. 

One year I bought a pink sweatshirt for my mom and had the names of her 7 grandchildren printed all over it. Another uniquely individual gift no one else had thought to get.

Gift for the Boss

One of my favorite unique gifts had to do with what the office got the boss one Christmas.  I was in charge of the shopping, so ended up getting a collection of coffee mugs with unique sayings. You see, we worked for the Director of twenty-seven Pathology Labs in a hospital. He often had numerous meetings throughout the day for one lab or another.  He was also a big coffee drinker and frequently filled a cup before going off to a meeting.  Just as frequently, he would 'forget' his coffee mug after the meeting, with people often returning said cups to his office.  To help in identifying which cups were his, we got him mugs with sayings that were unique to his personality.  My all-time favorite, since he was also the County Medical Examiner, read “Don't take life too seriously, it's not permanent”. :)


So, listen to the people you want to find a unique gift for and you'll discover exactly the right one.

*This article is brought to you by Wednesday Elf. A unique gift for me would be this 'Elf' Mug. LOL.

Believe in your Elf Christmas Coffee Cup

For more Gift Reviews, Click Here:

*Unique Gifts Ideas – review written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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