Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes With Micro-Scrubbers

Perfect For Bathroom Cleaning

Bathroom sink image from Pixabay.com
Today, I would like to review the Clorox Disinfecting Wipes with micro-scrubbers for you wonderful readers. I absolutely love to use these handy wipes to clean my bathroom but they also work in other rooms in the house.

I have used the regular Clorox wipes for quite a few years and was delighted when I found the ones with the micro-scrubbers! One side has these little bumps in the fiber to better attack that nasty soap scum that develops on the sinks and shower. 
One thing that I have always loved about the Clorox disinfecting wipes is that these little cloths  kill 99.999% of bacteria that may be lurking on our counter tops and other surfaces in our homes. Cleaning with them can destroy cold and flu viruses and even staph, e. coli, Salmonella and Strep! 

They are so convenient to use, too. Just pull a cloth or wipe from the container and begin to clean. It is that easy. Once you have finished with the wipe just toss it in the trash. 

I also love that these wipes do not smell like clorox bleach but come in scents that are not so offensive. I particularly like the citrus blend. 


The wipes work well in the kitchen especially when something sticks on the stove-top or counter. Those little scrubber fibers help to loosen the dried on mess and clean the surface without leaving a scratch. I love that!

I keep a container in each of the bathrooms and in the kitchen at all times. I also have one stored with my cleaning supplies for when I am cleaning any of the other rooms that might have a surface that can be cleaned with the wipes.

In our home I find them very convenient to use when I need to do a spot clean or when I am deep cleaning a room. They work well on glass surfaces, toilet seats, enamel sinks, faucets and my stainless steel sink. I have not really found a surface that I can't clean with them. If you haven't tried the micro-fiber scrubber wipes; I can highly recommend them to you. I think you will be pleased with the results you get. 



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Monday, April 10, 2017

Reviewing Picture Frames for Photos of Grandchildren

Grandchildren are special blessings. And they grow so fast. As a long-distance Gramma, I am amazed at how quickly they grow between visits.  I have many photos of my grandchildren but those photos are all digital. There is nothing wrong with that at all. After all, it's fun to be able to change the desktop photo from favorite photo to the next favorite photo.  However, recently I've had a desire to have printed photographs in frames on display. I've started to narrow down the frame choices and I am sharing a couple of these wonderful picture frames with you.


Desktop Photograph Frame for Grandchildren


This desktop photograph frame has good reviews. It is simple yet unique.  It visually displays exactly how I feel about my grandbabies - a metallic word "Grandkids" followed by a heart. 

I like that this desktop frame isn't a typical frame with four sides. And that it has a base.  I think it is a perfect frame for the office. An interesting way to display photos on my desk or file cabinet.


wood and metal picture frame

Photograph and Frame Gift for Grandparent


A wonderful gift idea is a photograph of the baby in a "Best Gramma" frame. Or, even better, in a personalized frame. These wooden frames are handmade.  

This is the "natural wood" color choice, but there are several color options. You can also specify the name - "Grandma", "Gramma", "Nana" or something else. And note the personalized "love, Raven" on the bottom right corner. How much fun is that? Each grandchild can send their own framed photograph to grandparent. 


personalized handmade wood frame for grandma

During my next visit with the grandbabies, I am sure to take many photographs. That is a given. But this time I will print some and display them in frames. 


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Unique and Easy Way to Add Art to a Room Without Painting, Art Prints or Wall Decals

Scenery Art Drapes Available on Amazon - Plus Additional Drapes Can Be Found Here
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to add art to a room without having to hire someone to paint wall murals or to go through the work of putting up vinyl wall decals, then try this; draperies that feature art on them.

When it comes to giving a room a facelift, we rarely think to use draperies ... Our minds normally gravitate to paint color and furnishings and the drapes are either omitted or an after thought; it's as though we're trying to do things the hard way.

If the window in your room is a fairly good size, you can use that full space to feature lovely scenic or artistic draperies. In fact, 3D Drapes are a stunning way to not only add art, but to add depth to a space. Because patio doors normally have to be kept clear, they're a good place to feature 3D scenery drapes.

Don't worry if the window is smaller either because you'll find artistic drapes in just about any size to fit: And hey, go ahead and use longer drapes on shorter windows, that way, when they're closed you get the benefit of a larger scenic display to look at.

The ease of interchanging draperies make them an excellent redecorating choice. With several artsy drape styles ready to go in your linen closet, you can change your room for any occasion or season. How about spring flowered drapes, then beached themed drapes, then autumn trees and leaves, and lastly, a gorgeous snow scene on drapes to end the season.

A major drapery change can absolutely alter the look and feel of the space. Since there are practically endless amounts of artistic styles to choose from, you can plan to use several season changes in just about any color combination to match your room.

Go ahead, give it a try ... When you're itching to redecorate but can't stomach the idea of all the work it entails, painlessly scratch that itch by putting up 3D scenery drapes.





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Friday, April 7, 2017

Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter with Twitshot

Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter with Twitshot
Twitshot makes adding large images to your Twitter tweets easy! 

Most of us don't have enough hours in the day to spend a lot of time on each social media site to share each article.  Finding an easy way to share eye-catching images quickly, makes every blogger's daily schedule more manageable.  


Twitshot is my all time favorite shortcuts to beautiful tweets that include big images with the necessary textual information.

Normally a tweet includes a thumbnail size image that is often overlooked when scrolling through tweets.  Large images are not as easily overlooked or bypassed.  

Getting traffic to your article often starts with catching a readers attention.  The best way to do that, is with images and not words.

NOTICE:  Unfortunately, Twitshot has closed.  We do not know if this is temporary or permanent.  I recommend using Buffer (there is a free option) instead.  Please check back later.

 

Appearance of a Regular Tweet 

If you use the Twitter button on an article, this is the way a published tweet will look.  As you can see, it has the small thumbnail picture.

 How to add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter


Appearance of a Twitshot Tweet

If you use Twitshot, this is the way your tweet will publish.  The photo is center stage and very eye-catching due to the size of the image.

 
How to add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter!


You can even include a short text description if you need or want that article summary normally shared beside the thumbnail image.  140 characters are allowed on Twitshot with your large image.  In the case of the movie review below, I had to shorten the summary for it to fit, but the text is still descriptive enough for readers.

Learn How to Add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter

How to Use Twitshot


It is so easy to use Twitshot.  You simply enter the article url into the box on Twitshot and select the image you want to accompany your tweet.   

Hover over the image to optimize your image to the recommended Twitter image size (1135 x 600).  However, you can select an image that is square instead of oblong.

When You Enter The Article Link, This is What You See
Learn How to Add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter




Here is a Mark-Up of Exactly What to Do to Add and Tweet With a Large Image
If you don't like the images that are auto selected, you can paste an image url, search for an image, or upload an image.  
How to Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter


Click Here to Visit Twitshot Today and Start Tweeting with Large Images!

You can also add a TwitShot Button to your Site for Sharing.  Click Here to Get the Code


More Tips & Tutorials for Blogger


Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter with Twitshot Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stop Littering: How to Keep Your Community Beautiful

Let's review how we might apply spring cleaning to the great outdoors and stop littering in the process.
Photo from southpaw2305 via Creative Commons 2.0 

It's springtime, that time of year when most of us do at least a cursory "deep cleaning" of our house, maybe even our yard, and call it spring cleaning. But what about the bigger picture? Could our surroundings, our communities, use some spring cleaning? How about the litter and other trash that's accumulated along the roadways and waterways since last summer? Let's review how we might apply spring cleaning to the great outdoors and help make, and keep, our communities beautiful in the process.

Take this quiz: You're standing at a bus stop with an acquaintence when she pulls a candy bar from her purse, opens it, eats it, then drops the wrapper on the ground. What would you do:
A. I'd pretend I didn't notice.
B. I'd ask her to pick up the litter and dispose of it properly.
C. I'd pick it up myself.
D. I'd ignore the wrapper. It's just a piece of paper, after all.

I'm not going to tell you how you should have responded, but I can tell you what I did when this exact scenario happened to me. It was many years ago, when I was a very young adult and hadn't yet learned to stand up for what I knew was right. Because of that, I have to answer "A" on the quiz. Even though I had been raised during the "Don't be a litterbug" generation of the 1960s and took that philosophy seriously, I remained quiet and pretended not to notice. Shame on me.

Where Does All That Litter Come From?


I think these days most people have a pretty healthy respect for the environment and probably would either pick up and dispose of the litter themselves or ask the person to pick it up. But if that's the case, where does all the litter that accumulates along our nation's highways and byways come from? Well, it starts out as just one piece of paper (like the candy wrapper mentioned above) or one water bottle, soft drink can, plastic bag, or fast food bag-full-of trash, and it accumulates.

Here's a video that I found quite interesting. These garbage trucks weren't just hauling trash to a landfill, they were losing litter along the way to the tune of an average 15 plastic bags a trip. Watch the video to see how quickly that adds up. (Happily, that problem in the Raleigh area has been resolved.)



Littering Is Illegal 


Cleaning up litter is an expensive proposition. Most states have laws against littering, but someone still has to clean up the mess. Chasing down drivers who throw trash out their car windows isn't the best way for a law enforcement officer to spend his or her time, but have you ever seen someone throw out trash and wish you had a badge? In some states, citizens are encouraged by road signs to report littering from cars. In Arkansas, where I live, the state uses the program as a positive approach, educating those driving through our state about fines for littering and the importance the state places on the subject. Hopefully the signs alone help people think twice before they throw that candy bar wrapper out the window.

Three Ways to Stop Littering (Litter Prevention)


1. Teach children to respect their surroundings by not dropping litter anywhere except in a designated litter bag or trash can. Pick up other people's litter if they miss (or ignore) the container. Participate in community or neighborhood clean-up events. Can't find one? Contact your local city or county. Many have websites and participate on social media to keep their citizens informed.

2. Keep litter bins and bags handy in your car, truck, and even your boat, at your campground, and at public parks and gathering places. Be sure to use a lid to keep the trash contained. Container getting over-filled? Close and dispose of the old trash bag liner and replace it with a new one.

3. If there's an accepted method of doing so, report littering. Some states have "report littering" phone numbers on signs along highways and byways. Some people honestly don't realize how quickly trash accumulates and the damage that it causes to wildlife, not to mention the tax money that it costs to clean up the mess. Education and prevention combine to create a better, cheaper choice. 

Resources To Help Stop Littering


Here are just a few links that I found when reading up on the topic of how to stop litter and littering. To find more that are relevant to you and your state, simply search "keep [insert your state's name] beautiful."


New River Gorge in the Author's Birth State of West Virginia - Photo in the Public Domain
A pristine New River Gorge in the author's birth state of West Virginia.
Can we each do our part to keep it that way?


~ Susan




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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Autism Spectrum Disorder, a Rainbow of Ability and Disability

April, The Whole Month is Dedicated to Autism Awareness! Let's Review What We Know!

April from the 1st right through to the 30th is National Autism Awareness Month in Canada and the United States.  People are asked to learn more, and help Light up the World with the color Blue in Honor of Autism Awareness.
Autism Speaks for many people who are afflicted with this disorder.  There are an estimated 1 in 68 children will fall somewhere under the Autism Spectrum according to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.  "We" have become much better at recognizing the symptoms of Autism and because we are better at the recognition, the numbers seem to have jumped in the last few years.

The Symbol for Autism Awareness

Review This, Blogger, Grammie Olivia, Autism Awareness Month
Autism Awareness often is Symbolized by a Multicolored Puzzle Piece.

I won't go into a whole discussion on whether it's a good symbol or not, but personally feel that it fits the "disorder" quite well.  It is a puzzling disorder, that does not have a "set" standard of qualifying attributes like other diseases.  Childhood diabetes and/or chicken pox have a "set" bunch of attributes that makes them much easier to diagnose.

Autism does not Play by these Rules

Autism by its very nature has many different facets and degrees of severity and no one knows for sure what causes this disorder to begin with.
It is a disease that is more prevalent in Boys.  It is estimated that one in 42 boys are afflicted to one in 189 girls.  These are just estimates, and there is no way of knowing the exact numbers.  Suffice it to say that the CDC estimates that 1.2 million US children are afflicted in some way.
Blogger Review This, Grammie Olivia, Autism Awareness Month
The Puzzle Piece Ribbon is also used for Autism Awareness

Why is Autism such a puzzle?

 All people who have autism are not the same.  People with autism are stereotyped as either: 1. having special abilities or 2. mentally challenged.  There are a whole bunch that fall into neither of these categories. That is how varied Autism can be.  Each diagnosis is unique to each child, with varying degrees of ability/disability.

We have seen the amazing abilities in some autistic individuals who can either draw or figure out complicated mathematical problems, to those who can play an instrument with ease and dexterity and at the same time, they have difficulty with eye contact, or speaking or simple tasks.  That is how varied Autism can be. Check out the link below, and you will get just a little glimpse into a family with a child diagnosed with Autism.  It truly is an amazing story.
What Autism Can Look Like.....

Autism is NOT a mental health disorder. Autism is a Neurological Disorder marked by abnormalities in the brain.  Research is pointing to a disorder in the Genetic makeup of a person.  It is in their DNA.  Some research in Canada has pointed to a single protein that is lacking in the brain, for being responsible for over 1/3 of the autism cases. Research continues in this whole area, as there are many avenues that are being researched with different types of Autism.

What Can You Do to Help?

First of all, if you know someone who has a child with Autism, be a friend.  Learn about the disorder and how you can help them with their child (ren).  Early diagnosis of children who are "different" could be the answer to making their "differences" easier to cope with.  Noticing that your friends are struggling with a new baby, might give them clues as to what is happening with their child.  Outside eyes sometimes see things that a parent may not understand. Encourage your friends to get medical help if you suspect that there might be some abnormalities in a child.  Then be there to help, console, encourage and possibly even help the parents adjust to their new situation.

Many children with Autism are encouraged with toys that help them develop their sensory systems.  These are toys that are colorful, have motion, encourage movement, or use up excess energy that is sometimes a symptom of Autism.  I have put together some possible types of toys for youngsters with Autism would benefit from and that even non-autistic children would enjoy.

What makes toys for an Autistic child different are the colors, shapes and tactile nature of the toys. Many will have different shapes or nubs and hairs even. Many autistic children are non-verbal so they will gravitate to colors, shapes, and sensations that are felt through their hands or seen through their eyes. These toys are recommended by therapists and teachers for children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ASD(Autism Spectrum Disorder). It helps them to develop their fine motor skills. Children with these disorders are sometimes lacking in these fine motor skills. They can appear clumsy, so tactile toys help them develop their sense of touch. Some of these toys are also used to relax the mind and fingers of youngsters. It can be a mindless movement of the fingers that in effect relaxes the whole person. Relaxing beads of water cascade gently through some of the tubes. Colors move and swirl, giving the child a sense of wonder as movement is added by their own hand. JellyBeadz Waterbeads grow when added to water for a sensory explosion. A great addition to any hide and seek,  type of game too. Colorful and fun for the child who needs that sensory boost. Sometimes children with Autism need a way to curb their high anxiety levels.  Stretching and pulling these strings can be the answer.  They can be knotted up and unraveled as need or want may be. Any or all of these toys are very affordable and will encourage all children to play in a way that will engage more than their eyes.  Sensory toys are great for Autistic children but loved by all children and even adults too.

What else can you do?

There are many organizations that are involved in raising funds for Autism and Autism Awareness.  You can get involved in a small way or a large way as your time and efforts allow.  I like this Link as it will help you start your own investigation into this Disorder and how to help!  Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions for families and children.  You can find a local chapter to get involved with if you should so choose. As a grandparent of a child that has been diagnosed with ADHD ( one part of ASD umbrella) disorder, I am very encouraged by all I have read and learned so far.  There is much more to learn and I won't stop, come join me on this journey. 
Autism Speaks (just in case you missed it earlier) is the link.....Check it out for yourself.






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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Doctor 4 Paws Liquid Joint Support For Cats

When Your Cat Starts To Show Stiffness In The Joints

resting cat
Cat resting image from Pixabay.com
Recently I purchased a liquid joint support supplement for my older kitty cat. She is not as active as she once was and was starting to show signs of arthritis in her back leg. So, I decided to try a non-prescription glucosamine and chondroitin product to see if I could ease her discomfort a little. 

I needed to find one that cats did not seem to shy away from because of taste or smell. My old kitty is pretty picky about food. I knew a tablet was out of the question for her (and me!) so, a product that could be mixed in her food was going to work the best. I read the reviews carefully looking for people who also had a picky eater to see if their cats would take the supplement fairly well. 

I finally found one that people seemed to be pleased with and ordered it for my kitty cat. I'm pleased to say that she takes it very well when mixed in her food. It does seem to be helping her a little. She doesn't seem quite so stiff and she has become a little more active than before I started giving her the supplement. 

This Liquid Joint Support comes in a bottle with a pump that actually gives you 1 dose per pump. I liked that idea a lot! No guessing as to whether I had the correct amount or not. Well, that sounded good anyway. The pump worked for about a week before it seemed to freeze up and wouldn't pump anymore. Oh bummer!

The pump issue seems to be something many people encounter with this product when you look at the reviews. In my humble opinion, the company needs to come up with a better design for the pump or come up with a solution or directions for the amount that should be given each day. I will say that the pump not working has not deterred my giving her the daily dose. By the time the pump stopped working, I had a pretty good feel for how much to put into her food. Now, I just "eyeball" it each morning and go on. I can do that because the top of the bottle screws off and I can just pour the amount on top of her food and mix it up.

I do like the product and most importantly my cat will take it. She has shown improvement in her flexibility. I will continue to use the product but do wish that the company would come up with a better plan for measuring the doses from the bottle.

If you have a dog instead of a cat that is showing signs of arthritis in their joints, Doctor 4 Paws also has a product with the same ingredients for your canine friend. 




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Monday, April 3, 2017

Me Before You Movie Review

Me Before You movie review
There are movies that touch you and remain in the back of your mind for long periods of time. The characters popping into your thoughts at unexpected moments, like old friends coming to visit. In my opinion, Me Before You is that kind of movie. The characters, setting, and message touching me deeply. Yesterday I went to pick up a movie my daughter-in-law recommended to me. Next to it was this movie that I've already seen several times. But I picked it up and will be visiting with young Will and Louisa again today.

"You've only one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible" - Will Traynor


Me Before You


Me Before You is a movie about the unexpected turns of life, living that life, and how our lives touch the people around us.  

Will Traynor (played by Sam Claflin) is an adventurous, wealthy young man living a wild and wonderful life. During the first moments of the movie, we see that he and his fiance are experiencing some degree of a happy and privileged routine. In those same first few moments of the movie, we see that familiar and happy routine changed beyond repair.

Will is hit by a motorcycle and became paralyzed.

Meanwhile, Louisa Clarke (played by Emilia Clarke) is a chatty, expressive, and happy young lady working at The Buttered Bun tea shop. "Lou" with her non-stop smile and gentle way is immediately engaging. In the first few moments with us, she is let go from her job and her entire world changes. However, she is very different than Will and his fiance. Lou's entire world consists of her long-time boyfriend, living at home with her family, and helping support that family financially. 

Lou is sent by an employment agency to interview with Will's mother.  The job is advertised of a sort of care-giver but Mrs. Traynor's motives are slowly revealed as the movie progresses. Will is intentionally cruel when he and Lou are introduced, something that doesn't seem to surprise his mother or his nurse/physical therapist. 

The story continues as we watch Lou and Will sort out the employment arrangements and as Lou and Patrick (her singularly-focused boyfriend) sort out their relationship. Lou's family is clearly very close and caring, but dad's job loss and the seemingly poor economy in the small town cause some discomfort. For example, Lou's sister, "the smart one", goes to college and Lou seems to resign herself to being the one to remain home and care for the family. Despite the pressure of carrying her family's financial burdens, her smile remains.


Predicting the Ending?


Midway through the movie, I felt I could predict the ending. And I was a little annoyed. I thought it was going to end in a cheesy, "Cinderella", fairy tale manner and that irritated me. But Louisa, Will, Nate (the handsome nurse/physical therapist) and the beautiful setting had me hooked. I felt myself warming up to Will's stuffy and seemingly cold parents. I continued to watch to the end. 

I am glad I did. This movie was not a remake or a freshening up of something that has already been done. 

I laughed at moments and I cried for a very long portion of the movie. And I was shocked that I had NOT predicted the ending. It was not a cheesy ending.  This drama/romantic movie had bits that reminded me of Pretty Woman, but without the prostitution. And of The Bone Collector, but without the serial killer. But best of all, this story of Louisa, Will, and everyone around them was honest, touching, and thought-provoking. Despite the heavy topic, and my tears, I felt uplifted at the end. 

Will challenges Louisa to live boldly. If that is the only thing we take away from this movie, that is enough.






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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Understanding What a Woman Really Wants


Watching the Academy of Country Music Awards Tonight, the Lyrics of One Song Jumped Out and Stole the Show

This year it was the lyrics from Faith Hill and Tim McGraw's latest hit song, Speak to a Girl.

Comfortably cuddled on one couch, with hubby relaxing on the other, my ears and eyes stood to attention as the beautiful Ms. Faith Hill began to sing the words to this song.

My first thought was writers Shy Carter, Dave Gibson and Joe Spargur, nailed the message, and of course the delivery by Faith and Tim sealed the power behind it.

These lyrics are especially powerful...
She don't give a damn 'bout your pride or the lies that you're hiding behind
She just wanna feel that you're real, that she's near to the man that's inside
She don't need to hear she's a queen on a throne, that she's more than amazing
She just wants you to say what you mean and to mean everything that you're saying
Being a mom of four sons, a wife, a sister to two brothers, and a daughter of an amazing father, the male psyche has been a part of my life from birth.

Surrounded by guys, I'm not going to sugar coat this, I have strong opinions about the plight of men. However, what struck me about the above words was how these four lines concisely sum up what matters most to women.

She don't give a damn 'bout your pride or the lies that you're hiding behind (Lyrics)
Yes. Thank you lyricists. Of course we don't want to be married to a book of secrets, but we understand that in your soul, like in our own, there's a place that belongs only to you and your God.

However...

She just wanna feel that you're real, that she's near to the man that's inside (Lyrics)
This is the message I've been trying, in my girl-way, to drive home to my sons, even my husband. Guys, if you're reading this, it's all about 'connection'. When we connect to you in mind, body and soul, we truly become your soulmate, your lady ... especially mind and soul.

From what I've seen, and what I've learned, unfortunately it is possible to go through life and never fully connect with your man. You can love, but never totally connect, you can admire but never totally connect, you can be friends but never totally connect. Sorta sad, but it happens often.

There's only one way to fully connect...

She just wants you to say what you mean and to mean everything that you're saying (Lyrics)
It's easy to create a block around ourselves, especially to those close to us. We may not mean to, but we all do it. We're holding back, we're not committing completely, we're failing at the one thing that appears to be the secret to our soul's freedom; the gift of oneness.

If you want to understand what your lady really wants, listen to this song and work towards connecting with her in mind and soul ... the body will follow in due time.



By the way, you'll also want to pay extra attention to these lyrics, "You better respect your Mama, respect the hell out of her" - because you've heard it before .... A girl will sum up the kind of man you'll be by how you treat your mother.

Give your lady the only gift she really wants - yourself, all of you.





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Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Review of Author Lisa Unger

Lisa Unger, American Author
Lisa (Miscione) Unger is an American author of contemporary fiction. Her stories are in the crime thriller mystery and suspense category, which is my favorite genre to read.  

A couple months ago I 'discovered' Lisa Unger, an author new to me, and was so pleased by the first book I read that I have subsequently now read my way through almost all her books. Lisa writes fast-paced psychological mysteries with strong characters and I've found her books nearly impossible to put down.


Bio of Lisa Unger


Born Lisa Miscione in 1970, the author published her first four books under her maiden name.  She had spent a decade in the publishing business before meeting and marrying Jeff Unger, after which she began her writing career.

Since then, she has written twelve more books under the name Lisa Unger, has won numerous writing awards, and has become an international best-selling author. She lives in Florida with her husband and daughter. You can visit her at www.lisaunger.com.

Lisa's books might best be called 'psychological thrillers' as she combines her knowledge of the human psyche with an understanding of trauma and fear. The suspense builds throughout each story and the reader finds themselves wrapped up in the psychology of the characters so much that the lines are often blurred between the protagonist and the villain.


Brief Synosis of Books by Lisa Unger


Lisa Unger writes both 'continuing character' stories and 'stand-alone' books (each having different characters).



Lydia Strong

 

Lydia Strong Series



Lisa's first 4 books (written as Lisa Miscione between 2002 and 2005)  feature the same continuing character, Lydia Strong, who is a true-crime writer in New York City. They include:

  • Angel Fire
  • The Darkness Gathers
  • Twice
  • Smoke

Ridley Jones


Her next character, Ridley Jones, is featured in two books (2006 and 2007)  and shows us that the choices we make day-to-day and even year-to-year, can cause continuing ripples throughout our life.  Ridley is a freelance writer in New York City who begins to discover deep secrets about her family after her rescue of a child makes headlines. Beautiful Lies begins the story and Sliver of Truth continues and completes it.


The Hollows


Kindle Introduction to The Hollows

By far, my favorite group of books by Lisa Unger are about a cast of characters set in The Hollows, a fictional secluded town located 100 miles outside New York City. There is my favorite character, Jones Cooper, a former detective with the Hollows Police Department who is now a private investigator. Plus, Jones' wife, who is a psychologist and interacts with different characters throughout several books.  And Eloise Montgomery, who has had the ability to 'find' lost women ever since an automobile accident badly injured her and left her with a special ability. She appears later in another book which features her now grown granddaughter, Finley, whose psychic abilities far surpass hers. 

Various books in this series have different Hollows characters appearing as the central character in a story, with the others as minor characters. It's such a treat to see them appear. They feel like family has stopped by.  Each character has a supporting role around the central character.

I've already read the first four books Unger has written about The Hollows and hopefully they are just the beginning of a long series, because I find them fascinating and cannot wait to revisit the characters who populate this rather haunted old mining town in the Adirondack Mountains.  

The Kindle eBook (The Whispering Hollows) shown above is an introduction to The Hollows and includes 3 short stories featuring reluctant psychic Eloise Montgomery.  To date, Ungers 4 Hollows novels written between 2010 and 2016 include:


  • Fragile
  • Darkness My Old Friend
  • Crazy Love You
  • Ink and Bone


Non-Series Books by Lisa Unger


Ungers' non-series books (five to date) include a variety of characters, each featured by themselves in a stand-alone novel. Although, if you have read and followed her earlier books, you will see characters from The Hollows popping up here and there as minor characters.




Newest Novel Debuted on April 25, 2017

 
The newest non-series Lisa Unger mystery (The Red Hunter) debuted April 25, 2017.


Prologue and Epiglogue


Many novels, particularly mystery and suspense stories, begin with a prologue. They then end with reaching a conclusion where the crime is solved and the villain is captured or the problem is unraveled and the story reaches a satisfactory ending.  But, have you ever reached the end of a book and thought "I wonder what happens to her in the future, or does he find what he's looking for". 

What I find most fascinating and interesting about Lisa Unger's books is she brings her stories to it's exciting ending, THEN she has another chapter that really wraps up all those things the reader might wonder about even after learning the ending of the story.   And even THAT is not the ending.  She still has an Epilogue! By the time the reader finishes each book, one has no more questions, except 'where's the next book - I can't stop reading'.


Caveat/Caution


Lisa Unger's books might not appeal to everyone.  If you don't care for stories about murders and traumas and fears both real and imagined, then these psychological thrillers are not for you. But if you like mystery and suspense, involvement with police and FBI and a main character you like very much, then you will become a fan of Lisa Unger's thrillers. I certainly have!


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