Saturday, August 22, 2020

Reviewing PUMA Pacer Next Cage Sneakers for Men

Now before I start my review I should say that I am unashamedly a New Balance girl, so why am I reviewing some PUMA sneakers?   Let me tell you my story .....

My black PUMA sneakers - perfect for wearing to the office!


For the past 10 years I have been wearing New Balance shoes for walking (well I do also have walking sandals, but ..), running, the gym and basically any activity I do.   They were recommended to me by my physio, the people at the athletic shoe store who measured me and did various tests and one of our friends who's a podiatrist.  Even with those three recommendations I wasn't convinced until I tried them on, I decided I was never even going to look at other athletic shoes as they were so comfortable.

Hello 2020 and I find myself the owner of a pair of PUMA Pacer Next sneakers, so what happened?   Surprisingly, given the year we are in, it had nothing to do with Covid!   I work as an Office Manager for an accounting firm and we moved from our long-standing one story office building to a two story office building a few months ago.

For the first couple of weeks I decided I was wearing my New Balance shoes as I was running up and down the stairs so many times while we were getting everything organized (including carrying boxes as we were still unpacking!).   Seriously though, anyone who knows New Balance will know that each year they have different coloured shoes released and I have never owned a black or grey pair.   My current bright pink shoes are very comfy and are great for sport, but they don't really look very corporate.

Now it's winter so I thought I would wear my smart (and very comfy), flat black boots to the office.   I should mention that we now have wooden floors throughout and my boots were very loud - what was the solution?

My husband and I happened to visit a shopping centre not long after and he steered me towards the PUMA store (I was trying to go into the bookstore opposite!).   Let's look for some black pumps were the words that convinced me to leave the bookstore until later (by the way this was the bookstore where I got The Alice Network and then returned to find they also had The Huntress - can't wait for my next trip!).

The first pair I tried on were the Pacer Next and I loved them, but my husband wanted me to continue to look so I tried two other pairs on and returned to the PUMA Pacer Next pair.  Now these were actually the men's shoes and they seem to go by the name of PUMA Men's Pacer Next Cage Sneaker in the US.   I originally tried the men's on because they were all black and the woman's ones had a white stripe on them, when I put them on they were basically the most comfortable for me.

I do have wider feet than I used to and this could be why the men's style suited me best.

What I found a little strange was that the tongue was sewn in so instead of pushing the tongue up and pulling the sides out to manhandle your foot into it you had to push your foot in and then I hooked the tag on the back with my finger and effectively used it to 'shoehorn' my foot in.  It felt weird the first couple of times, but now I do it without thinking.

A very big plus with these shoes is I haven't had a single blister, not even a little rubbing.   That's after wearing them for over 8 hours a day four days in a row.   They are extremely comfortable and I thoroughly recommend them, in fact I'm not going to even look for a more 'corporate' shoe for work as these blend in nicely with my black trousers and I stay comfortable!

I will still stay loyal to New Balance for my workout shoes, but PUMA is going to be my go to work shoe for quite some time I believe.

Have you tried any of PUMA's sneakers?




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Friday, August 21, 2020

About Raintree Annie On Review This Reviews

About Raintree Annie On Review This Reviews  


Raintree Annie Hi, my writing name is Raintree Annie and I am otherwise known as Jasmine Ann Marie. In life and online I get called any combination of those names! I am really happy to be a part of the Review This Reviews writing group. I started writing many years ago and always love it most when I am part of a creative and enthusiastic writing family. 

I like to write about what I know and experience. From a young age I developed an interest in nature and loved animals, birds and plants. I was given my own little patch of garden by my parents who encouraged me in these interests. 

My interests merge together really. My love of creating a beautiful garden that has wildlife at its heart, has become a passion and I find a great sense of calm, peace and happiness from learning about and nurturing our garden.

I am never happier than when I am immersed in nature and wildlife. I also like to have plants in the house to carry the natural world through into our home. 

I love taking photographs of natural environments, wildlife, flowers, plants and landscapes. I spend hours in the garden and whenever we can my husband and I go out to visit the countryside, beaches, woods and nature reserves so we can exercise and spend time together relaxing in nature. I enjoy making unique cards and gifts from those photographs. 

I gained a significant back issue over a decade ago and now take good care of my back and keep as fit and healthy as I can in order to continue to care for our garden and be out and about in nature. I always take my back into account when I am gardening and choosing products to assist me.

   

Articles By Raintree Annie


Joy of First Snowdrops
When I am not in our garden, the countryside or a nature reserve you can find me online at these places! 

Diary Of A Wild Country Garden, my blog where I write about my reflections of everyday life gardening and looking after wildlife in our wild country garden.


Life With My Pet Back blog covers reflections on life with back pain and the journey to recovery. 


Raintree Earth Designs is my blog where I share my love of photography with cards and gifts made from my photographs of wildlife and countryside with the stories behind them from my Raintree Earth Designs Zazzle Store. 


Essential Wildlife Gardening Gifts where I share practical, fun and beautiful gardening items which make lovely gifts for the gardener.







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Blind Your Ponies - Book Review

Click Here to Check for Best Book Price
93 losses.  Zero wins.  Pretty much everyone in Willow Creek, Montana has known the agony of defeat.  This is a one-horse town where few imagined ending up and even fewer meant to stay.

The thing is, magic happens—even in those outposts that have known more than their share of dashed hopes—especially in those bleak has-been places where glory is just a word in the dictionary.  Everyone in Willow Creek is there for a reason.  And it is in how those reasons come together, in one fairytale basketball season, that we come to love, and cheer on, this ragtag group of misfits.

Some books just grab you by the heart and never let go.  This is one of those books.  Blind Your Ponies is about never giving up.  It is about finding love in the midst of loss.  It is about the transformative power of grief, and healing, and believing when it seems crazy to believe.  It is ultimately a book about letting in the things that can lift you past the point of hopelessness and despair.

Who is this cast of characters that will cause us to cheer until we are hoarse?  There is Sam Pickett.  English teacher and "losingest" basketball coach ever.  This is a man who has experienced the worst that can happen to someone he loved.  He is a crushed soul who will be lifted by the young boys who would go to any length for their beloved coach.

Which brings us to the boys on the team.  Dean, Pete, Olaf, Tom, Rob, and Curtis.  These young men have known deprivation, the feeling of not being good enough, the doubt that comes from being tossed away by those who were supposed to love them most. 

There has never been a group less destined to succeed on the basketball court, unless, of course, you can see into their hearts.  They will come together, by the sheer power of heart, to achieve the unimaginable.  In that unlikely march to claiming what was theirs all along, we will come to know what it means to give everything you are to become everything you can be. 

You don't have to love basketball, coaching, teaching, or mentoring young people to get caught up in this story.  But, if you, like me, have ever had the great privilege of being involved in those high callings, it will be impossible not to embrace this book with that part of you that has known, and nurtured, a Dean, a Pete, an Olaf, Tom, Rob, or Curtis.  Once you have experienced the immense joy of helping shape a child's life, you are forever a part of the greatest enterprise on earth. 

Blind Your Ponies will move you in ways you didn't even know you needed to be moved.  If you have loved movies like Hoosiers, Rocky, or Rudy, you are sure to be lifted by the spirit of this inspirational book.  Highly recommended.  Five stars.
















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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Vacuum Packing Made Easy-One Great Kitchen Tool!

Vacuum packing is not new, but it is a wonderful tool to have in your kitchen. ~ A Product Review




If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that nothing stays the same!  While the world is healing slowly, we
are left with finding ways to make our budgets go further.  I don't know if you have noticed, but food prices are on the rise again.  

For my family that means buying vegetables and fruits when they are in season.  You get twice the bang for your buck by doing this.  First you get the freshest of fruits and vegetables and because they are in season, the price usually reflects the abundance, by being much lower than when imported.

I prefer to go out and shop at my local farmer's markets, or when I visit my Sister's family, we make a trip out to the St. Jacob's Market, in St. Jacob's Ontario.  This is a great place to visit for a day trip or if you live close by, to shop at!  You know you are supporting local farmers and the Mennonite Community as well. (I digress!)

We try to buy our vegetables when the season is high.  They are the freshest and tastiest vegetables that you could ever want.  Picked at the perfect time and very cost effective, you just know you are getting nature's best.  But, if you don't have a way to keep them, all that goodness is missed.



With our new Vacuum Sealer, we can purchase more of these vegetables and bring them home.  My husband and I sit and clean, divide and package the goodness either the same day or the day after.  Once they are all vacuum packed, they go into the freezer.  Summer fresh goodness is ours even in the middle of winter.

We don't stop at the fruits and vegetables though.  When we go to market, there are many farmers who make homemade sausages. Some farmers have,  cattle, chickens, pigs and lambs.  Yes we love our meats!  There is a real pleasure involved in bringing home the freshest, grain fed, and antibiotic free meats.  You know you are eating the finest quality foods available.

With our Vacuum Sealer, we separate our meats into family (for us it's two) sized portions. Some of the  Roasts and chicken get treated with spices and then packaged. 


When it's time for dinner, out comes a package and while it is defrosting it is also marinating in the spices.  We save a lot of prep time, by having everything already put together.

Our Vacuum Sealer is getting a really good workout. We have a roll of freezer sleeves, that can be custom sized so there is no waste in the plastic.  It is entirely up to you how small or how big you make your bags.  The sealer seals both ends, one before you fill and one after you have filled the bag to your liking.  Then you have the choice of just bagging it and sealing it, or bagging and vacuum sealing.  Both are options.



This is the exact model that we have purchased and we are delighted with the ease in operation.  We spend a day or so with the prepping, but once it's done, we can relax and just enjoy. 

When we purchased our Vacuum Sealer we also purchased extra rolls of plastic because we knew that we would be making great use of this new addition to our kitchen.  This Sealer is so much better than plastic wraps and easier to use too.  We have even frozen leftovers for use at a future date.  

Now, just a word of caution, you still need to prepare your vegetables like you would normally do.  Wash them, blanch them and then pack them into the freezer.  It couldn't be easier than that.

If you are a baker, then you will love this sealer too!  Bake breads and buns, some for today and some for a later date.  Freeze them and when you are ready, it's like you just baked them that day.


I don't like clutter in my kitchen, and have found that many gadgets are "extra" stuff.  However, I would highly recommend that you think about getting one of these Sealers!  If you are interested in saving money,  buying food that is fresh and wholesome, even freezing your herbs, then you won't be disappointed.  Gardeners will love this Sealer!  When the cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and your other vegetables are ready, there will be no waste!  Use what you can and freeze what you can't!  This really is a winner in my books.






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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum Book Review

Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum Book Review

I think it is because I am very interested in the world of art, particularly paintings, that I listened carefully to a recent CBC radio story about the Dr. Seuss book Horse Museum, which was released posthumously in 2019. 

It was a fascinating story as this was a book found decades after Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote as Dr. Seuss, had passed away. The manuscript was discovered in a box that for whatever reason missed being sorted through at the time of his death and was only discovered in 2013.

Pages from Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum Book Review

This book is a different type of book for author and artist Dr. Seuss in that it does not feature rhymes like so many of his other books and it is also one of the few books that he wrote that is non-fictional in nature and not intended to help children with their reading skills. Instead, the goal of this book is to help children learn about looking at and creating art and yes, there's something to be learned within the covers of this book for adults, too.

Horse Museum looks at how artists have painted horses over the years. The choice of horses was not because Seuss was fascinated by horses but because he knew many artists have painted them and he had to choose a theme that provided lots of artwork to learn by. 

Art from Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum

Within the cover are many horse-themed pieces by famous artists like Picasso, George Stubbs, Rosa Bonheur, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Deborah Butterfield, Franz Marc and Jackson Pollock. While learning about horses, you and your child will also be discovering information about how artists create pictures and about how to observe art.

Suess did not do the illustrations for this book. His found manuscript was not finished but rather a guide to what his idea for the book was with rough sketches in place. Illustrator Andrew Joyner was brought in to illustrate the book with the caveat that the illustrations must be somewhat Seuss like but yet still represent the artist’s style. Throughout the book you will see Joyner's illustrations blended with illustrations from real works of art. 

Art from Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum Book


A fun bonus in the book is that you will see cameo appearances of the characters we know and love from Dr. Seuss books. Those guests include the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch and Horton the Elephant. 

OFFICIAL HORSE MUSEUM BOOK TRAILER


Here’s the official book trailer for this adorable children’s book. Fair warning, you may want to buy this book for the children in your life once you watch this trailer.


Anyone, child or otherwise, who loves Dr. Seuss and who wants to learn about art and horses will enjoy this book. Find your copy of Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum on Amazon by clicking here.

See you
at the bookstore!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween Movie Review.
A Wonderful Way to Grandparent Across the Miles.
Children's Classic Books Reviewed.


Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum




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Monday, August 17, 2020

Writing: Website, Blogging, & Book Publish Tips Reviewed on Review This Reviews!

Treasures from the Archives of Review This Reviews! 


Every writer needs a little help at times. Whether you are writing online, or writing a book, there are moments when you are stumped or don't know how to do something.

Starting a new blog or website can be a daunting task.  Self-publishing a book is equally, if not more so, challenging.

Writers want to focus on writing.  We don't want to get bogged down with the "mechanics" behind it all.  However, there are necessary elements that are requirements of any art form.  Writing is no exception.

Don't let those irritants, or your lack of platform or software  knowledge, end your dreams and ambitions because you give up due to exasperating chores.  

Several of our contributors have taken the time to write easy to follow tutorials and writing tip reviews.  We have all benefited from experienced writers who are willing to share the secrets of the trade.  Well, they feel like secrets because information is elusive.


Writing: Blogging Tips


Many companies self-promote with blogs.  Even if they own a website, they have a blog writer to keep the website current and relevant in the search engine's "eyes".   

There are thousands of individuals who work from home as promotion affiliates.  In fact, all of the contributors of Review This Reviews are promotion affiliates.  Several of us work on multiple websites.  This makes us uniquely qualified to help other writers who are seeking help.

Blogger, aka Blogspot, and Wordpress are the most commonly used online writing software.  They each require a writer to jump in and learn through experience.  Once a writer gets past the basics of writing with online software, they want to know how to do things they see on other sites.  Therefore, we publish how-to articles for specific tasks such as using link jumps in an article that allows your reader to "jump" to a specific section of an article.  

If you wish to have your Blogger blog use a custom domain name instead of a blogspot domain name, we have an article that shows you how to set that up.

You can check out our Blogging Tips & Tutorials by clicking here!  Plus, if you see something on our site that you wish to do on your own site, simply ask us.  If we don't already have a published tutorial, we will try to write one.


Writing: Book Publishing Tips & Tutorials


A few of our contributors self-publish their own books.  Barbara Tremblay Cipak (Brite-Ideas) has written several in-depth and informative reviews on writing and publishing your own book.

If your dream is to be an Indie Writer (an author who self-publishes), than Barbara will be your best friend!  She shares writing tips and publishing recommendations based on her own experience.  You get the benefit of her publishing pains!

Book Self-publishing help can be found by clicking here.


Writing: Website Reviews


Our contributors have reviewed websites that are available to help online writers create beautiful promotion images, banners, & introduction images.  These image websites are essential, especially when preparing images for multiple social media sites.  Most of these sites offer a free version.

If you are a promotion affiliate, Easy Product Displays (linked here) is a website that helps you search and set up a beautiful display of items from Amazon, Zazzle, and ShareASale.  This is a tremendous help if you don't like writing your own html code, but want an attractive display of products.  




You will find dozens writing articles on Review This Reviews to help you create the blog, website, or published book you desire.  


A Review This Reviews Pinterest Board - Writing


The board below features 30 of our most recent reviews.






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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Toys Reviewed on Review This Reviews!

Treasures from the Archives of Review This Reviews! 


Our contributors have a lot of experience with toys.  Most of us are parents and several of our contributors are grandparents.  Plus, we remember the toys we loved the most in our own childhood.  

Many of the toys from our childhood have been updated, or brought back as new versions.  Therefore, we have decades of toy experience from the user, as well as the giver, prospective.  

From toys that teach to toys that are basic emotional comfort, we review them.  We even review card games and board games that are played by multiple players.

Not only do we review toys for children, we also review toys that are appropriate for teens, like the Science Academy Lip Balm Lab, Legos, or a Remote Controlled Helicopter.

If you are searching for an appropriate toy gift, or toy gift ideas, Review This Reviews is definitely a resource you will want to explore.  

Who knows?  You just might find something new for yourself too!



Toys:  Collectibles For Ourselves & Children


When we hear the word "toy", we most often think of children.  However, some adults enjoy collecting toys.  Consider the generations of Barbies, or perhaps Matchbox cars.  Those are easy examples of collectible toys.

Regardless of age, we all love the feel and comfort of a plush animal.  Many adults have plush animal collections, whether intentional or unintentionally.  Plush animals seem to have a place in everyone's heart.  They can even be used as home decor, especially during the holidays.

Join us, as we explore the world of toys!


A Review This Reviews Pinterest Board - Toys Reviewed 


The board below features 30 of our most recent reviews.






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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Bonion Burgers Recipe Review



Or, our version of bacon-wrapped burgers!

Go ahead, laugh! But Bonion Burgers is the name we came up with to describe the bacon-wrapped burger combination we like best. It consists of a slice of onion and a slice of tomato on a hamburger patty which is then completely wrapped in bacon slices. We tried to come up with a name that included the 'T' for tomato, but nothing seemed to fit.  So we ended up using the 'B' for 'bacon' with onion and burger. It was the closest we could come to a name for our concoction.


(c) Elf
We originally wrapped just one slice of bacon around the outside of the hamburger patty a la filet minion. Then we discovered a tastier way! 

There are many recipes online for burgers with bacon. Recipe combinations include cheese and mushrooms and many other ingredients. The recipes are for all styles of cooking, from pan to oven to grill, and all served on some form of bun.  We wanted just bacon-favored hamburger cooked in a broiler oven and served without a bun. Thus, Bonion Burgers. So ~ you may laugh at our name, but the end result is delicious!


Simple Ingredients:



  • Hamburger formed into patties
  • One onion slice each
  • One tomato slice each
  • 4 slices bacon per hamburger patty
  • Seasoning as desired
  • Toothpicks



Very Easy Instructions:


(c) Elf


  1. Simply make as many hamburger patties as you need – one per person. Season as desired.
  2. Place a slice of tomato and a slice of onion on each patty.
  3. Wrap 4 slices of bacon around each patty – completely covering the meat patty. Secure with toothpicks.



(c) Elf
Place the oven rack one shelf lower than the rack usually used for broiling so the bacon does not get overcooked or burned while the meat is cooking.

Broil under the broiler in the oven approximately 10 minutes per side  (20 minutes total, turning once). 

*Cook's Note:  I tend to make my burgers a bit smaller than most people, so I cook mine 8 minutes per side. 


Serving



(c) Elf
*Serve with rice and a vegetable.  We enjoy the combination of long-grain white rice (takes 20 minutes to cook so is perfectly timed with the broiled burgers) and green peas. 





Bonion Burgers ~ One of our favorite meals! 



(c) Elf



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Recipe Review written by Wednesday Elf (8/15/2020)





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Friday, August 14, 2020

Sherlock Holmes Complete Series DVD Reviewed - Starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock

In my opinion, Jeremy Brett makes the best Sherlock Holmes in any Sherlock movie or series.  This complete DVD series collection is totally awesome!  Now, we can watch, or re-watch, any individual Sherlock Holmes episode whenever we wish. 

Our son gave his father Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series set of DVD's for Father's Day.  He knew this would be the perfect gift for his dad, who originally had the shows on VHS.  The tapes are getting old, plus the DVD collection is much easier to store and watch on a variety of devices including his laptop. What we have discovered though, is that some of the TV series episodes were missing from the tapes, but are included in this DVD collection.  How wonderful it has been to rediscover the missing episodes.

In addition to giving his dad the DVD collection, our son has spent hours watching the shows with us. We all love Sherlock Holmes, therefore it makes the perfect TV series for us to watch together.


Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series

In addition to well known episodes like "The Hound of the Baskervilles" or "The Red Headed League", this 12 disc DVD set includes:
 Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television SeriesCheck Price
  • A Scandal In Bohemia
  • The Dancing Men
  • The Naval Treaty
  • The Solitary Cyclist 
  • The Crooked Man
  • The Speckled Band
  • The Blue Carbuncle
  • The Copper Beeches 
  • The Greek Interpreter
  • The Norwood Builder
  • The Resident Patient
  • The Final Problem
  • The Empty House
  • The Abbey Grange
  • The Musgrave Ritual
  • The Second Stain
  • The Priory School
  • The Devil's Foot
  • Wisteria Lodge
  • The Disappearance Of Lady Frances Carfax
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery 
  • Shoscombe Old Place
  • The Last Vampyre
  • The Three Gables
  • The Dying Detective
  • The Red Circle
  • The Cardboard Box
  • The Man With The Twisted Lip
  • The Six Napoleons 
  • Silver Blaze
  • The Bruce-Partington Plans 
  • The Sign Of Four 
  • The Problem Of Thor Bridge
  • The Illustrious Client
  • The Master Blackmailer
  • The Eligible Bachelor 
  • The Creeping Man
  • The Golden Pince-Nez 
  • The Mazarin Stone


That is 43 hours of excellent television shows that are quite intriguing and entertaining.


Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes


As I said in the introduction, Jeremy Brett is my favorite actor that ever played Sherlock Holmes.  His overall looks, facial expressions, his voice inflections, as well as his athleticism are perfect for the Sherlock character.  

In one episode, he easily jumps over and clears a couch.  In other episodes, he is seen stealthily walking up on someone.  He is also masterful in fisticuffs.  It is difficult to believe the same man who can vault over a couch, could also walk so silently, or engage in a physical fight, but Jeremy Brett pulls off each of those feats effortlessly.  He makes the fictional Sherlock Holmes character believable. 

Whilst Sherlock Holmes is also a mental genius, Jeremy Brett is an acting genius!     



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Sherlock Holmes Complete Series DVD Reviewed - Starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock by:
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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Review of The Last of the Moon Girls

I downloaded the book The Last of the Moon Girls by Barbara  Davis when it was on the July list for Amazon Prime's First Reads.  I probably picked it because I wasn't sure what else to pick, but I was pleasantly surprise when it turned out to be one of the best books I've read in a long time.  In fact when I got to about 50% in the book, I ended up staying up half the night until I finished the book.  I found it to be a delightful read full of interesting characters, an unsolved murder, and some thoughtful messages on forgiveness and finding ones self.


Brief Synopsis of Plot

Lizzy Moon had left the family farm in New Hampshire 8 years before to follow her dream.  She now had a promising career in New York city and no intention of ever returning to the "family" business. The family farm was a "herbal farm" and generations of Moon woman had used their various skills as "healers" to run the farm. Lizzy was to be the last of the Moon girls.

All of this was before Lizzy got a call letting her know her beloved grandmother, Althea, had passed away leaving her the farm.  Still, Lizzy had every intention of returning to pack up the farm and put it for sale.

When Lizzy returns she is met with a farm that is very deteriorated and fields of lavender that are full of weeds.  She is also confronted with the unsolved murders of two girls from 8 years before and insinuations from the towns people that followed her grandmother to her grave.

The book has a wonderful series of twists and turns that causes Lizzy to take another look at her life and what she thinks she wants.

This is an excellent read and I would highly recommend it.  I also think this would be an excellent book for a book club discussion.  There are lots of interesting topics within the book that should lead to a lively discussion.

  






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