Hunters in the Dark by Lawrence Osborne {Book Review}

I received this book from BloggingForBooks for review purposes only. All opinions remain my own and weren’t influenced. My opinions may differ from others or those of the author/publisher.

Hunters In The Dark Book Cover

I’ve always had a passion for reading books of all types, but this one was really hard for me. I feel like the beginning of the book was slow and not thought out all the way and then things heat up towards the end. However, the beginning is so slow that I thought I’d never get to the end.  I actually gave up on the book a few times and had to go back and  pick it back up to try again. The characters are described and well formed. The story  is decent and provides insight, but I feel it still lacked excitement that we search  for in a good story during the beginning. Osborne really  draws the story out and slowly brings readers in. However, if you can get past the drawn out beginning, you’ll find a story line that explores the possibility we all search for- the temptation of starting over! It explores good luck, back luck, and what fate has to offer.  When I reached the end, I was glad I stuck it out and finished the book.

 

 

Synopsis:
Adrift in Cambodia and eager to side-step a life of quiet desperation as a small-town teacher, 28-year-old Englishman Robert Grieve decides to go missing. As he crosses the border from Thailand, he tests the threshold of a new future.

And on that first night, a small windfall precipitates a chain of events– involving a bag of “jinxed” money, a suave American, a trunk full of heroin, a hustler taxi driver, and a rich doctor’s daughter– that changes Robert’s life forever.

Hunters in the Dark is a sophisticated game of cat and mouse redolent of the nightmares of Patricia Highsmith, where identities are blurred, greed trumps kindness, and karma is ruthless. Filled with Hitchcockian twists and turns, suffused with the steamy heat and pervasive superstition of the Cambodian jungle, and unafraid to confront difficult questions about the machinations of fate, this is a masterful novel that confirms Lawrence Osborne’s reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers.

L_Osborne

About the Author

Lawrence Osborne is the author of one previous novel, Ania Malina, and six books of nonfiction, including the memoir Bangkok Days. His journalism and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Newsweek, Forbes, Tin House, Harper’s, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications. Osborne has led a nomadic life, residing for years in France, Italy, Morocco, the United States, Mexico, and Thailand. He currently lives in Istanbul.

 

Connect with the Author!
Lawrence Osborne website

Purchase it!

Kinga 2 in 1 Hair Straighter: A Step Above The Rest! {Review}

*Disclosure: I received the following item for review purposes only. All opinions remain my own and were not influenced. My opinions may not reflect those of others.

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Finding a hair straightener that’s easy to use and straightens well is a task that many tackle. I’ve straightened my hair for years now and have tried many different straighteners. Some have worked well, some totally sucked, some needed improvements, but this one… This one is a Giant Leap above the rest and puts the others to shame!!!

It arrived quickly and is well packaged. The package offers pictures of the straightener as well as some information. Inside the box, You’ll find the straightener neatly encased in a plastic wrap and a cutout, as well as an instruction booklet. I found the instructions useful and easy to read. I love that it walks you through how to use the product and the different features.

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The straightener is unique and offers a design that is unlike any others!  Instead of being flat, this one offers a curved surface with slots to easily comb and glide through your hair. It measures approximately 10″ X 1.5″ X 1.75″. It offers a long cord that can easily be wrapped and secured by the velcro strap as well.  The cord actually swivels, which allows you move without being restricted by the cord. I love that feature!  It’s comfortable to hold  and provides a nice sleek look.

The black and red coloring matches well and makes this straightener a beauty! At the top of the straightener, you’ll see the logo, the temperature gauge, the – and + temperature settings, and the power button.  The buttons are conveniently placed and easy to use. Simply power it on and adjust the temperature by using the – and + buttons until you reach your desired temperature.  At the bottom of the unit you’ll see the black coating that offers slots. Under the black coating, you can see a glimpse of the white heating rods. I love that they are protected to help prevent any burns.
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Using it is super easy! Wash and dry your hair as normal. Brush through your hair to ease any knots or tangles.Heat the straightener up to the desired temperature  and begin straightening small sections at a time.  The curved edge also allows you to curl your hair, which is an added bonus. I love having products that serve more than one purpose! I found that it easily glided through my hair and straightened it in under 10 minutes! That’s record time since my old straightener takes me about 25 minutes. I loved that I was able to apply a slight inward curl at the ends with just a turn of my wrist so that my hair curled in a little.

 

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Now here’s where I was amazed! The ultimate test for any straightener is if it can handle my daughter’s super curly, easy to tangle hair.  I’ve yet to find one that will straightener her hair in under 45 min – 1 hour.  However, this straightener really stepped up and showed out! It quickly and easily straightened her hair in about 15 minutes! It glided through her hair without pulling any of it out. It  provided a nice straightened finished look that has yet to be accomplished by any other straightener. Best of all, it didn’t burn her or provide any discomfort at all!

Now I will say that your hair may be a little hot for a second or two immediately coming out of the straightener depending on the setting, but you can wrap a towel around your neck if needed so that you don’t feel the heat. However, I didn’t even need to use the highest heat setting so I didn’t have this problem.

Overall, I am sooooo VERY pleased with this straightener and would definitely purchase it again! It’d make a great gift item as well. Give mom the gift she really wants this Mother’s Day! Gift her the Kinga hair straightener!

Pros:
* affordable
* durable
* well made
* easy to use
*heats up quickly
*straightens fast
*lightweight
*long cord to allow for movement
*cord swivels
* 6 different heat levels
* easy to use buttons
*comfortable to hold
* saves time compared to normal straighteners

Cons:
*none

Purchase it!
Hurry on over to Amazon where you can score your very own Kinga Hair Straightener!

Watermelon slicer: The Mess Free Way To Slice Watermelon! {Review}

watermelon cutter 2
Disclosure: I received the following item for review purposes only. All opinions remain my own and weren’t influenced. My opinions may differ from others as well as those of the company.

 

Cutting up a watermelon can be a very messy task. However, this tool makes it quick, easy, and mess free! It arrived quickly and was well packaged. It measures approximately 8.5″ X1″ and offers the perfect size handle! I found it comfortable to hold and easy to use!

Ok, so the big question- how do you use it!
It’s a fairly easy concept, but it can take some getting used to. If you don’t get it perfect the first time- try again! It took me a few times, but I finally got the hang of it!

Flip it upside down and press down forcing the tip of the tool through the flesh of the watermelon. You’ll pull it towards you as you follow the outline of the watermelon, which creates your even slices. One you’ve cut all your slices, You’ll flip the tool back right side up and slide it down onto a slice. Squeeze the tool to create a tight grip and pull your slice up.

I’ve never been able to slice watermelon as quick as I can with this tool. I love that it doesn’t create a huge mess and that I can slice watermelon in no time at all for parties or gatherings. Overall, I am quite happy with this watermelon slicer and would definitely purchase it again!

Purchase it!
Hurry on over to Amazon where you can score your very own Watermelon cutter!

Bodyphoria Bath Bombs: The Gift She Really Wants! {Review}

Bodyphoria Bath Bombs

*Disclosure: I received the following item for review purposes only. All opinions remain my own and were not influenced. My opinions may not reflect those of others.

Everyone loves to be pampered, but busy moms, like myself,  know just how hard it is to fit those few alone time minutes in to pamper ourselves. With Mother’s Day approaching, now is the time to pamper mom and show her just how much you care!

This luxurious bath bomb set by Bodyphoria is stunning and boy does it smell great! It arrived quickly and was well packaged. I love that it’s packaged perfectly for gift giving, which also saves money and time! The box slides out of the casing and then the top flips open to reveal 8 different bath bombs that each smell amazing!  They are clearly labeled and the lid lists the scents for each one as well, making it easy to pick out the one you want each and every time.

I love that the bath bombs were neatly placed in the box with crinkled paper underneath for a beautiful display. Each of the bath bombs are wrapped in a pink paper  and open easily. Underneath the paper you’ll find the bath bombs wrapped in plastic.  You can easily smell them through the papers. Each bath bomb offers a unique, strong scent that is sure to relax you.

Mom is sure to love that these bath bombs are safe and don’t contain any artificial colors or fragrances. They use pure essential oils so that mom doesn’t  have to compromise on a relaxing bath experience! The ingredients are clearly listed on the side of the box as well.

Purchase It!
Hurry on over to Amazon where you can score your very own Bodyphoria Bath Bomb Set!

Best Boss Ever: Show Them You Care With This Stylish Mug! {Review}

best boss ever mug

*Disclosure: I received the following item for review purposes only. All opinions remain my own and were not influenced. My opinions may not reflect those of others.

Do you have an amazing boss that goes out of their way to make your job easier? Maybe they are understanding, helpful, and motivational. Maybe they offer to lend a hand and encourage you. Maybe they offer guidance and praise. Regardless of what qualities make your boss stand out- we all know how wonderful it is to have them in our corner! Now you can show your appreciation for them with this stylish mug!

The mug was neatly packaged and arrived well. I love that the package was great for gift giving and that I didn’t need to guy buy anything fancy to place it in. The stylish 13oz mug is  crystal clear and offers the phrase ” Best Boss Ever” on both sides in bright white lettering.

The cup measures 3.75″ tall and approximately 3.4″ across the top, making it the perfect size for drinking throughout the day. Grab a cup of coffee, juice, soda, or even water in this mug with confidence! It’s safe for the microwave and the dishwasher, which makes cleaning a breeze!

It offers some weight, but can easily be held and carried around. I love how well the lettering pops against the clear glass.  This stylish coffee mug definitely makes for a great present that is practical and shows your appreciation for those that  have made such an impact on our daily lives!

Purchase it!
Hurry on over to Amazon where you can score this great gift item! Pick up your very own “Best Boss Ever” Coffee mug and show your appreciation today!

Teacher Appreciation Coffee Mug: A Practical Gift {Review}


best teacher ever coffee mug

*Disclosure: I received the following item for review purposes only. All opinions remain my own and were not influenced. My opinions may not reflect those of others.

Teachers play a huge role in our kiddos’ lives and my daughter has been lucky enough that each and every one of her teachers have been just as amazing as the last. ( I mean, I expect nothing less- she goes to a great school, but we all know how that goes.) However, coming up with gift ideas that are affordable, practical, and meaningful is often harder than it seems. You want to gift items that they can use, something that lets them know you thought of them, and something that you enjoy giving!  Luckily, this adorable mug offers all of those qualities and more!
It arrived quickly and was well packaged. Upon opening the box I noticed the glass was surrounded by a beautiful light blue tissue paper, which definitely made the glass pop and added to the initial reaction!  The cup is beautiful and stylish and makes for a wonderful gift item! It measures 3.75″ tall and approximately 3.4″ across the top. The generous 13oz mug offers the perfect size for any morning drink need and is sure to help her get through the day.  The phrase “Best Teacher Ever” is featured on both sides of the mug in stylish and easy to read bright white lettering.

The glass offers some weight, but can easily be held and carried. I love how well the lettering pops against the clear glass.  This stylish coffee mug definitely makes for a great present that is practical and shows your appreciation for those that make such an impact on  our kiddos lives.

 

Purchase it!
Hurry on over to Amazon where you can score your very own  Best teacher Ever coffee mug!

Monster Jam Is Chattanooga Bound! {April 8th & 9th}

Monster Jam logoApril 8th & 9th at McKenzie Arena

Rev those engines up and make some noise because Chattanooga is about to get crushed- Monster Jam  is coming our way!!!! I know you all are just as excited as I am. The sound of all the engines and cars crushing really get your heart racing and puts you on the edge of your seat as you cheer for your favorite truck. It’s a fun and energized event  that the whole family will enjoy!

Monster Jam  includes all the action that these monsters are famous for … fully intact, and even heightened by the smaller size of the tracks. You can expect to see outrageous jumps, crushed cars, plenty of concrete-streaking action, and some of the most incredible donuts ever.

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster Jam trucks can fly up to125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.

Featuring the following  Monster Trucks

 ( Trucks are subject to change without notice)
All Photos and information provided by MonsterJam.com

grave digger monsyer jam truck

  • Grave Digger driven by Randy Brown
    Dennis Anderson came up with the concept for Grave Digger® back in 1981. Originally built out of an old 1957 Chevy Panel Wagon and parts that he scrounged from junkyards, Grave Digger as of today has grown by leaps and bounds. No longer do the trademark red headlights come off of old school buses, and the paint job has changed from a dull orange to the famous green and black flame motif we see today. Grave Digger is one of the most decorated Monster Jam® trucks in the world and Anderson has won four Monster Jam World Finals® championships, capturing the racing title in 2004 and 2006, and the freestyle title in 2010 and 2000. The Grave Digger team that competes at Monster Jam includes Adam Anderson, Carl Van Horn, Charlie Pauken, Jon Zimmer, Pablo Huffaker, Randy Brown, Morgan Kane and Cole Venard in addition to Anderson.

 

monster mutt dalmation monster jam truck

  • Monster Mutt Dalmatian driven by Candice Jolly
    Imagine if your family dog suddenly sprouted six foot tires instead of legs and grew to almost twelve feet tall; now you have a pretty good picture of Monster Mutt®. There are actually four versions of the canine of carnage: the original brown Monster Mutt, Monster Mutt® Dalmatian, Monster Mutt® Rottweiler and Monster Mutt® Junkyard Dog.  All three Monster Jam® trucks share similar body styles, and both have massive floppy ears, tongues, and even tails! Monster Mutt Dalmatian is driven by the beautiful Candice Jolly and Cynthia Gauthier, two of the outstanding female drivers competing in Monster Jam. Monster Mutt Dalmatian is a huge fan favorites and can be seen at Monster Jam World Finals®!

 

captains curse monster jam truck

  • Captain’s Curse driven by Alex Blackwell
    In 2007, a Monster Jam® truck traveled across the seven seas, and docked in Las Vegas to make its debut at the Monster Jam World Finals®. The lucky mate behind the wheel of Captain’s Curse® was Alex Blackwell. Blackwell has always been involved in some aspect of motor sports. It wasn’t until 2005 that he actually started competing in Monster Jam. Then in 2007, when he took over driving privileges for Captain’s Curse, he made the Monster Jam truck a star. Not only was Captain’s Curse brand new at Monster Jam World Finals, but it also was crowned the 2007 Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle Champion – in its debut appearance!

 

  • Doomsday

xtermigator monster jam truck

  • Xtermigator driven by JR McNeal

razin kane monster jam truck

  • Razin Kane driven by Buddy Tompkins
    Now running a multi-Monster Jam truck® team and driving Xtermigator in Monster Jam competition, J.R. McNeal started his Monster Jam career driving his first truck, Razin Kane. Razin Kane actually started out as mud racing truck. Being the competitive person that. McNeal is he decided why not step up to the top and make a career with it and he did just that creating Razing Kane, and later adding to the team fleet of Monster Jam trucks with Ice Cream Man and then Xtermigator.

 

Location & Date/Times
Friday, April 8th @7:30 PM
Saturday, April 9th @ 7:30PM

 

Pit Party!

The Party in the Pits (5 – 6:30PM)  gives fans the opportunity to get a view of the trucks up close and meet the drivers of the massive Monster Jam trucks.  Pit Party pricing is $10 at the McKenzie Arena box office online at www.tickettracks.com or by phone at (423) 266-6627.

 

Purchase Tickets

Ticket Prices vary depending on seating location:
Front Row – $45
Gold Circle – $30
Price Level – $20 Adults / $10 Kids (ages 2-12)
*Tickets $2 more day of show
**Additional Fees May Apply

You can purchase tickets to the show any one of these 3 ways: McKenzie Arena Box office,TicketTracks, or charge by phone at 423-266-6627.

monster Jam logo

Connect with Monster Jam
Monster Jam website
Monster Jam facebook
Monster Jam twitter
Monster Jam Google+
Monster Jam Instagram
Monster Jam foursquare
Monster Jam youtube

 

Visit Monster Jam online  for More information!

Fruitocracy: A Healthy Treat On The Go!

Disclosure: I received educational material for this post.

fruitocracy logo

Busy moms love  quick, easy, healthy snacks that are great for on the go lifestyles! Fruitocracy is the newest squeezable fruit pouch, which is made with all-natural fruit in vibrantly colored packaging. What’s even better than a healthy on the go snack is that this snack has no high-fructose corn syrup and is non-GMO.

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Ovation Brands: Amelia Bedelia Family Nights + Prize Pack Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received an Amelia Bedelia Prize Pack as well as educational material for this post. All opinions remain my own and weren’t influenced. My opinions may differ from others as well as those of the company.

Ovation brands logo

The Ovation Brands’ portfolio of restaurants, including Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, and Country Buffet are teaming up with everybody’s favorite children’s book character, Amelia Bedelia,  for a hot new Family Night series! From March 17th through May 12th everyone is invited to celebrate words, science, cooking, the seasons, and even this year’s upcoming presidential election. See the upcoming events schedule below to plan your next family outing!

 

Upcoming events include:

  •  March 17 “St. Patrick’s Day” brings kids along on a magical four-leaf clover hunt with prizes, candies, and free dinner coupons for those that collect the most clovers. Extra clovers will be given to kids who show up wearing green.
  • March 24 “Let’s Run for Office!” teaches kids the basics about election time and how to campaign by making slogans, buttons, and campaign promises before holding their own mini election.
  • March 31 “Spring Selfie” is a great social media photo-booth-style experience the whole family can take part in. Frames, decorations, and mini props will be provided at each location.
  • April 7 “Bake Off!” gets children into the wholesome fun of cooking by baking one of Amelia Bedelia’s favorites – classic Apple Pie.
  • April 14 “Recipes Done Right” helps kids see how important it is to follow instructions -especially when baking – with a fun ‘scramble’ game to see which team can re-create certain recipes.
  • April 21 “Fly a Kite” celebrates one of Springtime’s most popular activities by coloring and assembling a miniature kite for flying or decorating their rooms
  • April 28 “Dream Pie” invites children to explore their imaginations and their appetites with a colorful design-your-own pie creation to share with the group
  • May 5 “The Power of Words That Help Out” features Amelia Bedelia and her silly mix-ups of common phrases as kids discover the multiple meanings of words and phrases during a Simon-Says-style game.
  • May 12 “Magic Words” highlights Amelia Bedelia once again – but this time showing how words can make a difference through manners and also through magic – with multiple magical demonstrations kids can recreate at home.

Save! Save! Save!

Families can also save on Family Nights from 3:30PM – Close when kids under age 11 can eat for $1.99. This offer is valid for up to two kids per regular priced adult meal purchase.

 

Sweeps!
Families can also enter for a chance to win a 7-night Caribbean cruise for a family of four including air transportation, courtesy of MSC Cruises. For more information about the prize or how to enter, visit www.AmeliaBedeliaFamilyFunSweeps.com.

Amelias first apple pie

Giveaway!

One lucky TCMS reader will win an Amelia Bedelia prize pack, which includes a sticker pack, bonnet pack, poster, brochure, and 4 paperback books – Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie, Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend, Amelia Bedelia, Amelia Bedelia Means Business. To enter, simply fill out the form below before 3/30!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway