Review: Herbal Medicine for Beginners

Howdy, y’all.  It’s been a minute, eh?

Well, I am back with a book review.  I have made my love of herbal remedies known and have spent a good chunk of change on teas, tinctures, and vinegars from local shops and one in Hilton Head.  While I like the convenience of ready-made options, I am curious about making my own.  Katja Swift and Ryn Midura’s book for beginners makes me feel more comfortable about taking the plunge.  

Over the years I’ve played with adding herbs to my food and making skin care products that include pain-relieving benefits.  I have made bath oils and body washes to help boost my energy and clear my sinuses.  I am in love with the spicy goodness of the Herbal Fire Tonic from The Herb Room in Hilton Head, SC.  I worry about not getting the recipes right, mold, and the cost of messing up a batch if I make more medicinal remedies.  Swift and Midura’s Herbal Medicine for Beginners addresses these concerns and makes me feel like I can do this.  I was lucky enough to receive a review copy and have already made the Warming Compress (page 141).  It’s on my wonky ankle now.

This book covers the bases in a way that is easy to understand.  There are recipes and general processes for making herbal medicines, profiles of medicinal herbs, a list of required and optional tools, and full descriptions of the types of remedies available.  Even if you don’t decide to make your own remedies, this book may help make you more comfortable about reaching for these options when you need them.  Each recipe includes a list of “Herbal Allies” that help with the healing process.  I easily see the Sinusitis and Sore Throat remedies coming into rotation thanks to these allergies.

Will I break out this book every time I need something?  Probably not.  Wil I make a few things to have on hand during certain times of year?  yes.  Will I use the information I’ve learned to help me with my future purchases?  Most definitely.

Are you a fan of herbal medicines?  Thinking about it?  Swift and Midura have answers for you.  Check out what other readers think about this book.  Herbal Medicine for Beginners is available now and if you’d rather have a physical copy, pre-orders are available.

On that note, I have more reading to do.  Or dinner to make.  Whichever appeals more.  Until next time.





Review: Oasis The Last Humans Book 1

Note:  You don’t need a Kindle to enjoy Kindle books.  The Kindle app is available for free for the PC, Android, and other wireless devices.  I have the app on my laptop and phone so I always have something good to read with me.

Getting healthier isn’t always about food or physical fitness.  Balancing fitness, food, work, family, and downtime are all part of the equation.  For my downtime, I like to get lost in some form of entertainment.  This past few days, it’s been all about sci-fi.  Language, violence, and a post-apocalyptic setting?  Bring it!  Besides, I needed a bit of a break from the pre- and post-Halloween horror binge I’ve been on.

I received an advance copy of a book I’d like to tell you about.

Oasis (The Last Humans Book 1) is an upcoming release with so many things I like in my fiction.  It includes likeable characters, challenges, and a potentially bleak existence.

Dima Zales has an impressive number of fantasy/sci-fi titles and is a  NY Times and USA Today bestselling author.  The Sorcery Code series and Mind Dimensions series draw readers in and make it difficult for one to stop reading and get back to the daily grind.  Note:  I particularly liked The Enlightened (Mind Dimensions Book 3). In addition to his works, Zales collaborates with his wife Anna.  The pair have a few romance novels for adult eyes only. The Krinar Chronicles series is excellent  and the first of the series, Close Liaisons, is available as a free Kindle book.   If you’re like me, you won’t stop with the first.

Oasis is told from the main character’s point of view.  Theo is likeable and normal.  We all know this guy and find him funny.  He leads a typical life that includes some of the crazy things boys do, but Theo’s world is not like ours.  There are only so many humans left and Oasis is their home.  The typical human trappings are gone and the residents of Oasis live in peace.  Outside of Oasis, there is no peace and no place for humans.

I expected twists and turns, a little confusion, and a desire to learn more.  Zales delivered on all counts.  I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll keep it vague.  Is Theo sane? Maybe, but then again, his reality is enough to drive anyone insane.  Is the world real or a product of his imagination?  Not sure, but finding out will definitely be a pleasure.  Am I happy I read it?  Yes, without question.

Oasis (The Last Humans Book 1) is available for pre-order in Paperback ($12.99) or Kindle ($2.99) and scheduled to deliver on January 19.  I’m already keeping my eyes open for Book 2.  I need to know the rest of Theo’s story!

I received an advance copy of this book to review via  My views are my own and I do not recommend anything if I don’t believe in it.

Iris and the Dragonflies is fantastic for family reading

Africa photo.

I have always been an avid reader, and even more so once I discovered science fiction and fantasy.  I read novels to my kiddos as bedtime stories and firmly believe it helped them bolster their creativity.  As they grew and filled their schedules (and mine) with extracurricular

activities, I put my fun reading time aside and focused on required reading for school and work. On occasion I’d flip through a beloved text and dream of having the time to read something new for fun.

Something I used to do when the kids were younger was flip through anything I thought they might like before passing it to them. These days my teens give me a sidelong glance when I recommend reading material because they don’t see me as cool anymore I suppose.  One is rediscovering her love of books while the other is focused on paintball and baseball.  He’ll come around.

How does reading make me healthier?  It relaxes me and brings down my blood pressure.  The time spent with a good book helps me escape for a while, and that helps keep me sane.

My first venture back into reading for fun was a copy of Iris and the Dragonflies.  While technically it was reading for work, it did not feel like it.  I was hooked from first mention of dragons.  It made my geek girl heart sing.  

Rosemary Daniels nailed it in this novel.  An instantly likeable female lead, magic, nature, family, adventure, and the fight between good and evil all make this story for young readers sing.  While it is geared toward pre-teens, it caught me and kept me engaged from start to finish.  

Iris is an amazing, talented, loving, and  special girl with the ability to talk to dragonflies. As a mother, I wanted to just hug her.  As the girl I once was, I rooted for her. My heart raced when she faced danger and sang when she smiled.

Her teacher, Mrs, Alrich is a gem and I wish all children have a Mrs. Aldrich in their lives.  My Mrs. Aldriches were my first grade teacher and her assistant, Mrs. Hart and Miss Brown.  I remember those ladies to this day and how much they meant to me.  They encouraged me to be myself and to take a closer look at the world around me.

It’s been a long time since I found myself lost in a book, and this one is a keeper.  It was hard to put down. The best part?  Iris’ adventures will continue in a second book!

I wish my daughter was a little younger so we could read it together like we used to.  I think I’ll send it her way so she can read it anyway.  I think she’ll inhale it like I did.

Iris and the Dragonflies is available on for $13.45 in paperback or just .99 for the Kindle version.  If you don’t have a Kindle, download the free Kindle for PC app.  Get a copy for you and your young ones to enjoy.  

To learn more about the author, check out her gorgeous blog and on Facebook.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using
Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. And this book will definitely be good for you and yours.