Sunday, July 16, 2017

All This for $1.02 at CVS

It has been forever since I was shopping at CVS and in order to actually check out today, I had to shop at CVS twice. I got some deals that felt reminiscent of the deals I used to get when I shopped - 4 bottles bodywashes, 2 tubes toothpaste, 4 greeting cards, 2 caramels and 1 bottle of dishsoap, for just over $1 OOP.
I wish that the trip overall was as easy as the deals were to put together. So, a week or two ago, I had received an ECB offer by e-mail. I did not PRINT the coupon before I went today, because it was an unplanned trip. I honestly thought nothing of it. I have the CVS app and have had both my card and the offers in the app scanned on my phone before, so why would a coupon that was e-mailed be any different.

I grabbed an ad, strategized on the fly and came up with a couple of transactions that would allow me to maximize my ECBs. I headed up to check out with my arms loaded (a cart or basket probably would have helped). I clicked on the coupon link in my e-mail and as it loaded, I set down my phone and went to get my ECB card from my purse. As the cashier attempted to scan the bar code on my phone, I told her that wasn't my card it was an ECB. She said, we can't scan those, store policy - you should be able to send it to your card. I checked the coupon and there was only a Print or Close option. I talked to the manager who reiterated that they could not use the ECB unless it was printed. This frustrated me. You allow me to scan deals in a Mobile App. You send me e-mails with links to deals that I can send to card. So, why oh why, did I get an e-mail that I could not scan in store nor could I send it to card? Frustrated, I set my stuff aside and said I will come back once I print the ECBs.

I returned a few hours later...all my stuff, I shopped again.

The next surprise came at check out again. My first transaction went smoothly. Turns out that there was a 'better' price on the one item and my order came up just shy of my ECB when I had expected it to be slightly over. The register automatically adjusted the ECB down and completed the transaction.

The second transaction, not as smooth. I had $6 total ECBs from the first transaction that I was planning to spend in the second. I had $5.98 worth of stuff in the transaction. Historically, they could adjust it down and I would just pay tax. Now, the register wouldn't process the ECB unless my pretax total was at least as much as the ECB. So, I added a caramel and moved on.

Next transaction, I purchased the Dawn which had a 25c off coupon from the coupon machine. I had my order at 2.31 before coupons and handed her the 25c coupon and the $2 ECB. It processed the ECB fine, but only took off 13c for the coupon. I asked why and was told, the register does what it does, I don't know why and can't change it. So, instead of having 6c plus tax due, I had 18c plus tax due. What? I really want to understand why you can't process a coupon at face value when the purchase can fully support the coupon. The coupon even is called out on the receipt as $0.25 off Dawn Ultra!
Again, I was makes no sense...there is no reason that I can see why it couldn't apply the full value of the coupon to the order...but at the same time, I walked out with about $24 in product (at CVS prices) for $1.02 out of pocket. So, it's hard to be too frustrated.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

This past week, I read another new book. This book was His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray, the second book in her The Amish of Hart County series. The characters from the first book are referenced, but not otherwise a part of the story, so you could easily jump in to the series with His Guilt.
As with the first book in the series, this book was captivating, suspenseful and had me hooked from the beginning. I found myself staying up later than I intended, so that I could read one more chapter and find out just a little bit more that might help me 'solve' the mystery (even before the characters did). I liked that the characters were real and had a diversity that is easy to consider in any community. It was very interesting that though most of them were raised in the same community their lives growing up were so different. These differences caused the characters to be stereo-typed by others but as the story unfolded, you learn that many of those perceptions were no longer the reality of who they are. In addition to the characters, the challenges faced in the book also transcend the Amish community and can be identified by members of any community. The characters dealt with gossip and fear, which drove many of them to inappropriate, unsubstantiated conclusions about those around them, but also the positives of self-discovery, forgiveness, friendships and love. Overall, the book had a nice balance of friends and family, love and suspense, discovering about others and growth of self.

His Guilt was a great book and I look forward to reading more from Shelly Shepard Gray especially the suspenseful novels she is writing as part of her The Amish of Hart County series.

About the book:

A suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.

Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay...
Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn't believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.

Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta's is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta's sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?

Learn more and purchase a copy.

About the author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail. You can learn more on her website.

Learn more about the book and see additional reviews on the Blog Tour Landing Page.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Monday, July 3, 2017

A Love So True by Melissa Jagears

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
What a busy couple of weeks I have had. Travel has been the name of the adventure. In the past 25 days, I have stayed in 5 different hotels in 5 different cities; traveling to two by air and three by car - that's a lot of travel for someone who is content to be home. The short trips have been for family vacations/sports and the long ones for work. I had great plans of reading while I traveled, but of course, there is something about riding in a car or airplane that causes me to do a mix of snoozing and reading. On the last flight I took though, I was successful in staying awake and finishing A Love So True by Melissa Jagears.

A Love So True is the third book in the Teaville Moral Society series and brings us to Teaville, Kansas in the fall of 1908. Although this is the third book in the series, there is nothing lost in not having read the first two, except perhaps the chance to visit with old friends that reappear across the series. The author does a great job of introducing us to the characters, revealing enough about the characters to help us get to know them with the right balance of opportunity to learn about them alongside the other characters.

Evelyn is a strong and independent woman. She is seemingly uninterested in allowing any man to get close enough to court her and we learn that it is as a result of a closely guarded secret that even her parents and closest friends are unaware she is keeping. With her love of children and as a result of her secret, she believes that she will not have the opportunity to be a mother, a belief that contributes to the amount of passion that she has for helping the kids at the orphanage and the women of the red light district. New to town, David finds Evelyn and her passion intriguing and looks for ways to spend time with her and to help her on her mission to help those in need.

The story featured a nice mix of compassion, friendship. love and mystery. The plot was engaging and made the book difficult to put down. The characters were easy to relate to and the type that you wanted only the best for. The touch of romance and mystery were enjoyable and added to the appeal of the story. Will we ever learn her secret? Will those around her find the secret as horrible as she feels it is? Will she be able to move past the secret and find happiness before David's work in town is done? The characters find themselves realizing that God has a plan and that although we may wonder and wish, sometimes things don't happen on our timeline, because they need to happen on His to fulfill the bigger plan.

I found this story to be a good read and if you enjoy period fiction or a good love story, would recommend checking it out.


Evelyn Wisely loves working at the local orphanage, but her heart can't ignore the women of Teaville who are also in need. Her boss is willing to help build a shelter for them, but only if she gains the cooperation and financial support of other local businessmen.

While David Kingsman plans to stay in Teaville just long enough to get his father's business back on solid ground, he's intrigued by Evelyn's cause and finds himself more invested with each passing day.

Will their plans and partnership fall apart when confronted with all that is stacked against them, or can they trust in God's plan despite it all?

The Author

Melissa Jagears

Carol Award-winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian historical romance into the wee hours of the night. She's the author of the Unexpected Brides series, the Teaville Moral Society series, and Love by the Letter, a free prequel ebook novella. You can learn more about Melissa, her books, and where she hangs out online at

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.