by Lorie Lewis Ham
& Jeri Westerson
This week we have a review of Moonrisers the first book in a new fantasy/mystery series by Jeri Westerson, and since Earth Day is almost here we also have an very informative Earth Day guest post by Jeri. Details at the end of this post on how to win an ebook copy of Moonrisers–all of our giveaways this week are ebooks in honor of Earth Day. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Moonrisers: A Moonriser Werewolf Mystery by Jeri Westerson
Review by Lorie Lewis Ham
Moonrisers is the first in a brand new series by author Jeri Westerson. It is a spin-off of her Booke of the Hidden series, which I really enjoyed. Moonrisers features the werewolf character Jeff Chase.
In the Booke of the Hidden series Jeff followed his ex girlfriend Kylie Strange all the way to Moody Bog, Maine to try to win her back, but what he got was way more than he bargained for. He was plunged into a world of supernatural creatures and ended up being bitten by the First Werewolf. Jeff stuck around for several months not only to adjust to his new reality, but also to help Kylie and her coven.
Now he has returned to his tea and spice shop in Huntington Beach with the hope of having as “normal” of a life as possible considering he is now a werewolf. Jeff grew a lot as a person during his time in Maine–he cares much more about others and doesn’t want to be the player he was when he left Huntington Beach—though he does start to slip back a bit into his old ways. However, having a normal life doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Jeff as his desire to find more werewolves in California brings him way more trouble than he ever expected, as he fears they may be responsible for some recent murders on the beach. He reaches out to a local Voodoo coven for help, but that too doesn’t go as expected.
I really liked the California beach feel to this book—it was a nice contrast to the Booke of the Hidden series, giving this series its own vibe. I enjoyed learning more about the werewolf and magic lore in this world, and I liked all of the new characters.
You can always count on great characters and a good story from Jeri Westerson and Moonrisers is no exception. It’s a fun read, with enough twists and turns to satisfy the mystery reader as well. I look forward to seeing where life takes Jeff in future books. While this book can stand on its own, I highly recommend reading the Booke of the Hidden series first so you will know more about this character’s journey before reading Moonrisers.
No More Plastic
By Jeri Westerson
I got a wild hair last year, and started phasing unnecessary plastic out of my life at home. It is NOT easy!
It’s only when you really dig into it that you realize how very much plastic there is. Just EVERYWHERE! Look at the supermarket aisles, particularly the soda, bottle water, and detergent aisles. Far too much plastic. And when I began researching it, I discovered that all that recycling we THOUGHT we were doing, isn’t actually happening. The U.S. used to send a lot of its recyclables to China. China has stopped accepting our trash. And much of what we think CAN be recycled, can’t (loose bits of plastic like plastic wrapping or cheap plastic bags only gum up the machinery, so those can’t be recycled. Anything with food waste on it like a pizza box is a no-go).
If we don’t BUY the plastic in the first place, then we won’t have to worry about what can and can’t BE recycled, right?
It started for me in the bathroom. Plastic for shampoo, plastic for conditioner, plastic for pump dispensers of soap, and plastic covering toilet paper (though right now, I suppose that’s the least of our problems. Just GETTING the toilet paper is a big thing. But we’ll still address it).
I started researching online. Not JUST for bar shampoo and conditioner, but affordable stuff. I mean, if you’re rich and making a bundle, it’s no problem. But for the average Joe or Jane—like me—I wanted to share decently affordable options. So far, Target actually has the least expensive bar shampoo for about $5, while there are other options from ByHumankind and Ethique, but each of their bars were $15 each. The Target brand is called Love Beauty and Planet Muru Muru Shampoo Bar. They also have one that is a combined shampoo and conditioner. Not a huge amount of choices, but there it is.
Try to look for bar SOAP options without plastic wrapping. It’s hard, I know. You may have to change to a completely different brand. Or get them from your local farmer’s markets…when we start having those again.
As for toilet paper, I’ve found several—where each roll is individually wrapped with paper and packed in a big cardboard box: Staples, WhoGivesACrap (heh), and some other more office-style sellers. But you have to get volume, and for me, that gets expensive for the budget. Of course, the large volume means buying less often.
Then I moved on to the service porch. I was using liquid detergent for years because I didn’t like finding undissolved powder in my clothes. But I ordered (had to order because my grocery store didn’t sell fragrance free/dye free laundry detergent in cardboard boxes), so I ordered ALL from Amazon. Now here’s the trick for making sure it’s partially dissolved. BEFORE you put your clothes in the washing machine, turn on the water. Have on hand a beaker or cup (glass, of course, don’t get plastic) and a stirring stick (I use a paint stirrer but I plan on getting a cocktail shaker spoon from a thrift store someday). Put the small amount of powder in the glass beaker, hold it under the running water, and stir it up. Then pour it in and put in the clothes. No problem.
Now for the kitchen. Here’s where I over-used plastic wrap and foil. I haven’t used either for three or four months. I purchased a set of Pyrex glass containers that come in a variety of sizes with plastic (I know) lids for storing leftovers. The glass (not the lids) can go in the oven. With the lids they can go in the fridge, freezer, or microwave. Do you wonder about covering casseroles and other food in the oven without using foil? Use pie pans or cookie sheets on casseroles. Why didn’t we think of that before? Also, invest in one of those turkey roasting pans with lids. They aren’t all that expensive, and there will be no foil waste.
I also use waxed cloth for covering dishes of leftovers. And, I found in a lot of cases, I can also just use a plate to cover those things. You can’t use the wax cloth in the microwave as the wax would melt (and you can’t clean them with hot water for the same reason, but you can clean them with a sponge, soap, and water). I also use them to cover half avocados and other fruit, including cut onions to store in the fridge. And I used them for sliced bacon. I also use flexible silicon covers that cover bowls like cling film though with mixed results. I have used silicon “Ziploc” that come in various sizes to store my vegetables.
You have to think a bit more on solving those problems of how to store food in a modern refrigerator because the food will dry out if they aren’t in an airtight container. The refrigerator pulls moisture from the interior so that frost doesn’t build up.
Then came the problem of liquid soap to do the dishes. I tried a dish bar soap but found I didn’t like it. I purchased a glass pump dispenser, grated the bar soap and melted it down with some water until it became liquid and use it in the pump. But it’s not ideal. It keeps trying to solidify again. So I purchased CleanCult liquid soap, the only one I found in a cardboard carton, which is more expensive.
In fact, I found that most of the alternatives in recycle-friendly containers were more expensive: milk, for instance, in milk cartons were higher priced than those that came in plastic; mustard and other condiments in glass jars.
And then storing meat for the freezer. I used parchment paper to wrap them up and then wrapped them again in butcher paper. These will biodegrade. Likewise, cheese needs to be in more than butcher paper or they will dry out. The alternative besides storing them in Pyrex containers, were biodegradable cheese paper. It’s a more expensive alternative, that goes by the brand name of Formaticum Cheese Storage, bags or paper, but they work great! You need to learn how to wrap meats and cheeses in paper, like our ancestors used to wrap presents without tape. Practice!
My toughest sell has been to convince the deli counter people to use butcher paper. I once asked the butcher for extra paper, and took it to the deli counter. The next time I was at the store, I brought my own sheets of parchment paper and told them to wrap it in that. You’d think I was telling them some alien way of making love! The pushback! From “I don’t know if we’re allow to” to “I have never seen this before;” even though that’s how they wrap meat in their very own butcher counter. The last time I did it, the gal finally understood to wrap the deli meat in my paper, and then proceeded to try to stuff it into a PLASTIC BAG! “Are you allergic to plastic?” she asked exasperatedly.
“No,” I replied. “But the earth is.”
See my list of links below. You don’t have to go to Amazon, but it’s a place to start:
Biodegradable dish scrubber. You can get replacement heads: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XCVR86/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Parchment paper, or get rolls in the grocery store (this is a bit heavier): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XFLTKWV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Beeswax food wraps (there are many kinds of these with all kinds of prices) : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077Z1VVLL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Reusable silicon food storage: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07STN5D88/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
To enter to win an ebook copy of Moonrisers, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “moonrisers,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 25, 2020. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week.
Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.