Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year's Eve! I figured I needed to do one last post of 2010. I finished Michael Scott's The Sorceress and found it interesting. I've been studying the arch of books and am amazed and how many story lines are in Scott's books. It's interesting to see the rise and fall in each one. I like the characters and the storyline but it's starting to be the same. We'll see how the next one does.

Anyway, enjoying the nice cold Arizona evening, set some wonderful, obtainable goals and get ready for the new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010


Harris Family, December 2010


This year has been one of additions and subtractions for us. We began the year with 4 tanks full of fish, one bird (Crash-a miniature Noble Macaw), one dog (Honey-our 95 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback who decided to say, “Hi” to another dog early in the year, was hit by a truck, spent the night in the emergency room and wanted to run and play the next day even with her leg stitched up. Thankfully the only side effect is a scare on her right foreleg.), 2 Hermit Crabs, one

tortoise (Digger-An African

Desert Tortoise who likes to bark and chase Honey around the yard. Yes, you read that correctly, bark. We wouldn’t have believed it if we hadn’t heard it ourselves and recorded on our camera.) and 8 chickens. Now closing out the year we are surrounded by

2 fish tanks not quite as full as before (due to sickness that seemed to plague the tanks), 7 chickens (one got sick and was found dead in the corner of the coop), 1 Hermit Crab (the other didn’t make it through its molt), Crash, Honey, Kumba (An African Gray Parrot who is quite pleasant until he begins beeping like a fire alarm) and our new little one, Reed Andrus Harris.


As for us . . . Jentry is serving as the Scout Master and 2nd Counselor in the Young Men’s Presidency in our ward. Although the calling is time consuming, he’s loving the chance to work with the boys in the ward. He has been given the opportunity to work with some new clientele at The Mahoney Group and is doing a little bit more traveling as a result. Unfortunately, his bike riding has not happened this year. Instead he’s taken to working hard with Honey and she’s a delight to everyone who knows her. Sometimes this entails riding, well more like racing his bike with her. He’s clocked her running between 20-25 miles an hour at times. It is quite a sight to see.


Bonnie is still managing to stay busy. In addition to teaching cello three days a week and playing in a community orchestra, she has completed two books in a trilogy and is halfway through the third. No, they are not published yet but she’s in the process of getting them there, which takes awhile. However, if you’d like a sneak peek at some of the book, she will be starting a Work In Progress (WIP) on Wednesdays on her blog in January. So stop on by and let her know what you think. www.bonnieharris.blogspot.com


Our little Reed bounced into the world on Sunday December 5th at 1:15 p.m. weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long with some help from the doctor’s. He is a joy minus the sleepless nights. He already has a cocky half grin that seems to say, “I did something but you’ll never find out what!” We think we might be in trouble. We have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love, generosity and kindness from all of our family and friends. Thank you to everyone.


It’s been quite a roller-coaster of a year and we’re sure the next will be more so. We wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. May it bring much joy and happiness. Remember to Enjoy the Ride and Have Fun!


Love,


The Harris Family

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas

24 bananas, 8 batches of banana bread, presents divided and wrapped, Christmas cards mailed, house fairly put together. I think Christmas can come. Not bad for realizing just last week that Christmas was this week! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Buzzin'

I had the privilege to critique Meg's Melody before it went to press sometime ago. It was a wonderful read then and I'm anxious to see what and if there were changes. Kaylee Baldwin does such a wonderful job weaving the story. I'm excited the book is finally out. Here's the back cover blurb. It would be a wonderful gift for an avid reader.

She paced the small confines of her bathroom as she waited the obligatory two minutes for the result. Yet, part of her sensed the truth. Not only did Austin take her self-esteem and plans for happiness, but he also took her get-out-of-this-marriage-free card.

The plus sign glared at Meg from the white plastic frame of the pregnancy test. The test fell from her hands and clattered into the bathtub as Meg’s back slid against the wall until she reached the floor.

“I’m pregnant,” she said into the quiet.

Meg never imagined she'd end up like this. With nowhere else to turn, she's forced to rely on the family she pushed away, the church she abandoned, and an unexpected friendship to help her find her forgotten melody. Meanwhile Matt is still mourning the loss of his wife. But determined to keep things together for his daughter's sake, he decides starting over in a new place might be just what his family needs.

This touching story combines romance with redemption and real conflict to remind you it's never too late to find joy. Kaylee Baldwin's capable hand renders a sincere, heartfelt story of rediscovery and hope. Perfect for romantics of all ages, this book will captivate your heart and rekindle your belief in the magic of music.

Available for preorder at Amazon or Barnes&Noble.com.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Baby Pictures


Here are a few pictures of our sweet little one. Born last Sunday at 1:15 pm, Reed Andrus Harris weighed in at8 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long. All is well with everyone (besides the fact that we are sleepdeprived) and we love our little miracle. I never thought I'd get attached to someone so quickly, but he has sure stolen my heart. What a blessing he is.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Buzzin', Reviews, Contests and more

Alright, this is going to be an info filled post. First-no baby. He's stubborn and we'll probably need help to convince him to join the outside world. So hopefully things will go well this weekend.

Two-There are so many incredible book giveaways going on right now that I just have to share. (You'll probably hear more about them as time goes on too!) The first one is Tristi Pinkston's Merry Month of Miracles. It's in celebration of her upcoming release of Dearly Departed in January. There's a new giveaway each day. Pretty exciting. Hop on over and take a look.

Another contest that will start (or kind of has started) on Dec 6th is the Best I've Read 2010. There have been a few teaser giveaways already. Take a look there too.


Three-Here's a fabulous book I've heard about that would be a great Christmas gift, The Star Prophecy by Joan Sowards. This is the back cover blurb along with some reviews.
“You are crazy. No Nephite has ever returned.”   
Most people laugh when they hear of Enoch’s dream of returning to Jerusalem to find the
infant Messiah. Even Enoch's future father-in-law mocks him when he asks for a postponement of the long-awaited wedding to his beloved Rebekah.  A few take Enoch seriously—the shipbuilder Omnihah, Enoch's teacher David, and Nephi the prophet.    
Five years previously, a Lamanite named Samuel had stood on the wall of Zarahemla and prophesied that “five years more cometh” and the Christ would be born in Jerusalem. Time is running out! Enoch knows he must set sail across the great waters in search of his dream—to see the face of the Messiah.  The Star Prophecy is a surprising story of courage and love, faith and fortitude. Sail with Enoch and friends across the sea through hardship and adventure in search of the Christ Child.  
"I love Joan Sowards' inventive mind. She begins this adventurous tale with 'what if?' and tells it so well that the reader closes the book thinking 'why not?' The Star Prophecy adds a surprising new dimension to the Christmas story." --Liz Adair, author of Counting the Cost  
"Action-adventure, romance, inspirational, and historical fiction all rolled into one make the Star Prophecy and exciting page turner." --Margaret L. Turley, author of Save the Child

Fourth-I just finished reading Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero. (Here's Riordan's blog if you'd like it.) Fabulous book. I loved it and can't wait for the next installment. I thought I would be disappointed without having Percy Jackson and Annabeth as the main characters, but I loved Piper, Jason and Leo. They make a great trio. It's full of action and adventure and I'm learning more about Greek mythology than I thought possible. I highly recommend it for anyone.

Fifth- I know I need to get on it and do some more reviews of the books I've finished lately but . . . I don't know if that will happen. I have them all listed on My Pages and can't think of one I wouldn't recommend. If you'd like more details on a particular one, let me know and I'll for sure get a review posted.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Buzzin'


Here's a great book for all you game lovers out there. The Fun Never Stops by Marylou Bailey is a collection of games for all occasions. There are word games, art games, paper games, food games, small and large group games, just about any combination you can think of. Recipes are included, supply lists and ideas if you're drawing a blank. Anything you need is given. The Fun Never Stops. And this is just one of several game books Marylou has published. Take a look and let the fun begin! It is available here at Amazon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! What a wonderful day to remember those things we have been blessed with. I am so incredible grateful for . . .
  • My wonderful, supportive husband, Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother and extended family
  • The beautiful world we live in
  • The many surprises life brings us
  • Music
  • Clyde, my cello
  • Books
  • My animals-when they are not screaming at me :)
  • Opportunities
  • Things that force me to learn and grow
  • Friends
. . . and the list goes on! Take a moment to remember what you are thankful for and share if you'd like. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Buzzin' and Book Review

Here's a book for all you who love genealogy. Anne Bradshaw has a new book out entitled True Miracles with Genealogy-Help Beyond the Veil. In her own words, Anne describes her book as "a collection of inspiring research stories, spiritual moments as help comes from beyond the veil. It is unique, comforting, and powerful. Each account can't help but touch hearts as readers come to the heady realization that there really is a world of spirits. . . . Compiling it was truly an amazing experience."

As one who has family who really enjoys genealogy, this book sounds like an amazing and inspirational read. The stories of those around me involved with genealogy make me want to do better at finding my ancestors. Here are some additional reviews.

"There aren't enough collections of these stories, and I, for one, am very grateful to Anne Bradshaw for compiling a few more of them. They truly do touch and encourage and uplift, and having read the book, I am once again inspired to try a little harder on my own 'blind alleys.'" ~ Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury for the Association for Mormon Letters


****

"Anne Bradshaw’s book is not a genealogical how-to manual. "True Miracles with Genealogy" is a worldwide collection of astounding personal stories that illustrate the remarkable assistance available to us when we combine diligent research with help from beyond the veil." ~ Laurie L.C. Lewis, Author.


****

"True Miracles with Genealogy~Help from Beyond the Veil" is a collection of research stories written by ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. These events are part of the reward that comes from doing genealogy. They are the fathers turning their hearts to their children—the spiritual moments as help comes from beyond the veil. Each account is unique. Each is a miracle. Each will inspire readers as they come to the heady realization that genealogy is more than it appears to be, and there really is a world of spirits.

"'Sometimes we forget how close Heaven is to Earth—just a whisper away' ~ Elizabeth Jane Roberts. This is the kind of comfort offered by True Miracles with Genealogy. Personal story after story rivets your attention. This book is a powerhouse of inspiration—an absolute must-read to keep on your nightstand." ~ C.S. Bezas, Author and Columnist


****

"Whether you've been doing your family history for years, or have just started, or just enjoy reading about the process, you'll find something to delight and inspire you in this remarkable work." ~ Tristi Pinkston, Author


For more information, check out the website specifically for True Miracles. Here's a link to the book trailer and where you can purchase it.


"True Miracles with Genealogy~Help from Beyond the Veil"
ISBN-10: 1453767118
ISBN-13: 978-1453767115
ASIN: B0044XUVFI


Paperback from Amazon's CreateSpace at https://www.createspace.com/3477323 for $8.99, shipping $3.61

Paperback from Amazon at http://amzn.to/9IenR5 for $8.99, shipping $3.99

Paperback from Barnes & Noble at http://bit.ly/c88d1n for $8.09, shipping $


eBook for Kindle at http://amzn.to/cqZX9P for $2.99

eBook for Nook at http://bit.ly/91Uii4 for $2.99


European readers, please go to UK Amazon at http://amzn.to/aggUe4 for the paperback edition, and http://amzn.to/dz78gc for the Kindle edition.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Best Books


Here's something interesting I ran across, actually the credit goes to Rachael Renee Anderson but there's going to be a fun little thing going on at the Best I've Read 2010. Nine blogs have gotten together and have complied lists of the top books that have made it on their reading list. Between December 6 through the 14 there will be prizes, info, and lots of other things going on. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mary Kay Sale

November & December



Christmas is around the corner! Mary Kay has many wonderful gift ideas that will make anyone on your list smile. In celebration of this holiday I'm doing 20% off of everything! Mary Kay lipsticks and glosses make wonderful stocking stuffers. There are countless items for under $10 and gift sets galore. Create your own gift set and I'll package it up for you. If you would like to do a 12 days of Christmas for him or her, I'd be happy to help you put that together. Keep in mind that everything is 20% off.


Order by November 20 and receive and additional 5% off in addition to the 20%. Take a look at my website for more gift ideas and get your orders in. Please have orders in by the end of the month. Orders received in December will be harder to guarantee delivery by Christmas.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Book Catch Up and Stuff

Alright people, I'm a slacker. I admit it and that's the first step, right? I planned on catching up last weekend when I went to the Tour de Safford with my husband. (Whoever thinks it's fun to ride a bike for 104 miles, I question their sanity but a couple hundred people did it that day! More power to them.) Well, instead of catching up I was asked to help with registration which took up my entire free day. Oh well, such is life. The race went well and it was nice to get away.

Then this weekend I had my sister's baby shower and a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner since I've cancelled Thanksgiving this year (hoping I'll be in the hospital having a baby). Needless to say, I
haven't had much time in between.

So here's the plan. There's a great book I know just came out that I'm going to buzz about, then I'm picking a couple of books to do a review on. If I don't get to all my reviews this year, I
'm not going to stress. You can always take a look at the books I've read on my books read page. Then, depending on the length of this post, I might put my Mary Kay sale in this one or the next tomorrow. We'll see.

Anyway L. C. Lewis' fourth book Oh, Say Can You Can You See? I believe is out and going. Here's
the backliner blurb.

Although the British raids
have left Washington a devastated, blackened city, the battered Constitution has held and the presidency has survived!

But the struggling government has no home. The British saw to that. Gone is the Capitol and her magnificent library, the chambers of the Supreme Court, the President’s House, and every relic and document not secreted out of the city.

Next on the list of British prizes—the rebellious port city of Baltimore! A victory here would assure the Americans’ defeat, but a loss would dilute the importance of the destruction of Washington.
But has the raid on Washington stiffened the backs of the Americans? This is the question gnawing at the leaders on both sides.

The Willows women are mourning their absent men—gone to war, or wounded, or captured—as they await the birth of a blessed child.

Mere miles away, attorney Francis Scott Key embarks on a diplomatic mission that will leave an everlasting mark on America. Proving that a pen can be more powerful than a sword, Key records his fears and hopes—the fears and hopes of his embattled people—as he watches the bombardment of Baltimore while detained in the midst of the British fleet.

What changed in this noble man’s pacifist heart, empowering him to pen the powerful anthem, known today as “The Star Spangled Banner,” an epic poem that rallied a shattered nation to rise from its knees to claim the dream of “one nation under God?”

Experience the personal sacrifice of five families placed in the firestorm of the War of 1812, citizen
heirs of the sacrifice of the Founding Fathers.

It sounds like a wonderful book. I've had several family members read it and absolutely love the series. It is definitely on my list of books to read. Take a look and let me know what you think! Here's the book trailer.

Now to book reviews.


I've read three by Janette Rallison, Trial of the Heart, Deep Blue Eyes and Other Lies, and Masquerade. Trial of the Heart is a darling love story that
was a fun read that I just enjoyed. It is clean and just good fun about a cleaning gal who gets left a multi-million dollar vineyard. She then gets stuck with the family that hates her because she is talking about the vineyard into something else, believing she is fulfilling the wishes of the person who left her the vineyard. Just delightful.

Deep Blue Eyes and Other Lies threw me back into high school. I forget sometimes how cheesy high school was, however I loved how Rallison portrayed the real consequences of people's actions and how sometimes you can't solve everyone's problems. Good lessons learned in this book.

Masquerade is written under the name Sierra St. James. It's another fun romance. I loved the interaction of the characters with the two young children in the story. It was very realistic and made it for a good read that is also clean.

And now I'm amazed at how quickly my energy level depletes. So I'll do more later. Life shouldn't be as busy now. Ha, ha, ha. I think I've said that before.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Reviews

It's just not working for me to catch up. Between my sister and I, we've had three baby showers this week. Plus, I've played for a wedding, taught lessons, helped clean and prep for some of the showers and the list goes on. I promise I will catch up, I just don't know when.

Anyway, I'm finding I read library books faster than the books I own (probably because I have to return them in a certain amount of time). The latest is Gena Showalter's Unraveled. I really liked the first one Intertwined and I enjoyed the second one. The concept is really interesting, but in Unraveled I felt like there were almost too many subplots. Is that possible? I also felt like one of the characters whined a lot. I know why now, but it was a bit much for me. I enjoyed the story and it was an easy read besides that. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Buzzin' and Book Review

Ok, so I'm way behind in everything. I'm not going to make any excuses, I just haven't done it. I have been hard at work on my book Encoded Secrets and am really excited about the progress. Anyway, here a book I'm buzzin' about and at least one review. (I haven't decided if I'm going to do more than one right now. :)

Save the Child by Margaret Turley is now out. It is about what a family does when their child contracts cancer. I
had the opportunity to help with the line edits and have to say it's a tear jerker, but a good book. Margaret and several other authors are having a book launching party on Nov 4 from 7-10pm at the Wright House, 636 W. University Dr. 85201 in Mesa, AZ. It should be a lot of fun, so stop on by and take a look. Here's a link to the book trailer and an interview with the author below.






Question: Why do you write?

Answer: I must. I am compelled to put my thoughts down in paper.


Question: Do you have a particular goal you aim to achieve with your writing?

Answer: Are the goals different for other projects?


Question: What is your book titled?

Answer: Save the Child


Question: What genre are your books and who is your target audience?

Answer: I wrote my book as a fiction novel. I felt that I would reach a larger audience that way. I am aiming for Parents, Grandparents, Law Makers, attorneys in Family and Health Law, and Healthcare givers.


Question: Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to write this story?

Answer: In 2003 I heard about the Parker Jensen case in Utah. I felt great sympathy for the parents. I have followed that case and others since then and started my project to write a book about parents rights to choose their children’s healthcare at that time.


Question: Tell us about the hero / and or Heroine in your book/s.

Answer: Nancy and Robert Johnson are the parents of Sharon Johnson – an eight year old girl who is diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Nancy is vehemently opposed to chemotherapy, considers it poison. Robert is a law student and asks his professor for help with their case when CPS comes in and removes custody away from them and gives it to the state.

Question: Tell us about the villain. Is it a person, thing, or circumstance?

Answer: The villain here is cancer a vicious disease. The Johnsons are also opposed by the doctors and by the law.

Question: How do you discover the characteristics of your characters? Please elaborate on one or two of those.

Answer: I relied upon many of my own personal experiences and observations of parents in similar circumstances of patients I’ve cared for over the years. I also interviewed several parents who had children who have had cancer. I used the char

acteristics I observed and wove them into the characters in my book.


Question: Do you write your book from beginning to end, or start with the end or in the middle? Why?

Answer: I started writing my book from beginning to end. But I hit a major block, not being able to move forward when there were parts that needed to happen in the middle that I didn’t know how to orchestrate. After taking the Crafting the Character-Based Novel from Dr. Pamela Goodfellow I stopped trying to write in a linear plot based fashion and instead focused of fleshing out characters and creating scenes she taught us about in her uniquely designed Scaffold process. By doing that the story more or less took care of itself.


Question: After you wrote the book/s how long did it take you to get it published?

Answer: I gave the manuscript files to my editor last year August. So it is a little more than a year later now that the book is published.


Question: Who was the first person you told when you found out your book was being published?

Answer: My daughter Serena. I was so excited and she shared my joy enthusiastically.


Question: Where can we purchase a copy of your book/s?

Answer: You can order the books from my website: Save the Child. It will also be available through Amazon.com soon.


The launch for Save the child will be at the Goodfellow Book Celebration on Thursday evening, November 4th, 2010 from 7:00pm until 10:00 pm. Our event will be held in the Wright House Reception Centre on 636 W. University Dr. Mesa, Arizona 85201. I am one of eight authors who will have books in this event. We have joined together with our book producer Dr.

Pamela R. Goodfellow to form the group: Writers Unite to Fight Cancer. We are holding a silent auction during our event to help raise money for the American Association for Cancer Research.


Thank you for allowing me to share Save the Child and Writers Unite to Fight Cancer with you today. I hope you and your family will remain healthy and cancer free.


Margaret L. Turley RN



Book Review


Since we have a baby coming into our life we've been given countless suggestions and lots of advice. Someone suggested to my husband that we read On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, neither of which have websites of their own, but rather lots of sites that reference them and their work. With a title like that who could not be interested in this book because we all know that if baby is awake, mommy is awake. So we read it

and really like the principles found in it. We will try and it and see if what they say really happens, but it was great information either way.


I do have to admit that the first time through the book I became very overwhelmed. So my disclaimer is read it twice. The first time everything will seem daunting, but the second time around it becomes clearer and seems more doable. I think it's so overwhelming the first time because you already have a lot to think about and this is just one more thing, but looking at the principles it makes sense and I don't see why it wouldn't work. So take a look and let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October Mary Kay Sale

October



.

MK Men skin care, Men's fragrances and MK Suncare. All of it is 20% off this month. (As always, if you are a follower or become a follower, you get an additional 5% off orders of $40 or more.) Pamper your man with a set or something new from any of the Mary Kay Men's collection. The man in your life will love any of it! Order on my website or leave a comment here. Questions, let me know!

Also, Christmas is around the corner. Mary Kay is a wonderful gift for anyone on your list. There will be gift packages posted soon with discounts of course! It's never too early to begin thinking of the holidays!

Please have orders in by noon on October 31st.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So I didn't make it last week

Ok, so I didn't make my goal of catching up last week. I'm amazed at how quickly life can pass by. One of my excuses is I went to the LUW Writing Conference this weekend in SLC. Fabulous. I loved it, met a lot of wonderful people and learned a ton. Now I'm really gunho about getting my WIP polished and ready to go. So I'm starting new this week. Here's one book I finished awhile ago.

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex by Eion Colfer. I remember really enjoying the Artemis Fowl series and figured I stick with it. The story was a good, quick read that was just fun. It's interesting to think what would happen if our subconscious decided to take over. I enjoyed Colfer's take on that and how Artemis' friends had to deal without him to save the world this time. I would recommend this book for all ages as a good, fun read.



I'll do more later, but I'm really excited to get working on my book. So TTFN! (I had someone ask me what that meant today. Anyone know? I do, I'm just curious if anyone else does. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Enjoy the Ride!

Once again I had all the wonderful plans to get all caught up on book reviews and life happens. Actually it helped me put life into perspective. We had a good friend of my husband's pass away this week. He's been transferred to three different hospitals and was finally called home. We helped with everything we could and participated in a wonderful Celebration of Life for him on Thursday.

Needless-to-say my focus hasn't been on book reviews. It was another reminder of how precious life is and how quickly we can be called home. Cherish those you love. Tell them you love them. Don't let anything go unsaid. You never know what the future holds. Don't live with any regrets and enjoy life. It's quite a journey, enjoy the ride.

So I am setting the goal to do one book review a day until I'm all caught up-with the disclaimer that if anything else happens this will be the thing on the back burner. Prayerfully we will have a break from such an emotional week and I will be able to fulfill that goal. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September Mary Kay Sale


September


Colors, Colors, and more colors! Anything and everything that has color in it. Eye shadows, Cheek colors, Lipsticks, Glosses, Liners, and Bronzers.


All colors are 20% off with a free gift on orders $40 or more. Then to get an additional 5% discount, simply become a follower of my blog. Already a follower? Not to worry, you get the discount automatically for a grand total of 25% off your purchase. Can't beat that! Hope on over to the Virtual Makeover and have fun with new Colors! As always you can order via a comment here or at my website. Any questions, let me know!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

So it's been awhile . . .

I've been stuck in several books and have had some good writing times this last little while. I'm also realizing there are a number of books I've completed but not written a review on. So when I do get to it (which will hopefully be this weekend) I will have to do all of them.

Not that I'm making excuses either, but it's just been really HOT lately. Really, 116 or so this week. Not fun, but I guess that's what we get for living in AZ. The baby has decided he likes my ribcage and the couch isn't as comfortable as it use to be. I'm assured this is normal, but I'm not so sure . . . :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Reviews, Kudos and Stuff . . . part 2

So I finished some books this week and realized there was one from awhile ago I haven't reviewed. I'll get to it this time!


Janette Rallison's My Fair Godmother is a wonderful story all ages. It is definitely in the high school era, but what fun. I loved how the different fairy tales were wound into it, the mishaps the Fair Godmother made and the lessons learned by everyone involved. I think we would all be a little more careful what we wished for if we had a Fair Godmother would interpreted things just a little bit differently than we expected. :) I really enjoyed this book. Take a look and let me know what you think!

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale I thought was a delightful book about friendship, however I can see how some people would not enjoy it as much as I did. There is a fine line for friendship when one is married and this book explores that line as well as life itself. All of the characters grew in many different ways. I truly believe people come into our lives for a reason, and Becky gets to discover why Felix has walked into her life and how to have him fit with her family. I loved the humor, the love, the life lessons and the challenges the characters are faced with and would recommend it for those who love a good story with twists.


Those of you who have read The Christmas Jars, this one's for you. The Christmas Jars Reunion by Jason Wright is absolutely delightful. It is a continuation of The Christmas Jars and what everyone is up to many years later. It's easy to forget the meaning of something that began for one reason or another. This book reminds us of how we can get distracted and how we need to remember the real meaning of what we do. It's wonderful for those of all ages.

Book Reviews, Kudos and Stuff

It looks like this is going to be a two part post because I only have about ten minutes right now. The first thing I wanted to make note of it, never put off telling someone you appreciate their example, spirit, and/or love of life. Reason being, we had a wonderful missionary in our ward for at least six months. I loved hearing him bear (is this the right bear? I never remember) his testimony and his quiet, simple manner brought peace to the hectic world. I kept meaning to tell him I appreciate his example because he's reminded me of things I need to be working on, but I never got around to doing it. Well, he went home this week and I never took the chance to tell him. Moral of the story: Don't wait. You never know what will happen and that person may be gone before you can tell them what you wanted to say.

Second part. It was the finale to So You Think You Can Dance this week. I watched all the dances and missed most of the last episode but boy were the dances fantastic. I was excited for everyone in the final three. It was fun to see the relationships that developed, how the dancers grew as people as well as in their art. The winner surprised me but at the same time I'm thrilled. Congratulations to Lauren! There are routines I would love to put links to from the finale show, but for the life of me I can't get them to play. So take a look at the website and enjoy!

To Be Continued . . .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Final Three

As you may know, or maybe you don't, I've been watching So You Think You Can Dance this season. I just have to send out kudos to the final four. AdeChike was eliminated, but I have to say I've enjoyed him throughout the season. Here's one of my favorite dances he performed mostly because of how much he put into it. At the end he's in tears. It so fun to see an artist get emotional at the end because it has obviously touched them. They've put their heart and soul into it, gotten lost and the performance has become them. I hope you enjoy and AdeChike will be missed, but I'm excited for the Finale next week! :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Book Reviews and Such

It's been quite a week or two. Last week, my computer died . . . again. So we ended up with a new computer. Then my car decided to get sick. Two trips to the repair shop later, it's feeling better and we're beginning to think a new car will be added to the family by the end of next year. (We're trying to coax another 30,000 miles out of it to reach 200,000. Think we'll make it?) Needless to say, last week was an expensive week.

On the upside, I had the opportunity of going to an ANWA (American Night Writer's Association) writing retreat. I met so many wonderful ladies, many of which I knew from online but have never met face-to-face before, attended fabulous classes and best of all got new books. The only downside to that is I have library books that are coming close to being due and a book I borrowed from my sister-in-law forever ago that I love, it's just taking me sometime to get through, that I need to finish. Sigh. It'll get done soon.

I will be sharing tidbits from the classes I attended at the retreat on a later date. Today there are some book reviews I wanted to post. One of which is in the middle of a blog tour this week.

The first is Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden. What a delightful read. It captured my interest on the first page and I couldn't put it down. I loved the whit and humor throughout the book. I loved the sweet story line and the writing was beautifully done. It had me laughing out loud, which is quite an accomplis
hment since I don't remember the last time a book has done that for me. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, well-written, wond
erful story. I'm looking forward to what Sarah comes out with next.

Two--Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards. This Jane Eyre parody is delightful. Now, I have to admit that I haven't read Jane Eyre so it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but wonderful still the same. It's a love story with a little mystery and intrigue thrown in. I would recommend this book to anyone. Joan's in the middle of a blog tour with many chances to win her wonderful book. Here are some of the places she's headed. Take a look!

August 3rd

August 4th

August 5th

August 6th

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Interesting

I just had an interesting experience that made me realize something about myself. At church today the choir began to sing the National Anthem. I normally stand, but a quick glance around the room showed me I would be the only one to do so and to my shame I didn't stand immediately. It took an older couple to stand first before I reacted. It made me realize that at church I've turned into a follower, not a leader that I've always said I wanted to be. I need to not worry about what others think and just do what I know and believe to be correct, letting the consequences follow as they may. Thank you to that couple that helped me remember and showed me I should worry, just do.

Also, this week, my sister found out she is having a boy also! Yeah for boys! That makes six grandsons for my parents. Maybe someday they'll end up with a granddaughter. :)

My husband has been at Scout Camp all week and I planned on finishing another revision of the second part to Encoded Secrets. Well, that didn't quite happen. It became overwhelming (and way too hot) to deal with all the animals and plants that needed watering, by myself, for the second week in a row. I have to admit I was blessed though. The past several mornings have been just cool enough to get everything done without dying. I thank my Heavenly Father for that.

I also managed to finish a book. I'm shocked it has taken me this long (I blame the heat, being tired, and slightly depressed with everyone being gone without me) but I did it. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I've heard so many great things about this book and had to check it out for myself. Fascinating. Written in the style of letters to different people, the story of an island in the English Channel during World War II unfolds. I loved the history that was shared and the characters that became friends. I was amazed at all that happened during the German Occupancy of that island. I quite enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone, however, there are some descriptive parts of what happened to people in concentration camps that may be hard for younger readers to take.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Life

Ever feel like boycotting life in general. I think that's where I'm at right now. I haven't even finished reading a book in almost two weeks. Pretty sad. I'll get back into it though. I've been doing a lot of work on my writing, which I feel good about, but even that's slowed down.

Here's one bit of news I'm not sure has made it's way around. We found out last we're having a boy! Lots of fun there! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just had to write a quick note. I just finished the third draft to the second part of my WIP (work in progress) Encoded Secrets. I'm really excited about it and am ready to really get into the revisions and start the third part! Just had to share. ;)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

This Week

Wow. I just realized I didn't finish a book this week. I think that's a first in a long time. However I got some great revising done on my sequel to Encoded Secrets. I'm really excited about that. I have been reading Posterity by Dorie McCullough Lawson which is fascinating, it's just taking me longer than expected. I'll let you know when I'm done.

Yesterday I watched the World Cup while doing house work. Paraguay and Spain played. After about 84 minutes, Spain finally scored. It was an incredible game. It's games like that, that make it hard to have a loser. Both teams played hard, Paraguay had incredible defense and it could have gone either way. Congrats to the Paraguay team for a game well played and I'm excited to see Spain faceoff Germany next.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance Kudos

OMGOSH! I just watched one of the most incredible things tonight. On the show So You Think You Can Dance, Alex Wong-who's specific genre is ballet-perform and incredible Hip Hop routine with one of the best Hip Hop dancers around. It was an incredible routine and to see someone come so far out of their genre and do such a great job is amazing! Kudos to the hard work put into the performance. I've already watched it again, several times, and am amazed each time. Take a look here and let me know what you think!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Treasure Hunt Winner!

The winner of the Mary Kay set is Cheryl Snyder of Pennsylvania. Congrats Cheryl and thanks for participating in the contest! It's still going on if you haven't joined the fun, you should! The link is to the left under other people's contests. :)

And here's another contest you may want to take a look at. You can win a $40 gift certificate valid to use at over 200 online stores. Take a look here and see what you think!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kudos and Book Reviews

First off, a big congrats to the US Soccer Team. I haven't been an avid watcher of the World Cup, more of an off and on watcher, but I happened to watch the game on Saturday. It was well played and they fought hard. Congrats!



Here are two books that were quick easy reads that I didn't plan on reading. The first is Stephenie Meyer's The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. I found it free on-line and took a look. It will be up until July 5th so if you don't want to wait in line at the library it's a good way to read it. Anyway, I enjoyed it. A lot of it was repeative information that we, as readers, already knew but Bree did not. I liked the new characters introduced and it gave us an insight into the Volutri. I happened to watch part of the Jimmy Kimmel Eclipse special the other day and they showed a brief clip that immediately reminded me of the book. I think once we see the entire movie, we'll understand more why Bree's life was important to have.



The second is a surprise addition to the Peter and the Starcatchers series, Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. This fun series is about how Peter Pan became Peter Pan and the adventures he had before there was Wendy. This particular book introduces Peter and Wendy. It's a great story involving some of legends dating back to Charlemene. I really enjoyed this quick, easy read and would recommend it to everyone.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Reviews


Well, here's a week's worth of books . . . or was it two. I guess it doesn't matter. Aprilynne Pike's Spells is the first on the list. This is the second in a series of four. I was disappointed with the first one and I can't decide on the second. It was slower than the first without as much action, but Laurel is sent to Avalon to learn more about her role as a Fall faerie. Of course there's conflict with Tami and David and choices have to be made in many different things. The end was very intriguing and I'm curious to see what happens, but if someone asked me what I thought of the book I would have to say I haven't decided yet. It is a good read for anyone who likes magic, romance and faeries though!



The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong is the conclusion of this triology. I have really been into this series and enjoying reading how Chloe's group was able to get out of their situation. There were unexpected twists and I loved the ending, however there could be more. The initial conflict has been resolved, but there could be more. Of course I always hope there's more to come, but seeing as this is the last in a triology my hope might be in vain. It's a great read if you don't mind a little bit of language.


Changes by Jim Butcher is the lastest in his Dresdan Files Series. Wow! The opening just smacks you in the face and keeps going from there. I texted a good friend just one word about it. Wow! She agreed. I did not see this one coming in the series. Changes is such an appropriate title. So many things were turned upside down for Dresdan and now I'm left wondering where it's going to head. If you like wizardry and everything that entails, good and bad, this is a great book for you. There is a lot of language that some do not feel is appropriate to use and I would not recommend this book for everyone.


Linda Sue Park is the next author in the 39 Clues series with Storm Warning. Park is a new author to the series and I really enjoyed her style. This book was a little bit more sobering than the rest and she handled it very well. Things change for Amy, Dan and Nellie. I'm excited to see how the next one goes and if the family truly can be pulled together like Grace always wanted. It is a great series for child and adult alike.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mary Kay Sale

So I've meant to do this for a week, but I've actually felt well enough and decided that getting the baby room (former junk room/spare bedroom) cleaned while feeling well was more important. For those of you who haven't heard, we are expecting. I can't say much more than that because we don't know much more than that! But you'll know when we know!


In honor of the 11 new lipstick colors, 6 new lipgloss colors, 10 new mineral eye colors and 1 new cheek color I'm having a buy 2 get 1 FREE on all Mary Kay colors (of equal or greater value). This is really a great deal. Hope on over to my website and shop around. Have some fun on the free Virtual Makeover section of the website too.




I'm also doing a 20% off all sets or collections: i.e. Satin Hands Set, Satin Lips Set, Miracle Set, Body Care Collections.



This is to kick off my now monthly Mary Kay sales. They will always be listed to the left with a link to my website. If you become a follower of this blog though, you will get an extra 5% discount on your entire purchase. And don't worry for those of you who are already followers. You automatically get the extra discount!




If you are interested in joining an email list, just drop me a note and I'll add you to it. Happy colors this month!

Oh, please have your orders placed by June 30th at noon for the sale prices to be applied!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Book Reviews

Today's my catchup day for book reviews. I finished two more of the 39 Clues Series, #7 The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis and #8 The Emporer's Code by Gordon Korman. This series is just a fun read. I love learning about all the different places Amy and Dan Cahill go. They learn to trust each other, they grow together, all while trying to stay alive. I still love the idea that each book is written by a different author because you get a feel for how each author writes. You have the same characters, with the same attitudes and yet you can see the difference in dialogue between each book. It's really fun. I know #9 is already out and #10 is due to be released on August 31. It's all very exciting. If you have kids or just love a fun read, this is the series for you!


Next is a book I've waited for for a long time. Rick Riordan's new series The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid. What a fabulous book I would recommend for anyone and everyone. I loved all the Egyptian mythology in there and I really liked the way he has woven a fun, exciting adventure around the myths. Carter and Sadie have great personalities and take turns telling the story of how they get sucked into a world with Egyptian Gods. Together they learn to depend on each other and are truly family even though they did not grow up together. I loved the lessons learned and taught about trust and the importance of sacrifice for the right reason. I can't wait for the next installment to find out how the next problem will be solved.


And last but not least Melissa Marr's new book, Radiant Shadows. I've always loved faery stories, especially ones about the true nature of faeries, not the Disneyfied version. This is another Wicked Lovely novel. Marr never takes the story the way I think she is. One book ends with a problem that hasn't quite been solved and yet the next book is about a character that has been introduced previously and focuses on that character. This story is about Delvin and his struggle to find his place in the Faery realm. I really liked how his story took everything into account and weaves in and out of what I've already read. He has a lot of hard choices to make and I enjoyed seeing the consequences, good and bad, that came about because of choices made in years past. It is a great read if you don't mind a little language.