Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: Outsystem

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Someone is out to stop the "GSS Intrepid," an interstellar colony ship, from being completed on schedule and beginning its journey to 82 Eridani. When anti-colonial activist groups are suspected, Major Tanis Richards, an officer in the field of military intelligence and counterinsurgency, is brought onboard to hunt them down.

A public disgrace Tanis suffered at the hands of the military has motivated her to leave Sol and start a new life elsewhere. She soon discerns that more than simple activist groups are arrayed against the ship and its crew. There are corporations and governments that have a vested interest in ensuring that the "Intrepid" never leaves the Sol system.

Tanis tightens security and fights political red tape while running up against assassins and mercenaries sent to the stop her and the "Intrepid" at every turn. The new friends and relationships she forges strengthen her resolve to protect the ship and keep its crew and colonists safe as they endeavor to head outsystem.

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Have you ever had a book just sneak up on you? That was Outsystem for me. When I first started reading it, I was a bit like oh, this is okay... Then, I realized that I kept coming back to it and when I hit the end of the book, I groaned out loud that it was a cliffhanger. Just when I thought it was wrapping up nicely, too. I found the futuristic and body modification pieces to be fascinating. I honestly rarely think about where we're going. I'm so busy trying to make sure that day to day life is running as smoothly as possible. This book caused me to pause and realize just how far we've come and how far we could go. The characters were relatable and the book moved along at a pace that kept my attention from wandering but not so fast that I was left confused as to what was happening. All in all, if you're looking for a futuristic sci-fi type book, this is one that I can recommend.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: Climax

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Brilliant, funny, sweet and heartbreaking. Climax is a great love story and a highly enjoyable read! George has really taken romance to a new level with this series. Her final book will give readers everything they crave and more! Cherry Adair, New York Times Bestselling Author

Kate Mitchell has never forgiven herself for breaking Nick Lavigne’s heart. Now he’s back and he’s moved on, and it’s affecting Kate’s life more than she’s willing to admit.


Kate Mitchell has everything. She's the head of a crazy successful publishing house, engaged to the traffic-stopping sexy Mac Ellis and she's about to sign one of the biggest authors of her career.

And that's when everything falls apart. Everything is perfect…until it’s not.

In a city of 8 million people Kate manages to run into someone she never expected to see again.

Nick is handsome, impossibly kind, every girl’s dream, and Kate’s former fiancé. He’s also the brother of the rising star author she’s trying to sign. Now that Nick’s back in town and has moved on he insists he’s over Kate, but part of him still can’t get past how amazing they were, and his sister won’t let anyone forget how brutally it ended.

When Mac is dealt a life-changing blow, it forces Kate to question every single choice she’s made.

Follow Kate as she embarks on a journey of life and love, navigating through the decisions that will change it all forever.

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I honestly can't help but love the characters in this book. Lulu, Grace, Mac, Nick, Viv, and all of the others. I want to see so many more books telling us their stories. I want to see our favorite aging rocker's tell all book. I really don't want to be done with this series. I was pulling for Mac and Kate...and I'm not going to tell you what happened. You're going to have to read this quick moving, emotion involving series for yourself. I don't hand out 5 star reviews very often, but this entire series got one from me.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spotlight: Ignite Your Book + Giveaway

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Ignite Your Book is THE place for readers and authors to get amazing deals on fantastic eBooks!



If you're a reader: 

Ignite Your Book for readers showcases great deals on today’s top eBooks. View all the books on our site and sign up for a free newsletter to ensure you get notified as soon as the top books are discounted or made available for free. 

These discounts are available for a limited time so we make sure you never miss a great deal! Plus, all our newsletters subscribers are automatically entered into regular drawings for Amazon gift cards! 


If you're an author: 

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Book Review: A Thing of Beauty

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It's a wonder to behold what happens when love moves in . . .

Former child star Fiona Hume deserted the movie biz a decade ago--right after she left rehab. She landed in Baltimore, bought a dilapidated old mansion downtown, and hatched dreams of restoring it into a masterpiece, complete with a studio for herself. She would disappear from public view and live an artist's life.

That was the plan.

Ten years later, Fiona's huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, haggled over at yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for an art project . . . but all she's got so far is a piece of twine with some antique buttons threaded down its length.

She's thirty-two years old and still recognizable, but Fiona's money has finally run out. She's gotten pretty desperate, too, and in her desperation she's willing to do almost anything for money. Almost. So it is that she comes to rent out the maid's quarters to a local blacksmith named Josia Yeu.

Josia is everything Fiona isn't: gregarious, peaceful, in control without controlling . . . in short, happy. As the light from the maid's quarters begins to permeate the dank rooms of Fiona's world, something else begins to transform as well--something inside Fiona. Something even she can see is beautiful.

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I'm going to start off this review by saying that if the occasional curse word offends you, don't pick up this book. It seems to be the biggest complaint from other reviewers and while it speaks of authenticity to me, it screams non-christian to others. That being said, I'm not going to get on top of any religious soapbox. Your beliefs are yours. Mine are mine and that isn't what we're here for. Now, on to what I thought!

I very much enjoyed this book. As someone who comes from a damaged background and is a borderline hoarder with ocd tendencies, I completely understood the character of Fiona. She was real. She was authentic and her story, though fiction, probably could be any one of a number of real stories. This story is one of redemption and hope and the truth that sometimes you just have to remove people from your life so that you can live yours in the healthiest way possible. It doesn't make you an awful person, it just means you're taking care of yourself. This story doesn't end with a fairytale happily ever after but it ends in a place where happiness is now possible and the future holds promise...and while some complain that this isn't an in your face God story, I don't think that's a bad thing. Sometimes the way to reach people is by telling a story without pushing your beliefs in their face and sometimes what people need is hope that there is a clear space at the end of their tunnel.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: Beyond All Dreams

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Sweeping and Romantic Historical Drama from an Award-Winning Author
Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.
Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship.
Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress.
From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for themselves?

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When I first started reading this book, I didn't have much hope that it was going to grab me and hold onto me to the very end. I think that feeling lasted about two chapters in and then I was hooked! Anna's love of the library and Luke's love of poetry and their respect and love for books and learning...well, they could have been my best friends, I think. Then, there's Anna's best friend who I also completely adored. Honestly, I couldn't get enough of these characters and then, there was the story. While it had some twists that I figured out immediately, the main one kept me guessing right until the end of the book, when the entire truth was revealed. I especially appreciate the research that the author obviously put into the book because seeing familiar historical names and places really set the stage for the entire book. A great historical fiction/romance book and I look forward to reading more of Elizabeth Camden's work.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: Romancing Your Other Half

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Most married couples know how it goes. You start out in the throes of passionate romance only to have the fire cool over the years--especially when kids come along or life gets too busy. But keeping the romance alive is easier than most people think. Now the author of "Becoming Your Spouse's Better Half "shares the secrets of pursuing romance that won't quit.
With wit and wisdom, Rick Johnson shows men and women how to communicate effectively with their spouses, recapture the feeling of young love, incorporate romance and intimacy into everyday life, understand each other's unique sexual needs, and more. Anyone who has been married more than a couple of years will find useful insights and solid advice that will strengthen their marriage now and into the future.

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When I first chose to review this book, I honestly thought that it was going to be one filled with fun dates and things like that. Reading the book description now, I have no idea why I thought that! My guess is that it was late at night and I didn't thoroughly read what I was choosing. Silly me! That's okay because this book turned out to be a good choice anyway. Filled with sections on communication, love, romance, sex and even woundedness, this is a great book to remind all of us how to be better partners. The author writes in a style that it's like sitting down over a cup of coffee with a friend and just like that friend, you may not agree with every single thing, but you'll take away a lot and perhaps be a bit better for it.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Review: A Stitch in Crime

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Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel.
Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds?
When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

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I wanted to like this book. I really did. I have really enjoyed all of the other books in this series, but this one just didn't meet up to my expectations. For starters, the cover makes it look as if this is a Christmas book, but it really isn't. Then comes the character of Thea. For whatever reason, I just didn't like her. She seemed spoiled and whiney to me. I don't know. Perhaps the problem isn't with the book but with the expectations that I had for the book. I was expecting romance and there wasn't any. Instead, this book is a basic amateur sleuth whodunit type book. The story itself moves along quickly, but in the end, it just wasn't enough to hold my attention. If there was one redeeming quality to me, it was the character of Mary-Alice. I very much adored her and would love to read a book about her history and the love of her life, who clearly meant so much to her.

All of this being said, if you're looking for an amateur sleuth meets quilting and a serious love for her cat type of book, be sure to check this one out. Just because it wasn't my favorite doesn't mean that it can't be yours!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: Shelf Life

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It’s an industry of out-of-control egos, unrealistic expectations, and unfulfilled promises.

This is publishing and it’s Kate’s world, but maybe not for long.

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. With the shelf life of her career and her love affair quickly expiring, Kate sets off on a new adventure…

Starting over in California is easy but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nick Lavigne is eager to help her forget but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis.

As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she's welcomed back with open arms.

But at the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she'd been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart.

Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. Welcome to Publishing, the ego has landed.

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The ego has landed just doesn't suit this series of books when it comes to Kate. She's not an ego at all, though at times, she is certainly surrounded by some! Just like the previous book in this series, I couldn't put this book down. Every time I tried, my hand would be drawn back to it and I'd think, "Just another chapter or two...there's time..." Please don't tell my oldest that the reason I was late picking him up from school was because of this book! He already thinks I have too many books. This series will be remaining on my shelves and I know that it's one I'm going to come back to. The characters are well written, the story is well developed and moves at a speed that never allows the reader to get bored for a single moment. Make sure you pop in next week to find out what I thought of the conclusion of this series!

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Review: The Banshee's Embrace

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Jacqueline Huston has no idea what has been happening to her, but it started the night she was attacked by men with strange powers. While wounded in the attack, Jacqueline knows she would have surely died if her husband hadn't thrown himself into the line of fire. But being alive is little comfort when your husband is dead.

Ever since that night, Jacqueline has been strangely attracted to death for reasons she doesn't understand. When death is nearby, she experiences the uncanny feeling that she can predict when it is coming for someone. However, it's the weird urge to sing when she gets close to dying people that disturbs her the most.

Toby Williams is a wizard and a member of the Brotherhood of Merlyn, an ancient order of wizards. He's been charged by the Brotherhood to keep an eye on Jacqueline Huston. After all, half banshees are rare, and if placed in the wrong hands, they can be a powerful weapon. As owner of Merlyn's Bar, a place the lovely Ms. Huston frequents, it seems an easy enough assignment for Toby.

When sinister Derek Spark attempts to kidnap her, Jacqueline learns a frightening truth--she comes descended from an old Irish family whose women are destined to become banshees upon their deaths. Jacqueline was meant to die in the attack a year ago, but because she was only wounded, her banshee genes are coming out, making her a powerful weapon to those in the supernatural world. Derek wants to use her soul reaping powers for his own evil plans. Jacqueline must discover the truth about her heritage and save Toby, the man she finds herself falling in love with, and from her own banshee urge to reap his soul.

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More and more, I find myself being drawn to the paranormal and fantasy sections when it comes to review books. Perhaps it's because I keep finding books like this one. For a while, it seemed like a lot of the books were just repeats of each other, but in The Banshee's Embrace, I found an entirely new take on the old lore of banshees and wizards. On top of that, there were some twists and turns along the way that I certainly wasn't expecting and at the end of the book, I was left eagerly awaiting the next segment to find out what happens with not only Jacqueline, but her best friend, Toby, his mother and some of the other characters. Each character had their own defined personality and fit like a puzzle piece made specifically for this story. Honestly, if you enjoy paranormal/fantasy books, I recommend that you check this one out. Ms. Richards has done a wonderful job with making something old new again.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Review: The Wizards of Seattle

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Jason wonders if his luck has finally turned around when he discovers he will inherit a luxurious home infused with ancient magic and a sizable fortune from a relative he’d never known existed. Of course, there’s a catch. His younger brother and his cousin will inherit equal parts of the inheritance and it is stipulated in the will that they must live together first before they gain possession of the estate. All three of them are potential White Knights with the rare ability to practice advanced white magic. They must learn to use their new power and defend themselves from a secret organization that is armed with potent, black magic. This novella is the first installment of the Wizards of Seattle series.


Jason has recently discovered his new category six wizardry was a result of a genetic experiment performed by a secret organization called the Ebullio. Now that he has broken free of their mind control enchantment, suppressed memories float to the surface and he remembers the terrifying abductions and genomic therapy that he and his younger brother, Benjamin, endured. Meanwhile, the Valituras have set their sights on Jason, unleashing powerful curses designed to kill him and his family. As Jason learns more about the Ebullio and the Valituras, he realizes that danger lurks behind every corner and the enemy could be hiding in plain sight. This novella is the second installment of the Wizards of Seattle series.


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I'm back with another series by John O'Riley! If you recall, I really enjoyed his storylines in the past and these two novellas weren't any different. Secret societies, wizardry, mysterious inheritances...it all adds up to a quickly moving story that leaves you wanting to know what happens next. Like his other works, the author fills these novellas with tons of detailed information so it's not difficult at all to see the entire story unfolding in your head. Where it has bothered me in the past, in these, it seems to work. I do have one major complaint though and it's the fact that there is a major story issue in the first novella where the book contradicts itself. I can't describe it further without spoilers and honestly, some readers may just overlook it entirely. For me though, it stumped me and had me reading back and forth to make sure that I'd understood the story correctly. Also, I'm going on the assumption that I didn't receive the final edited stories, so it's entirely possible that this and the grammar/typos were fixed before publication. All in all, another enjoyable read that lovers of fantasy should enjoy.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: The Case of the Jewel Covered Cat Statues

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Buckley and Bogey, Cat Detectives, find their next big case with the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency to be their most complicated ever! It all starts when someone hides a mysterious package in their Mom's antique store - in the middle of the night! Of course, the boys find it, and put it in a nice, safe place, until they can open it . . . and, find the rightful owner. But that's when a whole bunch of suspicious people show up in St. Gertrude, and every single one of them seems to be after that package! Holy Catnip! Plus, everything happens just when a priceless, jeweled statue collection goes on display at the St. Gertrude Museum. Missing from that collection are two jewel covered cat statues that disappeared almost a hundred and fifty years ago. But soon Buckley and Bogey wonder how long those statues will stay missing. Because this is one case that really keeps them on their paws! From a trip to the Museum, and to an old church for the Blessing of the Animals; and from dinosaurs to diamonds, they end up dodging shady suspects the whole time. It sure helps to have their friends with them, especially when the bad guys make a beeline for boys. That's because it becomes very clear, very quick - the priceless cat statues aren't the only cats those crooks are after! Holy Mackerel!

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While this book is geared more towards the early middle school years, it's one that I very much enjoyed reading. I appreciated how each of the cats had their own personality and yet worked together to solve crimes and to take care of their families. This is one mystery that had me reading right up until the last page because the criminals were unpredictable and the sleuths weren't giving up until the mystery was solved. The storyline flowed smoothly and as I said, each character had their own personality and it was well defined. If I had one complaint, it would be that our narrator needs to mix up his catchphrases a bit. He has a tendency to repeat the same one an awful lot. But, he's a growing boy and perhaps as he gets older, his vocabulary will expand. I'm not going out on a limb to say this is a super cute, fun book that will delight readers and cat lovers alike.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

10:42 AM 0 Comments
This New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

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Achieve strikes again! Achieving a tidier and healthier living space.

Okay, I'm a sucker for certain types of books. Organization is on the top of that list. By nature, I'm a natural organizer, but I'm always looking for new ideas. I didn't necessarily find any in this book, but she does have a simple method that I've been telling folks for years... Does it bring you joy? If not, let it go. It's a method that I talk about in my own Organization group on Facebook and it's one that I think everyone should employ. Obviously, this doesn't work for certain things like necessary cooking or cleaning products, but it does in nearly every other scenario. There are certain things that don't work in every home (such as placing bookshelves into closets), but I think that this is a book that everyone can take something from and make it work for you. No plan is perfect for everyone, but everyone can tweak.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review: Mothering From Scratch

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Find Your Own Mothering Style
Trying to follow someone else's rules for mothering can take the joy out of being a parent. But "Mothering From Scratch" shows you how to develop your own style that helps you be the best mom for "your" kids.
Find Your Own Mothering Style
Trying to follow someone else's rules for mothering can take the joy out of being a parent. But "Mothering From Scratch" shows you how to develop your own style that helps you be the best mom for "your" kids.
Full of solid biblical truth, this book will help you
- explore your personality and examine your strengths and weaknesses in order to find what works for you
- tap into the resources surrounding you and get mentoring and support from other moms
- push past the fear of change or doing it wrong and allow room for grace in your mothering
Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo provide a flexible, customizable approach to help you discover your optimal parenting style.
""Mothering From Scratch" speaks to the hearts of women from coast to coast who are desperate for practical tools that work! Kudos for a job well done!"
--Jennifer Maggio, CEO of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and award-winning author

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When I was a much younger mom with much younger children, I was insecure in my parenting, like most new moms are. You worry that you're not doing something a certain way and that it will negatively affect your children. Luckily for me, I was thrown into the deep end and it was sink or swim time and I'm happy to report that my children are none the worse for it. However, back then, I would have welcomed a book such as this one. Filled with a transparency that made me smile, these two ladies don't claim to know it all or to be perfect parents. They share their practical insights and encourage all of us to be the best moms that we can be. I will mention that this is a Christian book and has quite a few religious insights, so if that's not your thing, you're going to want to give this one a pass. If it is your thing or you know a new mom that might enjoy this, add it to your wish list.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Review: The Publicist

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Welcome to the world of publishing. The ego has landed.

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.

Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author--now as forgotten as last year's bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions.

As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.

The story only an insider could tell.

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Whew! Talk about jumping into a story headfirst! This book does just that. There's no introduction, no leading up to anything, it's right there right from the beginning and I loved it. Kate was a character that most anyone could relate to and as I read the book (which I couldn't put down), I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry at some of the crazy things that she had to deal with as a publicist. I mean, I've met crazy, but some of these folks were their own special brand. I'm not going to give too much away because I really think that this is one of those books that you need to pick up and read for yourself. This is the first part to a series, but have no fear, I have the second and third parts just waiting to be read!

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Book Review: The Metabolism Solution

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Fitness specialist Lisa Lynn, who has been the guest expert on television programs like the Dr. Oz Show, reveals the hidden reasons you are not succeeding in your quest for weight loss. If it feels like a mystery to you, that s because the mainstream media and fitness businesses are earning a profit from keeping you in the dark. Lisa Lynn shows you how to free your mind from fear-based attempts through the power of God, improving not just your body, but your entire life. The breakthrough health system Lisa Lynn has created gives you not only effective recipes and real techniques, but the true reasons why nothing else has worked. Discover the answers to questions you haven't even known to ask and the drive to finally push through to the turning point in your life."

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As some of you may know, my word for 2015 is Achieve and as part of that, I've included Achieving a healthier lifestyle. I've been overweight for more years than I haven't and I decided that it was time to do something about that. So, when this book became available, I thought it'd be a great fit. Unfortunately, I was wrong. A major portion of this book is really just an advertisement for the author's product line and while the lifestyle she suggests may result in losing weight, I just don't see it as one that most people would want to spend the rest of their lives living. I don't want to eat a ton of diet supplements, shakes and protein bars. I would much rather focus on getting more movement into my daily routine, eating healthier portions and finding a balance between the occasional slice of pizza and eating fish only for the rest of my life.

For some, this may be the lifestyle changes that you've been looking for, but for me, it's just not a good fit.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Thundered Hearts

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Everyone knows the truth except her. Nineteen-year-old Beth lives in a world of Creek Indian myth, magic, and lies created by her family to keep her Power weakened.

Spirit Walkers harness the elements. Storms brew spewing her electrical energy over her hometown. Weaved into her spiritual journey is her birthright, but her family and the Native American Mandate bars her from fulfilling the destiny set by The One Above.

She saved his life once before. Three years ago, her best friend stormed from her life, ridiculing her and leaving invisible gashes sliced into her heart. Persevering on the surface, she dreams of fighting the terror haunting her town and the man who stole and broke her heart.

Her chance arises in the wake of The Green Corn Festival. Lucien arrives sick on her doorstep, but she isn’t a medicine woman. Despite the pain he causes her, she cannot let him die. Faced with the truth of her world, Beth must decide. Save the man she hates or fulfill her birthright.

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Wow...this book was not what I was expecting at all. It focuses a lot on Beth and her powers and how her "family" has keep them secret from her. Reading some of the Native American lore was really interesting and I love how it just added to the story. Somehow though, when I finished the book, I just felt like it wasn't over, that there was more to come. There isn't any mention of a follow up book, but this one does read as if it's book one in a series. Overall, I'd say it's an interesting and enjoyable read, but be prepared to feel like you have some unanswered questions at the end of it.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: A Groovy Kind of Love

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Uptight British lit lover meets a free spirit at a book club and his world is turned upside down! After placating to his father’s demands that he play Little League baseball and major in computer programming in college rather than his beloved English literature, Thaddeus assumed that several years into his career, he would finally get some peace and quiet. Then he met Spring Pearson, the younger, free-spirited daughter of Hippie parents, at a book club meeting. Instantly smitten, Thaddeus finally worked up the courage to ask Spring out. But will an old college pinkie-swear promise Spring made fifteen years ago get in the way of this bibliophilic romance? ”A Groovy Kind of Love” is the third and final installment of Karen Wojcik Berner’s Bibliophiles series. Written as stand-alone novels, each book focuses on one or two members of a fictional suburban classics book club, revealing their personal stories while the group explores tales spun by the masters.

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Karen - groovy  Author Bio: Karen Wojcik Berner writes contemporary women’s fiction, including the Amazon best-selling series, the Bibliophiles. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, and Fresh Fiction. She currently serves on the Author Council of LoveToReadEbooks.com and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. When not writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her youngest’s football or lacrosse games, discussing the Celts with the oldest, or snuggling into a favorite reading chair with a good book and some tea.
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Uptight British lit lover meets a free spirit at a book club, and his world is turned upside down!

After placating to his father’s demands that he play Little League baseball and major in computer programming in college rather than his beloved English literature, Thaddeus assumed that several years into his career, he would finally get some peace and quiet.

Then he met Spring Pearson, the younger, free-spirited daughter of Hippie parents, at a book club meeting. Instantly smitten, Thaddeus finally worked up the courage to ask Spring out. But will an old college pinkie-swear promise Spring made fifteen years ago get in the way of this bibliophilic romance?

"A Groovy Kind of Love" is the third and final installment of Karen Wojcik Berner’s Bibliophiles series. Written as stand-alone novels, each book focuses on one or two members of a fictional suburban classics book club, revealing their personal stories while the group explores tales spun by the masters.

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I confess to not having read the first two installments of this book series, but luckily for me, each one serves as as stand alone so I didn't need to! After reading this one, I confess that I'm just not sure that I'll look up the other two. While I loved the characters, the story breakdown just didn't work for me. The first part is background on the two characters, but it just doesn't flow between the two very well. The actual story about Spring and Thaddeus really doesn't begin until part 2 in the book. The story there just seemed to flow with very little of the normal bumps and bruises that you expect to see in a romance. The cover leads you to believe that the old college friend is a rather large deal, but truth be told, I didn't find it to be. I found what happened in the end of the book to be a much bigger issue, but again, not nearly as dramatic as perhaps it could have been. Overall, it's an easy read and one that some might enjoy, but it didn't have me doing any sort of jump jive in my seat.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: Emissary

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Hyam is a likeable lad who will make a fine farmer someday. But he carries a burden few can fathom. As his mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall, where he spent five years as an apprentice. It was there that Hyam's extraordinary capacity for mastering languages came to light--and soon cast him into the shadows of suspicion. How could any human learn the forbidden tongues with such ease? When Hyam dares to seek out the Mistress of the Sorceries, her revelation tears his world asunder.

He has no choice but to set out on the foreboding path--which beckons him to either his destiny or his doom. An encounter with an enchanting stranger reminds him that he is part hero and part captive. As Hyam struggles to interpret the omens and symbols, he is swept up by a great current of possibilities--and dangers.

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It's been quite a while since I read a true fantasy novel and this was a perfect re-entrance into the genre. Hyam is a character that you can't help but fall in love with. You cry with him, you celebrate with him and when he's in danger, you sit on the edge of your seat waiting to see if he's okay. He's no the only character in this book and each and every one of them have something about them that make you feel as if you know and care about them. The story is full of adventure, fantasy and moves along at such a pace that as a reader, I was never bored. The book comes to a close with a satisfying conclusion with just enough unanswered questions that it sets the reader up to eagerly await the next book in the series.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own. 
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Book Review: Eclair Meets a Gypsy

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Eccentric Grandma Stella is taking in boarders. Not the kind that talk, but the kind that neigh. Horses. When seven-year-old Éclair meets the first boarder and its owner, a girl Éclair’s age who’s dressed like a gypsy, the girl says her horse can read minds and will cast a spell on Éclair. Does the horse really have magic? If so, maybe the horse could make Éclair’s secret wish come true.

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Oh how I wish I had little girls! They would have every one of these books on their shelves for us to read together at night. This delightful story was easy to read and I can't imagine any little girl not loving it. I'm far from a little girl and the story delighted me. Grandma Stella is fun, Eclair is a typical 7 year old and every page had me smiling or laughing. I admit that I'd love to know Gypsy's secret...it wasn't quite revealed in this book.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: Masterpiece Marriage

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After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane s Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs. Eager to acquire his aunt s quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him. Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn t mean sacrificing her ambition?"


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As much as I've loved the Quilts of Love series, I had a tough time getting into this one. I just couldn't seem to relate to the characters and it took me about half the book before I was truly engaged in the story. I'm not sure that it helped that the main male character's name was Zenus and I kept reading it as Zeus. That one is all on me though! Overall, not a bad read but it's just not going to make my top ten list for the year.

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Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn. December’s QOL release celebrates the ebb and flow of marriage. Enter to win a Kindle HDX!

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One winner will receive:
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  • Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
  • Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 18th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog January 19th.
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Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: The Financially Confident Woman

7:21 PM 0 Comments
Too many women feel like they lack the know-how to take control of their financial lives. But it's not the level of their knowledge that's the problem, says personal financial expert Mary Hunt; it's their lack of confidence. Being in debt isn't a money problem--it's an attitude problem. And Hunt is here to help women develop a confident, capable attitude toward money so that they can take control of their finances.

Using the lessons she's learned from her own hard-fought battle with debt, Hunt empowers women to develop nine essential money habits, including giving, saving, investing, rejecting unsecured debt, preparing for emergencies, getting what you pay for, and more. She also includes a six-week action plan to help women get started right away.
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If money handling is not your strong suit, then might I recommend you add this one to your reference shelf? A quick and easy read, the author takes you through her story and how she turned things around while giving great advice for anyone who just needs a few tips and tricks and how to get into the right mindset. If I had one complaint, this is actually a reprint of her book that was released back in 1996 and unfortunately hasn't been updated with things such as automatic bill paying or online banking.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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