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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mother of Pearl by Kellie Coates Gilbert

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HOW FAR WILL A MOTHER GO FOR HER DAUGHTER?

Barrie Graeber has two great kids, a loving husband, and a respected job as the high school counselor in her close-knit community. Without warning, everything unravels when her teenage daughter, Pearl, is betrayed by friends and lashes out.

Nothing prepares this mother for the helplessness that follows when her attempts to steer her daughter back on course fail and Pearl shuts her out . . . or when she discovers the unthinkable about her nemesis, the football coach.
 
About the Author: Kellie Coates Gilbert
 
 I barely remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand. My tiny hometown of Carey, Idaho had no library, no bookstore. The bi-weekly bookmobile provided the only avenue to books . . . that, and my Gram, who spent a lot of her Social Security checks on books for her granddaughter with an insatiable appetite for stories.
 
I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho, a business my family had been in for generations, never dreaming I’d ever see my own name on a novel. I left home to attend Boise State University and spent most of my adult years pursuing a sensible legal career, raising two boys, and learning to be happily married.
 
But God heard the quiet prayers of a woman who dared to dream big and ask her Lord for the outrageous. In early 2011, I signed my first book contract. Today, I am living my fantasy. I live in Dallas with my husband. I work from home, writing novels. Often by the pool.
Can life get any better?
 
My Thoughts on This Book:
 
This page gripping novel is about Barrie, the mother of Pearl and the spiraling details that show us the private side of her teenage daughter while shedding light on one influential person in her life. This book took my emotions on a roller coaster ride with such real details that any mother prays she'll never have to face in her lifetime. An emotionally gripping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. A must read in my opinion.
 
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review of this book. No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Did you Say Roadtrip?

I've been a bit preoccupied with life and haven't been on here posting stuff. I have a lot I'd like to add all the way back from August but photobucket has been giving me a tremendous amount of issues with uploading my photos that I've held off.

School is going great. We are finishing up our sixth week already. I have some pics of our school projects we've been working on. I hope to get them posted soon. My daughter started her college class and she's really enjoying that. Also with the start of school came the Bible in 90 Days challenge. This time I'm reading it chronologically. I have been meaning to post about it but really haven't had much time to devote to blogging right now. I am on schedule so I'm really happy with that and plus I'm REALLY enjoying this way of reading the bible. The stories unfold to me in such detail being able to read it as a timeline.
 
My husband went on a work trip the first day of school back on August 20th and was gone until September 5th. Well, now he is needing to return back to Arizona for another trip, same place as before, but the best part is we are going with him. Hubby will be flying out as required by his work and the kids and I will be driving down. We leave in 4 short days. Not a lot of time to plan this long three states away trip but we are looking forward to getting out of dodge... We haven't really done much this Summer so this trip is well received in our family.
 
We've decided NOT to stop school. If we do then we would have to school through Christmas and we just don't want to do that. Since we are tagging along with my hubby on this trip, we will do our schoolwork while he's at work and then enjoy the rest of the day going to see awesome places.. We will be in Tucson, AZ and then as we head home we will be visiting the Grand Canyon.. We've never been there so we are excited about seeing it in person. We plan to visit a zoo, an observatory, Tombstone, Old West Studio where they film old west movies/TV shows, Airplane Museum, desert museum and also do some hiking to check out Arizona up close. This is just a few places we plan to visit that I can remember off the top of my head. We are excited..
 
I hope to post on them w/ photos as we go, but if I don't get them on during our trip, I will definitely show them after we return.. Now off to check things off my to do list and prepare for our departure.. Road Trip 2012 begins in T-Minus 4 days....Until then.....

Letting Go of Super Mom by Daisy Sutherland

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:
Publisher: Siloam (August 7, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Dr. Daisy Sutherland is the founder and CEO of Dr. Mommy, LLC. She is a doctor of chiropractic by profession, wife, and mom to five children, whom she has homeschooled for the past twelve years. She hosts a weekly Blog Talk Radio show called Family Talk and is the featured parenting expert on Mom Talk Radio, a nationally syndicated radio show that airs on more than fifty stations, reaches 50,000 moms, and has been recognized in The Oprah Magazine, Women’s Day, USA Today, and Parenting. Women all over the country have benefitted from “Dr. Mommy’s” health, parenting, and career management tips and godly advice. She is the voice and advocate for every mom and says she is blessed to be able to help so many.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

This guide will include time-management and organization tips, how-tos for handling stress, nutrition and general wellness advice, parenting and relationship tools, and ways to stay spiritually refreshed and highly productive without losing it! Dr. Mommy will also share her best tips and tricks from her personal experience of being a homeschooling, CEO mom.






Product Details:

List Price: $15.99

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Siloam (August 7, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616384638

ISBN-13: 978-1616384630

AND NOW...A SAMPLE (Click on pages to see them better):



Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 Family Photos


Went out today while the trees are full of the Autumn brilliance to get our 2012 Family photos done. We haven't had our photos done as a family since 2010 so I was looking forward to getting some new ones. An added bonus is this is the first set of photos where I don't have to hide behind all my children to get a good photo. I actually looked forward to 'being in' the photos this year.. Now if I could just get the teenage boy to look happier... hee hee!!

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These photos were taken by me and my family. I've placed them also on my Pittstop Photography blog. The reason behind the watermark on the bottom of all my photos..

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Unending Devotion
Bethany House Publishers (September 1, 2012)
by
Jody Hedlund

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jody has written novels for the last 20 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), became a best seller and has won multiple awards.

Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released in September of 2011, and her third book, Unending Devotion, is out now. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!

Jody has been married for twenty years to her college sweetheart. Jody has five children ranging in ages from 15 to 6, with a set of twin daughters in the mix to make things more lively.


ABOUT THE BOOK

High-Stakes Drama Meets High-Tension Romance

In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her to Harrison and into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber baron father.

Posing during the day as a photographer's assistant, Lily can't understand why any God-fearing citizen would allow evil to persist and why men like Connell McCormick turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the town. But Connell is boss-man of three of his father's lumber camps in the area, and like most of the other men, he's interested in clearing the pine and earning a profit. He figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters.

Lily challenges everything he thought he knew, and together they work not only to save her sister but to put an end to the corruption that's dominated Harrison for so long.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Unending Devotion, go HERE.

My Thoughts on this Book:
this story brings the 1870's lumber camps of Michigan to life. As Oren and Lily photograph shanty boys in the camps, Lily desperately searches for her younger sister Daisy, knowing deep in her heart, has taken her life to prostitution. While looking for her sister, Lily meets Connell McCormick, the rugged man that's behind the loss of the trees and beauty of Michigan forests. This story is based on true facts which makes it literally come to life. A page turner until the end..
 
I receieved this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Bridesmaid
Bethany House Publishers (September 11, 2012)
by
Beverly Lewis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Latest in Chart-Topping Amish Fiction from Beverly Lewis

Twenty-seven-year-old Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The single young Amishwoman is a closet writer with a longing to be published something practically unheard of in her Lancaster County community. Yet Joanna's stories aren't her only secret. She also has a beau who is courting her from afar, unbeknownst even to her sister, Cora, who, though younger, seems to have suitors to spare.

Eben Troyer is a responsible young Amishman who hopes to make Joanna Kurtz his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet with his only brother off in the English world, intent on a military career, Eben's hopes for building a life with his dear Joanna are dimming, and patience is wearing thin. Will Joanna ever be more than a bridesmaid?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bridesmaid, go HERE.

My Thoughts on this Book:
 
The second book in The Home to Hickory Hollow series. After reading this I found you can easily read this one without reading the first one as there is only a few references to the previous book and wouldn't affect the storyline if you didn't know that.
 
Always feeling like she'll never be a bride, only a bridesmaid, Joanna finds love with Eben. But Eben lives in a different district and in a different state. Not only is the distance an issue, his family committments on the farm is keeping him from moving close to Joanna. Due to this Joanna finds herself discouraged that marriage is not meant to be. Can love withstand the challenges they are facing. Will it be enough?
 
Wonderful storytelling again by Beverly Lewis.. Couldn't put this one down until the very end.. Loved it!
 
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review of this book. No other compensation was given.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Found by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Found
Avon Inspire; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
by
Shelley Shepard Gray

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


ABOUT THE BOOK  

A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive?

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.

Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Found, go HERE.

My Thoughts on this Book:
 
If you've been following along on this series then you may of been waiting as I have to read this book!. Book 3 of Crittenden County gives you the details you've been waiting for.How did Perry die? Shelley keeps you guessing almost to the end. Certainly not who I thought it was. Great book.. Not only does she gives us suspense but has a wonderful touch of romance to make this book a must read in my opinion. Looking forward to reading her new series coming soon "Daybreak"
 
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fair Photos and Creations

I entered the fair again this year in the photography category. I was hoping to get two more ribbons to move on to the Advanced Category.. The past two years I've been in the Novice category. You need to win 6 ribbons to move on. This is the 3rd year I've entered so I was excited to see how I did.

This year is a little different. I went to the actual judging and watched them judge all the novice pictures including my DS13's picture. He entered one in the youth category. It was really neat to see what the judges liked and disliked..

This is what I won.... We'll start with the smallest to largest ribbon..

Honorable Mention:

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The glare on my daughter's arm was there because of my flash when I took this photo for my blog..

1st Place:

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1st Place & Best of Show Black & White:

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It looks like next Summer I will be moving on to the Advanced Category.. We'll see how that goes!!!

My daughter entered a picture in the youth category.. She got a participation ribbon

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My husband and DS13 also entered in the photography category.. Hubby didn't win anything but his picture was really good.. DS13 won Honorable Mention.

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Hubby's is on the left and DS13 is on the right above

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DS10 entered a Lego Creation and won 1st Place...

Tuesday Weigh In

A friend of mine has a meme going on, on her blog Learning at His Feet called Tuesday Weigh In. Since I haven't written in awhile about my weightloss I thought I'd join in this week. Not sure if I will post every week but I think talking about it will help me a bit.
 
The reason being.. I've hit a HUGE plateau. Back in March 2012 I hit 142 with a total weight loss of 32 pounds and I've been sitting here ever since. I dipped down to 141 for about a week and came right back up.. I've even brought myself up a couple pounds and then trickled back to 142. So here I sit.. What should I do?? I have no idea...
 
I weigh myself faithfully every morning. I don't want to get my weight back up to anything above 144. These two pounds are my safe zone. I allow myself this cushion for well monthly hormone changes etc.. I am happy with what I look like in the mirror. I am in a size 6/8 so I can't complain.. I just wish I could shed a little bit more. My ideal weight that I would LOVE to see on the scale would be 135. I have to keep in mind though that I'm physically active. Years ago after having my last child I got down to 144 (nothing smaller) but I was in a size 10 then. As you can see I weigh the same as I did then but I'm in a size 6/8. I am going to happily blame muscle mass for that and not fat.
 
I'm a runner. I wasn't back then. I'm also a weightlifter.. I wasn't back then either... I just wish I could find something to do to get me out of this loooonnnnggggg plateau so I can hit my ultimate goal.
 
Not sure what to do yet.. I've done the calorie counting, the exercising 5 days a week.. I am wondering if this is where my body wants to stay.. I guess I can't complain though. I feel good, I have energy and these two are the big things.. Hopefully I will see the scale moving downward again.. REALLY soon...

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This is me now.. I am really grateful for losing all the weight I have. I truly am happy with what I see in the mirror.. Now just want to touch up on a few areas that still do a little jiggling.. if you know what I mean.. hee hee!!