Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Motherhood and a Collection

About the book: Motherhood is a divine calling but it may not always feel that way. Now you can show the women in your life how much they matter to you, with this delightful little volume full of wit and wisdom about the divinity, reality, and rewards of motherhood. Fresher than flowers and sweeter than chocolate, it's a perfect gift for the women who give so much.

My take: Isn't this cover absolutely lovely? I loved the frank look at motherhood and was inspired by the stories and insights. Motherhood is divine, even though it sometimes feels like just the opposite. Our calling as a mother is the most important thing we will ever do. I'm grateful to have resources that encourage and inspire me to be a better mom and to recognize that what I do as a mom has value over anything else I could achieve. One of the best things is that the sections are short, so even if you're not a reader, you can enjoy this book. Highly recommend.

About the book: Are you looking for a fabulous life boost today?

The Life is Too Short series is just what you need. Written by Connie Sokol—mother of seven, author, speaker, and amazing matching sock finder—these humorous self-development columns give you just the right amount of fun and functional.

Originally written for a major newspaper and magazines, you can now enjoy the entire collection in one book. 

Put your feet up and laugh as you relate to time-tested tips on being a woman, wife, and mother. You'll learn the cozy stuff of how to adjust expectations, have faith in your dreams, and lighten up in motherhood. And, you'll learn a few life skills such as easy spring cleaning, simplifying the holidays, and creating successful goals.
It's the perfect gift for any woman!

Short, funny, insightful, these quick power columns are ideal anytime, anywhere, to rejuvenate your mind and soul.

Life is Too Short Trilogy combines three individual books, updated and revised:

Life is Too Short for One Hair Color

Life is Too Short for Sensible Shoes

Life is Too Short for Linoleum

My take: Well, the 'About the book' section pretty much covers it. I love Connie's sense of humor and her openness to learning and being real. Your friends will love you when you get this fun gift for them. And even better? The paperbacks are two for $20 and the ebooks are $2.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME.

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disclaimer: This is my honest review. I bought these books and volunteered for the blog tour. No compensation was given in exchange.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Do You Like to be Right?

Who out there would answer 'Yes'? I don't think I'm an anomaly when I say I like to be right. A while back, I posted about misusing a particular word. (Go here to read about that experience.)

So, this morning I came across what I believe to be misinformation on an Instagram account. I don't want to get into a battle there, so I'm going to post here.

What is a Christian?

Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines it thus: adj 1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings. 2. of, pertaining to, or adhering to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. 3. of or pertaining to Christians. 4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ, as in having a loving regard for others. 5. humane, decent, generous. --n. 6. a person who believes in Jesus Christ; an adherent of Christianity. 7. a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.

The Christus at the SLC Visitor's Center

That seems pretty clear to me. Based on that definition, I am a Christian--and YES, I claim that, with all of my heart. I love Jesus Christ. I believe He is the son of God and my Savior and Redeemer. But based on mis-information, many people say I am NOT a Christian. In the end, it only really matters that God knows my heart, He knows I love Christ and want to do all I can to follow His teachings. I read the Holy Bible, but suddenly because I read the King James version, I'm not a Christian? Because I believe and read the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, I'm not a Christian? No, people, I AM a Christian. I am a follower of Christ. The church I belong to is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--which is also known by nicknames like the Mormons or LDS.

But don't take my word for it. Check the Mormon Channel (@mormonchannel) on Twitter or click my What I Believe tab, or go to You can read about the humanitarian efforts here. I promise, the messages will uplift you and bring you closer to Jesus Christ, who is not only my Savior, but everyone's.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lesson from Downton Abbey

I will confess, I don't watch Downton Abbey. It isn't that I don't like that sort of thing, because I suspect I would really love it. After all, my friends watch it and love it. I'm just too scattered to keep track of when it's on and the one TV we have is usually taken over by someone else--and I don't care enough to take charge of it. That said, I came across a quote from Downton Abbey's Violet Crawley that I think we can all take a lesson from.

"Vulgarity is no substitute for wit."

I'm going to take it one step further. "Profanity is no substitute for good writing."

I recently read five romantic suspense novels, sadly, none of which I would recommend based solely on the amount of profanity. Every single one contained the F word--and one novel several times per chapter. It was appalling, and completely unnecessary.

My teen years saw all the Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and romantic suspense novels I could find at the library. Sometimes I would raid my grandmother's Reader's Digest Condensed novels hunting for similar authors. They were brilliant. They had intrigue, murder, twists and turns, that spark between hero and heroine.

What didn't they have? Sexually explicit content. Profanity. Did that take away from the story? Not one bit. Does it add to the story? Rarely, and even then, it is no justification for randomly throwing it in there.

As a reader, I want writing to take me away, uplift me, even inspire me. I want to be able to find some 'keepers', books I can recommend to my friends and the world at large.

So, my writer friends, I challenge you: up your game. I will say it again, "Profanity is no substitute for good writing."

Write well my friends, write well.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

SOLSTICE by Jane Redd

There are four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker, 2. Join a religious cult, 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature, 4. Fall in love.
Jezebel James does all four.
Jez is on the fast-track to becoming a brilliant scientist, with one goal—save her city from total extinction. But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning, the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.

Seriously, doesn't that sound so intriguing? I loved this story. I had a difficult time putting it down and even then, was thinking about it. It has some twists and I won't give anything away but I liked that some of the challenges were unexpected. Jez is always worried about making a wrong move, which doesn't always work in her favor. I liked her character and her toughness when she needed it. Can't wait for the next book. Nicely done, Jane Redd. 

Check out SOLSTICE on Amazon.

*I voted for this book on Kindle Scout and received a free copy. The review contained herein is solely my own.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Thank You Cheerleaders!

If you've followed my blog at all, you know I signed up to participate in the BMO Harris Phoenix Half-Marathon. My sisters, brothers-in-law, and a nephew participated too. My one sister and her husband are multi-Ironman finishers (Ah-Ma-Zing!) and my other sister and her husband and son have done this before as well (again, amazing). My other sister and husband couldn't make it this
Go Charlie Brown!
Look at all that trash the
volunteers had to clean up.
Thanks team!
year, but we're hoping for next year! And maybe my hubs can join then too.

I told them originally that I would participate with the caveat that I was not running. I just don't enjoy that (and neither, really, does my body). Some people's bodies are meant for that. Not mine. And I'm so OK with that. I started walking almost daily in preparation, including some running during each mile. I was pretty confident that I would be able to walk/jog the course in less than four hours. My sister and I finished in 3:06:28! I was super excited about that.

Enough on that. I want to thank everyone who came out and cheered us on. People I knew, people I didn't, older people, kids in strollers, kids holding signs. It was incredible. I mean that. It made me cry more than once that they would be so generous with their time to come cheer people on during the race. It really made a difference. Walk/jogging a half-marathon is an accomplishment I'm excited about. It took preparation and determination. But the joy came from the people. The people we raced with, the people who volunteered at the water/gatorade stations, and the wonderful people who cheered us on as we ran past. THANK YOU!

And a huge thank you to my sister that walked with me who was my biggest cheerleader and encouraged me the whole way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection

**Amazon #1 Bestselling series in Clean Romance**

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection. Six historical romance novellas set in the Old West. 

WRITTEN IN HER HEART, a charming novella by Stacy Henrie, Georgeanna is getting desperate. She can’t fund her favorite orphanage unless she marries and secures the rest of her inheritance left by her father. But her father’s financial planner, Clay, can't understand why she's not content with her current situation. Georgie determines to send out a notice as a mail order bride to attract suitors who won’t know her financial situation. Little does she know, Clay takes up the pen and sends her letters of his own under an assumed name. After years of working for Georgie’s father, Clay realizes he isn’t ready to watch her marry another, not when his heart is already claimed by her.

In Kristin Holt’s delightful novella WANTED: MIDWIFE BRIDE Dr. Naomi Thornton thinks she has it all: a beautiful house, a loving husband, and a fulfilling career. But when everything she holds dear is ripped away, Naomi has no choice but to start over. What will she find in the wild and untamed Wyoming Territory? Dr. Joe Chandler has waited years for a wife with the knowledge, skills, and tender heart he yearns for in a medical colleague and lifetime companion. When a midwife arrives with more expertise and secrets than he counted on, Joe quickly discovers there’s more to love and marriage than a simple mail order contract. 

In THE SOUND OF HOME, a captivating novella by Annette Lyon, Marilyn is given the choice of either marrying the despicable Victor or being charged with a murder she didn’t commit. Refusing to believe that either is her fate, she finds a third option: she answers a mail order bride advertisement and boards a train to Wyoming to wed a man named Harry. Moments after her arrival, she learns that Harry isn’t who he seemed to be, and the advertisement turns out to be a giant mistake. Harry’s brother Thomas agrees to let her stay until she can figure out what to do next—after all, she simply cannot return to New York—but Marilyn quickly finds herself developing feelings for Thomas.

In Sarah M. Eden’s endearing novella FOR BETTER OR WORSE Gerald Smith, on the advice of his well-meaning neighbors, has decided it’s time to change his lonely existence. Mary Hill, on the advice of her empty pocketbook and non-existent roof over her head, has decided it’s time to secure herself a future. A mail-order marriage, they both realize, is no guarantee of happiness, but it is a risk they are willing to take. However, coming face to face on the train platform, the hapless couple discovers an unexpected truth: marriage to a perfect stranger is sometimes far preferable to the prospect of a lifetime with someone you used to know.

Heather B. Moore’s sweet novella THE INCONVENIENT BRIDE sees Carmela traveling from Boston to Colorado, eager to meet the man she’s been corresponding with and will soon marry. Her brother’s new marriage leaves little room for Carmela in her old life. Upon arrival in Leadville, she faces a rude awakening, and the only one who can understand her predicament is her fiance’s brother, Samuel. But Samuel can’t possibly help her out of an awkward situation, can he? It would be better for all if she returns immediately to Boston and pretends she never traveled to Colorado in the first place.

THE PRICE OF SILVER, an engaging novella by Si├ón Ann Bessey, Katie leaves New York for Idaho to marry Jake, a man she’s written to a couple of times. But when she steps off the train, his brother Caleb is there to greet her. Jake has gone to take a mining job he couldn’t pass up. Caleb takes Katie back to the family ranch to wait for Jake’s return. The more Caleb gets to know Katie, the more he envies his brother, but he can’t let his heart overrule his head unless Jake changes his mind about his intended bride.

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March 1: Brooklyn Berry Designs (and me!)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Caribbean Crossroads

Caribbean Crossroads is such a fun book. It's a light read but also touches on deeper issues. I love cruising, too, so it was fun to have that setting for part of the book. I recommend this for a perfect getaway during these cold months, and the Kindle version is only $1.99 right now. You can get it at Amazon. Once you read it, review it on Amazon and Goodreads. (Reviews are like gold to authors!)

Here is a little bit about the book:

New college grad Megan McCormick just got dumped. Hard. Swearing off men and relationships, Megan is coaxed into performing on a cruise ship where she meets the star performer, Bryant Johnson. Handsome and charismatic, he looks like trouble, but she can't deny the intense attraction between them. Urged to find a wife and run the family lumber business, Bryant is torn between his family's expectations for his life and his own. However, when he meets spunky, but love-skittish Megan McCormick, settling down doesn't look so bad. Just when Megan begins to trust again, and Bryant makes some big decisions regarding his future, her former fiance returns with a malicious surprise, taking Megan and Bryant to their own CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS.

Connie Sokol has written many books and offers insights in a deep and common sense way. I think she is inspired and inspiring. You can check out more of her great stuff on her website: I highly recommend it.

And who doesn't love a chance for $25 at Amazon? Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance!

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