Monday, November 20, 2017

Mailbox Monday - November 20



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Thanksgiving week! Not sure what your plans are but mine involve cleaning, baking, and spending time with my family. I'm working today and have a class tomorrow morning, but I'm hoping to be off after after that until next week. Annual Christmas bazaar at church is slated for this coming Saturday from 9 to 3.

As far as reading materials go, I received a couple of great books for review and also picked up a resource I found at the Write Angles Conference I attended on Saturday.


Can a religious separatist and an opportunistic spy make it in the New World?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.


The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. "I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me."

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.


Americans have long regarded the freedom of travel a central tenet of citizenship. Yet, in the United States, freedom of movement has historically been a right reserved for whites. In this book, Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor shows that African Americans fought obstructions to their mobility over 100 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. These were "colored travelers," activists who relied on steamships, stagecoaches, and railroads to expand their networks and to fight slavery and racism. They refused to ride in "Jim Crow" railroad cars, fought for the right to hold a U.S. passport (and citizenship), and during their transatlantic voyages, demonstrated their radical abolitionism. By focusing on the myriad strategies of black protest, including the assertions of gendered freedom and citizenship, this book tells the story of how the basic act of traveling emerged as a front line in the battle for African American equal rights before the Civil War.

Drawing on exhaustive research from U.S. and British newspapers, journals, narratives, and letters, as well as firsthand accounts of such figures as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and William Wells Brown, Pryor illustrates how, in the quest for citizenship, colored travelers constructed ideas about respectability and challenged racist ideologies that made black mobility a crime.

I hope you'll share your mailbox with us. Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving.




Sunday, November 19, 2017

Book Review: When the Bishop Needs an Alibi by Vannetta Chapman

Bishop Henry Lapp, Emma Fisher, and more familiar faces return in When the Bishop Needs an Alibi, the second book in Vannetta Chapman's Amish Bishop Mystery series.

Henry and Emma find themselves in the middle of another mystery when he discovers the body of a young woman while visiting the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to witness the annual arrival of 20,000 sandhill cranes to the San Luis Valley of Colorado.

When Henry quickly becomes the primary murder suspect, it seems like God is calling him to use his special talent to help in the investigation. He realizes his involvement in discovering the truth could put those he cares about in the path of a dangerous killer who will stop at nothing to make sure Henry is framed for murder.

As much as I enjoyed the first book in this series, What the Bishop Saw, I loved this one more. Faith, friendship, and courage blend together to create an engaging story that pulls you in immediately. It's wonderful to watch Henry and Emma's relationship evolve in the second novel. In addition, the strong ties that bind this community together add a meaningful dynamic to the story. Chapman continues to fascinate me with her ability to weave an amazing story that keeps you riveted and also touches your heart.

I can't wait for Who the Bishop Knows, which is due out this spring. I highly recommend this series to lovers of Amish fiction and cozy mysteries.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736966498
ISBN-13: 978-0736966498

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Nov 6



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

A busy week it was in this neck of the woods. Sold a house, enjoyed some trick or treaters, the dog and the Lil' Princess celebrated birthdays, and I am preparing for numerous closings coming up this month.

Nothing in my mailbox but I did pick up this short Deputy Tempe Crabtree story from one of my favorite authors--Marilyn Meredith.


When a body is discovered in the hills, Deputy Tempe Crabtree is called to the scene. The victim is Claude Forester who claims to be a reincarnated Native American medicine man. Several members of the local tribe have reason to dislike him, but who is responsible for his death?

You can pick up your copy at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0774QGQK1

What was in your mailbox? Hope you'll share.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Is There a Middle Ground for Christians at Halloween?


A few years ago, I posted an article on Christian Children's Authors about how we celebrate Halloween. This is a holiday that can divide people of faith. My mother-in-law won't even call it Halloween. She calls it Trick or Treat Night. Admittedly, I'm not much into the gore and ghoulish aspects of the holiday, but I do enjoy this time of year and like to see all the neighborhood kids dressed up.

Today, I found an article from 2015 written by Dr. Benjamin L Corey titled, "A Reasonable Middle-Ground For Being A Christian At Halloween." I also found this article citing Bible verses that might be some basis for not celebrating. I'm curious what you think. Is there a middle ground for Christians on Halloween? Should we avoid celebrating the holiday in any way?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mailbox Monday: Oct 30



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

My, oh my, what a day. Woke up to no power, phone, or internet. Lost a tree--thankfully into the woods and not the house. No school today and none tomorrow. At least the power is back on as of 9:15. Mother Nature sure has been giving everyone a beating lately.

Hope you had a nice mailbox. Mine was empty, but that's okay. I still have PLENTY to read.

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review: A Simple Wish by Charlotte Hubbard (Giveaway)

We return to Willow Ridge in A Simple Wish by Charlotte Hubbard, the second book in her Simple Gifts series.

Having lived under her father's thumb too long, Loretta Riehl is determined to follow her own path in life. She decides to join Nora in her shop to sell her rugs and teach classes on rug making. She's also got a troubled heart. Drew Detweiler came to Willow Ridge under a cloud, but she can't deny her attraction to him. Will, her former fiancé, certainly isn't liking their growing closeness. When Drew sets out to discover the truth about Cornelius Riehl and his moods, he hopes to fulfill Loretta's wish to live in a peaceful, happy home again.

I simply can't say enough kind things about Charlotte's books. They draw you in right away and you can't help but push aside everything else to read them: her characters are so real; her settings are so beautifully described; you feel that sense of community right from the start. Perhaps the best part of picking up a book by Charlotte Hubbard is she has such a strong sense of genre and what her fan base enjoys that she delivers a great story every time.

With the Simple Gifts series she has created new successes and new challenges for the residents of Willow Ridge. While certainly a stand alone novel, the reader will get a rounder picture if they read the first book in the series before this one.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Hallmark needs to make a movie out of some of these books. They really are superb.

Pick up a copy of A Simple Wish to find out what the people of Willow Ridge have been up to.

EXCERPT:

Grinning, Drew dropped down from the buggy. As he clasped Loretta’s hand and escorted her to the other side of his open vehicle, she wondered if he was leading her down a path riskier than Will’s and far more dangerous. A path more daring . . . and passionate. When Drew placed his hands on either side of her waist, he paused before lifting her up.

Loretta’s heart went wild. Drew’s sapphire eyes held secrets and intentions she couldn’t decipher, and he brought to mind a fox in the henhouse cornering his tasty prey. Effortlessly he lifted her into his buggy and then hopped in on the other side. “Hope I wasn’t interrupting anything important,” he said as he took up the lines. “If I’m not mistaken, Gingerich looked like a man come courting.”

Feeling downright wicked—yet too flummoxed to look over at Will on the porch—Loretta let out the breath she’d been holding. “You saved me from a really embarrassing scene,” she murmured as the buggy lurched into motion. “Once upon a time I loved Will with all my heart, but after Dat broke us up and he latched onto Molly so fast—well, I had second thoughts about his . . . sincerity. His true feelings for me. And now, well—”

Loretta faltered. The man beside her had lied to Molly about who he was when he’d gotten her in the family way, before poor deluded Will had married her. Everyone in town had officially forgiven Drew for deceiving Molly, and also for drugging his brother Asa with sleeping pills before he’d tried to marry Edith, but Drew was still a mysterious newcomer who played his cards close to his vest.

If Dat saw whom you were riding off with, he’d be even more upset than when he made you break up with Will.

It was true, yet Loretta didn’t regret what she was doing. For the first in a long time, she felt breathlessly alive.

Order Ebook

Order Print
Zebra
September 26, 2017
ISBN-13: 9781420138719
ISBN-10: 1420138715






Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera. Please visit Charlotte online at www.CharlotteHubbard.com.

Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in anyway. 



Monday, October 23, 2017

Mailbox Monday - October 23



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

This week I have three home inspections, but I am hoping for a slightly less hectic schedule than what it has been. Our week was filled with soccer, driving the Lil' Diva to work, real estate appointments, and a dead car. Thankfully it didn't cost us the farm to fix it.

My mailbox held this great graphic novel that arrived directly from the publisher.



Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with huge pots of paint in all sorts of colors. What is he up to? Why does he look so sad when he comes back?

In a graphic novel interwoven with journal notes, scrapbook pieces, and doodles, Cici assembles clues about the odd and wonderful people she’s uncovered, even as she struggles to understand the mundane: her family and friends.

What did your mailbox hold? Here's hoping you have a blessed week.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mailbox Monday - October 16



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Is it possible I haven't participate in Mailbox Monday since August 28? Wow! My life must truly be crazy. Here is the abridged version: tons of closings and some new listings (made top listing agent in my office in September), continued health issues plague my father-in-law and I'm very involved in his care, it's soccer season, and I'm still trying to pretend I can make time for my writing.

In the book world, I'm doing a bit better with reading but still not a lot of time for that. I'm usually too exhausted. That hasn't stopped me from buying anything. :)

Stopped by Traveler Restaurant in Union, CT in September. You can choose three free books when you dine there and books are also available to purchase. Picked up these two:


This must have been before they decided to separate it into separate volumes to make it more manageable. 


This also has different editions now and there are four books in the series.

Being a true Laura Ingalls Wilder fan I picked up these two new books from Amazon:



And who can resist a book sale from Christianbook.com...not me. 





This arrived from an author I had read before:


This was received for a virtual book tour:


That's it from me. I pray you all have a great week filled with blessings. Hope you'll share some of your new books here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Spotlight: Operation Christmas Spirit by Vicki Watson

A rascally pony, two run-down carts, and a pile of moldy harness seemed like a strange start to a journey full of ups and downs that led Rosie to the most meaningful Christmas of her life. But looking back, she knew it all began that fall day at the livestock auction.

When Billy King asks questions about the biblical Christmas story, his curiosity inspires Rosie and the other children to dive into Scripture for the answers. Together they come up with a secret plan for a unique Christmas celebration--Operation Christmas Spirit.

Operation Christmas Spirit is the eighth book in the Sonrise Stable series, heartwarming stories of an extended homeschooling family as they live, learn, and love together. Mixing adventure, life lessons, and realistic horse stories, the series is a must for readers who enjoy family values, Christian faith, and, of course, horses!


Sonrise Stable Book 8 - Operation Christmas Spirit from Vicki Watson on Vimeo.


Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 1 - 6
Series: Sonrise Stable (Book 8)
Paperback
Publisher: Sonrise Stable Books (September 20, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984724273
ISBN-13: 978-0984724277

Purchase here!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Guest Post: How Tempe Has Changed by Author Marilyn Meredith

Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer—another a ghost.

How Tempe Has Changed
by Marilyn Meredith

When the series began Tempe Crabtree knew little about her Indian heritage. She didn’t grow up on the reservation and all she knew about being a Native American came from stories her grandmother told her. These stories play an important part in a couple of the mysteries.

When she went to high school she was made fun of for being an Indian by some of the other students, and shunned by the Indian kids who lived on the reservation.

Her friend, Nick Two John, is the one who gradually teaches her about what it means to be an Indian and some of the Bear Creek Indian legends. Many of these legends are also a basis for plots. Her feelings about her heritage and all it means change throughout the series.

As time goes on, she has reached out more and more to Indian mysticism and spirituality to help her solve the mysteries that confront her, despite her pastor husband’s objections.

What hasn’t changed is her willingness to risk her life to help others. Her strength has remained consistent throughout.

While writing this, I realize that I probably should have had her appearance change a bit—but hopefully the reader will use his or her own imagination to see Tempe with natural changes as she’s aged. To be honest, I see her in my mind’s eyes as the more mature woman that she is today.

What is your opinion about how much a series character should change?

Marilyn

Anyone who orders any of my books from the publisher‘s website: http://mundania.com
can get 10% off by entering MP20 coupon code in the shopping cart. This is good all the time for all my books, E-books and print books.

On Kindle:




Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing 40. She is one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter of Sister in Crime. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra, a place with many similarities to Tempe Crabtree’s patrol area. Webpage:  http://fictionforyou.com Blog:  http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Facebook.

Contest: Once again I’m going to use the name of the person who comments on the most blogs on my tour for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery—which may be the last in the series.

Tomorrow I’ll be here:

My Journey as an Author


Friday, September 22, 2017

A Christian Mom's Thoughts on The Star Movie 2017



I was browsing through the October issue of CBA Christian Market online magazine and saw this cute animated movie announcement for The Star: The Story of the First Christmas. I was about to promote it on my website, but then I looked at the above trailer and now feel very mixed about it: think Shrek landed in Biblical times and you get what I'm talking about.

While I know other Biblical events have been portrayed in a lighter way (Prince of Egypt), the birth of our Savior should be treated with greater reverence than that. Silly camels, birds shaking their booties, Mary offering to give the donkey a belly rub, etc. feel out of place to me.

Maybe I'm taking this too seriously. If this portrayal of the first Christmas brings more people into the Church, who am I too complain? It's just that a Christian's journey is a big commitment. It's a conscious choice. It's not a joke. While there is much joy, faith doesn't take away your hardships. It doesn't always even make them easier to handle--it should if you're able to have 100% faith, but that's not always the case. Faith is a journey of growth. It's slowly learning to give up control of your life to God and knowing that He will bring you through your trials just as much as He brings you blessings. If we draw people in with this half way approach, will they have the strength to stick with it when the times are tough?

Is it wise to trivialize faith? Is it fair to trivialize it? And again, am I'm making too big a deal out of this? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Guest Post from Education.com: Math Facts Game



Math Facts Game

Practice makes perfect – especially when it comes to memorizing math facts. But does your child balk at flashcards, making multiplication practice a struggle? If so, consider playing this fun math facts game to help your child review the math problems that tend to trip him up. Especially enjoyable for kinesthetic learners or musically inclined children, the game combines music with movement and allows children to move around as they practice. Although the game is perfect for practicing the multiplication tables, it can be used for any math concept that children should be able to do in their heads rather than through writing.



What You Need:
Paper
Markers
Tape
CD or MP3 player

What You Do:
1. Make a list of math problems that your child is having difficulty with.

2. Write the answer to each of the math problems on its own piece of paper with a thick marker. Each number should fill up the paper and be dark enough for your child to see easily from several feet away.

3. Tape the numbers at random on a driveway, bare floor, or patio.

4. Turn on the music and let your child dance around on top of the numbers. After a few seconds, pause the music and call out a math problem, such as “Three times eight!”

5. Your child should then jump as quickly as possible onto the number that is the correct answer to the problem you called out.

6. You can keep on calling out math problems while repeating the previous steps. If your child has a friend over you can change the game into more of a competition, in which children race to see which one can jump on the correct number first.



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Spotlight: Reflections: A Journey to God







Title:
REFLECTIONS: A JOURNEY TO GOD

Author: Gary & Susan Eby

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing

Pages: 268

Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry


Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.
This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we've learned along our journeys. We're sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read
this book with an open mind and heart.
We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes
& Noble


Emotional Healing
In the twilight of an Oregon summer night, the half-moon projects a mystical glow. Cool mountain air flows with the gentle sounds of cricket music. A glimmering star curtain unfurls to reveal a celestial vision of power and energy that transcends all human worry, doubt, and fear.
Tonight I am at peace, yet I still struggle with discouragement. A part of me obsesses and worries about an unsure financial future. This negative side is unforgiving, self-critical, and emotionally
abusive.
At age 60, it appears overwhelming and even impossible to change the direction and course of my life. As I try out new ideas and new technology to achieve my dreams and goals, I stumble and fall. So many barriers and obstacles loom on the horizon. The prospect of giving up and throwing in the towel appears seductive.  Why not just give up? What's the point anyway?
I ask myself why am I trying so hard to achieve my dreams, when reality smacks of karma, suffering, powerlessness, and death?  We all know about all of those 'bad things' that keep happening to 'good
people'. Right?
I accept that evil and injustice exists in this world.  I know random or calculated acts of violence, painful relationships, disease and the loss of loved ones, cause untold pain and suffering.  In these moments of despair, frustration, and discouragement, my consciousness returns to the power of the half-moon.
There is darkness but the moonlight always conquers the night. Even when no moon can be seen in the sky, the moon is there.  Tonight, I choose to thrive on the Light living within all of us.
Much of life will remain a mystery. The stars above and the universe within will sustain me through predictable trials and life challenges. I choose to embrace the majesty of life made sublimely radiant
by those infinite, flashing, celestial spheres.
I feel myself merging with the universe and my thoughts begin to turn toward God.  This is the place I want to be.  This is the space I want to be in.  This is where I want to live my
life.  I refuse to let the negative overtake me.  
I emotionally reach out toward the lights dancing in the sky and accept what is always, always true.  I am forever guided by God, and whatever happens in my life, I know Spirit will show me through.  No fears, worries or negativity can touch me when I am existing in the Love Light.
Link to Trailer:






Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is "Choose the positive, because it's all good!"



Susan
studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates,  Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson's mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.  

Their current book is Reflections: AJourney to God.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




Friday, September 8, 2017

Back to School and Back to Workouts



I can't stay I love working out, but I will say that it's obvious when I don't. Energy levels get zapped, my belly feels fully, and I plan old feel yucky.

Now that the girls are back to school it's time for me to get back in shape. Signed up for a workout FB group and pulled out my weights, resistance bands, and mat. The Lil' Diva has a punching bag now, so I can use that. I also ride my bike for a bit. It has been very busy, so doubtful I'll get in a daily workout; but if I manage four days a week I will be happy.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Book Review: Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar

Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar might just be the most powerful collection you'll ever read. Journaling her way through abuse and eventual healing, Lavendar holds back nothing: pain, anger, hate, sadness, acceptance, revelation, peace, healing...

Meant to encourage and inspire other victims of abuse, this captivating collection of Christian poetry and prose will make you cry, will make you think, and will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. You will want to hold onto this one and read it again.


Paperback: 138 pages
Publisher: Written Dreams Publishing (April 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998167398
ISBN-13: 978-0998167398

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, Indiebound

Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website at: www.diamantelavendar.com.

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Guest Blogger: Jason Reid, Author of Dinner Conversations



“You are going to LAUGH! You are going to then wonder if these conversations actually happened. You are going to wonder what kind of guy would actually say these things to his family.”

The answer is simple—yes, these conversations did actually happen. They occurred over a period of roughly 5 years, mainly at my dinner table. I took them verbatim and posted them on Facebook so that all my friends could get a good laugh.

I must be honest with you, some of you will are going to laugh and say things like “…that sounds like something I would say or want to say” others are going to think that I am a horrible parent. I am ok with either thought process.

What I hope is that after laughing, scratching your head and wondering what is wrong with Jay Reid, you realize that you need to create more of your own Dinner Conversations.

Please join me @ www.Facebook.com/DinnerConversations to read more and post your own.”


GUEST POST

When was the last time you had an actual conversation with your family around the dinner table, without the distraction of the television or any other form of technology?

In today’s technology-driven world finding time to stop and enjoy real, in-person conversations with our loved ones is becoming less of a priority and more of an inconvenient task. Like any family, our individual schedules keep us constantly on the go, passing each other as we run in and out of the front door. I travel a couple of nights out of every week, my wife and 4 kids have busy lives and their own individual obligations—it is easy to find ourselves disconnected from each other. Starting to sound a little familiar?

Dinner Conversations is a book that contains my personal collection of conversations that happened roughly over a five-year period, mainly between my kids, wife, and I around our dinner table. I know what you’re thinking and before you start glancing towards the top corner for the “x”—let’s get personal for a minute, shall we…

My name is Jason, I have four children, a wonderful wife of 24 years, a successful career and have absolutely NO filter. Every family has that one person who says exactly what pops into their head, always without hesitation and in my family that ONE person is yours truly. I use my own personal “trial and error” approach to parenting, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

I’m turning 50 this year and like most guys my age--I figure things out the old fashion way. I don’t read manuals. Typically, I find myself trying unusual ways of putting things together, taking different paths and swearing more frequently no that I have teenagers, which I find clears the head and helps a great deal with the thought process.

Two of the most important pieces of my unique parenting style are:

If I am home, we are all sitting down to a family dinner (except on date nights that is just for my wife and I).
Dinner should be fun, we should all laugh and not be afraid to speak our minds.

In Short, the collection of conversations and hysterical moments a family has and laughs about privately, I have put together for you to laugh, enjoy and possibly even find some of the unique conversations relatable. I invite you to take a break from the serious page turners and chapters that seem to go on for weeks, because you are in the constant process of finding where you left off. Take a break from raising your own kids and just have a good laugh at how I raised mine. The only thing bigger than my college tuition bills will likely be the therapy bills that I will be paying for down the road, so feel free to go ahead and pick up a few copies of the book to share the laughs with your own friends and family : ) profits from this book will be applied to one of the following:
-Family Therapy Jar
-College tuition bills (Did I mention I had FOUR kids?)
-The 18+ years of alcohol consumption my wife and I will surely need to get them all graduated and still maintain some degree of sanity.

If you’re still here and have made it this far, I hope that you enjoy reading Dinner Conversations and the raw glimpse of our family’s most hysterical conversations and moments over the years.

Grab a seat, a drink and as always enjoy the conversations.

All the Best,
Jason Reid

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook @DinnerConversations for new conversations, family updates and to also share your own dinner conversations with us!


Jason Reid is an entrepreneur by trade and a dad by passion. He currently lives in Murrieta, California with his wonderful wife and amazing four children. Over the years he has written numerous business books, a novel, and children’s The Protector Bug book series.


Mailbox Monday - Aug 28



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

I wouldn't want you to think I am busy or anything, but the last Mailbox Monday I posted was on....July 31! As I mentioned in my recent post, life is hectic around here. I just signed up a new seller and three new buyers. I am also committed to holding open houses every Wednesday at a new subdivision in town and an open house there every other Sunday. If everything works out the way it should, September will bring with it five closings.

School is starting on Wednesday, so we've been doing a bit of back to school shopping. Now that the Lil' Diva is able to drive, I've been trying to give her the chance to do it as much as she can so she'll be ready for Driver's Ed. And get this...she just got her first job! How in the heck is she old enough to be working and driving? Pretty soon we will be touring colleges. Yikes!

The Lil' Princess had her first soccer practice last week and we are hoping she has a wonderful season. She has missed playing and a good season would prepare her for high school next year. She gave up the violin, but might pick up piano. We will see how that goes.

On to book matters....

I've lost track of how many books have arrived since my last Mailbox Monday, but here is what is visible from my desk.



















What was in your mailbox last week? Hope it was great. Wishing you a blessed week.