Monday, November 30, 2015

Mailbox Monday - November 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.

Lil' Diva, the cousin--Lil' Dickens--and the Lil' Princess

Hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful holiday surrounded by family followed by another successful annual bazaar at our church.

Because you know I can't resist bargain books or free books, I came home from the bazaar with several titles and picked up a few freebies this weekend.

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, the Eighth Earl of Asherton, and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, encounter what seems to be a perfect crime as they investigate a fatal fire at an fifteenth-century cottage. 85,000 first printing. $85,000 ad/promo.

Over three successive nights, stranger Harry Johnson sits in the London Pub "The Old Wine Shades" and tells a story to Richard Jury about a good friend of his whose wife and son (and dog) disappeared one day in Surrey. They've been missing for nine months - no trace, no clue, no lead as to what happened. The dog came back - but how?

For Dr. David Beck, the loss was shattering. And every day for the past eight years, he has relived the horror of what happened. The gleaming lake. The pale moonlight. The piercing screams. The night his wife was taken. The last night he saw her alive.

Everyone tells him it's time to move on, to forget the past once and for all. But for David Beck, there can be no closure. A message has appeared on his computer, a phrase only he and his dead wife know. Suddenly Beck is taunted with the impossible- that somewhere, somehow, Elizabeth is alive.

Beck has been warned to tell no one. And he doesn't. Instead, he runs from the people he trusts the most, plunging headlong into a search for the shadowy figure whose messages hold out a desperate hope.

But already Beck is being hunted down. He's headed straight into the heart of a dark and deadly secret- and someone intends to stop him before he gets there.

Dear Reader,
I love living in Cedar Cove, but things haven't been the same since a man died at our B and B. Turns out his name was Max Russell, and Bob had known him briefly in Vietnam.We still don't have any idea why he came here and—most important of all—who killed him. Because it now appears that he was poisoned. I sure hope somebody figures it out soon!

Not that we're providing the only news in Cedar Cove these days. I heard that Jon Bowman and Maryellen Sherman are getting married. And Maryellen's mom, Grace, has more than her share of interested men! The question is: Which one is she going to choose? Olivia—I guess it's Olivia Griffin now— is back from her honeymoon, and her mother, Charlotte (who's in her mid-seventies at least), seems to have a man in her life, too. I'm not sure Olivia's too pleased….

There's lots of other gossip I could tell you. Come by for a cup of tea and one of my blueberry muffins and we'll talk.

Peggy Beldon

The dating game is always the same. One disaster after another. Fortunately, Hallie McCarthy can compare notes with her neighbor, Steve Marris. He's divorced and in the same boat. Right--too bad Hallie and Steve are not interested in each other!

Death is business as usual

When Frank and Joe grab one of the Network's cases, the secret government agency tells them they're on their own. Then they hustle themselves a one-way ticket to France, expecting a little action. But after they penetrate the shady world of Reynard and Company, the largest organized crime ring on earth, the Hardys begin to expect something more - murder. Maybe their own.

Posing as gun dealers, Frank and Joe immediately run into trouble with the French police. Soon they're fugitives with no one to turn to but the criminals they've sworn to expose. Caught in a deadly web of enemies and betrayed by a beautiful girl, Frank and Joe must use every ounce of cunning they possess to defeat a foe whose icy fingers slowly tighten over the entire world.

I've requested from the library books two and three from Macomber's Cedar Cove series to get read to read 44 Cranberry Point. The next several books were free for Kindle this weekend. 

Gus LeGarde’s life essentially ended four years ago, when his beloved wife leapt to her death. Today, Gus lavishes love on his family, trying to bury the pain. But trouble arrives when his arrogant son-in-law’s business partner goes missing, and Gus’s innocent friend is set up to take the fall.

When Marcella Hollister’s prize parakeet gets zapped by a wayward power line in the same pool as her mother, the ensuing psychic link helps Marcella chase her mother’s kidnappers through the Adirondack Mountains, where she unearths a fifty-year-old secret about her dear father with shocking links to a hidden treasure.

After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family’s Vermont horse farm—only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother’s cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm.

Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a twelve-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can—try to help her heal. He summons the town doctor and Portia’s parents, and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again.

Through her family's love and Boone's gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself, and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way. But one thing threatens her fragile hope for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he'd kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her...waiting to make his next deadly move.

When Sam Moore discovers a peculiar green marble in his garden, it links him to his vanished little brother and thrusts him back in time, where he battles a faceless serial killer to untangle the maddening mystery and stop the murder of his beloved grandson.

They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Finn McGraw disagrees.

He was just seventeen when he had a torrid summer affair with the girl who stole his heart—and then inexplicably turned on him, just before being sent to boarding school. Finn may have moved on with his life, but he’s never forgotten her.

Now, ten years later, he’s got more than his lost love to worry about. A horrific accident turns his life upside down, resurrecting the ghosts of his long-dead family at the same time it takes the lives of the few people he has left.

Finn always believed his estranged brother was responsible for the fire that killed their family—but an unexpected inheritance with a mystery attached throws everything he knows into doubt.

And on top of that, the beguiling daughter of his wealthy employer has secrets of her own. But the closer he gets, the harder she pushes him away.

The Seacrest is a story of intrigue and betrayal, of secrets and second chances—and above all, of a love that never dies.

It is three days before Christmas and a bitter wind is blowing across Norfolk.

Until her daughter was born, forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway didn’t do Christmas, but now that Kate is a year old, she wants it to be special.

She must get a tree, shop for food, clean the house, buy presents, including one for her new boyfriend—who she isn’t even sure is her boyfriend—and remember to get the turkey out of the freezer.

But time is rushing by and the best-laid plans don’t always work out …

Unlucky in love, Maddie LaRocque moves to Calgary at the urging of her former college roommate. Maddie's luck goes from bad to worse when she's laid off from her job two months before Christmas. Undeterred, she sets up a gift wrapping business in the lobby of the Drummond Building in downtown Calgary where she meets Annie, a ten-year-old who has recently lost her parents.

When Maddie falls into the arms of the building's maintenance man it looks as though her luck is changing, but she soon learns that Brent isn't who she thought he was.
Maddie's roommate Lily hasn't fared too well in the romance department either, having been used for her beauty and Asian heritage by a man in Calgary.

The moment Chase Drummond spots Lily, he's stunned by her beauty, but Lily resists his advances, unwilling to have her heart broken by the most eligible bachelor in town.

Will a young orphan girl be able to convince the two women that love is the best gift of all this Christmas?

As you can see, my mailbox this time is filled to overflowing. I am still hoping for a couple more books from Santa this year. 

Hope you will share what your mailbox held. Hope you have a great week.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Holiday Inspirational Quotes

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

-- Calvin Coolidge

Love the giver more than the gift.
-- Brigham Young

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
-- Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more.”
--The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?
--Bob Hope

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
--Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.
--Andy Rooney

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gift Idea: Babyliss Pro BABNT5548 2000 Watt Ionic Nano Titanium with Integrated Ion Generator Hair Dryer

I've owned a lot of hair dryers in my time, but this is by far my favorite. It's not overly loud when it's on high; it has multiple temperature settings; it's powerful enough to get my thick hair done in about 10 minutes. And I happen to like how my hair feels after I'm done, instead of it feeling too fried. It's actually the same model my hairdresser uses.

When I first started using it I added the concentrator nozzle on the end, but I haven't used it in months because I noticed my hair dresser never used it. The biggest plus--at least to me--is the removable filter to make an easy job of cleaning out the dust it attracts.

My daughters each want one now, so maybe Santa will surprise them.

Purchase here!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Kindle Freebie: Dump Dinners by Vesela Tabakova

What’s for Dinner? - Top 50 No-Stress, No-Mess Dump Dinners - Spend More Time Enjoying Your Meal And Less Time Preparing It.

From the author of several bestselling cookbooks, Vesela Tabakova, comes a great new collection of delicious, easy to make family dinner recipes. This time she offers us 50+ comforting and enjoyable dump dinners inspired by the Mediterranean diet and full of your favorite vegetables, meats and legumes that are simple and easy to cook whether you need a quick weeknight supper or a delicious weekend dinner.

Dump Dinners: Family-Friendly Soup, Casserole, Slow Cooker and Skillet Recipes Inspired by The Mediterranean Diet is an invaluable and delicious collection of healthy dump dinner recipes that will please everyone at the table and become all time favorites.

If you're looking for delicious everyday recipes that are not too complicated and are budget-friendly - this cookbook is for you.

File Size: 1828 KB
Print Length: 87 pages
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B017KF50C0

Purchase here!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Busy Mom's Daily

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kindle Bargain: Baby Bumps by Amy Sprenger

From the author of the award-winning blog Snarky Mommy comes a book that will make every woman who has ever been pregnant pee with laughter (not that that’s hard). Wearing her highest heels and hottest pregnancy jeans, Amy Sprenger marches into her doctor’s office, beverage in hand, ready to finally see whether her baby is a boy or a girl. Sure, sure, this appointment is supposed to be about checking the health of the baby, but everyone who’s ever been there knows it’s really about looking for what lays, or doesn’t lay, between the legs. So when the doctor tells her she has an incompetent cervix, Amy becomes immediately offended on behalf of her reproductive organs. Is that just a politically correct way of saying her cervix sucks?

Unfortunately, as she’s soon to learn, it’s a lot more than that. The only way to keep that baby from falling out on the sidewalk (probably in front of Starbucks) is for her doctor to stitch her cervix closed and for Amy to stay in bed for the next four months. Four months that are carefully detailed in this “memoir.” A memoir that, while basically true, has been embellished with Amy’s signature brand of humor and hilarity.

With more time off than a castoff contestant on "The Bachelor," Amy takes pen to paper and settles in for the ride. But instead of sitting around eating bonbons, she’s popping hypertension drugs to stave off preterm labor. And complications? Oh, she’s got your complications. She’s gut-rehabbing her house. Her mother moves in to care for her. Her husband takes a “mancation” while she’s stuck in the hospital. And every time she has a contraction, she’s convinced it’s The Big One.

Living by the adage that laughter is the best medicine, Amy fumbles her way through a series of sometimes serious and usually embarrassing situations. And just to be clear, using a bedpan qualifies as both serious and embarrassing.

"Amy Sprenger's foray into factual fiction is a hilarious (and sometimes poignant) look at high-risk pregnancy from her view at the end of the bed. Sprenger offers a fresh and funny voice that readers will love!" -- New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster

File Size: 1950 KB
Print Length: 207 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1937349446
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Sheffield Publishing Group (September 2, 2015)
Publication Date: September 2, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Purchase here for only 99 cents!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gift Idea: Vintage Electronic Football Game

How many of you remember playing this Mattel game back in the 70s and 80s before Nintendo® and PlayStation® were the big thing?

I don't even like football, but I loved spending hours on my then boyfriend's (now husband's) Electronic Football game. When I saw this was now available, I knew what Santa would be putting in the hubby's stocking this year. He will get a huge kick out of it.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Gift Idea: The Ideal Christmas Gift Book Edited by Jerry Baxter (Free for Kindle)

Everyone wants a book for Christmas - but there are just so many out there! How do you choose the perfect book for Mum, Dad, son, daughter, best friend, teacher, the guy across the street, the woman who looked after your dog that time? Well, worry no more, because we’ve written The Ideal Christmas Gift Book.

This ideal gift is aimed at everyone from ages 10 to 110, and is such a perfect blend of Christmassy facts, jokes, puzzles, quizzes and more, that we guarantee* everyone will find something in it to make them smile. What’s more – in the spirit of Christmas we’ll be donating 75 cents to charity for every book sold.

The Ideal Christmas Gift Book… So good, that even Santa bought a copy.

*not an actual guarantee – although it did make our Grandpa smile and he’s really grumpy, so we’re pretty confident.

***** FIVE STARS - "A genuine delight" - J.A. Schneider, Amazon
***** FIVE STARS - "movie puzzles are awesome! ...the publishers donate some of the profits to charity, very cool" - H, Amazon
***** FIVE STARS - "If this book doesn't lift you up in the spirit of Christmas, then nothing will" - ELP, Amazon
***** FIVE STARS - "an ideal stocking filler" - HM Lee, Amazon UK
***** FIVE STARS - "Great all-round family fun" - Leanne Masters, Amazon UK
***** FIVE STARS - "loved doing the puzzles in this book" - Katherine Small, Amazon UK

From the Author

We raised money for a mental health charity, an Alzheimer's charity, and a book festival last year. This year we're planning on supporting charities that provide meals for those in need, so if you do buy the book, many, many thanks!

File Size: 6324 KB
Print Length: 130 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Candescent Press (October 11, 2015)
Publication Date: October 11, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Purchase your copy here!

Mailbox Monday - November 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.

Happy Monday, everyone! Last week was simply crazy around here. Needed to get the house ready for the Lil' Princess' birthday party in between working and other fun stuff. We had a sleepover on Saturday, took the girls to church with us on Sunday, and then headed over to Nomads.

I manage the membership database for our local Friends of the Library organization. That means I am at the library even more than I was before. So, you can guess how much more time I spend browsing the shelves these days. Here are a couple of books I picked up while there on Friday.

Hailed by The Economist as the “the most influential pastor in America,” and by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, the bestselling author of The Purpose Driven Life expounds on the profound origins of Christmas, describing it as an opportune time to welcome peace into our lives.

In his powerful yet compassionate voice, Pastor Rick Warren sounds the clarion call to “remember the reason for the season,” taking readers back in time to the most wonderful story of all—the birth of the baby Jesus. When he was just a small boy, young Rick asked his parents if they could celebrate Christmas with a birthday party for Jesus—and the tradition began that the Warrens have upheld for over fifty years. Now through stirring imagery and compelling personal insights, The Purpose of Christmas honors the significance and promise of this cherished holiday. Pastor Warren encourages readers to identify and confront what drains peace from their lives. Warren explains that the way to respond to these peace robbers is to learn how to surrender to God’s will and not feel defeated or discouraged when life does not go as planned. True peace of mind is found by having an unshakeable faith in God—knowing that His empowering Spirit will guide His children through life’s challenges.

Beautifully written, The Purpose of Christmas will stir readers to honor the true significance of Christmas and to nurture God’s gifts of love and peace in this world.

Countless fans remember Michal Landon from his leading roles in the popular television series "Bonanza," "Little House on the Prairie," and "Highway to Heaven." Far fewer, perhaps, know Landon as a caring father who changed the course of his own life to save his daughter's. Cheryl, a motivational speaker who travels throughout the world to share her father's legacy, has combined the simple beliefs Michael Landon tried to exemplify - both at work and at home - with family stories, her own experience, and the loving touch of her father's spirit. This special book is guaranteed to charm "and" inspire. Includes a special introduction and photo section.

Anyone who knows me knows I can't resist seasonal reading, and this book about a man whose work I so admire was the perfect find.

Wishing all of you a blessed Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mailbox Monday - November 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.

Hope you had a nice week. It was another busy one around here. My family and I got together with my extended family over the weekend for a pre-Thanksgiving event we called FauxGiving. There were so many of us we needed to rent a hall!

Paul and I.

My oldest sister and her baby boy.

My middle sister and her two kids.

Take that, doctor who said at my age things won't heal as quickly!

I'll share more pictures later. Here comes the books. Well, the book, because nothing arrived in my mailbox last week, but I did pick up this freebie from Amazon.

Brooklyn Prescott (if that's even her real name) is the new girl at The Rosewood Academy for Academic Excellence, now that she's moved back to the States after two years living in London. Rosewood, a boarding school for children of the rich and famous and known for its celebutantes, is missing just one element important to any junior's education: boys. But luckily for Brooklyn, and the rest of the Rosewood girls, there's a boys' boarding school, The Westwood Academy, just a few miles away.

On her very first day, Brooklyn meets Will, a gorgeous and flirty boy on campus to help with move in. But is he who she thinks he is? And what about Brady, the cute stable boy? Or Jared, the former child actor with his grown-up good looks who can always make her laugh? As Brooklyn settles in at Rosewood, she's faced with new friends, new challenges and new opportunities to make herself into the girl she always wanted to be. Whoever that might be.

What was in your mailbox last week?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mailbox Monday - November 9

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.

Well, the leaves are off the trees and I am getting the yard ready for its annual sleep. Thankfully, it hasn't been too cold yet. Last week we hit 70 a couple of days.

I've been catching up on reviews lately. In addition to the ones posted on this blog last week, I posted:

Redemption by Becky Johnson
The Christmas Cradle by Charlotte Hubbard
Diego's Dragon: Dragons of the Dark Rift, Book Two

As for new arrivals, this book showed up last week:

Snakes, Alligators, and Broken Hearts recounts the author's adventures and experiences growing up as the son of a biologist during the 1960s and 70s. With humor and compassion, the author describes the innocence of his early childhood, the heartbreak of his parents' divorce, and his rocky journey through adolescenceall against the backdrop of animals, travel, and his poignant relationship with his father. Along the way, readers will discover the experiences that shaped his interests and, eventually, molded him into the author of more than seventy books for young people.

I also picked up this audiobook from the library:

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the epic tale of Harry Potter, Harry and Lord Voldemort each prepare for their ultimate encounter.

Voldemort takes control of the Ministry of Magic, installs Severus Snape as headmaster at Hogwarts, and sends his Death Eaters across the country to wreak havoc and find Harry. Meanwhile, Harry, Ron, and Hermione embark on a desperate quest the length and breadth of Britain, trying to locate and destroy Voldemort’s four remaining Horcruxes, the magical objects in which he has hidden parts of his broken soul. They visit the Burrow, Grimmauld Place, the Ministry, Godric’s Hollow, Malfoy Manor, Diagon Alley...

But every time they solve one mystery, three more evolve—and not just about Voldemort, but about Dumbledore, and Harry’s own past, and three mysterious objects called the Deathly Hallows. The Hallows are literally things out of a children’s tale, which, if real, promise to make their possessor the “Master of Death;” and they ensnare Harry with their tantalizing claim of invulnerability.

It is only after a nigh-unbearable loss that he is brought back to his true purpose, and the trio returns to Hogwarts for the final breathtaking battle between the forces of good and evil. They fight the Death Eaters alongside members of the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army, the Weasley clan, and the full array of Hogwarts teachers and students.

Yet everything turns upon the moment the entire series has been building up to, the same meeting with which our story began: the moment when Harry and Voldemort face each other at last.

What appeared in your mailbox this week?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Book Review: What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management by Leslie Josel

What's the Deal with Teens and Time Management 2
Tired of rushing to get your teen out of the door on time each morning? Frustrated by last-minute trips to the store to buy supplies for that school project your child has known about for months? Concerned that your teen is simply overwhelmed by all she has to manage? Let What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Your Teen Succeed by Leslie Josel help.

In less than 100 pages, Josel is able to guide you on how to help your teenage son or daughter get organized and develop the time management skills that will carry them through life. Not only did this book help me to understand how to phrase questions in ways that hone these lifelong skills; it also made me realize that my actions could either encourage or impede my children's progress.

What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management will provide you with the information you need to make a change in your family's lives. From insight into learning styles, to homework strategies, to dealing with procrastination, to managing distractions and more, Josel offers realistic expert advice and achievable goals for your teen. I firmly believe every family with teens or soon to be teens can benefit from reading this book.

Highly recommended!

Publisher:People Tested Books
Publication date: 01/29/2015

Purchase at: Amazon/Barnes & Noble

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review: Stop The Diet, I Want to Get Off! by Lisa Tillinger Johansen, MS, RD

Trying to lose weight and considering the latest fad diet? You should read  Stop The Diet, I Want to Get Off! by Lisa Tillinger Johansen, MS, RD first.

In this informative book, Johansen shares "The Skinny" on popular diets and why they don't tend to be effective long-term. From the 3-Day Diet to the Zone Diet and everything in between, the author discusses these diets, talks about how there is no magic pill you can take to lose weight permanently--darn, I wish that weren't true--and helps you put together a plan to lose weight by improving your overall diet and adding in exercise.

There's too much in this book to tell you everything, but I can say that what I liked most about it is that the plan seems achievable. Why? Because Johansen helps you understand why fad diets don't work; talks to you not only about portion size, but also teaches you which foods fit into what categories and how they effect your body; discusses reasonable ways to increase fruits, vegetables and water into your regular routine, as well as increase your fiber intake; and informs you what our bodies need per gender and age group for our nutritional as well as exercise needs. There are substitutions and grocery shopping tips and the Appendix includes additional resources.

As I have gotten older, staying healthy has gotten more important to me. I see habits I should have formed earlier in life that would have helped me now. In addition, as a result of reading this book I've already been implementing some of the changes to my lifestyle that I will be able to share with my family.

Stop The Diet, I Want to Get Off! is a must read for anyone looking to lose weight effectively and needing a encouragement to make some forever changes.

For More Information

  • Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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