Friday, September 21, 2012

Crayola Back to School Giveaway

Recently I received a big box in the mail!  Almost as big as a bread box ... maybe bigger!  It was full of Crayola products (thanks for the opportunity MyBlogSpark!)  Inside this box was pure FUN!  These products certainly made going back to school bearable in our home.

We received in our box:
  • Crayola Bright Fabric Markers
  • Crystal Effects Window Markers
  • Crayola Window Mega Markers
  • Wild Notes Index Cards
  • Wild Notes Sticky Notes
  • Wild Notes 1 Subject Notebook
  • Dual-Sided Dry-Erase Board
Our favorite?  It's a toss up!!  My son, age 11 in the 6th grade, is all about the Crayola Bright Fabric Markers -- they allowed us to write his name inside of his navy blue baseball hat without any problems.  That's a first for us.  We are usually trying to put his name in the dark colored hat with pen or something -- and we fail miserably.  Daughter, Twink, age 10 in 5th grade, loves the Wild Notes sticky notes and Mega Window Markers.  Littlest daughter, age 4, has her favorite too:  the Crystal Effects Window Markers.  If I had to pick my favorite, I think I would be on Team Crystal Effects Window Markers.  They are SO cool.  They create a crystallized, ice-like, drawing.  It is so neat to draw and watch the colors come to life in crystals.

I took the WildNotes Index cards to work to show off.  One of the girls wrote "a stocking stuffer for sure!" and passed the card back to me.  Now that's a testimonial if I've ever heard one!

Crayola is offering a Back to School Pack for one lucky reader.  In the winner's fun box will be: 
  • Crayola Bright Fabric Markers
  • Crystal Effects Window Markers
  • Crayola Window Mega Markers
  • Wild Notes Index Cards
  • Wild Notes Sticky Notes
  • Wild Notes 1 Subject Notebook
I've teamed up with a few other great blogs to help spread the word about this fabulous giveaway!  A huge thank you to:  We're Parents?!, We Think Pink 365, Mama's Mission and Coupon Crazy Sisters!  I hope you all take the time to visit them all through the links provided on the Rafflecopter below.

The contest will open today, 9/21/12 and end on 9/28/12.  Winner will be announced after entries verified.

and ... on with the show!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The information, products and additional Crayola Back-to-School gift pack was provided by Crayola® through MyBlogSpark. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

$200 Amazon Instant Bucks G1veaway

Welcome to the $200 Instant Bucks Amazon Giveaway!

Thank you for stopping by another fabulous event hosted by,
Jenn's Blah Blah Blog and Diva Fabulosa! This time we bring you the $200 Instant Bucks Amazon Giveaway!
Check out our wonderful co-hosts Parsimonious Pash, SmartySaver, Colleen's Book Nook,
We would also like to thank every blogger that is taking part in this event!
We couldn't do this without everyone! Thank you to all our fabulous readers for allowing us to bring you these awesome events! It's because of you that we do what we do day in and day out! A HUGE Thank You to our Amazing Readers!

This is my first time participating in such a huge giveaway!  I'm excited to be a part of it.  Hope that someone from Family, Scrapbooks and Coffee is the big winner!  There are so many ways to enter, mostly just "liking" other blogs on Facebook or following blogger twitter accounts.  It's a great way to meet fabulous bloggers out there who offer a little bit of everything! 

About our Sponsor: Instant Bucks - If you haven't heard of Instant Bucks, keep reading and we'll fill you in! Instant Bucks launched in May 2012 in Southern California. Instant Bucks is a consumer loyalty site that offers amazing rewards for completing research surveys, online shopping and so much more! They strive to bring you new daily opportunities to earn online rewards and save money. Instant Bucks is an online community that rewards you for doing things you're already doing online. Why not get rewarded? With Instant Bucks you'll earn online rewards for completing tasks such as:
  • Easy Surveys
  • Watching Videos
  • Sampling Products
  • Shopping Online
  • Coupon Clipping
There's a variety of ways for you to earn online rewards. They also offer a fast turnaround on rewards and plenty of opportunities for you to earn those awesome rewards. As a member of the Instant Bucks Community you'll:
  • Earn virtual currency called "Instant Bucks"
  • Refer family and friends and earn. There's no limit on what you can earn from referrals
  • No limits on reward redemption
  • High paying offers
Once you build up your "Instant Bucks" you'll be able to trade them in for great prizes such as:
  • Gift Cards - Wal-Mart, Amazon, Restaurant and more!
  • Hotel Stays
  • Airlines
  • PayPal Cash
  • Shopping
  • iTunes
  • Coupons
A special thanks to Instant Bucks for making this event possible! They're generously offering one lucky person the chance to win a $200 Amazon Gift Code! Thanks, Instant Bucks! About the Giveaway Giveaway will run September 1, 2012 12:01am EST - October 1, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. One lucky person will have a chance to win $200 Amazon Gift Code, must be at least 18 years old to enter, and is open to US residents. To enter use the Rafflecopter form below, GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for shipment of prize, nor did I accept any form of payment to promote this event. All entries will be verified.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WW: OBX 2012

Thanks to Daniel Pullen for another job well done!  We love them!  See you and Kate next year!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Free Blogger Opportunity $200 Amazon Gift Card


Instant Bucks $200 Amazon Blast

Are you ready for another fabulous giveaway!  This time Instant Bucks will be sponsoring this fabulous event, offering our readers a $200 Amazon Gift Card! Event is sponsored by Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog and Diva Fabulosa! If you have not signed up with Instant Bucks, do it now!  They are new, and you will love them, similar to Superpoints, CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP! Join us and offer your readers this fabulous prize!  What do you get for helping us promote? Event will run from Sept. 1, 2012 until Oct 1, 2012!  Plenty of time for all of your readers to enter this fabulous event!
  • FREE Facebook Link
  • Additional Links $2
  • Daily Votes $3
Learn more about this wonderful Amazon Giveaway.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Days by Susan Mallery

From the Publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns with a new Fool’s Gold trilogy featuring three rugged cowboys who will find love in the unlikeliest of places…
 is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to—the Castle Ranch in Fool’s Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could’ve prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he’s finding Heidi—and life as a cowboy—much more compelling than he wants to admit.

For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she’s always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won’t give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less…wholesome.

As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they’ll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.

What I thought:

I liked it.  This is another series that I picked up in mid-series.  Fool's Gold is like no town I've ever heard of before --- everyone knows everyone --- and is in their business.  LOL  I had many of those laugh out loud moments in the book and found it was an easy read.

The main characters Heidi and Rafe were easy to like and I can see why the whole town got involved in their "affair" by wearing "team heidi" and "team rafe" buttons - like the "team edward" and "team jacob" buttons that many fans wore after the Twilight books and movies came out.

I will look for the new books in the series as well as check out the beginning books too. If you would like to check out Fool's Gold, you can find paperback and Kindle version at Amazon, or your local library. 

I was provided a galley of this book by the publisher via  I was not compensated for this review, nor required to post a favorable review although I am pleased to do so. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Almigal's First Blog

Almigal’s First Blog

Hi there, it's me...Almigal...and this is my very first blog.  (I am so excited!)
I want to ask you something...Do you know any kids that wear glasses?  How about hearing aids or coke-lee-ur implants? They are sort of like the same cause they are all helpers. Glasses help you to see and implants and hearing aids help you to hear.

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to wear implants or hearing aids (like Penelope and me)?
Well, let me tell's kind of cool cause I do get to pick my favorite color. (And you know what that is...cotton-candy pink...yaaaaay!) But they can be a pain when they hang from my ears when I'm upside down on the monkey bars. I'm also not crazy about taking them out at night.  (You know I don't like to miss a sound.)
Did you ever wonder what it's like to be "hard of hearing"?  (That's what grown-ups call it) Well, when I'm not wearing my "hearing devices" (another grown-up word) I can't hear a thing. (For real...not a thing!)
Try this...put on the TV, but turn off the sound.  Can you figure out what in the world they are talking about?  Well...that's how it is for me without my devices. (There's that big word again.)
Before I got my implants, some noises and voices sounded pretty weird to me. Other times I would hear every other word or I might hear you, but I couldn’t figure out where you were. Were you next to me or were you behind me?  Sometimes people would sound like their mouth was full of marbles (that’s gross). And when I first got my implants, everyone sounded like a robot. (That was fun for a little while, but then it got super annoying.)
I hear so much better now with my cochlear implants (see its really not that hard to say). Would you believe I can even hear rain?  (Penelope can hear rain with her hearing aids, but not me...I need my implants for that.)
And now I hear Lucy snoring. (She does that sometimes...does your dog ever snore?)
The good news is that everybody is cool is that?  (What fun would it be anyway if we were all the same?)
Well, thanks for reading my very first blog EVER...I hope they invite me again...this was fun.
It was nice to meet you and thank you for letting me talk about me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Let's Hear it for Almigal!

I was recently given the opportunity to review the book Let's Hear It For Almigal which is a recent release from author Wendy Kupfer and illustrated by Tammie Lyon.   This book is a children's hardcover book and is so close to my heart.  Not because I know the author or illustrator but because it is about a little girl who has a hearing loss.  I, too, have a hearing loss.

Not everyone is privy to that information about me.  Only my closest friends and colleagues.  I have always had a hearing loss - I was treated with tubes in my ears when I was in kindergarten - but that didn't do anything to help my hearing.  I have what is commonly known as a "cookie bite" hearing loss which means that I can hear low tones and I can hear high frequencies but that "middle of the road" where most people speak?  Can't hear it.  Know what else?  I have hearing aides.  Yes.  Bionic ears.  And, I'm not even 40.  But, I didn't get the aides until my kids were 2 and 3.  Amazing.  If my BFF's former roommate (and now friend of mine!) wasn't an audiologist, I probably still wouldn't have them.  It took a lot of persuading to get me into these aides.

Now, I am on my second set (just got them last month!) and do not know what I would do without them.  I am still very self conscious about them because not many people are familiar with hearing loss as a disability that affects younger people.  I think the perception is of the old grandma or grandpa with hearing aides -- dead batteries, feedback, all kinds of things that can go wrong, but I really do think that most people think that only older people have hearing loss.  There are many people who have learned of my loss but still can not believe that I have it.  And the strange looks I get when they first see my aides if they were not aware of them?  As I said before, I am definitely very conscious of it but becoming less so as time goes on.  A recent conversation with Dr. Maegan helped me with that.  She doesn't think that people are looking at me funny or thinking less of me, but that they are simply intrigued by the aides -- just because they're curious.  In my heart, I know she's right but it's still feels weird for people to be checking my ears out.

My children are very familiar with my bionic ears.  As well, we used to have a deaf dog who we signed too.  Our dog, Sudz, was born deaf and was a great springboard for conversations about hearing loss.  I miss him terribly but we may soon foster another deaf Boxer pup since we're experienced in this disability in dogs.

On with the book - I loved Let's Hear It For Almigal for so many reasons.  The book was not only about what hearing loss is (for example Almigal couldn't hear her parents say "we love you" after tucking her in at night, even with her aides) but it explains, in kid terminology, what hearing aides are and what cochlear implants are as well.  It also tells how all of the kids in Almigal's class are different - one speaks a foreign language, one wears glasses, and yet another wears hearing aides just like she does.

I think these are the most important aspects of the book.  I believe that children should learn about what disabilities are out there.  I believe that their knowledge is the key to treating all kids equally.  Just because a child wears glasses or hearing aides does not mean that they're different, it just means that they need support to see or hear as well as others.  It doesn't make them any less smart, pretty or joyous.

The illustrations are beautiful as well.  Overall, the book is a winner.  I am pretty sure I'll be buying this book for presents during the upcoming holiday season. Even better?  5% of all sales go to support children with hearing loss.   

Please come back to the blog tomorrow to read a guest post by Almigal!

From the Publisher: 
Meet Almigal, a happy, spunky little girl with a big personality who feels unlucky because she can't hear everything she wants to hear. Almigal wants to hear "every single sound in the whole entire universe" - from the robins singing outside her bedroom window to the soft music during ballet class and her friend's teeny-tiny voice. But most of all, Almigal wants to hear her Mommy and Daddy whisper "We love you, Almigal!" when they tuck her into bed at night. Readers will rejoice with Almigal when a solution is found. Almigal's spirit and her cotton-candy pink cochlear implants will have everyone shouting "Let's Hear It For Almigal!" Endearing, lighthearted and informative, this book can be enjoyed by children with and without hearing loss.

Note:  I received a copy of this book from JKS Communications as well as a digital copy from in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to provide a positive review but I am pleased to do so.  No compensation was given to me for this book review. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Mountain Away

From the Publisher:
With nothing but brains, ambition and sheer nerve, Charlotte Hale built a career as a tough, do-anything-to-succeed real-estate developer. She’s at the top of that mountain...but her life is empty. Her friends are as grasping and insincere as she has become. Far worse, she’s alienated her family so completely that she’s totally lost touch with her only daughter.

One terrifying day, facing her own mortality, she realizes that her ambition has almost destroyed her chance at happiness.
So Charlotte vows to make amends, not simply with her considerable wealth, but by offering a hand instead of a handout. Putting in hours and energy instead of putting in an appearance. Opening her home and heart instead of her wallet.
With each wrenching, exhilarating decision, Charlotte finds that climbing a new mountain—one built on friendship, love and forgiveness—will teach her what it truly means to build a legacy.

What I thought:

LOVED, loved and loved  some more.  This is my first book by Emilie Richards and I will happily say that it sure won't be my last.  I could not put this book down and fell in love with each and every character -- Charlotte, her daughter, her husband, Harmony ... you'll see when you pick it up!!

It could, quite possibly, be a two box of tissue type of book depending on how you're feeling - but definitely a tear-jerker for the sentimental types out there (me included.)  A wonderful story of family, love lost and found, growing up and moving on.  While one of the main characters in this book is a pastor (a woman!) it is not overly inundated Christian beliefs, as some books can be.  There is just enough mention of God for reflection - which can be good for everyone! 

It is my pleasure to give this book a wonderful review here at Family, Scrapbooks and Coffee!!

One Mountain Away will release on July 31, 2012.  You can pre-order this book using the link below.  

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher via in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Last night I went to a friend's house and we were discussing the woes of life.  Next week we'll probably get to the fun stuff -- planning our (separate-boo!) trips to Disney, etc. -- but last night was simply kvetch night, with a little bit of scrapbooking thrown in for good measure.

But, our conversations reminded me a bit of a book that I was able to read a few weeks ago, "Or Forever Hold Your Peace", the newest release by author Heather Muzik.  This is the blurb from Amazon about it ...

Does loyalty trump everything?

When friends reunite in Atlantic City for the tenth wedding anniversary of two of their own, the summer sun isn’t the only thing that’s heated. Old perceptions die hard, and after a separation and almost-divorce, not everyone feels this is a marriage worth celebrating.

Over the course of one long weekend, friendships, relationships, and marriages are tested as secrets begin to surface…. In the end, these friends will have to face the truth about themselves and each other… or forever hold their peace.
This book was really a lot of fun.  The characters were well developed and each character took turns telling their version of the weekend at the Jersey Shore, Atlantic City style (not MTV's Jersey Shore!)  A little confusing at first, because sometimes I don't pay attention to chapter headings, but once I caught on, I was on board full throttle.  As were some of the friends that weekend.  LOL

They characters were fun, witty, and even romantic with your typical jerks thrown in for good measure. I loved their adventures and escapades during their weekend in Atlantic City!  Being from NJ, I could totally picture some of the events as they took place.

My favorite character was Sistle who is newly divorced but whose ex is at the reunion too because he is friends with the "groom" and Sistle is the sister of the "bride".  Who will be your favorite?  Maybe some will love the hunky British guy Hendrick?   Or do tend to side more with the jerky boys?  You'll have to read it to find out ... and come back to let me know.

I think that Or Forever Hold Your Peace is an excellent choice for your next summer read.  Easy, fun and hard to put down. 

And for today?  If you have a Kindle, you can pick it up for free!!  How's that for a great summer treat? 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dragon Keepers #5: The Dragon in the Sea by Kate Kilmo

From the Publisher:

The Dragon Keeper series bridges the gap between Magic Tree House Merlin Missions and Harry Potter.
     This excellent series is solidly middle grade, accessible, and adventure filled. In The Dragon in the Sea, Dragon Keepers Jesse and Daisy help their dragon, Emmy, as she tries to protect an egg that holds her baby brother. Their adventures take them into the Watery Realms, a world filled with mer-people, selkies, and water zombies. Magic, mayhem, and an unusual cast of characters make the reading fun, and the wonderful relationship between the Dragon Keeper cousins and their dragon add both depth and dimension.

KATE KLIMO grew up in the little town of Sea Cliff, with the Stenson Memorial Library just down the street from her house. She got her first wallet when she was eight, not for money but to hold her library card. She can still remember exactly where on the shelves her favorite books of fantasy sat. In Middletown, New York, where she and her husband, Harry, raised their three sons, the library is housed in a wonderful old railway station—and from there, she and her family have taken many memorable trips.

What I thought:

  Loved it!  Will definitely be giving to my 5th and 6th graders for them to give it a spin.  There are two main characters (a boy and a girl -- very important to my kids, especially my son who doesn't really care to read stories which contain an all girl cast or simply a girl main character) and a dragon!  Loads of other magical creatures throughout the book.  A bit of nautical terminology for the kids to learn if they don't already know it and loads of action for both girls and boys, magic, mermaids and zombies all in the same book - can't beat it!

  If you're looking for something different and fun for your middle school age child to read this summer, this would be a great book for you to try out!  It is available in many media types:  hardcover, Kindle, Nook, iBook, etc.  I wouldn't be surprised if you can find this available for loan from your local library in both real book format and ebook format.

  I hope that you love this book as much as I did!  I am certainly going to go back to find out how the whole dragon story began.

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

From the Publisher:
The “First Lady of the West,” #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller is back with a new series about Parable, Montana—where love awaits.
The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father—until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody. Including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen—whom Slade has never forgotten.
But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect—plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter—Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions. Such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart.

What I thought:

A great read!  I thoroughly enjoyed being welcomed to the location of the newest trilogy books from Linda Lael Miller - Parable, Montana.  The characters were welcoming and easy to like (most of them!) and the setting of this story is once again a beautiful piece of the west that we've grown to love right along with the author.  We're also introduced to characters that will be more established in the coming book(s) (I hope!)

If you're into contemporary romance, particularly set in the west, you'll be happy to read Big Sky Country.  An easy read, great for your vacation reading or just a little bit of escaping from the everyday!

This book was released on May 29, 2012 and can be found at all of your favorite book stores! 

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher via in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Summer My Life Began

From the Publisher:
A fabulous romance with a very unexpected guy . . . The opportunity to explore her love of cooking . . . The freedom to be whomever she wants . . .

This is what seventeen-year-old Em gets when she goes to spend a month at her aunt’s island resort. It’s a dream come true—and exactly the break Em needed from her strict family and their high expectations of her.
But when Em uncovers a long-buried secret about her family, everything changes. And suddenly, Em finds herself making some big choices about her future—choices she never dreamed she’d have the chance to make . . .

What I thought:

Yes, another "coming of age" story that I have recently read.  And, yes, I loved it!  I originally requested this book from and was then contacted by JKS Communications to participate in their book tour for "The Summery My Life Began."  

I requested this book because:  1) I wanted to read a summery-book; 2) the cover is pretty catching; 3) it is set in the idyllic Outer Banks (one of my favorite places!) and 4) giving an author I've never heard of, let alone read before, a spin.

It was definitely worth it!  The characters are well developed and easy to relate to.  I was unsure at first what was going on with the main character, Em.  Truthfully, I wasn't sure that I would be able to relate to the rich kid, life laid out for her kind of existence that she had.

When she set off for the summer in order to meet an aunt that she never even knew she had - who knew the fun she'd have, the secrets she'd uncover and the ability to find and be herself - not who everyone else wanted her to be.

The scenery is beautiful.  I could totally picture everything in my head.  It made me want to have a room at their bed and breakfast at the beach!

The Summer My Life Began is a wonderful book for any age group from teenagers through centenarians!  Who doesn't love a great book of  teen and family angst and love set at the beach?  This story will fill you with hope, inspiration and goodness.  It was a great, easy read!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thankful Thursday - May Edition

This title pretty much sums it up.  I'm thankful.  Period. 

I'm thankful that we're able to take the family to Disney this year for Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful that this morning, on my 180 day mark (you Disney peeps know what I'm talking about) I was able to get all of the advance dining reservations on my wish list.  I'm thankful that the kids are healthy and happy in our new home.  I'm thankful, although it's a lot of work, the construction progress outside of the new home is coming along.  Thankful that we've got nice neighbors and loads of little kids.  Thankful for the drama free environment (wait - insert my kids here -- we brought the drama? lol) of the neighborhood.  Thankful for my varsity swim coach at school who is going to teach the Piper to swim this summer and give refresher courses to the other two.  Thankful for our son making the District select baseball team for summer play this year.  Thankful for our gymnastics coach who wants to work with Twink through some of her fears of tumbling passes which include back handspring, back tuck combos.  Thankful for the summer golf league which keeps hubs happy on Wednesday nights.  Thankful that author Heather Muzik wants to give away her chick flick 2 Days books soon!  Thankful that people on Etsy make diapers for dogs.  Thankful that my mom was able to stay at our house for a long weekend while we escaped to Disney for our anniversary.  Thankful that it is almost time to make our annual trek to the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Thankful that the hubs loves me even though I am overwhelmed and crabby by the time he gets home from work. 

Like I said before:  Thankful.  Just thankful. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Give Away

Happy Mother's Day!!  I know mine has been fabulous so far.  Slept in.  Twink brought me coffee upstairs ... I did have show her how to put Splenda and half/half in it.  :-)  A nice dnner at The Pub - our own Mother's Day tradition and now we're just relaxing at home. 

One of my favorite authors, Heather Muzik, is celebrating this Mother's Day too ... I'm sure she is celebrating with her two sons and family but she is also celebrating the re-release of Celia's Journey both in paperback and for Kindle!  Celia's is back with a redesigned cover and a price that is easier on your wallet. For the full review of Celia's, head over to my original review from December, 2010.

Speaking of easier on your wallet, how does FREE sound?  Heather is graciously offering an autographed copy of Celia's Journey to one lucky reader in honor of Mother's Day!  There are many, many ways to gain entries to the contest!!!  The contest is open now and will run through next Sunday.  The winner will be drawn using  All winners will be verified and have 48 hours to respond.

Ready?  Set?   GO!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Baroness by Susan May Warren

As you guessed from my last post about the Baroness Roaring Twenties Kindle Fire give away, I received a review copy of Baroness by Susan May Warren to review. Unlike my last two reviews, this one I am happy about. (Really, who loves to give a less than stellar review?) This is the second book in the Daughters of Fortune series but the first one I have had a chance to read and review. I must say it is an excellent stand alone book! I am sure if I have the chance, I will go back to read Heiress as it will give me even more insight to the characters that had a smaller role in this book and how they developed. Baroness is set in Paris, New York City and Montana in the "roaring twenties" (which I don't know much about.) I loved reading about the settings --- about how excited people were about air planes, motor cars, blimps, prohibition, smoking, baseball ... my list could go on and on. Yet, at the heart of the matter are two girls - rich girls, I might add - who are coming of age in this time. Finding themselves, finding love - and bittersweet heartache - trying to get away from their past and finding the true meaning of family. It was an excellent read! I have already highly recommended it to a few of my colleagues (who may find it out of their genre but that is how much I loved it!) You can pick up your own copy of Baroness by Susan May Warren wherever books are sold: Amazon, Barnes and Noble included as this is available for Kindle and Nook as well. Speaking of Kindle - you have until May 7th to enter to win a Kindle Fire from Susan May Warren. Check out the sidebar button at the top of my blog to take you to the entering points. Good luck - everyone needs a Kindle Fire, just ask Piper!! DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Roaring 20's Give Away #Baroness by Susan May Warren

Baroness by Susan May Warren -- come back on Saturday, 5/5/12 to see what I thought of this book!   

Lilly and Rose, daughters of an empire coming of age in the roaring twenties, can have anything they want ... except freedom.

  Expected to marry well and to take the reins of the empire, they have their lives planned out for them. But, Lily, Esme's daughter longs to return home to Montana, to adventure outside the confines of New York City. And Jinx's daughter Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen. But following their dreams - from avant garde France, to Broadway, to the skies in the world of barnstormers and wing-walkers will take all their courage.
  And if they find love, will they choose freedom or happily ever after?

Celebrate with Susan May Warren by entering her Roaring 20's Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Signed copies of Baroness and Heiress by Susan May Warren
Hurry, the giveaway ends on 5/7/12. The winner will be announced on 5/9/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles
Just click one of the icons below to enter. Tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

See what all the hype is about --- check out what other reviewers have to say HERE.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Callahan Wedding by Tina Leonard

From the Publisher:
 “Holy Smokes. I’m A Father.”
Sabrina McKinley broke Jonas’s heart when she left him for another man. Then the eldest Callahan brother gets the surprise of his life when he sees her again…holding his son. Even at six months, his bouncing baby boy was wearing the legendary Callahan smile Which means Sabrina has got to marry him, even if Jonas has to drag her to the altar.
Sabrina’s been head over heels for the hunky cowboy doctor since the day she first came to Rancho Diablo; it’s always been Jonas keeping her at arm’s length. She won’t settle for anything less than the real deal—the love and happiness that Jonas’s five brothers have found. But when a revelation about a family secret comes out, Sabrina can see Jonas is ready to look toward the future. He won’t be the last bachelor on the ranch. After all, he’s a Callahan!

What I thought:

Not my favorite read of the year.  I was optimistic upon starting the book and still think maybe if I would have read all of the other Callahan brother books, I might have enjoyed this one a little more.  I think the author sold herself short in this book ... there were places the book just made no sense to me at all.  I found myself thinking I had an easy, fun filled romance to read last week.  I found myself putting it down more than I picked it up just because I didn't "feel it" with this book.

If reviews slow down this summer, maybe I will give one of the previous Callahan books a spin.  I really wanted to like this book - maybe I will like another by this author.

This book released on 5/1/12.  You can get it for Kindle, Nook and in paperback from both Amazon and

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The River Witch by Kimberly Brock

From the Publisher:

Can the river heal her?
Roslyn Byrne is twenty-four years old, broken in body, heart and soul. Her career as a professional ballet dancer ended with a car wreck and a miscarriage, leaving her lost and grieving. She needs a new path, but she doesn't have the least idea how or where to start. With some shoving from her very Southern mama, she immures herself for the summer on
Manny's Island, Georgia, one of the Sea Isles, to recover.

There Roslyn finds a ten-year-old girl, Damascus, who brings alligators, pumpkins and hoodoo into her sorry life.

Roslyn rents a house from Damascus's family, the Trezevants, a strange bunch. One of the cousins, Nonnie, who works in the family's market, sees things Roslyn is pretty sure she shouldn't, and knows things regular people don't. Between the Trezevant secrets and Damascus's blatant snooping and meddling, Roslyn finds herself caught in a mysterious stew of the past and present, the music of the river, the dead and the dying who haunt the riverbank, and a passion for living her new life.

What I thought:

I'd give 3 out of 5 stars.  The River Witch is another book in which I was drawn into the story by the author.  I did find myself rereading certain sections to see if I had skipped over important details of the story because I kind of felt that there was something missing.  There were scenes in which I got teary eyed.  It was definitely a touching story of growing and moving on, as well as connecting with the past.  I was surprised with the ending ~~ as I think most will be!

You can get your copy of the River Witch for your Kindle, Nook or in paperback from or

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

2 Days til Sundae. 1 Day. Free. Monday 4/30/12

Because of the great demand, author Heather Muzik has decided to give her readers another day of a freebie.  On Monday, April 30, 2012, you can get your copy of her book 2 Days Til Sundae at

If you missed my review of 2 Days, you can see it by clicking this LINK.  2 Days was a fabulous read - easy and quick; witty and many laugh out loud moments.  I really did love it!  (If you do see this post after Monday, 4/30/12 - know that 2 Days is still a bargain at just $2.99 for the Kindle edition!) 

If you're not a Kindle kind of person, you can still grab 2 Days til Sundae in paperback (not for free) from 

Don't wait - get this wonderful book today - just in time for your summer reading list!  It's a fun one!! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Catch Me (#review) by Lisa Gardner

Last night I finished the book Catch Me by Lisa Gardner.  All I can say is "wow."  I can see why her last book was on the NY Times "Best Seller List". I had not previously heard of this author, prior to my request to review Catch Me via  After reading this book, in all of it's intensity for 2 nights, I can definitely say that I will be looking for more of her reads!

From the Publisher:
In New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner's latest D.D. Warren thriller, the relentless Boston investigator must solve a coldly calculated murder--before it happens. 

In four days, someone is going to kill me . . . Detective D. D. Warren is hard to surprise. But a lone woman outside D.D.'s latest crime scene shocks her with a remarkable proposition: Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston's top detective to handle the death investigation.

It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle.  Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21st, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

But as D.D. quickly learns, Charlie Grant doesn't plan on going down without a fight. By her own admission, the girl can outshoot, outfight, and outrun anyone in Boston. Which begs the question, is Charlie the next victim, or the perfect perpetrator? As D.D. tracks a vigilante gunman who is killing pedophiles in Boston, she must also delve into the murders of Charlie's friends, racing to find answers before the next gruesome January 21 anniversary. Is Charlie truly in danger, or is she hiding a secret that may turn out to be the biggest threat of all?

In four days, someone is going to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first.
What I thought:
As I said above, "wow".  This book had it all:  family drama, cops v. robbers, and even a little glimpse of romance (not too much so don't go thinking this is a romance, not a chance.)   There were a few scenes where I actually found myself holding my breath, waiting to see what happens next. 

If you're a thriller fan, this book is right up your alley. Mysteries?  Yes, this book is mysterious too.  As I read books, I often think of what my Husband would think of the book (he is a non-reader - he waits for the movie to come out) and how long it would take him to figure out the "who," "what," and "why" of the book.  He is usually pretty quick with figuring things out.  I have a feeling that this one might give him a run for his money. 

Catch Me was released last month and is the sixth installment of the Detective DD Warren series.  (This is my first of the series and I didn't feel like I needed to read the previous five in order to enjoy this one!) It can be found at any major bookseller, as well as on and 

I received a galley copy of Catch Me compliments of the Publisher via  I was not required to provide a positive review of the book, although I am pleased to do so.  I received no compensation for this review.  All opinions are my own. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Feed Your Kindle -- Apathetic is free TODAY!

You heard me!  Feed your Kindle (or free Kindle reading app) for FREE.  The chilling story from Heather Muzik is available for free today, Monday, March 26, 2012!!  (Due to popular demand, the promotion has been extended through Tuesday, March 27! Spread the word!)

 I know that some of you do not have a Kindle, but as I mentioned above, you can also get a free Kindle reading app from Amazon for your PC, your iPod or your iPad.  I even have one on my iPhone for situations when I'm really desperate. :-)

If you're dead set against reading electronically, there is a paperback version of the book available on, but not for freeeeeeee.......

Sunday, March 4, 2012

clipix: Organize Your Family Life!

clipix  is a cool new tool that is taking over the online organization challenge!  Have you ever seen a recipe or product online and when you're ready to make or purchase, you can't remember the website of where you saw it?  Clipix will solve this problem for you and keep things that you find online in one place, by creating "clipboards" of all of your favorite things.  

Even cooler?  You can maintain privacy settings for all of your different clipboards!  If you want to keep "baby" a secret for a little longer while still dreaming of new nursery design, baby names or clothing styles?  Keep that clipboard "private" but still clip away, saving all of your ideas to the baby clipboard.  If you find great recipes that you want to share with everyone, leave the clipboard open to everyone.  You can even have a clipboard set to "friends only" so that only those you wish to share with can see your dreams, memories and favorite things. 

It's really easy to work too!  You simply drag a bookmark called "clip" to your bookmarks toolbar.  Then when you see something that you want to remember, click on the "clip" button and save.  You can even tweet your clips out so that people can see what you're looking at - this is totally optional - but very cool to be able to do!  I clipped a Rachael Ray recipe to my clipboard yesterday and it even brought the recipe name over for me.  I only needed to click "save" and I was set. 

There is also a feature called "Syncboards."  These let you clip items collaboratively with your friends or family. When anyone adds a clip to the syncboard, everyone else you collaborate with will see it in real-time. Sounds perfect for planning a family reunion, family vacation or even a wedding!  Another awesome feature of Clipix is the Multiboards feature. Think grouping all of your recipes  onto one Multiboard.  Mine would be:  30 Minute Meals, Once a Month Cooking, Diet Recipes, etc.  Or all of your clothing "wants" into subcategories - spring, summer, fall, winter, vacation, prom, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

See how cool and easy it is: 

Clipix is not only available online but they have an awesome iPhone app as well - available right from the App store. 

Check Clipix out!  I'll be adding a button to my blog and hopefully to my FB account so that you can check out my Clipboards and maybe even follow along!  What will you use Clipix to create?  Please drop me a comment to let me know what you think about Clipix - good and bad - I'd love to hear your opinion!


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Friday, March 2, 2012

Franklin's Valentines - an Ebook Review

We're a Franklin kind of family.  The character that was first introduced to us on the TV channel Noggin when DinoBoy and Twinkletoes were younger.  The kind of boy who you want to be your son - Mom and Pa Turtle were are role models for me as a parent.  They never lose their temper.  They never yell at their son.  They quietly explain and discuss situations the way a "perfect" family would.   I strive for their zen when dealing with their son's antics.  

I was asked by the Publisher to review this ebook, Franklin's Valentines via  I am so excited to do so.  While it is a few weeks past the big Valentine's Day, there is no reason this book can't be read to your children any day.  We've read it quite frequently the past few weeks, me and Sweetart, on the iPad.  

Here's a blurb from the Publisher:  

In this Franklin Classic Storybook, it’s Valentine's Day and Franklin can’t wait to give his friends the cards he has made. But when he gets to school, he discovers that they’re missing. Franklin is heartbroken and worried that now his friends won’t want to give him any cards. Big hearts prevail and Franklin soon learns that he has very good friends—and that he can be a good friend, too.

Here's what Sweetart and I thought (keep in mind she is going to be 4 soon):   WE LOVED IT.  I heard a lot of "more mamma's" and "again" out of her.  She wanted to flip the page.  She wanted to tell the story based on the illustrations.  She also wanted to tell her friends that it is okay and accidents happen but they're still friends anyway.  

A great book with a great lesson behind it! Franklin's Valentines is a winner in our house! 

If you would like more information about Paulette Bourgeois, the author of this fabulous story, please visit her website.   

Note:  I was provided a copy of this ebook, free of charge, from the Publisher via  I was not compensated for this review, only asked to provide my honest opinion of the book, which I am pleased to do.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm Thankful.

With all of the hubbub during the past few weeks, I haven't found the strength nor the time to prepare a blog post.  That isn't to say that I don't have a lot to say - I have plenty - and I have book reviews that need to be written and published.  I've been reading a ton to keep my mind elsewhere ---

In the beginning of January, we placed our house on the market.  I am happy to report that it sold.  We had it under contract in 15 days.  We hit a few snags in the road to our new house - which we'll settle on in mid-March - with a seller who is losing his shirt (or at least his undershirt) in that sale because he bought at the top of the market in 2005 and is selling in a recovering but not yet overinflated market.  I think we're giving him a fair price for his home.  It's been on and off of the market since 2010, so I'm taking a gander that he just wants to be done with it now.

I am going to miss our house.  Our "big green house" as Sweetart tends to call it. She is confused when we ride by the new house which is conveniently located less than a mile from our current house.  When I tell her we are going home from somewhere she wants to know which home she is going to:  the big green house or the new house.  I wonder how long we'll think of it that way:  "the new house."  I wonder how long it will take for it to become home?

We're leaving behind 12 years worth of us in our house.  Our fence.  Our playground. Our patios. Our flowers and trees.  Our neighbors.  Our new kitchen!  The blood (skinned knees and having babies counts,right?), sweat and tears that went into everything we've transformed our little cape cod into for the next young family.  Our family is now older, wiser and bigger ... in need of just a tad more space for the kids to play without wanting to choke one another.  (one can dream, can't she?)

On another note, our twin nephews arrived safe and sound on Tuesday, February 7!  Both boys, Mason and Dalton, are still in the hospital but are doing better and better each day.  As of last week, all IVs have been removed from them, although they are still receiving nourishment from feeding tubes and are still hooked up to all kinds of bells and monitors that watch their breathing and heart rates (and probably much more than I could even begin to imagine.)  So my brother and sister in law have had their hands full with their almost four year old and the addition of these two little ones who have yet to come home.  I had the honor of meeting them last week when I was off from work on Friday.  I even got to hold little Mason for a long time!!  (He slept the whole time and is ever so precious!)  His brother, Dalton, got to sleep in his isolette while he was having a bottle fed to him through is feeding tube.  *UPDATE* Both are now off of the feeding tubes and amping up to come home! I am so excited!! 

Basically, this post comes to this:  I'm thankful that the boys arrived into the world safe and sound.  I'm thankful my sister in law was able to deliver them without any complications and is doing fabulous!  I'm thankful that our house sold quickly! and we'll be moving in two weeks.  I'm thankful for the support of those who have listened to me moan, groan and cry in the past few weeks.   Thankful for my husband who supports me even when he thinks I am totally off of my rocker and for my mom who listens no matter what.   Thankful for our beautiful children who are growing used to the idea of moving and I think are even getting excited about it -- they're helping build my excitement too!  And, I'm thankful that my Kuerig hasn't taken a crap on me in the last few weeks - I've really needed that morning coffee!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Return to Grace by Karen Harper

From the Publisher:  

In the shadows of a graveyard, a SHOT rings out…
Hannah Esh fled the Home Valley Amish community with a broken heart, throwing herself into her worldly dreams of a singing career instead. But as much as she tries to run from her past, something keeps pulling her back. On a whim, she brings four worldly friends to the Amish graveyard near her family’s home for a midnight party on Halloween. But when shots are fired and one of her friends is killed, Hannah is pulled back into the world of her past.

The investigation into the shooting uncovers deep-buried secrets that shock the peaceful Amish village to its core. Determined to prove her value to the community she left behind, Hannah attempts to bridge two cultures, working closely with both handsome, arrogant FBI agent Linc Armstrong and her former betrothed, Seth Lantz, now widowed with a young daughter.

Caught between Seth and Linc, between old and new, Amish and worldly, Hannah must choose her future. Unless a killer, bent on secrecy, chooses it for her.
About the author
New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper is a former high school and college English teacher. Winner of the 2005 Mary Higgins Clark Award for her outstanding novel Dark Angel, Karen is the author of seventeen romantic suspense novels and six historical novels, as well as a series of historical mysteries. Karen and her husband, who divide their time between Columbus, Ohio, and Naples, Florida, love to travel both in the U.S. and abroad. For additional information about Karen and her novels, please visit

What I thought:  

A great story about how the outside world influences the Amish communities.  After the shooting, Hannah returns to her childhood home to recuperate and search her soul for answers.  Where does she belong?  Why was there a shooting?  What is going on in her community?  The answers to these questions and more are answered within the pages of Return to Grace.

Although this is the second in a series of books, I did not read the first.  I was given the opportunity to read this, pre-release, by the Publisher via  This book is a wonderful stand-alone book!  I am not certain that I even need to read the first book as so many story lines were revisited in Return to Grace - I almost feel like I know the story from Fall from Pride already.  Notwithstanding, had I read the first book, I'm sure I'd have been eager to read the second book to catch up with the characters and the community.  I will be more than willing to read the next book for the same reason!!

As mentioned within the review, I received a copy of this book from  I was not compensated for this review nor asked to give a positive review, although I am pleased to do so. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2 Months til Mrs! (Heather Muzik)

From the Publisher:  2 Months 'Til Mrs. is the second book in the 2 'Til series. Cat is at it again--over reacting, over thinking, and over indulging.... The New Year is here and for Catherine Hemmings that means one thing--the year she met Joel "Fynn" Trager is over. Long-distance love with her Minnesota man has had her living out of a suitcase for months, never knowing for sure what time it is on either end. Now thirty-five is breathing down her neck and she is tired of living in limbo.... In just 2 short months she'll be another year older.... Can Cat make it down the aisle under the wire? It's a race against time and the laws of wedding physics, and she is going to need all the help she can get... especially as she begins to realize that love just might be blind to reality. Is Catherine really ready to give up NYC for good? To take on a ready-made family? To say I do? Will she follow her head or her heart?

What I thought: Loved it!!  I absolutely loved seeing where Cat and Fynn wind up and what is going on with the family and friends we met in 2 Days Til Sundae.  Quite an easy and enjoyable read.  I started one morning and finished it the next day ... life with three kids, two dogs and loveable hubs, in between.  :-)  Cat is a quirky and enjoyable protagonist.  I love characters who I think I would get along with in real life!  Her way of thinking and her antics are so much fun!!

While this is the second in the 2 'Til series, I found it to be worthy of it's own "stand alone" acclaim too.  The characters are well built and story line, while references the prior book, doesn't need to have the history of reading the first book to enjoy the second.

We are left with a few unresolved issues in the mix too --- wonder if there will be another 2 Til book coming out next year?

My recommendation?  Pick up your copy of 2 Months til Mrs. at the special pre-release Kindle and Nook price of only $2.99!   Seriously, you can't beat it.   All the therapy you need after a long day right inside your electronic reader!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Progresso Soup and Biggest Loser Workout DVD!

This post is going to sound a lot like a post from a few weeks ago, right?  Only this time, it's better!  I was lucky enough to receive a package from Progresso, via MyBlogSpark, which contained 5 cans of Progresso soup, including light chicken noodle and light clam chowder.  Also included in my "treat box" was a video of a Biggest Loser workout.  At the rate I'm going (backwards) in our own Biggest Loser Contest at school, these items couldn't have arrived at a better time.  

And for you, Progresso is offering a giveaway too!  You can win two (2) VIP coupons for Progresso Soup and your own copy of the Biggest Loser DVD Workout!  Not only can you win here at my blog, see below where you can enter the Souper You® Contest!!  My giveaway will end on Thursday, 2/16/12 but you have until Wednesday, 2/22/12 to get your entries in to Progresso's Souper You® Contest.  See the bottom of this post for the easy to use Rafflecopter form to enter my contest!  No purchase is necessary and you can enter once daily through next Thursday! 

February!  It’s time to consider how you will stick to your resolution for the New Year and maintain your weight management plan, without sacrificing on variety or the taste of foods you love. Thanks to Progresso®, you can have your soup and eat it too!

With 40 delicious soups with 100 calories or less per serving, Progresso Soup has a variety of offerings that help you beat diet boredom and satisfy your taste cravings, while helping you stick to your weight management calorie goals. Progresso soups are packed with hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, rice, meat and vegetables that suit your taste buds and make you feel good about including it in your meal choices.
  • This year, the Souper You® Contest will provide three lucky winners with an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood; this includes a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, California where the winner will receive a head-to-toe makeover including hair and makeup, guided shopping spree with a $1,000 fashion retailer gift card, $1,000 spending money and 2 tickets to this season’s live finale of NBC’s The Biggest Loser
  • Progresso is asking fans to visit and submit their photo with a brief essay about why they love Progresso soups and why they deserve a makeover, by no later than February 22nd
  • Fans can check back on March 12th for the announcement of the top ten finalists, and to vote for their favorite finalist until March 25th
  • In addition, visit  to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of four (4) cans of Progresso Soup today, and feel free to share with your blog readers so they can take advantage of the savings as well
  • Also, tune into The Biggest Loser on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c
Click here to watch this amazing video of the 2011 winner experience.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lucky Harbor - have you been there?

Blurb from the author/publisher:

Product Description

Love awaits you in Lucky Harbor . . .

Simply Irresistible
After losing her boyfriend and her job, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim her inheritance-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. She sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if she can give the inn the makeover it needs. Enter Jax, a tall, handsome contractor who knows exactly what Maddie needs...

The Sweetest Thing
Helping her sister set up the family inn is just the thing to make Tara forget her ex-husband and focus on her new life. Until she meets a sexy, green-eyed sailor determined to keep her hot, bothered, and in his bed. When her ex reappears, Tara must confront her past and decide what she really wants.

If the sisters are lucky, they might just find that everything their hearts desire is right here in Lucky Harbor.

I just finished books one and two of Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis.  They were both wonderful!  Filled with just enough romance and sexy scenes to call it a great romance read, it was also filled with fun, witty humor and the look inside another family's emotional baggage.

I laughed out loud more times than I can remember in a book.  The sisters we meet in this series, Tara, Maddie and Chloe are a fun bunch who all have the same mother but different fathers.  Although they know one another, they've never dealt with each other for extended periods of time - until their mother dies and leaves them an Inn in Lucky Harbor.

If you are looking for an easy, funny and romantic series, look no further than the Lucky Harbor books.  I'm definitely putting book #3 on my "to read" list on GoodReads.

DISCLAIMER:  This book was provided to me on behalf of the publisher by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Waiting for Dawn: A Novella by Susan May Warren

From the Publisher: 

     Product Description
In this prequel to Flee the Night—the first book in Susan May Warren’s critically acclaimed Team Hope series—Lacey Galloway leads a rather predictable life as a contractor for the Department of Defense. But news that Sergeant First Class Jim Micah is missing in action leads her on a dangerous trek overseas to rescue the man who secretly captured her heart.

Although her DOD connections quickly cut through the red tape, she also enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend and Micah’s best friend, Lieutenant John Montgomery. As they hatch a covert plan to find and rescue Micah, Lacey’s feelings are once again torn between the two men.

Filled with romance and adventure, this twisty tale will hold you captive to the very last page.

At approximately 50 pages, this Novella (I do have to tell you that I am not a fan of Novellas) was a page turner.  I enjoyed being introduced to the characters!  It makes one expect a very thrilling series!  I am glad that I was given the chance to read it - and now know that I am hooked!  I need to know "what comes next" for everyone involved.

The Team Hope series was first published in 2005, with Flee the Night first, Escape to Morning second, and Expect the Sunrise third.  I am a Kindle girl.  This Novella is available on Kindle for only $1.99.  The first and third books of the series are also currently available on Kindle.  I cannot locate Escape to Morning as being available for Kindle but I did "click the button" to send the Publisher a note that I'd love to read it on my Kindle.

The first and third books of Team Hope are also currently available for Amazon Prime members to "borrow" for one month for free.

NOTE:   I received an electronic copy of this book via  I was not compensated for my review, only asked to provide my honest opinion, which I am pleased to do here. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Progresso's 2012 Souper You® Contest

Are you ready for a new look this New Year? Progresso® is excited to announce the return of their Souper You® Contest giving you the change to win an incredible makeover! By telling Progresso why you deserve a makeover and what you love about their soup, you could have the chance to win an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood this Spring!

Now that the ball has dropped and the confetti has settled, it’s time to consider how you will stick to your resolution for the New Year and maintain your weight management plan, without sacrificing on variety or the taste of foods you love. Thanks to Progresso®, you can have your soup and eat it too!

With 40 delicious soups with 100 calories or less per serving, Progresso Soup has a variety of offerings that help you beat diet boredom and satisfy your taste cravings, while helping you stick to your weight management calorie goals. Progresso soups are packed with hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, rice, meat and vegetables that suit your taste buds and make you feel good about including it in your meal choices.

• This year, the Souper You® Contest will provide three lucky winners with an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood; this includes a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, California where the winner will receive a head-to-toe makeover including hair and makeup, guided shopping spree with a $1,000 fashion retailer gift card, $1,000 spending money and 2 tickets to this season’s live finale of NBC’s The Biggest Loser

• Progresso is asking fans to visit and submit their photo with a brief essay about why they love Progresso soups and why they deserve a makeover, by no later than February 22nd

• Fans can check back on March 12th for the announcement of the top ten finalists, and to vote for their favorite finalist until March 25th

• In addition, visit to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of four (4) cans of Progresso Soup today, and feel free to share with your blog readers so they can take advantage of the savings as well

• Also, tune into The Biggest Loser on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c

Click here to watch this amazing video of the 2011 winner experience.

WILL YOU ENTER?  I KNOW I AM - And coupons?  Not a bad way to start off 2012!  Here's to a healthier you! 
NOTE:   All of the information provided herein was provided to me by Progresso via My Blog Spark!