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!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Keeper - by Suzanne Woods Fisher @suzannewfisher

Don't forget to enter ---

Enter 1/3 - 1/17. RSVP for Party today!
The Keeper 

I was excited to learn that I was chosen as a stop on the blog tour for Suzanne Woods Fisher's newest book, The Keeper.  Since I am doing 95% of my reading now on the Kindle or iPad, I anxiously awaited the book to arrive from LitFuse.  It came around Christmas time:  it was like a present to me! Knowing that the tour would be in the beginning of January but not when my stop would be, I read it immediately!

Here is a little bit about the book from the Publisher! 

Book Description

Stoney Ridge Seasons January 2, 2012
Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding--again--she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roamin' Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul's cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant.
Can Julia secure the future she's always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

Full of the plot twists and surprises her fans love, The Keeper is the first in a new series by bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher. Through touching family relationships and trials of the heart, Fisher's vivid characters grapple with yielding to God's will when it doesn't match their own.
Now, you'll notice that this photo has NOTHING to do with the book The Keeper!  This photo is what the Keeper reminds me of.  The photo was taken shortly after my father passed in 2005.  See the man behind the giant sea turtle?  That man is my Dad.  Only my sister and her two children were in that specific area of the aquarium that day.  Just goes to show that God has a funny way of showing us things - even if we're not listening.  

Julia wasn't listening to God.  Julia was listening to what she had built in her head over the years.  Roman was running away, again, not listening to God but although no one was listening God still showed them His way.  Don't think that this is just a love story either; many other story lines of those who aren't listening are out there.  
The underlying message that I got out of it?  God works in mysterious ways.  Whether you're listening or not, His will be done.  

The Keeper is full of laughs and surprises.  It also pulls at heartstrings, as so many of the other books of Suzanne W. Fisher have done for me.  

NOTE:  Although I received a review copy of The Keeper via LitFuse Publicity House on behalf of the publisher, I was not compensated for this review.  I was simply asked to give my honest opinion which I am pleased to do here. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

“Honey of a Giveaway” from Suzanne Woods Fisher! @Suzannewfisher!

It’s a “Honey of a Giveaway” from Suzanne Woods Fisher!

Suzanne is hosting a "honey of a giveaway"during the blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!

During the giveaway one Grand Prize winner will receive a Prize Pack valued at $600:
  • A brand new 16 KB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • A $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of The Keeper
But wait there's more! Just click one of the icons below to enter, then on 1/17 join Suzanne for The Keeper Facebook Party! During the party Suzanne will announce the winner of the "Honey" of an iPad Giveaway and host a fun book chat and give away some fun "honey" inspired prizes - It'll be 'sweet"!

RSVP early and tell your friends!
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 17th!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Walgreens Prescription Savings Club (due to loss of Express Scripts)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

On December 31, 2011, after a year of negotiations, Walgreens and Express Scripts have parted ways.  Walgreens is no longer a part of the Express Scripts pharmacy provider network.  This includes all Walgreens pharmacy locations nationwide as well as Duane Reade pharmacies in the NYC area.  See this press release: Walgreens and Express Script

I can’t imagine the havoc this has created for people who are used to just going into their “regular” pharmacy with their “regular” pharmacist!  Now they will have to go elsewhere, to a stranger, perhaps go farther away than their local Walgreens.   It doesn’t seem like these customers will see their costs go down while moving to their new pharmacy. 

From what I understand, Walgreens offered to keep their rates constant for the new contract with Express Scripts- they did not seek an increase in their rates.  The sticking point seems to be that Express Scripts wanted to be able to say what does and does not constitute a brand name vs. a generic drug.  They also proposed to cut the reimbursement rates Walgreens received to rates below the industry average cost to provide each prescription to their customers. 

Seems that Walgreens can provide a 90 day supply of a drug to a customer which conflicts with Express Scripts own mail order drug program which provides 90 day supplies to its customers.  A little conflicting considering Express Scripts stands to make more money from dispensing medications from their own , in-house, mail distribution program.

Now Express Scripts has also chosen to give America’s military a hard time as well as all of the “other” customers they’ve put out by not resigning Walgreens as a preferred pharmacy.  Tricare is one of Express Scripts clients.  Tricare is the health and prescription program for our service men and women.   In order to not put them out, Walgreens offered to contract Tricare separately from the other Express Scripts clients.  The answer was no. 

This is an issue because no one really sees what Walgreens gets paid by Express Scripts.  No one knows what the impact of this change will be but it could stretch far and wide.    In order to eliminate some of the burden on its clients, Walgreens has introduced a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club.  During this special January promotion, an individual can join for $5.  A family can join for $10.  This Prescription Savings Club allows participants to receive savings on more than 8,000 brand name and generic medications.  More than 400 generics are available with a three month supply for less than $1 per week.  Also included are: discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers and more.  There is even a discount for buying Walgreens brand products in their stores.   If you join after the January promotion, the regular annual membership cost is $20 per individual and $35 per family.   Walgreens Prescription Savings Club

Even though employers want to keep Walgreens in their pharmacy network, Express Scripts doesn’t see it that way.   To stay up to date on all of the happenings between Walgreens and Express Scripts, be sure to follow  Walgreens on Twitter and “like”  Walgreens on Facebook.  Maybe some type of compromise might be had between the two companies in the future.  

Visit Sponsor's Site

Almost Two Weeks into 2012

We're over a week into 2012 and I have yet to post a single blog entry.  Sad?  Kind of.  All types of things are in the works.  For instance, we're knee deep into Twink's gymnastics competition season which will run through the end of February and began in December. 

Here are a few photos of her from her last competition.  In the first, she gets AIR on the balance beam.  She landed that jump but unfortunately fell off the beam twice during her scored competition.   In the second, she is proudly presenting in third place for her vault performance.  She did so well!!  

Although there were no State qualifying scores this weekend or in any of her previous meets, she still has two left in which to score in order to qualify for the State competition at the end of February.  Last week she was short by .9 and the week before by .6.  So close! If she doesn't get the scores, no worries; there is always next year! 

I am thankful for her learning the sport of gymnastics - safely and becoming more and more confident in her skills with each practice and competition.  I am thankful for her coaches who take the time to teach the girls proper techniques so they learn at their own pace and progress well without pushing them past the breaking point.  They teach so the girls love it, not so they'll be burnt out in 3 years of competition.  Although, she could use a little push on her bars skills! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wrapping Up 2011 Red Hot Trends from Betty Crocker

Trend: Double Desserts

Taking two desserts and mixing and mashing them together is one of our favorite trends. Things like pie shakes, cookie stuffed cookies, and pie-filled cupcakes deliver a whole new kind of delicious. It’s a 1+1=3 kind of thing.
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Cookies
Pie, meet cookie. Cookie, say hello to pie. When two all-time favorites come together, you get Pumpkin Pie Cookies, the star at your next holiday cookie exchange.

Trend: Boozy Baking

From booze cakes to cocktail pies, bakers everywhere are bringing the bar into the kitchen. A titch of tequila or a skosh of scotch whiskey adds a serious shot of fun and flavor for the over 21 crowd. We’re loving these boozy baked goods!
Recipe: Boozy Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes
Taste for yourself what the buzz is all about! A bit of bourbon, a hit of coffee liqueur and some vanilla vodka-spiked frosting make these sophisticated chocolate cupcakes the ultimate “holiday helpers.”

Trend: Color. Flavor. Fun.

Traditional baked goods are being transformed with bright colors and playful flavors. With a little creativity and imagination, no one can resist this happy, fun food!
Recipe: Cake Batter Cookie Stackers
Take sugar cookies to a whole new level of delicious! Kids and adults will love these cake batter flavored cookies with colorful frosting, and lots of sprinkles! Stack ‘em up and watch ‘em go.

Trend: From Cave to Kitchen

Forget the man cave. Today guys are in the kitchen making (or at least appreciating) really good food. Big food. Really good, big food that’s stacked and stuffed with the flavors they can’t resist.
Recipe: Mantastic Fried Chicken ‘n’ Waffle Sandwich
Here’s a new take on chicken ‘n’ waffles - made better with beer, bacon, and bourbon. It’s the ultimate manly man meal.

Trend: Skinny Cocktails

Here’s the skinny! Drinking high-calorie cocktails is so last year. The modern mixologist is shaking things up with light & flavorful cocktails.
Recipe: Skinny Clementine Martini
Add some clever sparkle to your next party. Enjoy these natural, light martinis made with fresh juice, high-quality liquor, and a splash of club soda. Lower calorie cocktails never tasted, or looked, so sweet. Cheers!

Trend: Better Than Bought

From canning to candy making, there’s a renewed interest in handcrafted foods. This season, homemade food gifts are just the right thing to show your care and creativity.
Recipe: Cajeta Caramel Fudge
Create the perfect combination of flavor and crunch with this homemade candy. Rich chocolate fudge layered with cajeta caramel, cashews and a sprinkle of sea salt—a recipe to impress.

Trend: Veggie Love

Once just tolerated, vegetables are now celebrated. Omnivores and herbivores alike have discovered that veggies offer variety and great taste, and are feeling the love.
Recipe: Sweet Potato Hummus
Hummus with fresh sweet potato packs even more plant power. Add a delicious blend of smoked paprika, coriander, and cumin to make this flavorful dip.

Trend: Shareworthy & Allergen-Friendly

Allergen-friendly foods may be free from things like nuts, dairy and eggs, but shouldn’t be free from flavor. Thankfully, we’re seeing new foods and recipes that can be enjoyed by everyone – whether you’re allergy-sensitive or not.
Recipe: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
Gather everyone around the table to enjoy this moist and delicious pumpkin bread. Made with no nuts, no dairy, no eggs, and no gluten - no kidding!

Trend: D-I-Y for D-O-G

Man’s best friend deserves man’s best effort. That’s why making your own dog food is one of the latest canine crazes! This year, homemade dog treats are at the top of fido’s list.
Recipe: Dog Bark
This treat will make your dog sit up and beg for more. Make the bark by melting carob chips and peanut butter then top with your dog’s favorite ingredients – bacon and cheese. Bow WOW!

Trend: Food Craft

The kitchen is the new craft room. With food as their medium, clever cooks are making amazing edible food crafts that are as good to look at as they are to eat.
Recipe: Chocolate Coal Lumps
Naughty or nice, everyone will love these easy cho-coal-late treats. Cocoa Puffs® cereal dipped in melted chocolate and marshmallows create these tasty stocking stuffers.

 Did you notice any of these trends over your Holiday get togethers in 2011?  Is there anything here that you'd like to try to next year??  I think I may try some before the next holiday season.  Seems too far away! You know, the SUPER BOWL is coming up!!

NOTE:  All of the recipes and trends on this post were provided by Betty Crocker by way of MyBlogSpark!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Released TODAY! Karma Kameleon by Stephanie Haefner

From the publisher:

Karma is back, but this time she’s not completely to blame.

After surviving a heart- wrenching tragedy, Lexi Marshall is determined to find happiness with her wacky, new-age family. Stumbling through her first few months of motherhood, she's achieved the perfect balance living with her son, the love of her life, and her best friend and his lover. But happily-ever-after all under the same roof doesn't last long.

For one thing, Rich doesn’t exactly agree living with everyone is ideal. With their gay/straight double wedding fast approaching, he wants to find a place of their own instead of continuing to sponge off of Marcus and Kevin. But Lexi isn’t ready to give up her easy lifestyle...or the never-ending wisdom of her lifelong best friend, Marcus.

Torn between assured comfort and true happiness, Lexi has to make a choice, and fast. Will she lose everything, or can she trust karma, and have it all?

WARNING: Title contains some explicit sexual scenes and strong language.

Last week, I took some time to myself and read Stephanie Haefner's Karma Kameleon.  Kara Kameleon is the sequel to her 2010 release, A Bitch Named Karma

Meeting the main character, Lexi, again was fun!  Since it had been a bit since I read the first book, it took me a while to reacquaint myself with all of the lead characters.  Once I did, though, I was hooked.  I needed to keep reading to find out where our heroine would wind up in the end: with her Prince Charming and her baby boy or all alone because of Karma?  Get your copy today to find out!! 

This was an enjoyable page turner for me! I hope you enjoy it too!