Archives for January 2017

The Angel’s Share by James Makert @BookLookBloggers

Disclosure: I received this book as a BookLook Blogger. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

Stories with down-home appeal don’t often come my way, but The Angel’s Share was a great find.  Recently published by James Markert, this novel is based in my home state of Kentucky.  Now, I’m not a bourbon drinker, but I still recognize the importance of distilleries to the Bluegrass economy.  The richness of this literary drink was a surprise!

In this story, remnants of the Prohibition follow the sleepy town of Twisted Tree like a bad dream.  Though the McFee family seemed to fare better than most, it was only a financial facade.  They had their share of devastating loss times two.  Although it took a while to really get into the mystery portion of the plot, it was worth the wait.   The Angel’s Share wasn’t the type of book I could skim.  My tendency to breeze through a book stopped in its tracks because I just had to savor the chapters.  So many characters took shape that it was sometimes hard to keep up!

There was an otherworldly feel that I didn’t expect, and I enjoyed the sweet children who helped bring some levity to an otherwise heavy book.  My only issue was that so many events seemed to be unrelated, or that their connection was stretched, until I almost forgot about them.  In some ways, I wish this had been a series with each book devoted to a certain “chapter” in William’s life, or maybe focusing on one of his family members instead.

In passing, one of Markert’s other book topics is mentioned in The Angel’s Share. I’m interested in learning more about A White Wind Blew, a story about a doctor who uses music to help patients in a 1929 tuberculosis sanatorium.
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Gymboree’s new Peter Rabbit collection is perfect for baby shower gifts

*Disclosure*I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Recently, a blast from the past landed in the mailbox.  A colleague from many years ago sent a baby announcement that was a huge surprise.  My friend Marsha and I tried to decide what to get for darling Brooks.  The Peter Rabbit collection from Gymboree is adorable in its classic style. I wish we’d seen it sooner!

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Writing fan fiction online? Turn digital content into a beautiful Blurb book

*Disclosure*I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

If you’re into writing your own fan fiction on a blog, here’s an amazing tool you’ll want to know about!  Turn your digital content into a beautiful book with Blurb’s new BookWright feature.  Here are some ideas!  [Read more…]

Inspirational Nursery Rhymes offer parent resources for building positive beliefs

Disclosure: I’ll be receiving this book; opinions shared are mine.

A few weeks ago, I struggled with the memory of E vs. A — as in, Berenstein vs. Berenstain.  If you’re familiar with the Mandela effect, you know what I’m talking about!  The bigger picture, though, forces me to acknowledge that the Bears in question simply portrayed human situations in the comfort of Mama Bear’s world.  Now that I’m a Mama Bear myself, it’s important to find ways to help my cubs build a positive belief system.  Recently, I was invited to share the Inspiration Nursery Rhymes including the newest title Max Gives Thanks to God.

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Harvest of Thorns will make you think! @BookLookBloggers

Disclosure: I am a BookLook Blogger and chose this book to review. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

Public Service Announcement: 
If you read A Harvest of Thorns, plan to devote several days to your reading displeasure.

That’s right.  You’re going to be made uncomfortable by this book.  Why?  You’ll be absorbed in the web of deceit and, yes, consumer guilt.  The book itself is so engrossing that you won’t be able to take your eyes off it!  The story line is complex and compelling.   It was a rather tedious read at times, only because I’m used to more shallow stories.  Harvest of Thorns is deep, real, and more than a little scary because it hits close to home.  You’ll be reminded of Erin Brockovich and Flint, Michigan when you read about the Davids who attacked Goliath in this book. [Read more…]

Illustrated Faith says it’s okay to write in your Bible #CravingConnection

Disclosure: I am a Craving Connections team member and received the kit from DaySpring. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

You know all those times your parents taught you not to write in books?  You were just saving it all for this moment. It’s time to write in your Bible, friends!

The Illustrated Faith kit from DaySpring says its okay to write in your Bible. Why stop at writing? You can color, embellish, and more!  The package even has a little zip-off pull that makes it feel like you’re opening a lottery prize or something.  [Read more…]

An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter

Disclosure: I am a Bethany House blogger and received this book from the publisher.  Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

Sometimes the truth can threaten to topple us!  In the novel An Elegant Facade, Georgina lived that threat every day. [Read more…]

Welcome Winter with a Cozy Book

Disclosure: I received this book from Buoyancy PR. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

Winter activities like playing in the snow don’t really appeal to me. Now, reading….yes!  The reviews for Shepherd, Potter, Spy, and the Star Namer by Peggy Miracle Consolver were upbeat and positive, so I can’t wait to check it out.   [Read more…]

How to save money on Crest Whitestrips – Sweet Savings

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

You guys know how much I love my subscription boxes. It’s fun to get “good” mail, and trying new products is exciting. If you’ve wondered how to save on pricey Crest whitestrips and toothpaste, here’s a tip. Recently I discovered the Amazon beauty sample box and was really impressed! The best part is that the $11.99 cost is CREDITED back to your Amazon prime account when you purchase selected items. Basically, it pays for itself!

The Whitestrips had a $10 off coupon on Amazon, which stacked with the $11.99 credit. Since I was already planning to buy Whitestrips as stocking stuffers, this was a huge savings. I also tried the Crest Whitestrip sample box. It’s only $4.99 and also comes with that awesome credit feature, and it stacked with the other credit PLUS the $10 coupon. So, my total out-of-pocket expense for the $36.xx box of Whitestrips was under $23. That doesn’t include the other samples I received, which were really top-notch as well. Here’s what my final screen looked like (remember, I also got the Crest sample box and used it to buy a twin pack of toothpaste.)

You do have to be a Prime member to take advantage of these sweet savings, so if you don’t already have it, I highly suggest the Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.

We are gifting one lucky reader with a beauty sample box. (If, for some reason, Amazon doesn’t allow it to be shipped elsewhere, we will substitute a $12 Amazon gift card.) To enter, visit the giveaway form below. The giveaway is open to US readers who live where Prime ships free. Ages 18+, void where prohibited by law. Good luck!  Giveaway ended. The winner is shown below.

Life Is Tough But So Are YOU #centsofstyle Fashion Friday Story @centsofstyle

Disclosure: Cents of Style chose me to be one of their Fashion Friday Story bloggers; I received this shirt to feature. Post contains affiliate links. Opinions shared are mine.

A few days ago, I happened to come across something I haven’t opened in a while– my “Happy” folder.  It holds the notes, cards, and drawings students have given me over the years.  When I moved the file folder, a folded note fluttered out.  A student in my math class — at least 15 years ago — wrote it as a nomination for some type of award.  In the note, he expressed appreciation for my help as he struggled with math over the entire school year.  The note brought tears to my eyes; that student worked so hard to master difficult math concepts.  Words like this remind me how lucky I am to be a teacher. My students know I care about them, but they also need to know that they’re strong.  No matter what challenges they face, whether it be hardships at home or struggles at school, I want them to know that, just as my shirt reads, Life is tough, but so are you! [Read more…]