Monday, December 28, 2009

Saving Cicadas - Review

Author: Nicole Seitz
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Amazon Price: $10.19


A novel of unconditional love and the freedom of letting go.

When single mother Priscilla Lynn Macy learns she's having another child unexpectedly, she packs the family into the car to escape. Eight-year-old Janie and Rainey Dae, her seventeen-year-old sister with special needs, embark on the last family vacation they'll ever take with Poppy and Grandma Mona in the back seat. The trip seems aimless until Janie realizes they are searching for the father who left them years ago. When they can't find him, they make their way to Forest Pines, SC. Priscilla hasn't been to her family home in many years and finds it a mixed blessing of hope, buried secrets, and family ghosts. Through eyes of innocence, Janie learns the hard realities of life and the difficult choices grownups make. And she must face disturbing truths about the people she loves in order to carry them in the moments that matter most.

This novel sucked me in from the beginning. Beautifully written, the plot is carefully unfolded, leaving you eager for the next page. The author paints a vivid picture of each of her characters, each flawed but striving to do their best. The characters are very believable, especially Janie and her grandmother. Saving Cicadas covers the life - struggles and triumphs - of single mother Priscilla. The author provides plenty of history for her characters, but it is woven into the story so there is no drag to the story line. The ending left me puzzled, and a bit angry that the characters I'd grown attached to were given that ending.

Overall this book is a great read, I really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lonestar Secrets - Book Review

This one took a lot longer than I anticipated! I finally finished Lonestar Secrets by Coleen Coble.

The plot line to Lonestar Secrets was quite promising - Shannon returns to her hometown (she'd left years before) to be the local veterinarian. She is now a single mama of a young girl, and hopes to provide a good life for her there as she's inherited a home. Her daughter is one survivor of a twin, the second (identical) girl having died at birth. Shortly after moving home she runs into an old flame - who is a single father to a little girl the same age as Shannon's daughter and bearing an uncanny resemblence.

I didn't enjoy this book - the story line dragged in several areas, the "betrayal" Shannon experienced from her old boyfriend was laughable - you expect, from the way this is written, it would be truly something awful, like did he sleep with her best friend? Steal from her bank account? So the plot is building and building and, fizzle. Turns out the betrayal was none of the previous - Shannon thought she'd seen a unicorn horn on her horse and Jack had shared the story.

The ending also left a lot to be desired.

Download Sample Chapters

This was a review for Thomas Nelson Books. I received Lonestar Secrets by Coleen Coble at no cost to review.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thank you Thena @ Patiently Waiting!

Thank you Thena @ Patiently Waiting for this awesome award!

With this award comes a list of questions that must be answered, then I will be sending the award to five more bloggers.

1. Where is your cell phone?.... somewhere in the house

2. Your hair? ......has a mind of it's own

3. Your mother? ......At home

4. Your father?....Boston

5. Your favorite food? ......Shrimp

6. Your dream last night?......surreal

7. Your favorite drink?....Diet Coke

8. Your dream/goal? .......Win the lottery and retire to Paris :)

9. What room are you in? ......Den

10. Your hobby? ......Blogging, jewelry, books

11. Your fear? .....spiders

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?........Somewhere warm

13. Where were you last night?.... home

14. Something you aren't?

15. Muffins? .....jumbo with crumblies

16. Wish list item? ......more time

17. Where did you grow up?......Wisconsin

18. Last thing you did?...... Watched 10 kids for the local foster support group

19. What are you wearing? ......T-shirt and jeans

20. Your TV? .....too loud

21. Your pets?, cat

22. Your friends? ......the best

23. Your life?........crazy, wild, joyful

24. Your mood? ......Relaxed

25. Missing someone? .....Always

26. Vehicle? ......Mom-mobile

27. Something you're not wearing? strangely enough

28. Your favorite store? ..........Target

29. Your favorite color? ......Orange

30. When was the last time you laughed? ......20 minutes ago

31. Last time you cried? .....last week

32. Your best friend?........Jessi

33. One place that I go over and over?

34. One person who emails me regularly?.......Jessi

35. Favorite place to eat? the grill

I am passing this award on to my five bloggy friends who follow this blog - awful pictures and all :)

Helping Mommys Win - who is my BFF in the real and bloggy World

Ascending Butterfly

Bedtime Stories

Priscilla Styles

Jen's Herd

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Snow Fire

This is one of my favorite bracelets I've created.

I did this one a couple of years ago. It's a simple straight string of Swarvorski flower crystals, double strung on memory wire. The beads were double drilled, which is great since the beads are quite heavy, especially with this many and the two wires give plenty of support. I used a crimp on each end, tying it into a flower toggle. It doesn't show well in the pictures, but this sparkles like crazy, casting rainbows!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Go Greyhounds Go!

We had our homecoming parade last night. I've watched this parade every year for, well, since I was 7 :).

Poor, Neglected Blog

I've been run ragged all this month. My daughter's now in HS, and the drama, money draining, and activities never seem to end. But I wouldn't trade her, or this time in our life, for anything. I'm a very lucky, very blessed mom.

Made it to the homecoming parade and got some awesome pics (Yay me!). Anyone who knows me knows my pictures - heads cut off, random pieces of strangers that always float in front of the lense when I snap the picture, etc. etc. etc. But these are Awesome! And, since someone was kind enough (thank you SHG!) to show me how to upload pics I'll be getting those up. If you don't see pics by tomorrow, it is safe to assume the computer has won and is reduced to a puddle of smoking techy goo.

And - wonders never cease - I have a window charm that survived! I want to post a pic of that one. It's one my mom made with my frog bead, and is really gorgeous.

I got my new book from Thomas Nelson books. I was going to devour it one bite, but then the library called and "Skin Trade" by Laurell K. Hamelton was in. So I devoured that one instead :). Love this whole series - vampires, werewolves, mysteries, head in box via UPS, yep. Something for everyone.

Skin Trade continues Anita Blakes sad, sexy, fun saga, but this time it's personal. After receiving an invitation via a bloody head, sans body, at her office, she heads to Vegas to hunt the serial killer that escaped in the previous book (may have been the book before last). The plot thickens as Max, Bibiana and children surface with their own agenda. Anita is working once again with Ed, a.k.a "Ted" and Olaf (they're scarier than the vamps most times!) to process clues and kick butt. I would absolutely love to see this series turned into a TV series. If you like Sookie Stackhouse, or Betsy the Vampire books, you'll love these.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New book

I got my latest book from Thomas Nelson Books!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Burt's Bees Sample :)

I love love love trying before buying - there's nothing worse than paying for something that doesn't work.

I've been a fan of Burt's Bees products for awhile now, and am looking forward to trying their new Natural Acne Solutions.


A very good friend of mine gave me an awesome b-day gift - a gift card to Barnes and Noble (it doesn't get any better than that). I bought the Book "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld. It was every bit as good as I expected, and a lot more intense that I would have thought. I can't wait to get my hands on the next one in the series.

I also bought 2 others, "The Witchling" Sorry! Complete blank on the author - I'll add tomorrow and "In Grave Sight" by Charlain Harris. Anyone who is a fan of the Southern Vampire Series (Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood) knows Charlain and her quirky outlook on paranormals. This book introduces Harper Connelly and her brother. Harper hears / speaks / sees the dead (I see dead people!!) and this leads to lots of funny run ins with the locals.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scott Hamilton - The Great 8

"The Great Eight" was a beautifully written piece that covers Scott's many trials and tribulations - learning the "figure 8" skate move (and patience and not giving up in the process), testicular cancer, brain cancer, going for the gold - that Scott has triumphed in his life. This book gives the 8 secrets Scott has lived by, and is an uplifting, easy read that applies to real life. I thought when I first started this book it would be a preachy "be happy" book and was pleasantly surprised to find it was an uplifting, sometimes humorous, take on life. The best part of the book was the way it was written - almost as though Scott was there, speaking directly to you. Definitely a must read for anyone who needs a pick-me-up. And a perfect gift for someone hard to shop for.


Sample Chapters
The Great Eight
Product Page


For my birthday my husband and daughter gave me "The Awakening" by Kelley Armstrong, Book #2 in the Darkest Powers Trilogy. This trilogy is the ongoing saga of Chloe Saunders, one necromancer extraordinaire. The books parallel the Otherworld series, but these characters do not interact directly with those characters - well, at least not yet.

I love love love Kelley's Otherworld series, and absolutely had to read this new one when it came out. The DPT is every bit as good, just PG rather than R.

In this book, Chloe awakens back in the lab, locked into a "hotel room". Rachel has also been caught and contained. Chloe is able to access a computer, where she learns not only are they "others" but they have been genetically modified by the Edison Group in an experiment to control their powers. The Edison group claims to be working for the greater good of man kind (yep, key scary music here) and have modified their genetic codes in an effort to offset the "difficulties" paranormals experience at puberty, when powers tend to settle in. Chloe accesses a list of students, 1 who is considered "rehabilitated", 3 who have been terminated (Yes, Liz is definitely dead I fear), and she and Derek, who have "???" by their names.

Chloe cleverly tricks the Edison group into taking her with to look for the rendezvous point, stating she could be bait to lure Derrek and Simon out into the open for the Edison group to catch. She is able to get away (yay!), and amazingly, Tori comes with. Turns out Tori's had enough, her mom's an evil witch (literally!) and they take off together. Tori stays true to character, totally shallow, pushing Chloe into danger on more than one occasion and abandoning her when things get scary. Chloe's powers are intensifying (side effect of genetic modification - if it works your powers are less, if it doesn't then yours are more). Derrek is still unable to transform completely, but comes closer with each "fit". Derrek is now terrified of the changing process - a normal werewolf of course would and could shift when ready, but with the modifications who knows what will happen.

Chloe's powers are very unstable, she concentrates to contact Liz, and bats raise. The body of a homeless guy raises (funny as he tries to crawl up her legs) and a bird. Chloe discovers the hard way she can raise bodies in her sleep while dreaming, and fears what she will see each time she closes her eyes.

End of the book leaves you hanging for the finale of course - I won't spoil it, but you won't be disappointed. Definitely another winner from Ms. Armstrong.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spotlight on PR


I caught this chance today, and would love to join the fun of doing reviews and giveaways.

It can all get a little overwhelming when you're a new blogger like myself. I'd love to be more involved with companies, organizations and other people. Ifound a post on Tara's blog, Feels Like Home, called Spotlight on PR with simple (even I can do this!) instructions.

My name is Bri, I'm over 30 but under 35, married with one daughter who is 14 and work full time for a living. I'm a neat freak who is always on the search for an easier solution to household messes (and vehicle messes. and yard messes). I love to read just about anything fiction, enjoy crafting jewlery and trying new things. I love sharing my experience, and research all purchases over 30.00 (money is as tight as time these days). I hate spending money on an item or product that doesn't work! I'm also in the process of remodeling our home, and am open to ideas and suggestions. We have a (30 pound!!) cat and an 8 month old puppy (puggle) to add to the fun.

I would be intersted in hosting giveaways (if the company is responsible for shipping) for any product that is family friendly, and would love to review books, crafting kits/ideas, makeup, clothing, easy fix meals, home improvement/decor/cleaning, cat / dog items and anything teenager trendy.

My real-world and bloggy friend Silverhart Girl helped me start my very first blog which is still quite new. I hope to share my jewelery ideas, give honest opinons on books I've enjoyed (or not), other crafts I've tried and the ongoing saga of updating my home which I purchased in May.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Time flies when you're not having fun. . . . .

It's been a loooong week, and it's only Monday, which I think is not a good sign.

I crafted the Honey Peppermint Lip gloss Sunday, from I Want to Make That! Fun and easy! And it actually came out pretty good. I used 1 ounce "paint and mix" pots from Hobby Lobby ($1.99/12 and was able to fill 8 completely). I roped my daughter into helping, and we cackled like hyenas the whole time :) I made 3 w/ the peppermint essential oil, 2 with a splash of vanilla extract instead of the P.E.O., one w/ vanilla and P.E.O, and one with a bit of rasberry coffee syrup Brit's idea!). The syrup didn't blend completely, but it looks kinda cool - honey colored on top and bright pink on the bottom, It did set up well, so next time I think I will blend it in the pot over heat, rather than adding to the bottom of my containers and trying to shake it together. Which is not the best blending method apparently. The lip gloss smells fantastic and feels so good on! I want to make more (more! more!) this weekend - I'm going to try to use extracts rather than essential oils because I'm a cheap crafter :)

I'm waiting on my first book to review - Scott Hamilton: The Great Eight - from Thomas Nelson books. STILL hasn't arrived. I'm looking forward to reading it though.

I've got a couple of window charm ideas rolling around in my head - If I can pull them from my brain onto string I'll get them posted. These are a fun project that looks really neat hanging up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

silverhart girl at Silver's Hart gave me this wonderful blog award. I really like her blogs and was honored that she thought of me. Thank you Silver Hart! Silver Hart is also the one that got me started on my blog, and showed me how to put pictures and links in (see! I got a picture AND a link and I think they are both working!). Sad but true, I did have to hit Brittany (my 14 year old daughter) up to show me how to get the pictures from the camera to the computer.
I plan on blog surfing tonight to find new blogs, and will list them this evening.
Here are the rules of this blog award.Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

In surfing, I also stumbled on an adorable giveaway at Stepford Dreams, a beautiful Mother & Baby Owl Set by Honeybunch Designs. Perfect for a little boy or a little girl, this adorable pair would make the ideal gift.

1. Diana Rambles - I tend to babble myself :)
2. Lisaannerosalie - I have got to learn how to make those glass things!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Steph's B-Day

My sister-in-law's birthday is next month. Usually I'm way last minute, but this year I wanted to get a head start and finished early (yay me!). I made her a silver medallion necklace - the medallion is etched with flowers and has Swavorski crystal accents. I also tried something I've been wanting to do for a while - make a box. I started with a plain, small cardboard trunk from Hobby Lobby and lined it with navy blue etched felt. I covered the outside (using the same technique as Scrabble Tiles) with a card suite motif since Steph loves Vegas. End result is adorable - pictures don't show well as I stink at taking photos.

Next up - window charms. Most of mine fell apart in the move, which is as good an excuse as any to make more.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Post

My first post. . . . .

Short and sweet like all the good things in life.

I have three passions in life - my family, creating jewelery and reading trashy paranormals.

I want to blog about all three -

The joy and tribulations of guiding a 14 year old beautiful girl on the path to adulthood.

The many wonderful jewelry creations I make.

And my guilty pleasure - books.