Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Smashwords eBook Wish List

I was introduced to Smashwords shortly after receiving my Nook Color this past Christmas. I was lucky enough to find this whole new world full of authors that most don't hear about. I would have been cheated out of reading some great books had I not find them. In fact, it was part of the inspiration for starting this share some of the books that I have found that I would not have otherwise read.

I have started compiling a list of books that I want to read from Smashwords. B&N offers a place to set up a "wish list", and this is my Smashwords wish list.

Scattered Pieces by Alice Lynn
The Jade Rabbit by Mark Matthews
The Unraveling of Abby Steele by Sylvia May
Price of Heaven by Lilly LaRue
Accepting Fate by Vanessa E. Kelman
A Spark of Courage by Rita S. Knight
Prodigal by Elizabeth Lee
Caring for Eleanor by Sonia Rumzi
Awakening by JoAnn Durgin
Toward a New Beginning by R. William Rogers
Rescuing Ladybugs by Diane Adams
From the Ashes by Carolyn R. Scheidies
Another Chance by Diane Adams
Fatima's Fate by Dana Sudboro
Come the End by William Creed
Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant
This Divine Night by Mary Caelsto
To Live Again by Lauralee Bliss
Home to Hart's Crossing by Robin Lee Hatcher
Only the Truth by Jeanne Desautel Foster

Don't forget....if you do check out smashwords or any Indie Authors....make sure you live a review or rating anywhere you can leave one. They depend on these ratings as feedback and it helps draw others in to read them as well.

Free ebooks for Kindle and Nook....List 1

I decided to compile a list of free ebooks for Kindle and Nook ereaders and for those who have the Kindle and Nook app on their computes and phones. I mainly list them on our Facebook page (Nook and Kindle eBook Deals) but there are many people who are in an internet group that I am a member of who do not do FB.

Make sure that you double check the price before downloading because the prices can change from FREE quickly.

I am inlcuding the links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble for each book. Make sure that you click on the book cover to get the Kindle edition and the link to get the Nook edition.

Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (Love Finds YouTM)
Not free on Nook

Bright Young Things with Bonus Material
Nook link:

Nook Link:

A Thousand Lies: Lies Every Good American Must Believe
Nook Link:

Thunder in the Morning Calm (Pacific Rim Series)

Nook Link:

The Choice (Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1)
Nook Link:

The Preacher's Bride

Nook Link:

Hope Undaunted, A (Winds of Change)
Nook Link:

A Daughters Inheritance (Broadmoor Legacy, Book 1)
Nook Link:

No Place for a Lady (Heart of the West Series, Book 1)

Nook Link:

My Heart Remembers
Nook Link:

WHEN THE EAGLE SCREAMS - America's Vulnerability to Terrorism

Nook Link:

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Sanderson Family Reunion Dream

Have you ever had a dream that was so real and so amazing you just didn't want to wake up. Of course you have....we all have, but the one that I have had twice makes me want to cry when I wake up. It is the absolute epitome of peace and I feel more love while I'm asleep dreaming than I can explain.

I grew up in the most amazing family. My grandparents and great grandparents lived next door to each other with only a lot separating them. Then my great Uncle and his family lived about two football field lengths from them.

Before I go any further let me say that in our family "great" Uncle.....only means Uncle....."great" Aunt or "great" Grandparents....are not different. Second and third cousins are no different than first cousins and are often referred to as Aunt or Uncle depending on the relationship between those cousins....ex. Uncle Joey or Uncle Steven.

So back to the dream.....

Everyone in our family had gathered under the tree that we always gathered under on Sunday in Mamaw Great's yard. Noone was excluded. Uncle Sid and all of his family came from Oklahoma, Craig and Kristen came from up North, Dickie and Donna and all of their family came....Al was there...Debbie, Haley....Nancy and her family, Cheryl and her get the picture. Any bad blood between anyone was set aside. (We have an amazing family but we are human...we do have some serious personality conflicts at times).

There were chairs and lawn chairs spread out in a huge circle under the tree. There were quilts laid out across the thick grass for the babies to lay on. There was this huge slide that used to sit at Mamaw Great's and it was still there. There were tarp tents lined up going down the side of the house with tables, ice chests and wires galore. These tables were FULL of potluck dishes that everyone brought. They were set up in crockpots and warming trays. There were dips in bowls on ice and a HUGE tray of Aunt Dot's shrimp sandwiches graced the table that never emptied. There were tons of homemade biscuits and cornbread and a pot of Aunt Vie's potato soup with my name on it. (It's my dream...I get the soup)

In Mississippi, laying all of this food out all day is not exactly a reality. In my dream it was neither hot or cold...It was perfect weather. There was a breeze blowing and the smell of coffee lingered in the air.

The lot between Mamaw Great's and Mamaw's house hosted a softball game. There was no age limit on this game. Rusty, Chase, Donnie, and even Aunt Elaine participated right along with Brayden, Kellie Rae, Christopher and Adam.

The lot where Mamaw's house used to sit was full of kids and adults in a heated soccer game. The old tree out back where Mamaw built our tree house still stood with the old shed beside it. Hannah and Summer helped watch over some of the younger kids as they played house and babies and all the games we used to play out there.

In Mamaw Great's yard was one of those big inflatable slides that also entertained adults...mainly well as kids.

There were kids of all ages everywhere getting acquainted or reacquainted with each other doing all the things that we used to do as kids.

We were there for a long time. It seemed as if time had stood still just for all of us. As I sat in my chair in the circle looking around I looked and saw all of those who had gone on ahead of us sitting under the tree on the outside of our circle....our grandparents, Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim, Uncle Glenn, Uncle J.D., Jimmy in his many of our family sat there....some that us younger ones had never met. At our grandparent's feet and in their laps sat the babies that never made it full term and the ones who had left us to soon. When I turned and I saw all these people that I loved so dearly and who had made such a huge impact on my life...I jumped up and screamed for everyone to look and started running towards them. All I could think was wrapping my arms around my Mamaw and laying my head in her lap, but as I ran towards them they disappeared. I turned to look and I was the only one sitting under the tree in the yard.

I awoke trembling and I still get a knot in my throat thinking about it because I would give anything, absolutely anything to see my four grandparent's hear Papaw Great holler at me from the back porch, to play under the house or have a weenie roast with Mamaw, cook with Mamaw Great, to hear Papaw holler for me...."Oh Missy Lea",  to get teased by Uncle Glen, to hear Uncle Jim sing "All the Gold in California", to listen to Aunt Marge give our girls a lecture on how to be a lady.

In my dream I kept thinking "is this real?"...The love that was generated on that little strip of gravel road in the middle of farming country was so overwhelming. As I think about was never really a dream. The inflatable slide was a dream....but everything else was real. It was real to those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up in the time that we did. We experienced everything in my dream.... throughout our lives..... on Sunday afternoons on the Warren/Issaquena County line.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Replaced by a Stranger....WOW what a book!!!!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an affair? Yeah, anyone would admit to it if they did! I've often wondered "What was he thinking?" or "Has she lost her mind?".....but if you want to know what it's like and even if you don't..... then read "Replaced by a Stranger" by KC Stone. This book was a great "fatal attraction" type read and on top of that it was a TRUE STORY.

Anyone who has been married for more than a few months has most likely experienced the moment when ya just don't feel like you are visible. Most movies or shows you see are based on the man stepping out, but this book was about the woman stepping out. It was hard not to relate to her and what she was feeling in her marriage, and it was hard not to relate to him as well. This was a gut-wrenching, no-holds-barred, stripped-naked look at a good marriage ruined by a "friendship" that got out of control.

I started this book yesterday morning....I finished it last night. It was a fabulous read!!

.99 on Amazon and FREE on B&N

**Based on a true story**
Growing up in a small town in South Carolina, Emily Weston enjoyed a good life. Small towns offer great relationships where everyone knows everyone and a peaceful back drop to set the scene of her what seemed to be perfect life. However, this small town was no stranger to affairs, lies and abuse and now, Emily Weston has added to it.

Emily Weston was a woman who had everything she wanted, a loving husband and a great job. However, the pressure of all the flirtatious behavior Emily faced each day at work became too much. Her inner desires and lack of attention from her loving husband, coupled with the onslaught of temptation at work, would prove to be stronger than the marriage she had worked so hard to build. It will soon be apparent all of the things she had worked hard to achieve would come crashing down in a twisted pile of rubble full of lies and deceit.

Emily strived for some kind of balance in her life and she found it in another man. All of the things she had long desired, she found in Troy.....compassion, excitement and fulfillment. She would also discover, along with her fulfilled desires, a game that no one wins....... Lies lived on the tip of Troy's tongue and his manipulating personality seemed innate. This and more arising danger would be looming for Emily in the not so far distant future.

A Boy's Reading List

My son is not into the sci-fi, paranormal, vampire-werewolf type books. If you look around you will see lots of it, so it's been a bit challenging to find books that he wants to read. He has finally compiled a list of books that fits his interest and I thought I'd share it here in case you have a boy in the 9-12 year old range.

Storm Warriors

BL 5.2
$5.51 on Nook and $5.99 on Kindle
The year is 1895 and young Nathan Williams wants nothing more than to be a "storm warrior," one of the brave men of the U.S. Lifesaving Service on Pea Island, off the North Carolina shore. Again and again, Nathan has helped the team rescue frightened sailors from floundering ships during the winter storm season. But Nathan's father is a fisherman, and he expects Nathan to be the same. After all, Pea Island is the single station open to African American surfmen, and the precious few jobs are passed from father to son. Still, Nathan is coached in lifesaving skills by the Pea Island crew and dares to hope that one day he may share in their ranks. But after helping with a particularly difficult rescue, Nathan is forced to face the truth: "In that moment I knew, without a shred of doubt, that I did not have the courage to risk my life that way. The dream, and all the months of hoping, blew away as quickly as the foam off the waves." After a close friend makes clear the obvious, Nathan realizes that there are other ways to save lives and discovers his true destiny.

The War with Grandpa (Yearling)

BL 3.9
$6.99 on Nook and Kindle
Peter has lived in the same room his whole life and he loves it. He also loves his grandfather. But when his grandfather moves to his house and takes his room, Peter has to relocate upstairs. Peter wants his room back, so he “declares war” and starts playing pranks on his grandfather. Grandpa knows a few pranks of his own and humorous hijinks ensue. In the end, both grandparent and child are able to face their personal losses. Nicholas Kelly does a good job of recreating Pete's authentic 10-year-old voice, perfectly capturing its rhythm and inflection. He also voices the other characters well, moving easily from old to young, and male to female. The emotions of the various characters are clearly portrayed, from grandfather's exasperation to the parents' concern and the sister's taunting. A good way to introduce an older classic to a new generation of children

The Lemonade War (The Lemonade War Series)

My Son and Reading....What I did to help him with his struggle.

I have an absolute passion for reading, and that is one thing that I had hoped to pass to my children. You can imagine my concern when in first grade our son couldn't do sight words, then when he was passed to second grade he could not read. I knew there was a problem, but I couldn't get anyone to listen to me. I remember sitting in a meeting with a group of teachers and wanting to absolutely bang my head on the wall because the only solution that was offered was to 1)Send him back to first grade or 2)Tutor him with first graders then let an assistant who didn't speak very good English help with his speech and reading. I begged them to consider dyslexia, but was told that it was not a disability and they would not take it into consideration even if I did have him tested.

Immediately following that meeting, I went to the main office and my son was moved to his present school within two days. Surprisingly, he was immediately tested at that school and was found to have "strong dyslexic tendencies". FINALLY....after struggling through Kindergarten and First grade we knew what we were dealing with. We had a new fabulous teacher who sat down with me and mapped out a plan. My husband and I did not expect miracles from her, but we felt like that is exactly what she performed. Our plan was to hold him back so the remainder of the year at the new school would be used for catch up. We were not so much concerned with his grades as his progress. He was also tested and put into a Texas Scottish Rites Program for dyslexic children that was offered at the school. He started his new school in the middle of the first 9 wks of 2nd grade. At that time he tested at a PreK reading level, but when school ended he was reading on a beginner 2nd grade level!!!

I thank God everyday for Beechwood Elementary, the Texas Scottish Rites program that was being offered there and his teacher, Jennifer McCaa. If we had not received the zone transfer to move him and  ....I don't know where my son would be.

In saying that.....has he still struggled? Yes. Self esteem issues are difficult, but also just finding what interest him so that he will want to read has been very challenging. Our school is big on Accelerated Reader, and our kids have to read so many books, as well as, take computerized test on those. Every year has been a constant battle to complete his goal. We are now into about the fourth week of school and in the past I would still be battling with him to get past a few chapters or even stick with the same book. This summer I had an idea to try to help him with his reading AND get him interested.

After receiving a Nook Color for Christmas, I started thinking that it may be helpful for him to read his books from an ereader. By using an ereader he can change the font and the text size. With him being dyslexic this is a huge help for him. After getting the Nook I found a website called AR BookFinder that I was able to use as a reference to find if there was an AR Test and the AR level of any book purchased. We then sat down together and started browsing books to see what may catch his interest. I made it a point to write down the titles and prices so I could go back to them at any time. He presently has a list of books he WANTS to read that just about fills one whole page!! Not only that....he is one chapter book away from meeting his goal and we are not quiet half way through the nine weeks.

To say we are thrilled would be an understatement!!! It has been a long hard road, but I still have hope of him finding a passion for reading.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jakarta Pandemic....FABULOUS BOOK!!

I'm a sucker for some good "Survival" Fiction. I'm not talking about the stuff that is filled with Sci Fi....I'm talking real scenarios like Economic Collapse, WWIII, Civil Unrest and Pandemic. This was the first book that I have read about a Pandemic and I was NOT disappointed. The plot was easily believable and it really made me think about possible future scenarios.

 Alex Fletcher was a Iraqi veteran working as a Pharmaceutical Rep. Because of his position they had been taught about possible Pandemic outbreaks and it scared him enough to start prepping just in case. Fletcher's worst nightmare comes true, and he is faced with protecting his family during this disastrous time. Not only did they have to worry about the pandemic, but also about the economy tanking, loss of jobs and neighbors who wanted to share everyone's prudence and forethought.

I have found that many pieces of "survival" fiction start to sound the same, but this one is different. It kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more!

Note: There is a 3 book series that is based on and follows this book called The Perseid Collapse Series. I CANT WAIT to start it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Cheap...One Stop Shopping for all Book Deals!!

I've been gone for the weekend and boy were there some changes made while I was gone. Anyone who follows my FB page (Nook and Kindle Deals) knows that I am a huge fan of Cheap eReads and their blog. I knew there were some changes coming, but they blew me out of the a good way.

The blog is now I love this change because we always referred to them as The Cheap. I've taken a peak at the blog and LOVE it. It is so much easier to navigate, and everything is so organized. Anyone who has not had a lot of experience following blogs or searching for things will find this a very easy place to be. Not only will you now be able to follow and find Nook deals, but you will also be able to find the Kindle deals.

Another thing that I have found to be an awesome addition is a breakdown in genre. No longer do you have to look through one long list of can just look through the Christian Fiction or Romance etc. This is a great time saver for many. On top of that they have changed up how they approach their Facebook following. If you are on FB make sure to follow them by genre specific groups if you choose. They have the following pages....Cheap eReads, Nook Jr., Nook Teen, Nook Love, Casting Pearls and Kindle on the Cheap.

I think the most important thing about The Cheap are the people. I have to say I have not met everyone, but I have met April and she is also my friend on FB. When I started our FB group, she was quick to pitch in and help post items when I was out of town. This helpful nature was not only extended to me. Over at Free Nook Books etc, the girls found themselves bogged down with general life occurrences. She jumped right in and posted to keep things on their page for their readers. There have been times when I have been looking for a specific book, or someone from our group has been looking for a specific title, and she has combed Heaven and Earth to find that item. April has always tried to send people our way and to our blogs as well. If the rest of the ladies are half as nice as her.....and you know that they have to be.....I can't wait to meet them. Who says you can't have friends you haven't met in person?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Prodigal Son by Alison Palmer.....One of the BEST books I've read.

The Prodigal Son

There is so much to say about this book and I'm going to try to do it without giving away too much. I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I thought "In Leah's Wake" was good.....this one was outstanding!!! I do believe it is one of those rare books that I could probably read AGAIN (b/c I don't read books twice) and still "get something" from it.

The parents faith was unbelievable. The patience and wisdom that they showed was over the top. I kept thinking through the whole book....."how is she biting her tounge???" By reading this book I re-examined my approach to my own rebellious child. When your child rejects you it is the ultimate pain and there is no way to describe that devastation. After reading this story I felt a little more empowered because I saw, through a story, how another Mother dealt with it. For me that was comforting and in some ways it gave me the stregnth that I didn't have last night to face this morning.

I can not praise this book enough!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Intervention Series by Terri Blackstock

This book is presently .99 for Kindle until July 27. It will possibly be matched by B&N...eventually.

Prolific suspense author Blackstock (Double Minds ) begins with every parent's nightmare: a drug-addicted teenage daughter is dragged to a rehab facility. When the interventionist is found dead and the teen is missing, mother Barbara Covington tries to find her daughter before police can arrest the girl for murder. Short chapters and terse dialogue propel the fast-paced action. It's competent genre work, though the characterizations could go deeper. The villain is somewhat improbable, and the 14-year-old brother of the missing teen is exceptionally clever and poised. But the mother-daughter relationship strikes true emotional notes; the redemptive arc of evangelical Christian fiction is natural and resonant in a story of addiction. Blackstock's many fans will be pleased, and this story will also speak to families dealing with addicted children. (Oct.) -- Publisher's Weekly

I bought this book at full price and it was worth every penny!! A story about a single Mom dealing with a drug addicted teenager is dramatic enough, but when the Interventionist is found dead and the teenager disappears the drama is definitely ratcheted up a few notches.

I was on the edge of my bed reading this book for two nights. It truly speaks to the idea that a Mother will never give up on her child no matter what. Barbara was determined to find Emily and get to the bottom of the whole fiasco before throwing one stone of condemnation in her direction.

The suspense continues all the way to the end, and will keep the reader waiting to learn more about this family that is drug through Hades!

Five Stars!!

This book is currently on sale at Amazon for $1.99 and may be price matched at B&N. This sale will last until July 27.

When fifteen-year-old Lance Covington finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of a car, he knows she's the newborn daughter of a meth addict he's been trying to help. But when police arrest him for kidnapping, Lance is thrust into a criminal world of baby trafficking and drug abuse.His mother, Barbara, looks for help from Kent Harlan---the man whom she secretly, reluctantly loves and who once helped rescue her daughter from a mess of her own. Kent flies to her aid and begins the impossible work of getting Lance out of trouble, protecting a baby who has no home, and finding help for a teenage mother hiding behind her lies.In this latest novel of suspense and family loyalty, bestselling author Terri Blackstock offers a harrowing look at drug addiction, human trafficking, and the devastating choices that can change lives forever

After reading Intervention I immediately had to grab this sequel. I was not disappointed.

This book focuses more on Emily's brother, Lance and his willingness to help and befriend someone who des not make healthy decisions. A person, who basically, is no different than Emily was. By doing so he finds himself in a world of trouble and poor Barbara is at it again.....clearing her child's name.

Again....5 stars!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Big Grocery Adventure....this week.

I had planned to take a friend shopping and introduce her to the Coupon Lifestyle!! Since this week, as well as next week are great Mega Sale weeks, I thought this would be a good time to show her what can be done.

Last week was one of my better trips and I'm HOPING that this week will be better. There was an Extreme Coupon Marathon on yesterday, and I watched how these ladies planned their whole trip out on paper. I thought I would try to do the same. I also wanted to see if buying coupons on EBAY actually helped save or if in the end it evened out.

I decided to post my "initial" plan to give you an idea. I may have to tweak it a bit and there may be some items added that I'm waiting to get prices on but it should be minimal. Remember....since it is a Mega Sale they require that you have your "mega sale" items in increments of 10 in order to get sale price.

Stacy Pita Chips...Sale price $2....with Q .90....buying 4...$4.50 Total (NOT MEGA SALE)

Pringles....Sale price .99....with Q .67....buying 15....$10.05 Total

Kleenex...Sale price .99....with Q .74.....buying 8....$5.92 Total

French's Honey Mustard....Sale price $1.29....with Q .29....buying 10...$2.90 Total

Dannon Yogurt....Sale price $1.88...with Q .88....buying 10...$8.80 Total

Crystal Light....Sale price $2.00...with Q $1....buying 10....$10 Total

Chi Chis Salsa...Sale price $1.49....with Q .49...buying 10...$4.90 Total

Kraft Mac n Cheese....Sale price .81...with Q .26....buying 10....$2.60 Total

Kraft Singles Cheese...Sale price $1.49...with Q .39...buying 5...$1.95 Total

Oscar Meyer Sand Meat 10 oz....Sale price $1.99....with Q .89...buying 5....$4.45 Total

Palmolive....Sale price $1.49....with Q .39....buying 5....$1.95 Total

Kraft Mac n cheese cups....Sale price .49...buying 2 as a filler....Total .98

The total of this transaction as it stands now is $58.90 for 93 items.
The total for this transaction with the sale price and no coupons is $116.57 for 93 items.
The total amt paid for coupons to complete the transaction as is....$13.04

Now, I'm not sure that I will purchase these quantities. I may work some things down in order to get other items but I will have to make sure that the mega items are in increments of 10. This list is ALL Mega items except the Stacy Pita Chips.

Also, take into consideration the following:
1) These items are already placed on sale. They are then reduced AGAIN for the mega sale and then I apply the coupon so my savings is actually going to be much higher than I'm showing above.

2) School will be starting soon. Stocking up on things such as Pringles and sandwich meat may be a great idea for lunches. You can put the meat in the freezer. Then all schools ask for Kleenex and I will also have enough to put up for the winter season.

3) If I score any free items....that savings will go up.

4) Pringles are NEVER .99...NEVER!! So that price alone is a good deal....the coupon makes it sweeter and able to stock up for awhile.

5) Kraft Cheese Singles $1.49...Fabulous price itself...but with coupon I can stock up.

6) If the Palmolive works out like I hope.....then I will not have to buy dish soap for awhile and I will have the "good" stuff cheaper than generic.

So I'll sit and wait....when the coupons come in...I'll resort and we will be ready to ride.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cry Havoc by William Todd Rose......OMG!!

$2.99 on B&N but Free with code SSWSF at Smashwords through July 31

The city is embroiled in chaos: street fights rage with the ferocity of urban warfare, buildings burn unchecked, and blood flows along the sidewalks. Though they can see the anarchy through their windows, two couples struggle to maintain a sense of normality within the confines of their home, never dreaming of the lengths some of them will go to just to stay alive.

No idea where to begin on this one. It blew my mind!! I don't normally read horror or gory stuff and I can assure you I had not intended to. I thought this would be a survival type book. You know...the two couples trapped in their apartment while the world fell down around their ears and how they "made it". It couldn't have been any further from that.....but it was a survival story alright!!

In the beginning I was almost having an anxiety attack at the attitude of these two couples. I mean if I was watching looting, killing and raping from my gated apartment window I wouldn't be making a cup of coffee and having an intellectual discussion. My mind was SCREAMING at the characters to start prepping....get your home ready. Hunker down!! But like I said this wasn't that type of story.

I don't want to say too much more in case you decide to read it. I will say that there is some strong language....I said a few "OH----" myself at several points. I caught myself wanting the story to be over, so why didn't I just quit reading?? I COULDN'T!!!!!

I really loved the way the author emphasised the old stereotype of  "poor little woman....scared to death...won't be able to make it on her own" through Richard's character and then BLEW IT OUT OF THE WATER!!

The last thing I will say is this....if you read this and you have small children.....make sure they are asleep!! Mine were not. When I stepped outside to make a post on FB last night they jumped out at me when I came in and scared the pee out of me!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bizarre DUI story

While watching "In Session" this morning I heard about an unbelievable DUI story in Florida, and I had to find out more.

On October 28, 2007 Amir Sarhaddi had been out with his wife. While heading home around 3 a.m. they witnessed a drunk James Braley hit a jeep from behind on the interstate. In a split second Mr. Sarhaddi made the decision to pull over and see what he could do to help. Mr. Braley's vehicle was stalled in the middle of the road. As Mrs. Sarhaddi waited in the car, her husband rushed to see if he could help Mr. Braley, only to be hit by twenty-six year old Jessica Paquette. Jessica Paquette was also drunk.

Jessica Paquette was sentenced to 5 years, and James Braley was also charged with DUI manslaughter as well as DUI property damage. It was argued that if Mr. Braley would not have hit the jeep, and had the accident then Mr. Sarhaddi would not have stopped to try to help. Sounds reasonable to me, but the jury only convicted him of DUI property damage. They reasoned that he made the conscious decision to pull over which removed he and his wife from harm's way.

Here's the kicker....not only was Mr. Braley and Ms. Paquette inebriated, but Mr. Sarhaddi was also impaired!! The jury was not allowed to hear that info, and they all said afterwards that it wouldn't have influenced their decision. I honestly can say it would not have influenced me one way or the other. He may have been impaired, but he died trying to do a noble thing.

No winners here for sure....Mr. Braley said he didn't feel responsible for Mr Sarhaddi's death, but surely it weighs on him that he was part of the whole scenario. Ms. Paquette has to live with the fact she hit and killed a man, but the real losers are the children. Ms. Paquette had to leave her small son to serve her time in prison, and Mr. Sarhaddi left behind an eleven year old daughter and eight year old son.

One Day Left by Alba Lewis......Glad it was free

$5.99 at B&N and Amazon, Free at Smashwords until July 31 with code SSWSF

One Day Left is a story about Mick who has gone in to the local hospice for respite care. While he is there he faces memories that he would rather have left hidden, especially when he saves a young cleaner who tries to kill herself. When we meet Louise who has just been dumped by her love, we find out how she copes with loss and finding out that her grandfather, a man she has never met, is in a hospice nearby. When Louise finally gets to the hospice her grandfather’s life is slipping away.

I was so excited about grabbing this book for Free. I mean look at the price being charged at Amazon and B&N for it....I just knew I had gotten a good one. I'm sorry to say I did not.

The story idea was great. Who can not relate in some way to a cancer patient and hospice? It had all of the elements in the synopsis to really grab the dysfunction, dying grandfather....but the synopsis and the letter to the reader at the beginning and end of the story was the best part about it.

I'm no prude, but some of the language at the beginning (one word in particular) almost caused me to put the book down totally. The real "meat and potatoes" of it didn't take place until the last few pages. I will admit that those few pages were so touching that they pulled tears from these eyes, and for that I can't say that reading it was a total loss. I'm just glad I didn't pay for it.

Memories for Sale by Karen Fowler ......Great Short Story

.99 on Amazon; $1.99 on B&N and FREE on Smashwords until July 31 with code SSWSF

When Eleanor learns that her time is running out, she reaches out to her estranged daughter and the grandchild she's never met, hoping to make amends. With the help of an elaborate plan, she intends to make memories that will last them a life time, and a legacy that will continue to provide for them long after she has gone. But the one thing that Eleanor has forgotten is that her daughter can be just as stubborn as she is. Will she be able to reunite with her daughter, while still keeping her biggest secret?

I am sooo glad that I grabbed this book. It would have been worth the .99 at doubt.

First of all....let me get this out of the way. There were formatting errors and some typos, but in saying that I would STILL give this story very high marks because of the SUBSTANCE. The characters were very well developed and every element for a good solid story was there. I'm sure some people would critical of the formatting errors, but it was only a slight distraction to me.

Although the story was very "well-rounded".....Karen did a great job taking the reader full circle....I found myself not wanting the story to end. This struck me as a great story for a sequel.

Solstice by Lily Evans....a review

.99 on B&N
Free on Smashwords until July 31 with code SSWSF

On the eve of the summer solstice, Emma swaps one blind date for another. It's going to be a sunrise like no other...

What would you do if your blind date didn't show up? Would you go home, throw a microwave meal in the oven and spend the rest of the evening watching television and cursing your luck?

Or would you accept an dinner invitation from a handsome stranger?

All you'd be doing is swapping one blind date for another, right? That's what Emma decides. And so she finds herself dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant with a man who swears you can tell what people do for a living simply by looking at their hands.

But when Adam suggests an after supper walk up a moon-flooded hillside, Emma discovers the true magic of the summer solstice...

I grabbed this freebie the other day and I have to say I was not disappointed. It's only 59 pages but it's a good solid read. I think everyone at some point in their lives have been set up on a date of some sort, so it's very easy to get lost in the story as Emma is left sitting at the table waiting on this blind date to arrive. I couldn't help but question her choices as I was reading.....I mean no one lives in Mayberry anymore. (If you do give me the address so I can move there)

I will say as the story progressed it got rather....uhmm....HOT.....pretty detailed....I was like HELLO!! But I have to say I was not offended, and it actually was needed for the story to be as solid as it was. (My opinion)

Yes...there were a few typo type errors, but the characters were very defined and the author completely drew me in. I'd definitely give this one a 5 star rating for a short story.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Righteous by Michael Wallace

.99 on Nook and Kindle....lendable on Nook

Medical student Jacob Christianson is sent by church elders to investigate a murder within the polygamist enclave of Blister Creek, Utah. He brings his young sister Eliza, who must choose a husband from three old men jostling for power within the church hierarchy.

Jacob discovers that the murdered woman has been killed in accordance with secret blood oaths taken within the polygamist temple. Together with his sister, he uncovers a plot to overthrow the church leadership, with murders that reach beyond the community and into the “gentile” world. The Righteous is a heart-pounding suspense-thriller with a depth that will haunt the reader long after the last page is turned

If you are looking for a suspenseful page-turner filled with the mystery of a polygamist sect.....this is your book!! Unlike the other two books I posted about Polygamy, this one is totally fiction. It was so good I could not put it down and actually fell asleep with my Nook on my chest. I will definatley look for more books by this author.

This one is a complete THUMBS UP!!

Escape by Carolyn Jessop and Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall

A while back many may remember how they rounded up female members of a Polygamist Sect along with their children down in Texas. There were then the news stories about Warren Jeffs who arranged marriages between young girls and old men. I remember watching these things unfold with absolutely NO understanding how a Mother could allow such things. How can a woman share her husband with a smile on her face like it's the most natural thing in the world? It all seemed so absurd, yet very fascinating to me.

I came across two books that really gave a clear picture of the life that many of these women lead. The first-hand account of what the women in both of these books experienced is chilling and unbelievable. If you have ever wondered how the Polygamy thing works don't base your opinion solely on the TV show "Sister Wives" or HBO's "Big Love". Of course, they are entertaining but nothing pulls back the curtains on the true life that most experience like the books Escape by Carolyn Jessop (priced at $11.99) or Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall (priced at $7.99).

The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.
When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.
Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name.
Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.

In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths that Jeffs went to in order to control the women in it. Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells her incredible and inspirational story of her time in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), detailing how she emerged from its confines to help bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice

Childproofed by Reese Reed

.99 on B&N (lend me book) and also on Amazon

Motherhood sometimes seems as though it's not all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes I wonder where the real Virginia went - the person I used to be before I was just someone's wife or mother. Now I find out that a hot young girl is after my husband. Perfect. This is the life of a mother. It's real, and it's definitely nothing like a baby ad

I downloaded the sample for this book and actually woke my husband up laughing. What I read from the sample was so funny and relateable that I just had to purchase it. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was only 44 pages. Now I'm not going to slam the book because of the length because the storyline was actually quiet good. I really wish the author expanded on what was would make a hilarious book.

I can't say that I would spend .99 on it again, but since it is lendable go in with a friend and split the cost...LOL.

Desperate Times & Desperate Times 2......a review

Every morning we wake up to more depressing news about our economy and the state of the average American's financial situation. Even more distressing is what we are not told by the mainstream media. With just a little research on the internet and a tad-bit of common sense it's pretty obvious that our country could face a economic meltdown of epic proportions. There are those who see the signs....hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and there are those who stick their heads in the sand and refuse to believe that we will ever face a catastrophe of any kind.

Nicholas Antinozzi sets the stage for Desperate Times with an atmosphere such as the one we are now facing daily. He then quickly draws the reader in with a downward spiral of events that turns the world on it's ear. This book will grab your attention on the first page and will pull you in so deep that you can do nothing but think of the characters and challenges that they face. Before you know it you will be questioning yourself and asking "What would I do?"

The characters are so colorful and real that you can't help but think of someone you know that may remind you of them. During the challenge to survive and protect what they have, they all bring out the best and worst of each other. At times I found myself almost huffing and puffing after a particularly heated fight, and at others I would literally give anything to put my hands around "Bill's" neck....but I couldn't because he was only a character!! As the first book was ending, I found myself reading slower because I did not want it to end.....only to find that Antinozzi leaves you with a huge cliffhanger on the last page.

I picked up Desperate Times 2 at and managed to finish it in two days. This book explored the struggle between those who believed in their right to protect their own with firepower, and Pacifist who believed that "love" was the answer. Sometimes "Utopia" is not all it is cracked up to be. After watching some of the main characters die off and others show their true colors I once again found myself with a cliffhanger on the last page.

These are not zombie-type, sci-fi or apocalyptic type books. They are more of a survivalist fiction.....something to really sink your teeth into and they will truly make you examine your views on different issues, as well as, a personal plan in the event of a similiar situation. I STRONGLY recommend both of these!!

Desperate Times 1 and 2 can be found at Amazon and B&N

Friday, July 8, 2011

Things We Learned on Vacation

1) Traveling on a holiday weekend can double your travel time!! A trip that normally takes 4-5 hours could take you 9 1/2.

2) Make sure to carry an extra cup or container for an emergency. Being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic with a child who has to pee could be a dangerous thing.

3) When traveling with children make sure to pack an alcoholic beverage on ice to be consummed immediatley after arriving at destination. Especially if you have been stuck in the vehicle with the monsters for 9 1/2 hours. If you are not a "drinker" will be by the time you arrive.

4) The sand is hotter walking back from the beach than it is walking TO the designated spot.

5) It is easier walking to the designated spot than walking back.

6) If there are no men on your trip DO NOT carry a big ice chest. There are no gentleman to rescue a 38+ yr olds that are clearly not string bikini material while being trailed by or run over by 4 excited children. Make sure to carry a small container that can be easily carried by one person.

7) Children will find a way to get something to the beach even if it means tying it to the roof of a car.

8) Some six year olds will tell anyone within earshot where sand has gathered in their suit and will continue to tell you that they don't like sand and anything else they feel is not going their way every 5 minutes just in case you forget.

9) Hiking 2 miles to the beach is not advised while carrying enough equipment to stock a small souvenir shop.

10) Pomengranate Margaritas in the pouch are very good.....two are better and three or more are highly recommended when traveling with a talkative, dramatic six year old.

11) Anyone who goes to the store and comes back with a strong drink, and demands you drink immediatley is a TRUE girlfriend.

12) When a complete stranger of the same sex seems to enjoy talking with you and getting touchy's probably time to get out of the water.

14) If a child can not eat shrimp because he is allergic to it....probably not a good idea to allow him to fish using shrimp as bait.

15) Again....Pomengranate....being frozen is not neccesary....pour over ice.

16) A sticker from a cactus is hard to pull out of a child's toe.

17) Some fish nibble and bite

18) Michelob Ultra comes in many different can sizes

19) Never be suprised at what your 12 yr old son may pick out at a souvenir shop

20) Most importantly....I learned the person who invited us to go on the trip is an AWESOME friend with LOTS of patience.

Saving Rachel by John Locke...Serious Twists and Turns!


Can you imagine having to choose between your Mistress and your Wife? Now I'm not talking about choosing which one you will be with. I'm talking about being made to choose which one will live or die? That is exactly what happens to Sam Case. This book has more twists and turns than a corn maze and NOTHING is as it seems. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is the story from Sam's point-of-view and part 2 is told from one of his "clients" point-of-view.

John Locke has an imagination that shows no limit in his writing. This book will keep you guessing all the way up to the last period on the page.

This book can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

A Whisper to a Scream by Karen Wojcik Berner

A Whisper to a Scream is the story of two women on opposite ends of the child-bearing spectrum who come to realize the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. A vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage and its problems, the novel speaks to a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.

This book is for the woman who has experienced infertility issues or the woman who has felt overwhelmed by her role as a Mom. I could personally relate to each of these women because I have experienced both situations. At times I felt those old desperate feelings of wanting a child as Annie suffered countless disappointments, and at times I belly-rolled with laughter at what Sara faced with her children. The author, Karen W. Berner, brings these characters to life so vividly that you can't help to feel a connection with both. This is a great "chic" read and one that you will not regret reading.

You can find this book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for .99, and it is lendable on Nook.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Homeward by Melody Carson

Homeward by Melody Carson not only was a good read, but was life changing for me.

The story is about a girl who leaves home after a huge family fall out after her Grandfather's death. She spent her life with a "unique" Mother, never knew her father and her Grandmother was as cold as ice. After several years of making a wonderful life for herself she finds herself in a life changing situation and decideds to go home.

This book will take you through a journey of forgiveness as the meaning of family is rediscovered. As I said it was life changing for me and after reading it I started on a journey of forgiveness myself and I'm happy to say I have reconnected with my own Grandmother.

This book is presently priced at $2.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you read it let me know what you think.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finding FREE and Cheap E-Reads

If you are like me and most of everyone else in the country, your budget is tight and the pennies must be counted. For many families entertainment venues have changed to things more practical. One thing that I have rediscovered is reading....I LOVE it. I can not read enough books, but it can get pretty expensive. Before you say, "Well, why not use the library?" Simple.....I'm scatterbrained and I usually forget to take them back leaving me with a hefty fine. So I started looking for good FREE and cheap books for my Nook Color. I was certain that there had to be some out there and began my search. Man did I hit paydirt!!!

My motto is a deal is no fun if not shared with friends who can also enjoy so I'm sharing a list of places for you to search and look so you too can add to your shelves....very inexpensively!

FACEBOOK Many places to find stuff here...just join one of the groups below or "like" the page.

Cheap e-Reads......this is the first place you need to go. "Like" their page and you will see little piggies fill your facebook page throughout the day. These guys work hard and sometimes it seems around the clock to find the deals and freebies. Not only do they have a facebook page but they now have their own blog. ( I also have their blog listed on my page.

Ereader News Today....another great site to "like". They usually spotlight Kindle freebies, but just take those titles and plug them into the B&N search engine to see if they are free there as well. Lots of information on their page too!!

Pixel of Ink...."like" their page and spend some time browsing around. You won't be disappointed.

Nook and Kindle Deals is a FB group that I started when I began finding all of the deals and freebies. We'd love to have you stop by and join. We try to list books for Nook and Kindle, connect people so that they can lend and borrow and share info. Our little group is growing and we really enjoy sharing our love of books.

Another resource that many people don't know about are the B&N Boards. This is a great place for info of ALL kinds. Having problems with your Nook or Nook Color.....look here. Want a book club....look here. Want to find some new friends for your Nook....look here. It is a place that is FULL of anything and everything.

Three threads that I'd like to highlite:

All things Nookbooks

Free Nookbook thread that is dedicated to books that are promoted by publishers for short periods of time.

A thread that is dedicated to Smashword freebies etc.

A thread that Kristy Haining (one of our FB group members) keeps up that is a must see for deals...I have loaded my shelves with many of her finds.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Live to Tell by Wendy Corsi Staub

Secrets can scandalize . . .
In a lovely suburban town just north of New York City, the gossip mill runs more efficiently than the commuter-train line. And in every impeccably decorated house, they're talking about Lauren Walsh. They say that nothing could be worse than being abandoned by your husband for another woman. They're wrong .
Secrets can shock . . .
All Lauren wants is to protect her children from the pain of her messy divorce. But when their father goes missing, a case of mistaken identity puts all their lives in danger, and a stealthy predator lurks in the shadows, watching . . . waiting . . .
Secrets can kill . . .
Lauren is about to uncover an unfathomable truth—a truth this cold-blooded mastermind would never let her live to tell . . .

I grabbed this book from B&N for .99 and it is still the same price as well as at Amazon.

When buying a book for .99 or getting one for free you never really know what you're going to get, but I can promise you I got way more than I expected for .99 when I purchased this one. At one point I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out "WHO IS IT???"....for awhile it was really in the air as to who the "bad guy" was. It certainly had me guessing at times and kept me on the edge of my seat!!!

If you like a good easy thriller read.....this would be a great deal to grab!!

In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

Protecting their children comes naturally for Zoe and Will Tyler—until their daughter Leah decides to actively destroy her own future.
Leah grew up in a privileged upper-middle class world. Her parents spared no expense for her happiness; she had all-but secured an Ivy League scholarship and a future as a star athlete. Then she met Todd.
Leah’s parents watch helplessly as their daughter falls into a world of drugs, sex, and wild parties. While Will attempts to control his daughter’s every move to prevent her from falling deeper into this dangerous new life, Zoe prefers to give Leah slack in the hope that she may learn from her mistakes. Their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage.
Twelve-year-old Justine observes Leah’s rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family. She desperately seeks her big sister’s approval and will do whatever it takes to obtain it. Meanwhile she is left to question whether her parents love her and whether God even knows she exists.
What happens when love just isn’t enough? Who will pay the consequences of Leah’s vagrant lifestyle? Can this broken family survive the destruction left in Leah’s wake?

When I read the synopsis of the book I knew that it was something that I wanted to read. What I did not count on was relating to the characters on so many levels and so extensively. It seemed as if this lady had  been residing in our home and listening to our conversations because at times it was the EXACT situations that we were facing. The characters were so real to me, perhaps, because to some extent I have been living the story that Terri was writing. For once I did not feel so alone in the pain and absolute frustration of being helpless where my child was concerned. For me this was a good thing. This book is one of my personal favorites because I related to the story, but I believe that anyone who has children....especially teenagers...could relate to some degree whether it be because they are experiencing some of the things this family faced or maybe because know friends who are.

I give this one 5 stars and will forever be grateful for having had the opportunity to read it!

So what is your passion?

With our busy, everyday routine most of us never stop to remember those things that drive us. I know that I stay so busy that I don't think about those small things that give me comfort, fill me with pride and get me excited. So today I have vowed that it will stop. I will recognize the people and the things that make me happy and give me purpose. I will stop taking things for granted and I will try....I said live each day as if there is no tommorrow. Today I ask myself...."What is your passion? What are your dreams?"

More than anything in this world I can say that my family is my passion. My children are my reason for living and breathing. As I sit here right now I'm having to remind myself of this as my six year old DIVA is throwing a fit in her room. I love her dearly but would give anything for a MUTE BUTTON......but she is still my beautiful princess that is growing up faster than I can take. My middle child seems to have transformed over night. Yesterday he was my sweet, mischevious blonde haired baby and now he takes great pride in telling me he is almost a teenager and loves to tell me he has a girlfriend to see me cringe. My nineteen year first grown and on his own. Our relationship once so very close suddenly changed in the blink of an eye three years ago. Sometimes I mourn the loss of my boy who is still very much alive and breathing and then I tell myself that it's ok. He has to find his way on his own back to the right path. And although I struggle with our situation I pray that he will be stronger for the path that he has taken. My husband...a good man with a golden giving heart has blessed me in more ways than I can count. And it is because my passion for my children and husband is so strong that I love hard and fall hard with them every step. And with that said I have vowed to try and step out of some of the turmoil that we have been experienced and revel in the happiness that can be found in everyday.

On a less serious note.....there are other passions in my life.

Once I was a carefree spender with no real cares in the world. If I wanted it and husband said ok then I got it. I wanted to make sure my kids had it all. That also changed several years ago with the realization of our economic situation. What was going on in the world economically was hitting home personally. It has been a hard transformation, but it was a BLESSING!!! I don't have the material possessions that I once had....the nice home and all the bells and whistles, and can't say I really miss it. I couldn't appreciate it then. Now, I have a nice semi-new car that gets good gas mileage and very reliable. I appreciate that. One day I will have a nice home again. It may not be in a ritzy neighborhood with 2500 sq ft and huge yard, but it will be a place that I will appreciate and make ours. By going through these changes I learned things about priorities and learning to be frugal. So one of my other passions is frugal living and self reliance. I've learned to play the coupon game. I've been able to save money on my groceries and pay bills that I otherwise would have struggled to pay. One day we will be on our feet.

I have rediscovered my love for reading. If you can't budget for a vacation then pick up a book. With a book you can go anywhere and it's free! At Christmas my husband suprised me with a Nook Color and I'm telling you it sits on my Bible by my bed, goes with me in my purse.....It is with me as much as my children. With all of the free books that I have found online it has more than paid for itself.

So the reason for my blog is to examine and share my, frugal living, coupons and reading.

What are your passions?