Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review of Protection for Hire

Protection for Hire is the newest book by Camy Tang. I love Camy's writing and I loved the Sushi series. But I loved this book, Protection for Hire, more than the Sushi series which is a BIG compliment. I think this book got closer to the in-depth family look of the Sushi series. But it is grittier and has a darker evil side than some of Camy's books have seen. Overall though, the book is about a (somewhat) new Christian being released from prison and how she adjusts back into her family, and find a job, while staying true to who she has become. As usual, Camy explains any cultural or foreign terms the reader might not know such as yakuza (Japanese mob). I'm looking forward to the second book in this new series! More info on Amazon and Christian Book.

Thank you to Camy Tang, the publisher Zondervan and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read an Advanced Copy of this book in an e-book format. All thoughts are my own.

Legal info - Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan and NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book review The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Linamen

The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life

book blurb:

Ready to Make Some Sweet Changes? Karen Linamen dishes up a satisfying blend of moxie and mocha, sharing stories from dozens of women who reveal savvy strategies for embracing a sweeter life—even while traveling rocky roads. If you’re hungry for more joy, reasons to laugh again, ideas to help you heal, and reliable hope leading to a sweeter future, this journey will leave you satisfied. Funny, transparent, and uplifting, The Chocolate Diaries is like taking a road trip with good friends who are wise about life. And while you’re at it, indulge (just a little) in the quirky recipes for concocting chocolate delights out of whatever ingredients you can round up in your kitch. The road may still be bumpy, but you’ll be having too much fun to care.

my review:
I thought the book had a great premise and enjoyed the anecdotes and chocolate references. While the author had seemed to experienced some difficult times and wanted to guide her children well, I found her biblical basis and references lacking. She seemed to quote others when she made a biblical point, so she didn't have to be the one to say something "religious" and instead it was made by someone else. Want a book with guiding stories from real life? Then read this, but if you're looking for a biblical basis and backing for her advice then you'll find this chocolate lacking as I did.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Day!

Today is the last day to enter Cars 2 codes for Kimberly-Clark products. You have until 10/31/2011 to redeem your codes for prizes but today (9/30/2011) is the last day to enter codes, up until 11:59 PM CT. If you're a procrastinator like me, find those codes and get them entered at www.kimberly-clark.com/cars2 !!

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Motto

For my kids:
"No whining or fussing whether I am first or last, or somewhere in the middle. My turn will come around again." :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Books, especially series

Because I don't have much of a book budget (in other words we don't spend much $ on books), I don't usually catch onto a series until it's very popular or I find a book at the library or read someone else's recommendation. This is very beneficial because quite often I can read a series all together. I don't have to wait months and months (or years) for the next book in a series to be published! So here's some I've read lately that I've really enjoyed:
Sisters in Bethlehem Springs series by Robin Lee Hatcher
The Bug Man series by Tim Downs (not sure if the series is finished now that #6 has come out so I may be waiting months/years for the next one)
Michelli Family series by Kristen Heitzmann

Sisters series - A Vote of Confidence, Fit to be Tied, and A Matter of Character
I'm not a feminist and I would probably think the 3 main women in the series are a little too independent and head strong. But I enjoyed the books and the characters were so good that it was hard not to want to read more about all of them.

The Bug Man series - Shoofly Pie (#1), Chop Shop (#2), (if you want the first two together), First the Dead (#3), Less than Dead (#4), Ends of the Earth (#5), and Nick of Time (#6)
I enjoy CSI so I have found the Bug Man very enjoyable. I love that each of these books until #5 Ends of the Earth can be read out of order or totally by themselves without messing up the storyline or characters. That is VERY VERY rare in a series. There are a few characters that show up in different books but usually in a very small amount. The main character from Plaguemaker (separate stand alone book, not Bug Man series) does show up in #5 Ends of the Earth so it might ruin a small part of Plaguemaker if you read Ends of the Earth first. But I didn't think Plaguemaker was that good so I would skip it anyway (though the fireworks information and bug aspect was kind of neat). (I just got book #6 Nick of Time from the library so can't comment about it yet.) Most of the time these books are not numbered as "Bug Man series #" so it can be kind of confusing. I think all of the books were categorized as "Christian" at my library but don't seem at all Christian until book #4 Less Than Dead and then just barely so these books might be looked over by a mainstream audience but might be good to share with a non-Christian friend.

Michelli Family series - Secrets, Unforgotten, and Echoes
Oh this series was SO good. Do not start book #1 Secrets unless you have book #2 Unforgotten close by so you can go right from reading the first to the second. Then you'll want to have #3 Echoes on hold so you can learn how the story concludes. I didn't agree with some of the Roman Catholic beliefs but felt that a lot of the biblical ideas were really good. These books definitely should've come with recipes!!!

Around my house

My oldest is going to camp this summer. Considering her medical needs (type 1 diabetic), this is a big deal. It is a diabetes camp and it's less than one week. But we are a bit nervous. Our daughter is pretty sheltered since we homeschool. My husband and I agreed before she went to camp we would talk more about "the birds and the bees" and biblical worldview. Since this isn't a church camp, we know that she'll probably meet lots of kids with different views. Also, we'll be talking about not following others, not doing everything someone else asks, and how other kids are not always nice. Lots of stuff she would probably learn if she had been in public school all along. I'll be somewhere between being in a fetal position holding the home phone and cell phone AND fixing the other 3 kids any and every dessert they want that we don't usually have! :) Admittedly, it should be a nice break from having to count carbs every moment of every day (trust me, you don't want to know how many carbs are in what you're eating!).

We've had a round of birthdays so my oldest is now 10, the 2nd daughter is 8, my son is 6, and my youngest (our baby!) is 4. Aaaackkkk with a side of tears thrown in!

My son was singing Peppermint Patty's song from Peanuts, "I'm in shake, I'm in shake, I'm in shake. I run five miles every morning . . .". We had to correct him that it's shape, not shake. Very funny though! Hope all is well in your corner of the world today. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free e-book today April 27 only!

Write a post about 31 Days to Clean and e-mail Sarah to get a free copy of 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way. :) Trust me, I do need this book!!

Rite-Aid deal

(Not that I need any chocolate!) Rite-Aid has M&M bags (9.9 oz - 12.6 oz) on sale this week for $1.99 and their Video Values has a coupon for $1 off 2. And there's a rebate (started today) for $1. Since I missed out on Walgreens deal last week b/c my store ran out, I thought this was pretty good this week. And don't forget at Rite-Aid there is a .88 Up reward back on single serve M&M/Mars too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sheesh, kids!

How come everything that isn't nailed down ends up in their rooms strewn about on their floor?

How come they can't wear one outfit a day? Or have to pull all of their clothes out of their dresser?

How come it makes me want to lock everything up so they won't have access to anything?

Just normal life around here, how about you?

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today I'm thankful for Staples Easy Rebates time period being 60 days. I was afraid it would be less than 4 weeks.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Heard around my house

My oldest daughter, "Don't trust someone else's taste buds." Said when talking about eating bugs. I said that when we (my hubby, me, and child #4 was a baby) were in Uganda they sold cooked grasshoppers on the side of the street. I didn't try one but the missionary we were with said they were ok except the ones being sold that day didn't look very good at all! We each have different preferences and prefer different foods but sometimes it is good to stretch those taste buds! :)

Book Review

I read Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It is hard to sum up this book in a short review. It was very good, very challenging in my Christian walk. It makes you think about what you are doing as a Christian, who could you be reaching out to and what could you be doing for someone else to make a difference in their life. Denver was a homeless black man that everyone was afraid of but he had a soul that desired God and a head pretty full of the Bible after attending church as a young man. Ron thought he was a Christian until confronted with someone who really believed and he slowly turned his life over to God. But the true catalyst to bring these two men together was Ron's wife Debbie (as Denver calls her Miss Debbie or Deborah as Ron calls her). Both men would never be the same!

Please read this book or give it to someone you love, you will be challenged to reach out, do something for someone else, and challenge your faith and theirs!

Book Review

I read Tandem by Tracy Batemen. I didn't realize this was the second book in a series or that there was a subplot about vampires. My fault, I didn't look clearly at the cover or read any other reviews about the book. I just read the back cover blurb,
"As obsession and loss become dark partners, how far must the people of Abbey Hills go to survive?

Six months ago, brutal murders shook the small Ozark town—murders that stopped after a house fire reportedly claimed the killer’s life. Lauryn McBride's family auction house has taken responsibility for the estate sale of one of the victims—the enigmatic Markus Chisom. Submerging herself in Chisom’s beautiful but strange world, Lauryn welcomes the reprieve from watching Alzheimer’s steal her father from her, piece by piece. She soon realizes that centuries-old secrets tie Abbey Hills to the Chisom estate and a mysterious evil will do anything to make sure those secrets stay hidden. Even the man who grew up loving her may not be able to protect Lauryn from the danger.

When Amede Dastillon receives an unexpected package from Abbey Hills, she hopes it might be the key in tracking down her beloved sister, long estranged from her family. Visiting Abbey Hills seems the logical next step in her search, but Amede is unusually affected by the town, and when mutilated carcasses begin turning up again in the small community, the local law enforcement isn’t sure if they are confronting a familiar evil or a new terror.

Two women brought together by questions that seem to have no answers. Can they overcome the loss and darkness threatening to devour them—or will their own demons condemn them to an emotional wasteland?"


I haven't read any other vampire books nor seen any recent movies. I did see some in my teen years but that has been about 20 years ago. So I had no preconceived notions going into this book. I'm not really a vampire fan but enjoyed the other story lines in the book and the overall writing. The book laid out an interesting idea of humans living peacefully alongside vampires. I felt the Christianity was a little weak and surprised a missionary/almost pastor would pick a love interest of someone who isn't clearly a Christian. The book was suspenseful and wasn't overly gory. I enjoyed the changing points of view, each chapter usually has a flashback, a current situation from a character we haven't seen yet, and then goes on with the main part. These changing points of view usually bother me in books but I actually enjoyed them.

I've been wanting to read a book by Tracey Bateman and I enjoyed her writing and a book set in Missouri (where I grew up) but I should've looked more into the book before choosing this one.

More information about the book can be found here (click the link), the original sneak peek with pdf of the first two chapters is available here.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. No compensation was received, and this review and thoughts are my own.