Monday, September 1, 2014

Orkin Fact or Fake App + Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK #Giveaway!

Well, I can't believe September is here already. Seems like summer just started and yet we are heading into fall. Hopefully your weather is more like fall than ours is. I have a totally fun giveaway for you all today. Orkin always has the neatest giveaways! Remember the last one I did with a magnifying glass, sunglasses, activity book and bug catcher? This one is for back to school science and I think these are more for the adults or older children. I know I can't wait for my pack to come in:)



 How many of you have heard facts about bugs, only to go look it up and find out it wasn't true? I sure have! Anything from why fireflies light up to how bees find the smelliest flowers. It is interesting to see the answers I have heard to my questions. Now you can take the Fact or Fake quiz and see how you match up. I am going to take it myself for fun!



One of my readers will be receiving their own prize pack pictured above. This giveaway will end 9/12 and winner will be chosen through Random.org. They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Friday, August 29, 2014

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin #Review

Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther — In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. 



Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?



MY THOUGHTS-This book here is one you will want to read again and again! Kate Breslin opens the book with questions and keeps you guessing until the end. This is based on the story of Esther and it very much brings the Bible to life. I was amazed at how it mirrored the Bible account.

The leading lady is Stella Muller, or as some know her, Hadassah. As the book starts we see her locked up in an attic unsure of what the day will bring. Could be death. Especially when a German officer arrives to take her away. I would have a hard time picking a favorite between Stella or Aric, the German officer. I like his kindness, boldness and compassion that many didn't show back then. This time period was fraught with hardships, murders and people showing racism because of someones blood. Stella shows stupendous courage as well and I quickly fell in love with her. My favorite part was at the end and Joseph brings his mother a gift from a soldier. Wow!! I had tears rolling down my cheeks and chills at the same time. What a story. Definitely be looking for others by Kate Breslin. An author who brought this novel to life.



**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Essentia Water for my #Exercise!

I received product from Essentia Water for my review purposes. All thoughts are 100% mine. No other compensation was given. 

For those of you following my weight loss challenge, I apologize for not being as strict on posting about it. I am following through on my end but not as consistent with posting for you all. One of the problems I have is trying to hydrate after I workout. I don't exactly want to consume a bunch of calories but I do want to re-hydrate once I sweat it all out:) There are drinks out there that I can use but I don't care for the sugar and dyes that are in most of them. I would rather drink just plain ole water, but that also doesn't restore with electrolytes. That is why I was super excited to try Essentia Water!! It is Enhanced Hydration Perfected! And I am totally loving it:)



I received a box of bottled water from Essentia and in varying sizes. Two were pop-top bottles that work great for taking to the gym, fitting in my cup holder, etc. Then two of them were a middle size with screw on tops. These were used to put my flavoring in as I sometimes put a liquid drop of flavoring in my water. And the third size was a full 1.5-liter bottle. I used these for filling my infuser water bottle. I have one of the bottles you can put fruit in the bottom and it flavors your water. So it was excellent to have the big bottle.


I was kind of expecting a flavor difference in the water as it is alkaline water that has been electrolyte enhanced with minerals. But I couldn't tell a difference in flavor, texture, etc. It was like drinking a regular bottle of water!! The only difference? There were good minerals in here to help hydrate me instead of just drinking plain ole water. I could tell after my workout that I felt better after drinking this water but just that I was refreshed quicker. Believe me, it isn't a miracle product, but I like how it worked. Ice cold, with fruit, or just out of the bottle, I used it after my workouts and felt refreshed. If you are someone who regularly exercises, runs, jogs, any workout that you sweat a lot, this is a product I would urge you to look into.

Be sure to follow Essentia Water on their social media sites. They have a splendid giveaway right now that only has a few days left to enter! 

So tell me, how do you hydrate after a workout? What is your favorite way to refresh? 






**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, August 25, 2014

CFBA Tour for Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Miracle in a Dry Season

Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)


by

Sarah Loudin Thomas


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.


Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.


ABOUT THE BOOK



In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud
That Brings Hope


It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.


Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.

MY REVIEW-I wasn't too sure how I was going to like this one. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was pulled in to the story. Finished it in about 4 hours:) It is set in West Virginia during a time of drought. It felt strangely like I was in the middle of the drought in the Bible.

Casewell(wasn't quite sure how to pronounce his name) is a really sweet bachelor but at one point I wanted to slap him. Perla is the niece of the storekeepers in town. She arrives with a little girl which brings speculation among the townsfolk. Of course, when the drought comes and the preacher starts bringing up that the rain is being held back because people aren't repenting over their sin, everyone starts looking at her. Perla has only confided in a few people over what happened and one of those was Casewell. I had mixed feelings over him and how he reacted to things. Sadie is an absolute doll and I loved her!!

There were a couple other side stories and these were quite enjoyable. Including two little old ladies who were in love with the same man many years ago. I had a minor problem over two things and I will bring them out here. I don't say this in any way to be rude or mean, just want to be honest over some things I saw. This does have something that could be a spoiler so please don't read if you want to be surprised by the story:)  One is that Perla doesn't really show any remorse over her sin. Her immoral relationship is shown as a mistake but not really shown as sin. I understand that a woman can do this and then repent over it and her past is forgiven. But the remorse just wasn't there. It is a very fine line between someone repenting and being forgiven and a woman who shows no remorse. The other thing I had a problem with was her miracles. There is a difference between using wood to make things and a woman who makes food and it multiplies. Again, this is my personal opinion. So if things like this don't bother you, pick this one up!! It was interesting and kept my attention through the whole book. Can't wait to see what Sarah has in store for her readers next.




**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Perfect Time by @SarahSundin | Enter to win a Kindle HDX and a set of books!

In Perfect Time | Wings of the Nightingale series

Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.
Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don’t want to go.
Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?

MY REVIEW-Sarah Sundin has got to be my favorite author for war stories. And that is saying a lot when I normally don't even like reading stories about WWII. Sarah Sundin can take a time in history that was hard for our people and make you feel like you have been dropped into the middle of it. The characters are so real and the detail so well written that I can see the beaches, feel the harsh heat and hear the drone of that C-47 as it takes off. And the nightingales? I thoroughly fell in love with them:)

This third and last novel in the Wings of the Nightingales series was probably my least favorite but I would still give it 5 out of 5 stars. Her stories are just that good. If you have read the other books you will recognize all these characters. It was soo good to catch up with the other nightingales and see how they were doing and what was going on in their lives. This book was about Kay Jobson in particular. Kay is very flirty, has different dates for every night of the week and has soo many fears I just wanted to love on her. Of course having her this vulnerable underneath really brought her and I together. I know exactly how she feels and those fears that are so very real.

The hero in this story is Roger Cooper. I was immediately drawn to him and his quiet ways. Upright and moral he has a past that not too many know about. And while he is strong and quite a leader, he doesn't know it and none of his family realizes it. I really wanted to slap his family!! When he is explaining things to Kay about the Bible and why God gives us things, I was almost in tears. The author just puts stuff out right there for everyone to read. Again, another excellent book that delivers more than just some romance or a fun read. Love it!!


KINDLE HDX GIVEAWAY!

Don't miss Sarah Sundin's hot-off-the-press novel, In Perfect Time. Publishers Weekly gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up: “Sundin excels at well-researched historical detail . . . with such accurate depictions of culture and setting that we are fully immersed in the times as well as in the story. The strength of relationships forged in war and the apprehension of God in times of trouble infuse this well-crafted novel with substance and light.”




perfecttime-400-click

Sarah is celebrating the release of her book with a fun giveaway!




One grand prize winner will receive:


  • A Kindle HDX

  • The Wings of the Nightingale Series (With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and In Perfect Time)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. Winner will be announced August 25th at Sarah's blog.




Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Sarah's blog on the 25th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)



**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet A Stella & Dot Stylist

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


LaurenStella & Dot Star Stylist



Lauren is familiar with the word 'sacrifice'. Not only a mom (as all moms know that word), she is also a military wife whose husband is a pilot in the Air Force. However one thing that Lauren refused to sacrifice was her joy. One day, while her husband was serving in Iraq, she decided that she needed to take ownership of her personal happiness and find something that she could love that belonged to just her, as well as give her a sense of pride. That 'something' was becoming a Stella & Dot Stylist! Now she is defining her success on her own terms and celebrates the fact that she is the one that treats her husband on date night.

"My husband was in Iraq when I signed up and I had already made back my investment before he returned!



To learn more about being a Stella & Dot Stylist visit: www.stelladot.com/stylist



**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When Calls The Heart: Second Chances DVD #Review #Hearties

When Calls the Heart- “Second Chances” is a feature length film from the episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series.  The When Calls the Heart television series debuted on the Hallmark Channel to more than 3 million viewers, making it the No. 2 for the night on all of cable for the primary telecast at 9 p.m and No. 3 overall in households.   Distributed by Word Entertainment, previous DVD’s are available to purchase in Christian Retail.



Synopsis-  As Elizabeth and Jack fight to restore their relationship, she searches for ways to help one of her older students learn how to read. Meanwhile, Adam Miller struggles to adjust to his new disability. With so many difficult changes affecting the community, can Elizabeth create a Founder's Day play that will spark hope in everybody's hearts?.



MY THOUGHTS-Ever since watching the first episode of this series, I have been a big fan. When Calls the Heart is not only family friendly but interesting, romantic and almost reminds me of Little House on the Prairie. It is just that good and part of why I like it. Not just about the romance between Jack and Elizabeth but also about the town of Coal Valley and the people living there.

On this DVD titled Second Chances we actually have two episodes of the show. In the last installment Elizabeth was duped by a scam artist known as Billy. Jack never felt comfortable with him but Elizabeth just saw him as being a pain and overly protective. Though in the back of her mind I think she knew his protectiveness stemmed from his attraction to her:) So in this episode Billy has been banished and Jack and Elizabeth are trying to get back to normal in their relationship. Elizabeth is also helping a struggling student who has trouble with his reading. I totally fell in love with Bo Grady and his sweet attitude.

The trouble is far from over for Coal Valley and its people. One of the women in town is waiting for her husband to return from the hospital after the accident in the mine. What she doesn't know, and he hasn't told her, is he is returning with only one leg. Leaving him to feel like half a man. My heart ached for Adam and his family. The two little girls are so adorable and while they understand Daddy is sorting through his troubles they want things to go back to the way they were before the accident. One thing Elizabeth tells them really hit home for me. "You can only love him. You are not responsible for his actions or the way he responds".

We also see Abigail fighting for her home and the memories enveloped in that little row home. I was once again struck by how easy we have it today and how different it was back then. I also wanted to slap Henry Gowan:) For some reason he tends to bring that out in me. There was one word in here where Gowan uses "Hell" and not in the biblical sense. Otherwise totally family friendly and one your family will watch again and again!! Cannot wait for the next installment!!



**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

A Table By The Window by Hillary Manton Lodge



Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love   The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?   After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.   Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?


MY REVIEW-I have to admit, this book was not high on my favorites list. Which I felt bad about because I have thoroughly enjoyed the other stories from Mrs. Lodge. It was hard to get through and very slow at the beginning. It did pick up about halfway through but I still felt disconnected from the story. Partially because of the french language but partially the story itself. Juliette is all about restaurants and food. It is in her blood you might say as her parents own a restaurant and her brother wants her to help him open one as well. When the book opens Juliette is writing a food column for the local paper. There are several different aspects of the story and one of them is when her grandmother dies she finds a picture. One that opens a lot of mysteries and secrets. I did like this part as I am a big mystery fan:)

About halfway through Juliette enters the online dating world. At this point it gets somewhat funny because she corresponds with a doctor named Neil. He was my favorite part of the whole book. Really sweet and kind. Their back and forth dialogue over email is pretty good! And once you get to this point in the book, it really picks up speed.

I have a couple of problems with this book. The main problem being the Christianity. For this being a Christian book there wasn't much in it to indicate this. Very little about God and a couple things that just don't speak much to that fact. Divorce is very lightly tossed around and it kind of threw me off. The other problem I had was the french. Most books with foreign languages will put a list in the back with phrases or at least let you know what is being said. This one just throws the words in there and doesn't give you any indication of what is meant. Otherwise it is okay but definitely not my cup of tea. I prefer a book that grasps your attention and keeps it from page one. If you like restaurants and food, this might be one to pick up.



**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Don't Miss These Books From Family Christian Stores!! #FCblogger

This post does contain affiliate links where I will receive credit if you make a purchase through my links. 

Do you all have any interesting books you are currently reading? I am in the middle of two but you know me, always on the lookout for me:) Today I want to showcase a few exciting new books that will be releasing next month. So right now you can pre-order them and you just might get a special on them as well! Take a look and see what is coming!!

1.Living Courageously by Joyce Meyers.
I have personally never read anything by Joyce Meyers. I am kind of careful over women teachers, but from what I have heard about her books they are really good. And this one sounds like a great one for those dealing with fear in their lives.

This releases on September 16th and you can order it for only 14.97 right now!

PreBuy Living Courageously by Joyce Meyer for just $14.97 at FamilyChristian.com!

New from Joyce Meyer, Living Courageously: PreBuy now at FamilyChristian.com

2.You Can, You Will by Joel Osteen
Joel Osteen is an author I have read a few books by and every time I am surprised. And in this one Joel brings 8 traits and attributes that are found in highly successful people. Don't we all want to be more successful? Well look no further than this book to find tips and hints on how to be that successful person you have always wanted to be.

This will release September 30th and you can pre-order it for 14.97!!

PreBuy You Can You Will by Joel Osteen for just $14.97 at FamilyChristian.com



New from Joel Osteen, You Can You Will: PreBuy now at FamilyChristian.com


3.A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker
Now I am a lover of good Biblical fiction. The ones that make you step back in the pages of Bible history. And that is exactly what we have here with Ted Dekker's newest book, A.D. 30. Ted Dekker is one of the most well-known authors in the Christian fiction genre and this novel looks like one of his best. Can't wait to get this one!

A.D. 30 is available for the pre-order price of 14.97 but will not release until October 28th.

PreBuy A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker for just $14.97 at FamilyChristian.com

Ted Dekker, A.D. 30: PreBuy now at FamilyChristian.com

4.Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Devotions from Aaron Tabor.
This is an author I have never read before. But after looking at this devotional book I am going to check out what other books I can find by Aaron Tabor. I love doing devotions in the morning and evening, but sometimes they don't seem very relevant. Like maybe they are outdated? I think this book will bring very up-to-date information and a devotion for every day life. Looks like a fantastic one!!

This will release on October 21st and is available for pre-order now for 9.97


PreBuy Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Devotions by Aaron Tabor at FamilyChristian.com for just $9.97

New from Aaron Tabor, Jesus Daily: PreBuy now at FamilyChristian.com

So, interested in any of these? I have put a few of them on my reminder list to come back to. Family Christian definitely has some good ones coming out in the next couple months! Let me know what you are looking forward to picking up out of these and what you are in the middle of reading right now!!



**DISCLOSURE:  Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sidetracked by Brandilyn Collins. Great Suspense Story!!



When you live a lie for so long, it becomes a part of you. Like clothing first rough and scratchy, it eventually wears down, thins out. Sinks into your skin. Thirty-four-year-old Delanie Miller has fled her dark past and is now settled into a quiet life in small-town Kentucky. She has friends, a faux "family" who lives in her house, and a loving boyfriend who may soon ask her to marry him. Her aching dream of a husband and future children are about to come true. But protecting this life of promise means keeping a low profile and guarding the truth of her past--from everyone. 
The town's peace is shattered when Delanie's friend, Clara, is murdered, and Delanie finds her body. The police chief quickly zeroes in on Billy King, a simple-minded young man whom Delanie knows would never hurt Clara. Delanie can hunt down evidence and speak out publicly against the chief--only at great risk of her own exposure. But after suffering such injustice in her own past, how can she keep silent now? Delanie must find a way to uncover Clara's murderer yet save the life she's created for herself--the deceit-ridden life that will forever distance her from others and God.

With page-turning intensity, Sidetracked hurtles between Delanie's trauma in Redbud and the chaos of her past. Those experiences forced Delanie to reinvent her present--but at what cost to her future?
Read the first chapter here.


MY REVIEW-Suspense is probably one of my favorite genres. I enjoy following a good mystery and trying to figure out who the bad guy is and why they did it. So when I received Sidetracked, I waited until I knew I would have a full day to read it. Needless to say, I still stayed up late to finish it:)

This story goes back and forth from a woman who is in her 30's and back to a girl in her teens. I really don't care for novels written in this way but I liked this book and the mystery well made up for that aspect of the story. It opens with Delanie Miller going home from attending a wedding shower for Clara. But on her way home, she stumbles upon a dead body. That of Clara. Delanie is no investigator and definitely not wanting to deal with another dead body in her life. Yep, you heard me right. This isn't the first time she has had to deal with a murder. The first time just happened to be her mother. And the suspect/convict was her.

I have to say my absolute favorite character in this book was Andy, Delanie's boyfriend. I was so waiting for him to just take off and leave her. After all, it happens enough in real life I just didn't expect him to stick up for her against his parents. But I loved his character and his values. I will admit I knew about halfway through who the bad guy was. I just didn't know all the details or why. And I wasn't sure who the person was that killed Clara. I was pretty sure off the bat that it wasn't Billy, but not quite positive:) And that is what makes this a page-turner that will have you staying up nights to figure it out. If you like a good mystery, you won't want to miss this one!!




**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Watch for the New Gold City Hymns Revival! @thegoldcityqt

I am a lover of music. Mainly hymns but also southern gospel and classical music. So I was really overjoyed to be able to review the upcoming release, Hymn Revival, from Gold City. Anyone who listens to southern gospel knows the name Gold City. A group that has come through a lot and been around for ages. I have seen them go through many ups and downs but really glad when Tim Riley returned to join the group as bass singer. This CD releases on August 19th and I am sure many of you will enjoy this new look at old hymns!



The song list includes many older titles such as Nothing But the Blood, I Must Tell Jesus, He Hideth My Soul, Power in the Blood, and Great is Thy Faithfulness. I have to admit, my favorites would be a three-way tie between Nothing But The Blood, Power of the Cross and Great is Thy Faithfulness. There are some powerful songs, tender and soft tunes, along with a few jazzy styles. The person who follows Gold City will be in for a treat. And you can't go wrong with a strong quartet sound like you have with this CD. The piano playing is also a big hit on some of these.

So anyone interested in purchasing a new CD will definitely want to look at this one. Hymn Revival is a classic quartet hymns recording that came out very well. Loved the songs!!




**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Petbrosia Unique Blend Cat Food Review & #Giveaway

We own the sweetest rescue kitty called Dumah. She is quite a handful but very sweet. Loves to be held and just pet for hours. But like I said, she is also a handful. Very active, loves playing outside and boy can she eat! I like to feed her food that will keep her healthy and going for years. So I was very excited to get an email from Petbrosia asking if I wanted to review their pet food. This company comes at pet food from a different angle than most and I knew Dumah would love it. Check out her response below and then make sure to enter the giveaway!

When you go in to order your food, there are questions about your pet. Petbrosia does food for dogs and cats but I wanted to try this for Dumah. Basically they want to know how active your pet is, how much they weigh, etc. You get a special blend designed specifically for your pet!! I love this idea! How many times do you really look at whether your precious animal is getting the nutrition they need? Or do you just go in and buy the cheapest product? You don't have to fear anymore if you go with Petbrosia.

I ordered my 10 lb bag with free-run chicken. They offer either salmon or chicken as the main protein. Then I waited for it to arrive:) It came in pretty quick after ordering which I was surprised over. And as you can see from the pictures, Dumah was anxious to get inside!





The food comes in little tidbit pieces that smell delicious. Yep, I think the pet food should smell good enough to eat as a human. And as you can tell, Dumah became a fan immediately. Ever since it came in she wants only that. One morning I forgot and gave her the old food we had. And you guessed it! Se wouldn't touch it! Not sure what I am going to do once this bag is gone:D



So, anyone interested in winning your own 3 lb bag of food? I am sure your pets will love you for it:) Also, if you want to order now, or you don't win the giveaway, Petbrosia has offered a coupon code for new customers.

$10 off your First Purchase of Petbrosia Pet Foods by entering the promotional code: 
BRX810

This giveaway will end 8/29. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Lower 48 states ONLY!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wanna Rent Textbooks? And Help with Operation Smile!! @textbookrentals

If I write about a company more than once, you can be sure it is something I wholeheartedly back. 100% I agree with the standards and values given by this brand or company. So it is no big surprise that I come to you again, at this time of year, for CampusBookRentals. If you are new to my blog, please take a moment and read about this wonderful company. And if you are an old follower(as in you have been reading my blog for years, not as in experience or age, LOL!), who has heard about this company before then please share this post and tell others about it.




Many students go out before a semester and spend a ton of money on books that they will eventually end up turning in at a bookstore for a 1/4th of the price, or maybe even giving them away. Well, not anymore with CampusBookRentals! Have you ever thought about renting your textbooks? It had never hit me before and I don't think this business was around when I was needing it, but in all reality it is a brilliant idea! Go find the books you need, rent them for much less than you would pay in a bookstore, and then send them back! You get free shipping both ways, save 40-90% off bookstore prices and you can highlight in these books. Almost like they were yours but at the end of using them you don't have to find a place to get rid of them or throw them away. Just mail them back out, totally free.

There is also a new nifty feature called RentBack. This allows you to rent your textbooks to other students. So if you need a certain book for chemistry, you rent it, then you can rent it to another student. Thus you make more profit on books that you won't be needing later on.



I have to tell you though, there is one more feature to CampusBookRentals that really seals the deal on my approval. And that is Operation Smile. With every textbook rented, this company gives a percentage to help save lives. It may not sound like much, but I think it is a wonderful opportunity to get your books that you need along with helping someone in need.

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**DISCLOSURE: Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Sky Zone by Creston Mapes Book #Review



A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.A terrorist threat. — A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions.  — Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn't making matters any easier.

With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives--and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

This third book in The Crittendon Files reminds us of the power of family, friendships and faith--and why we are never in as much control as we think.
 


MY THOUGHTS-Creston Mapes is a writer well known for his thrilling plots and realistic characters. And Sky Zone is no different. It starts off with a terrorist threat and just builds in momentum til the very end. I found myself racing through the book to see how everything turns out and what happens to Shakespeare, Jack and Pam along with Margaret, Sheena, Clarissa, Chico, etc.

Jack and Shakespeare are working security at the presidential rally when a threat comes in from Homeland Security. Chatter was heard with no definite details on what the attack might entail. The story line goes back and forth between present day and several months ago. You see Jack and Pam at Brian(Shakespeare) and Sheena's house as Brian is warning them about the coming dangers and attacks that might happen on America. At the time Jack and Pam think of him as kind of loony or a nut case. But as things progress there comes a bit of a turning point. As I mentioned above, this is a suspense/thriller that has you guessing what will happen next, every time you turn the page. Lots of mystery involved! Love books like these!



**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, August 11, 2014

FIRSTWildCard Tour for Second Chance Cafe by Brandy Bruce

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

 

 
and the book:

 

Heartsong Presents/Love Inspired (July 2014)


***Special thanks to the author for sending me a review copy.***

MY REVIEW-This is the second book I have been able to review for author Brandy Bruce. It also happens to be the second installment in the series. A wonderful series about cafes, restaurants and relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and settled in to read the second one, after I had re-read Table for Two. You gotta make sure you remember every little thing ya know:)

This story is set around Isabella, or Isa as many call her. If you have read the first book, you will recognize her as Leo's sister from Table For Two. We get to catch up with Leo and Mandy a bit and see how they are doing as well. That is one thing I like about this series. It isn't just about two people and how they fall in love. It is about family, real life situations and things we deal with every day. Isa is the daughter of a well-known restaurant owner. She has seen what the job does and the toll it takes on those she loves. So when she runs(okay, he gets wheeled into her hospital) into firefighter Ethan, things seem to be looking up. He isn't involved in the dreaded restaurant business and they get along pretty well. That is until she finds out his secret desire, to run a restaurant. Not in her plans for sure!

I loved how they grew and matured together. Isa is a very strong woman who is used to getting her way and fighting for what she wants. She just has to decide if a life with Ethan is what she wants. Ethan is a strong man as well but I liked how tender he got with Isa. When you see how persistent he is over the flowers at the beginning? You gotta love him:) If only all men were that sweet. But he is head strong as well and I think he has to be for a woman as daunting as Isabella. Brandy has again written beautiful characters that make you love them, cry with them and even laugh a bit. You really do have strong reactions to them which makes for a good story. Well done!!

bookcover

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Visit the author's website.
Brandy Bruce was scribbling stories in spiral notebooks by the age of 12. Her love for books never left her. She graduated from Liberty University, married the one person she could never get enough of, then started working as a book editor for a publishing house. Brandy and her husband, Jeff, live in Colorado with their two children. She can be reached through her blog at http://www.brandybruce.blogspot.com.

BrandyBruce

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


ISABELLA ROMANO HAS GIVEN UP ON LOVE
Between her demanding work as a nurse and her father's poor health, Isabella has no time for distractions. So when a handsome firefighter practically falls at her feet, she keeps him at arm's length. But Ethan Carter is determined to win her over.Orphaned at a young age, Ethan longs for a family of his own—and he's sure Isabella is his match. But when he opens a cafĂ© near his firehouse, Isabella is less than thrilled. She knows firsthand the strain of being a restaurant owner, and she wants no part of that life. Can Ethan convince the busy nurse they can overcome any obstacle and have their happily ever after together?

Product Details:
List Price: $4.99
Publisher: Heartsong Presents/ Love Inspired
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-48719-6

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Chapter One
“Okay, people. We’ve got a firefighter with possible fractures and trauma to the spine. ETA is five minutes.”
Nurse Isabella Romano’s ears perked up and her pulse quickened. The mood in the emergency room shifted to one of controlled urgency. Isabella slipped on gloves and followed the attending physician, Dr. Nichols, to the Denver Health Medical Center’s ER entrance. Sirens rang out in the distance, and within minutes, the familiar sight of flashing lights sped toward them.
The back doors of the ambulance flew open and the paramedics jumped out. “Male, late twenties, fell from second-story landing to first floor and landed on his back. Multiple burns on his arms and a laceration on his right thigh. Hypotensive. Tachycardic. We administered one liter of saline through an 18 gauge IV in his left AC. Patient has maintained a pulse ox of 96 percent on 10L of oxygen via facemask.”
Isabella grabbed the left side of the stretcher, helping push the gurney to trauma room 1. At the sound of a low moan, she looked down at the firefighter strapped to the backboard. A neck collar kept him immobile and an oxygen mask covered his mouth.
“What’s his name?” Isabella called out to the EMT across from her.
“Ethan Carter. Company 51. Those guys will be filling up the waiting room as soon as they clear the scene.”
“Ethan, I’m Isabella. Can you hear me?”
His gaze met hers and Isabella could see his intense pain.
“Ethan, you’re going to be okay. We’re going to take good care of you.”
“Okay, everyone, on three,” Dr. Nichols ordered.
Everyone stopped what they were doing at Dr. Nichols’s instruction and lifted the backboard with Ethan on it, transferring him and the backboard to the hospital bed. He moaned. “We’re going to need 50 mcg of fentanyl,” Dr. Nichols called out. Maggie, one of Isabella’s colleagues, began cutting off Ethan’s burned clothing.
“Let’s get some X-rays, Isa,” Dr. Nichols stated. “I want a CT scan. His thigh obviously needs stitches.”
“I’m on it,” Maggie said as she inspected the burns on Ethan’s arms. Isabella moved to order the X-rays but Ethan reached out for her. She stepped back toward him, preparing to explain to him that she’d be back and he was going to be all right. But the look in his blue eyes stopped her. He tried to reach for his oxygen mask, but Isabella shook her head.
“No, don’t move,” she said; then pulled away his mask for a moment.
“Don’t leave me,” he said, his voice dry and raspy. Isabella was pretty sure that even covered in dust and blood, with a brace around his neck, he was the most attractive man she’d ever seen. Her heart tugged. In that moment, he just seemed so alone.
She replaced his oxygen. “I have to go for a minute, Ethan, but I’ll be coming right back. And we’ll get through this together. I know you’re scared and I know you’re hurting. But it’s going to be okay.”
He just stared at her, his eyes pleading for her to stay. Isabella couldn’t help it; she reached down and brushed his brown hair from his forehead.
“I promise I’ll be back,” she told him.Ethan Carter’s eyes fluttered open and then shut again quickly.
Who in the world turned on that blinding light?
He could hear a voice, someone saying his name. He turned his head to the side.
What happened?
He heard that voice again, saying his name. Then it came back to him, playing through his mind like a movie reel. The house fire. The roaring sound of the blaze. The sensation that he was falling. The impact of the ground floor. The rush into the ER.
“Ethan?”
He opened his eyes and blinked, trying to focus on the woman’s face in front of him.
“Hi there,” she said. “It’s nice to see you again.”
He blinked again. “Nurse . . .”
“Isabella. We met under rather tragic circumstances, I know.”
She was teasing. He could hear it in her voice. Now that he could focus on her clearly, he remembered seeing her in the ER.
“Isabella,” he repeated. Dressed in blue scrubs, she stood next to the bed, her brown hair tied back in a knot. She smiled down at him and Ethan felt better at the sight of her smile. She checked the monitors, her eyes darting toward the door of the hospital room.
“Did they get the family out of the house?” Ethan asked. Isabella nodded.
“Yes. One of the other firefighters—I think his name was Blake—told me to let you know that everyone made it out safely.”
“Except me, I guess,” Ethan said grimly. But Isabella’s smile didn’t fade.
“C’mon, tough guy. You’ve got this.”
Ethan studied her warm smile and playful tone. “You’re right,” he conceded. “God was watching over me in that burning house. He won’t abandon me now.”
She blinked in surprise at his statement. “I suppose He was,” she agreed.
“When can I go home?” Ethan asked.
“I’m not sure,” Isabella answered. “Dr. Nichols will be here any minute to talk to you,” she said.
“Can you stay?” Ethan asked immediately. Her face softened.
“Sure, if you want me to. Is there anyone you want me to call for you? The guys from the firehouse were here all night, off and on, in the waiting room. There are a few guys out there now. They can come in as soon as Dr. Nichols speaks to you.”
Ethan nodded. “Thanks. But there’s no one else for you to call.”
Isabella frowned. “Your family?”
Ethan just shook his head, turning his attention to the gauze covering his forearms. “There’s no one. Just the guys.” He hoped she’d drop the topic. He hated the pitiful looks he got whenever he explained to people that other than a few distant relatives out in California, he had no one. It was part of why he’d joined Company 51. A whole firehouse with the brothers he’d never had. He wondered if the chief was in the waiting room.
The door slid open and a doctor wearing black rimmed glasses and holding a clipboard walked in. He looked to be in his mid-forties.
“Good morning, Ethan. How are we feeling today?”
We? I have a feeling you’re doing a lot better than I am, doc.
“I’m hurting, but I’m guessing that medication is dulling the real pain.”
Dr. Nichols nodded. “You had a bad fall, Ethan. You know that. There were second degree burns on your arms, and a gash on your thigh that took about twenty stitches. You lost some blood, but we’ve given you IV fluids and you’re vitals have stabilized. You’re pretty banged up and bruised all over, but unfortunately, your back took the impact of the fall.”
Ethan’s chest constricted with fear.
“How bad is it?”
Isabella stepped closer to his bedside.
“It could have been worse. You have a lumbar—lower back—spinal fracture. The X-ray showed an L4 compression fracture. The positive aspect of this is that you still have good movement and feeling. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any neurological damage.”
“Do I need surgery?” Ethan asked.
“I don’t think so. The X-rays indicate a clean fracture. I’m going to recommend we move forward with outpatient treatment. But you’ve got a long, arduous healing journey ahead of you.”
“How long until I can be back on active duty?”
Dr. Nichol’s eyebrows furrowed. “The spine is a tricky thing, Ethan. And everyone heals at a different pace. You’re going to need rest, pain medication, lots of therapy, a back brace—”
“How long?” Ethan insisted.
“We’re talking months, Ethan. And that’s assuming that everything heals as it should. While in a few weeks you’ll be able to continue with most day-to-day activities, I don’t see you going back to active duty for probably six months. It could be less; it could be more. Perhaps they can transfer you to a desk job until you’re ready. After a few weeks of therapy we could reevaluate and consider light duty. But as of right now, your life is going to look different. You need to understand and accept that. Your priority needs to be healing properly.”
Months? Desk job? Light duty? Ethan tried to swallow the boulder in his throat.
“But, eventually, I’ll be back to normal. I’ll be able to be on active duty, right?” Ethan pressed. Dr. Nichols folded his arms across his clipboard.
“If all goes as it should, I think you’ll make a full recovery. But as I said, this is going to be a one-day-at-a-time healing process. We’ll start with rest. I want you on complete bed rest for the next few days. No strenuous activity. We’ll fit you for a back brace, which I want you to wear for six to eight weeks. We’ll do an X-ray after six weeks and see if the bone has healed. Then, once the bone has healed, you’ll need to begin physical therapy.”
Ethan took a deep breath. He felt a soft hand squeeze his arm and he looked up at Isabella.
“Hey, it’s going to be okay,” she said, her voice encouraging. “You’re here, you’re alive, you can walk—those are all good things.” He stared at her, trying to hold on to the sense of calm emanating from her.
She’s right, Father, he prayed. But what am I going to do for months if I’m not fighting fires? And what if ‘the healing process’ doesn’t go as it should and I can’t go back? Company 51 is all I have.
That last thought was too much. Ethan felt tears welling up in his eyes. He blinked fast to keep them at bay, mortified that he might cry in front of this nurse who not only was kind and smart and had a great sense of humor, but also looked stunning in blue scrubs.
I will never leave you.
The words were just a whisper in his heart, but they were enough. He clung to them. It had only been six months since one of his brothers at the firehouse, Caleb, had lead Ethan to Christ. Six months of a changed life. He still struggled to accept that God loved him like a father. That he could turn to God at any time. But it got easier. Accepting Christ as his Savior had filled Ethan with something he’d known was missing since childhood. Now he treasured that faith more than anything else.
Ethan closed his eyes.
I have You, Father. Whatever comes, I have you. Help me through this.Isabella watched as Ethan closed his eyes. His lips moved silently, and she knew without a doubt that he was praying. She looked over at Dr. Nichols who stood waiting without a word. Prayers were common things in the hospital. Sometimes people cried out loudly for help. Sometimes it was a desperate whisper. And sometimes, like now, it was a silent request. She’d seen people blame God. She’d seen them beg for His comfort. She’d even seen them try to barter for what they wanted.
Isabella wondered which one Ethan was doing now.
She also considered the fact that without all the dust and blood, Ethan Carter was even more attractive than she’d found him to be in the ER.
He had no family to call. That’s odd. The firefighters have filled up the waiting room, of course. But no one else. No relatives. No girlfriend. No one.
Isabella stared at the handsome firefighter’s brown hair and dark brown eyebrows. His sturdy jaw and those lips. She watched him pray. She wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to think so or not—but the fact that he was praying made him even more attractive.
I was wrong. He’s not completely alone. He has faith.
Ethan drew a breath and opened his eyes. He looked at Isabella before turning his attention to Dr. Nichols.
“Okay, what’s my next step, doc?”
.




**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

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**DISCLOSURE: I will be receiving a gift card in order to review some Schwan's products. All thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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