Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Five Helpful Tips for Holiday Tech Shopping.

Well, TwitterMoms is at it again:) You know how much I love them. They always have great opportunities and wonderful ways to work with companies. This time it is a program through Staples!! That's right:) And they want at least five tips on Holiday Tech Shopping. Well, I gotta tell you. I am not real big on tech shopping. But I have family who love the gadgets and all so I normally buy for them. So, I will tell you my hints and maybe you can tell me some of yours. I can use any and all help:)

1.Shop Around.
There are lots of stores that carry tech products. It used to be only certain stores carried them but now everyone is getting into them. Take your time and look around at what stores are carrying. Look at the flyers and check for deals or coupons coming up.

2.Do Your Research.
Many times children want the new thing or the new gadget that it "in" right now. But it is often not what your child needs. Research what people are saying about this certain product, look at reviews from people who have bought this or maybe ask someone who has one. So many times these tech toys and gadgets get bought and then rarely used. How often do they end up at a thrift store or in the garbage? Make sure you know what you are purchasing and if it is something they are really going to use. Often stores have one that you can look at and use there. Especially tech gadgets. Check them out and play around with them.

3.Go With Name Brands.
This always works best in the long run. I am not saying to buy the most expensive but make sure it is a quality brand. We recently bought MP3 players. Sure I didn't get the most expensive one out there, but I went with a brand I knew and trusted. It will last a while but I am not broke.

4.Plan Ahead.
Make sure you have a budget fixed with how much you want to spend. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. If you go in with a budget fixed in your mind, you won't even look at something that you don't event want! This is very important but not often done. Don't go in with the option of just looking around at the gadgets:) Go in with something specific in mind and go directly there.

5.Check Your Payment Options.
I mean this as in, check what stores have rebates, who has gift card offers, etc. Some stores offer a gift card when you buy a certain product. Others have a rewards card where you get so much back. And rebates are something you have to take the time for but they really help if you do them. If you are shopping online, make sure to shop through a place where you get cash back. They are all over the place and so easy to sign up for. Sometimes you can get as much as 10% cash back and especially with the Holidays, many are doing double cash back.

So, there are my five tips. Take your time and do your research. It pays off in the end. Let me know your tips for Holiday Tech shopping:)

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

10 Tips for Stylish Layering Techniques for all Occasions.

Hi everyone,
I am a very big fan of Twitter Moms. They have lots of support groups, neat tips and really fun opportunities to work with companies. This is one of those times:) They are working together with Cuddl Duds to get more people aware of a great new look that is in style today. And that is layering. I love to do it and so I thought I would give it a try and let you all know some of my favorite tips on how to get this wonderful look. I am going to do 5 tips on how to layer and then 5 with my favorite pieces to layer. Just mix and match and see how you like it. This is definitely not a set pattern:)

1.Use Opposite Colors.
I know sometimes this does not work, but I like to do opposite colors with my layers. If I have a black top, layer it with a white undershirt or tank top. This gives a really nice look and even though they are complete opposites, they have a very refreshing style.

2.Layer Warmly.
Okay, we all know that winter is fast approaching, if not already arrived in some areas. Layering is a great way to get the warmth and still look stylish. I like to do a long sleeve undershirt with a short sleeve blouse. You have the warmth of the long sleeves along with the ease of the blouse.

3.Style Up or Down.
I use my layering to either dress up or down. I can have a dress blouse with a tank top underneath it and look very classy. Especially with the lace along the bottom. Or I can go with a country type look and have a plaid button up short sleeve shirt and a long sleeve cotton undershirt. You can go either way with layers.

4.Layer With Thought.
You all are probably saying, "well, duh!' But seriously think ahead to your day. Will you maybe need to change clothes later in the evening? Why not wear a layer where you can just take off the top piece? Or maybe you are working during the day and going to dinner in the evening on a date? Wear a layer that you can take off one or the other to dress up. This is such an easy way to change your look throughout the day.

5.Layer for Modesty.
This is one that is very dear to me. I am so tired of seeing women who bend over and the shirt comes up in the back to expose skin. I also like to have modesty at the neckline as well. Layering is a very easy way to take care of this problem. Normally an undershirt will not ride up like a blouse will. So this helps in the area of exposing your back. And I like the high top ones that cover my neck. This is also great for nursing mothers! You can easily stay covered if you are wearing layers.

Now here are some of my favorite pieces I like to use for layering. Like I said earlier, you can swap these around or maybe use one with something you have at home. These are just tips:)

6.Blouse w/Undershirt.
I normally do this for my everyday wear. Throw on an undershirt and then a blouse over it. It looks stylish and practical at the same time.

7.Blouse w/Tank Top.
I normally do this in the summer time. It is nice and cool and I can still have my layers. I have heard people say that this would get too hot in the summer but I have never had a problem before. It actually helps you stay cooler, depending on what material you are wearing.

8.Sweater w/Lace Tank.
I love wearing this layered look to Church or events. It is stylish with the lace and the sweater can either be dressy or casual. Some people call them cardigans and either one works. I also wear something like this on a day that I have to look dressy at first and then I am working after-wards. Like at a Church function where we have a meeting and then maybe I am serving food. I can wear the sweater first and then change into a blouse later.

9.Jacket w/Undershirt.
I like wearing hoodies or jackets with undershirts. Often I am on the go from the start so it is nice and easy to throw on an undershirt or tank and then put on my hoodie. It looks good while I don't have to get totally dressed either:P

10.Long Sleeve Undershirt w/Short Sleeve Blouse.
Now I mentioned this above but it is one of my favorite layered looks. Wearing a thermal undershirt, yes they even have pretty ones now, and then wearing a short sleeved top. Again, stylish and practical at the same time.

So, these are some of my tips for you. This is a great time to be layering and maybe this will help you get started. It really doesn't take much to look smart and be practical too:) Leave a comment if you have any tips you think I would be interested in hearing. I love to see what other people do and it helps me as well.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Cuddl Duds blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

FIRST WildCard Blog Tour A Path Less Traveled

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:


A Path Less Traveled (Book 2 in the Miller's Creek novels)

WordVessel Press (October 18, 2010)

***Special thanks to Cathy Bryant for sending me a review copy.***

MY THOUGHTS-Well, I have to tell you, it is not often that I like a book this much. I read the first book in this series, a debut novel, by Cathy Bryant and really enjoyed it. So I definitely wanted in on this second book in the series. You would never know from reading these books that Cathy is a new author!! She has a great style of writing and her work is excellent. In this book my favorite character would have to be Andy. He puts up with so much and just seems to have a great attitude. I really got to like him throughout this story.

There was one part that I thought Cathy should have expounded on but maybe that will come with the next book in the series. At one point it is mentioned that Andy is afraid to go into the woods. Then it is brought up again but Cathy never explains why. The next book is about Andy's brother so maybe it will be explained there. I also like how Cathy slowly brings the next character into play. There was another book I read recently where it seemed likethe next character was kind of an after-thought and rushed into the book. Way to go Cathy with another great book!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A Texas gal since birth, Cathy Bryant continues the Mayberry RFD--only Texas Style!--stories with Book 2 in the Miller's Creek series, A Path Less Traveled. Her debut novel Texas Roads was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Cathy lives in a century-old Texas farmhouse with her husband of almost 30 years and a phobia-ridden cat.

Visit the author's website.




Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: WordVessel Press (October 18, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984431128
ISBN-13: 978-0984431120

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Chapter One ~ Tolling Bells


In spite of the thousands of winking lights surrounding Trish James, a wedding somehow lost its luster in the wake of death. She nudged her shucked shoes out of the way with her big toe and adjusted the tulle on the wedding arch, the soft netlike fabric billowing beneath her fingertips as she encased the twinkle lights. The church sanctuary, with its white pews, stained-glass windows, and smoky blue carpet, served as the perfect backdrop to her design.

“This wedding must be hard on you after Doc’s death.” Dani spoke the words as if uncertain she should speak at all.

The ache in Trish’s heart started afresh, a wound that never healed, but she pushed it aside with practiced expertise. This wedding wasn’t about her. “I’m fine. It’s not everyday my brother marries the most wonderful woman in the world.” She forced a bright smile. “I’ve never seen Steve so happy.”

Her sister-in-law-to-be didn’t return the smile. Instead the area above her clear blue eyes creased. “You sure you’re okay?”

“Yep.” Trish snipped the word and bent low to snag a sprig of silk ivy, then inserted it in the proper place and blinked away tears. In truth, it would be great to have someone to share her concerns with, but within boundaries—not right before the wedding, not with anyone who lived in Miller’s Creek, and definitely not with family members. The last thing she wanted was for them to feel like they had to come to her rescue.

She’d told Delaine some of the situation, but her best friend since high school now lived the fast-paced, Austin lifestyle, their conversations limited to when Delaine didn’t have something else on her agenda.

“I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be both mother and father to Little Bo.” Dani lowered her head, blonde ringlets framing her face. “And then trying to start a business on top of everything else.”

Oh, no. She wasn’t going there. Trish clenched her teeth. Steve had already given her this lecture. With his best brotherly concern, he’d told her she didn’t have to be Superwoman. Yeah, right. Try telling that to her empty checkbook and refrigerator. She glanced at Dani, who sat atop the piano railing swinging her legs. “Are you ready for the big day tomorrow?”

A happy glow wreathed her friend’s face. “And the day after, and the day after that. I think I’ve been getting ready to marry Steve my entire life.”

“I’m happy for you both.” Though it hurt to speak the words, she meant it. It wasn’t their fault her life was in the doldrums.

Dani sprang from her perch and trotted down the steps to view the stage. “You have such a gift, Trish. Everything looks magical.”

Trish gazed at the curly willow branches she’d ordered and spray-painted white, now wrapped with tiny sparks of light. The fairy tale forest blanketed the stage and meandered down the side aisles in an aura of enchantment. Once the ribbons and flowers were placed, and candles inserted into globes and nestled among the boughs, her vision would be complete. “I hope it’s what you wanted.”

“It’s better than I could’ve ever imagined.” Dani hurried over and draped an arm across her shoulder. “Once everyone in Miller’s Creek see this, you’re gonna get loads of business.”

A heavy sigh whooshed from her before she could contain it. “From your lips to my bank account.”

Dani’s eyes clouded. “I don’t know how to say this, so I’m just going to say it and get it over with. Are you okay? I mean…do you need to borrow money or something?”

No. Yes. Yes. She wasn’t okay. She needed money. She needed…something. “I’m fine.” The lie popped out as she stepped to the box perched on the piano bench. With care she lifted two delicate cracked-glass globes and moved to the candle stands. The words “I’m fine” were her constant mantra these days, like saying them made everything all right. Who was she kidding?

She closed her eyes and reopened them with a slow blink, weary of pretending. But what choice did she have? Her brother’s wedding wasn’t the time or place to air her personal problems. Besides, she was thirty-two years old, more than old enough to handle life on her own. A glance at her wristwatch sent her pulse on a stampede. Still so much to do to make the decorations perfect. God, please let this bring me business.

Dani plopped back onto the railing. “Is Little Bo doing better?”

How could he be? “Sure, if you don’t count the nightmares and barely letting me out of his sight.” She omitted the fact that he was a hairsbreadth away from flunking kindergarten unless she could help him catch up before the school year ended.

“So the psychologist is helping?”

Before Trish could respond, the double white doors at the rear of the church burst open. Incessant rain poured from the April sky and silhouetted the form of a man. Dani let out a squeal. “Andy!”

The petite blonde flew down the steps toward a man who looked vaguely familiar. He wore a lightweight suit with a loosened necktie, and had an easy-going smile that brightened the room. “Hey, how’s the bride?”

Dani looked up at him, her face radiant. “Never better.”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

She tugged his arm. “Come here. I want you to meet someone.”

His loose-limbed gait gave the impression of someone always relaxed, like he’d just returned from a vacation at the beach.

“This is Andy Tyler, my friend from Dallas. Andy, this is Steve’s sister.”

Sea-green eyes sparkled. “Well, does Steve’s sister have a name?” He jogged up the steps and held out a hand, his smile still bright.

Trish laughed and took his hand. “I’m Trish James. Nice to meet you.”

Dani’s face took on a crimson hue. “Sorry. Guess my mind is elsewhere.”

Andy’s gaze rested on her bare feet. “Glad to know you have a name. What about shoes?”

She couldn’t help but smile. “I have them, but kicked them off hours ago.”

The hall door squeaked behind them, and Mama Beth, Dani’s mother and the mother figure of all of Miller’s Creek, bustled into the room. Along with her came the smell of fresh baked bread wafting from the fellowship hall. Trish could almost taste the melt-in-your mouth rolls. Maybe she could sneak a few leftovers for her and Bo to nibble on next week.

“My goodness, Trish, if this isn’t the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen.” Mama Beth hugged Andy’s neck. “Hi, Andy.”

A tender gleam lit his eyes as he wrapped his arms around the older woman’s shoulders and kissed her cheek. “Hi, sweet lady.” He turned raised eyebrows to Trish. “You did all this?”

She ducked her head, and pushed a silky strand of hair behind one ear.

“All of it.” gushed Dani. “And wait until you see the fellowship hall.”

“Speaking of fellowship hall, I could sure use your help in the kitchen.” Mama Beth’s voice took on a commanding tone as she scuttled to the door. “We’ve got enough work to do for this rehearsal dinner to keep an entire army busy.”

Dani looked torn. “But I can’t leave Trish down here to do all this by herself.”

Trish wrestled the wieldy greenery in place, longing to comment that she didn’t need help. It would suit her just fine if they’d all go away and leave her alone.

Andy rested his hands on his hips in mock protest, his tan jacket pulled back. “What am I? Pork belly? I’ll help Trish. You go help Mama Beth.” He held up a hand. “Trust me when I say I’ll be more help here than in the kitchen.”

“Good point. I’ve had your cooking.” Dani grinned and rushed after Mama Beth. “Y’all know where to find us if you need help.”

Andy chuckled and shed his jacket, then laid it across the front pew and turned her way. “What can I do to help?”

Trish mentally checked her to-do list. “I was actually waiting for someone with more muscles than me to come around. There’s a box full of candles I need brought in from my Suburban.” She pointed toward the side door. “It’s out there and it’s unlocked.”

He gave a mock salute that bounced his sandy curls. “Yes ma’am.” Andy’s stocky frame loped down the steps and disappeared through the doorway.

Her eyebrows rose as she made her way to the pile of greenery on the front pew. Dani’s friend was more handsome than she remembered. Trish burrowed through the tangled mess, remembering the promise she’d made Dani to help Andy feel welcome. As if she needed a man to take care of along with her other responsibilities.

The door slammed, Andy’s eyes and forehead barely visible above the box he white-knuckled. She ran to him. “Let me help. I know that’s heavy. I loaded it this morning.”

“Nah, I got it.” The words wheezed out. “You loaded this by yourself?”

She ignored the question and pointed to the stage. “Can you bring it up the steps?”

He shot her a ‘you’ve-got-to-be-kidding’ glare then labored up the steps, his face red, his breath coming in agonized spurts. As he reached the last step, the toe of his leather loafer snagged the extension cord snaking along the edge of the stage.

Trish tried to speak, but her words congregated behind locked lips. Andy stumbled, and the box flew from his arms, the candles launching like small missiles. He hit the floor with a thud, the box crash-landing at the base of the first tree.

In slow motion, like carefully-placed dominos, the trees rippled to the floor in a sickening staccato of crashes and breaking glass. As if to punctuate the effect, the white metal archway in the center leaned forward with a creak as it teetered, then toppled forward with a bang.

Her mouth hinged open, and her hands flew to her cheeks. All her hard work…ruined. In shock, it took a moment to realize Andy still lay face down on the carpet. “Are you all right?”

He pushed himself up on all fours and surveyed the devastation.

Assured he was okay, she slung herself down to the top step. The scene replayed in her mind. A giggle gurgled out then burst forth in an almost-maniacal laugh.

Andy chuckled and crawled to sit beside her.

Without warning, her laughter turned to sobs. She covered her face with trembling hands, rage surging at yet another unexpected crying jag. Now she’d never be ready on time. No one would be impressed. No one would want her services. No business. No money.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Andy slid a hand down her arm. “I’ll fix it, Trish, I promise. I’m so sorry.”

Trish fisted her hands, then straightened her spine and swatted at the tears on her cheeks. “Will you please stop apologizing?” There was no controlling her snappish tone. “For Pete’s sake, it was an accident. I’m not gonna sue.” She clamped her lips, rose to her feet, and waded through the ruins. Fingers at rest against her lips, she knelt to retrieve shattered slivers of glass from the broken globes. These weren’t even paid for.

Andy stooped beside her, his eyes boring a hole into her skull. “Here, let me get that. You start putting things back where you want them.”

Trish could only nod at his softly-spoken words, a knot wedged in her windpipe. She lifted a tree into position, the light strands dripping from the branches like a child had thrown them in place. So far her determination to prove herself capable had been met with nothing but industrial-strength resistance.

* * *

It’s all your fault. The familiar words in Andy’s head relentlessly accused, ushering forth memories and ghosts from the past. Trish obviously spent hours on the wedding decorations, and he’d managed to undo her work with one false step. He forced the finger-pointing voice to the back of his mind and attempted to burn off the chill that now hung in the room. “You live here in Miller’s Creek?”

“Yes.” Her answer sounded pinched. “My son and I live here. At least for now.” She didn’t look at him while she maneuvered the lights back on the branches with agile fingers.

Son? Now he remembered. Dani had mentioned something about Steve’s sister losing her husband in a freak accident. A cow kick, or was it a horse? And how long ago? “You’re leaving town?”

“I don’t want to, but we don’t always get what we want, do we?”

True, but sometimes what you thought you wanted wasn’t what you needed. Andy rose, his hands cupped to contain the glass shards. “No, we don’t. You have a trash can?”

Trish’s tawny eyes looked his way. She grabbed an empty box and hurried to him. “Here.” She glanced around the stage, her face gloomy, her shoulders slumped. “Are they all broken?”

“Don’t know.” He dumped the pieces in the box, where they pinged against each other. “Is there some place I can buy replacements?”

She rubbed one arm and shook her head. “No. I had them shipped in. I’ll drive to Morganville tonight after the rehearsal to see if I can find something that’ll work.”

The sadness on her face made his breath stick in his throat. He’d been in Miller’s Creek less than an hour and had already goofed things up. “I’ll go with you and pay for them since it’s my fault.”

Trish’s shoulders rose then fell. “It’s no one’s fault. It’s just something that happened.” She returned to the branches and hoisted another one back into position.

Just something that happened. A shaft of light streamed through the stained glass windows and rested on her, and she slumped over like she couldn’t bear the weight of the world any longer. Was she remembering the accident? He removed a pack of peppermint gum from his shirt pocket and popped a piece in his mouth. Her problems made the mess with Sheila seem trivial. What could he do to make things better?

“Dani told me you’re engaged. When’s the big day?” Trish strung lights along a tree branch. Perfectly.

He shifted his weight to the other leg then squatted to pluck glass from the carpet. “Uh, we’re not…I mean…well, it’s over between us.”

She raised her head, and her brown hair shimmered under the light. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

“Don’t be.” He stood. “It’s for the best.”

“How so?”

Andy let out a half-laugh. “Turns out she still had a thing for her ex-boyfriend.” Thank the Lord he’d found out in time. A wife would be wonderful, but not the wrong wife.

For a moment she didn’t speak, but her face took on a knowing look. “That must’ve been painful.”

He nodded, his lips pressed together. “It was hard, but God can bring good from hurt.”

Trish stared at him like she was trying to get a read on him then turned back to the lights. “So neither one of us are really in the mood to celebrate. Especially a wedding.” Her face matched her cynical tone.

Out in the hallway, muffled voices grew closer. The hall door swung open, and the smell of Mama Beth’s home-cooking watered his mouth. A little boy that looked like Trish raced toward them, then stopped, his dark eyes round. “Whoa! What happened here?”

Dani and Mama Beth followed, their mouths ajar. After them came Steve Miller, the mayor of Miller’s Creek, and Dani’s soon-to-be husband.

“It’s all right. Don’t worry.” Trish rushed to the two women and laid a hand on each of their arms. “It’s nothing that can’t be fixed, I promise. We just had a little accident.”

Andy watched through narrowed eyes. Now she comforted the two women when just a few minutes before she’d been in tears. A good way to get a severe case of whiplash.

Steve sauntered toward him, his boots scuffing against the carpet, a friendly grin on his face.

He shook Steve’s hand. “How you doing, Mayor?”

The other man’s grin expanded as he tucked his fingers in jeans that looked new. “I’ll be doing a lot better in a couple of days.” Lightning fast, Steve untucked one hand and grabbed the boy’s arm as he streaked by. “Hold on, tiger. I don’t think you have any business up there. Have you met Aunt Dani’s friend?”

The boy skewed his lips in a thoughtful pose and shook his head.

“This is my nephew, Bo.”

Andy stretched out a palm. “Give me five, buddy.”

Bo reared back and delivered a hearty slap.

“Ouch!” Andy pretended to shake off the sting. “Man, I’ll bet you can throw a baseball really far with that kind of muscle power.”

The boy nodded, his face creased with a grin. “Yep, but I can’t catch so good.”

“Well,” corrected Trish, as she came to stand with them. “You can’t catch well.”

Andy assumed a catcher’s position beside him. The little guy had to be missing his daddy. Maybe he could help. “I used to be a catcher, so I can give you some pointers later. Would you like that?”

Bo’s eyes lit. “Yeah.”

“Yes sir.” Trish’s tone held a warning.

“I mean, yes sir.” He looked toward his Mama. “Is it okay if we play catch, Mom?”

She sent Andy a tight-lipped smile, her expression cloaked with reserve, but when she turned toward her son her face softened, and she tousled his hair. “Of course, but it might be tomorrow since Mr. Tyler’s already promised to help me clean up this mess.” “Almost looks like a tornado touched down in here.” Steve rocked back on his heels and jangled the coins in his pocket.

“A tornado named Andy.” Trish gave a play-by-play account.

Steve laughed, but Mama Beth and Dani still fussed about like a couple of hens. “That’s one way to get out of carrying more boxes.” Steve winked. “I’ll have to remember that move.”

“Hey, look at me!” Little Bo perched on the piano railing, one foot in front of the other, his arms out to balance. Andy’s heart moved to his throat. One wrong step would hurdle him toward the carpet, still full of glass.

All of them raced for the railing, but Andy arrived first. He grabbed him by the waist and slung him over one shoulder, amused at Bo’s contagious belly laugh. “Come here, buddy, before you fall and hurt that amazing pitching arm.”

Trish joined them, eyes wide with panic, her face white and strained. She gripped Little Bo’s arms. “How many times do I have to tell you not to pull stunts like that?” Her voice shook as she bent down, her face inches from his.

The boy said nothing, his lips stuck out in a pout.

Steve laid a hand on her shoulder. “Sis.”

Volumes passed between the brother and sister before Little Bo bolted for the door. Trish raced after him, her dark eyes full of hurt.

Both men faced the door, an awkward silence between them. Steve cleared his throat and turned, his eyes fixed on the floor. “Sorry about that. Trish is…uh…going through a rough time.”

Andy nodded. An understatement if he’d ever heard one. Based on what he’d seen, he was pretty sure not even Steve knew exactly how rough.

Day 20 Holiday Shopping Event Charm Factory Bracelet

DAY 20
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 1
CHARM FACTORY BRACELET


Hello everyone! Hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful weekend with your family. I know I did. But I am really excited to get back to my blog and bring you some more great companies and giveaways. And this one today is for a pretty and practical gift. Charm Factory is a well known company that does custom bracelets as well as others already designed. Now, one of you will be winning an already finished bracelet. They have some very pretty ones and I love their products! I have previously won a giveaway from them and had wonderful service, fast shipping and an excellent bracelet! You will love this!

Now, whether you are trying to win this as a gift or maybe as a special item for yourself, you need to look at their website. They have anything from your birthstone to hearts to stars:) I have to tell you, my favorite is the Amethyst Heart Bracelet. Mainly because my birthday is in February, but it is also very beautiful!
But, I will let you go on and check out all the bracelets they have available. Can't take away all your fun now:)

READERS, Charm Factory has offered to give one of my readers an already Finished Bracelet. This would make a perfect gift for the Holidays!! I am going to be ending these giveaways faster so that you can get them in before the Holidays.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to Charm Factory and tell me which bracelet you would choose. This has to be a finished bracelet. Charm or Crystal but not a custom designed one. Leave a comment telling me which one you like:)

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Fan Charm Factory on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
2.Like Charm Factory on Twitter.
3.Follow my blog, subscribe via RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each that you do.
4.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
5.Enter any of my other present giveaways. Has to be running now.
6.Leave a comment on a review post. Tell me which one.
7.Blog about this or post about it on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.

This giveaway will end 12/9 Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Thanks so much for entering!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NBC A Walk In My Shoes

Hey everyone,
This is not something I normally post about but I thought it might be worth it for some of you who would be interested in it. We are very much into doing things together as a family. Whether it is game night, reading together or even watching a movie together. So I was kind of interested in checking this out and I thought some of you might be as well.

NBC is airing a film called A Walk In My Shoes. This is for something new they are doing for Family Movie Night. This will be airing Friday, December 3rd at 7 PM. This is not what I would call a Christian movie but it is supposed to be a family type of movie. The trailer can be found here on Facebook and you can see it for yourself. I tried posting the trailer here on my blog but can't get it to work right. Again, this is more to support showing more family type films on NBC. I don't watch much TV myself and the movies we do watch are Christian. I will be previewing this movie and will write up a review. I will post about this again to remind you all.

A WALK IN MY SHOES movie SYNOPSIS:
Ever judge someone just by looking at them? Of course, we’ve all made snap judgments about people. But what if we really got to know them? How would our opinions change? And what if we were forced to become them… how would the shoes fit then? Stressed-out high school teacher Trish Fahey can’t understand her students’ lack of effort and why their parents don’t seem to care. This is especially true of Justin Kremer, a popular, skateboard-loving, basketball star who is underperforming in her class. Trish has him suspended from the team and quickly chalks up the situation as a case of bad parenting. This perspective dramatically changes when Trish meets Molly, a mysterious stranger intent on helping her see things differently. When Trish wrecks her car, Molly is there as Trish wakes to find herself living the life of Cindy Kremer, the woman she has personally judged and criticized. Trish discovers that there is often more to the story and learns a powerful lesson that affects everyone she interacts with. Her husband, her daughter, the ex-Marine next door… No one is left unchanged.

Day 19 Holiday Shopping Event Mommy Makeover DVD

DAY 19
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 2
NEW MOMMY MAKEOVER DVD


Well, this is something I was kind of excited about reviewing. There will be a giveaway as well so don't leave just yet:) Colleen offered for me to review this set of exercise DVD's even though I am not a mommy. I am always interested in reviewing exercise stuff so I jumped at the chance. New Mommy Makeover DVD is supposed to be for the new mother who would like to lose that bit of weight that has been put on during pregnancy.

Now, I had been doing a DVD that is supposed to be one of the toughest ones out there by the toughest trainer:) Yep, the 30 Day Shred. I don't have a lot of weight to lose, but I would like to be less weight than I am now. And to just get that leaner slimmer look would be great for me. So, I was doing this other DVD program. Well, when the Mommy Makeover came in I jumped right into these. So understand I am coming from an intense workout into this. I got a pretty good idea of how these work and if they work.

The first DVD has 3 workouts on it. Colleen has a schedule in the case for you to follow but I normally do my own pace. I do a workout like this normally 3 days a week. Then I do a DVD that utilizes a band or weights on the other 3 days. Then I don't do any on Sunday. Well, ever since starting the other exercise program I have just been doing that 5 days a week because it incorporated weights in it. And so does the Mommy Makeover! So I used this DVD 5 days a week and had my weight training and aerobics. I love doing these!

The workout takes roughly 25-30 minutes. Depending on how long you rest in between. She has you slowly work up a schedule doing weight, aerobic and raising the heart rate. The rest time is good. Not too long but enough to get your breath back. And yes I mean getting your breath back. She does just enough to get you out of breath. The first DVD was pretty easy for me. Maybe because of what I had been doing but I think it would be good for a new mother or someone who has not been exercising. Kind of a starter DVD. There are jumping jacks, push ups, etc.

The next two DVD's got progressively harder. The second one wasn't bad for me but the third one got kind of hard. I did do it several times but this is a mean workout:) I had only a couple points about this that I thought I would bring up. These in no way take away from the exercise but it was something I noticed. One was the lack of music. I am one who likes to hear music when I am exercising. It kind of motivates you to keep going. Sometimes talking is enough but normally not. I guess if you got the workout memorized, then you could play music and turn down the talking volume. The other thing was I don't think Colleen pushes enough. She gives a lot of leeway to not do as much as she does. I liked the 30 day shred because she really pushes you through the workout. I noticed a difference in the way these were done. But I also am not getting over a pregnancy. So this is something that I am not going to harp on or say it is wrong. It was just something I noticed. Colleen may give just the right amount of encouragement and leeway for a new mother.

READERS-Colleen has offered to giveaway one of her DVD's to one of my readers. This would make a great gift or if you know a new mother who would like to get that extra weight off. Or, if you are like me:) And you just want to do a new exercise DVD.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Tell me your favorite exercise move. What do you do to burn those calories:) This must be done or the extra entries will not count.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Follow The New Mommy Makeover on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries so leave 3 comments here.
2.Follow my blog, subscribe via RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each.
3.Enter any of my other giveaways. These have to be ones running right now. Not ended ones.
4.Leave a comment on one of my review posts. Tell me which ones.
5.Tweet about this giveaway, post on Facebook or blog about it. Can tweet twice a day.

This giveaway will end 12/8. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received complimentary product for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Day 19 Holiday Event Cookie Swap Book

DAY 19
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 1
COOKIE SWAP BOOK
Hey everyone, I recently received a really nice box of books from a Publishing Company to include in my Holiday Event. I will not be able to get them all in because I have so many items left still:) I know, more for you all, but there is just not enough time!

This book is called the Cookie Swap. Totally in time for the Holidays. How many cookies do you bake over the Holidays? We love to bake in our house and especially around the Holidays we do a lot of baking. And what better to bake than cookies! They are small, easy to package nicely and there are lots of variations and types! So, when I received this in the mail I very happy to review it.

The first thing I like is the size. Nice and compact with lots of color pictures. Sure we don't need pictures to bake something but it has a lot of appeal to see what you are baking. There are several recipes in here that I think are going to be keepers. Cookies that will be baked for a long time. Pages that will become floury and messy from use:) Do you get the idea?

They have the normal cookies you expect in a Cookie Cookbook, but there are also lots of other neat recipes. We all love Chocolate Chip Cookies which no cookbook would be complete without but another one I really liked the sound of was the Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies. This combines chocolate and mint! What more could you ask for? You seriously bake a peppermint patty in the cookie:) Yum!

Now, I also like that they tell you what can be frozen or made ahead of time. This is a big deal for me because often when you have time to bake, you want to save some for later. It is nice to be able to put the dough in the freezer, or the cookies, and then still have them turn out good when you defrost them. The other thing I liked is the drink section at the back. Yep, there are drink recipes for Iced Coffee, Cider, etc. Very nice and a perfect accompaniment to many of these cookies.

Overall, this book is a wonderful cookbook. I love the pictures, easy to follow recipes and the way it is done. Would make a perfect gift over the Holidays or even before hand so they have time to make some of these delicious recipes.

READERS-Workman Publishing has offered to give one of these Cookie Swap books to one of my readers. So, read the directions below for the chance to win this cookbook.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Tell me your favorite cookie recipe to make over the Holidays. You can leave the recipe of you would like but it is not mandatory.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Go to Workman Publishing and tell me another title that you would like.
2.Like Workman Publishing on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries so leave 3 comments.
3.Follow Workman Publishing on Twitter.
4.Follow my blog, subscribe via RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each.
5.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
6.Enter any of my other giveaways. Leave a comment for each one.
7.Leave a comment on any of my review only posts. Tell me which ones.

This giveaway will end 12/8. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received product for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winners!!!

Woo Hoo!! I have some great winner to announce here over this past week or so. They have all been contacted through email and most of them have already responded. But here are the winners so you all know who is receiving these great prizes:)

Custom Creations Unlimited Gift Code-racergirl1313 (Verified)

Green Mountain Coffee-Hope (Verified)

Bible Timeline Chart-Elise (Verified)

Riverwalk-Maureen (Verified)

Tukaiz-Jacque (Verified)

$50 Amazon Code-dyxymom (Verified)

Avon Gift Code-Jacque (Verified)

McKenzie-Love2Read (Verified)

Cozy Coverz Throw Blanket-Apple

Now, I am also going to be ending the giveaway sooner with the ones coming up. I want people to be able to choose what they would like or whatever needs done and still get them in before the Holidays. Especially with things that might be gifts. So when the giveaways only run for 7-10 days, that is why I am doing that. Also, please respond as soon as possible on emails so that I can get your info to the reps and we can get the items shipped.

So, go have some fun and enter the new giveaways I have listed. Some have under 50 entries:) I am going to have posts scheduled for the next couple days as I don't know how much time I will be getting on the computer with Thanksgiving this weekend. I will be picking winners and emailing them but I will not be on much. Everyone have a great Thanksgiving!!

Day 18 Holiday Shopping Event Fibers

DAY 18
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 2
FIBERS

Right about now, you are probably asking, what in the world is Fibers? Well, I am going to introduce to you a really nice company called Fibers. And guess what they do? Custom shirts!!

I am a person who likes to wear clothing that either reflects on who I am or on what I believe. That is why I like companies like this. I can get a customized shirt and tell everyone who sees me about who I am, without me even saying a word!! You gotta love it:) So, when I was offered to do a review and giveaway with Fibers, I jumped at the chance!!

I was able to go on their website and design my shirt. They have a very nice way of doing this. I can pick out my shirt, what I would like it to say, front/back, and any designs I would like on it. I chose the Men's White Polo Shirt as my product. I like my shirts to be loose and most women's shirts are clingy or fitted. Just not my type:) Then I had to decide what I wanted on my shirt. I am a Christian so I wanted something that would show this. So, for the front I had the text say, "I believe God" along with a cross. This is on the top where a pocket would go. And on the back I had it say, "Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." And it has a music note. I really like to sing so this was the perfect statement for me:) And it is a Bible verse.

I was able to design my shirt quickly and Josh helped me order it fast. It shipped very quick and I received it within a week of ordering! Very nice! And when I opened my package, I was very happy:) The shirt came out really nice, kind of wrinkled when it first arrived, but it soon flattened out. It has a nice comfy feel and it fits perfectly. I have worn it a lot and had some comments about it. Overall, this was a 10 out of 10 review! I loved the company and the shirt is good quality.

Now you ask, what do we get out of this? Well, one of you will be able to go on and design your own shirt and order it!! Yep, one of you will win a $30 gift code to Fibers.com!! So, make sure you enter below for your chance to win. Remember, the more entries you complete means you get more comments, which means a better chance at winning! Normally the people who win are those who do multiple entries.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to Fibers and tell me what product you would choose. Whether Shirt, Hoodie, etc.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Leave a separate comment for each one you complete.
1.Tell me what saying you would put on your shirt.
2.Sign up for the Fibers.com newsletter. This is down at the bottom of the home page. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
3.Follow Fibers on Twitter.
4.Fan Fibers on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries for this.
5.Follow my blog, subscribe to my RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each one you do. So if you do 2 of them, get 2 entries.
6.Leave a comment on any of my review posts. Get an entry for each one you comment on.
7.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
8.Enter any of my other giveaways. Leave a comment for each one. These have to be giveaways presently running. Not ones already ended.

This giveaway will end 12/7. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
I received product for review purposes. I did not receive monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Nightingale By Susan May Warren Blog Tour

About Nightingale: Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancĂ©—she’s trapped in an engagement after a mistaken night of passion.

Still, she grieves him when he’s lost in battle, the letters sent to her by the medic at his side giving her a strange comfort, so much that she strikes up a correspondence with Peter Hess, an Iowa farmboy. Or is he? Peter Hess is not who he seems. Indeed, he’s hiding a secret, something that could cost them both their lives, especially when the past comes back to life. A bittersweet love song of the home front war between duty and the heart...a battle where only one will survive.

Don’t miss book 1 in this stand-alone collection, Sons of Thunder.

MY THOUGHTS-I have read many of Susan's other books and I liked them. I read the first one in the Brother in Arms Collection which is a stand alone novel but still with this series. I really like Susan's writing and some of her previous books are on my favorites list. But this series seems to be different than her others. I am not sure if she is trying to do it this way or if it is just me. This book is about a woman who had a relationship with a man and has a child because of it. They are going to be married when he comes back from the war but she receives a letter that he is killed. To make a long story short, and so I don't give too much away, she falls in love with the person who writes to let her know her fiance is seriously injured and dying. But when they meet, she finds out he is not who he seemed to be. It ended the way I thought it would but in a different way than I imagined:) If that makes sense. I really liked Peter throughout the whole book, even with the unplanned deception. I just think there was a little too much sin that didn't need put in it. She did it in a tactful way and I appreciate that.

About Susan May Warren : Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.


Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota , where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com.

Link to buy the book: http://www.christianbook.com/nightingale-susan-warren/9781609360252/pd/360252?event=AFFp=&

Contest info: The Letters From Home Giveaway!

Enter the Contest: Nightingale is about letters, the power of written correspondence to convey thoughts and emotions to those far away. And sometimes near. Letters are forever, they are something we savor and pull out to read again and again. They are often cherished and kept in a special place.


To celebrate the release of Nightingale, Susan would like you to write a letter. One grand prize winner will receive a Flip HD Camcorder. 5 runner's up winners will win a signed copy of Nightingale. There are two ways to enter the contest by writing letters.

1. Write a letter to a soldier. At the end of the contest we’ll print out and mail your letter for you.

2. Write a letter to a friend, loved one, family member, enemy. Tell them something you wished you’d told them before. Tell them you love them, or maybe how they touched your life. Perhaps an apology is in order or a thank you. Or perhaps you'd like to relate a funny tale or just share life. Whatever it is, submit it here along with your email address and we’ll send it for you.

Enter here or at the SHARE page on the Brothers in Arms website. Or simply click on the button to the right.


Please make sure to check out the other blogs who are posting about this contest here.

Day 18 Holiday Shopping Event Scandle Candle

DAY 18
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 1
SCANDLE CANDLE


Okay, I know what the name sounds like. But wait a minute and check out this really neat candle! I was kind of leery when i first saw the name as my blog is for family friendly only items. I don't want something that a child can't read, or that I have to put an Adult only warning label on. So I went to their website and looked around before I opted to go ahead with this review. And I was glad I did:)

Scandle Candle is a candle that is also a lotion!! Check this out! When you light the candle and the was melts, you can take that wax and use it on your skin as a lotion. I couldn't wait to try this out. So, I was sent a Warm Vanilla Candle for review. And when I received the package in the mail, it came in an envelope, I could smell it without even opening it! The nicest vanilla smell was coming out of my envelope:D I couldn't wait to get it home and light it.

So, I opened the package and found this nice little tin inside. Can you guess the first thing I did? Yep, I got my matches and lit it right away. Now, after it was lit, I let it melt a little and then I so had to try out the lotion:D I stuck my finger in the oil (it wasn't really hot at all, only a little warm) and rubbed it into my hands. Oh my word!! This felt so nice! It was warm, very soft and made my skin feel so good. I am serious. I could not believe this candle.

Ladies, this is an excellent product for the holidays. They are not expensive, are 100% natural and would make a perfect gift! I would imagine they get a lot of orders over the Holidays as these are cute little gifts. And men, you know the ladies like candles and lotion, so why not buy a two in one? Overall, the only thing I would change about this would be the name. I know why they call it this but the only thing I did not care for it.

I received a sample product for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 17 Holiday Shopping Event Novica 2 Winners!!

DAY 17
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 2
NOVICA 2 WINNERS!

Well, back to my Holiday Event and today I have a review plus this great giveaway:) And this is 2 winners!! Yep, two of you will walk away from this giveaway being winners.

Novica is a really nice company that has lots of great items. Talk about some pretty jewelry. They have some beautiful pieces of jewelry and these are all handcrafted by people overseas. But they also have some other nice items. Chess sets, rugs, etc. Most of the time they have free shipping on certain items as well which would really help. Look at some of these items.

This Rose Quartz Choker Necklace is really feminine.
And look at this Amethyst Beaded Bracelet!

And what better place to keep your jewelry than this Wood Decorative Jewelry Box?


Readers, two of you will win $30 gift codes to Novica.com. You must follow the directions below.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to Novica and look around. Then come back and leave a comment with something from their store that you like. It cannot be one of the items I named above.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Leave a separate comment for each entry you do.
1.Like Novica on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
2.Follow Novica on Twitter and leave your username.
3.Sign up for their newsletter. This is on the home page on the right hand side down a ways. Get 2 entries for this.
4.Follow my blog, subscribe through RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each you do.
5.Enter any of my other giveaways. Leave a comment for each one.
6.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.

This giveaway will end 12/6. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Bible Smuggling Blog tour

In today’s divisive culture-war society, when news stories about separation of church and state thrive with controversy, one cutting-edge Christian ministry is having remarkable success spreading the Word of God. What makes it remarkable? They are doing it by distributing Bibles in public schools—legally.

Carl Blunt is the president and CEO of The Life Book Movement, a Christian mission centered on Blunt’s own contemporary, youth-oriented edition of a portion of the Bible called The Life Book, a unique presentation of Scripture designed to engage high school students with the truth of God’s Word. The Life Book presents a brief overview of the Old Testament and the Book of John using an interactive format with honest student comments and real-life questions in the margins. Readers are drawn into the only story that can change their lives forever.

thelifebookFounded by The Gideons International as an innovative strategy to reach high school students with God’s Word, The Life Book Movement works in collaboration with churches throughout the country to provide the books for free to high school students. Blunt’s organization brilliantly threads a separation-of-church-and-state loophole by getting his publication into the hands of Christian high school students and having them pass the books out to classmates at school—a practice that is entirely legal, as long as the books are not distributed by school staff or other adults. Blunt says, “It’s like we’re helping students smuggle God’s Word into a closed country (public high schools) to reach an unreached people group because studies show that only 4% of today’s teenagers are Bible-believing Christians.” The goal is to ensure that every student in every high school in the United States has an opportunity to receive the gift of The Life Book. This approach presents a phenomenal opportunity to impact a generation with the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Life Book Movement is best described to students as a week-long mission trip to their local high school. Local churches work together in targeted areas to ensure The Life Book is offered to every student in each chosen high school. All churches involved receive the books at no cost from The Life Book Movement and provide the books, along with some evangelism training, to the students in their youth groups. The students then spend a week passing them out to their friends and classmates at school. One student who received the book said, “I got one today. I read it in almost every class today. I like it. It’s pretty neat and other people asked to look at it and then asked where to get one.”

Flying under the radar since its inception last fall, The Life Book Movement is rapidly closing in on distribution of more than 300,000 copies in public high schools across 21 states and even the British Virgin Islands. A quiet success, indeed, but extremely ambitious, The Life Book Movement has an ultimate goal of distributing The Life Book to nearly 18 million high school students when all is said and done. And, so far, the outlook is extremely promising.


MY REVIEW-This little book was very interesting to me. I loved getting it in to review as I am very much into witnessing. This is a perfect way to smuggle Scripture into the schools!! A very compact book and has a compelling way of pulling someone in to reading it. Kind of has a notebook, homework look to it. Notes throughout, etc. I really liked it! I believe Carl Blunt had a genius plan when he thought this plan up. Great little book!


Thanks to Audra for sending me a review copy. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 16 Holiday Shopping Event Donna Winters!

DAY 16
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 1
DONNA WINTERS

Hey ya'll, well, I had this set up with Donna a long time before I planned my Holiday Event but I decided to just add it to the list:) I have an interview with author Donna Winters and she will be giving away books to everyone who comments!! Yep, you heard right:) Anyone who comments will win 3 books. I have won two of her books previously and I love them. Very Victorian looking and the stories are well written. So, get ready to read this interview and make sure to comment at the end.
Thank you for being with us today, Donna! I know that you have been writing for a long time. With Thanksgiving Day around the corner, what are you most thankful for as a writer?

As a writer, I’m most thankful for the body of work the Lord has allowed me to author and put into print. I began writing romances in 1982 and was published in 1985 by Thomas Nelson, and in 1986 and 1988 by Zondervan. Then the Christian romance market disappeared for a time. After research and prayer, my husband and I developed our Great Lakes Romances® Series. This allowed me to continue writing in the genre I love, and gave me more control over my work. As a writer, I have produced one contemporary romance and fifteen historicals. As a small publisher, I have released a total of 21 titles. My historical romances are all in print at http://www.greatlakesromances.com. There, you will also find reprints of historical fiction by authors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My most recent publications are a trilogy about the 19th century company town near my home. There, iron workers smelted pig iron from 1867-1891, and then the company dismantled the furnaces and pulled out. I wrote one romance about each of three phases of the company town era. Fayette—A Time to Love takes place during the first year of the town’s history when uncultured single men dominated the population and no school or church existed for the few families that came to stay. Fayette—A Time to Laugh moves forward by eleven years to a boom time when business was good, baseball games and sulky races dominated the sports scene, and cultural societies held lectures, recitations, and concerts. Fayette—A Time to Leave tackles the years when business fell off, jobs gradually disappeared, and the community faced the painful parting of friends and family members for greener pastures.

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?
I would like my reader to come away with a better sense of Michigan’s history. Perhaps they will even want to go and visit a place that they have only read about in my book. I would like readers to look back on the reading experience as one of escape from daily cares to a time and place where life slows down and seems more civil and courteous. And I would like them to wonder, “Which Donna Winters book will I read next?”

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?
I’m going to put a historical twist on all of these questions and answer through the filter of “Thanksgiving”. The event I would like to attend would be the first Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth in 1621. Present at this event would be far more than two people. Forty Pilgrims in cut-cloth clothing and 89 Indians dressed in animal skins and gaily colored turkey feathers would gather for the celebration. I would like to sit beside the most helpful of the Indians, Squanto, who had met the Pilgrims one year earlier and taught them how to make use of corn, how to find wild greens in spring, and how to fish for eels and other seafood. And did you know that the Pilgrims had actually stolen corn from the Indians? It’s true! Soon after their arrival on the Mayflower, they trekked inland for several miles and came across:
A heap of sand . . . newly done, we might see how they (the Indians) had paddled it with their hands—which we digged up . . . and found a fine great basket full of fair Indian corn; and digged further, and found a fine great basket full of very fair corn of this year, and with some six and thirty goodly ears of corn . . .
This stolen corn enabled the Pilgrims to survive the first winter and later to plant a crop so plentiful that they had reason to hold the Thanksgiving feast the next fall. I’ll be very interested to sample the geese, ducks, turkey, lobsters, oysters, clams, venison, rabbit, corn (roasted, parched, or soaked in maple syrup), cornmeal, Johnnycakes, beans, squash, and spicy chowders. (Pumpkin pie grew to popularity in a much later era.) And when the feast is over (three days later, perhaps?) I will be happy to pop back into the 21st Century and write all about it!

Do you have a favorite hobby?
I couldn’t pick a favorite hobby because there are several that I like equally well: walking with my husband and my dogs, kayaking, RV-ing, cross-country skiing, and downhill skiing.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
I am so glad you asked! Most people don’t know that I am currently donating some of my overstocked titles to libraries. This donation program costs libraries absolutely nothing! Librarians should visit my website, http://www.greatlakesromances.com, click on Books for Libraries, and follow the instructions to get some or all of the books listed on that page. So readers, please tell your librarian to take advantage of this offer to put historical inspirational romances on their shelves at no cost!

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?
Keep the faith, pray for guidance, and listen to your inner voice.

Any last thoughts for your readers?
I am feeling so thankful that I would like to give three books to each person who comments on this interview. Pick your three books from the following list:
The Captain and the Widow
Aurora of North Manitou Island
Bridget of Cat's Head Point
Rosalie of Grand Traverse Bay
Elizabeth of Saginaw Bay
Jenny of L'Anse Bay
Isabelle's Inning
Unlikely Duet
Butterfly Come Home
Sweet Clover, A Romance of the White City

And how can they connect with you?
My website contains contact information on the About Us page:
http://www.greatlakesromances.com
Visit my blog at
http://greatlakesromances.blogspot.com
Find me on facebook

Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Now, did you get that? You can pick three books out of that list above. I am only going to do one comment per person because everyone who comments will get books. And, I will make the mandatory entry something related to Thanksgiving:) It is hard to believe that is coming up so fast. Anyways, read below for your way to enter.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Leave a comment about what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving. Again, only one comment per person. Everyone wins!!

ONLY LOWER 48 STATES!!
Ends 12/3.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 15 Holiday Shopping Event Christmas Mail Order Brides

DAY 15
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 2
CHRISTMAS MAIL ORDER BRIDES

Hey you all!! One of the other authors I had contact me for my Holiday Event was Vickie McDonough. She was gracious enough to offer one of her books for giveaway:) It is a 4-in-1 and had one story by Vickie along with three others. I cannot say it enough, but books are such a great gift for the Holidays.

Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?

Now, this sounds like a really neat book:) I love historical books. And if you want to purchase this book if you don't win it, please buy from Amazon here. Readers- Vickie has offered a giveaway for the Christmas Mail-Order Brides. Please follow the directions below.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Visit Vickie's website and sign her guestbook. This also enters you in her contest:)

EXTRA ENTRIES-Leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Follow my blog, subscribe via RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each one you do.
2. Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
3.Post about this giveaway on Facebook or blog about it. Get 3 entries for each.
4.Leave a comment on one of my review posts. Must be review only. Not R/G. Tell me which one.
5.Tell me another book Vickie has written.

This giveaway will end 12/3. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Day 15 Holiday Shopping Event Yum Yum Dish

DAY 15
HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT
PART 1
YUM YUM DISH

Hi everyone,
This one here is only a review but I will be having some more giveaways later today. I received this really cute dish in the mail and I will tell you all about it.

The Yum Yum Dish is a portion control dish. Yep, that's right! A dish where you can only fill so much so it helps you control how much you eat. I know one of the most important ideas in dieting or losing weight is to exercise portion control. I have been doing a little bit of trying to eat better and this is a big thing with me. Instead of going back for seconds I have been trying to make sure I leave some food on my plate. I know, I know. It goes against everything your mom taught you about finishing all your food. But it is seriously one of the best things you can do.

So, when I received this in the mail I was really excited about trying it out. It is a small dish and it really shows how much you overeat:( Not nice! But it is really great to put your desert in, and you know you only eat that amount. There is writing around the rim that says, "Yum Yum Time is.." and in the bottom of the dish it completes the saying with, "Over". A nice way to eat down to the bottom and finish!

The only thing I don't like is.. how small it is!! No seriously, it is not a bad thing. Just very hard to only stop at one helping. But it has helped me watch how much I eat and this is a great idea to help people with portion control. Very ingenious idea.

I received complimentary product for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.
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