Monday, June 30, 2014

#Fitness Challenge!!

Hey everyone!! I apologize about not getting this done earlier today but things have been hectic this weekend. The challenge for this week is fitness. I am going to be doing a different workout every day. Today I did my walking dvd, tomorrow I might do kick-boxing:) I will post about it every couple of days or so. Anyone interested in doing something this week? Like fitness oriented? Leave a comment and let me know.

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Men's Health Month #CrestProHealth

Watch @TravisStorkMD share ways to keep the men in your life healthy.

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

Bet On Your Baby Luv's Coupon #Giveaway!!

How many mothers do I have reading this who watch the Bet on Your Baby program? I personally haven't seen it but I have definitely heard about it:) I don't know if you can do anything online without hearing about it. And at first I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from a show called Bet on Your Baby. But after looking it up and seeing all the fun connected with it, I can see why everyone is loving it!!


As for me, I don't know how I would be on it. Kind of fun but at the same time I think I might not win at it. Can you imagine the excitement? Or the horror as you don't really know your child comes out for the whole world to see? I am just joking there but in reality I think it would be a lot of fun. Answering questions and trying to imagine what your child would do next or how they would respond in a situation.
It sure looks like everyone else is having fun with it though. Seeing the pictures and video I have of parents and their children participating makes it look like the children are having just as much fun as the parents.

So, anyone interested in a giveaway at all? One winner will receive a pack of 3 Luvs coupons. This will have to be run quickly and will last for a week. My winner has to be in by 7/5. This is US only. No PO BOXES. Prize will be sent via Fedex or USPS ground.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Pack of Three Luv's Coupons via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

When Calls The Heart: A Telling Silence #Review #Hearties


 Feeling sorry for 8-year-old mute Rosaleen Sullivan, teacher Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), reaches out to the little girl as they share lunch. But when Elizabeth is called away and then returns, Rosaleen is missing! Meanwhile, constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) discovers evidence that Cat Montgomery may have been involved in a suspicious church fire. Could the two cases be related?

MY REVIEW-Earlier this week we had a girl's night with a bit of a party and doing nails, eating snacks, etc. And guess what we popped in to watch? When Calls the Heart: A Telling Silence!! This is the second DVD that has been released in the TV series from Hallmark and I really love it. The movie was okay, but the series is really good. I enjoy the characters more and having the storyline is great. 

If you remember from my review of the first one, Elizabeth Thatcher and Jack Thornton are living in the town of Coal Valley. She is a teacher, he is a Mountie. As this episode opens up we get to see Elizabeth teaching her class but one of the students sticks out in her view as little Rosaleen Sullivan doesn't talk. No matter what Elizabeth does, Rosaleen won't answer. Elizabeth takes her under her wing and tries getting into the shell that this little girl has erected. She is super sweet but just won't talk. We find out from her mother that ever since the day of the explosion that killed her husband, Rosaleen has shut down. The mother begs Elizabeth to do something and help her baby. 

Jack in the meantime is doing some detective work on behalf of the preacher as the parson thinks that the church burned down because of an arson. And he believes it is Cat Montgomery. If you have seen the first dvd you will all remember Cat as the mother of Gabe, a student of Elizabeth's. Everyone believes she is innocent but some things just don't add up, including her whale oil can in the wreckage of the church and her whereabouts the night of the fire. One thing that got me was how the people responded to Jack doing his job. Elizabeth gets all mad at him when in reality it is his duty. There are two ways of looking at his work and one is that he suspects Cat, the other is he is trying to clear her. It just kinda irks me when people get upset over someone doing their job. 

Again I want to say how well the acting is done. There are some funny parts in here, mainly when Jack has a hound adopt him:) Of course, calling the dog Rip was kinda cute too. There was one point I was hesitant over with how descriptive it could be for the young girls but nothing was said out of line or that even came close. As an adult you will get what is being said but very well handled. I love how the romance between Jack and Elizabeth is taken slowly. You can see they are both attracted to each other and there are times where there could have easily been a kiss but so far, not yet:) And the part in the boat? Ha!! We all laughed out loud over the smirk on his face. We also can't forget the part where he saves her life. Another part we liked was the little boy who has a crush on Elizabeth. Very sweet. Totally loved it and can't wait to get the next one! If I heard correctly, this dvd released at Walmart yesterday so if you are wanting something fun and family oriented, definitely pick this up. We really enjoyed it! Make sure to check the trailer below!!

**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, June 24, 2014

Kid's Academy App #Review

Based on the proven Montessori learning method, Kids Academy develops spelling, writing and reading skills through fascinating games!

This app is created to make fun more educational! The app goes beyond simply great graphics and beautiful music by engaging children to learn preschool basics through intriguing game play. Toddlers will start with easy tracing by collecting fireflies in a jar and will move gradually to tracing requiring more developed fine-motor skills. 

The basic skills in this app are foundations for reading, writing and arithmetic operations. Appropriate hints are provided to support your children as they practice and build their skills. 

* Curriculum developed and reviewed by preschool education expert
* Delightful animations will help your children learn letters and words in a fun and engaging way
* Frequent repetition designed to help children learn numbers and their sequence
* Aligned to Kindergarten Reading Foundation skills of Common Core Standards
* Animated flashcards to teach your kids letters and words
* A rich, exploratory environment filled with surprises
* Funny, bright, creative artwork 
* Your children can interact with the app at their own pace
…and more!

MY REVIEW-To start off, I will only be reviewing the free section of the Kid's Academy App. But what I have seen so far makes me eager to try the rest. This is an app that works great for young children learning to read, do their numbers, etc. The favorite section hands down was the part where you learn the alphabet. This area brings up the letter and then gives several instances of words that start with that letter. So if the letter is B, there is a bee, a bridge, and so on. You can click around the screen and a person will sound it out. Another section allows the child to trace the letter with stars and lines, then without the lines. One thing I noticed was this only allows the child to follow exactly what is given. So on the A, if they want to do the stick in the middle first, they can't do that. It must be done as it is shown. Great for some children while others may not care for it. There is also a section for learning/tracing numbers. As they learn these, there is a jar that is filled with fireflies. So it makes it fun, not just boring work of tracing numbers. Overall this would be great for young ones learning to read and write. Makes things fun and interesting.

**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, June 23, 2014

Sweet and Sour Meatballs #Recipe

Hey everyone,
Today I want to post a recipe I made up on Saturday. Believe me, this is not my own recipe, I got it out of the Six Sisters cookbook that I reviewed a while back. I just wanted you all to see how easy this is to make and how great the cookbook is!  I literally make something from this book every week. Whether it is a dessert, meal, side, beverage, etc. These are down to earth, homey recipes that taste good and use products found at your local grocery store. Nothing exotic or out there:) What I like with this recipe is that you throw everything in the slow cooker and it simmers for hours while you are doing your other stuff. Then boom! Your dinner is ready at the end of the day.


1 (10 oz) jar of sweet and sour sauce. I bought a little bit larger jar and used all of it. I like mine saucy:)

1/4 c. light brown sugar

1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 Tspn garlic powder 2 lbs frozen meatballs
Bell peppers, I used green and red, cubed
1 small onion cubed 1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained

Spray your slow cooker with a nonstick cooking spray. Then throw all the ingredients in the pot and stir gently.Then put the lid on. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours. This can be served atop rice or with toothpicks as an appetizer.

I love this recipe!! It works great on top of rice and makes a pretty complete meal. Just be forewarned:) The smells will drive you nuts throughout the day. I soo wanted to taste it before dinner time. This says it serves 8 but I am not sure it will do that many. Not everyone in our family eats it so we had 4 plus some leftovers. But I also didn't use a complete 2 lb bag of meatballs. So I would double the recipe if you have people who like big helpings or seconds. You can't go wrong with this one!!

**DISCLOSURE: This recipe is from A Year With Six Sister's Cookbook. All thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Create a Winter Wonderland with Frozen Party Supplies from Birthday Express

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

Frozen Party Supplies at Birthday Express

Princess Elsa and Princess Anna have captured the hearts of children and adults around the world. If you have young children you have probably had the movie on repeat since it released on DVD. Help bring the Kingdom of Arendelle and all of their friends to life with Frozen birthday party supplies from Birthday Express.

Frozen birthday party supplies

At Birthday Express, you can shop Frozen-themed party supplies, favors, decorations, costumes and more! Some of our favorite products are the 41" Olaf Jumbo Balloon and the Deluxe Anna and Elsa costumes. Right now at Birthday Express, you can Get 10% off all Frozen party supplies through 6/29. Be sure to shop this collection today and turn your next party into a winter wonderland! 

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

SEAGRASS PIER | Pre-order @ColleenCoble’s NEW book for just $4.99. Enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

Seagrass Pier

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.
Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.
But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.
Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.
The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter.
Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet.
Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.

MY REVIEW-I have to tell you, this is probably one of the most interesting books I have ever read. The plot is really different than most. And the way Colleen Coble weaves the story makes for an interesting read.

The book opens with a woman remembering being strangled. We find out later that this woman, Elin Summerall,  had a heart transplant. And what she is experiencing is flashbacks from the heart donor. And this donor was murdered. Elin wakes up at times gasping for breath and feeling the hands around her neck. She sees herself fighting him off and what he is wearing. While the police don't take her seriously an FBI agent shows up, one that she never wanted to see again. After all, her daughter happens to be his as well, though he doesn't know it. One other person is very interested in what Elin remembers, or how much she remembers, and that is the killer.

I found this book to be very believable and well written. Colleen Coble pens a story that pulls you into it and has you turning pages as fast as you can read them:) I have read one other book somewhat like this plot where a woman gets a transplant and remembers details from her donor but Seagrass Pier outdid the other one. I seriously read this in about 3 hours or so. I not only wanted to see who the killer was and get him brought to justice, but I also wanted to see Marc and Elin come to terms with what happened those years ago. Once they can get past that I just knew they would be perfect for each other, as much as they thought to the contrary:) Overall it was an excellent book. We do see a situation of a relationship before marriage but I think it is handled quite well and we see the consequences of it. Great book Colleen!!

Don’t miss Colleen Coble‘s latest release in the Hope Beach series, Seagrass Pier. The book releases July 1st, and Colleen's publisher is offering the ebook at a special pre-order price of just $4.99 between now and 6/30 everywhere ebooks are sold.

PLUS . . . between 6/9 – 6/30 Colleen will be hosting a Kindle giveaway.


One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX

  • Seagrass Pier and the rest of the Hope Beach series by Colleen Coble

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced on Colleen's blog on July 1st.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning and be sure to stop by Colleen's blog on July 1st to see if you won!

**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.**

Friday, June 20, 2014

When Calls the Heart: Lost and Found DVD #Review

Inspired by the best-selling series by Janette Oke
“When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion.
The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a 19th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.
The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West, and reunites Oke with Executive Producer and Director, Michael Landon, Jr.

This is the first DVD of 10 in the series.

I have to tell you, I was somewhat skeptical of watching this series. I read the books quite a while ago and loved them. But how many times do they make a movie or tv series after a book and it just doesn't live up? In my opinion, a lot of them don't compare. So after hearing about this series I was excited and yet wary at the same time:) Can you have both? If you can, I sure did! I watched the movie but I have to say that the series with the same actors and actresses really turned out much better. Not that I didn't like that first one, but I love this series!!

It starts off with Elizabeth Thatcher coming to Coal Valley. Elizabeth is a refined young woman who wants to make her way in the world and show her family she can do it. After arriving in Coal Valley she finds out that an explosion recently killed many of the miners and the women are hurting, children are wondering what will happen and everyone is disheartened. Along comes Elizabeth, wanting to impart wisdom and guidance to the youth. The mothers at first want her to stay for only a week, but that night a frightened Elizabeth burns down the teacherage and ends up staying with Abigail Stanton. This is a woman I thoroughly fell in love with. Mature and strong she leads the women through trials and hard times but we also see a soft side to her. Very wise too in the guidance she gives Elizabeth.

The other main character is Jack Thornton. Constable in Coal Valley he dislikes Elizabeth from the start after he finds out her father pulled strings so Jack can watch over his daughter. He was meant for more after all! Bigger stations and rousing people. Not this simple town. So the two of them clash over and over. Sarcastic and mean at times yet there are definite sparks. Oh, and don't get me started on how he looks in his uniform;) Quite dashing! And the accent? I love a man with an accent and his is really sweet.

The acting is very well done and I found myself falling in love with many of the characters. Some I haven't quite figured out yet so will hold off on my judgment of them. The children really pulled at my heart strings and when Elizabeth and Jack go find Gabe in the woods, I was close to tears. How heartbreaking it was for these people to go day after day not knowing if your family members were coming home for the night. The actors and actresses really portrayed this in a vivid way. Totally loving this series and can't wait to watch the next dvd I have!! Will let you know my thoughts on that one soon:) But until then, take a look at the trailer below. Leave your thoughts if you have a minute as well. I love hearing from you all!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Treat Your Hair to a New Hue this Summer with Madison Reed! @madisonreedllb

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Summer is here and now is the time to try out that new summer color and have it delivered to your door on your time schedule! I have never personally colored my hair but did get highlights last year:) I loved the way they looked. And with these colors, who knows what might be in my future;D
Madison Reed offers 27 fabulous multi-dimensional colors from smashing blonde to rich deep reds, super sleek black and anything but ordinary browns. Whether you want a brand new look or just want to add depth to your existing color, Madison Reed's long-lasting hair color is packed with rich nutrients like keratin, argan oil and ginseng root extract. Your hair will feel stronger, shinier and better than before you colored.

The Madison Reed formula is free of ammonia and resorcinol, taking the harsh out of hair color. And it smells nice too! The online tools help you pick your best color and if you still aren't sure what color will be best, Madison Reed's Color Advisor will take you through a few short questions to find your perfect color.
Madison Reed offers salon quality, handcrafted hair color delivered to your door on your schedule! Clear instructions, all the extras you may need and fabulous results really set Madison Reed apart from other home hair color options! New customers save 20% off their first order at Madison Reed through July 1, 2014 - just use the coupon code SUMMERLOVE at checkout.
Which shade will you choose?

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

Love BBQ Sauce? Check out CattleBoyz Barbecue! #Giveaway


Welcome to the CattleBoyz Barbecue Sauce

 and Seasonings Giveaway!


This is prime babecue and grilling season! These great sauces and seasoning are going to blow you away with their flavor! They are all Gluten Free, and have no major allergens. This prize pack includes all four seasonings they offer, and four of their barbecue sauces!
Enter below and Good Luck to All!
TFASM Giveaway Disclosure  

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

3 Days Only: Extra 30% Off at Tea's Semi-Annual Sale

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

For just three days, Tea Collection has turned up the heat on their Semi-Annual Sale. Starting today (6/17) through Thursday (6/19), you can get an additional 30% off of the already discounted prices on their entire Morocco line! Sweet dresses, tees, onesies and more all filled with the rich colors and intricate patterns of faraway Morocco. Simply use the promo code: MORE30 when you checkout with all of your great deals. Have fun shopping! 

**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.**

Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard


Kate's not sure how deep this deception goes--but she'll do whatever it takes to find out.

Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money and can't believe that it came from her sweet elderly neighbor. Or that it has landed her in the middle of another of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and one that strikes too close to home for comfort.

As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But then will it be too late for her and Tom?

MY REVIEW-Sandra Orchard is an author I have enjoyed picking up every now and then. Her writing style is a little different but I like it. You know, those who-dun-it mysteries? Sandra is that type of author. This book was no different. Thankfully I had reviewed the first one in this series otherwise, I might have been a bit lost about the characters. We meet many friends again but our main characters are Kate and Tom.

Kate goes into a grocery store buying food for her elderly next door neighbor and ends up having the police called on her when she pays with counterfeit money. And guess who gets called in? Tom Parker. Her want to be boyfriend. If she will only let him. I found Kate nice but also a bit dense. Sure her friendship with Tom might not look good when she goes to trial, but at the same point people have to live their lives. Their relationship gets better but at first I felt like she was pushing him away for no good reason.

The little old lady next door has no clue where the counterfeit money came from, or so she says. This lady was one smart cookie! I did find it funny at one point when she is talking to Kate about seeing strange vibrant colors and she wants to know if Kate can see them and touch them. Well duh! The woman has obviously been drugged or had something put in her tea. But nope! Kate nor Tom realize anything has happened. Just one of those things that makes you want to reach through the pages and shake the characters:)

Overall a good mystery that isn't too suspenseful but still makes for good reading. I enjoyed it and have already passed it on to friends.

**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, June 16, 2014

BattroBorg #Giveaway!! #Robots Anyone?

Have you heard of Battroborg?

What are Battroborg you ask? 

Battroborgs are the next innovation in robot gaming technology. Battroborgs are motion controlled battling robots built for combat and fueled by your fists. You control the battle with a wireless controller that immediately transmits your quick jabs into the robot's swift hits. Battle one-on-one or against a drove of Borgs in three different, competitive game modes. I have to tell you, this is something my dad would love!! It looks just like the old robot game that he enjoyed playing. And I know several guys who would have fun hitting each other with these robots:)

Sounds awesome, right?

Know a geeky dad or anyone who would love to get their hands on this wicked game? I am sure teenagers as well as adults would love this as a gift! Anyone birthdays coming up in the near future? Your teenager would really enjoy this. 

Battroborg is on SALE NOW!! priced at only $59.97 (original price - $79.97). Not only is it on sale, but you can also save an extra $10 off at your local Walmart by printing the below coupon to save even more!

Want to get your hands on your very own Battroborgs? 
Enter below for a chance to win your very own Battroborgs! 

ENDS: 6/25

#Weight Loss Challenge Less Sugar!

Hi all!! With the start of a new week I am focusing on another weight loss challenge here. And since I am using my Yacon Syrup, the goal for this week is to lower how much sugar I partake of. This means unsweetened tea(not a big problem for me), less sweets and candy, replacing my sugar with the yacon syrup, etc. If anyone is interested in joining me, just leave a comment. And please, this is not a registered strict diet or anything. Basically just trying to eat healthier and help others along as we go. So no monitoring here:)

Anyone interested in joining me this week? Leave a comment below and let me know. This could be as simple as reducing your sugar for a day or two, maybe holding off on the sugar you put in your coffee/tea, or replacing the sugar with stevia, honey or something natural. I would love to have some others join me on this! Let's cut the sugar this week!

**DISCLOSURE: Image courtesy of Zole4 /"
Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Friday, June 13, 2014

#Weight Loss Challenge Update

So when I weighed in this morning, I am down about 1 lb from last week. I seriously don't know where it is leaving from:) But in all honesty I feel better, healthier and more energized. No, I am not eating a strict diet and I sometimes skip parts of my exercise, but overall I am happy with the way my weight loss is going. I have also been using this Yacon Syrup over the past week and it may or may not be helping but I believe it is. So, how is everyone else doing on their weight loss? Any healthy tips you want to leave? Or leave a comment telling me what mini weight loss challenge you want to see up next. I love hearing from my readers and what better way to get healthy than by doing it together!!

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

A Place In His Heart with #Review!

She could cross an ocean, but could she ever win his heart?

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas's secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary's world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister?

And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband's broken heart?

MY THOUGHTS-This is a book that I have mixed feelings about. While I enjoyed the plot and found parts of it to be interesting, I got somewhat irritated with the characters. Especially with Mary. Her endless crying throughout the first part got on my nerves. I understand she is still a teenager, not quite a woman yet, but it quickly got annoying. I respected Barnabas and enjoyed his learning with his sons, etc. There were several parts that I liked, one of which is the first time Barnabas and Mary meet in the store. His sons have played with yarn and it is strung all over. Mary quickly assists the young men in cleaning up and in doing so, shows Barnabas that she is capable of taking his two boys in hand. But at the same time, she doesn't cook or bake and this poses a problem. Of course, Barnabas being a baker helps a bit. Mary's sister is somewhat devious and allows a bit of flirting to go on while Mary is with her, which I found a bit odd. The sisters have no problem talking with their father about things, even though he is a bit hard headed and stubborn.

Overall a good book that shows the time period well and gives some background to the Puritans and their theology. I found it to be interesting as I have always enjoyed reading about John Bunyan and his life. Other than the irritation with Mary, I found the book enjoyable.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Debut Novel from Karen Barnett with Kindle HDX #Giveaway!!

Out of the Ruins | The Golden Gate Chronicles, Book 1

Abby’s shattered faith in both God and man is challenged when the terrible earthquake hits 1906 San Francisco.
While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn’t expect, however, is for God’s answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best.
As they work together toward a cure, Abby’s feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?

MY REVIEW-As a debut novel I wasn't sure what to expect from Karen Barnett. But I was pleasantly surprised by a book that drew me in and wove a tale around the San Francisco earthquake. We meet Abby who is angry at God for not healing her sister of cancer. She makes a bargain that if God will forever heal Cecelia, then she will be okay with Him. If not, then she won't ever talk to Him again. Enter Robert King, a doctor who wants to try a new treatment. Abby views him as the answer from God but she puts him on a pedestal. One from which everyone will fall. I have seen it happen many times and even had it occur in my life, where we put someone up higher than they should be and then when things don't turn out the way we think they should, that person is next to nothing in our eyes. We see this happen as Cecelia gets better and then worsens. There were a lot of twists and turns in the book even though everything turns out the way we all know it will. Kudos to Karen though on bringing the earthquakes to life before our very eyes!! Loved this novel!!


Don’t miss the debut book, Out of the Ruins, in Karen Barnett‘s new series, The Golden Gate Chronicles. Set against the backdrop of early 20th century San Francisco, Out of the Ruins will remind readers that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, God is still as close to us as our next breath.
Karen is celebrating with a fun giveaway and Facebook author chat party.
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 19th. Winner will be announced at the Out of the Ruins Facebook author chat party on June 19th. Connect with Karen for an evening of fun book chat, games, and prizes. Karen will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series!
So grab your copy of Out of the Ruins and join Karen on the evening of June 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


**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.**

Zevia Zero Calorie Soda #Review and 5 Winner #Giveaway!!

So often when we are on a diet, or any type of healthy eating, one of the first things to go is soda. I personally don't drink a whole lot of soda, mainly a tea and water drinker. But I know people who would have a very hard time going a week without a soda. And sure, I do get a soda on occasion, a vanilla soda from Sonic preferably:) But in all seriousness, going without your daily pop can be hard. And that is where the company today steps in. Zevia is a well known brand for giving you the option of a calorie free, sugar free soda. Oh, and don't forget there are no artificial sweeteners and it is caffeine free as well. I have wanted to work with them for the longest time and finally got the chance with my weight loss challenge here. So take a look and see what I thought of them!

I received a six pack to review. Before I tell you about them though, I didn't get pictures of all the sodas. Mainly because some people in the house :D ran off with a couple before I even got started. So I have pictures of most of them but not all. When the package came in I was pretty happy to open it. I got six different flavors to try including Cream Soda, Ginger Ale, Grapefruit Citrus, Root Beer, Grape and Cherry Cola. The root beer and cherry coke were gone in a snap. I personally hid the cream soda so nobody else got it:)

Now as to the flavor, they do taste diet flavored. But not really that big of a deal. Part of it may be that I haven't had a soda in quite a while but it was sweet without being nasty. You know how when you don't drink soda for a while and then you drink one it tastes super sweet? I didn't have that problem with the Zevia soda.

The cream tasted really good and the person who stole and drank the cherry cola said it was pretty good. Not don't get me wrong, you can tell a flavor difference from a normal soda. But in my opinion, especially while trying to lose weight, it definitely balances out in the end.

So anybody ready for a giveaway? A really sweet giveaway:) Zevia has offered to host a giveaway of a six pack to five of my readers!! I believe this will be a voucher but not positive. This is a great giveaway and I loved that they offered this prize! If you are dieting, trying to be healthier or wanting to lose weight, these sodas are an excellent way to cut back on calories and such. This giveaway will end 6/27. Winner will be chosen through and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. USA ONLY!
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