Monthly Archives: August 2014

11 years and counting!

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This post is for the member of my family who I have known the longest.  My first love, my constant, loyal companion, my Devon on her 11th birthday.  Named after Devon, PA a town near and dear to my heart, Devon came into my life a scared, skinny, probably abused, fearful of men, 1 year old puppy in 2004.  She was there, and given half credit to, when I met Steven, and she fell in love with her life partner, Zevon .  She’s been there through 3 houses, 2 kids, another dog, and now 2 states.

“All because two hearts fell in love.” is displayed on a sign in our house.  And we had to find the one that said hearts not people as many have in their homes, because the two hearts we really give credit to are Devon & Zevons.  They brought Steven and I together and without them (me without Devon) we would not have a house full of love and laughter, little lady, little man, and even Baxter!

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As the kids and I took her to a new vet (which was hard because we had been at Animal Medical Clinic in Peachtree City her whole life), I read the chart and she now falls into the geriatric category.  That hurts my heart to read.  But I was encouraged by the new vet, a wonderful woman who specializes in canine physical therapy (of which there is a center conveniently right next door.)  After some x-rays of her hips and back legs, we confirmed arthritis and some fluid build-up in her back legs, knees, and feet, and discussed many options.  Nothing was pushed on us – just outlined.  Who knew that between drugs, lasers, water therapy, and much more, we have so many options.  Nothing is guaranteed, but it could improve the quality of her life.

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And I should preface, other than not using one of her back legs and not being as agile as she once was, she is still doing great.  And even more so, she wants to do everything we and the other dogs do, so we can only hope and pray for many more years to come!

While our move was stressful, OH has actually been good for her, as GA summers were not her favorite.  We are able to walk often and even get to the beach, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for how the winter will go, but I think we’ve picked a good retirement home for Devy.  Here are some pictures of her around town:

And I found these fun pictures.  First is our first family picture in 2005 and second is right before we moved this summer (not the best but I dare you to try posing 2 kids and 3 dogs!)

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

To the world you may be just one person, but to one person dog, you may be the world.

Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.

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I’ll stop now before I lose it completely.  I just wanted to honor my oldest best friend.  Devon, we love you and look forward to many more birthdays, Happy 11th Birthday old girl!!  I’ll leave you with even more pictures (most are either from 2005 or after 2010 – things were much more interesting after kids!)

 

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Teaser Tuesday: August 26th

I’m not sure if I’ll ever catch up at this point.  For good reason…maybe…I’ve been spending my naptimes (blog times) painting and organizing various (unending) house projects.  And then my nights during reading time, I look forward to just that – reading!  So writing reviews has taken a backseat.  I’m now 4-5 behind.  Some good, some ok, nothing I HAVE to rave about.  But thanks for your patience.  I look forward to Tuesdays – so I will continue with teasers!

Today’s is from an impulse (free) Amazon download, a filler I guess in between some NetGalley new releases (I think I have 4 lined up for September!) called Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo (click on the book for more information below.)

“This is the fifth letter I’ve received.  These people live through hell.  Every time I feel sorry for myself, I read one of these letters and I feel so fortunate.”
(59% into book)

Thanks for stopping by today! Share yours in the comments please!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Book Review: Four Letters by Lisa M. Harley


Four Letters (click on book or see below for description)
By Lisa M. Harley
Released 12/9/13
Downloaded free from Amazon on 8/3/14

Rating: 2 bones

Finish Time: 3 nights.  Page turner this was, quality read this was not.  And also not my typical kind of read, I couldn’t see the cover on my Kindle Paperwhite.  Not that I have to stick to one genre, but this is not my type of read.  Needless to say, I will still review and although it did hold my interest, I felt the story was overshadowed with sex and just lacked any depth.  Maybe that was intentional, but did not make for a book that I would recommend to others.

It did rope me in.  Set up a little different from what I expected, the book was separated into a few different sections.  I figured like a lot of books, it would go back and forth between different stories, but this one told each story up till a point and left of eluding to a letter.  I shortly realized said letters would not be revealed until the very end with an additional follow-up story.  And for me, this story was way to predictable, I had it figured out pretty quickly.  Well not the content of the letters, but what was going on.  The stories all lead up to a certain event that was not entirely predictable but still not as dramatic as the build-up promised.

I honestly don’t want to get into more of the story lines or characters at risk of spoiling the story, the summary does that.  Let’s just say the three stories cover romance, lust, passion, family, fear, and a whole range of emotions.  As the reader, I found myself angry, frustrated, and somewhat feeling for the characters, but not too much.  I’ll hold off saying what I really wanted to do to the characters as it may spoil some things too.

Again, I hate to judge a book by its cover, and I’m really not doing that here, as I did read the book, but had I seen the cover in color, I would not have chosen this book.  And my dislike of the book is probably more personal, but hey – isn’t that what a review is for!  If you don’t mind some graphic scenes, this book will have you frantically turning pages, but may leave you wanting more.

Description from Amazon:

In Four Letters you’ll learn all about three couples…

Sterling and Skye~

Skye is a spoiled little rich girl, who has never had to do more than bat her eyelashes at her father to get whatever she wanted. When she received her degree, her plan was to open an art gallery catering to the uber rich. The last thing she needed was a man getting in her way. But, there’s just something about Sterling. He’s an alpha male that gives her what she’s always craved, the ability to let someone else take control. Could Sterling be the man Skye needs to help her relinquish control and change her spoiled ways?

Asher and Lilly~

When Lilly was a small child, her parents were killed in a fire. Since the loss of her parents, she’s never truly felt loved or safe. Now that Lilly’s dream of becoming a teacher has come true, she worries that her dream of finding Mr. Right might not. That all changes the day that Asher literally runs into her in the park. Could Asher be the man to make Lilly feel safe and give her the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of?

Tanner and Adlee~

To say that Adlee had a rough childhood would be quite the understatement. When she was barely ten years old, her mother killed herself, leaving Adlee in the care of her stepfather, Paul. Paul was not a nice man. When Tanner walked into the café she was working at and witnessed the way Paul treated her, he knew he had to step in. Could Tanner be the man to prove to Adlee that she is worthy of love and help her regain her self respect?

Read Four Letters to see how all of these lives are intertwined…

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Teaser Tuesday: August 19th

How is it Tuesday again already!?  I’m 3 reviews behind and just started a 4th book.  I’ll get on it…soon.  But for today I didn’t want to miss another Tuesday.

My teaser is from The Children Act by Ian McEwan.  A NetGalley read that releases September 9th.

“She had the power to remove a child from an unkind parent and she sometimes did.  But remove herself from an unkind husband?  When she was weak and desolate?  Where was her protective judge?”
(5% into book)

Thanks for stopping by today! Share yours in the comments please!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: August 12th

I’m back!!  I’ve missed you.  I haven’t stopped reading, we’ve just been busy settling into a new house, so I am backlogged both on writing book reviews and reading books and need to pick up my reading pace!  But yesterday I reviewed 3 books – check those out here:

The Prayer Box (5 Bones)
The Fourteenth Goldfish (3 Bones)
Just One Thing (4 Bones)

And I have finished this month’s Kindle First read – Portrait of a Girl – and will review soon, as I’m already halfway into another read!  So stay tuned for catch up and hopefully more timely posts.  I have greatly missed a few Teaser Tuesdays, but am happy to be back today and hope to keep up the momentum!

I’m going back to The Prayer Box for my teasers today, as it was only my 2nd 5-bone review of the year.  A very sweet book full of great advice.  Not a whole lot of suspense, as a good teaser is, but really a great read and full of great life advice.  It released last year and I was able to score it free through Amazon a few weeks back.

“By the world’s standards, she might not have been a person who really mattered, who was noteworthy.  But by all the standards that matter most, she was an incredible human being.  She touched the lives of people who never knew her.  She asked for nothing in return-no press coverage, no name on a plaque, no TV interviews, no thank-you notes,.  We have the change to honor her with this one final act of gratitude.” (90% into book)

“The funny thing about having people believe good things about you is that, without even realizing it, you want to make those things true.” (50% into book)

Thanks for stopping by today! Share yours in the comments please!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

7 Comments

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Book Review: The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

The Prayer Box (click book or see below for description)
By Lisa Wingate
Released 8/16/13
Downloaded free on 7/15/14 through Amazon

Rating:5 bones

Finish Time: 6ish nights.  Another book that got me through my move.  And a great one to do so.  This book had it all and was really a great read and as I started writing my review – realized it would be only my 2nd 5 bone review of the year!  I really liked it!

Meet Tandi.  A newly single mom, running away from an awful past with her 2 kids, not knowing where her next paycheck is coming from, just trying to get by and figure out who she is.  She rents a cottage in on Hatteras Island (which sounds beautiful!), quickly goes through what money she received from her divorce, and scrambles to figure out what is next.  The cottage or bungalow, as a few call it, is owned by a woman, Iola Anne Poole, who we never meet in person in the book, but really the story is just as much about her as it is Tandi.

Tandi never met her landlord, but when she needed her one day, she ventured over to the “main house” on her property, where Iola lives, only to find her passed away.  Panicked and afraid of what will happen next, Tandi does the right thing and calls the police, but it was a weird struggle for me whether to trust her or not.  Throughout the book we learn more about Tandi’s past, and it comes to make sense, but I could never tell if she would do the right thing, or had the right intentions.  She does have a big heart, but she is also getting pretty desperate, so who knows what that will drive someone to do.  So it took me some time to trust her (not that I have to trust my main characters) but I guess as any relationship, that was all part of it and I felt made for a great story.

In fear of losing her house and on edge, Tandi is approached by the church, who has taken control of the property, to clean it out in exchange for staying in her bungalow.  And as she starts sorting through Iola’s things, she discovers more than she bargained for, but in a good way.  Iola didn’t have the best reputation on Hatteras Island, most thought she deceived an old man into getting control of her estate.  But like most rumors, no one had all the details, and Tandi made it her mission (after much thought) to bring out Iola’s story.  Which was truly fascinating.

Oh and I should probably mention the prayer boxes in the title.  That is how Tandi learned everything about Iola.  From a young age, not having a confidant, Iola begins writing letters to her father, which Tandi learned (a bit slower than I did) is the Almighty Father in heaven, so they are not letters, but prayers.  Through joy and tears, Tandi is transported into Iola’s past and learns so much more about this woman who had an amazingly big heart, but preferred to remain in the background.

I’ve already rambled on a lot and feel I haven’t even touched the story.  Throw in a (not so appreciative) boyfriend, a terrifying ex-husband, nosy townspeople, her sister, that cute dorky guy from church, her kids, a sea shell stop, the handy-woman hidden inside her, and an open heart for the Lord, really this story had it all.  Really it does.  You won’t be disappointed – check it out!

Description from Amazon:

When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola’s rambling Victorian house.Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola’s walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola’s youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper–the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.

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Book Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm

The Fourteenth Goldfish (click book or see below for description)
By Jennifer L. Holm
Releases 8/26/14
Provided free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 3 bones

Finish Time: 3 very quick nights (while moving – probably 1-2 hours total.)  And yes, I read a children’s book.  No – I did not know until it was downloaded and I saw the publisher – Random House Books for Young Readers.  I’ll blame it on being tired from the move – but it said it was available right away for download through NetGalley and admittedly, I liked the cover.  I thought about stopping after a few chapters, but I’m no quitter, and I promised good, bad, and ugly (maybe?), so here goes!

Targeted to 8-12 year olds, which I guess I once was, definitely am not now, and my kids aren’t quite old enough for this now, I have a hard time knowing if this is correct, so we’ll just have to take their word for it!  Obviously nothing controversial or anything I wouldn’t want, even my little ones, to read.  A good coming-of-age, awkward tween years, glad I don’t have to go back to that time of my life, book.

The main character is 11-year old Ellie.  In that age of self-discovery, trying so hard to fit in, not liking change, time of life.  Enter Melvin, who we shortly come to find out is her grandfather, victim to his own experiment, turned into an 11-year-old too!  Still dressing like a grandpa and still lecturing his daughter, Ellie’s mom, Melvin was really a funny character that I quite enjoyed.  He helped show Ellie the world in a different way, that of someone who has been there, and who frankly doesn’t care what other 11 year old’s think of him!  What’s important, and what’s not.  A good lesson for all of us, young and old.

I’ll say it again, not my typical read, but another one I read while in the middle of moving.  A light, funny read, choke full of good lessons (geared for an 8-12 year old!) but I think you may be surprised what you could get out of it too!

Description from Amazon:

Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?
 
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?
 
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.

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Book Review: Just One Thing by Holly Jacobs

Just One Thing
By Holly Jacobs
Released 6/10/14
Borrowed free through Amazon

Rating: 4 bones

Finish Time: A few nights.  Honestly, I finished this book a few weeks ago, and have finished 3 since, so this will be a short review.   We’ve been busy with moving and while I’m constantly reading, it’s been hard to sit down and write.  But I’m going to try today to knock out a few and play catch up – so here goes!

This was a sweet story.  Like many of the books I read – a solid 3-4 bones.  Nothing that stood out as “you have to read this book” but one that made me smile and had a little different twist on it.  Lexie McCain lives alone.  Her kids are grown, her marriage is over, and she is in a period of self-discovery.  Quite the introvert, she spends most of her time at home, except Mondays.  Mondays, Lexie walks down the Corner Bar.  She has one beer and comes home.  Over time, the bartender and owner, Sam Corner, begin short conversations that become known as “One Thing.”  It’s a question Sam poses to Lexie each week.  She started out small but each week gets bolder and takes time to come up with her one thing.

Eventually the game goes two ways and Sam starts revealing more about himself and how he got to where he is.  It’s just sweet and cute and yes, a bit predictable.  But it’s fun to learn more about Sam and Lexie through flashbacks, leading up to each of their Monday nights, and then their relationship as it grows.

A true story of rediscovering who you are later in life.   Great characters and really great build-up to a fun ending where Lexie kind of has a “big reveal!”  A good book, not to heavy, but still substantial to help me through my move – I think you’ll like it too!

Description from Amazon:

“Sometimes, you find yourself inadvertently in the dark. But I’d discovered that if you stopped fighting against it and just stood still, sometimes something marvelous comes along.”

Artist Lexie McCain spends her days literally weaving the story of her life into a gorgeous tapestry. But on Monday nights, she walks to the Corner Bar, drinks a Killian’s, and answers the same question every week from Sam the bartender: “One thing?” She starts with her name, then her cottage, slowly moving on to the devastating tragedies that tore her life apart.

Sam Corner’s smile doesn’t seem to hide any pain. One night, Lexie turns the tables on him, asking Sam, “One thing?” To her surprise, Sam reveals his own tragic history. Together, Lexie and Sam learn that, with good beer and a trusted friend, sharing just “one thing” might lead to the one thing they both thought was lost forever: love.

From award-winning author Holly Jacobs comes the story of heartache, hope, and the power of sharing just one thing.

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