Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Before the Lights Go Out!" by Quiniece Sheppard Book Review

Book synopis:
If your idea of foreplay includes candlelight dinner, rose petals and whip cream, you are misguided. We have been focusing only on the physical while we are neglecting the emotional and spiritual needs of our mate. This neglect has lead to dissolving relationships, conflicts in the marriage, and internal struggles. InBefore the Lights Go Out, I outlined eleven keys to enhance foreplay, which will develop the intimacy in your relationship, thus allowing you to form a tighter bond with your mate. For single ladies, it is a guide to help you choose the ideal man for a queen like you because any man won't do. In other words, what is he bringing to the table besides himself? For married couples, this book will force you to look into introspection: examining yourselves and retrospection; examining your past to see where you went wrong and what you can do going forward to fix it. The key to a long lasting relationship is establishing intimacy, which mean knowing if he/she is "into you": body, mind and spirit. We will leave the lights on a bit longer to begin the emotional and spiritual journey towards a better you and a better relationship with your mate

 Before the Lights Go Out! 11 Keys to Achieve Real Physical IntimacyBefore the Lights Go Out! 11 Keys to Achieve Real Physical Intimacy by Quiniece Sheppard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the philosophy behind this book.  The author speaks directly to Christian ladies, and her focus is often on single women (since that is where her heart lies).  Most of what she says is Biblically sound, and she is not afraid to say what needs to be said in a very strong fashion.

I enjoy the fact that this book is organized well, and the message does not change no matter where you look within the chapters.  She is not afraid to stress the importance of sexual purity.  She does not care if she sounds like a prude or an anti-feminist.  She will quote Scriptures to back up what she is saying, and she also points out the consequences of sin.  I love the fact that she talks to men as well.  All too often, we women are told what we must to do so our guys will love us better.  Her stance is that men have responsibility, too.

I do have two minor criticisms.  There are times that her vernacular becomes a little more difficult to read.  I am not sure if the author realizes how she might come across, but I think that her word use sometimes seems more appropriate for public speaking than a book.

My other criticism is still minor but a little more troubling.  Some of her theology is a little unusual.  It bothered me to read some misinterpretations of Bible passages and apply them to areas where they were never intended.  I know that not everyone has the same interpretation of Scriptures, and this is true even amongst theologians.  But my problem is that passages that are not typically applied to certain situations.  I realize it may be a small issue, but I prefer for Christian authors to check out various sources before stating something as fact.  I know this may sound harsh, but I am one who believes in not being dogmatic when it comes to stating things Scripturally that may not be able to be proven 100 percent.

In spite of these criticisms, I would still say this is a refreshing read that can speak to anyone who desires sexual purity and/or a more fulfilling marriage.  Being a single mother myself, it was nice to see that I was already doing so much right in this respect!  I am glad I am not alone because I sometimes feel I am.  Had I read this book before I got married so long ago (and tried to date more recently), I would probably be single to this date!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

Quiniece Sheppard is the author of The Seven Deadly Sexual Sins, published in April 2009, co-author of an e-book anthology titled Christmas is More than a Myth: There is a Reason for the Season, published as a free e-book in December 2010, author of an e-book titled Walking the Path to Real Love: 12 Steps to Practicing Abstinence and Celibacy, published as a free e-book in January 2011. Ms. Sheppards second book titled Before the Lights Go Out:11 keys to Achieve Real Physical Intimacy was published in March 2011. Ms. Sheppard is founder/CEO of I am the Chase Ministries, LLC: a single womens ministry whose mission is to promote abstinence and celibacy. Ms. Sheppard wants to help every woman define and understand her self-worth and value so she can live out her purpose and destiny. Ms. Sheppard has spoken at several womens conferences, a parent-teen retreat speaking on abstinence, held her own seminar in September 2011 and will be holding her first single womens conference in April 2011. Ms. Sheppard currently resides in Alexandria, VA but frequently travels as a motivational speaker to deliver messages of inspiration, transformation and enlightenment to make a lasting impact to audiences everywhere. Ms. Sheppard speaks at workshops, conferences, seminars, book clubs, churches, youth groups and more. For more information or to book Ms. Sheppard for your next event, visit Quiniece at or email:

Also, check out her Christian book club:

Newborn Health Twitter Campaign Until Mid-April

Being a mother myself who remembers how fragile and strong my daughter was as a newborn, I am so pleased to be a part of this fantastic campaign!  This campaign is something in which everyone on twitter can participate, and it can make a world of difference for the youngest ones in this world of ours--newborns.

The Gates Foundation is spreading newborn health tweets from now through about mid-April.  Why?  The Global Newborn Health Conference will be held in South Africa from April 15-18.  And Dr. Gary Darmstadt, Director of Family Health for the Gates Foundation, wants to make sure that the word gets out about keeping newborns healthy.  Have you ever tweeted something that could potentially save someone's life?  I know I haven't, but I am now.  Want to join in, too?  Click on this page for twitter updates, and simply retweet!  Couldn't be easier!  More information to come very soon.

Picture used with permission from Microsoft.

Let's End Hunger in America

Being an educator, I work with children on a regular basis.  Since I move from school to school and classroom to classroom, I am not often aware of the children who are going without.  I look at the classroom, and I sometimes wonder what makes up their home life.  Especially when a kid acts out.  On Maslow's hierarchy of need (something educators will know well), basic needs such as hunger and safety are the most important things for anyone.  How can a child learn if they didn't have breakfast, only have a meager lunch, and may not be going home to eat a dinner tonight?

I am grateful that I am part of the Global Team of 200 with Mom Bloggers for Social Good.  This past month, one of our campaigns has been working with No Kid Hungry.  It is estimated that one in five children in the U.S. struggle with hunger.  That means that in a typical classroom of 25-30, there are at least five or six students who struggle with hunger.  When the students are young, it is easier to get them to tell let an adult know that he or she is hungry.  But once they become teens, they don't want anyone to know.  It's not cool to talk about such things.  In fact, many kids would rather get the latest smartphone and computer game while giving up a meal.

So what can we do about this problem?  I think the first thing you can do is just be aware of it.  Don't turn a blind eye to it.  You can donate to the program directly on the link I gave you above.  You can even take the pledge on their page so you can stay up-to-date with their work via e-mail.

I honestly had no idea that this problem was as great as it is.  And I hate to say that things are probably going to keep getting worse if something is not done about it.  Get the word out there.  Involve your community.  It is the easiest thing in the world to turn a blind eye and do nothing.  But that is not what we should do.  If everyone thinks that your neighbor will do it, our poor kids are going to suffer.  And they are our future!

Image used with permission from Microsoft.

Concert Tickets Giveaway (Ends 4/19) U.S.

What do you LOVE about going to a concert? My Devotional Thought's favorite thing about going to concerts is going to see Taylor Swift with my daughter!  And I love finding great deals on seats. Who doesn't after all?
Well... we are happy to join Blog with Mom and Adventures of My Family of 8 in this amazing giveaway event!concertticket
Have you heard of the online market place for all your concert ticket needs, Well they are your home for the hottest concert tickets at the lowest prices! As this concert season boasts numerous iconic artists touring throughout North America, 2013 is poised to be an unforgettable year for concert fans of every genre. You can search by Artist, Show, or Venue, or even browse by City or State to see what is coming to your area! And, don't forget to sign up for their daily emails to receive concert updates in your area! Don't miss out on FREE TICKET FRIDAYS - Every other Friday, during concert season, beginning on March 19, 2103, will give one lucky fan $200 to be used towards the purchase of any tickets on Giveaway -

Prize- One lucky winner will win $200 credit to - Details:
  • This giveaway will run from April 1-19th
  • All Mandatory Entries MUST be completed
  • All entries must be IN the entry form
  • All entrants must be 18 years or older and live in the US
  • See full disclosures in the entry form

*Prize disclaimer - credit good through 2013. It can be used 1 time, so all money must be used when purchase is made. With the $200, someone could purchase 4 - $50 tickets or use it towards a huge ticket purchase. Pretty much anything goes as long as it is done in one single purchase and used before the end of 2013.
**DISCLOSURE** My Devotional Thoughts is acting as an advertisement for the Sponsor and is not responsible for prize. This event is brought to you by Blog with Mom and Adventures of 8 through Advertise with Bloggers! If you are interested in sponsoring an event like this, please contact Advertise with Bloggers. Please note that the winner will be chosen via and contacted directly by!

Pump Up Your Book: "One-Minute Zillionaire" by Lowell Christensen Book Blast (Ends 4/1) U.S./Canada

Pump Up Your Book and Lowell T. Christensen will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card during his The One-Minute Zillionaire Book Blast today! This promotion ends at midnight. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and good luck! ————————————————–


Like any good success book, The One-Minute Zillionaire will get you so crazed with principles, keys, goals, affirmations, and profound and poetic platitudes that you’ll want to dash to Alaska to search for gold and taunt grizzly bears. Christensen delivers a very funny yet sensible message with help from a wide cast of characters, including Shakespeare, Freud, Pamela Anderson, Dante, Greek goddesses, Chewbacca, Charles Manson, Saint Peter, and Pancho Villa. He pondered the powerful achievement techniques and heat-resistant feet of Anthony Robbins, the paradigms of Stephen R. Covey, the excellence of Thomas Peters, the mind power of Napoleon Hill, the brazen squint of Donald Trump, and the fudge-making ability of Martha Stewart. He consequently discovered the number one key to success, “The best way to achieve success is to write a success book.” Christensen covers financial success but adds advice on wooing, weight loss, time management, travel, and other topics with the goal in mind of making the book thicker. Go to for national and international reviews, excerpts, free bonus offers, and articles. Praise for The One-Minute Zillionaire: "The author has a light touch and the ability to laugh at himself and his own ideas. Without a doubt, Christensen is funny." -- Foreword Reviews "Lowell Christensen is the author of “The One-Minute Zillionaire,” a new humor book about success. In a press release, Christensen writes that he hopes his advice about “how success requires quite a bit of formal and practical education, hard work, and falling on your face a few times” will resonate with readers." -- Albuquerque Journal
Purchase your copy:




Lowell T. Christensen has kept himself busily occupied as a writer, engineer, rocket scientist, musician, backhoe operator, outdoorsman, chef, rancher, and international traveler. His previous books include Coping with Texas and Other Staggering Feets and Beginning Farming and What Makes a Sheep Tick, and he has written magazine articles that feature presidential elections through the theme of Shakespearean plays. Christensen also writes articles for his local newspaper about public education, cheesy television shows, Scout camp misadventures, and the county library’s resemblance to a dead rhinoceros. With a degree in chemical engineering, he has worked for DuPont and the University of California. His latest book is The One-Minute Zillionaire: Achieve Wealth, Fame, and Success in an Instant, Give or Take a Hundred Years.


Sound like something you're interested?  Don't forget to enter the giveaway below!


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Udderly Smooth Gift Basket Giveaway (Ends 4/10) U.S.


I love spring time, but it can certainly cause a lot of preparation behind the scenes on legs and body in order to get your legs and arms ready for their new exposure to shorts and tee shirts! Don't forget it is also flip flop season which means time to take care of your dry cracked heels. Our Sponsor, Udderly Smooth will help you get ready for your leg, arm, foot appearance smoothly!

I have used these products, and all I can say is that the lotions from this company are some of the best I have ever used.  The lotions never seem cheap, and I have found you don't have to use as much lotion as cheaper brands.  It is worth it to get this brand.

Udderly Smooth will provide to ONE lucky Reader this great gift basket that will help you get ready for the Spring and Summer. The giveaway basket contains the following items:

 1- Underly Smooth hand and body lotion 16 oz
1- Udderly Smooth vitamin and cream 3 oz
1- Udderly Smooth ball cap

1- Udderly Smooth body cream with pump 12oz
1- Udderly Smooth Shea and butter  foot cream 8oz
(5) -Udderly Smooth body cream sample packets

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, you have to enter for your chance to win! Good luck and goodbye dry skin! Hello Sunshine!
Thank you to the Pittsburgh Frugal Mom and the Sublime Media Connection for hosting this giveaway.

"The Grimm Chronicles" Blog Tour (Ends 4/11) WW

Tour Schedule
Link to my review.
The Grimm Chronicles Volume 2

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm changed everything.

With the help of a little magic, fairy tales were made real, manifesting all over the world. Charming princes. Gold-hunting dwarfs. Terrible step-mothers. Heroic animals.

Then, slowly, they began to change. Everyone—from Prince Charming to the old miller—grew more evil. Corrupted. A hero was chosen to stop them, hunting them down one by one and destroying them with the help of a magic pen and a special rabbit assistant.

For 200 years, the hero’s magic pen has been passed on from generation to generation. The newest hero is Alice Goodenough, an 18-year-old junior from Washington High School. While her friends spent their summer working and having fun, Alice found herself doing battle with creatures most human beings don’t even realize exist. A giant snake. A blood-sucking prince. A terrifying half-man, half-hedgehog. Dastardly dwarfs intent on mind-controlling everyone who uses a cell phone.

Now, senior year has begun. With it comes a new challenge at school, where bullies have grown bolder and classes more challenging. As if that’s not enough, Alice must face off against a collection of Corrupted who all share a terrible secret, one that might awaken a creature capable of doing untold damage. To uncover the secret, Alice will have to face off against a man-eating lizard, a bloodthirsty sea captain, and a mysterious wizard who can see into the future …

This book contains:

Episode four: The Orphanage of Doom
Episode five: Blood and Thunder
Episode six: The Order of the Golden Dragon

Bonus material:
The Lost Journal of Eugene Washington
Assorted fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm
A Legacy of Red

The Grimm Chronicles Volume 1

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series:
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.


“5 stars!” ~ Bookies Book Blog

"Highly recommended for all who love fairy tales and the YA genre." ~ My Cozie Corner

"All in all the books were excellent." ~ LilyElement

"If you love fairy tales and them being turned into modern day stories you will love these short stories." ~ Mom With a Kindle

5 stars (out of 5) ~ I Am, Indeed

“Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland. “ ~ Bookfetish

“I absolutely loved this book! No, let me rephrase that, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! Nope, that doesn't even do it justice. Vol. 1 has the first three stories from the 12 that will ultimately make up the chronicles.” ~ Jesse Kimmel-Freeman


About the Authors
Ken Brosky received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also teaches English at Madison College. This is his first Young Adult series.

Isabella Fontaine owns a farm in Wisconsin and enjoys reading weird books like House of Leaves. This is her first Young Adult series.

Tour Giveaway
5 Kindle ebook copies of The Grimm Chronicles Volume 2
Ends 4/11/13

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Relish Reusable A Green Giveaway Hop (Ends 4/15) U.S.

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Welcome to the Relish Reusable Giveaway Hop hosted by Measuring Flower and Eco Crazy Mom! I have teamed up with a group of other green bloggers to bring you a bunch of fun, eco-friendly, and reusable giveaways worth a minimum of $25 each. So, after you've entered our awesome giveaway below, be sure to "hop" on to the next blog to enter their giveaway as well. You can find a list linking to all the other blogs towards the bottom of this post. Don't forget to enter the event's big grand grand prizes, including $200 of reusable products donated by!

I am so proud to announce my sponsor for this wonderful event:  A Golden Easter.  Okay, I know what you're thinking.  Easter is already over, so why giveaway an Easter CD?  Well, Easter came rather early this year, and even if you don't want to listen to it this year, there is always next year.

Golden Records is a wonderful company that makes nostalgic recordings.  Children love to listen to these grand old songs.  Unfortunately, music like this is not being made much anymore.  Kids grow up not knowing any of the holiday-related songs.  Very sad indeed.  Adults love these CD's because it reminds them of an era gone by.

As I listened to this music, I was reminded of songs as I was growing up.  The music is happy, and it is a great reminder of the joy of Easter through a child's eyes.  I love the fact that the music is so upbeat, fun, and safe for your kids to listen to.  How much music out there in this day and age is safe for your kids?

Here is a track listing:

Peter Cottontail
Bunny, Bunny, Bunny
Sing Little Birdie Sing
Flippety, Floppety Bunny
Peter Rabbit (Story)
Eustic, The Useless Rabbit
Funny Little Bunny
The Horse With the Easter Bonnet
The Lively Little Rabbit
Pee Wee the Bunny
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'
I Wish I Was a Whisker on the Easter Bunny's Chin
The White Bunny and His Magic Nose
Egbert the Easter Egg
Green Grass Grew All Around
Silly Easter Bonnet
Easter is a Lovely Time
Six Little Bunnies
Easter Mornin'
Easter Parade

For more info:
iTunes Link:

In addition to this wonderful digital CD, I am also including any other item from amazon (as long as it ships free) up to $15.  This is your chance to pick up something that is eco-friendly for you and your family.

So in order to win your very own copy of the CD and the $15 from Amazon, just enter the rafflecopter below by 9 P.M. Pacific time on April 15, and you are in to win!  And then don't forget to hop onto the other blogs for the chance to win even more prizes.

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Disclaimer: This event’s hosts and the participating bloggers are not responsible for any sponsors that fail to fulfill their prizes, but will do their best to ensure that each winner receives their winnings.

Baby Jogger X3 Summit Stroller Giveaway (Ends 4/20) U.S.

This is a great giveaway from Peppy Parents with an easy way to enter! Peppy Parents asked me to help promote this giveaway and by you entering through my link can help me win too!!!
Enter HERE to win a 2013 Baby Jogger X3 Summit!!!
Ends 4/20/2013

I love being able to help other bloggers out, and that is what I am doing here!  And after all, who doesn't want to have the chance to get a great product like this for free!

Fool For Books Giveaway Hop (Ends 4/7) WW

Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
April 1st to 7th
No better way to spend April Fools Day!  

Of course, April 1st is traditionally the time for pranks.  It's called April Fool's Day for a reason.  So I thought I would feature some of the books I have read that are humorous.  They are books that always stand out to me.  Click on the pictures to read my book review on goodreads.

Okay, I could give you many more, but these are some of the more recent books that include good humor.  And so let's go on to my giveaway.  It is an international giveaway (as long as Book Depository or Fishpond ships to you), and I will be awarding a book (you will have the choice of a book I have featured or another one on your list that has good humor in it or is light-hearted in nature) to one winner.  Be sure to enter on the rafflecopter below by 9 P.M. Pacific time on April 7.  And don't forget to hop on to the other blogs for the chance to win even more books!

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This Day in History March 30, 2005


Yet another story I should remember but don't.  On this date in 2005, Terri Schiavo died in hospice care after having her feeding tube removed for the second time.  This was a huge case where the government and family were very involved, and right-to-die was the main issue here.  Four years earlier, her tube had been removed at the request of her husband, but it was replaced just days later.

I read through a lot about this case, and I will leave the links for you to read.  Evidently, back in 1990, she had suffered some kind of collapse, and oxygen had been cut off to her brain for some time.  This meant severe brain damage, and following her death, it was confirmed that no therapy would have been able to help this.  Her husband and her family were at odds about this.  The religious community was up in arms, and it was a big case (that I don't even remember).

Read much more at the following links:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Twin Z Pillow Giveaway (ends 4/21) U.S.

Welcome to the Twin Z Pillow Giveaway Event!!!
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Hosted by Miss Frugal Mommy and Sponsored by Twin Z Pillow
A special thanks to my cohosts: My Devotional Thoughts, and Sparkle Me Pink
Invented By a Mom of Twins the Twin Z Pillow is a new twin nursing and feeding pillow for parents of twins. It is great for nursing, bottle feeding and tummy time. Great for Twin Baby Time, Breastfeeding, Bottle feeding, Tummy Time, and Toddlers Love It Too! They have won the 2012 Creative Child Top Choice Award & Twin Mom Seal of Approval.

Made With Durable, Long Lasting, 100% Baby Safe Materials:
Hypoallergenic Foam Free Lead Free No Chemicals Added No Flame Retardants Made in the USA
You can learn more about this amazing product by reading Miss Frugal Mommy's Review!

When I was nursing my daughter, I really struggled to find a pillow that would work.  And I can't imagine what  it would have been like to have twins!  This sounds like an amazing product to me!

One lucky winner will receive 1 white Twin Z Pillow, 1 super soft washable cover (solid color), and travel bag!
Giveaway will run from 3/31/13-4/21/13
Enter to win in the rafflecopter below, all entries will be verified, Good Luck!
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Disclosure: Miss Frugal Mommy and My Devotional Thoughts are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Miss Frugal Mommy received a product for free in exchange for her honest review. I was not compensated for this post. This giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Facebook Host Page for Twin Z Pillow Giveaway

Be sure to go back and enter on the main giveaway page.
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This Day in History March 30, 1971

Pike Place Starbucks sign

This should be welcome news for all the coffee lovers out there.  And I feel a sense of pride sharing something that is just down the road from me (relatively speaking).  On this date in 1971, the first Starbucks opened.  It opened at Pike Place market in Seattle, Washington.  I had no idea that the name came from the first mate in Moby Dick, Starbuck.  The original partners were English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker.  Alfred Peet was their inspiration because he sold high-quality coffee beans.  Howard Schultz joined the team in the 1980's, and that is when things really began expanding (he became director of retail operations and marketing).  I'm sure glad it's still around--even if it has become rather expensive.  I tend to still prefer local coffee shops, but in my city, Starbucks cannot be beat.  I have to go elsewhere to get the better, less expensive coffee.

For more info:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sage's Blog Tours: "Blood of Ancient Kings" by V.J.O. Gardner Blog Tour

Blood of Ancient Kings
by V.J.O. Gardner

Book Description

Blood of Ancient Kings begins as an evil king is overthrown and his kingdom taken from him on the same day his wife dies in childbirth. He’s devastated and wants to die, but the new king having compassion offers both a punishment and a blessing. He must raise the child on his own – but there is a catch: He is stripped of title and privilege and forced to live among the very people that he abused as king.

The first night in the village, the villagers block the door shut and set the house on fire! He rescues his daughter as the roof falls in! He finds himself surrounded by angry villagers that pelt him with rocks as he runs seeking shelter. He crawls under a bridge and huddles in the mud to protect his infant daughter. For the first time in his life he is truly afraid of death, but not for himself – for his daughter. And that’s when it starts getting exciting!

A medieval fantasy novel that has been loved by teens and adults, both male and female, Blood of Ancient Kings drops two men into new and unfamiliar circumstances. One must figure out how to care for himself and his infant daughter, while the other must learn to lead and defend an entire nation instead of just a troop of men. Each must learn to be a father and gain the respect of others. Follow their children as they find friendship and inner strength while searching for love and their own identities. Meet two brothers that are as different as their fates are. Discover how they cope with life together and apart.

About the author, V.J.O. Gardner
             Growing up in a small Utah town, I was a voracious reader. In college I took Fantasy Lit and writing classes. I’ve always enjoyed observing people and how they interact based on their individual experiences and upbringing. I found that I enjoyed writing to take a break from the reality of life. After trying my hand at a variety of jobs, I felt it was finally time I begin to publish what I had been writing.

There have been so many great authors that I have learned from and a few very poor ones. I do not presume to compare myself to any other author’s style but only attempt to tell the story in such a way as to immerse the reader in the story. Just as some of the characters spend most of their time trying to figure out where they fit in this life, I too have been searching for a place where I fit only to realize that it’s the journey of discovery that is the most important part of life.
Twitter - @AncientKingsBks

And the review will be up soon.

For now, check out the entire tour.

This Day in History March 29, 1848

Who doesn't find Niagara Falls beautiful and somewhat scary (especially if you're going over it in a barrel)?  Well, it just so happens that on this date in 1848, the mighty Niagara Falls were silenced.  That's right!  For 30 hours, there was an ice dam at the neck of Lake Erie and the Niagara River.  This is the only time in recorded history that the Falls stopped flowing.  There was no roar during this time, and evidently people event ventured into the gorge and found relics from the War of 1812.  Thankfully, it was returned to its normal flow by the following evening.

For more information:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Baked Alaska" by Josi S. Kilpack Book Review

While the blog tour is over (as is the giveaway), be sure to check out more about this book , including where to buy it.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'll bet that my regular "readers" of my reviews grow very tired of starting a review this way, but I believe in always sharing my experience with you.  As far as I am concerned, I prefer reading reviews that tell me what the reader was thinking and feeling throughout the book rather than a rehashing of the actual story.  So here goes.

For the first one third to one half of the book, I struggled to get into this book.  I love mysteries, and I often judge them right alongside the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie.  I was hoping that Sadie would be a Miss Marple type, and when she wasn't, I was somewhat disenchanted.  And I struggled to truly drum up any interest for the other characters or even the story.  The mystery did not seem "mysterious," but it had two things going for it.  I had agreed to review it, and it was clean.

As I pushed onward through the book, I suddenly noticed the subtle twist the author had introduced.  Maybe I had misjudged the book.  Perhaps it needed a higher rating than 4 or 4.5.  As I continued to read, I wanted to do nothing buy finish the book.  I have to admit that action of the last third of the book sold me on this book.  Sadie was not Miss Marple, but she was one smart cookie.  And I seriously doubt that most would see the ending coming the way it did.

Since this book is part of a series, I am sure that one of the problems I encountered in the beginning was the fact that this is the first and only book from the series that I have read to date.  I certainly want to read the others after reading this one.  Though not impossible to connect with the characters if you have not read the other books, I think I can attest to the fact that reading the series chronologically works better.

If you like love and romance, I feel that you will enjoy this book, too--especially the ending.  I will admit that this got a little sappy for me and I could have used a bucket (just kidding), but it was pleasantly brief.  I can also recommend this book for its clean content.  No profanity and no sex.  Also, no gratuitous violence.

As a side note, I loved the recipes that were scattered throughout the chapters.  Some of them sound really good, and I may have to go back and pull some out to try pretty soon!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

RABT: "Tower of Obsidian" by L.T. Getty Blog Tour/Giveaway (ends 3/31) WW

Date Published:2/4/13

When Kale mac Tadhg is betrayed by his lord’s men, he is sent on an impossible quest: to slay a witch in a tower, and end a people’s curse. Both Kale’s best friend Aaron Smithson and former betrothed Aoife of Westgate set out to rescue him, but their journey takes them into the uncharted waters and Nordic colonies, to a land cursed and all but forgotten as they begin to realize that there is some truth to old legends. Kale’s rescue comes at a price – for by the time Aaron and Aoife know where to search, like so many before him, Kale becomes bound to the ancient tower’s fate.


You know how the tale is supposed to go. The maiden is seized, captured by some foul villain. The hero gives chase, defeats the villain, and rescues her. The maid and hero wed and live happily ever after.
But suppose it doesn’t go like that. No doubt there have been countless stories of maidens taken by villains. Some are rescued, others are killed, and however tragic their stories, they are ended.
What if one of these maidens lingered in darkness, with puzzles unsolved, her dragons unslain?
She was stolen, like so many before her and many who came after. Was she a goddess, a nymph, or a common girl of great beauty? It matters little. He seized her and forced her into a dark tower, which even the gods could not destroy. Oh how they tried, sending their sons to battle him. All failed.
The wicked sorcerer enticed her, tried to trick and confuse her, but she would never submit. In rage, or perhaps when it seemed the tide was turning, and perhaps her true love finally came, the
sorcerer, rather than lose her, cursed her. He locked her in a prison, and she and the tower became one.
At last, the sorcerer was destroyed, but not sent forth to the land of the dead, or chance his evil would survive the grave.
Undying, he remained a fragmented wraith, a wicked creature, the villain in countless stories. Perhaps, that was why his defeat did not undo her curse, for she remained a prisoner in the dark spire.
Her would-be hero, defeated at the end, died of a broken heart. The lands around the tower grew dark, as if the world itself knew the tale was too sad. Surely, she was worth rescuing? Surely, there was another who could save her?
Imagine then, if you were she: your beauty, your curse, and your true love stolen from you. Imagine your father playing one suitor off another. All the while, the other women despise you.
Imagine being changed—much like how a god would turn a nymph into a cow, a goddess into the body of a mortal. Confined to a prison, and even if it were the finest castle in all the lands, heaven, earth, or the underworld, still a cage. All the while, you wait for a rescue which never comes. The spell will not allow you to die nor to grow old. You are stagnant in a world where stories of old become legends, and legends forgotten—dismissed as childish fancy.
No, child, surely you do not wish to know that story.
Maidens must be rescued, the good endure, and evil smote. Even though you know what is true or fair is not so in your life, you expect nothing else in your story. It is how the story is supposed to go. You
will accept nothing but a proper ending. Content yourself then with stories of long hair and spinning wheels.

Leia Getty

Author Bio:
L.T. Getty obtained her degree in English from the  University of  Winnipeg , and has studied creative writing both there and at the  Canadian  Mennonite  University.. She is an open-water scuba diver, has studied kendo, and currently works as a paramedic.

Buy Links
Burst (Publisher)

Guest post (by the author)

5 Reasons to Write Fantasy
5) You’re in Great Company – Two stories written by a little someone called Homer, The Illiad and The Oddysey, have set the bar for many of our great stories – they were so influential in their time, there were rip-offs (you probably haven’t heard of but should consider reading The Aneid). Still not convinced? How about the one of the oldest known poems, The Epic of Gilgamesh? Tales of fantastic adventure and wonder are found in every culture – from The Voyages of Sinbad, the tradition of Wuxia, the poetry of Beowulf to traditional Native Canadian story telling of creatures such as The Windigo, fantasy has a history it should take pride in.
4) You’re Only Limited by Your Imagination – Don’t like the traditional J.R.R. Tolkien or the Robert E. Howard settings? Fine – we can set your fantasy in any era you like, including the future – in fact, fantasy and science-fiction usually get along swimmingly. Want something a little closer to home? Not to worry – Urban Fantasy is one of the hottest genres right now, placing mythic characters in today’s society, either in the world behind the curtains or wrecking havoc on the streets in plain sight.
3) It’s Not Just For Kids – While fantasy, especially fairy tales, are popular among children, adult-orientated fantasy has its popular market as. If you want brutal worlds, go for George R.R. Martin, Steven Erikson, or Glen Cook. How about a little bit of classic Carribean Culture with Nalo Hopkinson? Want historical fiction – check out Guy Gavriel Kay, or try N.K. Jemisin.
2) Even Shakespeare Wrote Fantasy – I don’t know what else you’d call A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream or The Tempest (or the ghost of Hamlet and the witches of Macbeth, for that matter). Fantasy can cross-borders and by definition, will accept a variety of stories in the following forms: Slipstream, magic realism, – and often times, you can have fantastical elements that are explained away as all part of a character’s psyche.
1) It talks about something bigger then the plot – this is pure opinion, but while I think that while we can agree that science-fiction is for the most part about humanity’s struggle, I’d argue that fantasy is about our moral state. So even though your character might be battling huge odds and wondering if the world is as black and white as it seems while riding a magic shark-dog, it’s really about the character overcoming strife in a world where there are no easy answers.
Verdict’s out on what that shark-dog is about; I’d have to read it.

So there you have it – what are your reasons for writing fantasy?

The author will be awarding 2 $25 gift cards to Indigo Stores (a large chain of bookstores in Canada that also ship internationally).  She will award to two random comments!

Pump Up Your Book: "Lifetime of Achievement" by Jordan Maylea Ramirez


There are too many people going through life content with mediocrity.  People going to jobs they hate, to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. People who are dreading Monday, looking forward to hump day and praying for Friday; and let’s not even talk about those two weeks of paid vacation… those are gold!
How long have we been this way? Is this really what life is all about? I don’t believe we were created to be content with a mediocre lifestyle we never wanted in the first place. What happened to being a rock star, an astronaut, or an actor? What happened to the hopes and dreams we each had as children? Perhaps, over time, our dreams have changed… but our propensity for dreaming is still inside us.
Lifetime of Achievement outlines seven goal-setting strategies to help get you from where you are to where you want to be. In its chapters you will find knowledge from some of the worlds most popular personal development masterpieces, taken down to a level that is easy to read and simple to understand.
Learn the steps to discovering who you truly are, creating goals in perfect alignment with that discovery and implementing an action plan that, when followed, has been proven to produce results. Learn how to conquer fear, to activate the powers of the human mind and discover two of the most important factors shared by virtually every successful individual throughout history.
This book takes proven strategies and puts them into an easy-to-read, easy-to-implement format that can be read in as little as a few hours. Discover the steps, put them to work, and become prepared for a Lifetime of Achievement!

Book Excerpt:
Time has a funny way of passing whether we are prepared for it or not. The sun continues to rise and set, signaling the beginning and the end of another day; what we do with the time that passes is up to us.
Fate. Chance. Luck. We live in a time where these words are passed around like a “get out of jail free” card; relieving people of the burden of personal responsibility. Instead of believing our choices shape our future, we turn a blind eye and believe the common thread connecting those successful people in our world is nothing more than some lucky gene one is either born with, or not.
What a horrible way to live!
People skirt the idea of personal responsibility because it frightens them. The idea of owning each and every one of our mistakes can be a tough one. What people miss though is the unexplainable freedom, joy and liberation that can come with the simple act of becoming responsible for your life!
It was right at 5 years before writing this book that the idea of personal responsibility took hold of my psyche. At that point, I had dabbled in personal development for several years, begun my own business and experienced very little real success. The idea began with a seed planted by my therapist (yeah, I’m not kidding.) when he said to me, “You are responsible for your own happiness. You must become your own secure base in this world.”
The idea confounded me. It took hold and, before long, began to grow rapidly as a result of the books I began reading and the philosophy I began to adopt into my life. Do you hear the freedom in those words? YOU are responsible for your own happiness. YOU ARE! Not your family, not your friends. Not your circumstances, not your environment. You! You are responsible!



Jordan lives with her husband Robert in Lubbock, Texas with their 3 dogs and two horses. Because both her parents have always been self-employed, she had an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age and began her first business at the age of 17. It was at that time that she first became fascinated with the subject of personal development and the impact a personal education can have on a person’s life. She grew up riding horses and competing in Dressage shows all across Texas and New Mexico. The sport continues to be one of the primary passions in her life and if she is not working or spending time with her family you can usually find her at the barn. Jordan has two younger siblings, Clayton and Paige, whom she is very close to, and she greatly enjoys spending time with her family. She and Robert enjoy entertaining friends at their home (especially during football season – Go Red Raiders!) and they love to travel the world and experience new countries and cultures together.
Her latest book is Lifetime of Achievement.

Follow the entire tour.
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