I must admit, I tend to be a self-help junkie. Not on purpose mind you, but because I truly have a desire to change who I am. Unfortunately, I haven'tI must admit, I tend to be a self-help junkie. Not on purpose mind you, but because I truly have a desire to change who I am. Unfortunately, I haven't really had a clear vision as to who I want to be once I've made the changes. That's where Ms. Owen's book comes in-- I need to be, wait for it...ME. That's right, ME.
Sadly, I've never had a clear vision as to who I am until I actually participated in the exercises she gives in the book. One of the chapters, "Uncover your Personal Values," has you list out the values that are important to you. It sounds simple enough, but as you actually start to list items, it becomes harder because you don't have anyone whispering in your ear to navigate these items that make you happy.
Another exercise I particularly liked was in the chapter, "Take Inventory of your Non-Negotiables." These are the things in your life that when missing, means you have a really bad day. I think this list was a little easier to make for me because of my OCD tendencies. (Everything sets me off if they don't go according to my plan. Lol.) All joking aside, in her book, Ms. Owens states that 3 of these nonnegotiables need to be present in your life on a regular basis or things start to get off balance. (Talk about an eye-opener.)
The hardest chapters to read in this book were the ones dealing with perfectionism, letting go of the past, and living your passions. I mentioned that I'm OCD, right? While I've broken myself of many of my tendencies, I still have a plan as to how things/others need to be, and when they don't, I tend to freak out. I guess I need to take Elsa's advice and "let it go." However, living your passions is extremely difficult for me. I can't even remember what my passions were/are at this point because I'm helping others live out theirs. One of the comments she makes in the book deals with deathbed regrets--I don't want to look back on my life and regret not doing_______________. So, I'm slowly compiling my list of passions, after all, there should be no regrets, right?
The profanity throughout the book is not needed, but if the title didn't clue you in, then hopefully this serves as your warning. Overall, this book had a lot of helpful advice strewn among real examples from the author's life--many of which mirror my own. If you're looking for a book that makes you want to take action in your own life, then look no further, this is the book for you.
*I received this book free as part of the First Reads program on Goodreads, in exchange for my honest review of the book.
Can I use the word "giddy" to describe how I felt when I read about the blossoming romance between Jade and her long-time family friend Daniel? Truly,Can I use the word "giddy" to describe how I felt when I read about the blossoming romance between Jade and her long-time family friend Daniel? Truly, that's how I felt. LOVED this book in the Chapel Springs Romance series and can't wait to read book #3!...more
Why I Read this Book: When I first read the synopsis for this story, I realized that it focused on Native American culture and the maltreatment of theWhy I Read this Book: When I first read the synopsis for this story, I realized that it focused on Native American culture and the maltreatment of the various tribes that continues to this day. I wanted to learn more about their struggles and the significance of the Lakota star Frankie was creating in her quilt.
What I Liked: We first meet Frankie and her son, Harold, broken down on the side of the road with no help in sight, but the last gas station they passed. Making their way back to the gas station to get water for their radiator, we get a glimpse of the harsh life Frankie has had to endure, and even more of a look when she has a run-in with the station's owner and his son.
The realistic portrayal of the prejudice against the Native Americans by the "white men (and women)" grabbed me from the start. I grew up in New Mexico and remember visiting one of the Reservations so we could "see how the Indians lived." I remember playing on the monkey bars with the other students and listening to their stories, but I also remember the comments made between our teachers and theirs--let's just say there was not a lot of love between them. The tension was high and I don't remember us ever going back on a field trip.
Reading about Frankie's distrust of all men, including the alcoholism that was rampant among the men in her tribe, really opened my eyes to the issues she faced in trying to raise her son as a single Native American parent. I loved that she had to learn to trust and lean on other people for help since she was unable to provide and make ends meet on her own. It showed her strength, as well as her helplessness, which eventually led her to rely on "the white man's God."
Overall, it was a great story about struggles and the power of hope and love.
What I Didn't Like: I would have liked to learn more about the various tribal cultures-especially since several different ones were represented among the characters. I think it would have brought a richer depth to the story, but then I love to learn about different cultures, so it's probably just me.
Overall Impression: If you're looking for a cozy read with a touch of romance and a heartwarming story, then A Sky without Stars is the book for you! What are you waiting for? Go get this book! ...more
Why I Read this Book: When I first saw the tour listed for this book and read that it was part of the Quilts of Love series, I just assumed that it waWhy I Read this Book: When I first saw the tour listed for this book and read that it was part of the Quilts of Love series, I just assumed that it was an Amish story with a bit of suspense thrown in to it. I was WAY OFF because Scraps of Evidence has nothing to do with the Amish. (Talk about me stereotyping because of the word-quilt. Geesh!) In any case, the suspense part was what really drew me in and made me want to read the book.
What I Liked: The setting is St. Augustine, Florida--which just so happens to be one my favorite cities to visit when I get a break from teaching. I loved the fact that I knew many of the (real) places that were mentioned, and had even been to them. St. Augustine is full of history and I was thrilled that Ms. Cameron incorporated some of that history into the story-line. (No, I am not getting paid to advertise the city--although I would not be opposed to it!) ;)
The two main characters-Tess, and her new partner Logan, were very well matched (in more ways than one) and worked well together. The compassion they showed to the victims and their memories will stick in my mind for a long time. I especially loved how they treated the homeless man to lunch before asking him questions concerning their case, and that they offered to get him to safe place to stay since he did not have home of his own.
I also enjoyed the family dynamics between Tess and her Aunt Kathy. It reminded me of the relationship I have with my own aunt because of the easy-going attitude and spirit they share.
What I Didn't Like: It felt like the relationship between Tess and Logan was a bit rushed, but I've been told that "you know when you know," so I'll have to wait until it happens with me to be able to give better feedback. I also think this may have been due to the fact that I couldn't put the book down and devoured it quickly--which may have caused the rushed feeling. (Go figure.) :)
The only other thing I disliked has to do with me. I managed to guess "whodunnit" fairly early on, so the rest of the book was me anticipating whether or not I was correct. I hate doing that to myself because I don't take as much time to enjoy the story because I'm too busy trying to figure out if I'm right. Maybe someday I'll learn to slow down and savor, but this really was a page-turner, so it really couldn't be helped.
Overall Impression: If you're looking for a cozy read with a touch of romance and a bit of blood then Scraps of Evidence is for you! You will be enchanted as you read about St. Augustine's rich history and be enchanted with the lovable characters. What are you waiting for? Go get this book! ...more
Why I Read this Book: Almost every little girl dreams of growing up and finding her "prince charming," getting married, and living happily ever after.Why I Read this Book: Almost every little girl dreams of growing up and finding her "prince charming," getting married, and living happily ever after. However, what if it turns out that she is the princess (albeit unknowingly and unwillingly) and finds that her primary confidant may be her prince?
I have always enjoyed reading about the lives of princesses and living happily ever after, or at least vicariously through their stories, so when I found out that book #2 in the Royal Wedding series (Read about book #1 here) was coming out, I jumped at the chance to read about the next royal adventure.
What I Liked: I am currently a Floridian, living in the Tampa Bay area, so when I found that our main character, Regina Beswick, was also a Floridian from the Tallahassee area (Go Noles!), I was excited to read to her story.
Regina is a down-to-earth type of girl, who enjoys hanging out with her family and her friends while doing the things she loves-such as restoring older cars. I can only imagine her surprise when she was told that she was actually a princess from the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, and that the country's fate rested on her shoulders. (Talk about massive pressure and stress.)
I loved that Regina was an independent woman who could think for herself and make decisions based upon the counsel she sought and her own convictions. Many of today's "role models" for young ladies seem to lack morals, so I am impressed that Regina would not let people pressure her into her decisions, but rather prayed about them and asked for help from the people around her.
I also enjoyed getting to know her heritage and the country's "history" through the journal entries and the other characters. I also liked the fact that she seemed to absorb the shock of her situation well, and rallied herself to help the people while she made her decision on whether to stay and rule, or to renounce her throne.
What I Didn't Like: Where on earth do all of these characters get their money?! Apparently I am in the wrong profession because even working two jobs, I can barely pay for rent and food, while the characters gallivant around like money is no issue. I understand that Regina used to work for the rat race and may have saved some money back, but Tanner must make millions as the Minister of Culture if he's able to maintain his lifestyle and his...well, I don't want to give it away. I know, it's a fairy-tale, but I still want to have hope that one day...just maybe...I'll become a princess too. ;)
Overall Impression: If you're looking for romance with the twist of surprise and delight, then Princess Ever After is the book for you. What are you waiting for? Go get this book! ...more
The concept of virtual friendships and relationships has always intrigued me because I am a recluse at heart. I love the ideaAh-May-Zing!!! (Amazing!)
The concept of virtual friendships and relationships has always intrigued me because I am a recluse at heart. I love the idea that I could type information into the computer and "create" a personal friend that I could "talk" to about my day-especially when it's been extremely stressful and my regular friends are tired of listening to me whine.
As I learned more about Scott, Rachel, and their virtual "friends," I was sucked more and more into the manipulation and was trying to figure out how to warn them of the impending disaster about to take place in their lives and possibly keep them apart forever.
Friend Me is John Faubion's first novel and he definitely hit a home run! The suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will not want to put this book down!...more
There were parts that I truly laughed out loud on because the situations were so close so some of my own experiences I felt like the author had been aThere were parts that I truly laughed out loud on because the situations were so close so some of my own experiences I felt like the author had been a fly on the wall in my life. The cartoons were fabulous, but the language was atrocious and didn't really need to be in the book--even if this is how the author truly speaks....more
I enjoyed getting to know the people in the town of Halfway, despite the fact we meet them in the aftermath of a horrible accident--one that forever cI enjoyed getting to know the people in the town of Halfway, despite the fact we meet them in the aftermath of a horrible accident--one that forever changes their lives through the bond of death.
If you've noticed the books I've read, or follow my blog, then you know that I have a soft spot for stories involving the Amish. I love to learn about their customs and I learn a lot from their unwavering faith in God and His promises--much like Haley and Dylan did when they befriended Elsie, Ruben, and the other Halfway townspeople.
Dealing with the aftermath of the tragic accident, not only do Elsie and Ruben learn to love, but so do Haley and Dylan. (Cue the sappy music for the romance portion.--Awwwwwwweeeeeee!)
In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to reading "A Simple Hope" when it comes out. ...more
It's been awhile since I've read the other books in this series, but that did not detract from my understanding of the characters in the story.
"NarroIt's been awhile since I've read the other books in this series, but that did not detract from my understanding of the characters in the story.
"Narrow Escape" was full of intense action and had me on the edge of my seat as the characters fled from the LSL gang members. In fact, there were a couple times I had to put the book down and walk away because I couldn't figure out how the characters were going to get through all of the turmoil. Thankfully, the ending is a happy one!
If you enjoy suspense and action-packed stories, but ant a quick read, this is the book for you! ...more
If you have not read the first two books in this series (Submerged #1 and Shattered #2) you're going to want to read them before you read this book because the McKenna family members are interwoven and you're going to want to know their history, although it is not a "must," as the author does give some background on the characters that reappear. (I just love to know the background before I read because it makes the story that much richer. But, that's just my opinion.)
Darcy St. James, a reporter we meet in book #2, was supposed to meet her friend Abby, an undercover reporter with a huge story she needs help in investigating. Unfortunately, when Darcy boarded the cruise-ship "on assignment, Abby did not appear for their meeting. After attempting to contact Abby and finding her room cleared of personal belongings, Darcy begins to realize that not everything on the ship is as it seems. Especially when she hears that a woman fell overboard the night before and no one on the crew seems to think Abby's disappearance is unusual.
To top it off, Darcy runs into Gage McKenna, and finds that he has been hired to take passengers on adventure excursions for the cruise company. Stamping down her feelings for Gage, she confides in him about her friend and together they try to track down the "real story" behind Abby's disappearance.
Missing passengers, dangerous adventure excursions, a touch of romance, and a huge plot twist will have you devouring this book as quickly as possible! I truly cannot wait for the 4th book in the Alaskan Courage series because I know it's going to be phenomenal!...more