Friday, September 30, 2011
A novel by Jaclyn M. Hawkes....
Montana truly is heavenly. Especially those handsome cowboys.
Filled with colorful characters of all shapes, sizes and species, including an orphaned baby pig, most of the Langston family put the fun in dysfunctional, give or take a couple of black sheep. There's one in every family, isn't there? Add to that glorious scenery, a horse of her own, and one extremely attractive cousin rancher, Luke Langston, and it makes for a summer Charlie will never forget. Which might not be a good thing. She has the time of her life, but her heart may never recover.
My Review: The Outer Edge of Heaven is a love story that takes place in the beautiful open spaces of Montana. Charlene Evans or "Charlie" is attending BYU and preparing to go to law school the next year. When summer break begins she is loath to return to her parent's home in Connecticut where she knows she will be pushed into a relationship with a man of her parent's choosing. When her friend Forest suggests she takes a position working on his family's ranch in Montana, she is quick to accept, despite the problems it will cause between her and her parents. Montana is wonderful and the ranch is more than she could have hoped for. She loves her job, and as she gets to know the Langston family, she can't imagine a better life. The Langstons, like any other family, is full of colorful, sometimes quirky characters, and Charlie finds she is happier on the ranch than she has ever been before. When she meets Luke Langston things truly seem like heaven. However, darkness lurks on the farm, and when Charlie is attacked, her illusions of the ranch are somewhat shattered. Charlie is forced to come to terms with her feelings and emotions as Luke and her friend, Fo (Forest), do everything they can to keep her safe. Luke is a marvelous hero and the other quirky characters are well defined and definitely a fun addition to this novel. The plot moves quickly and keeps a steady rhythm. Charlie, the protagonist, has a great sense of humor and I believe romance readers will enjoy this book.
To learn more about Jaclyn M. Hawkes visit www.jaclynmhawkes.com
To purchase a copy of The Outer Edge of Heaven visit Amazon
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
* See Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop Below
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, eighteen-year-old Robert Stuart had a decision to make: keep working at the steel mill in Warren, Ohio, or volunteer to serve his country. Stuart's father had served in the first World War, and service was in his blood, so he enlisted in the Marines.
Anne Davis had a decision of her own to make. The girls in her high school were going to send letters to alumni who were going off to war. She looked at the list of soldiers and saw a familiar name: Robert Stuart.
The letters Anne sent would mark the beginning of a relationship that would span sixty years, two marriages, two children, and three wars.
Over half a century after those first letters were sent, the Stuarts' grandson, Kyle, began chronicling their life together. He would discover pieces of a family history that only he dug deep enough to learn. But in the back of his mind, one concern lingered: the story of a person's life can only have one ending, and his grandfather's health was deteriorating.
I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At is a true story of love and war, of three generations and two romances, one of sixty years, the other of just a few months. Pray deals with one generation trying to ----connect with another and how it affected them both.
My Review: When I first received this book I believed this was a novel based on World War II. However, I quickly came to realize it was much more than that. Kyle Garret, a first time author, writes an engaging story of love, family and the bond between a grandson and his grandfather. Having served in three wars...World War II, Korean, and Vietnam...Robert Stuart was someone you could look to for an example. He retired as a Major in the Army and then worked as a teacher for many years following his time in the military. He married his high school sweetheart, twice, and raised both a daughter and a son, but the story didn't focus solely on Major Robert Stuart. The author's input and perceptions of his family and his grandfather filled a good portion of this novel and I found it was an interesting sort book. I enjoyed learning about Garret's family and the ties they shared with one another. I enjoyed his retrospect concerning his grandfather's time in the military and his goal to write the book he so desperately wanted to finish before his grandfather's death. It wasn't a fast paced book and at times it was a little hard to follow as it jumped around quite a bit, however, I feel it was a heartfelt novel and the author gave good insight into the emotions of the characters he wrote about and described so vividly.
Follow Kyle Garret on Twitter
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Welcome to the Banned Books Week Giveaway hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I Read Banned Books!
For this Giveaway, I am offering a gently used copy of Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin and a $5 Target gift card~
* Concerned by the lack of communication between the races and wondering what "adjustments and discrimination" he would face as a Negro in the Deep South, the late author, a journalist and self-described "specialist in race issues," left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. In 1959, Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society, then traveled to several states until he could no longer stand the racism, segregation and degrading living conditions. Griffin imparts the hopelessness and despair he felt while executing his social experiment.
How to win:1) Follow this blog (mandatory +1)
2) "Like" me on Facebook
3) Follow me on Twitter
4) Leave a comment and an email address in the feed below so I know how to contact you if you win
Check out my new novel The Alias! Available in paperback at a bookstore near you or on Amazon Kindle for only $3.99.
Also, don't forget to go and check out all the blogs involved for more amazing, fun prizes...see linky below!
*My take on banned books (this is my personal opinion and does not reflect on any other bloggers in this giveaway):
- Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
- "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
- "Forever" by Judy Bloom
- "The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman
- "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
- "The Harry Potter Series" by J.K. Rowling
- "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer
- "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson
- "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl
- "And Tango Makes Three" by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
- "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle
- "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier
- "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
- "The Giver" by Lois Lowery
- "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
- "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriett Beecher Stowe
- "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
- "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown
- "1984" by George Orwell
- "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman
- "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini
- "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes
- "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert
- "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank
- "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
- "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker
- "I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing" by Maya Angelou
- "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott
- "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller
- "Beloved" by Toni Morrison
- "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood
- "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote
- "Slaughterhouse 5" by Kurt Vonnegut
How many have you read?
Thursday, September 22, 2011
* This Hop is now closed!! Congratulations to Leigh Ann!
Welcome to the September Blog Hop! Celebrate the beginning of fall with me and my blogger friends by hopping around, visiting our sites, and entering our contests! There are no limits - you can enter the contest on every blog. With over 40 blogs participating, that's over 40 prizes you could win. Just click on the links below to move on to the next blog.
On my blog, you can win …
A signed paperback copy of my book The Alias!
(Available on Amazon Kindle Today for only $3.99)
Would you like to win this prize? You just need to do two things.
1. Become a follower of this blog.
2. Visit Amazon and "like" The Alias
That's it! You are now entered. The contest ends on Saturday night, September 24th, at midnight MST, and the winner will be contacted shortly thereafter. Please either leave your e-mail address in the comment trail or make sure it's visible through your profile so I can contact you to tell you that you're the lucky winner.
Now go visit my other friends ...
|1. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author|
2. Joyce DiPastena
3. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
4. Mandi Slack
5. Michael D. Young
6. Six Mixed Reviews
7. Pam Williams
8. Laurie Lewis
9. Kristy Tate
10. Marilyn Yarbrough
11. Stacy Coles
12. Kristie Ballard
13. Lynn Parsons
14. Pushing Past the Pounds
15. Sheila Staley
16. cindy Hogan
|17. Jamie Thompson|
18. Jaclyn Weist
19. Cathy Witbeck
20. Secret Sisters Mysteries
21. Tamera Westhoff
22. Tina Scott
23. Lynnea Mortensen
24. Danyelle Ferguson aka Queen of the Clan
25. Jeanette A. Fratto
26. Bonnie Harris
27. Melissa Lemon
28. Mary Ann Dennis
29. Stephanie Black
30. Jane Still
32. Laura Bastian
|33. Tamara Bordon|
34. Betsy Love
35. Maria Hoagland
36. Amber Robertson
37. Debbie Davis
39. Christy Monson
40. Carolyn Frank
41. Rebecca Birkin
42. Melissa Cunningham
43. Emily L. Moir
44. Ronda Hinrichsen
45. Lisa Asanuma
46. Joan Sowards
47. Jordan McCollum
48. Diane Stringam Tolley
Monday, September 19, 2011
Summer time is full of fun, adventure, and excitement, but when the days begin to shorten and the air turns crisp... I am ecstatic. I love Fall and everything that comes with it. Today, I thought I’d share my top 10 reasons why I love this time year....this is, after all, a random blog about nothing in particular.
1. Crisp, cool days— I love the feel of chilly air after months of excruciating heat. The air feels clean and fresh.
2. Hoodies— I am addicted to hoodies. I can’t think of anything more comfortable to wear. I feel so secure and warm in my favorite, tattered hoodie.
3. Halloween decorations— I am nuts over Halloween decorations. I love to decorate for this time of year. My mind kicks into overdrive and I clutter my house with craft projects. I have a lot of fun creating new and exciting items to decorate my house and porch.
4. Candy Corn— Candy corn is just a fun candy. I love the color, the texture, and it’s just so stinking cute. I devour this sweet confection by the handfuls.
5. Carnivals— I never really grew up. I get so excited whenever I start receiving the notes home announcing the school’s Fall Carnival. There is nothing more exciting than seeing kids of all ages in costume, playing games. As a kid I loved the fishing pond and the cake walk and I still get excited over these games.
6. Rock hounding— Rock hounding is so much more enjoyable this time of year. The heat often makes my favorite hobby unbearable, but this time of year, I can search for rocks for hours at a time, much to my husband’s dismay. I love making our annual trips to Delta and the Dugway geode beds.
7. Trick-or-Treat— I’m like a crazy mama when Halloween night finally rolls around. I create a plan of action and the kids and I hit as many houses as we can. We trick-or-treat until our noses are frozen and our feet ache. Then we come home and dive into our loot, and when the kids finally go to bed, I sneak all the chocolate.
8. My little heater— I love my little box heater. On chilly evenings my family can often find me snuggled next to my heater with a good book and a bowl of popcorn. I become overly possessive of my heater and I do not like to share :).
9.Corn on the cob— Personally, I hate corn on the cob. I hate the feeling of “hairy” teeth after I’m done eating a cob and it takes forever to pick out all the tiny strings hanging between my front teeth. However, I love the way corn on the cob looks. A field of corn is an amazing sight and the sound of the breeze as it whispers through the tall stalks sends shivers up my spine.
And finally…number 10…Hot dog roasts in the desert— The desert is my favorite place. I love the high mesas, the red dirt, and the sound of coyotes yipping. The smell of wood smoke, dust, and desert flora hangs heavy in the air and I can’t think of a better place where I feel more at home.
Pumpkins, leaves, hot chocolate, and rain....I could probably go on and on about the things I love best about Fall!
What are your favorite things about Fall?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
My boys wanted to write and illustrate their very own ghost story. They were also very determined to send this to my publisher. But after much deliberation, we have decided to publish this fantastic work...here...and share it with the world. Below you'll discover the terrifying account of what happened to one sleepy little town somewhere "far, far away" as told by A (7 years old) and J (5 years old). With first hand witness accounts told by D (2 years old)....
|Meet the Authors|
( Written by J) Once upon a time there was skeletons that were mean and bad. They sometimes floated in the air when the lights are off and scare lots of people. Then the people start running off without their car and never go in…in…in the places again. The skeletons just fall right on the ground and then one man comes back and it appears the man was so scared that he started to go to sleep and he turned into a skeleton too. (Continued by A)
|Bad, Mean Skeletons...illustrated by J|
Then a…a… really big ghost pineapple—thousands of them—run on the streets and every single house they go into…they slide over the house and gets them sticky. They go into the peoples bedrooms and make giant holes by their beds so when the people get up, they fall right into a hole. Then the ghost pinapples… they have to dig down to hot lava and they get a drink of hot lava and they turn into… like… hot lava ghost! Pineapples ghost monsters that can burn things. And then they burn the town down and every person heard the fire alarms and all the people came out and the pineapples all made one big fiery pineapple monster. All the people screamed and went to a different town and nobody ever came back except one person and they got haunted and it became a “ghost town”, full of ghost pineapples that could catch things on fire.
|Fiery Pineapple Monster...illustrated by A|
(Told by J) Then the pineapple ghosts that came putted fake skin on the bodies of all the skeletons. And the skeletons turned into man and became deadly men. But they didn’t like the pineapple ghosts so they defeated all the ghosts in the country. Then there was one pineapple ghost left, the king of all that defeated him and he could turn into a skeleton, and he turned to a skeleton and then the skeletons floated in the air like ghosts and they were "deadly manners" …those are manners that are deadly…the deadly manners pushed the rest of the skeletons off a cliff so they could never come back.
|A first hand witness account told by D...2 years old|
(Continued by A)After the ghosts defeated the skeletons there was a haunted horseman and he came. There was a guy who was walking in the forest too. The headless horseman scared him and he came running back to all the people in the other town and all the people didn’t believe him and so they all came back to see and the haunted horseman chased them into town and he went into the store that had all the people hiding in it. Soon a bigger headless horseman came riding in and he had a sword. He went and cut down all the tops of the houses down…because…because…he was mean and he caught the houses all on fire because his pumpkin head was on fire. Then a big giant ghost rock came rumbling down and it smacked the two headless horsemen, the big one and the little one, and they all got squished and the ghost rock rumbled down until it rolled to a water fall. The rock fell down into the water and it made a ginormous splash and it made a giant flood in their town. The people in town had to go away again... forever… because all of their houses were caught on fire and flooded and all the animals turned into ghosts that chased them. They could never come back because the ghost animals haunted the forest.
|First hand witness account provided by D...2 years old|
Monday, September 12, 2011
|View from Imogene Pass|
|Haunted House on Imogene Pass|
|Flowers along Imogene Pass|
1 box of Betty Crocker Cinnamon Streusel Muffin and Quick Bread Mix
12 cupcake liners
3/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 8oz package Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 TB Sour Cream
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
1. Follow instructions on the box and prepare muffin batter.
2. Set Cinnamon Streusel topping aside
3. Beat Cream Cheese, Vanilla, Sugar, and Sour Cream until fluffy
4. Prepare muffin pan (makes 12) with liners
5. Using an ice cream scoop, place muffin batter in muffin cups
6. Spoon 1 to 2 TBS cream cheese mixture into the middle of each batter-filled cup (the mixture will be thick)
7. Sprinkle Streusel crumb topping on top of each muffin
8. Bake in oven for 16-21 minutes
9. Let cool and enjoy
* Keep left overs refrigerated
|Water Fall on Imogene Pass|
|Old mining ruins along Imogene Pass|
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
|Tasty Crab n' Spinach Dip|
1. , Can you share your story about how you discovered your Gluten Allergies and what caused you to change your lifestyle?
|Lemon Zinger Cake|
After having all kinds of stomach problems for about 20 years I ended up in the hospital, deathly ill, one New Year’s Eve. During my eleven-day stay I learned I have celiac disease, which is an intolerance to gluten (wheat, barley and rye). I was so relieved. I learned as much as I could and how I needed to eat for the rest of my life. While still in the hospital, I began to plan meals I would fix at home. I didn’t dread eating gluten-free because I knew that FINALLY I would have the chance to be healthy!
2. What are the top signs people should be aware of with a gluten allergy?
Great question, Mandi. It varies with each person. Often a person is diagnosed with several things before discovering a gluten-intolerance. Things like irritable bowel, fatigue, anemia, bloating, weight loss or gain and stomach pain are common. I not only had bad stomach problems, but I also had a couple of surgeries because of bad stomach pain that was misdiagnosed. More information can be found at http://www.theglutengal.com/celiac-disease/
|Cinnamon and Sugar Sweet Potato Fries|
3. What are the biggest challenges when going gluten-free?
My daughter, Kayli, was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was 15. At that time we had no idea that it was a genetic disease. We tried rice pastas, but they were flavorless and gooey. We ordered baking flours from the Internet, but when I made bread and cookies out of them they were awful. We joined our relatives in Indianapolis for Thanksgiving that year. Kayli cried during dinner because she couldn’t eat the rolls or pies. Later, she ate some cookie dough, then cried more when she realized she couldn’t have that either. It was devastating to see my little girl so unhappy. Things have changed A LOT since then. Gluten-free ingredients and foods are much better tasting now!
I am often contacted by people who have just received a diagnosis of celiac disease, and are overwhelmed with what they should do. I think a lot of people think their diet will be very restricted and they will be going without good food. I looked at it like, “ Here’s what I CAN eat!” I started by adding potatoes or rice to my meals, plus meats, fruits and vegetables.
I try to make this process easier with help on my website, including a simple 7-day menu plan for ideas and getting started. http://www.theglutengal.com/menus/
4. Tell us about your web-site?
There are several aspects of my website that are important to me. This includes celiac information, recipes, and information for parents of kids with autism and ADHD.
|Larraine's Cheesy Pizza|
Soon after I began eating gluten-free I learned that children with autism and ADHD are often put on a gluten-free and casein-free (dairy-free) diet. My niece Christine has three children who have been diagnosed with autism and so it’s been important to me to include recipes that are also casein-free. I have learned to replace the things that I miss with other great tasting ingredients. Two of the four cookbooks available on my website are G/F and C/F. My website has remained important to me because I have so many family members and friends who are affected by celiac, other food allergies or autism/ADHD. Knowing that I am helping so many keeps me going with the creative process that I find in my kitchen and garden.
5. What is your favorite Recipe(s)?
That’s a HARD one for me! I love to eat! The newest recipe on my website is delicious! The Mango Chicken Salad. http://www.theglutengal.com/gluten-free-recipes/salads/mango-chicken-salad/ I LOVE the ginger-based dressing!
|Mango Chicken Salad|
My favorite from my latest cookbook is Tilapia Tostadas. We seem to fit them in our menu each week! The cookbook can be found for sale at http://www.theglutengal.com/products-page/gf-recipe-books/a-months-worth-of-delicious-meals/ My four cookbooks are in PDF format so are very affordable. Most of the ingredients are things that you would probably already have, so you don’t have to go to fancy stores and spend tons of money.
I will add that I think these recipes are great for anyone! I serve them to my family and many others, and they seem to love them!
Thank you for stopping in today, Larraine!
Visit http://www.theglutengal.com/ today!!
To purchase a copy of Larraine's latest cook book for only $5.95 visit Larraine's GF Store.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
My Review: Conversations with a Moonflower is an enjoyable short read. The author begins by sharing her experience of traveling to New York to help clean out her deceased grandmother's old farm house. The time she spends at the house with her family and the Amish neighbors is priceless, and you can almost feel the sense of peace and contentment as you read her description of the area and people. During her visit she is introduced to a moonflower for the first time. Chris is captivated by the plant's simple beauty and she feels confused by the feelings the plant stirs within her. She is given a plant to take home and she soon discovers that her moonflower is more unique than she first believed. As Chris takes time to sit and visit with friends and family who comes to see her unusual plant, she is amazed at how her life begins to change. As time passes, Chris is drawn to the plant more frequently. After walking to the mailbox to pick up the mail or taking a break from yard work, she often sits for a while beside her plant. Soon she finds herself lost in conversation with her special plant, and during these conversations, Chris discovers many of the simple truths that have been hidden in her mind for years. Having suffered with ADD as a child and as an adult, Chris is able to recall her memories and work through her pain. She is reminded that she is special and that we all have the answers inside ourselves if we simply take the time to sit and listen to our hearts. Personally, I loved this book. Having suffered with ADD myself as a child and into my adulthood, I was often brought to tears as I could easily relate to many of Chris's struggles through the years. I can connect to her "pain and embarrassment" and I thought her story was especially touching. It was a wonderful reminder to settle down and take the time to think things through, to give myself a break now and again, and really take the time to listen for the answers I need in my life. I was reminded of my "moonflower", the desert, the place where I have always been able to go to find peace, to work through the problems in my life, and to just relax. I think we all have a "moonflower" of sorts; an object or a place where we can turn for comfort, quiet, and rest. We simply need to take the time to sit still and listen-- wherever or with whatever that may be. I give Conversations with a Moonflower 5 out of 5 stars.
Deseret Book, Amazon, or a bookstore near you.
To learn more about Christine Hall, visit conversationswithamoonflower.com or follow her on Facebook
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Sweet Potato Enchiladas....
6 sweet potatoes
1 and 1/2 packages 8oz cream cheese
4 green onions
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
12 corn tortillas
1 19oz can of red enchiladas sauce
1 1/2 packages of shredded cheddar cheese
Directions: (pre-heat oven to 350 degrees)
1. Bring large pot of water to boil and boil sweet potatoes until tender; about 30 mins.
2. Cool and peel the sweet potatoes
3. Place potatoes in a bowl with softened cream cheese and mash with blender on medium speed
4. Add green onions (diced) chili powder, dried oregano, and garlic salt
5. Blend until smooth
6. Heat oil in skillet and warm corn tortillas
7. Place your desired amount of sweet potato filling down the center of each tortilla. Roll and place, seam down, in prepared baking dish
8. Pour enchiladas sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with cheese
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 or 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown