Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Retirement Quest....

By John Hauserman, CFP.

Publisher's Review: 

Make better decisions . . .
• Get the unbiased advice you need
• Avoid costly mistakes
Where are you getting your financial advice? How do you know your interests are being safeguarded? How do you know that your advisors are competent? How can you know they’re putting your interests first?
John Hauserman has spent years building a better way for you to pursue your investment goals.
Retirement Quest: Make Better Decisions shows you how to get unbiased advice and avoid costly financial mistakes.
If you want to build a secure financial future, this is the book that will help show you how.

About the Author:

John Hauserman, CFP is the chief executive officer of Retirement Journey, LLC. He oversees the details of the Retirement Quest planning experience.Baltimore Magazine named John a five-star wealth manager, based on nine criteria, including customer service, communications, value for fee charge, and overall satisfaction.In 2011 John was named the Baltimore area regional ambassador serving on behalf of the Certified Financial Planner (TM) Board of Standards.

Mandi's Review: 

Planning for retirement is something I usually don't think about on any given day. Though my financial future should be utmost on my mind, it often takes a back seat to stinky diapers, dirty dishes, screaming children, and all the other important chores on my everyday "to-do" list. Not only does thinking about retirement usually fall to the wayside, but it also happens to be one of those subjects that simply leaves me feeling flustered and baffled. Where do I start? How do I find answers? And how can I avoid mistakes? Well, first off, let me say, that reading a book based on retirement has never been high on my "to-read" list, but when approached to participate in this tour, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did. Not only has John Hauserman written a very informative book, he has written the subject matter in a way that is easy to understand and will lead you through the process of getting started in a very un-painful way. He offers insight on how to set goals, how to invest, how to avoid costly financial scams, and how to establish a savings system that will work for you. The charts offered in the book gives the readers a good visual and makes understanding important topics such as market cycles, stocks and bonds, and earnings, easy. I'm excited to jump on board and start my financial planning, and the subject really doesn't seem so daunting as before. I recommend this book to anyone interested in securing a better financial future for themselves and their loved ones. This book was very easy to read and understand, and John Hauserman's insight and advice was very informative. Definitely give it a try. You won't be sorry you did.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Leap Into Books giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Jinky is Reading. Today on my blog you can win a Reader Grab bag filled with fun SURPRISES. Just follow the rules listed below for a chance to win!!!


1) Follow this blog (Mandatory)
2) Follow me on Face Book (+2)
3) Add my book The Alias to your Good Reads list! The Alias is available for only $3.99 on KINDLE today! (+2)
4) Leave a comment below letting me know the steps you've completed for a chance to win!

And don't forget to check out all the fun prizes on other participating blogs!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Targets In Ties....

A "Secret Sisters Mystery" by Author Tristi Pinkston.

Publisher's Note: After two long years, Ren’s mission is finally over, and it’s time for Ida Mae, Arlette, and Tansy to travel to Mexico to pick him up. They have their itinerary all planned out—visiting the ruins in the Yucatan, shopping, playing in the sand and surf—and then they’ll head to Ren’s mission home and be reunited with that dear boy. But a wanted antiquities thief crosses their path, and soon the ladies find themselves tangled up in a web of lies, intrigue, and costly jewelry. Held hostage by men desperate for riches, they do what only they can do—keep their heads about them, plan their escape, and discuss the proper making of tortillas. Will they survive their most harrowing adventure yet?

Mandi's Review: Targets in Ties by author Tristi Pinkston is the 4th installment in her widely popular and witty "Secret Sister Mystery" series, and I have to admit I was very excited to review it.  Pinkston's colorful characters Ida Mae, Tansy, and Arlette are a delight, and you will quickly fall in love with their unique, yet "oh-so familiar" personalities as they board a plane and head to Mexico. The trio are excited and anxious to spend a couple of weeks touring the country and taking in the sights before they are reunited with Ren, Ida Mae's nephew, who has spent the last two years serving and teaching the people of Mexico as an LDS missionary. However, when Ida Mae catches a glimpse of notorious jewel thief, Manuel Gonzales, during a tour of ancient Mayan ruins their trip becomes anything but ordinary.  Full of intrigue, twists and turns, Targets in Ties will definitely keep you reading until the wee hours of morning. Pinkston's characters are a delight, and don't be surprised if you catch yourself laughing out loud more than once at the old ladies antics. I found Targets in Ties to be a very fun, enjoyable read, and I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun cozy mystery! I can hardly wait to read more by Author Tristi Pinkston. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tangled Hearts...

An LDS Romantic/Suspense novel written by Author Roseanne Evans Wilkins

Publisher's Note: Serra Lanning, known as the Chaste Mormon Model Kara Kukaanei, grew up in Salina, Kansas. She is living a lonely life. Her parents have died and her sister, Brooke, hasn't spoken to her in years. When Brooke shows up with her son in tow and asks Serra to watch him while she and her husband go on vacation to France, Serra's whole life is turned upside down. Serra's decision to hide from Brooke's in-law's create problems she doesn't anticipate. When the tires to her new SUV are slashed, she knows she has more to fear than having her nephew taken.

Mandi's Review: Tangled Hearts by Author Roseanne Wilkins is definitely a suspenseful, romantic read. Serra Lanning is a young, single clothing model living in New York City. Her life is ideal....and lonely, but when her sister, Brooke, whom she hasn't spoken to in years suddenly appears on her door step with a young toddler, Serra's life quickly turns upside down.  Then when Brooke and her husband die in an unexpected car crash, Serra must make a very difficult choice.... give up Mathew, her nephew, or run. She chooses to run, but what she doesn't expect is a series of set backs and terrifying events that will leave her dependent on a handsome stranger named Alec.  Wilkins has done a wonderful job creating a suspenseful and intriguing story.  The characters are believable, and Alec and Serra definitely have chemistry. The romance is fun, and the plot, entertaining. This is a clean, LDS-based  novel, and I recommend this book to anyone who loves a lot of romance and nail-biting suspense.  I really enjoyed this clean read! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Storm Dragon...

Another original tale told by my kids.... A(age 7), J(age 6), and D(age 3)....
STORM DRAGON....Written by A, J, and D

-A- "Once there was a dragon, and everybody called him The Storm Dragon. He controlled the storms. He liked to eat chocolate and eagle eggs." -J- "Everyday he went outside and played his whole life. He swings on swings. He slides down the slides, and he jumps rope."

"Storm Dragon"...Illustrated by Austin (age 7)

-D- "Ummm.....exercise. Umm....swinging. Ummm....he eats 'nannas. Ummm....the dragon likes to sleep. How about we call him Mr. Bean. A pink Mr. Bean!! Ummm....he likes to drink vinegar. He colored and he said, 'Okay'. But he get mad at the princess and he said, 'Roar!' " -A-  "He was going to capture the princess, and he didn't like people calling him Pink Mr. Bean. So he changed his name back to Storm Dragon. Besides, he wasn't pink, he was green. He liked cookies and milk to eat, and he didn't drink vinegar. He didn't breath fire either. He breathed water, and he is the best at squirt gun fights. One day he went to the park and squirted all the kids. The kids got mad." 

"Squirt Gun Dragon"....Illustrated by J (age 6)
-J- "He isn't green, he's blue! After he squirts the kids and they get mad, then he starts to be so mad he washed them down. The kids screamed and ran to get the animal control. Animal control had squirt guns in their pockets and sprayed him. The dragon gets them back...really soaking wet. Then the animal control ran and got the hot lava dragons. The hot lava dragons were nice to the people and just put the water dragon in Time Out." -D- "The princess paint the dragon when he in Time Out. She paints him pink! Umm...ummm...his lips get pink and his eyes look bigger cuz he wears mascara and she poofed out the bangs and hair and he looks like a princess. He's sad. How about the princess turns him into a frog princess?!!" 

"Princess turning dragon into a frog."....Illustrated by D (age 3)

-A- "No! He's a STORM DRAGON! He doesn't turn into a frog. He made a storm rain on the princess and she ran away crying. The End!" -D- "Nuh-uh! The dragon wipes off the makeup. And he hopped on the boat and went home with the princess to get more makeup on him....and...and...ummm...chapstick!" 

                                   The END.... 

Meet the authors: 

Secrets After Dark...

A novel by Marie Higgins

Publisher's Note: Residing at Thornton Manor under the premise of courting Jonathan Thornton, Hannah Forester intends to find out who murdered her father—and why. After all, Jonathan’s brother Morgan was the last
person to visit Peter Forester before his demise. But upon her arrival at Thornton Manor, Hannah is informed that Morgan perished the previous year in a house fire. She soon learns the manor is full of secrets: a ghost haunting the East Wing, a white wolf that roams
the grounds by night, and the story of a curse-protected treasure on the neighboring island. Most disturbingly, Hannah discovers that numerous young women have visited the manor only to vanish without a trace.

When a hooded, deep-voiced man visits Hannah’s bedroom late at night, warning her to leave the manor for her own safety, she realizes he must be Morgan Thornton. But why does he hide in the East Wing, and why does his family insist he is but a ghost? As Hannah falls in love with the handsome older brother, she must continue to court Jonathan in order to remain at the estate. Can she convince Morgan where her true loyalties lie? And will she uncover the Thorntons’ secrets quickly enough to solve her father’s murder
before she loses her own life?

My Review:  When Hannah Forester is invited to Thornton Manor she has no idea the secrets hidden within.    She only knows she must discover the mystery surrounding her father's death, and she feels certain the master of the house, Morgan Thornton, holds the key. He was, after all, the last person to see her father alive. However, upon her arrival she quickly learns that Morgan perished in a fire the year before. Frustrated, she determines to remain at Thornton Manner under the ruse she is courting Morgan's younger brother, Johnathon, but it doesn't take Hannah long to realize Thornton Manner holds more than one secret. When a dark-hooded figure appears in Hannah's bedroom, warning her to leave, she is determined to discover those secrets. She soon realizes the mysterious "ghost" lurking in the East wing is Morgan Thornton, who is alive, yet changed. More than one mystery surrounds a nearby island, and when servants begin to vanish in the night, she soon begins to doubt who she can and cannot trust. Marie Higgins novel, Secrets After Dark, is filled with mystery, suspense and a fun twist on the paranormal. Her characters will draw you in, and the fast moving plot will keep you guessing until the very end. I have to admit, I loved this book. Forbidden romance plays a key element, and you'll quickly get hooked in this story. I give Secrets After Dark my full recommendation and congratulate the author on a job well done!

To learn more about Author Marie Higgins and her books check you her Blog today!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Breakup Artist...

A novel by Shannen C. Camp

Publisher's Note: Breaking up with someone is a major pain—-unless you can hire someone else to do it for you! And Amelia demands top dollar for her professional break-up services. Everything's business as usual until David, one of the boys she's been hired to dump, throws her for a loop. Now she must decide if David's intentions are genuine, or if there's something sinister behind his flirting.

My Review: The Breakup Artist by Shannen C. Camp is just the sort of book that will leave you laughing until the very end. The plot is a fun, witty, and it's just the sort of book I love to read. Amelia, a high school teen, has created a very profitable business as a "breakup artist". You can pay her fifty bucks, and she'll dump your current boyfriend, leaving you free of guilt and free to pursue another crush. Amelia runs a professional business, and her busy schedule leaves her no time for relationships of her own, but she'd like to keep it that way. However, when she meets David, a boy she's been hired to dump, her carefully organized world begins to fall apart. Amelia is definitely a character to love. I loved her "professional" manner and her quirky personality. As the story progresses, you begin to realize the "whys" behind Amelia's choice of "profession", and you watch her grow and change until the very end. Author Shannen C. Camp does a wonderful job of building characters and plot. I highly recommend The Breakup Artist and congratulate the author on a job well done!

I have also had a chance to interview Shannen Camp and I hope you enjoy getting to know her better!

Meet Author Shannen C. Camp...

Tell us about yourself?    

I was going to copy and paste my little author bio here but who needs that when I can give you an 'off the top of my head and slightly inaccurate due to long hours at work' description? I like to write. A lot. I'm sure that's an obvious thing to say but it had to be said. I love to create in any way shape or form. Some days I'll come home and think "I need to create something" whether it's music, paintings, or stories. Is that odd? I can't help it. It's one of those little habits you just can't kick.
I guess I should also tell you the basics, like the fact that I was born and raised in California and I'm trying to cut my bad habit of writing all of my stories in California. I'm starting to know Utah better than CA now so maybe I'll set some stories here! I majored in Film at Brigham Young University and my emphasis was production design and makeup. Although I'm complete rubbish at 'pretty' makeup. I can only do special effects makeup. So if you're bored around Halloween time, come and see me!
I'm married to my high school lab partner and we have 489320842 names for children but no actual children yet... so I use all of the names on my characters :)

When did you first start writing? 

I started writing in the fourth grade. It was terrible. I tried so hard to write a Goosebumps type book but I made the mistake of abbreviating the title "Scared to Death" to STD, which I'm sure worried my fourth grade teacher just a little. I should publish that book one day, just so people can get a good laugh at all the horrible ways I accidentally used those three letters. Oops! I continued writing all through elementary school, junior high, and high school and finally finished a YA fantasy book in College. It's poorly written so I'll have to go back and fix it but literally right after I finished that one I wrote "The Breakup Artist". So I just haven't really stopped writing since the fourth grade.

How did you discover the idea for The Breakup Artist? 

I remember the exact moment I thought of this book. It was in 2008 and my brother was about to get married. I was sleeping on the floor in the office because of all of the family members who had come into town for the wedding and everyone was talking about love and marriage and relationships and I started wondering if there was some sort of job focused just on relationships. Somehow that led me to the idea of a professional breakup artist and a month later I had finished my book. So thanks, Jared for getting married!

How did you develop Amelia’s character? 

I feel like Amelia's character kind of developed herself. Initially she starts off kind of unlikable and snotty. She's got a big superiority complex and at times I found it difficult to balance showing her less-than-flattering side, while still trying to make the reader like her for how confused she was about her life. I feel like she kind of talks through growing up with the reader. She does it without realizing what's happening. I wanted people to see her as someone who didn't want to be awful, she just wasn't quite sure what else to be and she figures it out through slowly letting people in.

What other hobbies do you have besides writing?

I love to paint. I'm terrible at it really but I just love it. I'm a lot like Amelia actually in that I couldn't draw to save my life but I paint all the time. I also love video games, which is very nerdy of me :) My marriage is anti-stereotypical since my husband doesn't play video games at all and I'm a huge gamer. I also love to play music. Back when I had a piano I'd play all the time (apartments don't fit pianos very well) but now I mostly play guitar and flute because they're small and portable, though if you brought me a drum set I wouldn't be mad about it!

Thanks, Shannen!

To purchase your very own copy of The Breakup Artist visit Amazon
To learn more about Shannen visit her Blog at

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Follower Love Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Author Rachael Reene Anderson. Today on my blog I am giving away a signed copy of my book THE ALIAS!

Publisher's Note: After a long and difficult divorce, Jacey is sure the worst is over. But when the FBI reveals some disturbing information about her ex-husband, she is forced into hiding to protect herself and her son. In the process, she risks losing her identity, her future, and her heart. Thrilling and suspenseful, this novel is an edge-of-your-seat read.

THE ALIAS is also available on Amazon Kindle for only $3.99!!

To enter this giveaway please follow the rules listed below.

1) Follow this blog (Mandatory)
2) Follow me on Face Book (+1)
3) Add The Alias on GoodReads (+2)
4) Leave a comment below letting me know which steps you have completed. And don't forget to add your email address so I can contact you when you win!

Thanks a bunch and have a very Happy Valentine's Day!! Now go and visit all the other amazing blogs for more awesome giveaways....(see link below)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A spoonful of vinegar...

Last year around this time, I was dealing with a mess of health problems. I had been diagnosed with everything from pre-diabetes to early menopause. The symptoms of these sudden on-set problems made life difficult to say the least, and the medications to treat said symptoms came with its own set of issues. This was very depressing for me. I had recently lost 80 lbs. I was running 1/2 marathons, and I was in the middle of training for my first full marathon. I felt as though I should have been at my peak health, but I suddenly found myself nearly bedridden. Needless to say, I was in terrible shape. My low level of hormones (early menopause) caused severe hair-loss, adult acne, and debilitating fatigue, and I felt all-around icky. My training came to a grinding halt and I packed on pounds at an alarming rate. Through out the year, I have struggled with a way to overcome these new  issues in my life and rise above them. I have turned to a mostly holistic approach, and in doing so...I discovered Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey. I know...I know...this sounds terrible, but hear me out! **Now I am no doctor and I definitely don't believe ACV and honey is for everybody. I also believe that just like any other supplement, you should be informed about the risks associated with taking anything into your body**, but after a lot of research, I decided to give honey and organic Apple Cider Vinegar with "the mother" a try. I added 2 tsp. of vinegar and 2 tsp. of honey to a glass of juice or water 3 times a day before every meal. Right away, I recognized a change in my energy levels. After months of fatigue, I felt some reprieve. I continued this regimen, and after a week, I noticed a significant change in my complexion. My acne, which I have never had to deal with, even in my youth, began to diminish. After a month, my hair loss slowed to a near halt. Now instead of losing giant clumps, I lose the standard ball of fuzz with each washing. My energy has returned in full. I am running again, my digestion has improved, my arthritis is under control, I don't retain the water I once did, and I have even avoided colds and the flu so far this year. Also, when my husband was diagnosed with strep a few months ago, I convinced him to give ACV and honey a try. To his amazement, the pain in his throat diminished overnight and he was able to beat the infection in half the time. He now uses ACV to help his indigestion and has been amazed with the results. I realize this is not a miracle cure, but I have benefited by taking ACV and I had to share my story. For more information on Apple Cider Vinegar check out Earth Clinic. Again, this is my *personal* experience with ACV.