Sunday, October 16, 2016

Book Spotlight Best Season Yet by Rebekah Trittipoe

It's the first practice. Your back against the cold, dented locker, you take your spot on the floor, waiting. A posse of other hopefuls surrounds you. A tense excitement is palpable. Or maybe you're the coach, and you feel that same electricity. What will the season bring? you ponder. How will these kids perform? How can I lead them and help them find their potential? Inhaling deeply, you scan the faces and begin.

There is nothing like a new athletic season, full of promise for both coach and athlete. Goals are set, commitments made. But as the season progresses, it's all too easy to lose focus in the fray.

Best Season Yet: 12 Weeks to Train is a book (with integrated journal) that guides the coach and team to embrace their God-given talents, discover a purpose beyond winning and losing, and spur each other to that place where fear and dreams collide. For a dozen weeks, the entire team will visit themes such as commitment, submission, goal setting, pain and suffering, and pursuing excellence. It offers an opportunity to discuss and journal practical ways to set the principles in motion. The format of five easy-to-read stories is ideal for use in a Monday-through-Friday school setting. Best Season Yet is a resource for the coach, team member, or individual athlete who desires to experience an exceptional season.

Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas; 1st edition (February 28, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1938499557
ISBN-13: 978-1938499555

Barnes and Noble

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Book Review: Raising A Young Modern-Day Princess by Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting

A book that is both empowering and inspiring, Raising A Young Modern-Day Princess: Growing the Fruit of the Spirit in Your Little Girl is the perfect guide for raising a godly young woman.

Co-authors Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting share their insights on how parents can instill and nurture virtuous traits in young girls to prepare them for the teenage years. Each chapter is filled with personal stories, Scripture references, activities, and ideas based upon the theme of that chapter.

It was wise to start off the first chapter talking about different personalities. Understanding a child's personality goes a long way in helping a parent know how to interact with that child and gets them to thinking how best to teach them.

I also like how dads were not left behind. There are dad and daughter activities and each chapter winds down with "Dad's Toolbox," which allows the reader to discover "insights on using the appropriate tool to build purpose, value, and strength" in their little girl's life.

This book is an excellent resource to encourage you as the parent of a young girl. I've had two, so I know it's not always sugar and spice and everything nice. I'm only sad that my girls are way beyond this stage now and I won't be able to put this great book into action. I certainly wish Raising A Young Modern-Day Princess was around back then.

Highly recommended!

Pages: 228
Publisher: Focus on the Family
ISBN-10: 1589978668
ISBN-13: 978-1589978669

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mailbox Monday - Oct 3

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Here we are again. Hope you all had a nice weekend. Ours was busy.

My youngest niece got married this weekend. She was a lovely bride and we all had a fun time. Food was great.

It was also a soccer weekend. The Lil' Princess was waiting for play to start in that photo. She's having a good year, but her team isn't winning any games. At least she is enjoying herself. 

As far as books go, all the books that arrived were not requested, but they are all books I would like to read.

This first one is from a series I've read in the past. Haven't read the last few, but they are in my pile.

The terrorist organization ISIS is after a deadly toxin that could be the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. The same toxin holds the potential to eradicate cancer. There is a frantic race to see who can get to it first, even as Caitlin Strong begins to assemble the disparate pieces of a deadly puzzle.

At the center of that puzzle is an Indian reservation where a vengeful tycoon is mining the toxin, disguising his effort as an oil-drilling operation. This is the same reservation where Caitlin’s great-great-grandfather, also a Texas Ranger, once waged a similar battle against the forces of John D. Rockefeller.

In her highest-stakes adventure yet, Caitlin Strong faces off against a host of adversaries that just might include the beautiful Comanche girl with whom the son of her ex-outlaw boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters has fallen in love, along with a mythic monster culled from Native American folklore that the tribe believes has risen to protect its land. The lives of those Caitlin loves most are threatened by the villains she’s pursuing; her own moral code is challenged. The fate of both the country and the state she loves are dangling on the precipice of a strong cold death.

For as long as Lottie can remember, the only people who seem to care about her have been her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter-writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things and people are arriving on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot's getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie doesn't know what she can possibly do—until a door opens in the apple tree. Down through the roots is another world—a world of treacherous, beautiful, impossible magic that just might lead to a cure for Eliot.

Even after escaping from the Southerly Kingdom, Lottie Fiske and her best friend Eliot have returned to the magical Albion Isle, despite the fact that she is a wanted criminal there, because she is seeking answers about her abilities, and her parents--but war is threatening Limn, and the answers she needs seem to lie in the Northerly Kingdom, along a road full of dangers.

Jane Austen's family is eager to secure her future by marrying her off. But Jane is much more interested in writing her novels, and finds every suitor lacking—until the mysterious Mr. Lefroy arrives. Could he be the one? Before Jane can find out, she must solve a murder, clear her family's name, and face a decision that might cost her true love.

That's it for now. I'll be away at a conference part of the week, so not sure how much blogging I'll do. Make it a great one.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mailbox Monday - Sept 19

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend. It was a weekend of soccer, a birthday, and work.

Papou (Greek for grandfather) turned 86 on Friday. The family got together to celebrate. Earlier in the week my husband visited Fenway and got a tour of the stadium. He met former Boston Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn. When he told Lynn that his father was a big fan, Lynn called Papou up and spoke to him for a bit. That's a pretty cool present.

Saturday and Sunday were both losses on the soccer field, but the Lil' Princess played well. Hope her tendinitis doesn't act up too much.

As for book arrivals, it was a great week. Three book review requests came in.

She's ghostwriting a book for a famous author--a recently deceased one. A struggling writer living in Manhattan, Jacy McMasters is the first to admit she's a terrific liar and a screw-up. Then the ghost of the famous novelist JD Balinger asks her to "channel" a follow-up to his classic coming of age book, The Watcher in the Sky. Along with her new boyfriend, a bear of a man who has no patience for mind games, the ghost in Jacy's head forces her to confront a lifetime of secrets—dark secrets. Secrets she's been keeping from herself.

This Advent book contains family devotions that focus on connecting Jesus and the symbols of Christmas. Each day includes a devotional, prayer, questions to discuss, the meaning of a Christmas symbol, and suggested activities to put the scriptures into action. Reproducibles are included to help with the symbol activities.

Emulating the format of Raising a Modern-Day Princess, authors Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting seek to help parents and grandparents cultivate strong relationships and encourage the spiritual formation in their daughters using examples, Bible teaching on the fruit of the Spirit, and a variety of creative activities that are based on Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).

By implementing the ideas in this book, mothers (as well as fathers) will be equipped to understand and guide their daughters through each step of becoming His “princess.” This will include perceiving a daughter’s unique personality and gifts, refining her character through training and discipline, and modeling the attributes of a daughter of the King.

This book is a follow-up to both Raising a Modern-Day Knight (by Robert Lewis) and Raising a Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna. While the latter book is aimed at parents of girls ages 12 and up, this book focuses on building the Christian character of younger girls.

Don't know about you, but I am thrilled to see the Christmas books coming out. The only thing that can make my favorite genres better is to have their stories set during Christmas time.

What was in your mailbox last week? Hope you'll share.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

New Release: Monticello by Sally Cabot Gunning

This recent release from Sally Cabot Gunning caught my eye because I love reading about the early years of our country and our Founding Fathers. Historical fiction remains one of my favorite genres. Have added this to my wish list.

From the critically acclaimed author of The Widow's War comes a captivating work of literary historical fiction, set in America in the years after the Revolution, that explores the tenuous relationship between the brilliant and complex founding father Thomas Jefferson and his devoted daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph.

After the early death of her mother, young Martha Jefferson accompanied her father, Thomas Jefferson, on his first diplomatic mission to Paris. Five years later, father and daughter have come home to Monticello, the family’s beloved plantation set high in the lush hills of the Virginia countryside.

Though Monticello has suffered from her father’s absence, Martha finds it essentially unchanged, even as she has been transformed. The sheltered girl that sailed to Europe is now a handsome seventeen-year-old woman with a battle-scarred heart, who sees a world far more complicated than it once seemed.

Blessed with her father’s sharp mind and independent spirit, Martha has long abhorred slavery and yearned for its swift end. Yet she now discovers that the home she adores is burdened by growing debt and cannot survive long without the labor of its slaves. Her bonds with those around her are shifting, too. As the doting father she has idolized since childhood returns to government, he becomes increasingly distracted by tumultuous fights for power and troubling attachments that pull him further away. And as Martha begins to pay closer attention to Sally Hemings—the beautiful light-skinned slave long acknowledged to be her mother’s half-sister—she realizes that the slave’s position in the household has subtly changed. Eager for distraction, Martha welcomes the attentions of Thomas Randolph, her exotic distant cousin, but soon Martha uncovers burdens and desires in him that threaten to compromise her own.

As her life becomes constrained by the demands of marriage, motherhood, politics, scandal, and her family’s increasing impoverishment, Martha yearns to find her way back to her childhood home; to the gentle beauty and quiet happiness of the world she once knew at the top of her father’s “little mountain.”

An irresistible blend of emotional drama, historical detail, and vivid atmosphere, Monticello skillfully brings to life Martha Jefferson Randolph, a strong and compelling woman who influenced -- as much as she was influenced by -- one of the most intriguing figures in American history.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (September 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062320432
ISBN-13: 978-0062320438

Purchase at:


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Busy, Busy Mom

Sorry I haven't blogged yet this week. Work is really crazy right now. Check out my two new listings.

Springfield, MA

Chicopee, MA

Soccer started recently too. The Lil' Princess played her first game last Saturday. It was pouring! 

No dance photos yet, but that started on Saturday as well. 

Certainly no reason to be bored around here. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Glazed Orange Coconut Cake from

For my mother-in-law's birthday, I made this Glazed Orange Coconut Cake with a recipe I found on

Yield: 20 servings


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh orange juice (4 to 5 oranges)
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind

Orange glaze and garnish:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (1 orange)
Toasted coconut chips (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.

Combine flour and next five ingredients (flour through salt).

In a separate bowl, combine coconut milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and orange juice and rind. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into prepare pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice. If there are little lumps, let glaze sit 30 minutes, until they dissolve. Pour glaze over completely cooled cake. Sprinkle coconut chips on top, if using.

How did it turn out? Fabulous! It had the best texture of any cake I've ever made. I'm sure the glaze helped, but the cake was yummy to begin with. 

Would I do anything differently? I would add more unsweetened coconut to the batter or garnish the cake with toasted coconut chips because the orange flavor came through nicely, but I felt the coconut flavor wasn't strong enough. I also should have waited a bit longer to glaze it. The cake was still a bit warm, so the glaze didn't harden the way I expected. Most of it soaked into the cake. 

Do you have a great recipe for an orange coconut cake? I would love to try it out.