Friday, June 23, 2017

The Solution!



I've been a bit under the weather this week. Nothing major but no energy and slightly overwhelmed with all that needs to happen before the end of the month. I've already begun packing for vacation, so at least that should be done on time.

Earlier today I was sitting with the dog at my feet thinking about how to continue my blog for busy moms yet reduce my blogging duties overall. I looked at my Domain Renewal or Not post and the list of blogs and a solution came to me: blend my busy moms blog with the Christian book blog that hasn't been updated most of the year. Not only will it allow me some flexibility in what I write about and allow for more content, it will truly capture the essence of my life: a busy Christian wife and mom who enjoys books, rambles a bit, and reviews products.

Welcome to An Imperfect Christian Mom. I've imported most of the content from The Busy Mom's Daily and Cheryl's Christian Book Connection into it, so you'll be able to find any older posts that might have been your favorites. I'll also be republishing some of my previous articles on time management and organization, church life, Christian parenting, and health and wellness.

I hope you'll come visit me at my new home and let me know what you think.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Domain Renewal or Not


When I started The Busy Mom's Daily, I was working from home and had more free time than I have had in the last three years. I received notice recently that my domain is up for renewal and it's simply not worth it to continue paying for the site.

As I had planned last year, I will begin posting in July at Busy REALTOR® Mom. If that doesn't work out, then everything will shift to a different blog. I will maintain the Facebook page.

Here are all the blogs I plan to maintain...

The Book Connection
The Children's and Teens' Book Connection
Books Can Be Deadly

And I blog the first and third Fridays at...

Christian Children's Authors

On hold for the time being is...

Cheryl's Christian Book Connection

But I think there are plans for a future there.

Thank you for your loyal readership. I hope you'll bookmark my other blogs and visit me there.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mailbox Monday June 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 had a wonderful weekend. The Lil' Diva, Lil' Princess and I took their dad out to Olive Garden for lunch after church. Then we went to visit my father-in-law in rehab. Looks like two more weeks of physical therapy for him before he can go home.

Last week I posted my reviews of What the Bishop Saw and Annie's Recipe over at The Book Connection. I also received the following book for review:


It’s down to fathers and fatherhood.

Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady.

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place.

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in London.
But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages. Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

Three other short books are on the way for virtual book tour reviews: a children's book and two books of poetry.

That's it from me. Hope you'll share your mailbox too. Have a great week!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Caring for Aging Parents



I don't always talk about my blogging days at Christian Children's Authors but I thought my article on caring for aging parents might be of interest to our readers here. You can find my post at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2017/06/16/role-reversal-caring-for-elderly-parents/

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review: What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman

If you like Amish mysteries, you need to grab a copy of What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman. This first book in a new series features a bishop with an extraordinary talent that could be the key to finding a murderer.

Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene of an out of control fire in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. He soon learns the fire was no accident and that Vernon Frey was killed. Considering Vernon's reputation in the Amish and Englisch communities there is no end to potential suspects.

When police suspect someone Henry knows is innocent, he must decide if he will use his mysterious, God-given gift to set the record straight.

When I heard Chapman was releasing a new series that blended two of my favorite genres--Amish fiction and mystery--there was no doubt I would read it. What the Bishop Saw hooked me right from the Prologue and didn't let go until the Epilogue was done. I'm already planning to beg to review the next book in the series when it comes out.

Her trademark of "Christian Fiction Full of Grace" is front and center throughout this exciting story, while the romance between Henry and Emma percolates slowly like a good cup of coffee. The ending is superb and I loved the Epilogue. The novel is filled with characters I hope we will see again in the next book.

I have enjoyed everything I've ever read by Vannetta Chapman, but What the Bishop Saw is my new favorite. I can't wait to see what happens next in The Amish Bishop Mysteries series.


Series: The Amish Bishop Mysteries (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (May 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736966471
ISBN-13: 978-0736966474

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.

Product Review: ElimiTag Skin Tag Remover Homeopathic Medicine


As I have gotten older, I've noticed skin tags cropping up mostly underneath my arms--which can make shaving a challenge. Tired of dealing with them and a bit self-conscious that a few are large enough that I don't want to wear tank tops, I decided to try ElimiTag, which I purchased at the grocery store. You brush this on up to three times a day and in three to six weeks the tags are supposed to be gone. 

Considering the hefty price tag of this product ($12.49 for a 5 fluid ounce bottle), I was expecting better results. A couple of the smaller skin tags have gone away, but even with consistent application the larger ones remain unchanged. ElimiTag also smells dreadful. I'll qualify that by stating I am very sensitive to strong odors, but the reason I switched from apple cider vinegar to this was so I didn't smell horrible. After spending that much money on such a tiny bottle I am planning on using most of it, but I will switch back to the vinegar after that because it is so much cheaper. 

ElimiTag has received mixed reviews on Amazon. Some people have had success with it and others haven't. Check it out for yourself and see if you want to give it a try. 

I purchased this product during my regular grocery shopping run. I have not been compensated for this review in any way.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mailbox Monday - June 12



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.

What a difference a week makes. Last week was damp and rainy. Today is hot and sunny. They are talking record-breaking heat.

Last week was hectic with closings, soccer tryouts, and other end of school year stuff. I'm looking forward to heading to the Outer Banks soon. The pet sitters are all set and John Boy will be living here while we are away. I'm so eager to get away that I've already packed up my reading material. Plan to get some writing done too.

As for my mailbox, the second book in the Da Vinci's Disciples series arrived last week.


In a studiolo behind a church, six women gather to perform an act that is, at once, restorative, powerful, and illegal. They paint. Under the tutelage of Leonardo da Vinci, these six show talent and drive equal to that of any man, but in Renaissance Florence they must hide their skills, or risk the scorn of the city.

A commission to paint a fresco in Santo Spirito is announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage and now free to pursue her artistic passions in secret, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow female artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win.

But the church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and could put them in physical danger.

All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing her joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has her own romantic life to distract her, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.

An author friend of mine also sent me her next book to read to provide an endorsement.

That's it for me. Hope you have a blessed week.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mailbox Monday - June 5



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.

Welcome to the first Monday in June. A bit rainy here, but the sun will come out one day this week. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. It was a family and friends weekend for us.

Another year of dance is quickly coming to an end. On Saturday the girls had recital pictures. I'm not quite sure how this...


and this....


Turned into this...


We also attended a wedding for a young couple from our church. We wish them many blessings and much happiness.


On Sunday, we had church and then visited my father-in-law who is currently in rehab after another fall at home. Growing old certainly isn't for sissies. 

As far as my mailbox, it's been pretty dull lately. I haven't been requesting much of anything since I am so far behind. This cute elementary age graphic novel arrived unsolicited from the publisher.





Second grade isn't always a breeze for Birdie. There are just so many opportunities to embarrass herself! But Birdie's got a secret weapon that nobody knows about--her alter-ego, Crafty Cat! Birdie can become Crafty Cat without anyone noticing, and she always manages to get herself out of a jam using her awesome crafting skills! When Birdie goes to a day-camp for crafting, she knows she's going to have a great time and be the best in the group. But when things go wrong, can Crafty Cat help Birdie set them right?

From Just Grace and Fashion Kitty author Charise Mericle Harper comes the next volume in a hilarious, charming, and sweet new graphic novel trilogy for elementary-age readers about a little girl who can craft her way out of any situation.

That's it from my neck of the woods. Hope you have a great week.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mailbox Monday - May 22



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! I hope you had a nice weekend. The weather was good here and it gave me a chance to spread some mulch down and refresh that area of the yard I designated for my wildlife friends. I also sold a house. Real estate has kept me very busy this year. The market is booming: low inventory and high buyer demand have increased prices.

On the book front, I've been playing catch up. These reviews were posted recently:

Organizing for Your Lifestyle
Food Junkies
The Joyful Business Planner
Creating a Life Worth Living, Volume 1

The Friends of the Wilbraham Public Library held their annual book sale at the beginning of May. Here's what I picked up from there:



Most of them are research materials for my writing, but I did pick up a couple of novels.

Last week, Charlotte Hubbard sent me her upcoming release. She has a book tour coming up soon.

Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . .

That's it for me this week. Hope you'll share your new mailbox.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Review: The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin

Where has this business planner been for the past three decades of my life? The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin is unlike anything you've probably seen before--which is why the author says she put it together.

Broken down into five sections--Business Overview, Marketing, Yearly Tracking, Calendars, and Wish Lists and Aspirations--this planner has the systems to get you organized and on track to meet your goals.

What I love about this book (everything really, but...):
  • It's less than 100 pages (perfect for busy small business owners like me);
  • It is short on narration and long on helpful templates to put the right systems in place;
  • There is one sheet that is a look at your current year at a glance that you can complete and hang in your office to stay focused;
  • One chapter focuses solely on social media marketing (including blogging);
I could go on and on about The Joyful Business Planner, but in the end all I need to say is this: if you are a small business owner, The Joyful Business Planner is an essential tool for success. 

Paperback: 92 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539141810
ISBN-13: 978-1539141815

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review: Food Junkies by Vera Tarman & Phil Werdell Read by Lisa Bunting


This is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. Food Junkies: The Truth about Food Addiction by Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell and Read by Lisa Bunting is an in-depth look into food addiction with accounts from struggling addicts, a look into the shame of the addiction, and offers practical advice for people struggling with problems of overeating, binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia.

As someone who has struggled to eat healthy, Food Junkies was an eye-opening read. Learning about a variety of addictions and also how our bodies interact with what we eat is certainly helpful. Even when you know the health concerns, it isn't always easy not to over-indulge. Imagine how much more difficult it must be to cope with a food addiction and the shame that can come with it. There are stories of addiction in this book that will be tough to read, but if they help someone it will be worth it.

Audible doesn't always work well with my device, so I purchased the Kindle version. I did, however, download the audio version on my PC and thought Bunting's tone and inflection good for this topic.

If you're dealing with food addiction or know someone who is, Food Junkies is definitely worth reading; though I think it's a fascinating read for anyone interested in food and your body.


Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Audible.com Release Date: July 7, 2016
Language: English

I received an audio version of this book from the authors through Goddess Fish Promotions. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review: Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller

It has long been my dream to get more organized. I'm not bad at it, but over the years the family has collected more things than we can ever use and I'm at the point where I don't want to look at it anymore. I've also never liked our closet storage. So, when Jane Stoller's publicist asked me if I would like to review Organizing for Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases, I jumped at the chance.

An organizer from a very young age, Stoller has put together a book that will inspire you to get organized for good. Get ideas on how to design your closet, tips on how best to hang your clothes, learn how to keep the bathroom toiletries in order and keep your kitchen tidy, learn traveling tips and more.

Organizing for Your Lifestyle is just the right size for the busy mom because it provides the information you need in under 130 pages. You can slip it in your purse and read it a little at time--maybe take some notes--and put together a plan of action. The pictures are an added bonus.

There are two hard things about organization--getting organized and staying organized. Stoller helps you to do both. My plan of action is already in the works and I look forward to sharing the results with my readers in the future.

If you're tired of living the life of the eternally disorganized, pick up a copy of Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller. It will empower you to change your ways.


Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: BookBaby (August 4, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1483570959
ISBN-13: 978-1483570952

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

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Diary of a Busy Mom - The Blessing of Trials




It's hard to believe that April 28 was my last post. I really miss blogging, but there has been little time for it. The real estate market is hot and I've had three new listings over the last few weeks. Two of them are already under contract: a sign of the limited housing inventory and how swiftly properties are moving. 

The house is a mess. I’m putting in twelve-hour days. My goal of bringing my office down to the first floor remains unachieved. Reading time is almost as non-existent as blogging time.

Over the last four weeks our family has traveled through and, thankfully, out of a valley. My husband was laid off. Both our cars needed expensive repairs. A dear friend passed away. But God is good! Hubby is back to work. Our friend’s son has been a sleepover guest. I had a chance to participate in my first Author’s Fair at the local library. We’ve had the joy of watching our girls’ concerts as the school year begins to wind down and our annual vacation to North Carolina is coming closer. We are hoping to plan a surprise for the Lil’ Diva’s sixteenth birthday too. Shhhhhh!

Life certainly is a mix of trials and blessings. We learn to praise God not only for the blessings, but for the trials as well. For without the trials, how could we ever come to appreciate how much He truly loves us? Would the blessings seem as sweet if we never traveled through a desert place? I can’t imagine they would. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: A Mother's Love by Charlotte Hubbard

Revealed secrets, love and forgiveness swirl through this superb new novel from Charlotte Hubbard.

A Mother's Love tells the story of Widow Rose Raber, who lost her father and husband in a sawmill fire. Raising her daughter Gracie while caring for her sick mother has been challenging. Then when on her death bed Lydia reveals Rose was adopted and she is not to seek out her birth mother because that woman has too much to lose if the secret comes out, her world is turned upside down. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith, newcomer Matthias Wagler is another unexpected surprise in her life.

When her birth mother unexpectedly shows up at Rose's new job, their bond is instant and unmistakable. But Saul Hartzler isn't a man to be reckoned with. He soon realizes his wife's deception and is appalled that she bore a child he knew nothing about. Now this truth threatens Matthais' livelihood and Rose's future. Rose and Matthias must place all their faith in God and trust He will provide a miraculous resolution.

A Mother's Love is a captivating story. From the very first moment the reader is drawn into Rose's life: the ache of the loss of her family, her uncertainty and anger over learning about her birth mother, the challenges of being a single parent, the desire to find her birth mother, the need to carve out a new life for Gracie and her, and so much more. This story will tug at your heartstrings as much as it will comfort you in realizing that God works out all things for the good of His people.

With each new novel I read from Charlotte Hubbard I think, this is the best story she has ever written. Then she amazes me by writing another fabulous story that is even better. If you haven't read anything by Hubbard before, you're missing out on one of the best names in Amish fiction. Pick up a copy of A Mother's Love today and find out for yourself.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 149670844X
ISBN-13: 978-1496708441

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.



Click on these links to buy this book now!


Ebook: 

Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

WEBSITE www.CharlotteHubbard.com

Facebook www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Spotlight: Beethoven in Love by Howard J. Smith





We're happy to host Howard J. Smith's BEETHOVEN IN LOVE: OPUS 139 Virtual Book Tour today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!



Title:
BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139

Author: Howard Jay Smith

Publisher: SYQ

Pages: 385

Genre: Literary Fiction/Biographical Fiction

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the
great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This ghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past. 

As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor
the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Purchase Information:

Amazon




Book Excerpt:



Prologue:
The Death of Beethoven
Vienna, 5:00 pm,
March
26, 1827
 
Outside Beethoven’s rooms at the Schwarzspanierhaus, a fresh measure of snow from a late season thunderstorm muffles the chimes of St. Stephens Cathedral as they ring out the hours for the old city.
    Ein, Zwei, Drei, Vier…
Funf  Uhr. 
Five O’clock.
    Beethoven, three months past his fifty-sixth birthday, lies in a coma, as he has now for two nights,
his body bound by the betrayal of an illness whose only virtue was that it proved incurable and would, thankfully, be his last. Though his chest muscles and his lungs wrestle like giants against the approaching blackness, his breathing is so labored that the death rattle can be heard over the grumblings of the heavens throughout his apartment. 
     Muss es sein? Must it be? Ja, es muss sein. Beethoven is dying. From on high, the Gods vent their
grief at his imminent passing and hurl a spear of lightening at
Vienna.
     Their jagged bolt of electricity explodes outside the frost covered windows of the Schwarzspanierhaus with a clap of thunder so violent it startles the composer to consciousness. 
     Beethoven’s eyes open, glassy, unfocused. He looks upward – only the Gods know what he sees, if
anything. He raises his right hand, a hand that has graced a thousand sonatas, and clenches his fist for perhaps the last time. His arm trembles as if railing against the heavens. Tears flood his eyes.
     His arm falls back to the bed… His eyelids close… And then he is gone ...

REVIEW COMING SOON!


About the Author

Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony - "The Best Small City Symphony in America" -  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

INTERVIEW
BOOK CIRCLE ONLINE AT YOUTUBE

INTERVIEW
BLOGTALK RADIO


http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Monday, April 24, 2017

Guest Post: One of My Favorite Characters by F.M. Meredith, Author of Unresolved


Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi.

Copies may be purchased from Book and Table by emailing bookandtablevaldosta@gmail.com with a 10% discount and free shipping.

Books may be ordered from all the usual places as well.

One of My Favorite Characters in the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series

Cheryl asked me to tell about my favorite character in this series, but instead, I wanted to tell you about a fairly new character that I’m growing fond of, the new Chief of Police, Chandra Taylor.

Chandra, the second African American on the RBPD, came to Rocky Bluff from the San Francisco Police Department. She knew her chance of advancing beyond lieutenant were nil. Though the small beach town of Rocky Bluff certainly didn’t compare to San Francisco, it didn’t take long before Chandra began to enjoy her job, the police officers who worked under her and the community itself.

In A Crushing Death, Chandra’s life was threatened by a man she’d arrested in the past and Detective Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan, not only protected her but became friends in the process.

When the mayor is murdered and the other members of the city council all become suspects, Chandra finds herself attracted to the man who has become the new mayor, Devon Duvall. Whether or not this attraction will develop, of course, depends upon Devon’s innocence.

It’s always fun for me as an author, when new and interesting characters become a part of the Rocky Bluff series. I hope that readers will enjoy this new twist as well.



F. M. Meredith lived for many years in a small beach community much like Rocky Bluff. She has many relatives and friends who are in law enforcement and share their experiences and expertise with her. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mercy Street on PBS Cancelled After Season 2



Annoyed. Agitated. Disappointed. I feel all this and more at the recent news that Mercy Street--PBS’ Civil War-era medical drama--has been cancelled after just two seasons. In this world of reality television, Mercy Street was a breathe of fresh air: drama, romance, and an exploration into a tumultuous time in our country's history. Giving both equal time to those inside and outside of Mansion House Hospital, this period drama captivated me from the start.

Josh Radnor as Dr. Jedediah Foster and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Phinney were just two of the outstanding actors that made the show worth watching. Mercy Street's strength resided in its character development: both in one-episode characters and recurring.

While Season 2 ended powerfully with the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation and the promise of better things to come, there are so many stories left unwritten. Will Emma Green and Chaplain Hopkins be able to get beyond what happened at the creek? How will the death of her only living son impact Hospital Matron Brannan? Will Silas Bullen continue on the straight and narrow? Can James Green Jr. ever meet up to his family's expectations?

There is a #SaveMercyStreet campaign and a petition to sign. As of right now, I am adding Mercy Street to my list of reasons I hate getting caught up in shows only to see them cancelled. This list includes: Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Cedar Cove.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Coming in May: What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman


Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?


What the Bishop Saw
is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

Series: The Amish Bishop Mysteries (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (May 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736966471
ISBN-13: 978-0736966474

Pre-order here!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Mar 27



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're having a great day. It's raining cats and dogs out here, but it's spring and hopefully no more snow will be coming.

Last week an unexpected gift arrived.


A daring, compelling, and impeccably researched historical novel that offers dramatic new insight into the life of the greatest composer the world has ever known. Its fresh perspective and deeply felt understanding of Beethoven's motivations, passions, and challenges speak eloquently to us today, connecting us to our own successes, failures, and dreams, and ultimately to the true consequence of our lives.

At the moment of his death on a snowy afternoon in March, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life. As he struggles to confront its ugliness, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it's in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

I also downloaded a Kindle freebie.


After a brutal mugging in Manhattan leaves him with a broken arm and fractured skull, insurance investigator Jeff Resnick reluctantly agrees to recover at the home of his estranged half brother, Richard. At first, Jeff believes his graphic nightmares of a slaughtered buck are just the workings of his traumatized mind. But when a local banker is found in the same condition, Jeff believes the attack has left him with a psychic sixth sense--an ability to witness murder before it happens.Piecing together clues he saw in his visions, Jeff attempts to solve the crime. His brother Richard is skeptical, but unsettling developments begin to forge a tentative bond. Soon, things that couldn't be explained by premonition come to light, and Jeff finds himself probing into dangerous secrets that touch his own traumatic past in wintry Buffalo--and the killer is ready to eliminate Jeff's visions permanently.

What was in your mailbox?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Product Review: Home Basics Two-tier Dish Drainer


Zulily.com is another one of my favorite websites to shop from. I like to find great bargains there. At the beginning of February I was working on getting my kitchen organized and trying to increase counter space, so I picked up this attractive two-tier dish drainer from Home Basics.

It was easy to assemble: had it together in less than five minutes. This dish drainer definitely takes up less room on the counter than our previous one and doesn't require a separate tray. The trays slide in under the chrome-finished wiring on each tier. You can dry cups on the outside and the silverware holder clips on the outside so it doesn't take up inside space.


My one fear is that when it comes to holiday dinners it won't be very helpful. Even now, I need to put a towel down on the counter if we have several pots and pans to air dry. So while it makes more room for prep time, once the dishes are washed you lose that counter space to clean dishes.

I'm still glad I bought it. The old one needed replacing, and since I bought it for only $18.99 it was worth trying.


This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why I Love Boxed.com



Have any of you tried boxed.com? From the moment I heard about it, I've been hooked. Why?

I Save Time

I know buying staple items like paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and even non-perishable food items like pasta are more expensive when you buy in small quantities at the grocery store. I've considered a membership to BJ's or Costco, but that means I have to make time in my already jam-packed schedule to shop at another store, deal with the hassle of finding what I want, and then drive back home--which is 25 minutes away.

With Boxed.com I sit down in the comfort of my own home and order the bulk items I need. A couple days later everything arrives on my doorstep.

I Save Money

Not only do I save money on everyday items I buy all the time, Boxed.com offers: free shipping on orders over $49 and cash rewards that can be applied to future orders. If a friend signs up through this link, my friend receives $15 off their first order of $60 or more and I also receive $15 in Boxed.com credit. There is no membership fee and they don't limit what type of credit card I can use.

Free Samples

When you place an order with Boxed.com you are eligible to receive two free samples. This month I chose some Easter candy and Dove deodorant.

Boxed.com is going to give Amazon's subscription service some good competition. There are a few items I've already found cheaper on Boxed.com. Online bulk shopping services like Boxed.com are also going to make things challenging for big bulk warehouse type stores.

Why would I do this?


When I can do this....







Friday, February 17, 2017

Coming in April: Big Red by Ellie Dias



Letting go of stuff can be harder than you'd think...even when it’s jammed into a suitcase the size and color of a fire engine.


Seeking to experience simplicity and contentment in the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Dias planned her trip of a lifetime to the Himalayas to the nth degree.

Little did she know that nearly every step would be fraught with challenges, mishaps, and detours. Everything that could go wrong on her spiritual journey did. It was a fiasco that left her wondering whether the Universe—via her Big Red Suitcase—was trying to teach her something.


Ellie Dias, a devotee of Buddhist philosophy, introspection, and yoga, has a graduate degree in Education with a concentration in biology. Her career has been focused on health and wellness as a pediatric nurse, clinician working with families whose babies were at risk for SIDS, a division Vice President of a women’s health care company and a professor. Teaching Anatomy and Physiology, she merged her understanding of the human body with her sixteen-year practice of meditation, incorporating it in a classroom setting.

Writing a book had been percolating in the back of Ellie’s mind, but life got in the way until she was inspired by a solo journey to the Himalayas. Her debut book, Big Red: How I Learned Simplicity from a Suitcase, is a story of challenges, perseverance and humor as she struggles to jettison her Western ways halfway around the world while lugging a 95-pound suitcase—full of what she is convinced are the bare necessities. Common sense should have told her how completely inappropriate all of her “must-haves” were for spending three and a half weeks in the farmlands of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, and the Nepalese jungle.

Ellie participates in a book club, writing critique group, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. An artist of water color and pastels, she lives with her husband Ron and dog Roxie in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. She has two children, Michael and Michele and two beautiful grandchildren Aidan and Sebastian Dias. She is currently writing her first novel.


Visit Ellie online at http://elliedias.com/

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Feb 13


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 yours is a little less white than mine...


This was what my front yard looked like before yesterday's snowstorm that dumped an additional five or so inches on top of that. I guess Old Man Winter is making up for our lack of snow by sharing it all at once. We are due for a tiny bit more on Wednesday. 

Believe it or not, I was actually out driving to appointments yesterday. Old Reliable--my Chevy Tahoe--picked up a rock on Saturday and I can't get the tire fixed until today, so I was driving my husband's car instead. Narrowly avoided a telephone pole. Was saying prayers of Thanksgiving when I got home safely. 

Other than the snow making my crazy schedule more challenging, I've entered into a coaching program that I take once a week on Mondays. It got cancelled today--like a lot of things. I'll be glad to see spring. 

Here are the books that arrived recently.



I'm really excited about Charlotte Hubbard's latest, A Mother's Love. I'm all into getting and staying organized, to I figured Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller would be a helpful read. The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson was a blog giveaway win. 

What did the mailman bring you last week? Any other fun news you would like to share? 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Review: Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi

Looking for some helpful, quick fashion tips to make an immediate difference in selecting the best colors, prints, and styles for your body? Then you need to buy a copy of Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi.

Award-winning couture fashion designer Rani St. Pucchi shares decades of experience in this informative guide that you'll be able to implement without much effort. Within a day I had started make changes that brought about positive results.

St. Pucchi shares the defining moment that changed her life forever and credits her parents for introducing her to the world that would become her destiny. After a discussion of body shapes, she shares dos and don'ts for each shape, dressing for your age, the importance of proper fitting undergarments, what and how to pack, how to organize your closet, defining your personal style, and more. Perhaps my favorite part of the book--other than the color photographs of her work--is the 101 styling tips.

When I make my annual spring/summer changeover I'll be implementing some of the more time-consuming changes, like laying out all my clothes by color and finding out which colors work best for my skin tone. I've never really been into fashion or thought much about personal style, but Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi has definitely piqued my interest. I see a new, more fashionable me right around the corner.

Highly recommended!

Publisher: Koehler Books (October 15, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997697717
ISBN-13: 978-0997697711

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