Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish by Jenn Kelly

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish

Zonderkidz (August 6, 2010)

***Special thanks to Pam Mettler of Zonderkidz for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jenn Kelly lives in Ottawa, Canada, but her heart lives in Paris. Or Hawaii. She hasn’t decided yet. She is an undercover garden guru, painter, and chef, which has absolute nothing to do with this book. She won a writing award in grade 4, failed English Lit in university, spent many years writing bad poetry, and then decided to write a book. This is it. She is married to her best friend, Danny, and is mom to a five-year-old boy and a dog who worries too much. She embraces the ridiculousness and disorganization of life.


Visit the author's website.

Ari has worked as a freelance illustrator for a variety of projects, mostly in children’s media. Her specialty is character design and she most enjoys illustrating humorous and wacky predicaments.

She studied editorial and children’s book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the DuCret School of Art in New Jersey. She uses a variety of media to create my images both traditional and digital.


Visit the illustrator's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (August 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310720796
ISBN-13: 978-0310720799

PLEASE CLICK THE BROWSE INSIDE BUTTON TO VIEW THE FIRST CHAPTER:






My 8 year old son is reading this book and is loving it!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

alo Sportswear Winner

The winner of the Colorblock Tank from alo Sportswear is...

Comment #23 - Angela

CONGRATULATIONS!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CSN Stores

As you now know, I'm a big fan of CSN Stores (they have over 200, you know?)! I like to dream about getting new furniture sometimes and since I'm not a fan at all of the bedroom set we have and the thigh wounds that are inflicted on me from the not-so-strategically placed, sharp-edged wooden squares on the posts... well, you guessed it, I like to look at new bedroom sets. I found a really cool platform bed through CSN that I would love to have.

Isn't this bed cool? I love the extra storage it provides too.


Here is another one that I think is great. It has a little bit of the sleigh bed feel, without the footboard. That's especially nice if you have a small bedroom.


Now this one, this one just cracked me up. Like, I literally laughed out loud. I'm thinking if you're a single hipster or a really contemporary style couple, you'd love this. Me, a mom of 3... not quite practical, but cool in a way nonetheless.


So, get on over to CSN stores and check out all the cool stuff they have to offer. You'll be glad you did!



Disclosure: I am receiving product compensation for this post. However, the views presented are my own and I was not persuaded in any way by the company involved.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yay Me!

I never realized before that at Target, you can use one of their coupons along with a manufacturers coupon (unless the manufacturers coupon prohibits it). Well, I decided to take full advantage of that yesterday and here's my loot and what I paid for it...



Glade Air Freshener Sprays $2.79 Cashmere Woods and $2.34 Country Spice $1/1 Target Coupon(took $1 off of each) $1.50/2 Manufacturers Coupon = Final Price $1.63 for 2

Glade Sense & Spray Starter Kit $5.04 (discounted from $7.99) $3/1 Target Coupon $3/1 Manufacturers Coupon = Final Price FREE + .96

Glade Plug-ins Lasting Impresssions Starter Kit $7.99 $3/1 Target Coupon $3/1 Manufacturers Coupon = Final Price $1.99

Wonka Chocolates $3.49 $1/1 Target Coupon $1.50/1 Manufacturers Coupon = Final Price $.99


Grand Total (with tax) = $22.74 worth of products for *$4.23*

I'm seriously excited about this, can't you tell?!!!

Winner of the 30 Meals In One Day giveaway!

And the winner is...

Comment# 54 - misscaseylee

CONGRATULATIONS!

Friday, September 17, 2010

alo - Sportswear, Athletic Apparel & Outdoor Clothing ~ Review & Giveaway



Now, I have to admit that I don't work out nearly as often as I know I should, but I'm making a conscious effort lately to get back on track. Oh, and did I mention that I have one of the saddest looking workout wardrobes around? Well, both of these factors made me very excited when I was given the chance to review a great piece of athletic apparel from alo. alo's mission is to Create high performance, stylish lifestyle wear with outstanding function, designed and produced with minimal impact on the environmental elements alo stands for: Air. Land. Ocean. We provide customers with a choice that is respectable of the environment with out sacrificing fashion.

So, not only do they make great athletic apparel, but they do it in a way that is conscious of our environment too and that's always something you can feel good about.

I was asked what kind of workouts I typically do and I told them running and aerobic type workouts. They sent me their Color Block Tank in Deep Purple/Lupine. Here is a description of the tank: 90% nylon 10% spandex jersey. This tank has open mesh back details, contrast trim, a flattering neckline and great seam lines for fit and fashion. High Impact Bra.

The look of the tank is great! I put it on and it had a great fit. I tried it out doing a high intensity aerobic workout and it held everything in place with minimal movement (I think you can figure out what I mean) and kept me cool during my workout (much better than the junky t-shirts I typically work out in). I couldn't help but think that I wished I had had this tank when I used to work out at the local gym. I would've looked much cuter wearing this than the workout clothes I did wear. I also thought that it will be great for running because it covers well and provides great support, while still being stylish. Now, I just need a great pair of athletic pants or capris to go along with it!

Here is what the tank looks like...



Here is a swatch of the colors of the tank I received...


I am very happy with the looks and performance of this great tank and would love to get more of their athletic wear in the future!

Here's a little video to check out some of their other great products!


alo has been kind enough to offer one of my readers a Color Block Tank like I received (color will depend on stock at the time). That's a $46 tank for free! I know you want to get your hands on one of these, so see below for how to gain entries...


BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE ENTRY DIRECTIONS EXACTLY FOR YOUR ENTRIES TO COUNT!!!!


This contest will be open until 11:59 PM on September 24th. At that time I will use random.org to determine the winner. The winner will then be emailed and have 24 hours to respond, otherwise I will choose a new winner. This contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents.

LEAVE SEPARATE COMMENTS FOR EACH ENTRY AND LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THIS FORM - Jane (at) yahoo (dot) com


MANDATORY ENTRY: Go to alo and tell me another product you would like and also click the facebook "like" button for that item. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog (publicly via google friend connect, located on the top sidebar) - You can use this as an entry whether you are a new follower or a current follower. (1 entry)

Subscribe to my blog via the sign-up found on the right sidebar of my blog to be sure to never miss a great giveaway! (1 entry)

Follow my blog via Networked Blogs, located on the right sidebar under google friend connect. (1 entry)

"Like" my Facebook page, located on the right sidebar. (1 entry)

"Like" the alo Facebook page and leave a comment on their wall saying - Danielle from Finally Finding Me sent me! (1 entry)

Place my Finally Finding Me button on your blog and leave me a comment saying you did. The button is found on the right sidebar of my blog.
(1 entry)

Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and leave me the link to your post. (1 entry)


That's 8 chances to win! Good luck!




Disclosure: I received these products for free for review purposes. My opinions expressed in this review were honest and genuine and I was in no way persuaded by the company involved.

Mabel's Labels Winner!

The winner of the Ultimate Back-to-School Combo pack from Mabel's Labels is...

Comment #4 - Joann McCulloch

Congratulations!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Heart of the Lonely Exile (Book Two in The Emerald Ballad series)by BJ Hoff

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Heart of the Lonely Exile (Book Two in The Emerald Ballad series)

Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


BJ Hoff’s bestselling historical novels continue to cross the boundaries of religion, language, and culture to capture a worldwide reading audience. Her books include Song of Erin and American Anthem and such popular series as The Riverhaven Years, The Mountain Song Legacy, and The Emerald Ballad. Hoff’s stories, although set in the past, are always relevant to the present. Whether her characters move about in small country towns or metropolitan areas, reside in Amish settlements or in coal company houses, she creates communities where people can form relationships, raise families, pursue their faith, and experience the mountains and valleys of life. BJ and her husband make their home in Ohio.

Visit the author's website.



Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736927891
ISBN-13: 978-0736927895

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Friends Old and New

Youth must with time decay…
Beauty must fade away…
Castles are sacked in war…
Chieftains are scattered far…
Truth is a fixed star….

From “Aileen Aroon” GERALD GRIFFIN (1803–1840)

New York City
August 1847

It was a fine summer evening in the city, the kind of sweet, soft evening that made the young delight in their youth and the elderly content with their lot.

On this evening Daniel Kavanagh and Tierney Burke were indulging in one of their favorite pastimes—stuffing themselves with pastries from Krueger’s bakery as they lounged against the glass front of the building. As usual, Tierney was buying. Daniel as yet had no job and no money. But Tierney, with a week’s pay in his pocket from his job at the hotel and a month’s wages due from his part-time job at Patrick Walsh’s estate, declared he felt rotten with money and eager to enjoy it.

It had been a good day, Daniel decided as he polished off his last sugar kucken. His mother was visiting, as she did every other Saturday, delivered as always by one of the Farmington carriages. Every Saturday without fail, a carriage either brought her to the Burkes’, or came to collect Daniel for a visit at the Farmington mansion uptown, where his mother worked.

In truth, Daniel thought he preferred the Saturdays he spent at the Farmingtons’, for then he could visit with his friend, Evan Whittaker, and the Fitzgerald children, as well as his mother. He enjoyed his temporary living arrangement with Uncle Mike and Tierney, but often he found himself missing the daily contact with his mother and the Fitzgeralds—especially Katie.

The thought of Katie brought a smile to his face and a sting of worry to his mind. Katie was both his friend and his sweetheart; they would marry when they were of age—that had been decided long ago.

So committed to their future plans was he that Daniel paid little heed to Tierney’s relentless teasing about his “lassie.” The fact was that Katie Fitzgerald had been his girl from the time they were wee wanes back in the village, and he did not mind who knew it. But Katie had ever been frail, and the famine and the long, horrific ship crossing had taken a fierce toll on her.

Daniel could not help but fret about her health. He would have thought the good, plentiful food and proper medical attention she was receiving at the Farmingtons’ would be enough to have her feeling fit by now. Instead, she scarcely seemed improved at all.

Still, as his mother had reminded him just today, three months was not really so long a time—not with all the troubles Katie had been through. “You must be patient, Daniel John,” she had cautioned him. “You must be patient and faithful with your prayers.”

He was trying to be both, but it was hard, all the same, not to worry.

Shifting his weight from one foot to the other, Daniel turned his attention to Pearl Street. Although darkness was gathering, most of the neighborhood seemed to be in no hurry to return to their cramped living quarters. The sultry August atmosphere carried the sounds of children playing, mothers scolding, dogs barking, and men arguing. Most of the voices were thick with Irish brogue, although German and an occasional stream of Italian could also be heard.

Almost as thick as the cacophony of immigrant voices were the odors that mingled on the night air. The ever-present stench of piled-up garbage in the streets had grown worse with the recent warm temperatures; the fumes from sewage and animal droppings were more noxious than ever.

Still, there was no spoiling the pleasure of such a fine evening. Besides, Daniel was growing accustomed to the aroma of New York. Indeed, the smell rarely bothered him at all these days; it was negligible compared to the stench of Ireland’s rotten potato fields and the countless dead bodies lying alongside the country’s roads.

“So, then,” Tierney said, downing a nut kipfel in one bite before wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, “will they tie the knot soon, do you think? Your mum and my da?”

It was a question Tierney seemed bent on asking at least once a week, a question that continued to make Daniel feel awkward—almost as if his mother were somehow under an obligation to marry Uncle Mike. More and more Tierney’s prodding put Daniel on guard, made him feel the need to defend his mother—never mind that he secretly harbored the same question.

“I don’t suppose it’s for either of us to guess,” he muttered in reply. “Sure, and Mother does care a great deal for Uncle Mike.”

Tierney gave a curt, doubtful nod, turning the full intensity of his unnerving ice-blue stare on Daniel. “If that’s so,” he said, “then why is she still holding out?”

Daniel bristled. “It’s not that she’s holding out,” he protested. “She just needs more time, don’t you see? They haven’t seen each other for more than seventeen years, after all! She can hardly be expected to jump into marriage right away!”

Tierney regarded him with a speculative look, then shrugged. “You’re right, of course,” he said cheerfully, shoving his hands into his pockets. As if no friction whatever had occurred between them, he tilted a quick grin at Daniel. “I expect I’m just impatient because I’m wanting to see them wed.”

Not for the first time, Daniel found himself disarmed by his quicksilver friend. The older boy had a way of making abrasive, outrageous remarks, then quickly backing off, as if sensing he had caused Daniel discomfort.

Tierney had an incredible energy about him, a tension that sometimes made it seem that any instant he might leap from the ground and take off flying. He was impatient and blunt, decisive and headstrong. Yet he had an obvious streak of kindness, even gentleness, that could appear at the most unexpected moments.

Living with him was akin to keeping company with a hurricane. Wild and impetuous one moment, eager and conciliatory the next, he was entirely unpredictable—and a great deal more fun than any boy Daniel had ever known.

He liked Tierney immensely. In truth, he wished his mother would marry Uncle Mike so they could be a real family.

“If they do get married,” Tierney was saying, watching Daniel with a teasing grin, “you and I will be brothers. How do you feel about that, Danny-boy?”

Daniel rolled his eyes, but couldn’t stop a smile of pleasure. “Sure, and won’t I be the lucky lad, then?”

Tierney wiggled his dark brows. “Sure, and won’t you at that?” he shot back, perfectly mimicking Daniel’s brogue.


Avoiding Michael’s eyes, Nora stared at the flickering candle in the middle of the kitchen table.

The silence in the room, while not entirely strained, was awkward, to say the least. Nora had sensed Michael’s impatience early in their visit. She thought she understood it; certainly, she could not fault the man for wanting more of a commitment than she’d been able to grant him thus far.

On the other hand, she didn’t know how she could have handled things between them any differently. From the day of their reunion—Nora’s first day in New York City—she had done her best to be entirely honest with Michael. She had told him then—and on other occasions since—that she cared for him deeply but could not marry him for a time, if ever.

In the weeks and months that followed her arrival in New York, Nora’s life had changed radically. All that she had once held dear, everything familiar, had been mercilessly torn away from her. She had lost her home and her entire family except for Daniel John. Yet much had been given to her as well.

God had been good—and faithful. Daniel John had a home with Michael and Tierney, and she and the orphaned Fitzgerald children were safe and snug in the Farmington mansion with Lewis Farmington and his daughter, Sara—people who must be, Nora was certain, the kindest human beings God ever created.

Aye, she had fine lodgings—even a job—and she had friends, good friends: Michael, Evan Whittaker, Sara and Lewis Farmington, and Ginger, the Farmingtons’ delightful housekeeper. There was more food on her plate than she could eat, and a fire to warm her bones for the coming winter. Had any other penniless widow-woman ever been so blessed?

Yet when it came to Michael, something deep within her warned her to wait, to go slowly. There were times when she wanted nothing more than to run to the shelter of the man’s brawny arms and accept the security he seemed so set on offering—the security of a friendship that dated back to their childhood, the security of marriage and a home of her own. But in the next instant she would find herself drawing back, shying away from the idea of Michael as the solution to her problems.

She needed time, perhaps a great deal of time. Of that much, at least, she was certain. Time to heal, time to seek direction for her life. God’s direction.

And time to forget Morgan Fitzgerald…

“The Farmingtons seem more than pleased with your work for them,” Michael said, breaking the silence and jarring Nora back to her surroundings. “They cannot say enough good things about you.”

Struggling to put aside her nagging melancholy, Nora smiled and made a weak dismissing motion with her hand. “Sure, they are only being kind,” she said. “ ’Tis little enough they allow me to do. I suppose they still think me ill, but in truth I’m feeling much stronger.”

“I can believe that,” Michael said, studying her with open approval. “You’re looking more fit each day. I think you might have even gained a bit at last.”

Surprised, Nora glanced down at her figure. She did feel stronger physically, stronger than she had for months. “Indeed. Perhaps with all this fine American food, I’ll grow as round as Pumpkin Emmie,” she said, trying to ease the tension between them with reference to daft Emmie Fahey, one of the terrors of their youth.

“You’ve a ways to go, there,” Michael said, meeting her smile. “But you are looking more yourself, lass, and that’s the truth.”

Unnerved by the way he was scrutinizing her, Nora glanced away. “Our sons are becoming good friends, it seems.”

Michael, too, seemed relieved to move to safer ground. “Aye, they are,” he answered eagerly. “And I couldn’t be happier for it. Your Daniel is a fine boy—a good influence on that rascal of mine.”

“Oh, Michael,” Nora protested, “I think you’re far too hard on Tierney! He doesn’t seem nearly the rogue you paint him to be.”

With a sigh, Michael rose from the table to put the kettle on for more tea. “I’m the first to admit Tierney’s not a bad boy. Nevertheless, he can be a handful. And unpredictable—” He shook his head as he started for the stove. “Why, I don’t know what to expect from the lad one minute to the next, and that’s the truth.”

“It’s not an easy age for him, Michael. Don’t you remember how it was, being more grown-up than child, yet not quite either?”

Nora could have answered her own question. Michael had never seemed anything but a man grown, had never appeared to know the meaning of childishness or uncertainty, at least not in the time she had known him.

Returning with the kettle, he offered Nora more tea. When she declined, he proceeded to pour himself a fresh cup. “What I remember most about being a boy,” he said with just the ghost of a smile, “was trying to keep you and our lad, Morgan, out of the soup.”

Nora glanced quickly away. “Aye, you were like a brother to the both of us,” she said quietly.

“It wasn’t a brother I wanted to be to you, Nora,” he said pointedly, pausing with the kettle suspended above his cup. “That was your choice, not mine.”

“Michael—”

He looked at her, setting the kettle down between them. “Is it still Morgan, then?” A muscle at the side of his mouth tightened. “Is he the reason you cannot bring yourself to marry me?”

“No! No, Michael, it is not Morgan! I’ve tried to explain all this before. I thought you understood…”

His gaze on her didn’t waver. “Nora, I have tried. But I’m not blind, lass. I see the way things are.”

Nora looked away, but she could still feel his eyes on her. “What do you mean?”

“I mean that Morgan Fitzgerald still occupies a large space in your heart—perhaps so great a space there will never be room for another.”

“Michael—”

He waved away her protest, saying nothing. Instead, he went to stand at the window, his back to her. He stood there for a long time in silence. At last, he drew in a deep sigh and said quietly, “We’d be good together, I think. We could build a fine life, a good home—watch our boys grow to manhood.” Stopping he turned to face her. “Perhaps we could even have more children…”

He let his words drift away, unfinished. As he stood there, his gaze fixed on her face, the frustration that had hardened his expression earlier faded, giving way to a rare tenderness. The grim lines about his mouth seemed to disappear, and his eyes took on a gentle smile.

“We go back a long way, you and I,” he said softly. “And our boys—why, they’re well on their way to being brothers already. Ah, it could work for us, Nora! You must see that.” Shoving his hands down deep into his pockets, he stood watching her. “I know I cannot offer you much in the way of material things just yet, but we’d have enough, enough for us all. And things will improve, I can promise you that. I have prospects on the force—”

“Oh, Michael, you know none of that matters to me!”

With three broad strides he closed the distance between them. Bracing both hands palms down on the tabletop, he brought his face close to hers, his eyes burning. “What, then, Nora? What does matter? Tell me, lass, for I’ll do whatever I can to make this work for us. I swear I will! Tell me what I can do to convince you to marry me.”

Nora remembered he had asked her that same question once before, when he was still a young man preparing to go to America. He had done his best then, too, to convince her to be his wife.

That had been seventeen years ago. Seventeen years, and her answer was still not what he wanted to hear.

“Michael, you know you have ever been…special…to me.”

He said nothing, simply went on searching her eyes, his large, blunt hands now clenched to fists atop the table.

“I do care for you…” She did. She was not immune to Michael’s appeal, his almost arrogant handsomeness, the strength that seemed to pulse from him. But more than that, and far deeper, were the memories that bound them, the friendship that even today anchored their affection for each other. She could not bring herself to hurt him, but neither could she lie to him!

Suddenly, he stunned her by grasping both her hands in his and pulling her up from the chair to face him. Holding her hands firmly, he drew her to him. “And I care for you, Nora,” he said, his voice gruff. With one hand he lifted her chin, forcing her to meet his relentless gaze. “I have always cared for you, lass, and that’s the truth.”

Trembling, Nora held her breath as he bent to press his lips to hers. Irrationally, she almost wished Michael’s kiss would blind her with love for him, send stars shooting through her. Instead, she felt only the gentle warmth, the same sweet, sad affection she had felt for him all those years so long ago when he had kissed her goodbye, regret brimming in his eyes, before sailing for America.

He knew. He said nothing, but she felt his knowing as she stood there, miserable beneath those dark, searching eyes that seemed to probe her very soul. Gradually he freed her from his embrace, setting her gently away from him with a sad smile.

“You have been through a great sorrow,” he said huskily. “And I am asking too much of you, too soon. I’m sorry, lass. Perhaps it’s just that I’m anxious for you to realize that when you’re ready, I will be here. I will wait.”

“Oh, Michael, please—don’t…”

He put a finger to her lips to silence her. “Enough sober talk for tonight. Why don’t we have us a stroll? We’ll go and find the lads and see what they’re up to.”

Relieved, Nora nodded, managing a smile. “Aye, I’d like that.”

Michael smiled, too, watching her with infinite tenderness. Framing her face between his calloused hands, he brushed his lips over her forehead. “Remember that I am still your friend, Nora Ellen. No matter what happens—or does not happen—between us, I will always be your friend.”

Nora could have wept for gratitude at his understanding, his gentleness. “Thank you, Michael,” she whispered. “Thank you for being the man you are. And thank you,” she added fervently, “for being my friend.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Joseph Christiano's Bloodtype Diet by Joseph Christiano

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!



You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:





and the book:



Joseph Christiano's Bloodtype Diet:



Type A



Type B



Type AB



Type O



Siloam (September 7, 2010)

***Special thanks to Anna Silva of Strang for sending me a review copy.***



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Joseph Christiano, ND, CNC, a naturopathic doctor and certified nutritional counselor, has spent forty years developing individualized diet and exercise programs for Hollywood celebrities. Trainer of Miss America, Miss USA, and Mrs. America pageant winners, Joseph is a former Mr. Florida and award winner in the Mr. America bodybuilding championships. His health and fitness coaching expertise has resulted in helping school aged kids be more physically fit. He is the author of several books, including the best-selling Bloodtypes, Bodytypes, and YOU.





Visit the author's website.



Product Details:



Type A:



List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616380004

ISBN-13: 978-1616380007











Type B:



List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1599799995

ISBN-13: 978-1599799995









Type AB:



List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1599799820

ISBN-13: 978-1599799827









Type O:



List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Siloam; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1599799626

ISBN-13: 978-1599799629







AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: (All the first chapters of the Blood Type Diet are the same)





Blood Types: Your Foundation For Health





DNA. Genome. Cellular profiling. Stem cells. Cloning. Blood types. What is it all about? Is the existence and physiological makeup of humankind just a mixture of theories, personal points of view, and yet-to-be proven truths? Are we dabbling into mysterious areas that should be left alone, or are we finally beginning to learn more about ourselves?



In man's conquest to survive, questions arise every day: What role do genes play in determining health, disease, longevity, bodily function, and performance? What is the origin of man—where did he come from? Do we all come from one main gene pool, or are we descendants of individual generational ancestry? Did we evolve from nothing to crawling on all fours to an eventual upright position, or did Yahweh (God's proper and personal name) create us? Is man degenerating because of cellular mutation, becoming less than what he started out as, or is he a result of an evolutionary process, making him far superior to what he was at the beginning of time? Why do some people enter life with blue eyes and blond hair and others with brown eyes and brown hair? Are certain body genetics designed for physical and athletic superiority while other body genetics determine the run-of-the-mill hopefuls? Do the ABO blood types react differently to the same foods? Is there a link between red blood cells and your health?



Although phenomenal advancements have been made through modern-day discoveries in technology, science, and medicine, it will still take eternity to unravel the amazing intricacies of man. The world's best scientific minds have made amazing discoveries, but in the light of all that we still do not know about ourselves, technology seems to move at a snail's pace.



Whether you believe that Yahweh created every human being or that our existence is a result of some theoretical development of nothingness into something, the answers to our questions lie far beneath the surface—with our genetic foundation.



Our genetic makeup is the foundation of all that is life. Nothing relating to our ability to survive our environment; to fight off illness, infection, or stress; to supply our bodies with nutrition; or to make physiological adaptation is a matter of happenstance. It is no coincidence that our bodies are programmed with the innate ability to defend us from uninvited invaders such as parasites, viruses, and bacteria by creating an army of antibodies.



Our genetic foundation is a mixture of trillions of cells with codes that identify, program, and link everything in our existence—the color of our hair, our bodies' susceptibility to disease, and foods that are compatible to our potential life span and capability to survive.



Some people would rather merely swim in shallow water than go below the surface to discover answers to the questions and issues of life. But there is a bottomless sea to dive into for the inquisitive and health-conscious individual who seeks knowledge of the role genetics play in our lives.





For example, did you know that . . .





Gene therapy is now being researched intensively in most developed countries—for a host of very good reasons. Instead of treating deficiencies by injecting drugs, doctors will be able to prescribe genetic treatments that will induce the body's own protein-making machinery to produce the proteins needed to combat illness.





Researchers succeeded in making artificial copies of human genes that could be manipulated to produce large amounts of specific proteins. Such genes can be introduced into the human body where, in many cases, they substitute for a defective gene.





In a study that could lead to new treatments for diabetes and provide guidance on the use of genes in treating disease, scientists show that a common genetic variation increased the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.





Australian scientists have identified a new gene responsible for controlling appetite in humans—a discovery experts say could lead to the first gene-based drug to treat obesity and diabetes.





In the not-too-distant future, scientists may be able to grow replacement organs and new blood vessels to replace clogged ones, eradicate diseases as diverse as Alzheimer's and cystic fibrosis, and tell which medication to prescribe.







Gaining more knowledge and understanding about the complexities of our genetics humbles me—and convinces me of the existence of One much greater than man, with infinite creative wisdom that stretches far beyond the finite knowledge of man. The fact that man has the ability to make scientific advancements and acquire information about the genome of man serves only to prove how much greater his Creator must be.





The Discovery of Blood Groups





I also find it amazing that what the majority of us now know about our genetic makeup has only been discovered in recent decades. Experiments with blood transfusions began centuries ago, but without an understanding that there are different blood groups (also called blood types) many people died. At that time, no one knew that the blood clumping (agglutination), which caused toxic reactions and even death after some transfusions, was the result of mixing blood from two people with different blood types.



Then in 1901, an Austrian named Karl Landsteiner discovered that blood clumping was an immune system reaction that occurs when the receiver of a blood transfusion has antibodies that war against the donor's blood cells. His discovery led to the classification of different blood groups, making it possible to conduct blood transfusions much more safely. Landsteiner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930 for making this remarkable, life-saving discovery.



So, what is it about the blood that makes one blood group different from another? The differences in our blood are based on the presence or absence of antigens and antibodies. Antigens are located on the surface of the red blood cells, and antibodies are in the blood plasma. People have different types and combinations of these molecules, which are inherited from their parents.



There are more than twenty blood group systems known today, but since the ABO system is the one most people are familiar with, I'll stick with the ABO blood group system for our discussion of blood types in this book. As you're probably aware, according to the ABO system, there are four different kinds of blood groups: A, B, AB, and O.





Blood group A





Since you purchased this book, I assume you belong to blood group A. As a member of this blood group, you have A antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and B antibodies in your blood plasma.





Blood group B





People in this blood group have B antigens on the surface of their red blood cells and A antibodies in their blood plasma.





Blood group AB





People in this blood group have both A and B antigens on the surface of their red blood cells and no A or B antibodies at all in their blood plasma.





Blood group O





People in this blood group have neither A nor B antigens on the surface of their red blood cells, but they have both A and B antibodies in their blood plasma.







How Did Different Blood Types Occur?





People who believe in Creation often ask: How did such a variety of ethnic groups and diverse races arise from one human pair?



Research is revealing more and more about the origin of blood types. Much of this research points out the possibility of the emergence of all known blood types from our common ancestors, Adam and Eve. In his dissertation titled “Blood Types and Their Origin (Answering the Critics),” Jonathan Sarfati tells us:





There is one gene in humans that controls the ABO blood type. There are three versions of the gene, or alleles: A, B, or O....For a husband and wife to pass on all alleles to their children, they need to, between them, have the A, B, and O alleles. . . . If Adam and Eve were genetically AO and BO, for example, their children could have had AB, AO, BO, or OO genetic makeup, giving AB, A, B, or O blood types. Indeed, about 25 percent of their children would have been of each type.





There is so much more to be discovered about man and our genetic makeup—birthed in us at the moment of conception. Although scientists are discovering new things about our genetic structure daily, there is much more that remains unknown. One scientist has observed:





Data supporting the complexity and design of life at all levels, and especially that of man, loom larger than was previously supposed—as large in fact as the enormous “gaps” in the fossil record. . . . The further we look into the complexity to the real world of man and his living companions, the more baffling and unexplainable, at least in standard evolutionary theory, the whole complex becomes. . . . To the skeptic, the proposition that the genetic programmes of higher organisms consisting of something close to a thousand million bits of information...containing in encoded form countless thousands of intricate algorithms controlling, specifying, and ordering the growth and development of billions and billions of cells into the form of a complex organism, were composed by a purely random process is simply an affront to reason.





It has taken gifted scientists years upon years to discover the things they know about man today. But it will take hundreds of more years to understand how to apply the new information.



It is when we are willing to be taught and are open to more knowledge that we continue to grow. I am growing daily in my own knowledge, particularly in my knowledge about the link between blood types and nutrition. Since authoring the book Bloodtypes, Bodytypes, and You, I have discovered new studies about the origin of blood types. These findings lean more closely to my personal beliefs in creationism.



My purpose for mentioning this is twofold: First, I humbly admit that no one has all the answers. But as long as we are willing to be open to greater learning and understanding, progress can be continual. Second, since I happen to believe that Yahweh is the Creator of all creation, it stands to reason that I would embrace studies that line up with my beliefs. As we learn more about the complex design of man, it just makes good sense to me that Someone greater than you or I is in charge of this whole thing.



Regardless of where you stand concerning the origins of blood type, one thing we can agree on is that eating foods compatible to our blood type and avoiding foods that are not compatible is a more accurate and individualized approach to eating than anything man has experienced.



As a naturopathic doctor, and not a scientist, biochemist, or genealogist, I'll leave the research and discoveries to them and concentrate my efforts on helping you to be healthier. My interest is to help you reach a basic level of understanding about your body so you can take care of it in a way that will contribute to living a healthier and more balanced life.



During my summer vacations from school as a kid, I remember going with my father while he worked a few hours a week for my cousin, who owned an excavation and construction company. I watched the construction workers build the foundations for new buildings, or as they called it, “pour a cellar.” It was quite a process. The first thing they did was excavate the land and prepare the ground. Then they measured out the area where the foundation would be laid. After determining the proper elevations and measurements, they began to set up the forms.



Until I saw the entire process completed for the first time, it was hard to understand why they were using all those heavy planks to make a huge square in the dirt. But I learned that those planks played a very important role in the next part of the procedure. When the huge cement trucks were ready to pour the concrete, they poured it into the wood forms, which shaped the foundation of the building.



I learned that each foundation differed in size, shape, and materials. Certain job sites required the forms to be dug deeper in the ground, while other forms were extended higher. The deeper or higher the forms were laid, the thicker the concrete base or foundation would be. The design and composition of each poured foundation determined the size and weight of the structure that it could support.



Each building structure, whether a residential home, a high-rise building, or a strip mall, required a unique foundation that functioned as its basis for structure, stability, and support. Similarly, our ability to survive, support, and improve our structure will be determined by the mixture of the material found in our foundation. Our foundation, of course, is our genetics.



Consider yourself as a general contractor who wants to redesign or custom-build a house. In this case, the foundation of the house you want to construct, or reconstruct, is your genetics. Instead of brick, mortar, and wood, you are using the materials that comprise your body.



The amount of time and effort you put into customizing and building your “house” (your body) will help it to last for many years. By understanding the purpose of a strong “foundation” (your genetics) and by using the proper “tools and materials” (the proper nutritional and exercise applications and methodologies), you can assure a healthy, happy future.



You have a specific biological makeup that was given to you at conception. It's the genetic substance that makes up your entire existence.



I have three daughters—Amy, the oldest, and twin daughters, Jenifer and Cara. Amy's genetic foundation has given her facial features that resemble mine, while genetically Jenifer and Cara have their mother's facial features.



But your genes are not limited to your facial characteristics. Your genes not only determine if you will look more like your mom or your dad and what color your hair and eyes will be, but also how susceptible you are to certain diseases and illnesses.



Your cellular profile and the way your body responds to certain foods, viruses, and bacteria are determined by your genes also.



One very important consideration can greatly help you maximize your genetic potential. This is providing your body with the best nutritional program for your specific genetics. Let's take a look at this consideration in the next chapter.





Recap:





To understand the importance of your blood type, remember the following:





1. All of us are made up of trillions of cells. We function by our cells.





2. Our genetic foundation can help us determine today and tomorrow how to prepare ourselves for potential illnesses and diseases.





3. Understanding the role our genetics (blood type) play will help individualize the dietary remedies we need to improve survival.





4. Your body at the cellular level responds differently to the same foods than other blood types may.



Monday, September 13, 2010

EasyLunchboxes winner!

The winner is...


Comment #23 - Charity


CONGRATULATIONS!

Song of the Silent Harp (Book One in The Emerald Ballad series) by BJ Hoff

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!



You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:





and the book:



Song of the Silent Harp (Book One in The Emerald Ballad series)

Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Karri James, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




BJ Hoff’s bestselling historical novels continue to cross the boundaries of religion, language, and culture to capture a worldwide reading audience. Her books include Song of Erin and American Anthem and such popular series as The Riverhaven Years, The Mountain Song Legacy, and The Emerald Ballad. Hoff’s stories, although set in the past, are always relevant to the present. Whether her characters move about in small country towns or metropolitan areas, reside in Amish settlements or in coal company houses, she creates communities where people can form relationships, raise families, pursue their faith, and experience the mountains and valleys of life. BJ and her husband make their home in Ohio.



Visit the author's website.







Product Details:



List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 432 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736927883

ISBN-13: 978-0736927888



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:





Daniel



Write his merits on your mind;

Morals pure and manners kind;

In his head, as on a hill,

Virtue placed her citadel.



William Drennan (1754–1820)



Killala, County Mayo (Western Ireland)

January, 1847



Ellie Kavanagh died at the lonesome hour of two o’clock in the morning—a time, according to the Old Ones, when many souls left their bodies with the turning of the tide. A small, gaunt specter with sunken eyes and a vacant stare, she died a silent death. The Hunger had claimed even her voice at the end. She was six years old, and the third child in the village of Killala to die that Friday.



Daniel kept the death watch with his mother throughout the evening. Tahg, his older brother, was too ill to sit upright, and with their da gone—killed in a faction fight late last October—it was for Daniel to watch over his little sister’s corpse and see to his mother.



The small body in the corner of the cold, dimly lit kitchen seemed less than human to Daniel; certainly it bore little resemblance to wee Ellie. Candles flickering about its head mottled the ghastly pallor of the skull-like face, and the small, parchment-thin hands clasping the Testament on top of the white sheet made Daniel think uneasily of claws. Even the colored ribbons adorning the sheet mocked his sister’s gray and lifeless body.



The room was thick with shadows and filled with weeping women. Ordinarily it would have been heavy with smoke as well, but the men in the village could no longer afford tobacco. The only food smells were faint: a bit of sour cheese, some onion, stale bread, a precious small basket of shellfish. There was none of the illegal poteen—even if potatoes had been available from which to distill the stuff, Grandfar Dan allowed no spirits inside the cottage; he and Daniel’s da had both taken the pledge some years before.



All the villagers who came and went said Ellie was laid out nicely. Daniel knew their words were meant to be a comfort, but he found them an offense. Catherine Fitzgerald had done her best in tidying the body—Catherine had no equal in the village when it came to attending at births or deaths—but still Daniel could see nothing at all nice about Ellie’s appearance.



He hated having to sit and stare at her throughout the evening, struggling to keep the sight of her small, wasted corpse from permanently imbedding itself in his mind. He was determined to remember his black-haired little sister as she had been before the Hunger, traipsing along behind him and chattering at his back to the point of exasperation.



Old Mary Larkin had come to keen, and her terrible shrieking wail now pierced the cottage. Squatting on the floor beside the low fire, Mary was by far the loudest of the women clustered around her. Her tattered skirt was drawn up almost over her head, revealing a torn and grimy red petticoat that swayed as her body twisted and writhed in the ancient death mime.



The woman’s screeching made Daniel’s skin crawl. He felt a sudden fierce desire to gag her and send her home. He didn’t think his feelings were disrespectful of his sister—Ellie had liked things quiet; besides, she had been half-afraid of Old Mary’s odd ways.



Ordinarily when Mary Larkin keened the dead, the entire cottage would end up in a frenzy. Everyone knew she was the greatest keener from Killala to Castlebar. At this moment, however, as Daniel watched the hysterical, withered crone clutch the linen sheet and howl with a force that would turn the thunder away, he realized how weak were the combined cries of the mourners. The gathering was pitifully small for a wake—six months ago it would have been twice the size, but death had become too commonplace to attract much attention. And it was evident from the subdued behavior in the room that the Hunger had sapped the strength of even the stoutest of them.



Daniel’s head snapped up with surprise when he saw Grandfar Dan haul himself off the stool and go trudging over to the howling women grouped around Ellie’s body. He stood there a few moments until at last Mary Larkin glanced up and saw him glaring at her. Behind the stringy wisps of white hair falling over her face, her black eyes looked wild and fierce with challenge. Daniel held his breath, half-expecting her to lash out physically at his grandfather when he put a hand to her shoulder and began speaking to her in the Irish. But after a moment she struggled up from the floor and, with a display of dignity that Daniel would have found laughable under different circumstances, smoothed her skirts and made a gesture to her followers. The lot of them got up and huddled quietly around the dying fire, leaving the cottage quiet again, except for the soft refrain of muffled weeping.



Daniel’s mother had sat silent and unmoving throughout the entire scene; now she stirred. “Old Dan should not have done that,” Nora said softly. “He should not have stopped them from the keening.”



Daniel turned to look at her, biting his lip at her appearance. His mother was held in high esteem for her good looks. “Nora Kavanagh’s a grand-looking woman,” he’d heard people in the village say, and she was that. Daniel thought his small, raven-haired mother was, in fact, the prettiest woman in Killala. But in the days after his da was killed and the fever had come on Ellie, his mother had seemed to fade, not only in her appearance but in her spirit as well. She seemed to have retreated to a place somewhere deep inside herself, a distant place where Daniel could not follow. Her hair had lost its luster and her large gray eyes their quiet smile; she spoke only when necessary, and then with apparent effort. Hollow-eyed and deathly quiet, she continued to maintain her waxen, lifeless composure even in the face of her grief, but Daniel sometimes caught a glimpse of something shattering within her.



At times he found himself almost wishing his mother would give way to a fit of weeping or womanly hysteria. Then at least he could put an arm about her narrow shoulders and try to console her. This silent stranger beside him seemed beyond comfort; in truth, he suspected she was often entirely unaware of his presence.



In the face of his mother’s wooden stillness, Daniel himself turned inward, to the worrisome question that these days seldom gave him any peace.



What was to become of them?



The potato crop had failed for two years straight, and they were now more than half the year’s rent in arrears. Grandfar was beginning to fail. And Tahg—his heart squeezed with fear at the thought of his older brother—Tahg was no longer able to leave his bed. His mother continued to insist that Tahg would recover, that the lung ailment which had plagued him since childhood was responsible for his present weakness. Perhaps she was right, but Daniel was unable to convince himself. Tahg had a different kind of misery on him now—something dark and ugly and evil.



A tight, hard lump rose to his throat. It was going to be the same as with Ellie. First she’d grown weak from the hunger; later the fever had come on her until she grew increasingly ill. And then she died.



As for his mother, Daniel thought she still seemed healthy enough, but too much hard work and too little food were fast wearing her down. She was always tired lately, tired and distracted and somber. Even so, she continued to mend and sew for two of the local magistrates. Her earnings were less than enough to keep them, now that they lacked his da’s wages from Reilly the weaver, yet she had tried in vain to find more work.



The entire village was in drastic straits. The Hunger was on them all; fever was spreading with a vengeance. Almost every household was without work, and the extreme winter showed no sign of abating. Most were hungry; many were starving; all lived in fear of eviction.



Still, poor as they were as tenant farmers, Daniel knew they were better off than many of their friends and neighbors. Thomas Fitzgerald, for example, had lost his tenancy a few years back when he got behind in his rent. Unable thereafter to get hold of a patch of land to lease, he barely managed to eke out an existence for his family by means of conacre, wherein he rented a small piece of land season by season, with no legal rights to it whatever. The land they occupied was a mere scrap. Their cabin, far too small for such a large family, was scarcely more than a buffer against the winter winds, which this year had been fierce indeed.



Daniel worried as much about the Fitzgeralds as he did about his own family. His best friend, Katie, was cramped into that crude, drafty hut with several others. She was slight, Katie was, so thin and frail that Daniel’s blood chilled at the thought of what the fever might do to her. His sister had been far sturdier than Katie, and it had destroyed Ellie in such a short time.



Katie was more than his friend—she was his sweetheart as well. She was only eleven, and he thirteen, but they would one day marry—of that he was certain. Together they had already charted their future.



When he was old enough, Daniel would make his way to Dublin for his physician’s training, then come back to set up his own practice in Castlebar. Eventually he’d be able to build a fine house for himself and Katie—and for his entire family.



There was the difference of their religions to be considered, of course. Katie was a Roman and he a Protestant. But they would face that hurdle later, when they were older. In the meantime, Katie was his lass, and that was that. At times he grew almost desperate for the years to pass so they could get on with their plans.



A stirring in the room yanked Daniel out of his thoughts. He glanced up and caught a sharp breath. Without thinking, he popped off his stool, about to cry out a welcome until he remembered his surroundings.



The man ducking his head to pass through the cottage door was a great tower of a fellow, with shoulders so broad he had to ease himself sideways through the opening. Yet he was as lean and as wiry as a whip. He had a mane of curly copper hair and a lustrous, thick beard the color of a fox’s pelt. He carried himself with the grace of a cat-a-mountain, yet he seemed to fill the room with the restrained power of a lion.



As Daniel stood watching impatiently, the big man straightened, allowing his restless green eyes to sweep the room. His gaze gentled for an instant when it came to rest on Ellie’s corpse, softening even more at the sight of Daniel’s mother, to whom he offered a short, awkward nod of greeting. Only when he locked eyes with Daniel did his sun-weathered face at last break into a wide, pleased smile.



He started toward them, and it seemed to Daniel that even clad humbly as he was in dark frieze and worn boots, Morgan Fitzgerald might just as well have been decked with the steel and colors of a warrior chief, so imposing and awe-inspiring was his presence. He stopped directly in front of them, and both he and Daniel stood unmoving for a moment, studying each other’s faces. Then, putting hands the size of dinner plates to Daniel’s shoulders, Morgan pulled him into a hard, manly embrace. Daniel breathed a quiet sigh of satisfaction as he buried his cheek against Morgan’s granite chest, knowing the bond between him and the bronze giant to be renewed.



After another moment, Morgan tousled Daniel’s hair affectionately, released him, and turned to Nora. The deep, rumbling voice that could shake the walls of a cabin was infinitely soft when he spoke. “I heard about Owen and the lass, Nora. ’Tis a powerful loss.”



As Daniel watched, his mother lifted her shadowed eyes to Morgan. She seemed to grow paler still, and her small hands began to wring her handkerchief into a twisted rope. Her voice sounded odd when she acknowledged his greeting, as if she might choke on her words. “ ’Tis good of you to come, Morgan.”



“Nora, how are you keeping?” he asked, leaning toward her still more as he scrutinized her face.



Her only reply was a small, stiff nod of her head before she looked away.



Daniel wondered at the wounded look in Morgan’s eyes, even more at his mother’s strained expression. The room was still, and he noticed that the lank-haired Judy Hennessey was perched forward on her chair as far as she could get in an obvious attempt to hear their conversation. He shot a fierce glare in her direction, but she ignored him, craning her neck even farther.



Just then Grandfar Dan moved from his place by the fire and began to lumber toward them, his craggy, gray-bearded face set in a sullen scowl. Daniel braced himself. For as long as he could remember, there had been bad blood between his grandfather and Morgan Fitzgerald. Grandfar had carried some sort of a grudge against Morgan for years, most often referring to him as “that worthless rebel poet.”



“Sure, and that long-legged rover thinks himself a treasure,” Grandfar would say. “Well, a scoundrel is what he is! A fresh-mouthed scoundrel with a sweet-as-honey tongue and a string of wanton ways as long as the road from here to Sligo, that’s your Fitzgerald! What he’s learned from all his books and his roaming is that it’s far easier to sing for your supper than to work for it.”



Now, watching the two of them square off, Daniel held his breath in anticipation of a fracas. A warning glint flared in Morgan’s eye, and the old man’s face was red. They stared at each other for a tense moment. Then, to Daniel’s great surprise, Morgan greeted Grandfar with a bow of respect and, instead of goading him as he might have done in the past, he said quietly, “ ’Tis a bitter thing, Dan. I’m sorry for your troubles.”



Even shrunken as he was by old age and hard labor, Grandfar was a taller man than most. Still, he had to look up at Morgan. His mouth thinned as they eyed each other, but the expected sour retort did not come. Instead, the old man inclined his head in a curt motion of acknowledgment, then walked away without a word, his vest flapping loosely against his wasted frame.



Morgan stared after him, his heavy brows drawn together in a frown. “ ’Tis the first time I have known Dan Kavanagh to show his years,” he murmured, as if to himself. “It took the Hunger to age him, it would seem.”



He turned back to Daniel’s mother. “So, then, where is Tahg? I was hoping to see him.”



Nora glanced across the kitchen. Tahg lay abed in a small, dark alcove at the back of the room, where a tattered blanket had been hung for his privacy. “He’s sleeping. Tahg is poorly again.”



Morgan looked from her to Daniel. “How bad? Not the fever?”



“No, it is not the fever!” she snapped, her eyes as hard as her voice. “ ’Tis his lungs.”



Daniel stared down at the floor, unable to meet Morgan’s eyes for fear his denial would be apparent. “Nora—”



Daniel raised his head to see Morgan searching his mother’s face, a soft expression of compassion in his eyes. “Nora, is there anything I can do?”



Daniel could not account for his mother’s sudden frown. Couldn’t she tell that Morgan only wanted to help? “Thank you, but there’s no need.”



Morgan looked doubtful. “Are you sure, Nora? There must be something—”



She interrupted him, her tone making it clear that he wasn’t to press. “It’s kind of you to offer, Morgan, but as I said, there is no need.”



Morgan continued to look at her for another moment. Finally he gave a reluctant nod. “I should be on my way, then. The burial—will it be tomorrow?”



Her mouth went slack. “The burial…aye, the burial will be tomorrow.”



Hearing her voice falter, Daniel started to take her hand, but stopped at the sight of the emptiness in her eyes. She was staring past Morgan to Ellie’s corpse, seemingly unaware of anyone else in the room.



Morgan shot Daniel a meaningful glance. “I’ll just be on my way, then. Will you walk outside with me, lad?” Without waiting for Daniel’s reply, he lifted a hand as if to place it on Nora’s shoulder but drew it away before he touched her. Then, turning sharply, he started for the door.



Eager to leave the gloom of the cottage, and even more eager to be with Morgan after months of separation, Daniel nevertheless waited for his mother’s approval. When he realized she hadn’t even heard Morgan’s question, he went to lift his coat from the wall peg by the door. With a nagging sense of guilt for the relief he felt upon leaving, he hurried to follow Morgan outside.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Mrs. Jones' Soapbox Winner

Who says 13 is an unlucky number? I'm thinking the winner of the Mrs. Jones' Soapbox giveaway isn't!

Congratulations to...

Comment #13 - MichiganmommyX4

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BTS Event - 30 Meals In One Day ~ Review & Giveaway



This is without a doubt my absolute most favorite item I've ever reviewed! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with what this program provides for myself and my family and I know when you hear about it, you're going to want it too!

So, what is it? Well, it's called 30 Meals in One Day and it's a great program that allows you to spend a whole day (it actually took me a little over 2 because I added sides and some extras, in addition to the main meals) cooking and then freeze the meals. Do you realize what that means? It means that you have a month's worth of meals prepared and frozen that all you have to do is thaw and either bake or heat up! Are you seeing why I'm excited about this?

I received their complete program that includes their software, cookbooks and labels. As soon as it arrived, I installed the software and started checking it all out. It didn't take me long to go through and find tons of meals that I knew my family would love. I made a meal menu from several of the listed recipes and it automatically made me a shopping list for the things I would need to prepare the meals. I was able to adjust the recipes to fit the number of servings that fit my family, as well as remove ingredients we didn't like (ewww, mushrooms). Then, on the shopping list, I was able to take off things I already had at home and add other things that I knew we would need, aside from the ingredients for the meals.

I then armed my husband (yes, he does the grocery shopping and yes, I know I'm a seriously lucky girl) with the grocery list and sent him off to gather up the goods. He said that 4 different people stopped him and asked why he was buying so much food. Afterall, he was buying 21 pounds of hamburger, 24 pork chops, several pounds of chicken and a ton of other stuff. Here's what we ended up with once he came home...



Now, I'm not going to lie, I was a little overwhelmed at first, when I really realized just what it was I was taking on, but once I got started I knew it was going to be awesome!

To make it easier on myself, I decided to make 2 of 15 different meals to add up to my 30 meals. I chose Almost Ravioli, Barbeque Beef and Biscuits, Cabbage Patch Stew, Chicken and Biscuits, Corn Chowder, Italian Shells, Jack Soup, Mexican Lasagna, Pizza in a Dish, Pork Chops with Carrots and Gravy, Ravioli Soup, Scalloped Pork Chops, Tortilla Chicken, Ground Beef Stroanoff and Italian Chili. I also decided to make Candied Carrots, Cheddar and Chili Pinwheels, Cheddar Biscuits, Garlic Cheese Bread, Onion Cheese Muffins and Sour Cream Croissants to go along with the soups and chilis I made. I wanted something I could give the boys for a snack after school, so I also decided to make Apple Cider Biscuits, Blueberry Muffins, Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins, Honey Cranberry Muffins and Orange Cream Cheese Muffins.

As I mentioned before, it did take me longer than a day for sure, but the end result was soooo worth it. I now have a freezer stocked with meals and don't even have to think about what I'm going to prepare for dinner for a while. The program allows you to print labels that tell you how to heat up the meals once they've been frozen too, so that is just an extra bonus! See...(I forgot to take a picture before we started eating meals, so several aren't in this picture, but you get the idea).


So far, we have had Beef Stroganoff, Corn Chowder, Barbeque Beef and Biscuits, Blueberry Muffins, Honey Cranberry Muffins, Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins, and Orange Cream Cheese Muffins. They have all been incredible and the kids and my husband agree that they'd love for me to make them all again! Tonight we are having Jack Soup and Garlic Cheese Bread for dinner and I'm looking forward to it!

Probably the greatest thing out of this whole experience though is what I was able to do with some of these meals that I hadn't ever dreamed would be the case when I started out. Last weekend, my very good friend's 22 month old daughter broke her femur. She is in a cast that makes her immobile and she will be that way for 8 weeks while it heals. Not only that, but her older children started school this week and she is in nursing school! Having these meals already prepared in my freezer has allowed me to take over 2 meals to their family this week. What a blessing it is to be able to help their family out with simply taking away the stress of figuring out what to make for dinner. I will be taking more meals over to them in the weeks to come and am so happy to be able to do so. This got me thinking about how if I continue with this program and always keep my freezer stocked, not only does it help me out when we're short on time, but it allows me to be a blessing to others who may be in a difficult situation. Who knew that a program like this could be such a blessing to people outside of my own family? I think it's just awesome.

So, if you don't already think the 30 Meals in a Day program sounds amazing (you must be crazy), what do you think about the chance to win their Dinner is Ready book and software combo?! Sounds pretty darn good, doesn't it?

*If you want this program and don't want to have to wait to see if you win, you can purchase this $40 combo for $32 on their website. Also, you can use the promo code CAROUSEL to get free shipping on a U.S. order (Canadians can get $4 off an order, but should not use the promo code).*

*If you purchase this combo from the website and then win the giveaway, the company will refund your order! If you go online and order their full set (all three cookbooks and 3-in-1 software) BEFORE THE WINNER IS ANNOUNCED, they will refund $60 of the winner's order. Can't beat that deal, can ya?!*

Get your entries in now for this awesome giveaway. Trust me, you really really want this! See below for how to enter...

BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE ENTRY DIRECTIONS EXACTLY FOR YOUR ENTRIES TO COUNT!!!!


This contest will be open until 11:59 PM on September 19th. At that time I will use random.org to determine the winner. The winner will then be emailed and have 24 hours to respond, otherwise I will choose a new winner. This contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents.

LEAVE SEPARATE COMMENTS FOR EACH ENTRY AND LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THIS FORM - Jane (at) yahoo (dot) com


MANDATORY ENTRY: Go to 30 Meals in One Day and tell me one of the recipes they have on the website that you would like to try. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:

Follow my blog (publicly via google friend connect, located on the top sidebar) - You can use this as an entry whether you are a new follower or a current follower. (1 entry)

Subscribe to my blog via the sign-up found on the right sidebar of my blog to be sure to never miss a great giveaway! (1 entry)

Follow my blog via Networked Blogs, located on the right sidebar under google friend connect. (1 entry)

"Like" my Facebook page, located on the right sidebar. (1 entry)

Place my Finally Finding Me button on your blog and leave me a comment saying you did. The button is found on the right sidebar of my blog.
(1 entry)

Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and leave me the link to your post. (1 entry)


That's 7 chances to win! Good luck!




Disclosure: I received these products for free for review purposes. My opinions expressed in this review were honest and genuine and I was in no way persuaded by the company involved.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BTS Event - Bubble Planner ~ Review & Discount



I know many of you are Moms and the kids going back to school means a schedule full of activities, sports, etc. If you're like me, you sometimes (ok, a lot of times) feel overwhelmed by everything that has to be done in a week and wonder how you're going to keep it all straight. I've tried lots of different approaches to organizing what I need to do each week and I haven't really been able to come up with a way that works great for me, until I discovered Bubble Planner.

I was sent their Bubbles for Busy Women for review and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to check it out.

I am very visual and am a list maker. I find great satisfaction in crossing things off of my list. However, I tend to get overwhelmed when I look at a long list of things and feel like I don't know what to do first or how I will ever complete the list. Here is where the Bubble Planner really shines for me. The goal setting bubbles allow me to write down the goals I would like to achieve but that I don't necessarily have to get done right away. They are there for me to see everyday, but not in a way that is overwhelming. I also like that they suggest highlighting the things you accomplish, rather than crossing them out. I think it's encouraging to see a page full of highlighted things that you've accomplished. They also have the daily task management bubbles that allow me to write in the specific tasks I need to get done that day and if there is room, I write in some things I want to get done that day as well. This makes things much less overwhelming for me and since they are broken up into home tasks, office tasks, phone tasks and computer tasks, they make it easy for me to remember what I've got going on and I can plan out which things I am going to attack first. Seriously, this is perfect for me! There are also monthly and weekly calendars, so I can map out what I know is coming up and add in whatever else comes my way. I can keep birthdays and addresses and phone numbers in it too, so everything is all in one place and easily accessible. The planner fits right in my purse and with the "lists" pages in the back I can quickly jot down groceries I need to pick up or any other things I need to run out and get and have it all right in my purse and handy to add things to as I think of them, no matter where I am. What more could you need?


I am thrilled to have this planner and know that it is going to take a lot of the stress of the school year schedule off of me because I will be able to easily map out my days and see exactly what I need to get done each day without there being an overwhelming list to look at and check off. I look forward to seeing all the highlighted things that I get accomplished and to feeling more in control of my schedule. Yay for Bubble Planner!!!

The Bubbles for Busy Women planner is just one of the many they offer. There are also student planners, homework planners, daily planners, etc. You really should check them all out!

The best part is that you can save 20% off of your entire purchase right now by entering coupon code 2010 at checkout!

So get yourself on the track to a less-stressed and more organized school year and get yourself a Bubble Planner!