Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


Have a terrifyingly tasty night!

What are fun plans do you have? Do they involve more trick, or treat?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Light in Dark Places Book Blast

light in dark

A Light in Dark Places In December, 2009, Susan Cox Powell was reported missing from her home in West Valley City, Utah. As law enforcement tried to piece together what had happened to Susan, her husband, Josh Powell, became the only person of interest in the case. For Jennifer Graves, Josh’s sister, the nightmare started long before Susan’s disappearance. From her experiences growing up in the Powell family to the terrifying moment when she first started to believe her brother was a killer, she relied on her faith to stay strong. She devoted herself to the safety of Susan’s boys, Charlie and Braden, whom she hoped to be able to raise as her own. When the boys were murdered by their father in February, 2012, Jennifer was more than devastated, but she had to believe there was a reason for it all—including the deaths of her beloved nephews. In A Light In Dark Places, Jennifer shares her struggles and her triumphs. In coming to terms with such tragedy she finally was able to embrace the truth that we all have the power to choose our own path—and there is always hope, no matter how dark things may seem.

Praise for A Light in Dark Places

I just finished reading "A Light in Dark Places" By Jennifer Graves and Emily Gray Clawson. I was impressed with how well written the book was. The descriptions are such that I felt I was part of the story. I was grateful that the message was one of hope and peace in tragedy. The book does tell the tale of Susan Powell, her boys and their demise but doesn't dwell on it. It was nice to see inside the life experiences of someone so close to them and to see things from Jennifer's perspective rather than what you see on the media. I highly recommend this book. It doesn't disappoint! – T. Hyde

I love true accounts of people overcoming challenges and helping others with the lessons learned from them. This story of Jennifer's experiences throughout her abusive childhood, and later the disappearance of Susan and the murder of her two sweet nephews is just that. She shares how she felt God's hand in her life, guiding her to make better choices than the rest of her family did. Though the book had so many sad details, it ended with hope, courage and love. ~D. Raymond

I had followed the story of Susan Powell very closely so I wasn't sure if the book was going to tell me something I didn't already know...but it sure did. Jennifer was very brave in writing this book and all she had done in support for Susan. I highly recommend the book it sheds a light on the whole situation that helps make things more clear. ~ Carolyn

This was a very informative read. I lived in Utah at the time of Susan's disappearance and followed the news every day. This book answered many questions that the news did not. Although it was very sad and I already knew the outcome it was a good read. I admire Jennifer for her part in the whole story and I am glad she had the fortitude to write this book to honor her sister in law. ~Katie O.

To finally read about details that were never shared brought closure for me about this insidious crime. While the book was an easy read, the message shared about breaking the cycle of abusive relationships is invaluable. It truly does take someone removing themselves from their abusive family's presence to stop the cycle. Praises to the author for sharing her perspectives. ~Arlene
JenandEmAuthorphoto1Jennifer Graves is the mother of 5 beautiful children, 2 girls and 3 boys. She and her husband have been happily married for 19 years and together have been active in their community and church. Jennifer is the sister of Josh Powell who killed his 2 sons, Charlie and Braden, as well as himself in February of 2012, and is also believed to have killed his wife, Susan Cox Powell, in December of 2009. She is the recipient of the 2013 ChainBreaker of the year Award, given for breaking the chain of abuse and violence in her family. She enjoys homeschooling their children and mentoring in classes for the commonwealth school they attend. She also loves reading, playing card and board games, and learning new things. Most of all she loves to spend time with her husband and children. They currently reside in West Jordan, UT.

♦ ♦ ♦

Emily Clawson is an author, a mother and a mentor. She traditionally writes inspirational fiction. This book has been a life changing experience for her and she is grateful to have been a part of telling this story. She resides in Taylorsville with her husband and four children where they run their leadership mentoring programs for youth.

BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 21, 2013

Just Ella Book Review

A proper, clean Romance

Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she'd imagined.

"I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me."

My Review
5 out of 5 stars

This novel is a breath of fresh air in the YA romance market. Princess Ariella is a delightful, strong, complex character that draws you into the story. Her friendship, and budding romance, with the handsome gardener, Gavin, is realistic and sweet. The struggles they face show that love is not always an easy path to tread, but is worth every pain in the end.

Larsen gives her characters tough choices and makes them actually deal with the consequences of every decision, good and bad. I loved how it showed that life is not always easy, and doing the right thing is never the most comfortable choice to make. Ariella is spunky, but also very human. I like how she is constantly growing and striving to be better. Despite her family's faults she loves them, but in the end she has to learn to choose her own path in life. A great coming of age story!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning in October

You ever feel like a juggler who can't keep any of the balls in the air?

That has become my life lately. I'm trying to see so many different balls at once, they all end up on the ground.

 So even though I know it is a bit late in the year, my life is definitely in need of some de-cluttering love. Not that I don't enjoy everything I have in my life right now. I've just realized that the constant exhaustion and stress is not necessary. And if I'm so busy picking up balls I don't get anything accomplished, I'm not at my most productive.

Ground rules for relearning to juggle:

1) God is important. Take time for Him and the day feels more manageable.

2) Health is important. Exercise is not a waste of time. Do it!

3) Family is going to be there long after the characters fade, but this moment won't. Cherish every beautiful moment with my loved ones.

4) Writing is a worthwhile dream. Don't worry about how much I do compared to others. Work on it a little everyday, and I will reach the finish line.

In order to get my life back on track, I know a lot of great things will have to take a backseat for awhile. I may not win any races anytime soon, but I'm excited to have time to spend on those things that are most important to me. Life will even out and things will trickle back into my life, but this time I hope to keep it at a more manageable pace. (This said with a sheepish grin because I know myself to well. But I will try not to overload myself. We'll see how it goes.)

Life is meant to be full of joy. Embrace it!

Have a week full of wonder and happiness!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IWSG-Rekindling the flame

Wait. It's October already? When did that happen? *scratches head in wonder*

Sorry for the delayed post. The new month sneaked (Why is is sneaked? Snuck sounds so much better. English!) up on me, and I'm getting over a nasty cold. Fuzzy brain plus blogging, this should be fun if not coherent.

Ahem, anyhow, October is my favorite month. Fall is in the air, Halloween approaches, and I get to immerse myself into research for my latest NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project. What isn't to love?

I really need NaNoWriMo this year, and hope it rekindles the writing fire inside me. I'll admit, my desire to do so has dwindled to an ember over the past couple months. Questions and doubts plague me.

Will I ever make it?

I've been a beginner forever, and still have so much to learn!

Am I ever going to have a novel ready for publication?

Is writing just a waste of time and an excuse not to be a real grownup?

Nobody cares what I have to say, blah, blah, blah.

The list goes on and on. It is there every time I sit down to write a thought, a paragraph, anything. I finally gave up on writing regularly just to get the voice to ease up a little. Writing is not supposed to be connected to depression. It used to be a happy, freeing experience. When did it start mattering whether anyone else in the world cares that I'm a writer? When did the future of the book become more important than the journey?

Whenever it happened, I miss the joy of creating.

So that's my goal for the lovely month of October. I'm going to enjoy every second of the learning journey as I prepare to write my latest project. (Psst, it's a good one!) I'm not going to even try to picture the finished product. I'm not going to worry if it is ever read and adored by millions. Do I like it? Yes. Am I excited for the awesome story? Yes. Am I suddenly overly fascinated with ghosts and death statistics? Yes. Great! I'm on the right track.

I hope you all have a month full of writing and life adventures. Keep writing and dreaming!

Anyone else super excited for NaNoWriMo?