Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ready for 2009 to be behind me

2009 has been a year of change...

1. The biggest change was the very unexpected loss of my Dad in August.  He collapsed while at work, thank God he was not on the road, as he was getting ready to drive the semi, things could have been much more tragic.  
We (my husband, kids and I) rushed to Wisconsin-a 10hr drive- to be with him, we said our good-byes, but his spirit was already gone.  We were all (my husband & sons, my mom, sister, her husband and daughter and my aunts and uncles) there with him when the machines were shut off, and watched him take his last breath.  It was hard to watch, but yet I wouldn't have been anywhere else.  I was at first worried about my 7 & 14 year old sons, how was this going to affect them, witnessing the end of life.  Fortunately they seemed to grasp a bigger understaning of life, beginning to end, and to see that God is there with us throughout the whole process.  

My sister and I immediatly choose the same quote from Little House on the Prairie:

"Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you. If you can only remember with tears, then don't remember me at all."

My mom, sister and I have always used humor as our coping method.  Not only that, but we know that Dad would be horrified if we were to not remember all the good times with him, and to only dwell on the sadness of 2 days.  As we are good at keeping busy, we have been able to deal with this all.  I was a little leary as to how our first Christmas without him would be, but we were together, and because of that and the laughter we shared as we recalled all the happy memories, we had a wonderful Christmas.
Our faith in God and the knowledge that we will meet again in Heaven someday has been a big part that holds us together.  That and the extrodinary friends and family we have in our lives. Thank you all for being there for us, and for continuing to be there, especially for Mom.

2. The second major change we experienced was that we moved in November.  Granted it was only about 10 miles, but it was still a hell of an event.  How in the hell do you accumulate so much shit is 4 years (thats how long it had been since the last move)  Now we are in the new house, but there are still boxes in the living & dinning room, I'm still trying to figure out where all this crap is going to go, oh and what can I get rid of!  Oh and did I mention that I'm sure that we will be moving again in a few years...I think the longest I've lived in a house since I've graduated high school has been 6 years.   Right now we are renting, and when my husband finds his PERFECT piece of land, the plan is to eventually build...we shall see where that road leads us.

3. Job change!!!!  Okay I live in Michigan, the unemployment rate is over 15%...not only that but I live in Northern Michigan, not a hugely populated area so good jobs are not easy to come by.  In December of 2008 I was laid off from the title insurance company I'd been working for (I spend 10+ years as a title examiner)  I'd been doing title work since I got out of the Army in 1997. So anyway, back to my job woes, my hours had been cut earlier in the year and I got part-time work at Bath & Body Works...but the hours really sucked.  Shortly after I was laid-off I got wind that that Register of Deeds office at the County had a job me and 110 others sent in our resumes and applied for the job, I had an interview set up for Jan. 5, and started on Jan 12!!!!! I was super excited to get the job. 
I knew that I was qualified(+), but this is a small community, I've only lived in the area since 2005-though I had done some researching in the office and was accqainted with the people that worked there. But, the Register grew up in this area and knew a lot of the other applicants.  I kept telling my mom (and anyone who'd listen) that I had FAITH that I was going to get this job, something just felt right.  Thankfully the Register wanted to hire someone that she wouldn't have to completely train...I was already familiar with the ins and outs of real estate, searching, drawing out long legal descriptions, explaining to people the hows and whys, withOUT giving legal advise... you see, that was just the 3 MAJOR changes for 2009, I rather hope that 2010 has fewer changes in store for me. 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

review of HIS WICKED SINS by Eve Silver

Rating: A

Elizabeth Canham has accepted a teaching position at Burndale Academy to help support her family. Soon after her arrival to the academy she learns of a monster in the area, one who favors fair women with golden hair. Having faced unspeakable horrors in her past she is not immediately frightened by the tales.

Griffin Fairfax has done some terrible things, he is a self-proclaimed villain, never claiming to be a gentleman. It is whispered that he killed his first wife and drove his daughter to silence. He would like nothing more than to hear Isobel speak to him, but knowing what she has witnessed, he has little hope.

Elizabeth recognizes a kinship in Isobel. Having followed a similar path in her youth, she can't help but empathize, and try to help. In Griffin, she recognizes danger, but she also feels calm and safe in his company.

Together, can they conquer the monsters of the past? Or will past sins continue to haunt them?

Eve Silver weaved an extraordinary tale of mystery and romance. I loved the dark Gothic feel of HIS WICKED SINS. I was so engrossed in this story that I could clearly picture the scenes along with the accompanying musical scores as if I were watching a movie, as I read. Beth and Griffin each had their own horrors and ghosts in their pasts that they had mostly succeeded in overcoming, giving them a better understanding of each other. I liked them for their flaws and the strength they'd shown in overcoming their fears and anxieties.

I loved how images of the past were interwoven throughout the story giving us clues to the past. Another great thing about this book was that I was so far off in my guesses as to who the madman was, it was someone that I never even thought to expect. I love a mystery that I cannot immediately identify the villain. Ms. Silver did a great job casting shadows on various characters, including the hero, which really made me wonder.

Along with Gothic style historical romance and paranormal romance, Eve Silver also writes futuristic speculative romance as Eve Kenin. I cannot wait to pick up another one of her books by either pseudonym.

And I just thought I'd let you know about a contest Eve Silver is holding in celebration of her newest book SEDUCED BY A STRANGER, which is being release in September 2009, details can be found at:

Happy Reading & Good Luck!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hello? Hello? Oh Hi there

I think things are finally getting back to order. After last year of being partially laid off, to completely being without a job, which I sure found tons of things to fill up my time when I wasn't out searching for a new job. Now I'm back to working full-time (YIPEEEEE) but it's taken a while to balance out my full-time work schedule, my family, and all the activities I took up to in my "free" time. I hate giving up the activities, my hobbies. I'm not giving them up, but I'm learning to balance them so I can still enjoy them.

My favorite hobby is reading and reviewing the books I read. Last year I kept track of every book I read, this year, not even close. I used to have lists of what I read each month and what I rated them, this year, not at ALL.

I really got into the reviewing and helping out with the Enchanting Reviews group, now I need to get back into it. I really like the people I've met through there and I want to bring more to the site, but I've been an absent reviewer there. I've kept up with reviewing on Night Owl Romance, also another group of wonderful people, but I started with ER and really want to continue to be a part of the structure. Now I need to step it up and get my ass in gear. I want to work with both sites, I should be able to do it, I just need to keep myself on track.

I love to read so the reading isn't an issue, I just need to get my thoughts on board after I read the books...shouldn't be tough I love to give my opinion! LOL

Sometimes it's hard to verbally express what I felt about a book. The easiest book reviews for me to write are the stories I love or hate...I have a hardest time with writing about the books I just liked...sounds dumb I know, but unless a particular thing reaches out and grabs me, I sit there staring at a blank screen thinking "I liked this book..."but now I need to back up the statement as to why. Anyone else have that problem? Or is it Just Me?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

review of GLITTER BABY by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Rating: A+

GLITTER BABY takes us through the life of Fleur Savagar, a dazzling model who can't see her own beauty. She only wants her father's approval and love, but that is denied to her by the secrets her mother holds. She allows her mother to push her into a lifestyle of fame. Until her mother finally pushes to far, causing her to give it all up, only to rise again. This time in a manner of her choosing, but can she stay on top, or will family secrets come out to destroy her and her loved ones?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips has written an engrossing tale of love and betrayal. She took me through an emotional journey as I followed Fleur's life. I loved watching Fleur's character grow and mature from a young naïve woman, eager for love, cried when her innocence was shattered, and cheered as she drew herself up from the ashes of her life, spreading her wings to soar higher than those around her could ever imagine.
I thought all of the characters were well written and developed. I really hated how manipulative her mother, Belinda was. At the beginning of the story I was able to feel some sympathy for her, but soon I was disgusted by her actions and the emotional games she played. I felt Belinda got much of what she deserved. Her father Alexi was even worse, my heart tore with Alexi's final act of revenge. I enjoyed the turmoil between Jake and Fleur as they each had deeper issues to overcome before they could really love and understand one another. I loved how they were finally able to find their happiness in each other.
GLITTER BABY is a book that I will pick-up to read again, as I loved this story. This was a little heavier than many of Ms Phillips books, as the humor was toned down and the focus was more on Fleur's life than the romance between her and Jake. While Ms Phillips stories are usually emotional reads, she usually balances things out with laugh out loud humor, this book was more on the serious side.