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Friday, September 30, 2011

Review of "Telling Lies" by Cathi Stoler

Imagine being on vacation in another country, and suddenly catching sight of a man who died several years ago. In Cathy Stoler's mystery novel, Telling Lies, that is exactly what happens to a woman named Laurel. While on vacation with her boyfriend, a police detective, she encounters the husband of a close friend. A man who died during the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and left behind a grieving wife. A man who was not, obviously, really dead. Laurel promptly enlists the help of another close friend, who also happens to be a private detective. While her boyfriend Aaron returns to New York to begin working on finding out the truth, Laurel stays in Italy to investigate there. What follows is a often confusing web of intrigue that puts Laurel and her family and friends in danger. Jeff Sargasso, the undead dead man, was an art dealer who was in the middle of a huge deal when the attacks occurred. There are dangerous people in the New York art world, and they all want the artwork and the money that was exchanged for it. Since Laurel is investigating, they are all now after her. The book is honestly a bit confusing and hard to get excited about in the beginning, but it definitely improves as it goes on. I found it an interesting read, and since the ending is somewhat vague and open ended, I am hoping there is a second book in the works!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fire Men

As the wife of a volunteer firefighter, I've heard more than my fair share of stories and gained first hand knowledge of the ruined plans and sleepless nights that are a big part of being a volunteer. But while reading Fire Men: Stories From Three Generations of a Firefighting Family, written by Gary R. Ryman, I gained more insight into the life of a firefighter.

Gary R. Ryam is, in his own words, the creme filling in the middle of an oreo cookie of firefighters. His father started the family tradition and his son followed in his footsteps to make the third generation of firefighters. Mr. Ryman has a way with words, pulling you so far in to the scene of a structure fire that you can almost feel the heat of the flames on your face. The book starts with action on the first page, not leading up in to it like so many authors do. This grabs your attention from the start, and it will keep your attention until you get to the very last page.

While Mr. Ryman does omit any overly gory details, you get the gist of every situation that he writes about as you follow him through life, starting with childhood memories of dreaming of following in his fathers footsteps. The book chronicles calls from his fathers day all the way up to his sons time and it is fascinating to note how procedures and equipment changed over the years.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, but if you have a firefighter in your life, it is a must read. Follow Mr. Ryman on Facebook or on his website.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mountain Bikers

Thanks for the guest post by Jonathan Curtis

My husband has gotten really into mountain biking and he’d been nagging me to do it with him for years. I simply wasn’t interested in such a dirty, dangerous sport but sometime last summer he convinced me to come up with him on one of the easy trails and now I’m completely hooked! I got my own bike and now we spend our weekends out and about finding new places to ride and new people to do it with. I got us HTTP:// for the house since we’re gone for big stretches of time and since we’re doing a lot more camping lately, too. I love being so athletic and I’ve never been this active before. Thanks, honey for making me get off my butt and come out there with you! I had no idea mountain biking would be so easy or so fun or I would have come out there and ridden along a very, very long time ago! Now if I can just get the mosquito problem under control I’ll be good…

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review of Stories From A Lifetime

Stories From A Lifetime by Hugh Aaron is a collection of short stories the author wrote over a period of 30 years. All of the stories are based at least loosely on a real event in Hugh Aaron's life and is, in the authors own words, "a disguised autobiography spanning eight decades."

I often find it difficult to read a chapter of any book in one sitting due to the hectic schedule of balancing work, family, home and everything else life throws my way, but this book eliminated that problem. The stories are quite short, often only two pages long and very well written so as to grab your interest quickly. There is a hidden lesson in most of the stories, much like the morals in old fairy tales. Many of the stories taught such a clear lesson in dealing with life that I shared them with my older children so that they could learn from them.

All in all, this book is excellent, and I highly recommend you add it to your list of must read books!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review of Johnny Eye-One

I recently read the book Johnny One-Eye by Jerome Charyn and could not wait to review it to share with everyone else. Historical fiction is not generally my preferred reading material, but this book had me hooked from the first chapter and would not release me until I read the last sentence.

The book is set in 1776 during the Revolutionary war where the main character, John Stocking, flits between the two sides of the war with both amusing and enticing antics. Believing himself to be the illegitimate son of George Washington himself and the madam of a local brothel, he spends his free time mooning over a prostitute.

This book is history like you have never read it before. The mixture of fact and fiction along with the authors knack for overly descriptive writing will leave you feeling like you are standing there in person rather than reading words on the page.

I highly recommend this book, and if historical reading isn't your thing either you may well change your mind after reading this!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Date Night! And Swagbucks :)

I couldn't for the life of me figure out what to blog about today. And I finally figured out it was because in a few short hours, my mother in law is coming to get the little ones and it is date night for the parents! I am to happy about that to think about anything else. :)

Date night is rare around here. For one thing, the hubby is back at work and once again only home on weekends. For another, I like my kids with me, and don't really care to ship them off to Nana or anyone else over night. But, with my stress level sky high, and with his new job a perfect reason to celebrate, it's past due. He won't be home until around 8 tonight though, so our choices are limited. But I know that whether it's a late movie, or just sitting around talking, it will be a wonderful night!

One thing I did think about today was Swagbucks. If you aren't already familiar with Swagbucks, it is a search engine with a twist. When you search something on the site, you can win points. These points can then be used to buy all sorts of things. My favorites are the Amazon gift cards, they came in quite handy last Christmas! And when you sign up, you get 30 Swagbucks! And, today is Mega Swagbucks day, which means the prizes are even bigger!

Ok, off to get ready for date night! If anyone has any suggestions for a good date later in the evening in a small town with nothing in it, let me know! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Work at Home Resources

Whether you have been working from home for a while, or you are a newcomer to the scene, it is important to know what resources you can trust. Other people who work from home are your best resource and can be found on forums and communities that are dedicated to freelance work. By networking with other freelancers, you not only find out about new job leads quickly, but you can also hear about others experiences with a company you might be interested in. Some good forums dedicated to working at home include:

WAH Clubhouse


Work Place Like Home

Other sites are also valuable resources, posting job leads and reviews of work at home companies. Some of these sites include:

Work at Home Adventures

Rat Race Rebellion

Bizy Moms

I hope the resources help you in your job search! I have been babysitting two children recently, and watching their moms pain as her three year cries for her to stay home each morning reminds me of how truly blessed we are to be able to be at home for our children while still making a living!

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I am a freelance writer who specializes in website content as well as print media. I offer fast, professional service and competitive rates.