Category Archives: Reviews

Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke – Book Review

When I was given the option to review this book, it was a no brainer.  I knew I wanted to read it!

www.randomhouse.comHere’s a little info about it:

There’s nothing quite like a toddler meltdown. Kids can be set off by the smallest thing—a broken toy, meeting Santa, being told to stop licking their shoes—and their fits are often unintentionally hilarious. That’s the idea behind Greg Pembroke’s hit website, Reasons My Son Is Crying, recently named one of the Most Viral Tumblrs of 2013. Now there are even more laughs in the new book, REASONS MY KID IS CRYING (Three Rivers Press; Trade Paperback Original; $15.00; On Sale April 1, 2014).

Like the irresistible blog, REASONS MY KID IS CRYING pairs full-color photos of adorable kids having not-so-adorable fits, along with deadpan descriptions of why these tots are freaking out. Every miniature melodrama and child-size crisis is proof that parenting is always an adventure in absurdity, and sometimes all you can do is laugh.

If you don’t have the book, get it.  It’s great!  If you can’t get the book, go over and check out the facebook page for the theme.  There are a lot of hilarious posts there, posts that are sure to brighten your day and/or lighten your mood.

I really get a kick out of this book!  I laughed out loud at times, and my day was brighter after having browsed through the many reasons that our kids cry.  My 11-year old daughter also enjoyed it quite a bit, and I had a blast listening to her giggle in her room as she turned the pages.  My 7-year old son wasn’t sure he understood the concept of the book (he has autism and doesn’t always get sarcasm and/or jokes), but even he won’t stop reading the thing!  He’s in it for the adorable pictures. :)

Cute pictures, great captions, hilarious stories.  I loved everything about this book!  I’m giving it a full 5 stars.  If you’d like to take a look and see a little more about what the book is about, you can go HERE to read an excerpt.

 

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Undetected by Dee Henderson – Book Review

 

9780764212437I received a copy of Undetected by Dee Henderson  from Bethany House to read and review.  Before I share my thoughts, here is a little more about the story:

Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: “I’m in the Navy.” But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping her crew trained and alert during ninety-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and handles it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating around the Pacific Rim, the Navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, with a lovely smile, and very smart. She’s a civilian, yet she understands the U.S. Navy culture. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. A breakup she didn’t see coming, though, has her focusing all her attention on what she does best–ocean science research. She’s on the cusp of a major breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop’s perspective and help. Because what she told the Navy she’s figured out is only the beginning. If she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter.

 

My Thoughts:

I’ll be honest, this book started out very slowly.  I felt like nothing really started happening until after I’d read 60 pages, and I was frustrated initially with that.  Once the long background and detail had been laid out, however, I enjoyed the story. It is well written with a lot of “bumps” in the road, keeping it interesting and keeping me engaged.  Fairly predictable, but sweet.  This is the first Dee Henderson novel I’ve read, but I’m definitely curious about them now, particularly because of the tie-in this story had with a previous novel, Unspoken.  I will give this book 3.5 stars.  I liked it pretty well!

 

*I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Hallmark Televesion Series

I love a feel-good show.  I love ‘em best when I don’t have to worry about my kids’ (or me) seeing something less than tasteful, and when I can feel good about what I’m allowing to be viewed in my home.  If you are like me in that sense, then I encourage you to check out this uplifting series from the Executive Producer of Touched By An Angel:

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I was given the opportunity to preview the upcoming episode from the Hallmark Television Series Signed, Sealed, Delivered.  Here is a little more about the show:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered 

The new original series “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), the group’s leader is a man of faith who prayerfully approaches his work with the goal of making a difference in people’s lives; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.

The show airs SUNDAYS, 8/7c on Hallmark

This incredible series even incorporates scripture in its themes and in the conversations between characters.  In FACT, The American Bible Society has built a bible study to go with the series,

Sign up for that here: http://www.americanbible.org/features/signed-sealed-delivered

*This reading experience is free, but is only available for a few days, so don’t delay!

 

Episode_1006_BadgeI’d never seen the show before, but in watching the upcoming episode I found it wasn’t hard to catch up on who is who, and to get the main gist of the storyline.  The upcoming episode, Future Me (it airs May 25), is a sweet one.  The characters are sweet, sincere, and a bit quirky.  Those guest starring played precious roles, and I came away with my heart having been touched.

Don’t forget to watch it!  It airs this Sunday at 8/7 Central on Hallmark!  If you want to learn more about the show, check out their facebook page as well!

 

*Better on a Budget is not affiliated with Hallmark or with the show Signed, Sealed, Delivered.  All opinions are mine alone.

Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini – Review and GIVEAWAY!

And we have a winner!!  Congratulations to Dianna!!

When I saw this book, Modern Pioneering, was available for me to review, man oh man, I got excited.  This is the kind of stuff I’m SO passionate about!  Not good at, but passionate about. :)

I love, LOVE the idea of us living more like our ancestors.  The idea of living a more self-sufficient life.  Of being more frugal and self-reliant.  This is what (my) dreams are made of, baby!

www.randomhouse.comAbout the book:

A cookbook and backyard gardening and homesteading guide for women who want to grow food efficiently, cook seasonal recipes, or even try foraging, camping, and living off the land.

Georgia Pellegrini, outdoor adventurer and chef, helps you roll up your sleeves and tap into your pioneer spirit. Grow a small-space garden and preserve a little deliciousness for the cold months; assemble the makings of a self-sufficient pantry; learn to navigate without a compass for your next camping trip; or even forage for plants that give you energy.
Whether you’re a full-time homesteader, a weekend farmer’s market devoté, or anyone looking to do more by hand, this overflowing resource will help you hone new skills in the kitchen, garden, and great outdoors. It includes:
·         More than 100 recipes for garden-to-table dishes, preserves, and cured foods
·         Small-space gardening advice on building a raised bed, choosing what to grow, and saving seeds
·         DIY projects, such as Mason jar lanterns and homemade notecards
·         Superwoman skills like assembling a 48- hour survival toolkit in an Altoids tin
 
Packed with beautiful photographs and illustrations, Modern Pioneering proves that becoming more self-sufficient not only means being empowered, but also having a lot more fun. 

About the Author:

GEORGIA PELLEGRINI’s taste for simple food and outdoor adventure evolved as she grew up in the Hudson Valley, on the same land her great-grandfather owned and worked. She followed her passion to the French Culinary Institute and then to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and La Chassagnette in France. (You can learn more about Georgia HERE.)

 

My Review:

Man oh man, I love this book!  SO many great recipes, including some for edible flowers and homemade cheeses.  It’s hard to pick just one favorite, but a couple of recipes I’m really excited to try are the Slim Jims and the Salmon jerky (pg 168, 169).

In addition to recipes, the author includes a section called “The Wild”, which includes information on common edible plants (think dandelions and daylilies).  I was caught off guard by some of the tips and tricks in here…like the glass bottles into glassware.  Nothing at all wrong with the idea, but it didn’t feel that self-sufficient to me, since I’d have to buy the glass bottles.   I’d guess that over 90% of the tips, tricks, and recipes ARE applicable to me and to my goals, and I’ll be doing a lot of bookmarking and experimenting the next few months, thanks to this book.  The pictures are gorgeous; absolutely beautiful.

I really don’t know what I can say to properly show how enthusiastic I am about this book.  If you’re all about self-sufficiency, or want to learn more, READ THIS BOOK!  Seriously, I love the thing. :)  My kids have also enjoyed looking at the recipes and pictures, and they’ve picked out the recipes they want to try as well!  I’m giving Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini 5 stars:  I LOVE it!

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Have I convinced you yet?  Who here wants to read this book?  Well, you’re in luck, because I also have a copy to give away!  Yay!  Anyone 16 years of age and up in the U.S. can win.  Good luck!

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I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.

Review: Lost and Found by Sarah Jakes


I recently read the nonfiction book, Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life by Sarah Jakes.  Before I share my thoughts, here is a little more information about the book:

9780764212093Like every girl, Sarah Jakes dreamed of a life full of love, laughter, and happy endings. But her dreams changed dramatically when she became pregnant at age thirteen, a reality only compounded by the fact that her father, Bishop T.D. Jakes, was one of the most influential megachurch pastors in the nation. As a teen mom and a high-profile preacher’s kid, her road was lonely. She was shunned at school, gossiped about at church. And a few years later, when a fairy-tale marriage ended in a spiral of hurt and rejection, she could have let her pain dictate her future.
Instead, she found herself surrounded by a God she’d given up on, crashing headlong with Him into a destiny she’d never dreamed of. Sarah’s captivating story, unflinchingly honest and deeply vulnerable, is a vivid reminder that God can turn even the deepest pain into His perfection.
More than a memoir, Lost and Found offers hope and encouragement. Perhaps you, like Sarah, find yourself wandering the detours of life. Regardless of how lost you feel, you, too, can be found.

 

My Thoughts:

This book was a very timely read for me.  I would bet that it will be a timely read for you as well…after all, we’re all dealing and/or struggling with SOMETHING, right? Sarah Jakes is very candid and honest about the mistakes she made as a teenager, and also as a young adult.  Initially, I had the feeling that she was going to justify her actions, or perhaps lay the majority of the blame on growing up under a lot of pressure having a famous father.  She did not do that, and it was very refreshing to feel raw, honest truth in her words.

She shares the story of becoming pregnant at 13 years old, and of the following years of struggle to forgive herself.  She openly shares her struggle in trying to find love, and is more honest about some of the methods she used than I would be in her shoes!  Throughout, the reader is reminded of the hope that Christ brings to our lives, of the need for us to turn our hearts to Him, and to lay our sins at His feet.  She speaks of unconditional love, and of the ability for us to recover and be made whole again, no matter what our circumstances.  She talks of second, third, even 20th chances.

One quote I loved in the book is this:  “Perhaps our biggest issue is not that we can’t see ourselves; it’s that we can’t accept that even when we’re broken, His love for us has not been distorted.”  I think it’s so true…we condemn ourselves, whether in a religious sense or not, and we are our own worst critics.  It can be hard to believe that anyone can love us so perfectly when we are so imperfect.

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a touching, real look at a life of emotional struggle, and it’s filled with hope.  I’m giving Lost & Found by Sarah Jakes 4 stars.  I really liked it.

 

*I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.  No monetary compensation was given, and I was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are mine, and mine alone.

Ozeri WeightMaster II Bathroom Scale – Product Review

You may know about my love for bathroom scales – when they are ACCURATE.  Of course, any bathroom scale is great, as long as the numbers on it are consistent….but I like them much better when they are accurate! :D

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I’m one of those people who weighs in almost every day.  I feel like it gives me immediate motivation each morning, whether to keep doing what I’m doing cause it’s working, or as a reminder that I need to get back on track.  Soooo, I was really excited to get this new Ozeri Weighmaster II Bathroom scale.  This scale is better than any others that I’ve owned, simply in that it provides the BMI calculation as you weigh in.  You can set your “profile” on this baby, entering your height and then weighing in, and it’ll remember you!  When I weigh in each morning, my number on the scale pops up, along with the calculated BMI, and then my favorite part:  The screen lights either green or red:  Green means you’ve lost weight from the previous weigh-in, and red means you’ve gained.  Along with the color flashing, it tells you what the difference in weight is.  It will give you those numbers for not just the last weigh in, but for other previous weigh-ins as well.  My kids both have a goal of getting a “red screen” since I want them growing, lol, and I’m shooting for the Green screen, or simply a blue screen, which means the weight is unchanged.  It’s great fun!  (Yes, I think weighing myself and seeing colors is fun)

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Here’s a more detailed description of the product from Amazon.com:

The Ozeri WeightMaster II 440 lbs Digital Bathroom BMI Scale with Weight Differential Detection was designed and engineered in the USA to provide a comprehensive yet simple weight management solution to measure and track your weight. Featuring BMI Measurement and Auto Recognition Technology, the Ozeri WeightMaster II weighs up to 440 lbs and displays your BMI (Body Mass Index), a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight. Immediately after displaying your weight and BMI, the scale’s Weight Differential Detection displays your “net weight change” from your last weigh-in (L1), the average of your last 3 weigh-ins (L3), last 7 (L7), and last 30 weigh-ins (L30). By measuring your weight once a day, the Ozeri WeightMaster II empowers you to see how your current weight changes day to day, from the last 3 days, the previous week and the previous 30 days. For users who would rather just focus on their weight trend without worrying so much about the actual numbers, the WeightMaster II features Color Alert Technology, which displays your weight change in a GREEN illumination for weight loss and RED for weight gain, providing a visual form of intuitive feedback. With built-in intelligence, the WeightMaster II requires no complicated synching and spares you the data connection failures common to more expensive wireless and Bluetooth alternatives. Precision engineered and durably made, WeightMaster II auto-calibrates with StepOn technology and auto-powers off to preserve battery life. It features a slip-resistant grooved ABS exterior reinforced with a tempered glass interior, and non-slip scratch-resistant feet that won’t damage flooring. The WeightMaster II is exclusively treated with Microban® antimicrobial product protection that inhibits the growth of odor and stain-causing bacteria, and helps maintain surface cleanliness. Ships with batteries included, and backed by Ozeri’s 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee.

 

One piece of advice:  If you decide to set up a profile on the scale for your kids (it saves quite a few profiles), make sure they know the rules:  Like, “no pushing the ‘set’ button” or “no weighing in 5 times in 5 minutes”.  It just may confuse the poor scale, and you may find that when you weigh in you have gained 95 lbs because your son somehow updated your profile with his 7-year old weight.  Just a head’s up, because it could happen.  I am not speaking from experience, no sir. :)

*I received NO monetary compensation for this review.  Ozeri sent me their Ozeri WeightMaster II Scale free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.  Better on a Budget is not affiliated with Ozeri.  All opinions are mine and mine alone

 

 

 

Pinteresting Recipes – 5 Gluten Free, Fairly Healthy Food Ideas!

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any of my latest Pinterest finds, possibly because I haven’t been trying a lot of Pinterest “stuff”.

That has changed in the last 2 weeks, however.  I’ve been trying lotsa new stuff out!

I’ve had some, well, health issues of late (nothing major, but enough to disrupt my daily life) and I want to fix them, you know?  So, I turned to the food I’m eating, and have been much more intentional about what I’m eating.  Salad for lunch everyday?  You betcha.  And with that, I’ve tried some new recipes:

66a0fc14b3064a30e748583ccf9fbc61These Homemade LaraBars have been a lifesaver when I’m really craving something sweet and I want to eat a whole jar of nutella.  Oh, thank heavens for these, truly!  I like ‘em.

 

5c0211047c771ec3fca7033021a5ff20This No-Oats Paleo “Oatmeal” is made with coconut milk, coconut flour, and unsweetened coconut…not much else!  While I love coconut, I don’t know how enthusiastic I felt eating this…although once I’d added some fresh pineapple to it, I enjoyed it more.  If I make it again (and I really, truly might), I’ll definitely make sure to have plenty of fresh pineapple on hand with it!

 

0e2281fe8a5bd717255417e31bf0685aBefore I got all crazy on this health kick, I tried and LOVED these Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Rolls.  I kinda got obsessed, really.  Doubled the batch the second time I made them, and then made up for it by eating twice as many.  If I can manage to moderate my consumption, I’ll definitely make them again.

 

d0433cfac087502a81953f6d54e7cce6YUM – Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Banana Pancakes.  My only piece of advice with these is: do not assume you’ve got the recipe memorized in your head and then add twice as much cottage cheese as you should to them.  It may backfire.  I enjoyed these (when I made them correctly) without any syrup…I didn’t feel like they needed it!

 

81fa8b7cca70ae8c7457c2a2047aaa10Man oh man.  These Gluten Free Homemade Chicken and Dumplings are comfort food Heaven!

 

 

 

 

 

A Table By The Window by Hillary Manton Lodge – Review

Have you read any of the fun new novels that include recipes that have been integrated into the story?  I LOVE those books….except that they make me hungry.  Every time.  :D

 

www.randomhouse.comA Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge is a fantastic, fun read, full of deliciousness and hunger-inducing recipes.  It was the first novel in awhile that I had a hard time putting down!  The only disappointment I experienced was at the end…it didn’t feel “completed”, but then I realized that it’s because Hillary has a sequel in the making!!  YAY!  I don’t want to wait, I really don’t.

About the Author:

Hillary Manton Lodge is a graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism.  She discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine.  A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails.  She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon.

About the Book:

Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love
 
The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?

If you like food, and if you like reading fiction, I think you’ll love this story!  It’s a sweet, endearing story that will keep your attention and keep you intrigued.  I’m giving it 5 stars:  I loved it!  Want a sneak peek?  You can read chapter one here. 

 

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.

Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love
 
The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way? – See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=223982#sthash.VvDJ0vBm.dpuf

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon. – See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=167110#sthash.0hdIOuwn.dpuf
Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon. – See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=167110#sthash.0hdIOuwn.dpuf
Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon. – See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=167110#sthash.0hdIOuwn.dpuf

Giveaway WINNER! Alone Yet Not Alone

730531_1_ftcHuge congratulations to our winner, Julie!  Julie, you’ve won a copy of the book Alone Yet Not Alone.

Thank you to EVERYONE who participated.  Keep your eyes peeled more more upcoming giveaways, and don’t forget to enter my other current giveaway. 

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*Winner has 48 hours to respond. Otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Review and Giveaway: Alone Yet Not Alone

Alone Yet Not Alone is a book I recently read…it’s also a new movie coming to theaters this June!

I have always been fascinated by history – not dates and numbers, but by the stories.  Stories of my ancestors, of different cultures, lands, and so much more.  When I was given the opportunity to read a true story of a family caught in the cross fire of the French and Indian War, I knew I had to take it. And I’m so glad I did.  The book is well written, engaging, and emotional.  It’s a pretty easy read, and will make a fantastic movie!  I will definitely seek out more stories from Tracy Leininger Craven.

730531_1_ftcAbout the author:

The author, Tracy Leininger Craven, loves history and the stories of those who have left an indelible impression on our country’s heritage. She is also inspired by the testimony of God’s faithfulness through seemingly impossible circumstances. Her stories of real people come alive and serve to inspire a new generation of readers.
In her free time, Tracy loves to be outside enjoying God’s creation with her husband David and their three children.

About the book:

Settled in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America’s new frontier, the Leininger family celebrates the blessings of a beautiful homestead and bountiful harvest.  That is, until tragedy strikes with the beginning of the French and Indian War and the devastating raid known as the Penn’s Creek Massacre. The lives of this simple, God-fearing family are forever altered when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by the Delaware Tribe. Driven by their faith in God and the powerful bonds of family, Barbara and Regina hold firmly to the belief that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again.

As I mentioned, Alone Yet Not Alone is coming to theaters this June.  I am really excited!  If it’s as good as the book, it’ll be a fantastic film!  You can reserve tickets HERE.

You can view the official trailer:

In addition to the excitement of the movie coming out, I’m also very excited to announce a giveaway for the book.  You will get the chance to read it yourself before it hits theaters!  Pretty awesome, right?  If you are a fan of historical novels, this giveaway is for you. :)  Best of luck!

 
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*Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  The opinions shared are mine alone.