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Showing posts from November, 2008

National Novel Write Month

National Novel Write Month

Sigh! I managed to write 61,451 words this month which amounts to 2048.36 words a day. I won by passing the 50,000 word mark but didn't quite finish the story. I could have shortened and ended it prematurely. But, then the villains would have gotten away and the budding romance between the two main characters would not have gotten off the ground and ...

Doing nano has established a habit. The habit of getting up at 6:30 every morning (thank you cats) and writing after breakfast until father gets up sometime around 9:30. James gets up around 7:30 which gives me a quiet hour to myself, then after he eats, he keeps himself occupied. The rest of the day we will be getting back to our normal schedule of lessons, house cleaning, working on my online class, reading, playing, blogging, and working.

Studies have shown that it takes two weeks to form a habit. I've been at this for 4 weeks so it certainly should be a habit by now. I am going to fin…

Weekly Report #11

Weekly Wrap Up

We had a very light week lesson wise. James worked on his cursive and Math, adding three's while I worked on my story. I was bound and determined the reach the 50,000 goal which I did on Wednesday, despite multiple distractions. Now I am bound and determined to finish the book. Unless I manage to write 10,000 words tomorrow, probably not going to happen. But since I get up a couple hours earlier than every one else in the household, we'll see how far I get and leave the rest for the edit process. I'm going to make sure I incorporate writing time in my schedule everyday from now on. I have a few other ideas up my sleeve when I'm done with this one.

We took Gracie in on Tuesday to be spayed and she stayed over night. The boys, herbie and melvin wandered the house for a good long time, missing her. We picked her up Wednesday morning and she was feeling fine.

We didn't want a repeat of what had happened with Luna when we brought her home after a…

Booking Through Thursday - Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are having a small thanksgiving this year with just the three of us. The turkey is in the oven and I'll be doing the rest of the fixen's later: Homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes and a veggi of some sort. Then, of course, a pumpkin pie for desert.

Today at Booking through Thursday the meme is about being "Thankful"

Share 7 things you are thankful for: this can be about books, sure–authors you appreciate, books you love, an ode to your public library–but also, how about other things, too? Because in times like these, with bills piling up and disaster seemingly lurking around every corner, it’s more important than ever to stop and take stock of the things we’re grateful for. Family. Friends. Good health (I hope). Coffee and tea. Turkey. Sunshine. Wagging tails. Curling up with a good book.So, how about it? Spread a little positive thinking and tell the world what there is to be thankful for.I am thankful for
1) My husband and son, they provide …

National Novel Write Month - Winner

Yahoo!I reached 50,000 words.

Winter's Illusion is 75% complete and I still have a several more chapters to write. I will finish the story by Sunday, November 30th. I have 4 more days to go and hopefully it will keep raining, so I don't have to go put up Christmas lights. We are having a quiet thanksgiving here at home with just the three of us. So, if my guys will give me the space, this puppy will get done. I'm rather proud of this story and think it is better than the first one I did last year.

Book Review - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Agatha Christie

Back Flap: Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, he was stabbed to death.

I enjoyed reading "The murder of Roger Ackroyd" and I was completely surprised who the murderer was at the end of the book. The story is narrated by Dr. James Sheppard, the town doctor. He lives with his sister, Caroline who is a big gossip. A new neighbor has justed moved in, Hercule Poirot. They enlist his help in solving the murder of Roger Ackroyd. As with all Agatha Christie novels, you have a cast of characters who all have a secret. As Dr. Sheppard and Poirot sort through the clues, there are many twists and turns to dec…

49th Birthday

I had a very nice birthday yesterday. I had a very relaxing day, spent working on my story. But James and I also did a little Friday housework clean up, vacuuming and doing laundry.

Father came home early from work and We went out to dinner at Black Angus.I had prime rib and lobster tail. It was delicious. Father had prime rib and James had a hamburger with french fries. Father bought this for my birthday

A Kodak easyshare Z1015 Digital Camera to replace my old beat up Easyshare that has been dropped a million times. I will give the old one to James. This one is really neat with 15 x optical lens with image stabilization and fast click to capture speed of .20 speed. It also does video and works in HD. It has lots of neat features. It arrives on Monday from Amazon.

Friday evening I managed to finish "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" by Agatha Christie. Will post review of story soon.

Weekly Report #10

Weekly Wrap up

It was a very light week. The past two years we have taken off the week before and Thanksgiving week. This year I decided we'd continue with lessons and power through to our three weeks off at Christmas time. Too much time off creates the crazies in all of us.

With the best intentions

Devotions: We read Proverbs 9 Invitations of Wisdom and Folly and Discussed. I had Father and James read Proverbs 6:6-11 in his Adventure Bible.

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest- 11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.
In the "let's live it' section of the Adventure bible, it discusses hard work and taking an example from the ant. S…

Happy Birthday to Me

My wish list just got shorter and my TBR piled bigger

Consider the fact that I have been really, really good for the past two weeks and avoided the books stores. I just made up for it in one week.

James gave me my birthday presents this morning and I received

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

Magyk: Septimus Heap Book one by Angie Sage

Hot Mahogany by Stuart Woods

My finds (birthday presents to myself) are 2nd reads of authors

Split Second by David Balducci

Unspeakable by Sandra Brown

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. Book 2 in Mercy Thompson Series

Hero Under Cover by Suzanne Brockman

For Her Eyes Only by Cait London. Book 3 in the psychic triplets series

And 1st reads of authors of paranormal or suspense romance novels. Will probably save these for 2009 Romance Challenge

Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur.

To Catch a Thief by Christina Skye.

The Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary

Now I really, really, really need to get back to working on my nanowr…

Booking Through Thursday - Honesy


Suggested by JM:I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?I've only received one book to review so don't have a lot of experience with unhappy authors. Speaking for myself, if I wrote a book or sent a book to someone to review, I would want their honest opinion. I don't think reviewers should feel obligated to write a good review if they really didn't care for the story. I think the problem may occur when a sensitive author may feel denigrated by a reviewer. I learned the value of constructive crit…

Wordless Wednesday

Early Morning Fog

Conehead Cat

And Wall-e

What does your Wednesday look like?

Novel Challenge - 2009 Romance Reading Challenge

One more Challenge

Naida over at the Bookworm is hosting the 2009 Romance Reading Challenge

The Rules are:1. Now, "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

2.Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2009. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

3. Read them at your own pace in 2009 then go back to the Bookworm and post the link to your review(s).

If you want to join in the challenge, head on over to Naida's to sign up.

The books I will be reading are:

Hero Under Cover by Suzanne BrockmannLast Look (1) by Mariah Stewart
Last Words (2) by Ma…

2009 100+ Reading Challenge

2009 100+ Reading Challenge

J.Kaye of J.Kaye's Book Blog is hosting the 100+ reading challenge once again for 2009.

The guidelines are the challenge starts January 1, 2009 and runs through the end of the year. You can join anytime as long as you don't start listing books prior to 2009. All books count whether fiction, non-fiction, children or adult books, etc.

I can do this!

I know I read over 100 books in the past year. So this seems like the perfect way to keep track of how many actually read. I'll keep track of the books in this post and place a link in my sidebar in January.
Salvation in Death by J.D. RobbWicked by Gregory MaguireIf There Be Dragons by Kay HooperLove By Design (2 classic Novels) by Nora RobertsFire Dancer by Colleen CobleFive in a Row by Jan Coffey

Novel Challenges

Novel Challenges

I have one book left to read for the Fall Reading Challenge which is Nora Robert's Pagan Stone. It's being released on November 25th and once I finished that. Voila, I will be done with the Challenge. So now I'm looking ahead to 2009 and the various challenges coming up.

I have decided to do the following challenges:

Read and Review Challenge hosted by MizB which is basically everything you read, you review.

Christian Readers Challenge also hosted by MizB which runs from Jan through April.

Pub Challenge hosted by One More Chapter in which you read books published in 2009. These books will apply to the other challenges.

Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Bookworm in which you read at least 5 books in the romance genre. I'll be posting more about this one later.

Martel Harper Challenge which runs perpetually and hosted by Dewey at Hidden Side of the Leaf.

100+ Reading Challenge hosted by J.Kaye's Book Blog. I know I have read more than 100 books th…

Book Review - Seventh Day

A.D. Chronicles

Seventh Day


Bodie and Brock Thoene

Rating: ***** Excellent

Seventh Day is book # 7 in the A.D. Chronicles following the life of Jesus and his followers. The Thoenes have personalized the characters of the bible, writing about their everyday lives; how they interact with Yeshua, and how their lives are affected by him. From what happens to Peniel, the blind beggar boy, when he is healed to Marcus, the Roman Centurion who walks in both the worlds of Yeshua and the Romans.

Back Flap: "Stories of miracles abound. Could Yeshua be the long-awaited messiah? Eve, the widow of Absalom the scribe, has one thing to live for--her only son, Abel. She grieves over his every rasping breath. She's heard of a great Healer who walks the earth. Could the rumors be true? Could there be a miracle for Abel? While rifling through the archives under the Temple Mount, religious leader Ra'nabel Ben Dives discovers startling information about a child who escaped the slaughte…

Musing Mondays - What are you reading?

MizB at Should Be Reading asks:

I am currently reading Seventh Day by christian authors, Bodie and Brock Thoene. It is book # 7 in the A.D. Chronicles. The Thoenes have taken the stories in the bible and written a fictional version of the life of the people during the time of Christ.
I just finished Dead Heat by Joel Rosenberg. The link to the review can be found in my sidebar or just scroll down two or three posts. Dead Heat was the last book in a christian fictional political series about the 'end of days'. It was very well done and had quite a few twists and turns that surprised me. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Seventh day is the last book on my Fall Reading Challenge list. I was determined to finish those books first and didn't even look at the…

Book Review - Isle of Fire



Wayne Thomas Batson

Rating: **** Awesome

I discovered Wayne Batson while perusing the young adult books at Berean's Christian bookstore. I first read his Door Within Trilogy which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Isle of Fire is the continuing adventure of Cat from the 1st book of the pirate adventure Isle of Swords.

Front Flap: As Cat's memory returns, he realizes that he has lived two very different lives: One as the son of the ruthless Bartholomew Thorne; the other as the recipient of friendship and the crew of the Robert Bruce. Now Cat must choose either to return to his ways of his notorious father and join the evil Merchant, or defy the Merchant and risk his life to save his friends.

Excellent pirate adventure story about faith, trust, life, evil and loyalty.

Book Review - Dead Heat

Dead Heat


Joel Rosenberg

Rating: ***** Excellent

Spoiler Alert: If you don't want to know what happens, don't read any further.

Dead Heat is the 5th book in Rosenberg's Christian Political Series. The series begins with the The Last Jihad and continues through The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll and ends with the Final Heat.

Back Flap: "The stage is set for war. Oil Prices are surging to record highs; a new dictator is rising in Iraq; China is threatening Taiwan; North Korean forces are ready to strike south; and Israel is feverishly trying to complete the Third Temple.

And in the midst of a world ready to explode, American president James MacPherson's second term is ending. The battle to succeed him is heating up into the most fiercely contested presidential election in American history. Who will lead a bitterly divided country over the next four years? And what role--if any--does the U.S. play in history's last days? As the presi…

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Last year when we were in New York, Father took a million street scene pictures of buildings, things, and people. We were taken by the shot of this woman and her girls. We come back to it time and again when looking at our pictures. One daughter racing ahead, another lagging behind and the littlest looking like she wants to go in another direction.

Is she a tourist or a new yorker going about her day?

What does the look on her face say to you?

Determination, acceptance, just another day, off in a fog or something else.

Veterans Day - Thank a vet

Thank you, Dad!

My Dad, a retired colonel in the air force will be the the guest speaker at the dedication of the Arizona Medal of Honor Memorial located Arizona's Veterans Memorial Park in Bull Head City, Arizona on the Colorado River. The memorial will feature names of the 20 Medal of Honor recipients from Arizona, from the Indian Wars to the Vietnam War. Six Roman pillars will sit on top of a 14-ton concrete structure, surrounding a six-sided center stand that will hold a perpetual flame. My parents, along with a few other organizations donated the funds to help with the project.

In his blog today, he gives a brief history about how Veteran's day came into being. Please check it out. I'm also hoping we will be able to talk him into posting his speech.

Dad was a recipient of the Luke Award last year for all his work in helping forward needed supplies to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. When I was at their house last month, they showed me a letter and a flag sent …

Teaser Tuesdays - Isle of Fire

MizB at Should Be Reading says to:

Grab your current read
Let the book fall open to a random pageShare with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. But no spoilersBlake banged into several dignitaries. White wigs flew and spitting mad faces turned to Blake. But the commodore paid them no mind. His rage, fueled by betrayal, gave him the volume he needed. "I MUST BE HEARD!!!"Pg 157
Before Ross could stop him, Jaques drew his sword, grabbed a rope, and swung down to the pier. Merciful heavens, thought Ross. St. Pierre's going to kill the man before he can fix our boat.Pg 179 of Isle of Fire by Wayne Thomas Batson

Musing Mondays - giving and keeping books

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS is about the giving & keeping of books!

If you keep your books, where do you keep them? And, if you give them away, who do you give them to? Do you participate in Bookcrossing, BookMooch, PaperbackSwap, or the like? Do you give your old books to family & friends, or donate them? Are any of your books in storage due to not having enough space for them all? Or, are you one of the lucky ones who has their own “library”? Feel free to share pictures, if you have them!
Where do we keep our books. Well hereThis is a picture of our bedroom with the books lining one wall. Yes, they are double shelved and triple stacked. Plus I have several boxes of books from my apartment days that are in the closet, but I won't show you those. It's kind of a mess in there. We simply do not have enough room in our little house for all of them. I don't know how many times I've said this, but we plan on having a library room in our next house.Hubby is getting s…

Book Review - Foundation: The Collegium Chronicles

Foundation: The Collegium Chronicles

Mercedes Lackey

340 Pages

Published October 7 2008

Rating: **** Awesome

Foundation is the newest novel by Mercedes Lackey in the Valdemar Series.

Amazon: A thirteen year- old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had—and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds’ Collegium.

Back Flap: Mags knew nothing of the world beyond the mine, and was unaware of how unusual his paltry existence was. Then some strangers on huge white horses forced their way past the Pieters family and carried him away to Haven to become a Herald Trainee. Suddenly the whole world opened up for Mags. He was warm and well fed for the first time in his life, and he had Dallen, his companion, who seemed more miraculous than an angel. But the world of the Collegium w…

Weekly Report #9

Weekly Wrap up

We had a good week.

Devotions: We covered such things as "Are some things absolutely right or wrong, Does God accept people no matter what?, How can I be respectful, yet still stay true to God and Do my reactions to others matter to God. Powerful stuff. We also read Proverbs 4 Wisdom is supreme and discussed.

Voyages in English: We are covering Pronouns for the next couple weeks. Learned about what pronouns are, plus subject, object and possessive pronouns. This is giving Father and I a great refresher. James already learned pronouns from First Language Lessons last year, but now we going into more detail.

Spelling Workout: Y as a vowel.

Handwriting without tears Cursive: did h, t, p, and e. James writing is beautiful (most of the time)

Math: Working on subtracting 2's. Also started doing DK's Math Made Easy and worked on counting by 2's, 10's, recognizing odd and even numbers.

History. In This Country of Ours, skipped over the a couple …

Wordless Wednesday

Perfect Balance

Election - History in the Making!

History in the making!

Last night was a truly historical moment for the United States. The first African Americam was elected President of the United States. I did not have the chance to watch his speech, but read the entire transcript. I am very impressed and moved by his words. He is a very eloquent speaker. He is not quite the youngest president ever. Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he was elected and John F. Kennedy was 43.

Personally I am glad the whole thing is over and we don't have to listen to anymore campaign speeches, political rhetoric or multiple commercials endorsing this, that and the other. After two years, it had gotten quite old. Life can return to normal as we know it, until the next time.

It will be interesting see how Barack Obama will operate as the President and what direction he will lead us in. Only time and experience will tell. He has taken on one of the toughest jobs in the nation. Its always amazing what the candidates promise durin…

Michael Crichton - May he rest in peace

Michael Crichton

October 1942 to November 2008

Michael Crichton, best selling author of The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, The Great Train Robbery, Congo and many others died Tuesday of cancer. He will be missed.

Election Time

Did you Vote?

Your California polling place is open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

In general, all polling places throughout the United States are open until at least 8:00 p.m. There is really no excuse for saying you did not have the time, whether before work or after. And if you have a nice employer, he or she may let you have an hour or so off to do your civic duty.

And if you choose not to vote, then you don't have the right to complain.

We all have a say in the process, so let your voice be heard.

Don't let the press con you into believing it's already over. Don't let the media pundits rush to declare a winner stop you from voting.

It's not over, til the fat lady sings

Book Review - Snow Blind

Snow Blind


Lori G. Armstrong

Rating: **** Awesome

Back Cover Excerpt: The frigid Winter months are mighty slow in the PI biz for Julie Collins and her partner, Kevin Wells--until the duo is hired by a young woman to investigate problems at her grandfather's assisted living facility, where they encounter lax security, unqualified healthcare personnel, and a shady senior volunteer organization.

Julie barely has time to delve deeper into the puzzling case before she reluctantly finds herself in an isolated cattle shelter on the Collins ranch with her father during a raging blizzard. There is no escape from her father or from the biting cold and bitter memories.

A missing hired ranch hand found dead on the ranch only complicates matters further. In trying to uncover the truth about the man's death, Julie is forced to wrestle with issues that make her question old wounds and new family loyalties.

Kevin's reckless involvement wi…

Book Review - Dead Series

Dead Series By Mariah Stewart

Rating **** Awesome

Remember the old 1950's Alfred Hitchcock movie "Strangers on the Train" in which the two men offer to exchange murders. The Dead Series follows that premise with 3 convicts. In the beginning of Dead Wrong, three criminals are transported to the courthouse for different proceedings. A fourth convict escapes and they are locked together for a few hours in a holding room while deputies search for the escapee. They get to talking and one hypothetically supposes "What would happen if we took care of 3 people in the other person's life. No one would be the wiser."

I don't want to give away any spoilers, so wont go into detail. Very well done and interesting series. I highly recommend it.

Halloween and Nano

NaNoWriMo Goal for Today: 1666 words. Completed 1953

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring! Our first rain of the year started last night. Yep, during halloween trick or treating. Fortunately, we had already hit most of the houses and heading for home, when it started to rain.

James as Darth Vader

The humidity in the air kept causing the eye pieces in his helmet to fog up. James didn't say a word. Just held on to my hand and kept walking. I looked down at one point and see this. Silly kid. Made him remove the helmet while in motion, until getting to door of a house. One of my neighbors told him he had to say more than "trick or treat" to be convincing as Darth Vader. So, at every house, he said

"Trick or Treat. Where are the plans to my Death Star?" in a deep voice. He also had a portable little breathing machine for authenticity. Everyone thought he was adorable. We were out about 45 minutes before returning home. We got…

National Novel Write Month 2008

Ready!!! Set!!!! Go!!!!!

It's November 1st and the beginning of National Novel Write Month (NaNoWriMo for short). The goal is to write one 50,000 word novel from scratch in 30 days. How you accomplish that is by turning off your internal editor and and simply writing. Yep, that's right - no editing. I did this last year and finished with more than 50,000 words but my story contained a lot of scripture. I am currently working on the 2nd or is it the 3rd draft. It will go on the side burner until the end of the month. I am going to attempt to write a suspense, mystery type of story. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Working title: Winter's Illusion

Synopsis: Dr. Winter Eliza Scott is a psychologist who has been hired to work at a private coed boarding and day high school. Her boss and co-worker Dr. Brent Blake seems the slimy sort and something is going on at the school. Female teachers are disappearing, 2 professors tell her the exact sa…