Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations Mary! You are the winner of The Scarecrow giveaway!

I'll send you an email for more info.

Thank you for entering!
Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Scarecrow - Book Review & Giveaway!

We have a winner!

I reviewed this book last month and the publisher asked if I'd like to host a giveaway! Well, heck yeah! I have three books to give to three lucky winners. The only requirement is that you be a resident of the continental US or Canada. Please let a comment and let me know you'd like to win the book. If you only read Christian fiction, please remember this is not a Christian fiction book. If you know someone who would like it, enter for them!

You can win more entries by posting a link to this blog and/or sharing the link with friends on Twitter! Just leave a different comment for each thing you did. I'll draw for the winners after I return from my Savannah trip on Monday night!!! So, come on - let's get to entering and sharing the link!

The Scarecrow
by Michael Connelly

Product Description
Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career.

He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus. The kid might actually be innocent.

Jack is soon running with his biggest story since The Poet made his career years ago. He is tracking a killer who operates completely below police radar--and with perfect knowledge of any move against him. Including Jack's.

My Review:
This was the first Michael Connelly book I have ever read and boy have I missed out on a great author. This story had more twists and turns and surprises, but they were all well done. Sometimes when a story line is intricate, I find that I need to almost make an outline to keep up with everything that is going on. That was not the case with this book. The characters were well developed.

This is not a Christian book and the publisher cautioned me about the graphic details given about the various crimes. Honestly, I didn't find anything too graphic about the crime scenes. The only problem I had with the book was the language. The language was a little rough at times, but it was keeping in the storyline (and again, it's not a Christian fiction book, so...)

If you like suspenseful crime novels, then this is certainly the book for you. If you've never read anything by Michael Connelly, then by all means, check him out! This novel will stay with me for a while! Updated: I've thought about this book and its content often. It's really a great book.
Saturday, May 16, 2009

A little rest and more

I guess I unwittingly took a little break from blogging, Facebooking and tweeting! Although, I have kept up with the blogs. If I'm able, I read them in the morning before my work day gets started. I can't view video or see a lot of pictures, but I still read! I think I'm back!

James & I had a long weekend last weekend (well it was even longer for James). On Friday, he drove down from Ft. Knox with our travel trailer. Saturday morning, we headed out (in separate cars) to a campground outside of Savannah, Georgia. Let me just tell you that was one long drive. (Luckily, I had a book on tape! I listened to Karen Kingsbury's Summer. Gosh it was sweet.) We (ok, he) got the trailer all whatever it is you do and we went and grabbed a bite to eat. We went to bed late and got up early so we could make the trek back to Birmingham. James had a gotten a flight back to Ft. Knox from Birmingham. I thought that was so sweet because he could've just flown out of Savannah. The trip was much shorter driving one car and James had 2 hours to wait for his flight. On Tuesday, he got to drive a gov't vehicle back down to Georgia! He'll be at Ft. Stewart until early July.

My little baby will be 14 on Monday! Last night was the 8th grade banquet. Her last Friday in middle school! (I'm really ready for middle school to be over. Quite honestly, I didn't enjoy it when I was in it and now I've lived through it 2 more times!) I can't believe she'll be 14 and starting high school soon.

My other daughter was in her first car accident on Cinqo de Mayo. She was driving a friend's car when she clipped another car. It's been quite an adventure and may I recommend you tell your child to NOT drive someone else's car OR allow a friend to drive her (his) car? If you need to know more about this ordeal, just let me know.

School will be out this Thursday! I like it when school is out, especially now that my girls are older. Traffic is much lighter and I don't have to wake kids up. Although, to be fair, I don't have to really worry about either of them in the morning anymore.

The girls & I are going to visit James next weekend in Savannah. When we bought our trailer, we bought one with "two bedrooms", figuring we'd travel with kids. Well, a year and a half later, we're finally all going to be in the trailer. (I've only spent 2 nights in it.) It'll be interesting, to say the least. Seriously, let's all pray for good weather next weekend (right now it sounds like someone is bowling outside). There will be a lot of bickering if we're all cramped in the trailer all weekend.

I'm going to have a couple of giveaways next week. Please come back and check for those. Also, I have an update on McShane!

So what's happenin' with you?
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Day Giveaways - MochaWithLinda

Giveaways with MochawithLinda!
Linda and I have very similar reading tastes and we review some of the same books. So, I'm thrilled to share she has a giveaway going on at her blog and it's for BOOKS!! Many different types of books and most (if not all) are autographed. Go over and see what Linda has to offer. She'll bless your socks off!
Monday, May 4, 2009

Update on McShane

Where has the time gone? I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted about McShane! I updated the McShane post (button over there >>) but I thought I'd post this new too, so you wouldnt' necessarily have to scroll through the whole story find the newest update. (Of course if you don't know about whom I'm speaking, then click that McShane button and read all about it!)

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've updated you on McShane. His treatment has just been steady going with some minor bumps along the way. James & I were able to go to Memphis a couple of weeks ago and it was good to see how well McShane was doing.

He's lost his hair and the place where he had his leg biopsy is nasty wound. He has some type of wound sucking machine hooked up to his leg. The chemo has made it so it's hard for him to heal so he's just keepin' on keepin' on. His spirits are pretty good. Also, he knows exactly what is going on and is determined to not be a statistic of defeat.

Pretty soon, he'll be having surgery on his leg. I do not know all the specifics, but here's what I do know...The doctor will be cutting his leg open from above the knee to about midway down his shin. They will be removing the tumor and his knee parts (but not his knee cap). They will be inserting a steel rod into his femur and one of the other bones (I don't know if it's the fibula/tibia/both) and they will rebuild his knee. He will be in a wheelchair for a number of weeks. He wants to be able to walk by June 22, which is his 14th birthday. He seemed scared and apprehensive about this surgery (and who could blame him)?

He was supposed to have surgery this Thursday, 5/7; however, the chemo has left his mouth full of painful sores and they want him to heal from those.

As soon as I know more, I will let you know. If you want his mailing address, please let me know. I'm sure he'd love to receive cards and things! If you know of people in Memphis who you think would be willing to go and visit with McShane & Mike, please email me for the contact information.

Thank you for praying for McShane and Mike. It means more than we'll ever be able to tell you.
Friday, May 1, 2009

Got S.O.A.P.?

Do you ever wonder why it takes so many times to get something through your thick head, or is that just me? I'm on day 4 of being a 5:16 gal. (I'm pretty impressed that I'm awake but please hold the applause...) Despite the fact of hearing what to do during quiet time, I have not put it into application. When I've had my quiet time, it's been during a time when I'm taking a bible study. I began to feel this wasn't enough and wasn't really what I felt God wanted me to do. (Yes, do the study, but spend time with just Him as well.)

I asked for suggestions (legalistic much?) on how others spent their quiet time and my friend and fellow Siesta, Susanne, sent me this link for S.O.A.P. I was encouraged to see the author crediting Pastor Wayne Cordeiro for this method, as I had the honor of hearing Brother Wayne speak (through video) about this just last year! (Forget much?)

Here are some tips from Greg Qualls' blog (plus he has a link to hear Pastor Wayne speak. You'll be blessed to hear him speak). If you have more tips, I'd love to hear them!

Tip #2:
Have all the right resources. Wayne suggests that when you sit down to spend time in the Bible, you should have the following items.

  1. A Bible - This is a no brainer. But make sure it is version that you can understand (different versions of the Bible are written at different reading levels). I use the ESV…but you might find another version to your liking. Just go to your local book store and test a few out. See how easy they are to read and if you can understand the words that are being used.
  2. A Journal - This is where you are going to write down your thoughts. I use a blog to keep my daily thoughts, and it works well for me. Plus, I can share with my friends my daily reflections. Otherwise Wayne recommends using a paper journal and using the first few pages to keep an index of what you are learning. This way you can look back and see what your have been learning (another reason I use a blog…this is done automatically for me).
  3. A Reading Plan - Use whatever you want. Just have a plan. (Cathy note: oh a plan...I see which step I'm missing.) I am using the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan to read through the Bible each year. But you could make it as simple as reading two chapters a day or two pages. Whatever you do use a plan or else you’ll spend half your time trying to figure out what to read.
  4. A Planner - It’s going to happen. You are going to be in the middle of having a wonderful time with God. Journaling your heart our…and you are going to remember that you’re out of milk. This is where your planner comes in handy. You can write down, “get milk” and go right back to your journaling. If you don’t have a planner, just use a scratch piece of paper. This is probably the best advice that I got from Wayne. I don’t know how many times my God time was hijacked by random thoughts of things I need to do for the day.

Tip #3:

Use S.O.A.P. This is Wayne’s structure for your time with God. It stands for the following:
Scripture: Start off with the Bible. Read the verses that are on your plan for the day.
Observation: As you read, write down any observations that you have from the text. I use the questions, “Who is God?,” and “How do I enjoy Him?,” to focus my observations even better.
Application: Based on what you have read…what should you do? I try to make this practical and realistic. I set a goal for the day based upon my reading. Write it down and hold yourself accountable to it.
Prayer: Last but not least, spend some time in prayer to God. Confess and repent of any sins that were brought to light while you were reading. Spend time thanking God. Also spend some time in silence listening to God.

Tip #4: Keep it simple. The goal of your time with God is to try to grow closer to Him. It’s not to check off your list. Don’t add extra burdens to this focus. “I have to make at least 15 observations.” “I have to write at least 5 pages in my journal.” “I have to pray for at least 45 minutes.” The goal is to spend time with God and to grow closer to Him. Do what it takes to do just that…the rest is just distractions, burdens, and religion.

So there you have the basics. Have a plan. Get S.O.A.P.