Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review of A Cowboy for Christmas by Kristen James

Missy came to her estranged brother, Ben's ranch after he was tragically killed in an accident.  She has had personal struggles in her own life with her former boss.  Brent, Ben's best friend and partner at the ranch, is still hurt by the accident and has been left before.  He is scared to be left yet again.  The two of them learn to trust again.

This story showed deep hurt by Missy and Brent and a lack of trust between both of them, almost causing their relationship to fall apart.  I liked the integration of the horses on the ranch to play a part in bringing them together, having their own personalities in the story.  I did think there were parts of the story that were not clearly resolved such as with one of the horses, Dancer, and his past relationship with Ben.  I also thought at times, the conflict was so strong that it became distracting and overbearing although it resolved itself at the end.

This is a good, quick read with an uplifting story of trust and resolution of past regrets and pain.  With little mention of Christmas until the end, it could easily be read at any time of year.

I would rate 3 1/2 of 5

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to Reality

I'm back!  I'd like to welcome all the new followers.  Since I am new to this, I appreciate you following me and I am always open to any suggestions or advice.

I had a very nice Christmas.  I had dinner with immediate family at my sister's house.  Her 4 young sons kept us all on our toes!  After exchanging gifts and eating, they were off on their own adventure so my dad and his girlfriend came to our house for some basketball.  It was a good time spent with family.

To my surprise, Christmas night I received an email that I won a recent book giveaway.  What a great way to end a great day!  I won Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina by Loree Lough.  It should be on its way and I plan to write a review after I read it.

Christmas night I also saw a post from Kristen James who I follow on Facebook that she was putting her latest novel A Cowboy For Christmas free for Kindle.  Merry Christmas to me!  I am in the process of finishing that one and will be posting a review for that as well.

I am new to writing reviews also so I welcome any constructive criticism.  For now, I must get reading!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Prayers

As I finish work for the week before the holiday, I think about those friends and family who aren't going to have such a Merry Christmas.  My boyfriend's family will be celebrating their first Christmas without his mother who passed away earlier this year.  Another close friend lost her husband a few months ago and will be celebrating without him.

I received a card from a family member today who is anticipating a hospital stay any day now for some tests.  Numerous other friends have family members battling different illnesses as well.

My mom passed away on Christmas day 10 years ago this year.  It is a bittersweet holiday for me.  I know she was ready for the party in heaven that day, but for those of us left behind Christmas is just not the same.  There are so many things I wish we could share with her and so many questions I wish I couldn't asked her. 

Never take the loved ones in your life for granted.  Life is so precious.
On that note, I will probably be taking a few days off from blogging while I spend time with my family and friends.  I hope you all are doing the same.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


As I cleaned off my desk at work today I was reminded of a year full of projects centering around budget cuts.  It seemed to be a central theme of all of the paperwork sitting on my desk, sadly enough.  Don't get me wrong, some of these cuts needed to happen.  However, some situations have also been devestrating.  Florida seems to have some very blurred lines between entitlement and true needs. 

I have worked in the field with these individuals for 13 years. I have seen some real success stories and have seen many horror stories as well. It is difficult to category a population of people's needs by what is on paper. These are individuals each with his/her own gifts, challenges, and interests.  This cannot be captured by an equation or an algorithm, which is what the state is doing.

This time of year, I always try to re-organize and think of ways to make things better, easier.  In the field of working with individuals with disabilities, that is such an unknown at this point.  The program that I work for is in a crisis.  If not resolved, many people will be either in jail or living in nursing homes.

For now, I have one more day of work before I have a 4 day weekend to celebrate Christmas.  Christmas for me this year feels like a second Thanksgiving.  I have had so many blessings in my life this year.  I still have a job, I am a proud homeowner, my boyfriend is in remission after a 2 year battle with Lymphoma and my dad had a successful kidney transplant.  I can't ask for much more than that!  Next year is in God's hands.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Reviews

I have noticed several author blogs here, on Goodreads, and on Smashwords requesting for people to write book reviews on their books.  I have never written a book review and can't imagine anyone wanting my humble opinion but I would like to help out if possible.  Maybe someone will be kind enough to repay the favor if I can ever get anything down on paper.

Here's the problem...I have no idea what I am doing.  The reviews I have read seem to start with a synopsis close to the one already used on the blurb, then go into what they thought about the book.  Some reviews that I have read have been very generic.  Is there something I am missing?

Do you write book reviews?  Do you follow a special format?  What is your style?  Inquiring minds want to know :)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Hi.  I am new to the blogging world, but I want to expand my writing skills and meet as many readers and writers as possible.  In the world of internet, this seems to be the best way considering my lack of funds at the moment.  I am open to constructive criticism, advice, encouragement, prayers... while I try to navigate through this crazy journey.  I hope you join me!