Quotes to Live By

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
(John Quincy Adams)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle)

Every artist was first an amateur. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. (Thomas Jefferson)

It takes ten years to build up a reputation, but only five minutes to ruin one. (Anonymous)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Broken Melody

Broken Melody resonated with me for some reason. When I first read the summary on Book Crash, I knew I had to get my hands on that book. I was drawn to Danae. She was very believable as a character and her feelings were raw. I really liked how the plot thickened as the reader went through the book.

All the characters developed well and the author even added a little bit of God in the book. It was sneaky and I liked that. People who don't believe in the faith would pick the book up and be preached to without even mentioning salvation. That's amazing. I never thought about doing that in my novels. I have to put that in somewhere now in my book.

Just like the book, A French Girl in New York,by: Anna Adams, the plot goes similarly down the same path. Maude, a girl that taught herself the piano is discovered in Paris and trained by a studio to perform in piano and voice. I really liked how Broken Melody portrayed life on the other side of a happy family.

Even though I cannot empathize with her, I know a little of her feelings. I was a little lost when trying to discover who I really was in college. But to have been in an abusive foster care and trying to discover yourself would be hard. Yet, many many girls out there are facing the same problems and they don't have good friends like Anne to support them through it.

As I read to the end, I realized I could be the Annes in each Danae's life I meet through my classroom. Since I am their teacher, I would be the help and support they need in their life. The author should write more books like this one.

I thoroughly liked this book and others with similar plots. I would recommend this book to my friends.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Outcasts Book 2

Uncovering the truth could cost them their lives.
Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity, and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppressive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined ... and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother Omar decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante.
Soon all three brothers are being watched closely - and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.
I really like this series. I started reading book 1 and was kind of lost in the beginning, but when it got to the middle of the book, I was sucked into the plot. Then when the 1st book was done, I wanted to find out what really happened to Mason. The 2nd book was a lot more enjoyable because I already had some background knowledge. 
This book isn't available to the public until Jan. 7th, 2014. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Learning about My Limitations

Everyone has limits, don't they? Some have more than others, but everyone has them. I used to think I had more limitations than others until I stepped back and realized that I don't. I don't mean to get all philosophical on my readers, but it's just something to think about.

When I got this book, I was in a place where lots of people get. If I just read this book, maybe my problems will lessen. I've finished this book, and I don't think my problems will lessen, but it will help solve my future problems. I used to think religion was just a means to an end, a concept where you find what you're looking for and then in the end, there is only one true answer.

Don't get me wrong. I was born into a Christian family and I never debated that fact. When I was admitted as a student at Liberty University, I started to question what it really meant to be Christian. These people I live with, go to class with, converse with, and eat with...yet, because of their limitations, they lash out at me. I started questioning people's motives/actions towards me or anyone else for that matter.

They believed in: legalism, pride, achieving results using any technique, reliance on the human mind, having a faulty foundation, in bondage, and other things. This book by Sandie Freed called: Letting Go of your Limitations is about how a person with these problems can let them go. I learned numerous things that I wish I had learned before stepping in to Liberty as a student.

I can't make up for the time lost at the hands of self-righteous pharisees, but I can recommend this book to others who can then read this book and solve their own problems.

I got this book from: Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Open Eyes

Is seeing better than not seeing? Sometimes I wonder. Not that I would ever trade my eyes for anything, I just wonder sometimes. 

I read this book about '10 Uncommon Lessons to Discover a Happier Life'. It's about how doctors removed Jake Olson’s left eye at ten months old. When he was twelve, after years of radiation and chemotherapy, the cancer took his right eye as well. That’s when Jake’s story really began.

When ESPN met Jake Olson, he was a twelve-year-old boy who wanted to spend his final weeks of sight with the USC football team. Jake’s story became one of the most recognized pieces in the network’s history, earning an ESPY award, instantly viewed by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. But Jake’s story didn't’ end with his final surgery or with ESPN—not by a long shot.
Now sixteen, Jake Olson dreams of becoming the first blind golfer in the PGA. How is such a thing even possible? How does that level of perseverance endure in someone with so many reasons to give up?
In Open Your Eyes, Jake Olson tells more than his story. He reveals the ways of thinking, living, and praying that have kept him and his family triumphant in the face of their tribulations. Told with sincerity and humor in tandem with leadership coach McKay Christensen, Open Your Eyes is not just a heartwarming chronicle of the Olson family’s struggle. Jake’s story is a step-by-step lesson in perseverance and motivation from a young man who knows how to put the past in the past.
From the USC locker room to the fairways of Pebble Beach, Jake Olson will inspire you, your family, and your team with bravery, ability, and faith. It is time to learn from this remarkable young man and open your eyes to a happier life.

So I wonder if Jake Olson is happier without his eyes? Most people with eyesight do not act as well as Jake without his eyesight. Just something to think about this winter holiday. 
I got this book from: Booksneeze and is not released to the public until December 31st, 2013. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Captive Maiden

Happily Ever After …Or Happily Nevermore?
Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
I had the privilege to read a few chapters from this book a couple of months ago from Amazon. From the first moment, I was captivated. I wanted to read much more, but when I saw this book from BookSneeze, I knew I had to request it. The book is a modern tale of Cinderella with a lot more depth poured into it. I like the heroines to think and in a lot of fairytales, characters just don't think. They just get saved by guys, so this book was great. Good read for those who are stuck in the snow right now. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Global Orphan Crisis

James 1:27 = The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.

 God's call to care for the orphaned and vulnerable children of the world
is not easy or comfortable.  And it will require willingness, commitment and
sacrifice. The more you know about the global orphan crisis the more your heartis
will break and it will cause you to want to do something... anything... to make
the life of an orphaned child a little easier.

The need is overwhelming, but if you are willing, you can be part of the global orphan solution. It is a decision that will change your life forever. The journey will be worth the effort in countless
blessings along the way.

Together, with God's strength, you can be the hands and feet of Christ and make a difference in the life of an orphaned child now and for all eternity.

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

This book really spoke to me because I am an educator who strives to make a difference in a child's life every day and it hurt me to see so many abandoned children living in the streets and barely surviving while I live comfortably every day. It made me want to reach out and help some of these kids.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cloak of the Light

Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark
What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?
Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, Benjamin Berg, missing.
As his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to observe fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist?
With help from Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl who offers encouragement through her faith, Drew searches for his missing friend, Ben, who seems to hold the key to unlocking this mystery. As the dark invaders close in, will he find the truth in time?
This book struck a chord with me because my family is charismatic, so a lot of the spiritual realm is real to me. I can't see evil and good physically, but my aunt can see real demons and ghosts and stuff. I don't know if I would like to see as Drew sees, but it would be kind of nice to kind of see these things, so I know how to deflect the evil.
I would really like to read the 2nd book when it's published to see how the story ends and what happens to Drew and Sydney.
If you want to read this book, it's not published until March 18th, 2014. So until then, you can either get an advanced copy from Blogging for Books.com or just patiently wait for it to publish.

About the Author
CHUCK BLACK, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical combat communications engineer, is the author of thirteen novels, including the popular Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae series. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, have six children and live in North Dakota. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


As a blogger and an educator, I always try to look for books that pertain to the people I teach. I also like reading books from time to time that spark my interest. I mean, why else would I read books if not in my interest? When I saw this book, I did what most people do: judge the book by the cover. Since I love the color pink, my eyes are naturally d
drawn to the cover.

I read the summary and thought, "oh, this will fit in when I teach middle school." I quickly applied to get this book. When I got it in the mail, I thought, "this is it! I'm going to love this book". I was quickly proven wrong. I only got to the end of the first chapter. The author speaks from her point of view, but she makes it like her life story.

Don't get me wrong, some people's life story is interesting, but not hers. It seems like a mediocre story to me and it preaches about the girls in their middle school age. I went through middle school too, but I didn't come across any of those problems.

I thought I was reading it all wrong and looked it up on Amazon to see if anyone else got my point of view. There were all sorts of glowing reports about this book. I was surprised because I couldn't find any substance in it. Of course, I am also critical about people who say they love God because I went to a school that had lots of hypocrites in it. They basically preached about God's Word and how much they loved God, but there was no fruit and no actions on their part.

So basically, I found this book to be somewhat like that. I couldn't even push myself to read to the 2nd chapter. So I don't know if I would recommend this book to anyone else.

Pirates on the Farm

“No one ever imagined that five swashbuckling pirates would settle in our proper little southern community. But they did.”

When pirates move in next door, life on the farm is bound to get interesting. But will the unadventurous Sanders family be able to handle the pirates’ bad manners, ghastly grub, and outrageous antics? Or will they learn the importance of loving one’s neighbor and help the graceless pirates find their “land legs”?

This story was heartwarming and I was able to share it with my Sunday School class. The students learned that it's okay to be different and that different is not always bad. I liked the illustrations and the students loved the story.

I recommend this book to any child who struggles to understand change and differences in other people.