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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook 8/27



Outside my Window: The Sun is brightly shining and the temp is just PERFECT! The boys and I are relaxing right now and have to go out later.

I am thinking: I am turning 40 on Sunday and wondering how the next Decade is going to be for me!

I am THANKFUL: My hubby! He took off of work on Friday when I had to go to ER at 5am due to Extreme back pain. I ended up being diagnosed with a Kidney stone. He let me rest all weekend!

In the Kitchen: Tonight is “Take Out Night”. We are all going in different direction, so Take out is easier. See the rest of our menu for the week: Menu for 8/26-9/1

I am wearing: A pair of gym shorts and tank top, my indoor clothes. I will be wearing capris and a tshirt when I go out later.

I am creating: I am working on getting things in order for our 2012-2013 School Year. Lesson Plans, schedules, and printing a ton of stuff. This will be on-going all this week.

I am going: I have to go down to my parents place later today to fill in for my dad at his Tuesday night job. He works at a local neighborhood paper and is in charge of making sure his delivery staff is getting out on the streets for delivery. It is for a few hours!

I am wondering: When the Kidney Stone will pass and how painful it will be?? The pain was awful on Friday morning and I heard the passing is much worse.

I am reading: I have a stack of books from the library, but haven't had any time to read lately. Hoping to get back into reading within the next week!

I am hoping: The boys adjust to a routine soon and that they have better attitudes toward our Homeschool Curriculum and Homeschooling in general this coming year. (Still hoping on this as we haven't started our school year yet)

I am looking forward to: A WONDERFUL and Productive 2012-2013 Homeschool Year. We will begin on September 4th, the day after Labor Day.

I am learning: Nothing right now! We are finally getting a relaxing break after a long, busy summer.

Around the house: Just doing daily clean up because our apartment has been kept clean due to a major declutter.

I am pondering: The Fact that I am going to be 40 in just 5 days! So blessed that God has given me much in my lifetime and bought me through so much!

A Favorite Quote for Today: I am continue to plan for the start of our Homeschool Year on Sept 4th, I am reminded of this quote I find earlier this year. LOVE IT!



One of my Favorite Things: MakeUseOf  MakeUseOf is a website filled with lots of “Techy” info and FREE websites, apps and software. The site has reviews, recommendations and info on all things “Techy”. I LOVE being able to get info on the “Best of the Best” fo Techy for FREE!

A few plans for the rest of the Week: Wednesday the boys and I are taking the van and running a few errands and visiting my dad at the Rehab Facility. Thursday is stay home day so I can finish the first few weeks of homeschool plans. Friday I have an appointment with a Urologist about the Kidney Stone. The weekend is filled with a couple of B-Day parties, one for my husbands nephew and Sunday for me.

A picture to share: 


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Monday, August 27, 2012

First Wild Card Tour: Setting Boundaries with Food by Allison Bottke

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (August 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Allison Bottke is the author of Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children and Setting Boundaries with Difficult People,and the founder of the SANITY Support Group, an outreach based on the acclaimed Setting Boundaries " book series.. She has written or edited more than 27 nonfiction and fiction books, and is a frequent guest on national radio and TV programs around the country. www.settingboundariesbooks.com
www.AllisonBottke.com


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

For the fourth book in her Setting Boundaries series, Allison Bottke turns to our relationship with food, and a problem affecting more than 200 million Americans obesity. Allison encourages readers to reject the insanity of dieting and deprivation and to focus on healthy relationships with food, self, others, and God.



Product Details:
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736926941
ISBN-13: 978-0-7369-2694-2


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


For many years my life was a never-ending drama of crisis after crisis revolving around my drug-addicted son. It was absolute insanity—and it was not how God intended for me (or any parent) to live.
Before I was able to eventually write Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, the first book in the Setting Boundaries™ series, I had to first recognize my own enabling patterns of behavior and put a stop to the part I had played in continuing the vicious cycle of irresponsible behavior in my son’s life. Before God could use me to help others find sanity, I first had to learn how to stop trying to fix the mess my son was making of his life. I had to stop enabling his behaviors.
As I developed what I call the Six Steps to SANITY in dealing my son, I began to realize the futility of harboring negative feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, fear, and inadequacy. Those destructive emotions only hindered my ability to resolve the daily drama of those years. Instead, I began to focus on developing new strengths that helped me break free from the bondage of the poor choices my son was making. I learned I had to make better choices myself.
Today, thousands of parents and grandparents around the world have joined me in finding freedom from the exhausting cycle of enabling our adult children. Together we have found sanity by recognizing and identifying false conceptions about our adult children and ourselves. We have begun replacing those destructive lies with spiritually empowering truths.
Over the past few years, God has been showing me how the same SANITY principles (outlined in Part Two of this book) that helped me establish the necessary boundaries regarding my son’s life can be applied to the challenging issues I faced with food and obesity. It’s from that conviction that I write the books in the Setting Boundaries™ series—the conviction that God alone can help us set the necessary boundaries and enable us to make the right choices, bringing us right-side up in whatever issue we’re dealing with.
The Common Denominator
While there are countless emotional, circumstantial, or even physical reasons why so many people struggle with their weight, there’s one common denominator that all of us who struggle share—and that, of course, is food itself.
We can “just say no” to enabling our adult children, or allowing difficult people to hurt us. We can put alcohol and other drugs out of our lives—we don’t need either substance for survival. Yet it’s impossible to “just say no” to food, for without it we would die.
But that doesn’t stop us from trying, does it? We try to “just say no” to food by skipping entire meals or going days, weeks, even years in some cases, eating little to nothing, determined to be in control of food and the weight it adds to our bodies. At its worst, this control issue with food can result in life-threatening illnesses such as anorexia, bulimia—or, on the other end of the spectrum, heart attacks, diabetes, and the host of other maladies that can stem from overeating or from eating the wrong foods in excess.
Many of us, in a brave attempt to lose weight, have tried to eat and drink according to some sort of regulated system typically based on two key components: deprivation and reward. In short, in an effort to lose weight we’ve developed an unnatural attention on food while we starve our spirit, soul, mind, and even our body itself of the nourishment it really needs. By dieting, taking pills, using exchange lists and points, and counting calories, fat grams and carbohydrates, we have been trying to make food behave instead of changing our own behavior.
Setting Boundaries with Food isn’t about making food behave; it’s about replacing our focus on food with something far more fulfilling. It’s about making a series of choices that can free us not only from the pounds that weigh down our bodies, but also from the worry, anxiety, and stress that weigh heavy on our hearts, souls, and spirits. It’s about choices that can bring us into a bountiful relationship with a loving and nurturing God, who can fill the empty places no amount of food can ever reach.
To do this, we must seriously address the emotional and spiritual hunger many of us have ignored. The truth is that we must heal our bodies and souls from the inside out—not from the outside in.
A Reflection of Character
In this fourth book in the Setting Boundaries™ series, I’m going to challenge you to give up destructive dieting and unhealthy eating patterns for the last time—to say goodbye to the vicious cycle that has held you prisoner in your own body for years, perhaps even decades.
With so much attention focused on what foods to eat or not to eat, or by ignoring nutrition needs entirely, many of us have stopped paying attention to why we’re even eating in the first place.
Are we really hungry?
Do our bodies actually need fuel, or are we feeding something else entirely?
The truth is that many of us have never learned how to separate food from feelings. Instead of managing our emotional needs and the internal frustrations related to growth and change, we’ve fallen into harmful habits of either clinging to food or depriving ourselves of it. We habitually overeat and under eat, habitually watch the numbers on our scale increase and decrease, and habitually start and stop one promising diet after another. When it comes to eating, we’ve developed many unhealthy and even dangerous habits.
A habit is a pattern of behavior acquired by frequent repetition that reflects the prevailing character of a person. Have you ever thought of your habits as a reflection of your character? As Christians, our character should reflect the character of Christ. We are not born with habits. We develop them—and we can make the choice to change them.
Together, we’re going to address the part our emotional needs play in our relationship with food. We’re going to see how reorganizing our relationships and understanding our responsibilities can help us set healthy boundaries—boundaries that more deeply reflect the character of Christ. And all the while, we’ll be growing spiritually and developing new habits of emotional self-control.
Looking for Love
Many of us have confused the empty space in our stomach with the one in our heart, stuffing one while ignoring the other.
I struggled for decades with my weight as a result of emotional overeating, even for a time becoming morbidly obese. I know what it’s like to feel trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle of dieting, deprivation, despair, and disgust. Weight-related insecurities consumed me for the majority of my life. In fact, there was a time in my twenties when suicide appeared a better option than living another day in an overweight body that I hated. Imagine that—preferring death to being fat.
The truth is that the elephant in the room (sadly, the perfect metaphor) regarding excess weight is our pain and inner emptiness—none of which can be dealt with through fad diets. Some of us, having finally realized the futility of diets that don’t address our real hunger, end up treading water from day to day as we desperately try to juggle poor relationships with our loved ones, coworkers, and even with ourselves, due to our poor self-image. We go to sleep at night wondering how we can get through another stressful, boring, unfulfilling, or horrid day. Emotional and physical fatigue has rendered us all but powerless to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it’s often said that many people feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is nothing more than an oncoming train, which is certainly how I felt years ago when my weight soared dangerously close to 300 pounds.
Life-Saving Surgery
For me, as a Christian woman, one answer came as a result of prayer. Having been diagnosed as morbidly obese, I knew I had to do something to change my life. As I prayed, I decided to look into the admittedly hot-button topic of gastric bypass weight loss surgery. Because it turned out to be a viable starting place for me, I’ve devoted an entire chapter to this option in this book.
Weight loss surgery (WLS) isn’t for everyone, and should never be considered as a panacea for rapid weight loss. While it was an effective tool that helped me lose weight quickly and regain the physical mobility I had lost, it didn’t erase the old tapes replaying in my mind, nor did it remove old habits. There are still times when the magnetic pull of the refrigerator is powerful—when food seductively calls my name when I’m not physically hungry. There are times when the trials and tribulation of life seem too big to handle and I find myself being enticed back into my old habits, returning to the false comfort and safety of food.
While I’ve maintained a 120-pound weight loss for over a decade, the journey to true weight loss freedom came when I discovered the connection between healthy boundaries, spiritual nourishment, and maintaining successful long-term weight loss. Now, I’m keenly aware that my obesity stemmed from boundary-related issues, and my old habit of retreating from emotional pain to the comfort of food was my preferred form of self-medicating. The abuse of food was my attempt to self-soothe and regulate my emotions. Plus, carrying extra weight provided me with a false sense of safety. Protection. It’s a good way to keep people at a distance.
When I’ve told my story, others have confided to me that they have felt the same way. Perhaps you do too. Perhaps you know that your hunger for food is a search for comfort—an attempt to self-medicate the inner emptiness you feel.
I do understand. That’s why I’m writing the book. I know from personal experience that it is possible to break the cycle of insanity that holds us captive.
My Prayer for You
Today, instead of trying to control my food with the latest fad diet or weight loss trend, I rely on the Six Steps to SANITY that I teach in this book to help me focus on spiritual food. This has sustained me over the years as I’ve learned more about the role healthy boundaries and balance plays in virtually every aspect of life.
The Six Steps to SANITY can bring hope and healing to hurting hearts. During the course of writing—and living—the Setting Boundaries™ books, I’ve found strength I never knew I had. You can find this strength as well.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
This scripture passage has brought me great peace in my journey to set healthy boundaries in many areas of my life and to live the abundant life God has promised. Many of us who deal with the very visible challenge of obesity often have far less visible challenges to overcome. We’ve spent years hiding behind pounds of pain.
Our lives are incredibly complicated—and often our relationships even more so. As with many of us who find setting boundaries difficult, I came from a fractured family where dysfunctional relationships thrived. I never met my mom’s mother, and my dad’s mother was a rather taciturn and stoic individual. I don’t have many warm and fuzzy grandma memories, but I do remember that she made the best lemon meringue pie. We seldom talked one-on-one, but I vividly recall her words one day when I was a very young girl sitting in her tiny kitchen in Toledo, Ohio. I watched as she added one ingredient and then mixed it in, stopped to add another ingredient, and then mixed some more. Thinking I had come up with a brilliant timesaving option she’d never thought of, I proudly offered some great advice. “Grandma, why don’t you just throw everything in the bowl and mix it all at once?” I asked. “That would be easier.”
“The easiest way isn’t always the right way,” Grandma sternly replied, without missing a beat or even looking up to acknowledge me.
That simple exchange was a lesson that stuck with me over the years, and it comes to mind now as I write about the importance of following a progression of six steps on our journey to set healthy boundaries—whether it’s with food, adult children, toxic parents, or difficult people.
The right way isn’t necessarily going to be the easiest way.
When it comes to confronting issues, breaking habits, and ushering in transformational change that will have lasting implications, there is a right way to find sanity. We already know there’s a wrong way—our extra pounds testify to that.
That said, what is the right way—and how do we find it? How do we find sanity in the insane situations and circumstances of life?
It all begins when we reorganize our relationships and understand our responsibilities.





My Thoughts and Review:

 WOW!! I really needed to hear the "Truths" in this book! I have had an issue with my weight for a long while now and I really needed this book! Setting Boundaries with Food is just not "another diet book", it really gets to the real reason for struggles with weight. I am an "emotional/stress" eater. I really appreciate that the author, Allison Bottke, has been through weight struggles herself because it makes the book all the more relatable.

 The SANITY acronym was used in this "Setting Boundaries" book just like in her past Setting Boundaries book. S.A.N.I.T.Y. here means:

S: STOP your own negative behavior
A: ASSEMBLE a support group
N: NIP excuses in the bud
I: IMPLEMENT a plan of action
T: TRUST the voice of the spirit
Y: YIELD everything to God

 I am looking forward to implementing this book into my life and allowing God to change me and bring me freedom from my weight issues.


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Menu Plan Monday 8/27


I am soo happy to be on track with Menu Planning. I was so less stressed last week then the past 4 months of no menu planning. We stayed on menu and didn't sway too much. I have this week planned, just have to go shopping for a few things tomorrow when hubby gets paid.

 Here is our menu for this week: Weekly Menu Plan 8/26-9/1

For more Menu Plans and Recipes visit:
  Organizing Junkie

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

LitFuse Blog Tour: The Stars Shine Bright Sibella Giorello



About the Book:

After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.

She’s never felt more alone.

Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiancĂ© wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiancĂ© will make things better—or worse.

Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

Buy the Book

About the Author:

Sibella Giorello grew up in the mountains of Alaska admiring the beauty and nature that surrounded her. She majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts hoping to learn more about the landscape she loved back home. From there Sibella followed a winding path, much like the motorcycle ride she took across the country, which led to her true love, journalism.

She found herself in Seattle writing for rock-n-roll magazine and earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington before heading south to the land of great stories.

In Virginia, Sibella became a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was there she also met her husband and would hear Jesus whispering her name at a tent revival.

Sibella started writing about Raleigh Harmon as a way to keep her love of story-telling alive while staying at home with her young sons. As a journalist and author, her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. The Stones Cry Out, the first Raleigh Harmon novel, won a Christy award for debut novel in 2008. Sibella now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.

Visit Sibella Giorello online 

My Thoughts and Review:

CAPTIVATING and WONDERFUL is the best way to describe this book!! I really didn't know what to expect as I began reading this book, as Mystery and Suspense is normally not a Genre I read. I usually steer clear from this Genre, but I have felt the need to "Branch out" lately and explore other Genre of books that I normally don't read. I am VERY glad I decided to choose this book as it really was filled with suspense and mystery which kept me intrigued and interested.

The main character, Raleigh Harmon, really makes the book inticing. Raleigh is a woman who has lots of "spunk" and really has no fear. Because she is undercover for her job, she learns how to be "sneaky yet professional". I am very impressed with the authors ability to really bring out the characters of this book and show the many wonderful traits about the characters.

The Stars Shine Bright is the fifth book in the Raleigh Harmon Series and now I want to go back and read the first 4 books! I thought that it would take me forever to finish this book which is just about 400 pages long, but it was so intriguing and well written, that it took me only a couple of days! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book as part of my participation in the LitFuse Blog Tour Program. I was only required to give an honest review. I received no other compensation and my opinions are my own. 


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook 8/21



Outside my Window: The Sun is brightly shining and the temp is just PERFECT! Looking forward to going for a walk with the boys in a bit.

I am thinking: I really hope the Drs. figure out what exactly is making my Dad's foot swell massively. He has been dealing with this since Mid-May and even spent 2 months in a rehab facility.

I am THANKFUL: My brother! He has been HOME for almost 2 weeks now after being away for 16yrs! He has a lot of adjusting to do, but he is adjusting quite well in these 2 short weeks! He is living with my parents and being of a help to them.

In the Kitchen: Tonight is Taco Tuesday night! See the rest of our menu for the week: Menu for 8/19-8/25

I am wearing: A pair of red cotton gym shorts and a black tank top. I will change to shorts and a t-shirt when the boys and I go for a walk.

I am creating: I am working on getting things in order for our 2012-2013 School Year. Lesson Plans, schedules, and printing a ton of stuff. This will be on-going all this week.

I am going: The boys and I have to take a walk to go get a few things and I will let them play in the park. I also have to go down to my parents place later today to fill in for my dad at his Tuesday night job. He works at a local neighborhood paper and is in charge of making sure his delivery staff is getting out on the streets for delivery. It is for a few hours!

I am wondering: How to get our family back on a better routine?? We have been soo busy all summer helping my parents out that our routine has been LONG gone! Need to fix this fast!

I am reading: I have a stack of books from the library, but haven't had any time to read lately. Hoping to get back into reading within the next week! I am an AVID reader and this year I haven't been able to get much reading done, except for book reviews. Been a very busy year!

I am hoping: The boys adjust to a routine soon and that they have better attitudes toward our Homeschool Curriculum and Homeschooling in general this coming year.

I am looking forward to: A WONDERFUL and Productive 2012-2013 Homeschool Year. We will begin on September 4th, the day after Labor Day.

In the Learning Room:  Nothing right now! We are finally getting a relaxing break after a long, busy summer.

Around the house: I have done a MAJOR declutter and cleaning of our entire apartment over the last week. I took 1 room a day and just went to town. I tend to be a "saver", packrat, and I actually threw a TON of stuff out this time! I have one more room to accomplish, which is the Kitchen. Hubby and I are going to tackle that room this weekend.

I am pondering: A LOT!! I have had a lot on my mind lately and my mind has been racing wtih lots of thoughts of different things.

A Favorite Quote for Today: I saw this quote online over the past couple of days and had to create a mini poster for myself. This is ohhh soo true in our household. Matter of fact, as I was creating it one of my boys came up to me and asked me to find their DSi.


One of my Favorite Things: PicMonkey  PicMonkey is still quite new, but I LOVE IT! I used to use Picnik, but Picnik was closed in April as it was purchased by Google products. PicMonkey was created by a few former employees of PicNik and I actually like it better then I ever did PicNik. Very user friendly, lots of different and fun features! A blogger that has some nice tutorials on using PicMonkey.

A few plans for the rest of the Week: Wednesday the boys and I are taking the van and going down to my parents to help my brother with a few things. We are also going to the Museum of Science and Industry. Thursday-Saturday we will stay close to home and depending on the weather those days we will go out to parks or stay in and get things done.

A picture to share: 


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Monday, August 20, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 8/20



WOW, it has been about 4 months since I last did menu planning. I just haven't had to the time to do menu planning or very much of anything else. I have been taking care of both of my parents who had foot injuries. My parents are feeling better and for the past 2 weeks I haven't been so busy, except for catching up on things in my household. A Major Deep Cleaning/Decluttering happened last week and now this week is cathcing up on my blog and homeschooling planning! Here is our menu for this week: Weekly Menu Plan 8/19-8/25 For more weekly Menu Plans and Recipes visit:

  Organizing Junkie

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

LitFuse Blog Tour: Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan by Melanie Dobson



About the Book:
As the Gilded Age comes to a close, Elena Bissette's once-wealthy family has nearly lost its fortune. The Bissettes still own a home on fashionable Mackinac Island, where they will spend one last summer in the hope of introducing Elena to a wealthy suitor. But Elena is repulsed by the idea of marrying for money.

Quickly tiring of the extravagant balls, Elena spends most evenings escaping back into Mackinac's rugged forest. There she meets Chase, a handsome laborer who shares her love for the night sky. The two begin to meet in secret at an abandoned lighthouse, where they work together to solve a mystery buried in the pages of a tattered diary.

As Elena falls in love with Chase, her mother relentlessly contrives to introduce her to Chester Darrington, the island's most eligible bachelor. Marriage to the elusive millionaire would solve the Bissettes' financial woes, and Elena is torn between duty and love.

 Buy the Book


About the Author: 
Melanie Dobson has written ten contemporary and historical novels including five releases in Summerside's Love Finds You series. In 2011, two of her releases won Carol Awards: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (for historical romance) and The Silent Order (for romantic suspense).

Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. Prior to her writing career, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel. She later launched her own public relations company and worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years.

Melanie and her family enjoy their home in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific.

When Melanie isn't writing or playing with her family, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.

For more about Melanie Dobson and her books, visit Melanie Dobson.

My Thoughts and Review:

I LOVE Historical Fiction and this book was no exception! I am from the Midwest and although I have never been to Mackinac Island, I now feel that I have after reading this book. I really enjoyed the Storyline which is one that proves that the Characters are given tough choices and in the end make a choice of the heart rather one of greed and desire. The many twists and turns in this book really capture my attention and I couldn't put the book down.

I am so glad that this was part of my Summer Reading, seeing that I LOVE Summer and LOVE settings as are in this book! GREAT read! 4.5 stars out of 5!! I am now very interested in reading more of the Love Finds You series!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as part of my participation in the LitFuse Blog Tour Program. I was only required to give an honest review. I received no other compensation and my opinions are my own.  


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