Month: April 2014

Critical Condition #review #giveaway

Murder, forgiveness and mystery – Critical Condition by Richard Mabry, M.D. has it all!

Critical Condition by Richard Mabry, M.D., opens with a dinner party celebrating Dr. Shannon Frasier’s colleague but quickly turns the wrong way when a man is shot on her front lawn. This brings back memories of a similar episode a decade ago that Shannon Frasier was also involved in. Later on that night, she receives a call from her sister, Megan, which raises red flags for Shannon that her sister may be using drugs again.

She only finds support from her almost fiance Dr. Mark Gilbert who she can’t quite yet bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help from her father (a pastor) only to learn that he has just been diagnosed with leukemia. Shannon thinks it can not get any worse but then the threatening phone calls begin. Now staying alive with require all the focus Shannon has.

Critical Condition is a fantastic, fast paced book! The characters are all well developed with a great plot line. Although the story seemed like it would be long and there were a lot of details, Dr. Richard Mabry unfolds the story to keep you well in the loop and excited to read more. You can definitely sense his medical background throughout the novel which gives the novel a very interesting perspective into Dr. Shannon Frasier’s life. Shannon is a very interesting character that many of us can relate to. She has struggled to forgive herself from the beginning of the book and it was incredible to watch her evolve and grow as a person through out the book. She was very easy to relate to and helped me to reflect to my own life.

Critical Condition is an exciting book from start to finish for all readers! You can find more reviews here. To purchase a copy of Critical Condition you can do so here.

Rating: 4.5/5 

Dr. Richard Mabry is giving our readers a chance to win a Kindle HDX!

Richard Mabry‘s latest medical suspense, Critical Condition, is receiving high praise. USA TODAY says, “Mabry combines his medical expertise with a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

Richard is celebrating the release with a Kindle HDX giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Critical Condition by Richard Mabry

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 11th. Winner will be announced May 13th on Richard’s blog.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Richard’s blog on May 13th to see if you won.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Easy Easter Gifts

Its that time of year again -Easter! I like to put together our own little goodie basket for our kids to ensure it’s tailored to each of my boys and different each year.

To make these easy gift baskets you will need:
– beach pail (I prefer these over Easter baskets as they can use them all year long)
– filling
– tissue paper
– Easter eggs (empty)
– package of gummies,chocolate eggs or other treat your child likes
– Easter baggies
– small gift ($5-10/each)
– plastic wrap
– ribbon
1. Line the pails with tissue paper and place the filling at the bottom. 
2. Put gummies in the Easter bags and begin to add in the pails.
3. Fill the Easter eggs with chocolate eggs and add to the pails.
4. Wrap in clear plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon!

Do you celebrate Easter with small gifts? What do you like to gift?

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Easter Egg Holder Craft

I love making Easter eggs but I have a hard time displaying them – they end up broken if I put them in Easter baskets (not to mention the filling gets everywhere!) or they stay in a plastic bowl on the counter. This year we were determined to display our eggs proud!

– tea box holder (Dollarama)
– hanging basket (Dollarama)
– paint and brushes
– coloured Easter eggs
– coloured filling

1. Remove any package stickers. Set aside prepared coloured Easter eggs.

2. Paint both the box and basket in desired colours. Allow to dry.
3. Fill with coloured filling. I used tissue paper as well inside each square to help with clean up.
4. Place Easter eggs inside and display!
We are planning on reusing the box and basket for more crafts during the spring and summer months!

How do you display your Easter eggs?

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A Beauty So Rare: Scavenger Hunt

As you are aware I have had the privilege of working with Tamera Alexander to promote her new book, A Beauty So Rare. This week she is bringing us a fun new Pinterest scavenger hunt! Read on for an excerpt from Tamera. 

Join me for a PinterestScavenger Hunt and win 1 of 7 copies of USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander’s newest novel, A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series. 
The questions are posted below and the giveaway runs through Sunday night, April 27. The answers to the questions can be found on Tamera’sPinterest page. Not on Pinterest? Doesnt matter. You can still participate and find the answers by using this link
Your answers must be submitted to (numbered 1 – 6) by Sunday, April 27, midnight Central to be entered into a drawing to win one of seven copies of A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series.
Questions for the Pinterest Scavenger Hunt
    1.     On the ABeauty So Rare board, find the pin that shares the seamstress who sewed the dress on the cover of A Beauty So Rare (featuring the heroine, Eleanor Braddock) and *click the pin* to discover what the seamstresss most challenging part of making the pink dress was. 
    2.    On the ALasting Impression board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the desert seasons in her life––those times that helped her write about a certain relationship in her novel, A Beauty So Rare. *Click the pin* to learn what specific relationship Tamera mentions in that blog. Its the relationship between which two people?
    3.    On the My Novels board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the inspiration behind A Beauty So Rare. *Click it* and watch the video to learn the true history that ties the Belmont Mansion (the setting of A Lasting Impression and A Beauty So Rare) to the real Insane Asylum that existed in Nashville in the 19th century.
    4.    On the Recipes from mynovels board, what’s the recipe from A Beauty So Rare that’s posted about most often on that board (doesn’t necessarily have the most re-pins)? It’s also a favorite of Eleanor’s.
    5.    On the My Loves board, find the pin that references Easter weekend then *click it* to learn what kind of fish Tamera caught this past weekend.
    6.    On the My Novels board, find the pin for the book trailer for A Beauty So Rare, then *click it* to watch the video. What is it that Aunt Adelicia is determined to find for Eleanor?
7. BONUS: LIKE Tamera’s Facebook Page for an extra chance to win.
In your email, remember to number your answers from 1 to 6, like this:
1. Answer 
2. Answer
3. Answer
4. Answer
5. Answer
6. Answer
Good luck!

Disclosure: Pinterest is not sponsoring this promotion nor are they formally affiliated with it.

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A Beauty So Rare: The Seamstress and Cover Shoot

Meet the Woman Behind the Dress! – Tamera Alexander

Dear friends,

Have you ever wanted to meet the woman who sewed the dress on a novel cover? Then please allow me to introduce you to Beth Schoenherr, the ever-so-talented seamstress who sewed Eleanor Braddock’s dress for the cover of A Beauty So Rare.

I’m thrilled that Beth was willing to share about her experience in making the dress, and I love the behind-the-scenes glimpses she shares. I hope you will, too!

Tamera: Where did inspiration for the dress for A Beauty So Rare come from (both the style and color)?

Beth: The style, of course, was determined by the post–Civil War timing of the story. I believe the cover designer and editors talked about a garden setting and felt pink would look lovely against the backdrop of the green foliage and other flowers, which it does! I then had the fun of finding the right shade of pink to keep it a believable color for the time. Hot pink or neon pink, of course, would never do!

Tamera: Um, no. LOL! Not even Adelicia Acklen could have coerced Eleanor into neon pink! ; )

Tamera: Have you made dresses for photo shoots before?

Beth: I started doing period costumes for men, women, and children in amateur theater in 1999 and then had opportunities in the following years to progress to working in the costume shop of a professional theater. This is my first costume for a photo shoot, however.

Tamera: How cool, Beth. I’m so grateful for your work on this dress. Well done!

Tamera: Do you have an appreciation for period clothing? And if yes, what’s your favorite style of women’s dresses from history?

Beth: I do enjoy period clothing. I don’t think I can pick one favorite style though. I just enjoy the various and changing silhouettes and fabrics throughout the history of fashion.

Tamera: Understandable. I have many “favorites,” too!

Tamera: What’s the most challenging dress you’ve created for a cover (and what was most challenging about it)? Also, what has been your most challenging sewing project in general?

Beth: As I mentioned, this is the first dress I have made for a cover. It has been really fun and exciting to create this dress from scratch and then see it on the cover of this book. A new experience I had when making this dress was the cartridge pleats at the back of the skirt. The pattern called for the front and side pieces of the skirt to be pleated to fit into the waistband and left only a five-inch opening in the back of the waistband. Then I had to fit the 50-inch-wide piece of fabric for the back part of the skirt into that five-inch opening. I thought, “There is no way I’m going to get that much fabric into that little space.” But the cartridge pleats worked fabulously at neatly pleating 50” down to 5”.

The most challenging costume I worked on was a waistcoat designed and then cut out by someone else and given to me to sew. Not a single piece matched up in size to its coordinating piece. There was no extra fabric to work with so I had to just rework the pieces I had while making sure the finished garment would still fit the actor it was designed for. Definitely a “make it work” project!

Finally, probably the most thrilling dress I got to make was the first complete dress for a play at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Many of my costumes prior to that had to be remakes of existing dresses or costumes due to tight budgets. But I was graciously given the opportunity to sew, from start to finish, the schoolteacher dress in Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, which premiered at the Guthrie and then went on to tour nationally. It was so exciting to see the professionally-designed dress come together step-by-step and then to see it on stage.

Tamera: Wow, Beth, I bet that was a rewarding experience with Little House on the Prairie: the Musical. Congratulations! I’ve always admired people who know how to sew, and sew well!

Thank you for sharing your talent and time with us––and with the cover of my latest novel.

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