Month: June 2015

Price of Vengeance by Kurt Springs

iRead Book Tours

What is the Price of Vengeance?

Price of Vengeance

About the Price of Vengeance

“Liam! What have you done? You know our teachings on revenge,”

“How can you defend him after what he did? To you, to Mom, to my birth parents, to everyone we cared about?”

With a howl of despair and emotional agony, Liam dashed forward, through the shade of his father, blindly running into the sewers.

What is the Price of Vengeance?

One could understand why Liam was angry. He was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Adopted by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci. As an adult, Liam becomes a soldier. After being cut off from the city, Liam finds that there is an alien intelligence behind the chitin. To defeat it, he must discover who he is and how to use his powers. Then, Liam discovers that a traitor, responsible for his birth parents’ deaths, had murdered his beloved foster parents. Will the price he has to pay in his quest for vengeance prove to be an even more unbeatable foe?

My Thoughts

A fantastic, adventure packed science fiction novel that will appeal to all book lovers, with the added bonus of a valuable lesson to be had.

This novel is full of adventure and science, the world as we know it has changed greatly. The human race has been genetically modified and now have powers that we can only imagine (although I would love to have some of the Priestess powers!!). With this comes a whole new level of war, intelligence and power. This is held in careful balance but there will always be those who want to challenge this authority and power. The book gives you just enough of the scientific background to understand the novel but not too much so that you don’t want to keep reading.

The title of this book and the relevance to Liam, is realized about halfway through the novel. He has a difficult choice to make and must base this decision on more than just his feelings. Liam has been hurt in the past and we witness the truth behind who caused him to become an orphan but can he looked beyond vengeance and allow that to remain up to God to take care of. He has to be reminded of the exact price of vengeance – while it may feel good at the time, the negatives that come afterwards far outweigh the positives.

The Price of Vengeance will be a novel you will not want to put down! You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


About the Author

Kurt D. Springs is presently an adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology in New Hampshire. He holds a PhD. in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as a Master of Literature in Archaeology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Master of Liberal Arts in Anthropology and Archaeology from the Harvard University Extension School. His main area of interest is megalithic landscapes in prehistoric Ireland. He also reviews science fiction and fantasy on his blog Kurt’s Frontier. You can connect with him online, Twitter and Facebook.

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

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Building A Family Budget with Your Children

Heritage Eduation Funds

How many of you have developed a family budget? This should be a budget that is reflective of your current accounts, debts, payments, as well as your future needs (RRSPs, RESPs and emergency funds). Now here’s the tough question: how many of you have shared this with your children?

The reason I ask this question stems from a conversation I had with my tween this weekend. A conversation that made me feel as though I had failed in including him enough in our income and budget preparation, as well as what kind of income is needed to survive in our current economy. A group of kids in his grade could not wait until they graduated high school so they could live on their own (to be young again!). When I asked about the amount of income they thought they would be bringing in, I was shocked by their response: $800 a month! I asked them if they felt they could survive on $800 a month. The reply: but of course we can! I know some people have no options and do work with similar budgets to this number but I feel as though we are failing them, as this is not an income that allows an individual to move forward and support themselves comfortably (and yes, I’ve been there too!).

While we have always been open with our children about our family budget, we clearly weren’t doing a good enough job at teaching them about our income, where the money was going to and how we were putting it away for the future. We were not exposing them enough to payments such as rent, mortgages, taxes and how quickly money tends to fly out of our accounts.

I kept asking myself: how can we get our son more involved? How can I make it easy for him to understand that living on a budget is necessary, but at the same time needs to be realistic and most importantly, how can I make this into something he can understand?

Step One: Lay It All Out There: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I took out all our current bills, city taxes, mortgage payments, our bill book, spreadsheets and laid them all out on the table for him. I also included my debt repayment schedule because I want him to know how easy it can be to rely on credit while at school and how this affects you as an adult once you graduate. We work through each bill and each payment, explaining the total amounts owing, basic interest principles and where our money is going to each month.

Step Two: Create a Brand New Budget

Using this new information, we drew up a brand new budget (not because we needed one but because I wanted him to learn about budgets and where our money was going to). Together, we listed all the required monthly payments we had to make (credit card, car loans, mortgage, day care, RRSPs, RESPs, etc.) as well as things such as entertainment and pizza fund money. These items are important too! Plug in those numbers and total them up. I bet your child will be quite surprised with that final number (I know I always am and maybe a tad nauseated too!).

Creating a Family Budget With Your Kids

Step Three: Incoming Money

Talking about your income with your child might be hard (I know it is for me), but it’s also important. They need to know that our funds are not endless, as much as they may wish it was so. We never had this conversation with our parents; I still would not be comfortable asking them how much money they make, as it just feels far too personal and invasive. Now you can total up all of your incoming income and payments.

Step Four: The Bottom Line Number

This part is simple: just subtract! Subtract your outgoing from your incoming to get your total remaining amount. I like to leave some in our accounts just in case something happens (the roof leaking, extra soccer payments and fundraising have been some of our last-minute emergencies). You can also chose something to do each month with your child with this amount, maybe a date night?

Your child may have plenty of questions after you finish creating this budget and this is healthy and normal. You want them to question finances with an open mind. This will be an important skill for them later on in life. You also want them to realistic; there’s nothing worse than the shock of financial reality once you move out on your own, especially when combining this with post-secondary education. Yes, they may be able to live on $800 a month, but how hard will it be? Letting our children become a part of the process of the family finances gives them confidence and allows them to understand their opinions matter. You may be surprised as to where they would like to see some of the money allocated to – more play time at our local gym was one that surprised me.

How do you let your child play a role in the family budget?

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Her Sister’s Shoes by Ashley Farley

iRead Book Tours

In Her Sister’s Shoes, three sisters try to balance the demands of careers and family, while remaining true to themselves.

Her Sister's Shoes

About Her Sister’s Shoes

Samantha Sweeney has always been the glue that holds her family together, the go-to girl for love and support. When an accident leaves her teenage son in a wheelchair, she loses her carefully constructed self-control.

In the after-gloom of her dreaded fiftieth birthday and the discovery of her husband’s infidelity, Jackie realizes she must reconnect with her former self to find the happiness that she needs to move forward.

Faith lacks the courage to stand up to her abusive husband. She turns to her sisters for help, which in turn places all their lives at risk.

In the midst of their individual challenges, the Sweeney sisters must cope with their mother’s mental decline. Is Lovie in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or is her odd behavior normal for a woman her age? No one, including Lovie, understands her obsession with a rusty key she wears around her neck.

My Thoughts

Remember the saying, to truly understand a person, you need to walk in their shoes? This saying holds true in this story. Even though the three women are sisters, they have different personalities, different communication styles and different lifestyles. All of which combines to make it hard to appreciate and understand the depth of what each other is going through. Isn’t it always easier to just assume that someone’s life is so much easier than our own? That they can not possibly understand hardship?

Throughout the novel, each one of the sisters experiences a life changing event, that gives each the opportunity to learn a lesson or to withdraw from each other. Their unique personalities show through the decisions that they make and react to a situation. The strong one crumbles and the passive one grows strong but through it all they learn that they need each other and that their bonds are stronger than they could have ever imagined. .

I loved how each of the women come through this book and how Ashley Farley uses life experiences that are very real (an affair, an accident and an abusive husband) to help us relate to the characters. You are drawn into the story and feel an emotional connection to each one of the women. At times you want to hug them, at other times you want to shake your head. But in the end, they provide valuable life lessons that we can all learn from. Her Sister’s Shoes will be a book you can cherish with your girlfriends, sisters and co-workers for a long time.

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Ashley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings. You can connect with her online, Facebook and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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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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Two Roads Home by Deborah Raney

Litfuse Book Tour

What if it is too late for dreams to come true?

Two Roads Home

About Two Roads Home

Minor but nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s adventure into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly and outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk.

With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?

My Thoughts

Deborah spins an excellent tale in Two Roads Home. We watch a couple that are excellent together and could be so happy if they would just speak with each other. Instead they bottle up their feelings and reach out to other things and people to find the happiness they crave. This lands their relationship and Jesse’s career in then hotspot. What started out as a simple step in flirtation with a co-worker quickly spirals out of control and things turn ugly fast. You can almost sense what will happen but even I was shocked at the extend of ugliness that transpires because of the simple flirtation. This not only wreaks havoc on their marriage but also on their career.

From this horrible moment in their marriage, comes a blessing in disguising. They learn things about themselves and grow not only as a couple but as individuals. It drives home the saying that from every unpleasant event in our life something good will always arise. Sometimes we just have to be open to receiving this blessing. This is always the hardest lesson to learn, to be open and willing to receive God’s blessings and the true path we are meant to take.

Two Roads Home will be the perfect addition to your home library! You can find more reviews on the Litfuse blog tour page. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deborah’s novels-for life in the big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

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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Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant

Litfuse Book Tour

In Love Arrives in Pieces, Stella was known for so long for her beauty. Now she must find herself.

Love Arrives in Pieces
About Love Arrives in Pieces

Former pageant queen, Stella, doesn’t trust beauty after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led her into brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things but always falls short. She keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. If she does not get another job soon, she will be stuck living with her parents for a long time.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. He lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down that he will fall apart. He returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theatre and is shocked to discover that the designer is his old flame, Stella.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their past and their unresolved feelings for each other, until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella while losing her trust in the process.

A near catastrophe, a fire and a small town gossip mill finally force them to realize that they have a choice, to hold on to their past or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from brokenness.

My Thoughts

Love Arrives in Pieces is a beautiful extension of another favourite book of my mine, All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes. In this novel, we get to meet Stella, Kat’s sister. She is a beautiful woman both inside and out but has been broken inside and no longer feels beautiful. She wants to hide her beauty as she feels as though that is all any one sees. No one sees the inside, the part that is less than pretty never less want to stay with her. They toss away the broken pieces because they are seen as ugly and not pretty enough to be kept around.

It was beautiful to watch Stella grow in this novel. She faces her fears sometimes head on and at other times she hides in denial. Stella needs to realize that in order to heal from the inside out, she must accept all the broken pieces of her life (her divorce, her pain, her pageant life) and move forward.

Love Arrives in Pieces is more than just a romance, it is a beautiful portrayal of how you can overcome the worst moments in your life if you can accept the broken pieces that make you who you are.

You can find more reviews on the Litfuse Blog Tour page. You can purchase a copy here.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.
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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