Month: January 2016

Beyond The Silence Book Review

Litfuse Book Tour

In Beyond The Silence, the shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth.

Beyond The Silence Book Review

About Beyond The Silence

Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love–or will it endanger her even more?

My Thoughts

In this story we have several key characters and stories woven around them. We have Lillian who yearns for independence and freedom – to follow her parents dream. This dream forces her to defy the only family she has known and head out on her own (something not heard of much in those days!). She is forced to learn about herself and simple life skills she never had to deal with being from a wealthy family.
Woodward Colton her new employer has been plagued by vicious rumours and a terrible tragedy. The small town he lives in is awful to him and we witness this through out the story and how he holds his head above it all. The worst tragedy for him is that his son will no longer speak due to the family’s past tragedy.

It is this history that is brought to the forefront of the story as the novel progresses. We learn more about the past and how it is woven  into the future. We watch our characters grow in emotional and spiritual strength as they cling together in order to make it through the most difficult times that they have ever faced. Beyond The Silence was a fantastic story from start to finish, that I just could not (and did not want to!) put down.

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 Authors

Kimberley Woodhouse is a multipublished author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she’s shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and homeschools with her husband of twenty-plus years and their two awesome teens live in Colorado.

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

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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Rodale Celebrates a New Year, New You Review and Giveaway

A New Year, A New You with Rodale

The new year is a great time to sit down and focus on what you want and need to accomplish during the year. Whether it is to focus on clean eating, getting active or leading a more natural lifestyle.

A New Year, A New You with Rodale

Books are a great resource for gathering ideas, recipes and encouragement to accomplish these goals. I was recently invited to review two new books from Rodale, The Year of Cozy and The Detox Prescription. Keep reading for my thoughts and enter to win your own copies of these two books!

Get Ready for the New Year with Rodale!

About The Year of Cozy

From the author of the popular blog, A Cozy Kitchen, comes a beautifully photographed one-stop-shop book with all the recipes and projects you’ll need for some cozy inspiration this holiday season and all year-long. You’ll love Adrianna Adarme’s easy-to-follow instructions and will enjoy getting lost in her warm and comforting photographs. Organized by the months of the year and by categories as “Live,” “Do,” and “Make, ” this book offers ideas for activities, recipes, and DIY projects that make the little moments in life just as exciting as the big. Adarme gives us special (but totally doable) things we can do for others and ourselves. From quick recipes to easy crafts, she focuses on simple, inexpensive undertakings that have a big reward: happiness. The Year of Cozy will surely inspire you to march into your kitchen and craft closet to make something you can truly be proud of.

My Thoughts

Adrianna has excellent writing skills and truly reaches out to her audience in a unique way to speak to them in a manner that we can relate to. The book contains 125 recipes, crafts and other homemade items that are divided by season.

The imagery is incredible, the recipes make you want to drool while the other images are breath-taking. All of the recipes and crafts are simple to follow and with items that you most likely have at home (so no going out having to stock a pantry!). Adrianna also includes easy notes and suggestions to help you with her recipes and crafts.

The Year of Cozy will be a great addition to your craft and recipe books in your home library.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

A New Year, A New You with Rodale

About The Detox Prescription

The human body has an extraordinary ability to detoxify itself. However, we live in a world that is increasingly polluted, exposing our bodies to thousands of harmful chemicals that lead to obesity, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, and heart disease. The good news is you can optimize your body’s natural cleansing system for weight loss, greater energy, and better health.

In The Detox Prescription, Mary Beth Augustine, MS, RDN, and Woodson Merrell, MD, offer more than 100 delicious and nutrient-rich recipes incorporating juices and whole foods, broken into 3-, 7-, and 21-day cleanses. Dr. Merrell’s holistic system of light yoga, meditation, and other stress-reducing practices will help reset your body, mind, and spirit–and allow for control of genetic destiny.

My Thoughts

I tend to be hesitant with any book that proclaims or uses words like detox, mainly as many times the detox is based on starving the body. What I loved most about the Detox Prescription is that this was one of the first topics it addressed, a detox should not be about starving the body! Instead it should focus on eliminating toxins from your environment and nourishing with healthy, nutrient rich foods. This is far more in line with my own beliefs that we need to feed our body nutrient rich items and to cherish our body.

The book spends several chapters going over toxins in the environment, how to eliminate them and what to look for before diving into the ‘prescription’. The prescription comes in three forms: three, seven and twenty-one day cleanses. Each one of these cleanses prescribed in the book comes with recipes, suggestions and meal preparation guides. This made it easy to follow and understand. Meditation, cherishing and even yoga are prescribed as well!

The Detox Prescription is a great resource to start you off on the path to eating clean and nourishing your body with the food that it needs.

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

The Giveaway!

My Canadian readers can now enter to win these two books from Rodale! You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below – GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received the two books listed above in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Family Day Excitement at Kidapalooza Markham

Family Day weekend is quickly approaching and I am sure many of you are like me – eagerly planning out the weekend adventures. Keeping the kids entertained throughout the long weekend can sometimes be a task in itself.

Family Day Fun at Kidapalooza

Instead of trying to think of activities, movies or even crafts at home, why not get ready to pack up the kids and head on over to the Markham Fair Grounds for Kidapalooza. Kidapalooza is all about having fun together as a family, while keeping your child’s minds and bodies active. Think: dance parties, crafts, yoga and more!

The indoor Family Festival is being held from February 13th to the 15th and features over 35,000 square feet of activity stations, play zones, inflatables, performance stage and thirty plus vendors. The abundance of activities will have your family creating, exploring, playing and bonding. Your family can participate in soccer, ride through a bike trail, visit a petting zoo, take photos with princesses, magic shows and stage shows. Kidapalooza is setting up to be the largest Family Day event! So if you are in the Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton, Niagara areas get ready for some awesome family fun.

Important Details:

Saturday, February 13 from 10am to 7pm
Sunday, February 14 from 10am to 7pm
Monday February 15 from 9am6pm

Adult 18+ Tickets – $8
Child 2+ All Access Pass – $25
Children 1 and under are FREE

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Door tickets are CASH only with ATM’s available on-site. Parking is free (awesome bonus here).

My Canadian residents can now enter to win a family pack of tickets (two adults and two children) to attend Kidapalooza to discover first hand all the fun that awaits you. Please keep in mind that transportation is not provided, so it is important to ensure that you can attend the event before entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Additional Way to Win with Kidapalooza!

Making a mess is what kids do best, show us your pics to win the contest! Upload a photo of your child’s best/worst mess to instagram, Facebook or twitter and make sure to hashtag #bestmesscontest #kidapaloozafamfest for your chance to win!

Also visit us online at for an additional way to enter!

Family Fun at Kidapalooza

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Mermaid Moon Book Review

Litfuse Book Tour

In Mermaid Moon, Mallory’s Mom may have died fifteen years ago but her Father’s last words to her were, “find your Mother”.

Mermaid Moon Book Review

About Mermaid Moon

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart and left without a word, years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie, their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer, it is also about finding herself again and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

My Thoughts

Exciting and spine tingling adventure awaits you in Mermaid Moon! I could not put this book down once I started reading it because I did not want to miss anything!

The novel starts off slower as we find out about Mallory’s Dads passing and how her relationship was somewhat strained between Mallory and Kevin as well as her family. Mallory had left Mermaid Point with no intention of ever coming back. Her Father’s death opens up almost a can of worms! Some were so shocking that I couldn’t stop reading because I just couldn’t believe how the story was developing. Every turn of the page was exciting and adventure full! This novel does not disappoint at all. It is full of suspense, adventure, romance and more.

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

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Her books have sold more than 3 million copies.

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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A New Year, Time to Focus on Me and New Goals#StreamTeam


The new year has begun and with it I am sure many of you had made New Years resolutions, or as I like to call them ‘new goals’. I find that whenever I label them as ‘resolutions’ I give up that much quicker on my goals! So this year, I am writing these goals down and sharing them with all of you. I hope you can keep me on track and in turn I can motivate you to keep up with your own goals.

Since writing a goal down helps you keep on track, here are my goals for the New Year:

Focus on a healthy lifestyle which includes loosing weight, dealing with stress in a better manner and be active every day for thirty minutes. This is an extremely important goal for me as they recently found my liver to be enlarged and I am currently in the process of having this worked up. Talk about a health scare to wake me up! I know that I need to get healthy for not only myself but my kids too. Stress always plays a huge role in this and has at times led to a worsening of my depression. CBT has helped a lot but I can always do better.

A New Year and A New Focus #StreamTeam

Family times matters. This year I want to focus that much more time on my family, maybe more movie nights (yay for Netflix!), more travel, more experiences and even more story times at night. I want my children to know just how important they are to me and feel my love every moment.

A New Year and A New Focus #StreamTeam

Become more environmentally friendly. I want my children to grow up and live in a world that has not been ruined by pollution. I want us to start using environmentally friendly options, grow more of our own vegetables and volunteer more of our time to clean up outdoor space.

A New Year and A New Focus #StreamTeamNow that I have shared my goals with you, I want to hear about you! What are your goals this year? What would you like to accomplish?

Disclosure: I am a #StreamTeam member and receive perks associated with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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