Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Greed In Paradise book review and $25 #giveaway

You guys know how much I love the Paradise series by Deborah Brown, right?  They're great books to escape into.  I fall into a world that makes me laugh and keeps me in suspense.  You can read my reviews of Deception, Trouble, and Murder, if you missed any of them.

Today, I want to share Greed in Paradise with you.  Unlike some series that fall apart after a few books, this one is still going strong.  Madison and Fabiana find new adventures, meet new friends (and interact with old, familiar characters, of course) and have narrow escapes.

One of the pair's new not friends is Violet, Gus Iver's daughter, who ends up being responsible for a very nasty swim the girls take in a swamp.

From being held at gunpoint in the very first chapter to bringing Creole home from the hospital in the last chapter, Madison's escapades kept me entertained.

While this is book 5 in the series, each book stands alone.  I'd absolutely suggest reading through the series from book 1, Crazy In Paradise, but you can start with this one and not feel "lost."  Like potato chips in a can, you won't be able to stop with just one.  I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book!

Tears will fall, hearts will pound, and bullets will fly in Greed in Paradise...

Just when Madison and Fab think it's safe to dip their sexy bodies into the cool tropical waters of paradise, they get the shock of their lives when a friend and business partner turns up dead and they discover they've been written into his will. But nothing is what it seems, as the women find out.

There are deadly secrets brewing beneath the surface of Tarpon Cove. Come along on a steamy, thrilling adventure as the two try to find out why their friend suddenly died--seemingly, without cause.

The fifth book in the series finds our sleuths waist deep in sexual tension, flinging barbs, and dodging bullets.

Deborah Brown's Paradise series is packed with Action, Romance, Intrigue, Mystery and Suspense. Oh... did I forget to mention the humor makes for a fast and enjoyable read? These books will be difficult to put down!

Greed in Paradise, is the fifth novel in Deborah Brown's Paradise series, which can be also read as a stand alone book.

Available to buy from.....

"If you have a broken heart and want to eat a bag of Kit-Kats while wishing for someone else's life, then you need this book." 

"Well written, a wide-range of unforgettable characters, heat and sex, then add a slice of humor that makes the romp an even cheekier ride." 

"If you're lying by a pool somewhere in the Florida'll want this book to take your mind off the mosquitoes." 

About the Author
I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer... and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites....

Also available in the Paradise Series

Follow the Book Tour

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

Win a $25 Giftcard or Paypal Cash
(winners choice)
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 12th April at 11.59pm EST

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Beautiful Children's Wear From Petit Pomme

You guys have seen how I like to dress up my little ones.  Hannah, Katie, and Luke are the only ones who still let me dress them how I want to.  I fully intend to enjoy it as long as I can!

I like my girls in smocked and classic styles for church, so when I saw the opportunity to review for Petit Pomme from Zubels, I jumped at the chance.

I received this lovely pink bunny dress for Katie.  After it arrived, I happened to notice Petit Pomme on Zulily one day, and looking over the pictures, I realized Katie and Luke have other Petit Pomme garments in their closet!

Luke and Katie wore these cute outfits on their first Fourth of July in the United States.

Petit Pomme offers both casual and dressy styles.  You can see the attention to detail in their lovely smocking:

And the beauty is, their dress prices start at just $19.00!  They carry more than just dresses, too.  Tops with capris or bloomers, and even swimsuits!

Check out their cute stuff for girls and boys.  It's time to start shopping for Easter, and freshen up the closets with spring and summer options!

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Betting on Hope book review and #giveaway

Are you looking for a sweet story?  Betting on Hope drew me in and kept me interested to the very last page.   Now, I'm anxious for book 2 to come out later this summer!

In addition to the primary story line (girl meets boy), there is an interesting secondary story line that tugged at my heartstrings.  At the end of chapter 7, I'd really gotten a feel for the complex characters in the story, and I thought I had it all figured out.  "This will happen, that will happen, and everyone will live happily ever after."  Then, as I read further, and the author focused on Jenna's struggle with her decision, I came up with a new scenario.  Well, both times, I was wrong.  But that's okay, because author Debra Clopton weaves a touching tale that I really enjoyed.

Main characters Maggie and Tru don't trust each other, but are forced to work together.  They are attracted to one another, and as they work together, they begin to respect each other.  This is one of those books where the tension makes your chest ache, and you want shake the characters and tell them to communicate with each other!  But sharing secrets makes you vulnerable, and leaves you open to being hurt, and who wants to take that risk?

Saddle up for a new romance from novelist Debra CloptonBetting on HopeIn Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart’s desires.

Enter to win a Kindle Fire HD 6 to celebrate the release of Betting on Hope


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of Betting on Hope
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 8th. Winner will be announced March 9th on Debra's blog.



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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Luke's Genetic Test Results

We have Luke's genetic test results.  We recently met with the folks at the MIND Institute to interpret those results.  Turns out, Luke is one in a billion.  He has not one but TWO rare genetic disorders.  So rare, in fact, that neither one of them turns up on one of the "connect with other rare disease parents" websites.

We're calling it Lukey Syndrome, since there's no syndrome name for this combination.  The first variant causes developmental delay with little to no progress throughout childhood.  This comes as a bit of a blow, since Luke has actually been a little more interactive since we've gotten his seizures under control.

The second variant gives us insight into what form of epilepsy Luke has.  That's still a hard word to type.  Longtime readers may remember me having a hard time with the autism label about a year ago.  This is similar.  For some reason, seeing "seizure disorder" under his list of diagnoses doesn't bother me, but the full on epilepsy label is a little harder to take.  This type of epilepsy is often associated with developmental delays, as well, so poor Luke really didn't stand a chance.

There's something very sobering about having someone tell you it's not going to get better, there's nothing we can do, you can come back in a year if you want to.

I've been spending a lot of time researching online, and the line between "seeking information" and "obsessing" is starting to blur.

The largest study I've found of Luke's primary condition had a whopping 23 participants.  I think the reality is that due to modern technology, we're just starting to accurately diagnose different conditions.  100 years ago, Luke would have been labelled "feeble minded" and that would have been the end of it.  Even now, if parents are unwilling or unable to push through the decidedly user unfriendly medical system all the way to the end, kids get a more generalized diagnosis.  For instance, Luke qualifies for an autism diagnosis.  "Autism" covers a broad spectrum of issues, and has no single known cause.  I'm inclined to think now that Luke is NOT autistic, because we know what his condition is, but Luke displays many autistic behaviors.

Really, what difference does it make?  People are going to see him in his wheelchair and ask, "What's wrong with him?"  Should I have the big, "He has a rare disease" talk with them, or would it be simpler to just say, "He's autistic," and move on?  Does that do a disservice to other people with autism diagnoses?

Sometimes answers just bring more questions.

We are still waiting on an appointment with Luke's impossible to get in to see pediatric neurologist to get the results of his muscle biopsy, MRI, and spinal tap (you know, from October and December, sigh).  But I'm not expecting any earth shattering news from those, now that we have the genetic test results.  Either one of Luke's variants could have caused his delays, quirks, and seizures.  Both together just means it's beyond unlikely that his development will improve.

This is it.  We have the diagnosis we've been chasing for the last 20 months, and it doesn't really help.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Our Homeschool Week - End of February

Unlike last week and the week before, this was a productive week!  We finished week 21, which has been taking us forever, and zoomed through almost all of week 22!

We started this project a couple weeks ago, but just finished it this week.  You know how that goes, right?  Paint something, set it aside to finish "later," only later keeps getting pushed back?

Well, I'm glad we finished this project!  Medieval knight shields, to go with our studies of castle times!

I got the pre-cut boards from Etsy, and we used silver acrylic paint on them.

After a couple coats of paint (we went through most of the tube for just 2 shields), we applied cool vinyl stickers to them.  Jack is using a craft stick to rub the sticker down before peeling off the covering.

I'm thinking of hot gluing a hangar on the back so the boys can put them up on their wall.

This one is Eli's.  I think they turned out nice, but if I had it to do over again, I would have used spray paint instead, in the hopes of not having the streaky look of the brushed paint.

Miss Hannah lost her 3rd tooth!  Jack lost one recently, too.  He handed it to me, and I put it in the drawer of my bedside table.  One of my teens watched and said, "You're such a mom."  I'm not sure if that was supposed to be an insult or what.

These were Katie's creations from a previous art class, that I missed getting a picture of earlier.

We've finished up anatomy and moved on to astronomy.  Eli did a great job assembling and painting this model solar system.

This week, the upstairs vacuum got a haircut.  Gross, right?  Looks like a small, furry animal died on the table.

This was one of those ideas that was better in my head than in reality.  (I seem to have a lot of those, honestly.)  A few weeks ago, Zach took the boys to the park to play disc golf.  They had a blast, so I thought I'd get them some frisbees.  I found these blank ones and thought how cool it would be for them to draw their own designs on them with Sharpies.  They weren't as into it as I hoped they would be.  Jack's is around here somewhere.  It's red with a skull on it.  Maybe I'll have Hannah and Katie color a couple over the weekend.

This week's episode in our Home Art Studio DVD was Monet Bridges.

The boys used 3 different techniques to paint the wavy water, the squooshy trees, and the bridge.  This one actually made me want to get out the acrylic paints and try my hand at it.  I did just pick up some little canvas boards...

We started learning Chinese history this week, and we used Draw and Write Through History to do a guided drawing of the Great Wall of China.  Eli's drawing was going well, but when I asked him to use colored pencils to finish it, it didn't turn out the way he wanted it to, so he asked me not to show the completed picture.

We're also working on a terra cotta warriors art project I hope to be able to share with you next week.

Brianna came home from school one day and asked me to root around in the sewing room for some mask embellishments.  These are the masks she came up with for her assignment.

Linking up with Home to 4 Kiddos and:

For the Display of His Splendor

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