The Whole30 by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig

I can't tell you if The Whole30 is a healthy choice, although the Hartwigs give plenty of reasons why it is. What I can tell you is that I'm glad I did the 30 days and will hopefully eat better having done them. David and I did it together which was definitely helpful, although I let Amber eat pretty much what she wanted. The Whole30 rules in the most basic form are easy to understand. YES: Eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetable, fruit and natural fats. DO: Do not consume sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy. Do not consume baked goods or "treats." Do not weight or measure yourself. I know it seems pretty restrictive, but like they say, "keep in mind that the Whole30 was intended to be a short-term reset and learning experience, not a permanent plan." I will admit that I "cheated a couple of times" and made a delicious apple breakfast cake that fit the rules. I also weighed myself. The...
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Killer Dolphin by Ngaio Marsh

Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn books are comfort reads for me. When I'm tired or grouchy or don't know what I feel like reading, I pick one up. Whenever I see one at a used bookstore I pick it up, but I'm thrilled that they've published a bunch for the Kindle. This one opens with an odd set of circumstances that ends with Peregrine Jay restoring the Dolphin Theater and the opening production is his original play, The Glove, with the Shakespearean glove itself on display. The first half of the book lets us peak backstage. We meet the various actors, witness their petty feuds and jealousies. I enjoy this part of Marsh's books in general, the characters are always fun, sometimes stereotypical, but she always pulls together great casts. And of course, you're wondering who's going to die, because someone is. The second half of the book deals with Alleyn's investigation, which consists of lots of interviews and some clue-searching. I really...
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7 Simple Choices for a Better Tomorrow by Bob Merritt

The sermon series at our church during Lent was based on 7 Simple Choices for a Better Tomorrow, which is why I picked up the book. The seven choices do sound simple, but each takes work and dedication. Give it one more day Manage you loads Give yourself time Find you rhythm Have barbed-wire discipline Try things you can't do Avoid the fall It gave me a lot to think about. It makes you really look at what you're doing and encourages you to make spiritual disciplines a part of your life. He encourages you to evaluate. I like Merritt's style. He's down to earth and has a lot of true life stories to illustrate his points. I think while I got a lot out of it, my husband would too, if he reads it. Merritt is a hunter, a fisherman, a guy's guy, at least it seems like it. I'm just going to share a couple of passages I highlighted to give you an idea of what the...
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Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs

This is a really light mystery with a bit of PG romance. I enjoyed it but there wasn't much to it. I like the sisters and how they all support each other, but I kind of felt like we didn't really know much about them or the other characters. On the one hand, that's good, we're not bogged own with a bunch or back story, but it left me with a few too many questions. I love the house and the shop and can see why the girls will do anything can not to lose it. Oh, and there's a magical cat. There's a bit of a rumor around town that Balckmores may be witches, which they're not, at least they don't seem to be, but they do have this cat that has an uncanny way of being in just the right spot or finding just the thing they need. It's just a hint of paranormal. The mystery is okay. We get...
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Character Guest Post: Riella from Tom Stacey’s Exile

I'm happy to welcome Riella to my notebook today. Riella is a character in Tom Stacey's Exile and she's got a lot to say about women in historical fantasy. I should have my review of the book up soon. From Riella Historical fantasy used to be something only men did. Only men wrote it or only men read it or only men enjoyed it. It used to be that women were relegated to helpless perfumed maidens in castle towers or filthy old hags that had only wisdom and stink to offer. Sure, sometimes we were allowed to fight: we got given elegant looking blades and revealing armour that was more likely to kill you through cold than stop a blade. If we were allowed to stand up for ourselves at all it was only on their terms, as objects for them to gawk at. Perhaps more men do read historical fantasy than women. After all, they’ve always been obsessed with maiming and killing,...
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Merr-E Holiday Treat

Plan Ahead for SLACK FRIDAY: NOVEMBER 28, 2014 Avoid crazed shopping crowds! Keep calm and carry on at home with this great Merr-E Holiday Treat from Pocket Star eBooks!   EXCERPT: Ali Reynolds leaned her head back against the pillow in the soaking tub and closed her eyes. With the help of the pummeling water jets, she let the rush of the past few days recede into the background. She and B. had made it. They were finally in Las Vegas. The rest of the wedding party was there, too. Back in November, when she and B. Simpson had first settled on a Christmas Eve wedding at the Four Seasons, it seemed entirely doable—a piece of cake. After all, how hard could it be? Because Ali and B. had chosen to be married in a hotel, much of the planning was done by simply cruising through the wedding planning pages on the Four Seasons website. Arranging the time, date, flowers, type of ceremony—including their preferred...
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