Friday, June 22, 2012

Fibro Fridays - Lean on Me

As we travel through this life with chronic illness (and even without it) we find out very quickly that it's impossible to make it without a good support system. Fibromyalgia and the associated disorders are known to be triggered by stress. There is no way to avoid all stress in your life.

What you can do is refuse to become isolated. Share your experiences - good and bad - with people you care about. The old saying about how friendship doubles your joys and divides your sorrows is true. Having people you trust to go to when things get tough helps you have the strength to continue on. They also can help stop you from battling depression and believing lies.

What lies?
  • That it's really all in our heads.
  • That we can't do anything worthwhile because of our "limitations."
  • That we deserve this pain.
  • That nobody cares.
  • That we'll never feel any better.
  • That nobody else feels like we do or can relate to how feel.
And on and on.

We all need someone to count on. We all need help sometimes. Don't be afraid to accept it. Then we you have the chance - you can return the favor. I hope you all have a great weekend. Gentle hugs.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Angel Eyes

Summary: Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .


Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

My Take: First let me admit to more than a little cover love. Isn't this a distinctive and gorgeous cover? I think they did a fabulous job.

I also have to admit I was a little hesitant about this book. The YA market has more than a few angel books and, as a whole, they haven't impressed me. Most of them are angst and hormone driven rather than having anything to do with faith. Some don't have very impressive characters or plots either. So, with a deep breath and a critical mind, I started Angel Eyes. I couldn't have been more happy to be wrong.

This book starts with Brielle - who is hurting so much you can practically see her heart bleeding. You want to know her, to sit down with her and find out what happened. You want to watch her do the monkey dance (inside joke - read the book to find out). She is a fascinating character who is both typical for a teenager and reflective of the things she has gone through.

Jake is hot - on more than one level. I know that sounds cheesy, but reading the book it comes off just right. He is full of mystery and yet strangely comforting too. Maybe she should pull away from him - but he's one of the few things that makes her feel safe and more comfortable in the midst of everything. He also has his own issues - his own past and worries about the future. 

One of the things I liked best about this was that the author so deftly wove in spiritual elements with the story. This feels like a real romance - in the midst of a very . . . "Frank Peretti-esque" adventure with spiritual warfare that all rings true Biblically. I loved the messages about who God is not changing and our response to Him should not change - even when we don't understand what's happening(ed)- and how no matter how the outcome may look to us, He never stops caring about us. There were some tough questions that were tackled very responsibly and I think that's great for any generation to hear.

I really enjoyed this imaginative and entertaining story. I look forward to the rest of the series. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing my copy through the Book Sneeze program. It in no way influenced my review.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Prize of My Heart

Summary: An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son--his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child's whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder's daughter, Lorena Huntley.Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own--until the day another's evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all--love.

My Take: I love, love, love -- these great books about slightly dangerous captains, seafaring adventures, mysterious secrets, and fabulous romance. This one adds family ties and even some humor to the mix. Stir and bake with a handsome hero and feisty heroine and there is a recipe for a wonderful book!

Brogan Talvis is the perfect name for our somewhat rakish hero. He is determined to get his son, no matter what it takes - even if he must pretend to court Lorena in order to accomplish his goals. His career as a privateer has made him very wealthy but some see him as little more than a pirate, and his abandoned faith doesn't make him seem more trustworthy or appealing. 

Lorena is fiercely loyal to her family and very trusting of those around her. She is a talented baker and quite content with her life - until Captain Talvis walks into her life. She is like a momma Grizzly protecting her cub one moment - and drawn to him almost against her will the next. 

This is one of those books that truly reminded me of a well-balanced recipe. There was some action, some romance, some mystery, some humor . . . none of it took over the book. The end has surprising twists and turns you won't expect at all. I loved that the author included an epilogue to let us know what happened in their lives down the road.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Musings - Cleaning

I may not have mentioned it on the blog yet, but we may be moving (again) and have fairly short notice to get the house ready to sell. {groan} That means we have to try and do a lot of organizing and cleaning to not only prepare to move ourselves - but also to show the house at the same time. Let me admit right now that it isn't even close for either goal.

This makes me think of those pictures from the 1950s -- you know the ones. The women were doing housework with smiles on their perfectly made-up faces. Their hair was done, the had painted fingernails and always had on a pretty dress and jewelry as well.

Am I the only one that this makes think of a fantasy novel? I do not clean dressed up like this and I don't know anyone who does. It's almost as realistic as little birds coming in to help make her dress and finish the sweeping. Maybe they were made of different stuff back then . . . or maybe it was all about the image. I'm not entirely sure.

I can tell you that this is more what I look like when cleaning my house. I wear old rags, my hair is a mess, I'm always lugging around too much stuff, and I am generally wishing it was over before I start. I do like the results though. Like now -- I can actually see the surface of my desk. I won't be able to find anything until a couple months after the move (and I cover the surface again), but it looks pretty for now. :o)

I hope you'll be patient with me while I'm in the midst of my housecleaning. I may not be able to keep the schedule I promised until we settle down. Change is hard, but exciting.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Window Kitties

Two of my babies enjoying a morning edition of cat TV. That particular morning a rabbit was in the next yard -- so exciting! ;o)

Monday, June 4, 2012


Summary: Lady Victoria Grayson has always considered herself a keen observer of human behavior. After battling a chronic childhood illness that kept her homebound for years, she journeys to London determined to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Jaded by his wartime profession as a spy, Lord Witt understands, more than most, that everyone is not always who they pretend to be. He meets Victoria after the Regent requests an investigation into the activities of her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore.

Witt and Victoria become increasingly entangled in a plot targeting the lords of Parliament. Victoria is forced to question how well she knows those close to her while challenging Witt’s cynical nature and doubts about God. Together they must confront their pasts in order to solve a mystery that could devastate their future.

My Take: She totally got me! Okay, I know I'm supposed to ramble on about the beautiful cover (isn't it gorgeous?), and the author's mad skills in creating characters, but I'm overwhelmed by how cleverly she crafted this plot. I can usually reason out the answer to mysteries pretty quickly. I didn't know anything until she wanted me to. I would guess and then some new bit of information would come out . . . It was fantastic!

I truly enjoyed the first book and was thrilled to meet back with so many of those characters again. Victoria was a fantastic leading lady and I loved her nickname. I have a chronic illness myself and totally understand her focus on studying people -- almost as if you are living vicariously through them. She has brains, beauty, and enough will to make her equal to any task. I liked her a lot.

Witt was my favorite kind of hero. He's a little bit of the bad boy -- though more misunderstood than truly bad. He has let his past define the man he is today. He's closed off, reserved, and private. The mystery in those grey eyes makes him even more attractive to Victoria.

The second book continues to address the treatment of the mentally ill, but it also touches on how women were viewed and what their roles should/could be. 

This was a fascinating story that makes my favorites list. I want to thank the author and her publisher for providing me a copy of the book. It in no way influenced my review.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fibro Fridays - IBS & Fibro

Today I read this article on Web MD discussing the possible link between IBS and Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. When I was diagnosed my Rheumatologist told me they were linked. Most of the literature I've read still supports this, but so little is known about the cause(s) of IBS, Fibro (and all the other chronic disorder linked with Fibro) that it's very difficult for anyone to give concrete answers.

It's somewhat frustrating that the causes of Fibro are still not known (let alone any truly effective treatment/cure) and sometimes the "experts" contradict each other more often than they agree.  

What's reassuring is that more and more the truth is getting out about the very real pain people with these disorders are feeling. It's also sad but true that there is a stigma attached to these disorders with doctors and the general population that we are still fighting. Perhaps with more of these articles, more studies, more awareness . . . it will be easier to find doctors that won't dismiss complaints, better treatments, and a way to fight Fibro and win!