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#Giveaways 3/21

Welcome spring into your home! Enter our giveaway for a chance to win a surprise decorating package from Balsam Hill. #MySpringSanctuary #ReadySetSpring #BalsamHill https://wn.nr/FncvdU

$1500 Store Credit for Sephora #giveaway #win https://kingsumo.com/g/eqye3j/1500-store-credit-for-sephora/1gvj5o0

http://promos.zgraph.com/q5ytew/lchayt Extreme Pools #Giveaway 4/30
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Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Die Again, Mr. Holmes: Anna Elliott & Charles Veley



I RECEIVED THE MENTIONED TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHORS/PUBLISHER. SPECIAL THANKS TO Sarah Miniaci OF SMITH PUBLISHING FOR HER KINDNESS & UNDERSTANDING.

SYNOPSIS: Meet Lucy James, the detective partner Sherlock Holmes never expected!

The newest gripping adventure in this popular mystery series takes us from the Old Bailey courthouse and the seacoast lairs of smugglers to a grand British country estate and the iconic financial headquarters of Lloyd’s of London.

Watson, Sherlock and Lucy find themselves up against a powerful conspiracy.

Survival will require valor, sacrifice, and acts that go far, far outside the law.

As the story opens, a young woman begs Sherlock Holmes to help find her missing fiance, but the great detective makes an uncharacteristic mistake.

Then Sherlock’s daughter, Lucy James, takes on a missing person case of her own.

But Lucy must also keep a vicious criminal away from Becky, Lucy’s ten-year-old sister-in-law, and little Becky soon becomes dangerously involved in both cases.

Then the Baker Street team gets the devastating news that Sherlock Holmes has been murdered.

MY THOUGHTS: Absolutely fabulous! I have been blessed enough to follow this series from the beginning. Each book gets better and better (even though they were already amazing!). Being that the content is clean and action-packed, I have recommended the series to countless librarians and fans of mysteries. I never have to think twice because I know each book is a quality read, without questionable situations, and any new readers will quickly become permanent fans.

As a female lead, Lucy reigns supreme. As an intelligent problem-solver, Lucy relies on her brain to solve dilemmas and live her life honorably. She is a fabulous role model to YA readers who are too often exposed to characters who utilize their gender is a less than appropriate way. Allowing her to team up with the icon that is Sherlock proves that she can hold her own. Doyle, himself, would be quite proud of how his characters welcome her and of Lucy in general.

I loved the plot twists with Sherlock faking his death and then the elements of a good, old-fashioned mystery. This is the way mysteries are supposed to be written! I give it a full 5 stars and highly recommend the series!

ABOUT THE SHERLOCK HOLMES & LUCY JAMES MYSTERY SERIES
The Sherlock Holmes & Lucy James Mystery Series by Charles Veley and Anna Elliott to date includes The Last Moriarty (2015), The Wilhelm Conspiracy (2016), Remember, Remember (2017), The Crown Jewel Mystery: A Prequel (2017), The Jubilee Problem (2017), Death at the Diogenes Club (2017), The Return of the Ripper (2018), and Die Again, Mr. Holmes, released on January 2, 2019. All titles are available for purchase in paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats via Amazon and Audible.
Website: http://sherlockandlucy.com/

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Guest Post: CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF THE CHRISTCHURCH MASSACRE? By Peter Rosenberger

The following commentary is a guest post written for us by Peter Rosenberger.
As the horrific events in New Zealand stun the world, Christchurch suffers the wounds of a tragically growing list of cities. While so many predictably rush to politicize and blame, the frequency of these events may have created an additionally unhelpful effect. Where most once put our hands over our mouth in horror, an increasing number merely pause to offer a brief tribute of sentiment as consolation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” echoes often enough to warrant a predictive template on social media platforms to expedite the now traditional response. One can’t help but wonder the efficacy of the phrase to those forever burdened by such anguish.

“What thoughts?” “What prayers?” “To whom are you praying?” “What reply do you expect?” “How do grieving souls process others’ conversations with an all-powerful deity?”

The list of questions erupting from wounded souls must extend beyond the horizon.

In her core, America feels deeply and cherishes her citizens’ safety. Our society’s fracture, however, wrenches so many away from that core. As a result, we’re left disengaged—particularly if we disagree politically or religiously. How can we offer meaningful consolation to people on the other side of the world, if we can’t embrace our neighbors?

In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the hero didn’t offer thoughts and prayers, but rather action and care. He first noticed and then approached the assaulted man. Only then could he bind the wounds and carry the injured man to safety. Once there, the parable’s hero then ensured sustainable care.

With social media and instant news, glibness and optics receive more shelf space than the heart. But care requires something of the caregiver. Instead of the now trite, “…Thoughts and Prayers,” let us indeed think and pray, but also speak and act with frankness and specificity. When words fail us, it is understandable to land on a phrase that feels safe and appropriate to say, but to be effective at ministering to the wounds, we must go deeper.

Our thoughts and prayers are between ourselves and God. Our words and actions speak to others.

May we address those forever altered in their pain with such directness as President George W. Bush stated through a megaphone on a pile of rubble so many years ago following an event that shocked the planet.
“I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

A President standing in carnage met the rawness of 9/11 with forthrightness and leadership.
Carnage in its’ all too many forms provides us with the opportunity to look at it for what it is—and speak hope and life to those around us. The only strengthening words are those communicating that the victim is seen, cared for specifically, and a plan is communicated to ensure sustainable care. Sentiment costs little and rarely comforts. Although costly, leadership always comforts.

The protection of citizens should remain paramount to any government. Part of that protection is equipping others to care for and protect themselves. Another part is seeing to those unable to do so. Let us offer more than thoughts and prayers. Let us offer leadership towards a safer, stronger, and more caring country seeking to assure one another that those who suffer will not do so in isolation. In doing so, we also provide leadership to those watching us.

The most effective leaders are often those responding to that great need of assurance in the face of overwhelming loss. In those moments, our vocabulary changes from stock phrases to specificity.

Leadership in suffering can be as simple as saying, “I see you, and I see the magnitude of your pain and sorrow—and I will work to make sure you don’t endure this alone.” Those words emanate from the heart. Displaying outrage is a collective pastime. Displaying our hearts requires a greater courage.

From shootings to mental illness to immigration to race, may we be a nation that binds the wounds, regardless of our differences. May we be a people who notice suffering of those around us.

The question remains: Can anything good come out of the Christchurch Massacre? If we us contemplation and prayer be a springboard to help care for and sustain one other, the answer is Yes. In doing so, our united hands can then better extend to wounded lives around the world.

Peter Rosenberger hosts a nationally syndicated radio program for family caregivers. For more than thirty years, he’s cared for his wife who lives with severe disabilities. He is the author of 7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them @hope4caregiver

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#Giveaways 3//17

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Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase in Theaters 3/15!


The iconic mystery solving teenager from the classic Nancy Drew books is back with an all-new feature length film that will keep you guessing until the very end! The clip from “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” above follow’s Nancy Drew and her friends teaming up to take down high school bully, Derrick.


In “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase,” (L-R) Nancy (Sophia Lillis) and her best gal pals George (Zoë Renee) and Bess (Mackenzie Graham) gather to make a plan.

Photo Credit: ©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Preferred hashtag is: #NancyDrew
Twitter: @WarnerBrosEnt
Facebook: @WarnerBrosEnt
Instagram: @WarnerBrosEntertainment

*Trailer, pic, & info belong solely to Warner Bros. and their associates.

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Diversity is Key: Bryan Smith



SYNOPSIS:
It’s diversity week at Amelia’s school, and she has no clue what it means or why it matters. Every day, she’s introduced to cultures, cuisines and customs that push Amelia outside her comfort zone and test her preconceived notions about people and places. Is Mei really asking me to bow when I introduce myself? Is Rosa really celebrating toes, and how the heck do I eat something wrapped in a corn husk? And why is Malia’s mom gyrating in a grass skirt? Amelia has lots of questions (and a few concerns), but the more she experiences, the more she realizes how diversity makes life more fun. She also discovers that differences shouldn’t divide people because everyone shares something in common. Diversity is Key! was penned by Bryan Smith whose Without Limits book series celebrates children with character. 32 pgs.

MY THOUGHTS: Full disclosure: I was hesitant about this one. Many times when the word ‘diversity’ is used, the author pushes a specific narrative that may be against my own religious beliefs. I am SO relieved that Bryan Smith had more integrity than that!

In fact, he did an amazing job CELEBRATING diversity. He nailed the reasons why it’s a good thing and left out all the PC narrative nonsense too many of us have to listen to on media. It isn’t a risqué book in any way. Instead, we have 3 students who bring 3 separate identities to their classroom. Do’s and Don’ts in regards to politeness are discussed, but the children aren’t forced into participation or controversial topics. Even the mention of the Day of the Dead is handled beautifully. While it could’ve been presented in a Halloween-type way, our author takes the high road and specifies that it’s a celebration of the deceased loved one’s life. Well done!

The illustrations are spot on as are the multiple messages. Respect each other. Be polite to those who are different. Try new things. Respect those in authority and those older than you. Great messages. I enjoyed Amelia and her class. I give this one 5 stars.
https://www.boystownpress.org/