Friday, June 25, 2010

Scars and Stilettos, by Harmony Dust - Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

A lot of us think that we have a hard life. We whine and complain about the little things that go wrong in our life. Little do we realize, there are other people out there who are going through things worse than we are. In Scars and Stilettos, by Harmony Dust, we are taken through the life a young girl who has to struggle just to survive and make it to the top.

Harmony's story starts out around the age of three years old when she was shown pornography by a male relative. At the age of five, two female friends of the family had a "slumber party" with her. By the age of seven, she was threatened by a boy to take her panties off. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end. She wound up dating a friend of the families and he was completely controlling. He drove her finances into the ground causing her to find extra means of income. Through all of this, she maintained her place in college, striving to succeed and get a psychology degree.

In order to make more money to support herself and her boyfriend, she started to strip. At first it was really awkward. Then as time went by, it became easier and easier. As time went by she began to hate it more and more. Then one day, a friend of hers invited her to church. She decided to go and loved it. She felt like that was the place for her. With God in her life, there wasn't anything that she couldn't do. This prompted her to break up with her boyfriend and quit stripping.

After God came into her life and helped her turn it around, she met and married a wonderful Christian man. She also received her MA in Social Welfare and is part of a company called, Treasures, which help other women in the sex industry get out.

I recommend this book for everyone to read, especially those who are going through problems and feel as though there is no hope for them.

This review is part of a blog tour for Scars and Stilettos. Click here to see what other bloggers on this blog tour think about this book.

I also have a chance for you to win a copy of Scars and Stilettos by Harmony Dust for yourself.

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Giveaway ends Friday, 7/09/10, at 11:59pm EDT. Winner will be picked using a random number generator. Winner will have 72 hours to reply to my email with mailing info. If no response in that time, a new winner will be picked. US only, 18 and over. Book will be mailed by me.

LitFuse Publicity and Kregel Publications provided the books for review and giveaway. I was not compensated in any way for this review. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How To Get Your Kids To Embrace Reading During The Summer

 Twittermoms and HarperCollins are getting together and looking for people to write blog posts on how they get their kids to read (click here to learn more). This isn't hard for me because my daughter loves to read. I will admit that we do occasionally have our melt downs where she doesn't want to read or wants to just read a short book, but most of the time it isn't a hard thing to get her to do.

During the summer most kids have a harder time wanting to read because it is either a nice day outside or there is something on TV that they want to see or perhaps there is a video game that they want to play. One thing that you can do or that I do is sign your child up to a summer reading program with the library. Our library holds a summer reading program where children state how many books they think they can complete over the summer. Once they do this, they read their books and bring their tally sheets to have it signed off weekly. Each time they have it signed off, they get to pick out a prize. This creates a great incentive for a child to keep reading. Once they are done reading the amount of books they signed off for, they can pick out a book to take home and keep.

Another thing I do is go to a bookstore and have my daughter pick out a book that she wants to read. When she is done with that particular book, we will go back to the store and pick out another one. A good thing about this is that they can keep the book vs. having to return them when checked out from the library.

One other thing that one can do is have a picnic reading session. This can be really fun. You take a picnic basket with your blanket and sit at a park and read. I find my daughter enjoys reading more when I read with her vs. having her read on her own. And if you have a picnic reading session, you can eat (what kid doesn't like to eat) while your reading.

A finale thing you can do to get your child do read is have them read books over the internet. They have a ton of sites where your child can read a book in his or her age bracket/reading level. What child wouldn't love to pull a book up on the internet and read it? Children now days love computers and seem to be more competent with them then we are, so I can see where this would be fun. I have actually had my daughter do this and she really enjoyed it.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship, by Jeffrey Zaslow

How close are you to your closest friends? Did you meet them in college, high school, or grade school? Not many people can say they are still friends with the same people they met up with in grade school, let alone have a strong lasting bond with a group of friends for a long period of time. Most of the time when we attend a different school or even go away to college, the bond that was there, slowly dissipates. And other times when we become married we start a new life with our “new” family and we slowly see things starting to trickle away. But there are some people who can actually make it work and keep a strong bonding friendship for years and years and years. And that is what happened between Angela, Cathy, Diana, Jane, Jenny, Karen, Karla, Kelly, Marilyn, Sally and Sheila. The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship, by Jeffrey Zaslow.

Every so often, the girls from Ames get together and reminisce about the past and engage in conversation about the present. When they are together at these reunions, they feel as though they are still those young girls in the pictures that they pull out to look over. And throughout this book, we are taken on that very journey with them as they discuss how their lives began and what they went through that led up to such an incredible bonding friendship.

It all started about forty some years ago when two of the girls were born in the same hospital days after each other. Little did they realize, they would become great friends later on. Some of the girls met up in kindergarten or first grade, whereas, a couple of them were pulled in by being friends with some of the girls already a part of the group or living next to them.

As they started to mature, they began going to formals and on dates, of course, some more than others. They experienced their first concerts, parties, hair changes, first jobs and even ostracizing. After growing up some more, they headed off to college. This is where you would suspect that their friendships would start to break off, but it didn’t. They maintained a steady friendship through letters and later on emails. Marriages, kids, health scares, divorce and even deaths couldn’t keep these girls friendships from separating. And to this day, they are still just as close.

Throughout the book we also learn about the benefits of women having close friendships. There are different studies on how close friendships can lead to women living a longer happier life. Some of the research showed that people with friends tend to be a lot healthier than those who didn’t have any. Another research showed that women with strong friendships tended to have better marriages.

While reading this book I learned a lot about the benefits of having lasting friendships. It made me want to call or write my friends and thank them for being in my life. There is nothing that can replace the closeness of a friend and this book proves it. I highly recommend this as a must read.