Silver Smoke book review and contest to win a Kindle Fire!

Love triangles, immortality, good versus evil, unearthly powers, and murder- just a few of the twists and turns in Monica Leonelle's book Silver Smoke.  Silver Smoke is the first in the Seven Halos series for young adults.  This book was a page turner that I could not put down! It was a perfect read for my Christmas vacation. I think I read it in about 6 sittings. Silver Smoke has an attention grabbing beginning, and keeps you wanting more throughout each thrilling chapter.  Each chapter is written from the perspective of the various characters.  Leonelle works magic in providing detailed description and mythological story telling that drives the history of the characters.   She keeps you guessing at every turn who's trustworthy and who's the villain of the story!  This book has it all and there's not a boring second!  I enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it if you like to read fiction.  It's definitely a book I will read over and over.  I'm really looking forward to reading the. rest of the series, as well as anything else Leonnelle writes.

To celebrate the release of a new novel to the Seven Halos series, author Monica Leonelle is doing a Kindle Fire giveaway for Silver Smoke, the first novel in the series! Silver Smoke is the highly-rated (4.8 stars on Amazon) debut novel about the Hallows and the Nephilim, the descendants of archangels and humans. Here's a description of the book:

Brie van Rossum has fame, fortune, and beauty, but there's one thing she doesn't have--the name of her mother's supernatural killer. The Hallows, descendants of the archangels, don't think Milena was murdered.. but can Brie trust them when their government, the New Order, wants her dead? She'd better figure it all out soon... ... because when Brie finds out who she really is, the hunt will begin. And Milena might not be the only casualty. Like mother, like daughter...

Contest dates:

December 15th thru December 31st (a little more than 12 days, but who's counting?)

Easy ways to enter:

  1. (3 entries) Blog about this contest and forward a link to (see copy + paste instructions for the contest below)
  2. (3 entries each) Share a sentence about the book with your Facebook or Twitter followers, and include a link to the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (you pick). One entry per social media account per day during the contest. Forward a screenshot or link of your sentence+link to The links are available below:
  3. (10 entries each) Write an honest Amazon and/or B&N review of Silver Smoke and send a link to


Grand Prize Winner: Kindle Fire (or cash-equivalent Amazon gift card) 2nd Place (two winners): Kindle Touch (or cash-equivalent Amazon gift card) 3rd Place (three winners): Kindle (or cash-equivalent Amazon gift card) Special Bloggers-Only Winner* (for blogger entrants - must enter via the web form): Kindle Fire (or cash-equivalent Amazon gift card) Winners will be selected using on January 1, 2012 and announced on How To Be An Author by January 2, 2012. *To enter the Bloggers-Only drawing (in addition to the regular drawing), you must forward a link to your post to AND add your name to this bloggers-only email list (not for promotional purposes... just an easy way to distribute promised items):

Cold Essentials

My baby's been sick today.  She's had a cough for a few days and a yucky runny nose.  She's usually pretty resilient so this is the first time she's had a cold.  She's been cuddling with me and playing off and on all day.  I just thought I'd share some of my favorite products that I put together in a Thirty-One Littles Carry-All Caddy (I love these things!  They are part of November's customer special, and would make a great gift! Contact your Thirty-one consultant or click on my ad to the right to go to my webpage! ---shameless plug)

Here's what's in the caddy: 
Boogie Wipes- I rarely use these, but they are GREAT for crusty, sore noses (believe me, I've tried them out myself!)  They come in great scents too.  The fresh scent is sort of "perfumy" and I prefer the grape or unscented, but the store only had fresh scent.  You can also find them in single travel size packs which are great to throw in the diaper bag!

Nose Frida- I bought this a long time before I ever needed it.  It is best for super snotty noses- especially if your little one can't "blow" yet.  It looks complicated, but it's so easy.  It will sound really gross if I explain it.  You should check out the website yourself!

Saline drops- these don't need much explanation.  The kind I use have xylitol in them, and there are supposed to be many great benefits from xylitol.

My Mama’s Love, Mama Nose Best- I cannot tell you how awesome this stuff is.  It can be used by adults or kids.  It is similar to Vick’s VaboRub , but all-natural and organic ingredients (and a more pleasant scent, I think.  It really helped her sleep last night.  I also use the Complete Skin Ailment Curative from My Mama's Love to rub on A's nose to relieve the soreness. 

We also used a cool mist humidifier last night and steamed up the bathroom before taking a warm bath.  Hopefully with the help of these products, some cuddling and rest, my little girl will feel better soon. What are some of your favorite products or remedies for you or your family when you're sick?

It's been awhile

As you can see, I have been absent from my blog for some time.  We've packed, moved, waited 2 weeks for our stuff, and finally unpacked (that's the short version!).  What a process!  It's great to be settled in our new place.  I'm also trying some new things and so I've been neglecting my blog.  I'll probably be back at it in the fall, but for now I'm taking a break from it!  :)  See you all when it's cooler!

Movin' on down the road

We’re moving again.  Well, this will be our first move since I started my blog in January, but our third move in the last year and a half.  My husband and I lived in Indiana for the first 6 years of our married life while he was working on his PhD.  The past year we’ve been living in Illinois for his current job and I’ve stayed home.  Now we’re moving to Texas for his new job!  We’re really excited about moving because Texas is a lot closer to our family.  One thing we have to do when moving to a different state is find the Department of motor vehicles, get a new license, find out the requirements for obtaining said license, and take a DMV test.
Every state has their own manual and their own laws that you have to learn, or re-learn!  Every state also has a different requirement for passing their DMV test.  In Indiana you could only miss one question on the “signs” section, so if you got two signs mixed up- that’s it- you fail!   Fortunately I didn’t miss any on that section, but I did study beforehand.  When we moved to Illinois I didn’t study for the test, but they had a more lenient policy for missing questions.  I did learn that in Illinois you can’t talk on your phone in a construction zone (umm…that makes sense!)  I wonder what different laws Texas will have?  When was the last time you took a DMV test?

They Call It Puppy Love! AnnieWear Review

 Before I had my daughter, I was one of those people who absolutely loved their four-legged fur-babies!  My dogs were my babies!  Once we moved out of our first apartment and into a house, My husband and I adopted a 4 week old, 4 pound puppy from a local shelter and instantly fell in puppy love!  We named her Elly.

A year later we thought Elly needed a playmate and went to our local shelter again to pick out another dog.  We chose a full grown dog who was a stray and named her Maggy.  We couldn’t have picked a better pair. 

After receiving information from AnnieWear I’m so excited to be reviewing their product and sharing it with all of you!

AnnieWear is animal-themed baby and toddler wear, accessories and gifts.  In addition to their Annie inspired clothing, they have brands including:  Aden + Anais, Good Night Books, Hatley, Kicky Pants and Picolo Bambino, just to name a few.

Annie is a loveable, cute, golden retriever who was rescued when she was 5 months old.  Her owners decided to create AnnieWear with Annie as their inspiration

AnnieWear donates a portion of  sales to rescue programs around the country!  This is my favorite part of this company!  How special to give a gift to yourself, or a friend and know that part of the money is helping out an animal in need!

AnnieWear sent me an adorable Good Girl Onesie to review.  I opened the package and immediately loved the bright turquoise color.  The material is 100% ringspun combed cotton and is nice and thick.  On the front of the onsie is Annie herself with the words “Good Girl” underneath.  So cute!

The onesie was even cuter when I put it on A!  Of course Elly and Maggy had to get in the shot.

AnnieWear is offering 15% off your order!  Just enter promo code: BLOG2011.  This code is good until December 2011.  THANKS ANNIEWEAR!  I will definitely be ordering products from AnnieWear in the future.  I believe their items are high quality and well chosen for their customers.  Supporting a great cause, animal rescue, is so wonderful as well!

I was provided a onesie for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.  See my disclosure here.

TGIF Blog Hop!

Welcome to Thank Goodness Its Friday! Our linky will open every Thursday night so you can join us for Thank Goodness Its Friday, also known as TGIF. Let’s make some new blogging friends and celebrate the end of a wonderful week!

Go to Sleepy Little Baby

Some of my fondest memories as a child are visiting my grandparents.  I remember staying the night at their house almost every weekend.  I would “forget” my pajamas just so I could sleep in my grandpa’s XL t-shirts which fit me like an oversized dress.  My grandma was, and still is, an awesome cook.  She always made a grand breakfast and I remember drinking coffee just because my grandpa did.  Although it was likely milk and sugar with a splash of coffee!  Probably my most favorite part of my visit is when my grandmother would sing me to sleep.  My favorite song she would sing was “Down in the Valley.”