Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Finding Joy in the Season by Decluttering with a Purpose


Christmas day is hot on our heels! It seems like after the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone – the time until Christmas is in hyper-drive! So much to do between decorating, cleaning, organizing, shopping, and cooking. It sometimes feels like there is just too much to do! But, we love the holiday season for so many reasons.
Of course, gathering with family and friends is one of the best parts of the season. And, if you have kids, the gift-giving spirit is fun to celebrate, especially if you love to give back to the people in your community like we do.
It is really easy to get so wrapped up in all of the things going on over the holiday season, that you forget how important it is to stop and take notice of people who may not have the luxury of spending over the holidays, a family to gather around the table with, or even a warm coat to wear when the cold weather is upon us.
Every year before Holiday-related chaos sets in I make the kids declutter their closets and toy collections. Not only does this make room for the coming influx of new items from their friends and family, but I always donate usable items to my local Goodwill to help benefit other families and create jobs in our local community. I love that my simple decluttering process can help create new jobs in our town.
Donating to local Goodwill stores also provides a wonderful opportunity to talk to my children about how this is a season of giving. Gifts are great, but nothing compares to the feeling of helping others. Goodwill is a great organization to support all year round because every 23 seconds of every business day, someone gets a job through the help of a local Goodwill. Local Goodwill stores offer job training information in person and online at http://www.goodwill.org/find-jobs-and-services/.  
Remember, when you shop or donate at your local Goodwill you save money and create jobs. Find a Goodwill store near you at http://www.goodwill.org/locator/. The items you donate may just make someone else’s holiday a little brighter.
I’d love to see your holiday haul that you’re donating to Goodwill – share a photo to your social media using the hashtag #DonateStuffCreateJobs!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Five Simple Ways to Eat a More Humane and Healthy Menu



I’ve had animals for as long as I can remember. The message about animal cruelty and adopting a #ShelterPet is one that has gained ground in recent years, but the ASPCA is concerned with the welfare of farm animals as well.


Here are five simple ways to become a more aware and welfare-conscious consumer when shopping for your family’s groceries.


  1. Eat Seasonally - Eating foods in season means that you’re able to buy from a more local economy and avoid having your food ship from other countries. This means fresher foods picked at peak ripeness too!
  2. Shop Locally - CSA’s and local farmers’ markets help support local, often smaller scale, farmers and ranchers who are producing outside of the traditional factory-farm system. If you aren’t sure where to start, visit your local farmers’ market and start asking some question - this guide will get you started. https://www.aspca.org/shopwithyourheart/consumer-resources/how-shop-farmers-market  
  3. Conquer Labeling Confusion - Marketers create confusion with their flashy labels and clever catch-phrases. But unfortunately, sometimes they care more about finances than transparency. Words like “natural” or “humane” often don’t have any oversight to actually tell you as a consumer anything concrete. However, some phrases and labels do have regulations associated with their use, and that’s what you can start to look for as a savvy shopper. Here’s a guide to labeling to get you started. https://www.aspca.org/shopwithyourheart/consumer-resources/meat-eggs-and-dairy-label-guide
  4. Be Careful to Minimize Waste - One of the ways we can treat the animals used for food respectfully and humanely is by making the most of the food we purchase. Purchase only what you know you’ll use and serve the right sized portions to avoid wasting what your family buys. https://www.aspca.org/sites/default/files/the_good_groceries_guide_final_version.pdf
  5. Look for Certifications That Mean Something - Unlike marketing gimmicks there are certain certifications and awards that have true meaning. For example the USDA  Organic label shows that the produce grown (or fed to the animal) didn’t use banned pesticides. Others include Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane


See The Good Groceries Guide for more information about how our shopping habits impact the lives of those around us - animals included. https://www.aspca.org/sites/default/files/the_good_groceries_guide_final_version.pdf


Find more resources for savvy shoppers at the ASCPA Shop With Your Heart website! https://www.aspca.org/shopwithyourheart/consumer-resources

And don’t forget to enter to win some fun items from the ASPCA!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday Sale for the Rewind Series

 


Fifteen minutes is all the Rewind Agency gives you to relive a memory in the past, but for street smart Lara Crane it's enough time for her to race through the city, find her mother and stop her murder from happening over ten years ago. When Lara takes a bullet meant for her mother, her future changes forever. A new house, new friends, and a new boyfriend turns Lara's life upside down. But with memories slowly leaking in from her new life, Lara realizes not everything is as it seems. With the mob after her and a US senator that wants her captured for her time travel ability, Lara is going to have to fight for her life and unravel a government conspiracy to reunite her family. Or die trying. Time Trap is an edgy high octane techno-thriller where the people Lara trusts change in an instant. She is in a timeline she doesn't understand and is about to make one fatal mistake as she faces an enemy so familiar, he's family. **Previously published under the title 15 Minutes. Now freshly edited, with three new opening chapters.** Buy on Amazon for $.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited




A vindictive assassin. A time traveling teen stuck in an endless loop. The virtual reality world that keeps her trapped. Can Lara break free from her own mind? Lara Crane is stuck in her mind, in an indefinite stream of timelines where her life is perfect, just the way she wants it to be. But it's not real. It's all made up to give those who want to use time travel for their own personal ambitions. She's forced into a VR world so they can study her natural abilities and train her to be a deadly time travel assassin. To stop them, Lara needs to risk her own mind and soul to get out of a prison so perfect it completes the one dream Lara has always had. Family. **Previously published under the title Plugged. Freshly edited with 10,000 words of new content.** A blend of thriller, suspense, and virtual reality, this techno-thriller will leave you on the edge of your seats! Purchase today and see if you can separate fact from fiction. Buy on Amazon for $.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited




A time cop from the future. A time traveling teen desperate to be free. The conspiracy that must be unraveled to stop a dystopian future.
Lara may never be free. Life was easier in the cage. She thought she was out, ready for a normal life, but with the Feds' endless questions and tests, Lara realizes she might never be free. Lara is fitted with a time travel restraint, designed to not only stop her, but to save her life as her mind spirals out of control. No more second chances. No more time travel to revert everything back the way it was once before. As the danger increases, so does Lara's headaches and nightmares. Her brain is desperate to be free, loose, and as the future begins to flash all around her, Lara is terrified the end might be near. And maybe she doesn't have a future at all. *Previously published under the title Detached, this version is freshly edited and with new content and a new ending.*



***New Release***
A reluctant time traveler. The eloquent business man who wants to control time travel. Time and danger clash. Lara Crane thought she left time travel behind her, but when a remnant from her past arrives to settle a score long thought settled, Lara must find a way to reset the timeline before it unravels the fabric of her life. With just a week until her fairytale wedding to successful businessman Donovan James, one of Lara's oldest friends is murdered and thrusts her into a cat and mouse game with a dangerous time travel assassin. With her own powers long dormant, Lara struggles to cope with a danger she can no longer fight. But the timeline begins to reset. People die who were intended to live and everything Lara knows changes and morphs all around her, she grapples with a life-altering decision that won't just affect her. It'll change everything. Lara's race against the clock is on, and it puts her against enemies and family alike. Find out if Lara can save the future without destroying herself in the process. A techno-thriller that awaits you in the slip stream. Join the most turbulent ride through time today!




***New Release***
The retired time traveler. The vindictive villian. Warning: Danger is closer than it appears.
Lara Montgomery changed the past eight years ago and forever changed the fabric of time. Now as she's ready to focus on the future, the past comes knocking. What was once meant to be the wedding of the year turned into a small private affair but Lara Montgomery is ready to put the past behind her. And embrace happily ever after once and for all. But hidden in the shadows, an old friend and a dangerous enemy watches. He lurks and dares Lara to change the past to protect those she loves one more time. Lara can't fight her base instinct to protect those she loves. She springs a trap designed just for her and finds herself in a timeline she knows nothing about. Trapped in a strange time where everything is backward and with no way to escape, Lara must face that this time, she might not find her way home without help. Meanwhile, evil fights to regain control of the splintering multiverse and Lara may have to face that family isn't always what you think. Sometimes your enemies are closer than they appear.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Blast - First Street Church Romances: Love's New Hope (Kindle Worlds Novella)

Melody Tanner has a secret no one in Sweet Grove knows. Most people know Melody quit college in the first semester of her sophomore year because her father died. A few even know that when she came back to Sweet Grove she was pregnant. But the secret no one knows eats at Melody each and every day and keeps her from allowing anyone to get too close in case she’s hurt again. When Jake Hayes decides to stay at the Orchard Blossom Inn while covering for his friend as the town’s large animal veterinarian, he’s hoping for a quiet Rockwell-type Christmas. Everyone’s friendly, and Sweet Grove certainly fits the bill. Everyone, that is, except Melody. Now the two are forced to work together and one of them is going to have to give in… or give up.  

Buy on Kindle

  Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author of inventive and inspirational stories. She puts 15,000 to 20,000 steps each day on her Fitbit, simply doing chores around the horse farm, but still finds time to sit at her laptop and let her imagination free through her fingertips. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Reader's Choice Gold Award for Best YA Horror Novel. Chronicles of Steele Raven won the 2015 Grace Award and IndieBrag Medallion.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Obsidian Book Blast & #Giveaway

New Release! The Forgotten Dream

The Forgotten Dream is the third book in the Amazon Best-Selling Obsidian Series. The first book in this young adult fantasy series, The Labyrinth Wall, is a Dante Rossetti Award Finalist and is a Reader's Favorite 5 Star rated book. During a dire encounter with magical attackers, an unexpected visitor shows up to save the day. However, suspicions of this unwanted guest arise when people start disappearing in Kasabac. It is difficult to know who can be trusted and harder to ignore the alarming claims about the labyrinth that come to Araina's attention. Will she be able to locate the missing people? Perhaps more importantly, can she discern the truth from the lies about the labyrinth? Launches Nov 7th - preorder now: B&N/Amazon Obsidian Series The fantasy charm of Eragon meets the gritty flare of The Hunger Games in the Amazon Best-Selling Obsidian Series books which offer a surprising and fresh magical labyrinth adventure. Imagine a labyrinth world from the perspective of its native people... Araina’s lonely teenage life is forever altered when she witnesses a man with supernatural powers emerge through a rippling wall into the dark and deadly labyrinth she calls home. Araina must solve many mysteries surrounding the newcomer and the labyrinth she thought she knew so well. And, as a result of the stranger’s arrival, Araina’s creators have unleashed a series of attacks against the labyrinth inhabitants. She must decide if she will trust potentially deceitful allies in order to survive. “It is a book that all fantasy lovers will find addictive and thrilling.” — Readers’ Favorite “There are several great adventures in this story of a girl trying to escape from Creators” and “The prose sings in many places thanks to expert description.” — Publishers Weekly An Amazon Best-Seller A Dante Rossetti International Award Finalist Reader’s Favorite 5 Star Rated Buy Labyrinth Wall on: Amazon/B&N | Buy Haunted Realm on: Amazon/B&N Labyrinth Wall will be on sale for $.99 in November!

About the author: Emilyann Girdner is the creator of Coloring Novels™ (a new novel format) and author of Amazon Best-Seller, Dante Rossetti Award Finalist, and Reader’s Favorite 5 Star rated young adult fantasy novel, The Labyrinth Wall. Emilyann discovered at a young age that reading imaginative books gave living an extra flavor. She has loved stories ever since. She has appeared at events with organizations such as Barnes & Noble stores, Wizard World Comic Con, Supercon, AltCon, and MegaCon Fan Days. KCFV 89.5, City Surfing Orlando, Miami.com, and Tallahassee Magazine are some of the media outlets that have mentioned Emilyann. Emilyann tries to love God and others in all she does. She believes that imagination sparks beauty in the soul. Emilyann’s writing and art have appeared via many publications, some of which include Sound & Communications Magazine, The TV Shield, Center for Work Life, Easter Seals Florida, and Examiner.com. Discover more of her writing and art at www.emilyanngirdner.com. Get a FREE eBook and access to exclusive content by joining Emilyann's newsletter list. Visit the following link to subscribe: http://emilyanngirdner.com/free-fantasy-ebook/ Follow on social media: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

Enter the giveaway below

Friday, October 27, 2017

Goddess of the Wild Thing

Goddess of the Wild Thing is a dramatic tale of one woman’s spiritual journey where magical happenings, unexpected turns of fate, and unseen forces influence her ability to love and be loved. Eve Sanchez, a middle-aged woman and scholar of esoteric studies, encounters a seductive but frightening man who introduces her to a supernatural world in which the wicked powers of a surrogate mother’s twisted affection threaten love and life. In the mystic realm of Aztlan del Sur, Eve and three friends struggle with whether bad love is better than no love and discover that love is a wild thing.

Buy on Amazon

            Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. is a depth psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico. He specializes in treating individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis. His novels, visionary thrillers, delve deep into archetypal realities as they play out dramatically in the lives of everyday people. Memberships include the Author’s Guild, the Depth Psychology Alliance, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the International Association for Jungian Studies. Follow Paul on Facebook | Google + | Twitter | Literary Addicts | Website        

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Simple Soul of Susan Book Tours



Simple is as simple loves.” Susan Combs had long ago found the love of her life. The only problem was the other party still didn’t know he had been found. Every day Susan saw Calder Hurtz, her next door neighbor and childhood best friend. They always enjoyed the short drive to school down the dusty streets of their small Texas town. She was happy in those perfect moments, for her life at home was most imperfect. The challenging homestead she inhabited was also the favorite subject of local gossip. But one autumn day she overhears two boys having a conversation. This occasion of accidental audience sets Susan’s life on an unforeseen path. In the seasons to come, her future will be changed by two hospitalizations, two confessions of love, and one betrayal. Compulsively readable, The Simple Soul of Susan is an engaging, soul-endearing romance and a mesmerizing debut. Buy on Amazon



 Born and raised in a small Texas town, Noel Branham started her career in digital communications after graduating with a degree in English. An award winning communicator, she now writes from her home in Florida about things closest to the heart: home, family, and love. Her debut novel will be published Fall 2017.  
Social Links:
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