Monday, October 31, 2011

Just another day without the Soldier...

Last year when we said goodbye to the Soldier, I never anticipated that we would be going into a second year of holidays without him. Yet, last night I carved pumpkins with the kids while the Soldier watched on Skype. I am not much of a Halloween person (a little too much work and sugar for me), but Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up fast with no clue when they will send him home.

On Saturday, I said goodbye for the fourth time. Once when he left last year in September, once when I flew to New Orleans for his four day pass and once again in May when he was home on leave. The first three times were hard enough, but we always had a date to anticipate his homecoming.

How do you tell six children - when they keep asking when daddy will be home - that we have no idea?

The Soldier has been on U.S. soil, for two months, in Army limbo. While the doctors and case managers and everyone else and their brother argue where and when the Army is going to fix what they broke. He has been denied leave and had surgeries scheduled and then cancelled. All while he sits and we wonder.

This isn't my first rodeo and I know it takes time for papers to process and orders to come through, but this is bordering on craziness. And he isn't the only one. There are dozens of other Soldiers, returning home from war, being kept from their families by red tape.

He has told me stories of wheel chairs too small for Soldiers, chow halls not handicapped accessible and other Soldiers having to take care of those who have had surgeries and are sent back to the barracks to recover. And in their brand new, 53 million dollar barracks, the Soldier has changed rooms three times for issues like no cold water in the shower and his fire alarm going off for three days (while the work order got passed along to several different people). What a joke.

I am tired of saying goodbye.

I am tired of the Army.

I am just so tired and ready for this to be over.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Semi Wordless Wednesday #WW - Seattle!

First, I want to say a big thank you to Brea at Utterly Chaotic Designs for my new look! She was wonderful (I am not easy to work with) and has the best prices on the web (trust me, I looked). And she has an amazing military discount.
Not all of the pages are up and going yet, I promise to get everything done soon...

But I am leaving in the morning for Seattle!
Photo borrowed from Wikipedia :)
Unfortunately, it is only for a few days and it is to see a new specialist - but I will get to see my Soldier!! He is still on a medical hold and trying hard to get sent to a Community Based Warrior Transition Unit, so he can have his surgeries at home.

Don't miss my current contests while you are here. Enter to win a copy of Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside and Laurie Alice Eakes A Necessary Deception.

October's list still has some free books on it (please check prices before you download, so there aren't any surprises!) and I promise a new list the first week of November.

Linking up for Semi Wordless Wednesday with Flip Flops & Pearls!



Saturday, October 22, 2011

"A Necessary Deception" Book Review & Giveaway

*Don’t miss my other book giveaway going on now! Enter to win a copy of Susan May Warren’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside.  

*If you haven't read it, check out my review of Laurie Alice Eakes’ Lady in the Mist and then download it for FREE from Amazon. 

With as crazy as life has been here, I appreciate being able to disappear for a few hours to another place. Thanks to Laurie Alice Eakes, I was whisked back to a time when the ‘ton’ spent their nights at Masquerade Balls and Covent Garden.   

About the book:  

Who Can a Lady Really Trust? 
 A young widow, a mysterious Frenchman, and the threat of
blackmail keep readers guessing in this Regency romance.

 When young widow Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never expected doing so would put her family in jeopardy. But that’s just what happens when a shadowy figure corners her during an evening stroll and blackmails her with the threat of treason.

She returns to her family just as the London Season is getting underway, and is shocked when the French prisoner appears in her parlor calling himself by a new name, Christien de Meuse, and carrying a letter from the shadowy man.

While she should be helping her younger sisters, bookish Cassandra, who’s about to get married, and headstrong Honore, who’s about to enter into London society, Lydia can’t help being preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Nor can she deny her attraction to him. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can he be trusted? Is she putting her family in danger or sparing them from harm? 

With an eye for detail and in-depth knowledge of the period, Laurie Alice Eakes brings alive the drawing rooms of London’s elite. 

My thoughts: 

A Necessary Deception was a wonderful book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is filled with everything a good book needs – romance, intrigue, a few parties, the heroine falling for a spy…   

Lydia doesn’t want to be in London for the season with her two younger sisters and now she is being blackmailed. She would much rather be back in the country - in her cottage with her cat – where she doesn’t have to think about the French spy who is turning her world upside down.

I really appreciate that Laurie Alice Eakes’ is historically accurate in her writing and is able to weave details throughout the book without them overpowering the story. It is a hard balance and she does an amazing job.

A Necessary Deception will keep you on edge and guessing as it twists and turns. Can Lydia keep her sisters out of trouble? Can the Frenchman trusted with her heart?  I’ll bet you won’t put the book down until you find out! 

About the author: 

Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes wanted to be a writer since knowing what one was. 

Her first book won the National Readers Choice Award in 2007 and her third book was a Carol Award finalist in 2010. Between December of 2008 and January of 2010, she sold thirteen books to Barbour Publishing, Avalon Books, and Baker/Revell, making her total sales fifteen. Recently, she added two novella sales to that collection, as well as having her first book with Baker/Revell, Lady in the Mist, picked up by Crossings Book Club, and six of her books chosen for large print editions by Thorndike Press.

She has been a public speaker for as long as she can remember; thus, only suffers enough stage fright to keep her sharp. In 2002, while in graduate school for writing fiction, she began to teach fiction in person and online. She lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs, and probably too many cats. 

Find her online at  

A Necessary Deception is available starting October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. 

Now for the book giveaway!
Trying out a new gadget - enter below :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" Review & Giveaway

*If you haven't read it, check out my review of Susan May Warren's Heiress.

I know what you are thinking... My poor kids are starving because Susan May Warren wrote another book, but I promise you - I did feed them and then stayed up way too late because I couldn’t put it down!

About the book:
Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.

It's Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn't ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She's preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.

When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet's past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance. 

My thoughts:
Baby, It’s Cold Outside was a delightful story. As always, I enjoy Susan's descriptive story telling, she makes you feel like you are really there - in the middle of the story. You can almost feel the cold from the blizzard and the warmth of the fire.

Dottie is going to rediscover the real gift of Christmas and God has sent some unlikely people to help... Violet and Jake, Gordie and Arnie all help bring hope to the storm house and find some of their own along the way.

You will fall in love with the characters as you read their heartaches, struggles and fears. They may just have you looking at Christmas a little different this year.

About the author:
Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you! She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son)!

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at

Read what others are saying here and then click on the button below for a chance to win Kindle Fire: 

Now for the book giveaway!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Enter to Win a Kindle Fire!

Warm up to Christmas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!

One festive winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter



I am trying really hard to get caught up on life, so I apologize that the blog has taken a back seat.

Due to illness and kids activities and the fact that the Army still hasn't sent my husband home, I just don't have much time for anything. Will life ever be normal again?

This is way past due, but I am excited to announce that the winners of the last two giveaways are: 

sdehart for Heiress


Shoofly Mama for Along Wooded Paths


Books for all September and October winners, all books will be mailed by Friday the 19th.

If you follow mainly for the free ebooks, I encourage you to 'like' me on Facebook. I try to put up books as I find them and there have been some great ones this month.

I will have a couple more book giveaways coming up in the next few weeks. I just have to find time to read and review them! (Current giveaway: Baby It's Cold Outside - new giveaway for A Necessary Deception starts tomorrow!)

Thanks for hanging around even when I go AWOL :)

 Link up for the MilSpouse Weekly Roundup with Amanda's Daily Obsessions.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Along Wooded Paths" Book Review & Giveaway

*Don't miss the latest free & bargain ebook listing and take a minute to enter to win a copy of Susan May Warren's "Heiress" (only a few hours left!)*

I have never picked up a Tricia Goyer book that I didn't love and Along Wooded Paths was no exception. Tricia is an amazing author and her writing is just like she is in person - real and engaging. 

Don't miss your chance to download the first book in the Big Sky series for a reduced price. "Beside Still Waters" is currently only $3.99 for Kindle.

About the book: 
All she wanted was a simple Amish life . . . But now Marianna Sommer finds herself depending on Englisch neighbors. Although proud of living apart from the world, she and her newly relocated Amish family have discovered that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together.
As Marianna begins helping those different from herself—and receiving their help—her heart contemplates two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a closer walk with God than she’s ever seen before.
Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking her to sacrifice? Her traditions? Her community? The answer is found along the wooded paths.

My thoughts: 
Along Wooded Paths is the second book in Tricia's Big Sky Novels series. It continues the story of Marianna Sommer and her journey as she experiences God in new ways and struggles to know which path to follow. 

Does she marry the man she always planned and expected to? Or the Englischer that makes her feel special among the plain? As she draws closer to God, Marianna is torn between what she has always known and what else is out there.

I know what you're thinking, but this isn't just another Amish book. It is a warm and encouraging story and written in a way that draws you into the story. You will find yourself feeling for the characters - not just Marianna, but Ben, Aaron and even her parents - as they discover the paths that God had lain for them.

Along Wooded Paths was a sweet and wonderful read and I am already anticipating the next book in the series!

Read what others are saying about Along Wooded Paths.

About the author: 
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
For more about Tricia and her other books visit

Don't miss the Facebook Party and Live Author Chat! 

Tricia is celebrating the release of Along Wooded Paths with a Fabulous Facebook party on October 18th. She'll be giving away prizes and a sneak peak at the next book in the Big Sky series.

Then during the second half of the party she'll be hosting a LIVE AUTHOR CHAT on her website and announcing something BIG! CLICK here to RSVP for the party - then go here to sign up for the Live Author Chat.

Now for the giveaway!
How to enter:
1. Main entry - Leave a comment letting me know you want to win! 

Bonus entries - You must leave a separate comment for each in order for it to count!

2. Like "Our Crazy Life" on Facebook (or if you already do, leave a comment letting me know!)

3. Share this post on Facebook - or any other Social Networking Site using the "Share the Love" buttons below the post. One Bonus entry per 'share', make sure to leave a comment for each entry! (P.S. You can share 1x a day for each site!)

4. Follow me on Google Friend Connect (or if you already do, leave a comment letting me know!)

5. Add my button to your blog (Worth two entries, leave two comments!)

Make sure you leave a way to contact you, either by having your reply-to email address set or by leaving your email address in your posts.

Contest will end Thursday, 10/16/2011, at 10:00 pm CST and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

The winner will be mailed a copy of Tricia Goyer's Along Wooded Paths via media mail.

*Fine Print: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are all mine and I was not required to give a positive review.

I hope you win! ;)



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What's Your Song? "Bring Him Home"

A few 'quick' things before this weeks song: 

*Don't miss the most recent list of free and bargain books for Kindle.*

*I have one giveaway still going on (only 24 hours to go!) for a copy of  "Heiress" (it's amazing!) and a new one starting tomorrow for a chance to win a copy of Tricia Goyer's "Along Wooded Paths".*

*The winner of "A Heart Revealed" is Helen W. Sending you an email!*

*If you are a Military Wife looking for ways to better connect with your Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine (even when he is deployed!)? Join in "The Husband Project" starting October 10th. There will be prizes!*

Okay, housekeeping out of the way....

My song this week is a great song from Les Misérables, done by my favorite tenor, Anthony Kearns. He does an amazing job on it. I hope you enjoy "Bring Him Home".

Linking up with Goodnight Moon for "What's YOUR Song"


"The Husband Project" Especially for Military Wives

Are you looking for ways to better connect with your Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine? 

Join us for an online book study of The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp. 

Is your hubby deployed? We have special ideas just for you! 

We even have tons of fabulous prizes to give away each day.

Get ready for:
•29 Days of focusing on your husband
•20 Different Authors offering advice and practical tips
•Over 100 books, gifts and goodies as giveaways
•A whole lot of people praying for you and your man 

Official kickoff on October 10th!   
You won't want to miss it! Get ready for the project:
-Get your own copy of "The Husband Project". While you don’t need the book to join in the fun,  it certainly will give you great ideas and inspiration when you feel like giving up!
  • You can order it from Kathi's site (use the code milmops for a special discount) 
  • Amazon (I got mine on Kindle for $9.87)
  • Local bookstore (and I’ve heard from several women that they are available on bases around the world.)
-Sign up for the blog and receive updates as we count down to launching the project.

-Find a couple of friends to hold you accountable. You are going to be much more successful if you team up with a friend or two to cheer you on. Besides, everything is better with a friend!

-Let your friends know! This book club is open to everyone, but is especially geared to all military wives and those women serving in the military – whether they are a part of MOPS or not. We want to be an encouragement to every wife.

I can't wait to get started! 


Monday, October 3, 2011

Free & Bargain ebooks for Kindle 10-3-11

There are some great free and bargain books this week. In fact, after working with kids at church yesterday, I did nothing but lounge around and read. It was kind of nice, but I am playing catch up today. Monday, ugh.

I currently have two contests to win a book going on now. Don't miss you chance to own a copy of Susan May Warren's Heiress (runs through the 6th of Oct) or Julie Lessman's A Heart Revealed (ends 10/3 - only a few hours left!). I will have a few more book giveaways coming up soon! 

I am excited to announce that karenk is the winner of Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon! Watch your email :) 

Before the books, just a few reminders: 

  • Prices change often and without notice. Books are usually only free (or reduced) for a limited time. Always check the price before clicking 'download'.
  • You can read these books, even if you don't have a Kindle, by downloading the free app for your computer or phone. For a full list of apps, please click here. Amazon has just announced a new line of Kindles for as low as $79 or read in color (and lots more!) on a Kindle Fire for only $199.
  • Please consider following my blog on Google Friend Connect or by 'liking' my Facebook page. I will post books as soon as I find them on Facebook and they aren't always free long enough to make it to the blog.
  • If you download a book, please 'Share the Love' by using the buttons below each post to let your friends know. And please leave a comment, I love to hear from you!
  • If you enjoy the free book posts, please consider shopping through my links when you do purchase from Amazon. The small commission I receive for your purchase helps me justify all the time I spend on this blog to my Soldier! Thanks :)

Sorry, no texts links today. Please click on the image to go to the download page!

Read my review of Lady in the Mist here!

Bargain books:

Only $3.99 - I will be reviewing and giving away a copy of the 2nd book in the series, Along Wooded Paths: A Big Sky Novel,later on this month.


Happy Reading!