Friday, May 13, 2016

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill *Review








All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish---time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie's return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie's claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret---one that holds the key to Allie's freedom.

Had me on the edge of my seat the entire time! I really loved this book. I almost read it too fast, just to get to the end. I am seriously considering reading it again on vacation to slow it down a bit. I got through it too fast.
Those who you think are in your corner, aren't always the ones actually in your corner. And those who you think are against you, may be your biggest advocates.
My heart hurt for Allie as she tried to regain a relationship with her daughter Caroline, just to be snubbed by a teen not fully knowing her own mother. And Allie's parents though they are supportive, really aren't sure they believe Allie either. She has to restart her life in a town where everyone has assumed her guilty, just as the court did. She is able to get a job at the Vet's office her father previously owned. It was nice to have new people in town that Allie could try to befriend. Especially in a town where you don't know who is your friend, and who is a foe.


After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

She holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and a bachelor's degree in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a second master's degree in interactive technology from the University of Alabama. She is a native of Upstate New York and currently resides near the Alabama Gulf Coast with her two children.

http://litfusegroup.com/author/lmcneill

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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ARTistic Pursuits Inc. *Review


ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. provides comprehensive art programs for homeschooling from preschool to high school levels. We had the privilege of reviewing Sculpture Technique Model which is geared for ages 11-18. I used the program with my 14 year old son, who just loves art.



ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

This particular book takes a look at the world of sculpting with putty, clay and fiber arts. In the time of our review we were only able to tackle one unit, and we chose Unit 2: Creating Scale with Clay.
The art supplies required are listed in the front of the book, broke down by unit so you can specifically get the supplies you need. Also on the ARTistic Pursuits website they have a list of supplies and even links to purchase. Many you can find at your local craft stores or ordering online. We had never worked with actual clay, so this was a fun experience for both of us. We purchased the Amaco clay online as well as some of the tools we needed to work with the clay.

You don't have to do the units in any particular order, they aren't dependent on each other for art projects. In starting with our clay unit we learned about scale and were shown a work of art and some background with it as well. One thing I have appreciated about ARTistic Pursuits is not only the actual art projects, but the background information, the study of different art aspects, and the real art that they share with the students. Much  more than just 'crafting'.

We learned the properties of the clay, which was a bit surprising for me after using oven baked or quick air dry. The clay literally takes days to dry, and you need to keep a lose fit plastic bag over it so it doesn't crack or dry too quickly. Also the dust from the clay should not be inhaled, so your work surface is important to prevent the clay from sticking and drying in bits on your surface.

The first project we did was your basic pinch pot. Canyon chose to make a very small pot for his.



The next project was using a slab method utilizing a container to mold the clay around. This will make a larger vase. This project will not actually hold water, nor is it safe for drinking from.
We thought it would be ok to utilize a very thick cardboard tube for our base. We found out later, that wasn't the best idea. It is recommended to use plastic or metal, and you really do need to do that. Because the clay is so wet, and it sits for several days to dry, the cardboard was absorbing the dampness and started to fall apart, not being able to retain its shape as well. We had a plastic end cap for the bottom of the vase and were not able to get it out. Art is definitely a learning experience.



He chose to spray paint both of his projects and we found the perfect spray paint to make it look textured.


We learned about rolling, scoring, cutting, texturing, and cutting the clay. We also learned about scoring the clay to attach another piece of clay to it. They shared additional techniques you could try on this project or possibly another one.
The 6th project was making a bust by using newspaper in the center to form the base of the bust.
You could do a self portrait, or just a random person. After this dried for a week it was to be painted.
Coiling was the last technique taught. This is where you build coils of clay on one another make to make a stack. It was suggested to make an animal from this technique. We plan on continuing with this unit and adding in the others this summer.
Unit 3 is fiber arts, and we have an angora rabbit that we are hoping to utilize her hair to learn some of the techniques for.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticPursuitsInc


Other crew mates reviewed products from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Click on the banner to read their review.


ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin *Review & Giveaway


10 Ways God is Different From Us
and why that is a good thing
By Jen Wilkin

God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.

We're not.

And that's a good thing.

Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone.

Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God's limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.

Don't you just read those words and sigh? Such freedom in knowing that our God is limitless and that we can leave our cares and worries to Him.
Jen is down to earth, and witty. You will love how she shares her life through her work. I love how she shares scripture to enlighten us to the characteristics of God. She uses truth, the Word.

Jen shares 10 ways that God is better than us. He is infinite, sovereign, eternal, self sufficient, omnipresent, omnipotent, immutable, omniscient, self existent, and incomprehensible.
Each of these characteristics are a chapter. After each chapter there is an opportunity for reflection and prayer.
This would make an excellent corporate Bible study book.
I was thankful that I had this is a physical book so I could underline parts that spoke to me!

Jen Wilkin in an excellent writer and this was a positive addition to my library.



Check out Jen's blog HERE

Enter to win a copy of this book for yourself or a friend!
Ends May 22, 2016 US only




Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


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