Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rush Revere


I know a lot of my recent posts haven't been HCR's and I hope you'll forgive me. With the 4th of July fast approaching, I had to share a review of Rush Limbaugh's history series for children.

No matter what you may think of the radio talk show guy, I ask you to push that aside, because these books speak for themselves.

If you have children at home, or if you know of some children who might like these books I couldn't recommend them more highly--they are phenomenal! My six-year-old daughter listens to the audio version of the books every day. I kid you not. Ever. Single. Day. And HOLY COW she is learning so much, I LOVE IT! She is telling me all the "cool" things she's learning about the pilgrims, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry and others. I'm just tickled pink!

The stories are exciting, funny and filled with accurate history in a way that is entertaining and engaging for kids.

So, I know this isn't my usual review (I didn't give it a rating, but it would be a Best of the Best for sure) but I got to thinking that if you are searching for something educational and trustworthy for your kids to enjoy, this is it for sure!

These stories are in print and audio...maybe even ebook, I don't know about that.

Have you heard of these before? Do you think your kids/grandkids/ friend's kids would like them? I almost guarantee they would...but in the immortal words of LeVar Burton, "You don't have to take my word for it."


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

God Bless America

July 4th is one of my favorite days of the year. 
As a kid I looked forward to pie and fireworks, but as an adult, I look forward to spending a little time with a 239 year old document. (Psssst...that would be the Declaration of Independence. And the Constitution too, but that didn't come until 1788. *wink*)
We are forever indebted to those brave men and women who gave their lives, fortunes and sacred honor so that we could be free today. I couldn't think of a better way to show my unshakable love for America, than to read what started it all. 

(image from

Sadly, those rights and freedoms are slipping away from us. But they don't have to. If we become familiar with our Constitution and hold sacred the principles and values our Founders loved, we can make a difference by educating those around us who may not yet understand the vital nature of that document.

I plead with you, if you do any reading this upcoming Fourth of July week, please read the Constitution. Have you ever read it? Has it been a while? Well, now is the time to remedy that! I know you will be so glad you did.

(image from

No matter how unpopular it continues to become--to be a Patriot and to love this country, fly the flag or say God Bless America--I can never stop. I read the Declaration and Constitution every July 4th, and every time I do it fills me with gratitude and renewed resolve to do my part--in my own little way--to keep America strong.

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July next week. 
God Bless America!

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Hello to my fellow HCR readers!!

Here are the answers to my "first sentence" blog post from a few weeks ago.

Did you get any of them right? :) All of these books are on my "keeper" shelf. I hope you've read all of these. If you haven't, might I suggest you get started?! *wink*

After two years, they'd finally cut him loose.

This street is impassable, not even Jackassable.

His name was Judas.

"This is madness."

"Half-hidden beneath the bare-limbed canopy of a dogwood tree, the grave digger kept a reverent distance..."

"A nightmare seized him from sleep, turned around his throat, and filled his mouth so full he could not cry out."

Jurassic World

As you must know by now, I like movies. I like them almost as much as I like books. We don't go out to the theater too often, but I do every now and then and if it's a good show, it's totally worth the money and a wonderful experience. If it's "Into the Woods", I want to die.

Last evening I was one of the millions of people that shelled out their hard earned cash to watch terrified people run for their lives from the evil jaws of.... dun dun dunnnnnnn.... bunnies.


...... I mean dinosaurs.

Movie rating: Pass the Popcorn.
(for an explanation of my rating system, checkout the post below this one. ;)

Man, Spielberg is a smart dude. He knows I'm one of the of adults who watched Jurassic Park in the theater as a kid and thought it was the coolest movie ever made. He knew that if he made another one, that I would get excited and would plan to go without giving it much thought. Let's face it, Jurassic 2 and 3 were terrible so NATURALLY I went hoping this would be better. And it was. Kinda.

I won't go into the plot of the story, there isn't much of one--if you saw the first one, you'll know what to expect in that department. However, the special effects were fantastic and some of the scenes were actually pretty intense. Bravo, Steven.

But seriously, folks, WHO decided on these characters?! WHO thought it was ok to do NO character development?! The thing that made the first one so great was that we CARED about the characters and didn't want them to be eaten. (Or in Nedry's case we actually did want him eaten.) At any rate, in Jurassic World, they hopped right past anything that might make me know something, ANYTHING about these characters that would help me FEEL for them, and swung right into making them dino-snacks.

Don't get me wrong, the hero kinda carried the movie for me, even though we knew little to nothing about his background. He was rugged and handsome and tough--very likable. The heroine was just plain bleh and the boys were more shallow than a kiddie pool.

The dinosaurs however, were fantastic! We all know velociraptors didn't really look like that, but we don't care. It's entertaining and thrilling and even though there are still things that bother me about the actual story, the fun factor nixed the rest. It was a great summer movie.

Would I see it again? Eh...probably. There were some really exciting scenes..... and Chris Pratt is pretty dreamy. ;)

Be advised-- In my opinion, this is not a movie for children! I was very disappointed in the amount of swearing that went on. Way too much--totally unnecessary. I don't remember as much in the first one. And there are some very intense scenes of death and carnage, so be aware of that.

Anyway, I hope you don't mind my new little avenue for blogging. Talking about books is my favorite, but every now and then I just gotta talk about something else too. ;)

Have you seen this? Will you, if you haven't already? Let me know what you thought!

Happy Watching! ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If you give a girl a costume...

As you well know, I love historical costumes. :) I would dress up every day if people wouldn't think I was CRA-ZEE for going grocery shopping in stockings and stays. *teehee* So, for funs and giggles I thought I'd share some pictures from the photo shoot we did for the cover of book three in my Daughters of His Kingdom series, SO RARE A GIFT.

This last shoot was SO much fun! I was so blessed--seriously blessed--to find an amazing dress for an even more amazing price. It fit perfectly without needing a single alteration. Incredible! I even got to wear pocket panniers...and for a historical-ista like me, that was kinda the best ever. ;)

The hair was a blast, and also, remarkably easy! I was scared to death it would be a disaster, but seeing as how I'm not a "hair-doer" as my daughter would say, I think it turned out okay. :)

My good friend Heather Smith was kind enough to come out in the freezing cold to assist--you helped so much, Heather! Could not have done it without you!

And I've been so fortunate to work with an amazing photographer, who also happens to be my good friend--Danyell Diaz. She knows exactly what will look good and makes the experience so much fun.

I hope you don't mind that I share these photos, ladies. Let me know what you think! Would you like to dress up? What would you want to wear?  

Happy Reading!!

Here's Heather and I talking as we walked to the next spot for shooting. It was so windy and cold!

Dancing a wee little jig...

"Hold on, gotta fix this hair." I must have used half a can of hairspray to keep this thing in place. If it had been any more windy I am sure it wouldn't have stayed together at all. The minute I got back into the car, Heather looked at me and laughed, "Your hair just totally died right this second." LOL!

Heather and Danyell were so much fun and we kept each other laughing the whole time. We were the only ones at the location that day. Everyone else was smart enough to stay in where it was warm.

Me and Danyell.

The grounds were lovely--even during mid-February when the trees were totally bare.

Funny faces...

The setting was so lovely, I would really enjoy going back there when its not 30 degrees!

Hair shot...and fun with picmonkey. *wink*

The bodice of this dress is just so lovely. I wish clothes were this pretty now-a-days.

These shoes are so incredibly comfortable! Seriously!! I don't know if they were this comfy for ladies of the 18th century, but I was genuinely surprised at how these fit so perfectly.

Last picture, ladies...
 I purchased "authentic" 18th century stockings, and of course that means there's no elastic to keep them from falling down. The one thing I did not have--which would have helped--were garters, so I had to keep pulling up/straightening my "socks". ;) By the end of the shoot, my stockings were not quite as white as they were in the beginning and my fingers were bright red from the cold. More than 300 pictures later, we decided to call it a day. But I'd go out and do it again in a heartbeat, no matter the weather. ;)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The power of first impressions...

Today whilst visiting a real-live book store, (I LOVE Amazon, but the smell of books is intoxicating therefore I must indulge, at least weekly) I came across a book in the children's section and upon seeing the Revolutionary-looking cover immediately plucked it from the shelf and was quickly lead to the book's companion in the series, prompting me to open to page one:

"The best time to talk to ghosts is just before the sun comes up."

Holy whaaaaaaaat????

OK, let's be honest, I was not expecting THAT--that, my friends, is a GREAT opening line!!! (In my humble opinion.)
From thence, I was hooked-- I needed to keep reading Laurie Halse Anderson's CHAINS, and afterward FORGE. Here's the funny thing, though. I ended up buying the book I actually went to the store to buy--THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE, BUT I seriously can't stop thinking about that book and so inevitably I will buy it and read it. That's a powerful first line!

It got me to thinking... what are some of the opening lines/sentances of books that you love? Since we focus mainly on HCR's around here, tell me what HCR had you from the first sentance!

Here are my three: (See if you can guess which ones they are...)

"After two years, they'd finally cut him loose."

"This Street Is Impassable, Not Even Jackassable."

"His name was Judas."

Any ideas?!?!?! It was REALLY hard to cut it down to only three, I could go on and on. In fact...
here are a few more just for fun:

"This is madness."

"Half-hidden beneath the bare-limbed canopy of a dogwood tree, the grave digger kept a reverent distance..."

"A nightmare seized him from sleep, turned around his throat, and filled his mouth so full he could not cry out."

I am sure you are curious for the answers if you don't know these books, so I'll post the answers in a few days.

PLEASE tell your favorite first lines!!!! I would love to know!!

Also, I wanted to thank you for your insights and comments on my Kindle post. You ladies are wonderful!

I look forward to your comments!!

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 1, 2015

To Kindle or not to Kindle-- that is the question.

Back among the living! Wow, it's been a million years. At least.... Sheesh!! *LOL*
I've really missed communicating with you ladies so I'm happy to do a quick post I've been thinking about for some time.

In a world where your phone will do pretty much everything expect take out the trash, I'm noticing everyone seems to be retreating more and more into their own little world and I think its disturbing. Are you with me?

I'm not much better than the masses. I carry my phone everywhere. I use it for SO much that I'm not sure how I'd live without it. It's my phone, my phonebook, my "map", my radio, my email, my internet, my camera, my notebook...kinda scary how much I do with it. And let me not forget--my phone is my bookshelf.

That Kindle app!!! Oh baby!!! I don't know what I'd do without it. For someone who usually has 4 books going at one time (I know some of you have WAY more than that, but that's a lot for me) it is uber handy to read on my phone. I love it! Where before I'd have to carry several books in my purse,--much to the chagrin of my shoulder--now, all I need it my trusty Galaxy Note 4. Kindle, my shoulder thanks you.

BUT..... cue, menacing music....

The more I use my phone and the more I READ on my phone, the more I get headaches--so much so that I can't even LOOK at my phone or a computer for hours as a time. NOO!!! So frustrating! Even though actual made-from-paper books will always be my favorite, I LOVE my ebooks. *wahhh!!!*

As I've been thinking about it though, I think this is a blessing in disguise. I have this yearning to be less technology dependent, so in a way, these annoying headaches are a good thing. I find myself reaching for magazines and paper books more. I have started writing more letters in place of emails, and I find ways to avoid my phone, where before I was reaching for it very often-- and I LOVE that!

I feel like I rediscovered the joy of reading paper books (never stopping loving it, just in case you were worried! LOL) thanks to the invention of the ebook.

So, this whole post was just to try and answer the three year old question.....To Kindle or not to Kindle.... and I think the answer is: for me, Kindle about 43.7% of the time. ;)

Tell me--how much do you Kindle?!?!?!

Happy Reading!!