Monday, July 26, 2010

Novel Novel Review and contest reminder

It's that time again!

Here's a quick reminder of my rating system

A+--I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book. In most cases, I passed it on to my child/teen.

A--I enjoyed this book and I might pass it on to my child/teen.

B--I liked this book, but probably won't pass it on to my child/teen.

C--I thought it was okay, but I won't pass it on to my child/teen.

D--I didn't like this book, and won't allow my child/teen to read it.

F--I hope I never have to go here. =D

I will give reasons for my rating in my review, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you find your book here, don't panic if I rate it below an A. These are my personal preferences and I'm only one small person in a large market. =D

On to the review!

THE HEALING SPELL by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Rating A+ (and a few more +s)

Category: Middle Grade contemporary

Livie has a frightening secret; her mother is in a coma and she's responsible for it. She's terrified her mother might die, and even more terrified her family will hate her if they find out her secret. She already feels so alone that losing their love would be unbearable.

Burdened with the truth, Livie tries to come to terms with her guilt, but guilt isn't the only weight on her eleven-year-old shoulders. She's trying to find her own place in the world. Unfortunately, her world is changing and she's not sure which way to turn.

Her older sister is supposed to be getting married and leaving, her little sister cries at everything, and her father quit his job to care for his wife. Circumstances are forcing Livie to adapt, and she isn't very good at it.

After deciding her best hope at redemption is to heal her mother, Livie visits Miz Allemond, a traiteur, and gets a healing spell. The spell isn't full of magic words and instant results. Instead, it forces Livie to take a closer look at the world and people around her, including herself.

I loved THE HEALING SPELL! Though not my usual fare of fantasy or paranormal, this book captured me from the start. It was easy for me to feel connected with Livie as she struggled to find her place in her family and the world around her.

Livie reminded me what it was like to be eleven; that in-between age where you're no longer a child, but not a teen either. Her loneliness and longing reached through the pages of the book and grabbed the lonely, longing child within me. With a firm hold on my inner child, Livie took me on an adventure of self-discovery.

I shed more tears while reading this book than I have in a long time and felt better for the catharsis. Through Livie, I rediscovered my eleven-year-old self and gained a stronger understanding of the woman I am today. THE HEALING SPELL is more than a book; it's a salve for the soul, a balm for the burdened, and an enjoyable read for everyone.

THE HEALING SPELL does more than heal the characters, it heals the reader!


I was thrilled to meet with Kimberley on Saturday. I should have taken my camera, but I don’t like having my picture taken so it’s not something I thought to bring. Anyway, Kimberley and I had some great conversations about life and writing and the life of writing. She’s so gracious and easy to talk to. If you ever get a chance to go to one of her book signings, don’t miss it!

She signed my copy of her book and also signed the copy for the contest (pictured below)!


She even gave me a bunch of The Healing Spell bookmarks to help spread the word:


There are more than three bookmarks, but these three are up for grabs. I’ll be including them as prizes for the contest. If you haven’t entered, there’s still time. However, the contest ends on July 30th (that’s Friday) so don’t wait too long and miss your chance to win a signed copy of The Healing Spell (and the gator bookmark I made to go with it) or one of the three bookmarks!

Now I must go mow the lawn and do some laundry. At some point today I also have to put my two new bookmarks in my Etsy shop.


Hopefully I’ll find time to do some writing today too.

Write on?

Monday, July 19, 2010

I’m back online!

Did you miss me? You probably didn’t even notice I was gone. ;-)

My internet connection has been down. I got it back on Friday, but I was so busy trying to prepare for my kids’ birthday bash (we had a party for the three youngest on Saturday) that I didn’t have a chance to get online.

Saturday was crazy.  It began by waking at 3:00 a.m. to get ready to go to my mom’s house. We had to arrive by 5:00 a.m. to participate in the highway clean up (we adopted a mile of highway in Snowflake in memory of my brother and sister-in-law). After the clean up, we ate breakfast. After breakfast my sisters, mother, and I had a Ladies Day (we get together every other month and do something together) where we planted herbs (I planted rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, mint, and oregano) and harvested from the garden (squash, zucchini, and peas). With the planting and harvesting done, we ate lunch and visited until the party started at 3:00 pm. We had cake, ice cream, presents, and lots of fun with the cousins. The two girls went home with the in-laws so we packed the boys in the car and came home. We arrived at 7:00 pm and all I wanted to do was fall into bed . . . so I did.

Yesterday was our 12th anniversary. We didn’t have a lot of money after throwing the birthday bash and buying birthday presents (two youngest kids each wanted a DSi and games). Hubby bought me a card and I made him a card in Publisher. ;-) We went out to dinner last night (as inexpensive as we could without doing fast food). It was simple and sweet. =)

Anyway, with my internet being down, you’d think I’d have finished my rewrite, but I didn’t. I did get some writing done and am hoping to get more done today (but youngest son is home with no one to entertain him . . . oh, how I tried to convince him to go with the in-laws, but they don’t have a Wii and he also got a Wii game for his birthday so he wanted to play it).

Here’s my progress:

I also spent some time reading during my internet free days/nights! I finished all the books I needed to review for (Other, Clockwork Angel, Trackers, Frozen in Time, but I still need to write up the reviews) and Saturday I was happy to receive The Healing Spell in the mail (one of the two copies I ended up ordering). I was too tired to read it on Saturday, but, after I made the anniversary card, I spent some time reading it on Sunday (while hubby was working). When hubby went off to work this morning at 6:30, I started reading and finished it by 8:30. I LOVED IT!!

I’m expecting the second copy and also Linger hopefully today (I’m off to check the mail after I write this because I have to take youngest son to spend his birthday money so he’ll leave me alone to write LOL).

So, I’ll be posting a Double Trouble Contest within the next couple of days for someone to win the extra copy of The Healing Spell.

Now, I must be off to roam the store with youngest son as he tries to decide what to buy with his $20 birthday money.

Write on!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

This is the life

Well, daughter is still sick! We took her to the doctor on Wednesday. They did a strep swab and it came back negative. They couldn’t find anything else to indicate otherwise so it was diagnosed as a virus.

Wednesday night, daughter broke out in a rash. It isn’t itchy or anything, but she was still having fevers. I left a message for the doctor Thursday to update them. I missed the nurse calling back because I was outside watering the plants, but doctor said daughter’s fever had probably broken and the virus would run it’s course. I called back (but it was after hours by then) and left another message to tell them her fever had not broken before the rash developed and that she was still having fever spikes. Our doctor doesn’t work on Friday, but his office called back that morning while we were out (I had packed up daughter to go buy milk . . . I know she was sick and all, but I had no milk and couldn’t leave her home alone). They had reviewed the case with another doctor in the office who decided to treat with antibiotics and had faxed a prescription to the pharmacy.

First of all, you have to understand that I’m not a fan of treating viruses with antibiotics and creating super viruses. Second, I trust our personal doctor, but not some of the others in the office. So, hubby and I debated about whether or not to pick up the prescription (the pharmacy is open until 9:00 pm so we had time). If it had been any of my other children, I probably would have made them tough it out until our personal doctor returned to the office on Monday, but, with daughter’s past medical history (she’s the one who got RSV, almost died, had heart surgery to repair two holes in her heart, and now has a leaky aortic valve), we decided we better have the prescription over the weekend, just in case.

So, I went to pick up the prescription last night at about 8:30.

Not being our regular doctor, the other physician had called in a prescription for pills. My daughter will NOT swallow a pill.

It’s probably for the best since it’s likely a virus anyway, but daughter is still having fevers today (though not above 100.4 so far) so we’re kind of stressed and trying not to freak out too bad . . . but we always freak out when it comes to her.

Still, I managed to get a bit of writing done Thursday and yesterday as she lay in my bed and watched TV (the TV is distracting enough, but she kept asking questions and making comments about the programs she watched).

My MIL will be bringing the other two kidlets home this afternoon, so I have to take some time to straighten up the house before she gets here. I’m hoping to write more after MIL leaves, but I’m sure kidlets will want to tell me all about what fun they had so I doubt my writing will happen.

That being said, I’m still determined to finish this rewrite before the end of the month (yeah, time is running out)!

Write on . . . well, unless you have cleaning or kids or something else you have to do first. ;-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The best laid plans . . .

Well, things never work out like I plan them. We took the kids to the in-laws over the weekend. They’re supposed to be staying for a week so I’ve been looking forward to a week of writing.

It hasn’t happened.

My mother called yesterday and begged me to drive down and help her with the garden. I took my oldest son (he was off work yesterday) with me and we picked peas and zucchini and pulled weeds. It was fun, but it meant no writing time yesterday.

After I got home last night, my mother-in-law called to inform me that oldest daughter was running a fever (102). They gave her some children’s ibuprofen and kept an eye on her today, but her fever went back up (103) so I left at 4:20 pm and drove an hour (almost half way) to meet them in Clint’s Wells and bring daughter home. The other two kids didn’t want to come home so they’re staying until Saturday or Sunday.

I was able to call and get daughter an appointment with her doctor tomorrow so we’ll see what’s going on . . . I hope.

I did manage to get a bit of writing done this morning. I only wish it could have been more. Still, considering everything that’s been happening, I’m glad I even got this much done!


14% down and 86% to go. =)

At least oldest daughter isn’t demanding when she’s sick. She usually lays around on the couch with her drinks on a side table and watches TV or something. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get some writing done tomorrow . . . but we’ll see if it happens.

Since the other kids aren’t here, she may want to lay in here on my bed and watch TV which will mean too much distraction for me to write.

But that’s okay, she’s my little girl and I’m willing to sacrifice writing time if it helps her to feel a bit better. That’s what moms are for, and I’m a mom before I’m a writer . . . dang it. ;-)

Mom on!