Monday, November 25, 2013

Marriage Monday: The Marriage Box

Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for; Companionship, intimacy, friendship etcetera. The truth is, that marriage at the start is an empty box, you must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage, love is in people, and people put love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage, you have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art, and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Marriage Monday: Duty

"The first duty of love is to listen." -Paul Tillich

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reading Report 16

What I read from
October 14-November 14

Gallant Lady: 
A Biography of the USS Archerfish 
by Ken Henry and Don Keith
Historical Fiction. War. History

Stories about what role the Archerfish played in WWII and the Cold War. How she sunk the largest ship ever sunk by a submarine. Men lining up to be assigned to serve on Archerfish, and had the Navy's only all bachelor crew.  Also memories from those who were aboard, from actual days out at sea to how they entertained themselves at port. 

I actually picked this up for my husband many years ago and finally got around to reading it myself. History and war buffs would enjoy this one. I liked it but it was rather lengthy for my interest.

Making Faces 
by Amy Harmon
New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Reviewed a few posts back. Read my full review here

I'd recommend this book.

The Autistic Brain: 
Thinking Across the Spectrum 
by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek
Scientific, Non fiction

Incredibly fascinating, this book weaves both scientific studies and her own experiences. She herself has autism and so participated in many many studies through out the years and tried to find the best ways to use her knowledge and skill sets in a way that would help further her education and employment.

If this book sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend it! I've never read anything on the topic of Autism before but I have nieces and nephews on the spectrum so I enjoyed hearing more about the studies and ways to encourage and enhance their abilities.

Jim Henson The Biography 
by Brian Jay Jones
Non fiction, biography

Growing up knowing he wanted to be on television, Jim Henson found a way to make that happen. Fun look on the many projects (Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth) and the folks that worked along side in the studios, puppets and creator shop to bring these projects to life. 

Totally enjoyed this one! Interesting to hear about how each project got started, who's idea it was, how it was presented to finance backers or television shows. And how some of the projects took much longer than expected to get rolling and how the company even came to be. And how it all happened because of the man Jim Henson was. 

The Lucy Variations 
by Sara Zarr
Young Adult, Contemporary

Lucy worked hard to be where she was on the piano concert circuit but after being pushed too far (by her family) she walked away. Now, months later, she is trying to decide if it's what she still wants, if it would make her happy. And if it is, if she'd even be allowed to have it.   

I have read a lot of Sara Zarr books. This is one of the authors on my 'automatic' list. As in, when they write something new I will absolutely read it. With that being said, this wasn't my favorite of hers, but still a good read. I think the topic of turning your passion into a job and still loving it, could be spread/relateable across many artistic subjects and that alone may appeal to many to want to pick this one up. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Marriage Monday: Improve Your Relationship

Here's an article by AskMen on The 10 Proven Ways to Improve Your Relationship

I pulled a few out of their list to share today. I actually had written, in my own words, what these topics meant to me and why I pulled them out but then I had another idea. I thought it'd be fun if you were to come up with your own reasons why these are important. Or maybe even what you could do to put these topics into use in your relationship. Here are four of the ten. Follow the link below to read more in depth on the topics and to get the complete article.

-Solidify your friendship

-Appreciate each other

-Find common goals

-Understand anger

Read the rest of the article here:

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon (& Blog Tour Giveaway)

Title: Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: October 2013

Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

About the book:
Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My review: This is my third Amy Harmon book and one thing I love about her books is that they feel so complete. Making Faces fit right in. The character development is strong and thoughtful. Many times I felt like a fly on the wall, or even that I was a part of the town, the group of friends.

This book is a beautiful testament to true friendship. It's about people finding their way and figuring out more about themselves as they over come their own challenges and helping  friends through theirs. It's about being a part of a community, something bigger than yourself. But it's about finding out why you matter, why it's ok to fix yourself and not have to fix the world. It's about finding your worth.

He didn't know how to make her understand that she was so much more than just pretty. So he leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers. Very carefully. Not like the other night when he’d been scared and impulsive, and smacked her head against the wall in his attempt to kiss her. He kissed her now to tell her how he felt. He pulled away almost immediately, not giving himself a chance to linger and lose his head. He wanted to show her he valued her, not that he wanted to rip her clothes off. And he wasn't sure when it came right down to it that she wanted to be kissed by an ugly SOB. She was the kind of girl that would kiss him because she didn't want to hurt his feelings. The thought filled him with despair.

She let out a frustrated sigh and sat up, running her hands through her hair. It flowed through her fingers and down her back, and he wished he could bury his own hands in it, bury his face in the heavy locks and breathe her in. But he’d obviously upset her.

“I’m sorry, Fern. I shouldn't have done that.”

“Why?” she snapped, startling him enough that he winced. “Why are you sorry?” 

“Because you’re upset.” “I’m upset because you pulled away! You’re so careful. And it’s frustrating!”

Ambrose was taken back by her honesty, and he smiled, instantly flattered. But the smile faded as he tried to explain himself.

“You’re so small, Fern. Delicate. And all of this is new to you. I’m afraid I’m going to come on too strong. And if I break you or hurt you, I won’t survive that, Fern. I won’t survive it.” That thought was worse than walking away from her and he shuddered inwardly. He wouldn't survive it. He had already hurt too many. Lost too many.

Fern knelt in front of him, and her chin wobbled and her eyes were wide with emotion. Her voice was adamant as she held his face between her hands, and when he tried to pull away so she wouldn't feel his scars, she hung on, forcing his gaze.

“Ambrose Young! I have waited my whole life for you to want me. If you don’t hold me tight I won’t believe you mean it, and that’s worse than never being held at all. You better make me believe you mean it, Ambrose, or you will most definitely break me.”

“I don’t want to hurt you, Fern,” he whispered hoarsely.

“Then don’t,” she whispered back, trusting him. But there were lots of ways to cause pain. And Ambrose knew he was capable of hurting her in a thousand ways.

Ambrose stopped trying to pull his face away, surrendering to the way it felt to be touched. He hadn't allowed anyone to touch him for a long time. Her hands were small, like the rest of her, but the emotions they stirred in him were enormous, gigantic, all-consuming. She made him shake, made him quake inside, vibrate like the tracks under an on-coming train.

Her hands left his face and traveled down the sides of his neck. One side smooth, the other riddled with divots and scars and rippled where the skin had been damaged. She didn't pull away, but felt each mark, memorized each wound. And then she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his neck, just below his jaw. And then again on the other side, on the side that bore no scars, letting him know that the kiss wasn't about sympathy but desire. It was a caress. And his control broke.


Or purchase here:  Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Amazon UK | iTunes

More about the author:
Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know” – also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue and coming October 20, Making Faces.

I'd highly recommend these other books my Amy Harmon: 

Follow Amy Harmon:  Facebook | GoodreadsTwitter | Blog 

Blog Tour Giveaway (open internationally)

1st prize

  • Kindle Paperwhite 
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card 
  • Signed set of all 5 of Amy Harmon’s books! 

2nd prize

  • Signed copy of Making Faces 
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Marriage Monday: Honor

"What is honored is cultivated." -Plato

What do you honor?

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.