Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Angel on Main Street

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to start thinking about Christmas, and there's nothing quite like a tender Christmas story to get you into the holiday mood. Fortunately, I had the good fortune to receive a copy of An Angel on Main Street by Kathi Oram Peterson, which I read in one sitting.

Micah Connors is an eleven-year-old boy who has been in and out of trouble since his father died in the Korean war. His mother has taken him and his little sister, Annie, to a new town in the hopes of starting over. Micah has promised to be good, but his new friend needs help and despite all his efforts, he makes a series of mistakes which seem to have him heading back to his old ways. But the local sheriff has taken an interest not only in Micah, but in Micah's mother, much to his dismay.

Peterson did an exellent job showing Micah's frustration, his yearning to be the man in the family. He wants more than anything to make his mother proud and do something that will save his little sister's life. Yet Annie is ill and fading fast, and only a Christmas miracle can save her. Yes, an angel. Or close enough. An Angel on Main Street is one of those stories that make you want to believe.

For more information about this book, visit the author's websites:

http://www.kathiswritingnook.com/
http://www.kathiorampeterson.com/

Peterson is also sponsoring a contest in conjunction with the release of this book from October 15th until December 15th. Anyone can enter by emailing her at Kathiorampeterson@yahoo.com about an experience you have had with someone who became an angel in your life. The winner will be announced on her blog (http://www.kathiswritingnook.com/). A gift certificate from either Seagull Book or Deseret Book will be given to the winner and the “Angel” in his/her life.

What a great idea! Write now about the angel in your life this Christmas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Win a copy of Dawn's Early Light by Laurie (L.C.) Lewis


Lovers of historical fiction will be excited to know that L.C. Lewis's new novel Dawn's Early Light, book three of her Free Men and Dreamer’s series, is now available. This compelling novel is set against the backdrop of the War of 1812 and covers the first American-born generation—the children of the Founding Fathers.

For those of you not familiar with Lewis's series, don't worry about needing to read the first two novels before this one. Dawn's Early Light can be read on its own or as a continuation of the first two novels. In fact, it was the first book I read in the series. I am not normally a huge fan of historical fiction, but this fast-paced novel kept my interest, both entertaining and showing me things about the period I'd never known before. The author has done an amazing amount of research and her characters are memorable. I particularly found it interesting to read of battles that I have learned about before, and to see how Lewis's make-believe characters can add so much understanding and feeling to what is going on.

Post a comment here and on any other blog site talking about the book to be entered in a drawing to win an autographed copy of Dawn's Early Light and a unique, handcrafted silver "Liberty" necklace made by Sterling Obsessions. Winners will be announced on Lewis's blog http://www.laurielclewis.blogspot.com/ on December 19th.

If you love historical fiction, or even sort of like it, you won't want to miss Dawn's Early Light. So go out and buy it today! The book can be bought online at Amazon.com, at Seagull Book and Tape, and other retailers. For more information about Lewis and her books visit her website: http://www.laurielclewis.com.

(Note: A copy of Dawn's Early Light was provided to me free of charge so I could do this review.)

Keeping Trim After Thirty-Seven

I have finally discovered it! Yes, the secret to losing the weight that most everyone, even those who've never had a weight problem before, have put on after age thirty-seven. You see, once you reach this ripe old age, you are only a hop, skip, and jump away from forty, which every teenager knows means you are practically ancient. Your metabolism starts complaining, "Hey, I've been doing this a long time now, and I'm tired. No, I'm exhausted, so I think I'm going to slack off a bit. Okay, a lot. Who cares? I've paid my dues."

Of course, it didn't bother to communicate this important information to you, and so you blithely eat on. You've never had a problem before. Chocolate, cookies, chips, and sweets never stuck on your hips and waist. "I have good genes," you'd always say, feeling sorry for those who were not quite so lucky. But now suddenly you are feeling every piece of chocolate and even a single piece of pizza adds a half a pound to your weight.

Now for the first time in your life, you finally begin to understand the nightmare that all those other people without "good" genes have endured all these years. Your waistline thickens, the fleshy part on your upper arms swing whenever you lift up your arm, and your sweats are so tight on your thighs that they look more like a second skin than something you bought at a department store. Your husband stops asking you if you want ice cream after dinner, and your children's friends no longer say they wished their mom had your figure.

What do you do? Give up and eat more chocolate? Buy clothes two sizes larger? Well, that might be the simpliest thing to do. In fact, it might be the wisest. There are a lot of happy, healthy people out there who weigh ten, twenty, or forty pounds more than they did in high school.

But there is another answer for those who don't want to grow large gracefully. The answer isn't exercise, though exercise is always nice for firming up. (Because most regular people can't work in enough exercise to allow them to continue to eat as they did as twenty-year-olds.) The answer is not some fad diet, which is only good while it lasts. It's not the lipo or surgery that some women resort to in desperation.

The secret is this: Don't eat.

I know, I know, it's a terribly hard thing to do. But the bottom line is calories. It doesn't matter so much what you eat, though some foods definitely give you more mileage, but how much is going into your body versus how much your lazy metabolism is willing to process. Or something like that. Fortunately, you don't have to completely stop eating, because your metabolism hasn't given out on you altogether. You just have to eat less. Less chocolate, less pizza, less of everything. A lot less. Grrrrrr. Except vegetables. Those you can always eat.

The good news is that since your metabolism is taking a break, the food lasts longer in your system and you don't feel hungry as you would have on the same sparse diet when you were younger. However, your stomach and brain don't realize there's been a change for a while, and they still think they should be on the old schedule, so you have to trick them by eating a whole bunch of vegetables and fruit for weeks on end so they think they're getting as much as they always did. Then by the time they realize the calories have been cut, they are good with the deal because they thought they were getting as much all along.

Yes, it's a matter of trickery and starvation. SIGH. I don't know about you, but shopping for a larger size of clothes sounds like a lot more fun.