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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ruby Dawn

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Ruby Dawn
White Rose Publishing (January 27, 2012)
Raquel Byrnes
A painful past. A love returns A desperate plan.
Former street kid, Ruby now reaches out to runaways through her medical clinic in the worst part of the city, but her escalating battle with a gang leader puts that in jeopardy.

Cavalier, a risk-taker, charming… Ruby’s first love is now on the right side of the law and the center of a dangerous DEA sting involving her clinic.  Tom’s disappearance ten years ago broke her heart and rattled her faith. As their romance relights, memories of what it costs to love him flood her with fear.

Ruby’s battle with the gang ignites a firestorm of danger, and a pattern of lies from within her own camp emerges. With Tom’s life in the balance and her world cast in shadows, can Ruby trust God as she once did…or has she strayed too far, for too long to ever return?
 Raquel married her college sweetheart seventeen years ago and you can still find them spending time together chatting over a cup of coffee like when they were first dating.

Her husband is her biggest fan and most ardent supporter. He encourages her to take time for writing as often as he can. He regularly gives her gift cards to her favorite coffee house so that she can go there to write and relax.

He has been known to whip up his famous chicken quesadillas complete with guacamole and brownies for dessert.

Raquel has written books for more than a decade. She loves to do research and has taken private detective courses, gun classes, and underground tours to get every detail right for her novels. She writes romantic suspense with an edge-of-your-seat pace. Stories filled with faith, love, and adventure.  You can learn more about Ms Byrnes at her website by going HERE

In 2009 she signed with agent, Terry Burns, at Hartline Literary. Terry worked to get her Shades of Hope series sold and in 2010, White Rose Publishing purchased the three-book series.
You can read the first chapter of Ruby Dawn by going HERE.

My Thoughts About The Book:
I just finished Ruby Dawn last night!  Ms Byrnes provides an action packed story of suspense, danger, rescue and love and it all begins within the very first chapter!  Byrnes tells the story of Tom and Ruby using "flashbacks" to when they first met at a youth detention center over ten years ago from the present story line.  This added to the mystery element that kept me turning the pages.  I also appreciated the theme of second chances woven into the story as well.  Having a background in Social Work primarily in the adolescent age group, I was drawn to Ruby-D (Dr. McKinney) and Tom's back story.  Thank you Ms Byrnes for reminding us all that God is faithful, He has no "throw-aways" and He does provide second chances!   
The only criticism I can give the book is that there were a few editing problems in several places.
Happy Reading,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Tangled Birthday

For some time now, JennaBeth has been enamored with "Ms Punzel" (Rapunzel) and the movie Tangled.  I mean like watch it multiple times a day enamored!  She loves the girl with the long golden hair.  Ever since her brother's birthday last September, she has been planning her "tangled bertday".  We finally got to celebrate her turning 3 this past Saturday with a party at our house.

We had little princesses everywhere!
JennaBeth wore her Ms Punzel dress she got for Christmas.  Our little princesses cooked for a little, while we waited for everybody to arrive.  JennaBeth was so excited!  After all, she'd been planning this for only about five months!
Each little princess got to make their own tiara.  I was so glad to have Cecily and two other older girls from church help at the party.  They really helped things go smoothly and everybody had a fun time.  One of the little girls that attended the party was Gianna.  She just turned two in January, so she was more interested in playing with all the toys and was so cute!
Her daddy was a good sport and made her tiara for her...
Princess Gianna...
Princess Morgan...
Princess JennaBeth...
Princess Tabitha...
Princess Anna...
I found these cute little teacups at Oriental Trading for the princess tea party and of course we had pink lemonade...
Princess JennaBeth's daddy even drank from one!
For the tea party, we had heart shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cocktail sausages in bar-b-que and apples with caramel sauce.
During the five months of JennaBeth's planning, she never wavered from the fact that she wanted "pink coocakes" (cupcakes) for her party.  So, that's exactly what we had!  I baked strawberry cupcakes and Cecily iced them with cream cheese icing dyed lavender to keep with the Tangled color scheme.  She also used fondant dyed yellow to make the sun emblem from the movie to go on top of the cupcakes.  One of the little girls attending the party has a severe egg allergy, so the cupcakes were baked using one cup of 7 Up which replaced the egg and oil in the package directions.  They turned out really good!
JennaBeth and her best big girl friend, Darci...

Christina and Morgan...
After cake and ice cream was present time.  JennaBeth was blessed with cards before hand from grandparents.  Her granny and pops sent a copy of the movie Tangled so now if NetFlix is on the blink, I don't have to deal with weeping and knashing of teeth from JennaBeth!  Thank you Granny and Pops!  That's as much a present for me as it is for JennaBeth!

After JennaBeth opened presents, the girls all got their fingernails and toenails painted!  Gianna's dad jumped in again and painted her nails for her!  It was encouraging and sweet to see a dad so involved...
Christina painting Tabitha's toes.  She wanted each toe a different color!
Darci giving JennaBeth hot pink fingernails with sparkle on top!  JennaBeth wanted fingernails the same color as Darci's...

"Oh, it's so exhausting getting beautiful"!!!!
Morgan wanted blue toes!
Tabitha and Morgan showing off their nails!
We had planned for every one to get their hair braided like Rapunzel's in the movie, but we ran out of time.  I guess it was better to have too much planned rather than not enough!  My brother's wife makes amazing hair bows for little girls back in MS.  I had asked her to make some "Tangled bows" for the party for each little girl to take home...
Is that not the cutest bow???  Thank you Aunt Julie for the hair bows!  The little girls were all tickled to have their own custom made Tangled bows to take home!  They were a huge hit with the mamas as well!

After everyone left, we had a fun time with JennaBeth's new Tangled wig she got as one of her gifts...

We all agreed that daddy looked like a hippee dude with the Tangled wig.
Just call me "Tangled Mama"...
Don't ya just love this pose with the hands on the hips???
To top baby sister's day off, big brother lost a second tooth...
and big sister's drawing placed second at the Burrowing Owl Festival.
Yep, it was a pretty full day with my little family and we are so very blessed.

Blessings on you,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where Did All My Babies Go???

I officially have no more babies and I'm not sure if I'm sad or celebrating the growth and development of my three sweet blessings...probably some of both.  JennaBeth has had a busy time the past few days.  It began last Tuesday with a trip to Hair Cuttery to see Ms Juliet (our family's stylist) to get her hair trimmed up for the first time.
She enjoyed getting her hair washed and liked the fact that the water didn't get in her eyes like it does at home.
JennaBeth was a big girl and sat perfectly still for her haircut. 
She kept looking in the mirror with a very stoic look on her face.
Ms Juliet gave her a "First Haircut" certificate with a small piece of her hair taped to it.  We have been kind of dreading this trip because of JennaBeth's fascination with the movie "Tangled" which tells the story of Rapunzel (The girl with the long golden hair according to JennaBeth).  She loves the movie and always reminds us of "that bad woman cut Ms Punzel's hair and it turned brown" and would always tell us "I don't want my long golden hair to get cut".  She even asked Ms Juliet if her hair would turn brown when she cut it!  I was happy that she seemed to have a good time being pampered.  Ms Juliet was a pro and helped it be a good experience for JennaBeth.
On Thursday (her actual birthday 2/23), JennaBeth and I had our normal Thursday morning out to Bible Study.  I have been meeting with a group of ladies for Bible Study on Thursday mornings for almost five years now.  Childcare is provided for JennaBeth and we have a really good time.  It is one of the highlights of my week!  Before we left that morning, JennaBeth and "pink bunny" picked me a flower...
Little miss also enjoyed making silly faces at me from the back seat while we were waiting on the other ladies to arrive...
This is our Thursday morning group minus several ladies who were away this past week:
As you can see, we had our picture taken with our Bible Study leader...Beth Moore :)  Our group is finishing up her study "Believing God".  In a couple of weeks, we will be starting Beth's newest study on the book of James.  The young lady JennaBeth is standing in front of is Ms Rebecca who takes care of her during the study.  JennaBeth absolutely loves her Ms Becca!  After Bible study, I took JennaBeth to McDonald's for a birthday lunch.  Then on Saturday we had a Tangled birthday party.  You know I took a million pictures, so come back tomorrow and see how JennaBeth celebrated Tangled style!!