Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where has the time gone?!

I can't believe Christmas is 25 days away! I had so many plans to make handmade cards and decorations but they were thwarted by sickness and home remodeling projects. My crafting took a nose dive!!! So here's some pretty papers in case you still haven't gotten around to making anything yet.

A little Retro...

A Classic look...

Fun for Children's pages...

Very Vintage...
All the above paper collections are sold at Just click the links under the photos to go directly there or you can click here to be taken to the home page. Not only do they have a huge selection of products but they have a Gallery of Projects as well :)

Have fun and Happy Crafting!!!

Interview & Giveaway, Jenny Lee Sulpizio


I'm a sap when it comes to books about babies and little children! I. love. them. After reading this adorable book about boys (review here) by author Jenny Lee Sulpizio, I couldn't resist asking her to answer a few questions and offer a copy of her latest book to one of my blog followers.

Welcome, Jenny! Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions on such short notice. What do you think makes a good story?

Obviously something that will engage the reader and hold their attention. This is especially true in picture books where the attention spans of our young readers can be questionable and short in duration at best. You have to appeal to such a reader not only with your words, but also with your illustrations in order to keep one's curiosity peaked.

So true! I loved picking out picture books when my children were young. I can't wait to share yours with my grandsons :) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

What didn't I want to be is more like it? I recollect that I was torn between becoming a veterinarian or fashion designer.

Well, I'm glad you chose author! What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Anything and everything creative! My Pinterest boards are out of control with all of the ideas I want to implement in my home.

Oh, I know. Pinterest is so addictive! What is your work schedule like when you're writing? 

All over the place! I write when my kiddos are fast asleep and am a "pantser" if you will. I have no real discipline that I follow when writing-I'm a free thinker and definitely a free writer.

I am that way in life! What’s your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

Just the overall excitement leading up to that special day. There's just nothing like Christmas and even though I'm an adult now, I think it's even better to see it through the eyes of your children.

Our family has been overflowing with excitement and prepping since before Thanksgiving! Does your family have a special tradition at Christmas? If so, do you mind sharing it with us?

This time of year is all about cuddling on the couch, hot cocoa in hands, watching "The Polar Express." After taking a ride on that train with the family a few years ago, it's a tradition to watch the feature film over and over again this time of year!

That is a beautiful memory y'all are making! Our family has a couple of special movies we watch each year, as well, and we participate in Advent. In fact, my daughter wrote a post about it on her blog.  How can readers connect with you on the internet?

I would love to meet new readers! Please visit my website and blog at You can also find me on Twitter (@JennySulpizio), and Facebook as well (Jenny Lee Sulpizio, Author). Both of my children's picture books (Mommy Whispers: Isaac, 2010, and There's Just Something About a Boy: Ajoyin, 2011), can be found on Amazon as well.

Thank you again, Jenny, for coming by today!

Readers, leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of her newest picture book, There's just Something About a Boy. Open to US and Canada! Ends Dec 9th. I will compile all the entries from this post and the first post, then announce a winner on Dec 10th.

To purchase a copy, go here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giveaways and Interview...

I have two giveaways going on for some really great children's books!

Not many commenters so the chances of winning are good :) Saving Fort Smoky is open to International commenters for an ebook! This would make an excellent gift! I'll announce the winner on Dec 3rd.

I'll also have an interview coming on Wednesday with author Jenny Lee Sulpizio. You have two places you can enter to win her book There's just Something About a Boy. On the upcoming interview or you can read the review here and leave a comment but I'm sure you'll want to come back and talk to Jenny! She's opened this giveaway to US and Canada for a soft copy! I'll compile the names from both blog posts and announce the winner on Dec 10th.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review & Giveaway ~ FIRST Wild Card Tour ~ There's Just Something About a Boy by Jenny Lee Sulpizio. Illustrated by Peg Lozier.

My Review
There IS just something about a boy! Most people I have talked to tell me that boys have a special bond with their moms just as girls have a special bond with their dads. This book celebrates that bond between moms and sons.

The illustrations are colorful and funny, poignant and all too real. I laughed out loud when I turned the page and saw the one of the teenager learning to drive! My son, who is learning to drive, got a BIG kick out of that one, too. He said the mom totally looks like me when I am in the car with him :)

I think most moms will enjoy this glimpse into what is an adorable peek at the relationship we have with our boys. There are a lot of "awww" moments in this book!

Special thanks to the author for my review copy. I was under no obligation to write a positive review, just give my honest opinion on what I thought of the book. No compensation, other than being able to keep the book, was received.

Jenny has graciously agreed to send a signed copy of this precious book to one of you! Leave a comment and let me know if you have a boy. Even if you don't, you can still enter ;) Ends Dec 9th! Open to US and Canada!!!



It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Today's Wild Card author is:



and the book:


There's Just Something About a Boy

Isaac Publishing, Inc. (September 23, 2011)

***Special thanks to Jenny Lee Sulpizio for sending me a review copy.***



Jenny Lee Sulpizio, M.S. is a wife, business owner, and mother of three residing in Boise, Idaho. She is an active member within her church and community, and enjoys tapping into her creative side whenever she gets the chance. There’s Just Something About a Boy is the second picture book released in a series that also includes Mommy Whispers, an ode to mothers and daughters everywhere.

Visit the author's website.


Peg Lozier is an award winning portrait painter and illustrator whose work is known for color, whimsy, and a sense of fun. Raised in Boulder, Colorado, she now lives with a plethora of pets in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Visit the illustrator's website.


There’s Just Something about a Boy is a children’s keepsake picture book celebrating the special bond between a mother and her newborn son as she anticipates the love, laughter, and unparalleled adventure that will surely come from raising a little boy.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.95
Paperback: 30 pages
Publisher: Isaac Publishing, Inc. (September 23, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609200365
ISBN-13: 978-1609200367

AND NOW...THE FIRST PAGES (click illustrations to enlarge):

Recalling the moment, that special day
Your tiny image took my breath away.
A precious baby with nothing to hide,
My sweet, little son nestled inside.
There’s just something about a boy…

I prepared your nursery
since around month five,
Waiting for the day
you’d finally arrive.
Stuffed animals, blankies,
your daddy’s first glove--
They sat in your room,
awaiting your love.
There’s just something
about a boy…


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Live Reflectively AND Live Abundantly by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose ~ FIRST Wild Card Tour

My Thoughts
These bible study books are laid out in a simple and easy to use format. They give practical and basic examples so I think they would be appropriate for someone who is newer in the faith or who has never done an independent bible study. There's plenty of room for writing notes and any extra thoughts that may come to mind while studying.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the books:

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)


Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians

David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Lenya Heitzig is an award-winning author and popular Bible teacher. She and her husband founded Calvary Church of Albuquerque—one of the fastest-growing churches worldwide. She is the author of Holy Moments: Recognizing God’s Fingerprints on Your Life and also contributed to the best-selling New Women’s Devotional Bible. Heitzig serves as Executive Director of She Ministries of Albuquerque, overseeing weekly Bible studies and yearly retreats. She and her husband Skip live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Penny Rose is the award-winning author of numerous books. Penny thrives on teaching at conferences and retreats nationwide. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband, Kerry, a pastor at Calvary of Albuquerque.

Visit the authors' website.

The Fresh Life series was created for women who crave a profound experience of God’s Word without an overwhelming time commitment. Bible teachers Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose challenge readers to dig deep into Scripture by using a directed study method that only requires twenty minutes a day. With a fresh approach to studying Scripture that gives newcomers as well as seasoned students deep insight into God’s Word, the latest two additions in the series explore the life of Moses and the riches in the book of Ephesians.

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses (Heitzig) is an engaging Bible study on the life of Moses. He was saved from death on the Nile and raised as an Egyptian prince. He met his wife at a Midianite well, witnessed the birth of a nation as the Red Sea parted and watched water gush from a rock with one touch of his rod. He died overlooking the Jordan River. Through viewing the water moments of Moses’ life, readers will be encouraged to consider the moments in their own lives that shape who they are and who they are becoming.

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Heitzig and Rose) challenges readers to dig deep into the book of Ephesians to find the spiritual treasure God has for them. The book of Ephesians is God’s “last will and testament” that bequeaths his spiritual treasures to His beloved children. Covering topics such as living in God’s will and receiving peace no matter the circumstances, it reveals the magnitude of every Christian’s inheritance—a gift “exceedingly abundantly above” what you could ever ask for.

The Fresh Life series teaches readers to:
· Lift up...a prayer
· Look at…God’s Word (answering questions concerning what the passage says)
· Learn about…what the passage means (sidebars define words and profice background information)
· Live out…what they have learned (personalizing the text and learning how it can impact their daily life)
· Listen to…quotes from well-known figures to build on the truths uncovered in Scripture

Readers will develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord and walk away feeling inspired to move forward in their walks of faith. Live Abundantly and Live Reflectively continue the rich biblical tradition of the Fresh Life series. They offer wisdom that will leave readers encouraged in their present situations and hopeful for the spiritual journey ahead.

Product Details:

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781405939
ISBN-13: 978-0781405935

Product Details:

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434703304
ISBN-13: 978-1434703309

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER (Click on images to expand):

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Click on images to expand)


WINNER ~ Dragons of the Watch




Thanks to all who entered!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Guest Post ~ Jenna Gustafson & Giveaway

Today I have a new author to introduce to y'all. Jenna Gustafson is only 15 and already has her first book published! I asked her to tell us a little about her writing and road to publication.

My love for writing began with books.  I’m young enough to still remember going up to my mom, the same books as yesterday clutched in my pudgy arms, and demanding that she read to me.  Mom would give me a resigned smile and read me the stories that my brother, Jade, and I knew by heart.  I’m sure most parents out there can relate.

I loved spinning my own tales, too.  Jade and I went through a phase of putting on “plays and  musicals” for mom and dad in our basement.  When I was nine, I began using journaling as my  expressive outlet.  I’ve been writing ever since.

Another fun fact about me:  I have always loved creating challenges for myself, big or small. Could I ride a bike with no training wheels?  Could I be a ballerina?  Could I run over three miles?  And in seventh grade, could I publish a book successfully?

I suppose you could call my book, Saving Fort Smoky, Experiment A.   I began weaving my story in a small seventh grade English class, in a small school, in a small town.  I had a big imagination and a big, slightly crazy idea…
Of getting published.  Young.

Thus, I hurriedly banged out a story in three weeks time and edited it for the “A” in English class.  I didn’t stop there.  Curious about the publishing world to which I was very ignorant, I spent most of my summer on the computer.   Day after day I researched publishers until my eyes fell out of my head.  Slowly, I learned the loop holes and labyrinths of getting accepted by a publisher.  I learned what publishers were scams.   I eventually found Tate Publishing.

Another key trait I developed throughout this time of research was persuasion.  Just imagine, one day your kid strolls in and declares that they are going to publish their homework into a book.  You smile and nod, knowing that this newfound determination and interest in being an author will probably fade.  Except, three months later, the passion still hasn’t died, and they present to you some publishers.  In a spreadsheet they present to you the pros and cons of each company, and more importantly, how much money each are wanting for the publishing.  Money is not to be taken lightly in this economical age, and let me tell you, it took a lot of hard work and presentations to persuade mom and dad to part with four thousand dollars in honor of my dream.

At the time, that is all the published version of Saving Fort Smoky was; a dream.  Then I received a contract with Tate Publishing, a good Christian company.  We signed on with them.

Compared to most authors, I got lucky.  I was never rejected.  Not once.  But it was still a lot of work, especially for a kid.

The next couple of months were a blur of editing, layout, design, illustration, and web design.  I came out on the other side happy, with my new book in my hand.  It was wonderful.  I dove right into marketing with a determined and passionate mindset.

I sold, sold, sold, mainly around my community at craft shows.  Believe me, it isn’t glamorous  work, and readers didn’t beat a path to my table, but I was confident that writing, written by a kid, would be gobbled up by another kid.  The hard work is reaching your readers.

Eventually, I ran out of work in my area.  Now I’m relying on you guys to help me sell.  The Internet is a whole lot bigger than my small area in Montana, and I have no clue where to begin.  So thank you for helping me out. J

My experiment has almost worked, and I have almost broken even.  I hope to write a real, well- written novel by the time I’m a freshman in college.

Lastly, please remember this all came to be because I gave myself a challenge.  An experiment, to see if I could actually do what most adults only dream of.

Dear Adults,

QUIT DREAMING.  I did this “experiment” to not only prove something to myself, but to show people that accomplishments are not acquired by a magic potion,  gobs of money, or a major in persuasion.  All you have to do is try.  After all…

“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized - and never knowing” ~ David Viscott

Good luck to fellow authors and writers!

Goodreads Blurb:

There's only one hope for Fort Smoky to survive. After a devastating fire ravages the homes of Fort Smoky, it's  up to young Ben Clearwater and his sister and friends to help the residents and get to Fort Futureland to save  the  people before the harsh, cold winter sets in. To get there, they will have to trek through unknown  mountains,  relying on Running Wind's compass and Big Jim's maps of the land while struggling against the  harsh forces of  Mother Nature.

Fort Futureland is a place of new and interesting contraptions, like cars and computers, the four children have  never seen, and they are captivated. But the children soon uncover a sinister plot to destroy their beloved  Fort  Smoky. Will they be able to stop the evil leaders of Fort Futureland? Will they ever make it home? Will  they be  heroes for Saving Fort Smoky?

* Jenna Gustafson lives happily in Montana with her parents and brother. While she has won local short story  contests, this is her first book. She hopes to inspire other children to chase their dreams and understand that  they are never too young to accomplish something.

To purchase click here: Amazon (e-book)

Thank you, Jenna, for stopping by today. You are a remarkable young woman! Best wishes in your future writing :)

Jenna has graciously agreed to give away one copy of her book. Leave an encouraging comment! Ends Dec 2nd.

This is US Only right now but I am checking with the author to see if we can extend an ebook international. I will update when I know!
Ok...Jenna says she will offer a paper copy to US participants (lower 48 states) and an e-book to all others! International readers get your name in the hat :)