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review 2017-12-01 19:13
THE MISTLETOE INN by Richard Paul Evans
The Mistletoe Inn: A Novel (The Mistletoe Collection) - Richard Paul Evans

Kimberly, a divorced would-be romance author, is trying to deal with her divorce and learning that her dad is sick. Christmas is coming and her dad wants her to go to a writing conference as his gift to her. She goes where she meets Zeke who becomes her writing partner for the conference. They share secrets but not the whole truth.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters. I liked Kimberly's father. He is so upbeat and full of life. Kimberly has a lot to deal with and she is not equipped to deal with it all. Trust is hard for her. Zeke also has to learn to trust. I liked watching their interactions. I also figured out the secret fairly early on. While the Hallmark movie was good, the book is so much better.

 

 

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review 2017-11-28 21:52
For readers who love inspirational stories, complex female characters, and historical fiction
Bear Medicine: A Novel - G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

I have read two of Elizabeth Kretchmer’s books before. The Damnable Legacy (you can check my review here) and Women on the Brink (check the review here) and enjoyed them. When I was informed that the author had published a new book, I had to check it out.

Once again, Kretchmer focuses on issues that relate to women’s lives and also to the environment and to human beings’ place in the world. The story is narrated by two women, Brooke and Anne, in the first-person. Although both women have a lot in common (both are married and not terribly happy in their marriages, although they are not fully aware of it or at least they haven’t acknowledged it to themselves yet, and they both love nature), they are separated by a hundred and forty years. Whilst Brooke lives in our present, Anne convinces her husband to visit Yellowstone not long after the Park is established, seriously underestimating the risks. Both women suffer because of their decisions (Brooke is mauled by a grizzly bear and is seriously injured, and Anne ends up alone and defenseless without experience on surviving in the wild) and are helped by other women. And in both cases, these seemingly terrible decisions end up totally changing their lives. The book is part contemporary women’s fiction and part historical fiction, and an inspirational read.

Both characters are sympathetic because of the terrible circumstances they find themselves in, although they are not the standard heroines that suddenly and almost magically become enlightened and proficient at everything. They sometimes show little insight into their real situations, can be naïve, do little to help themselves, moan, and take one step forward and two steps back. If anything, Anne, who married young and has little experience of the world, seems to take to the new situation and accept Meg’s teachings more easily, although it must have been a bigger shock to her and farther away from her everyday experience. The society of her time was also more prejudiced, and the fact that she becomes best friends with a Native American woman is much more of a leap of faith than Brooke’s friendship with Laila and her confused feelings about the younger woman. But Brooke has also been victimised (even though it takes her quite a while to accept that) for much longer, has two grown-up children, and therefore has much more to lose. It is understandable that she struggles more and it takes her longer to fully embrace her new reality. I think most women will recognize themselves in one of the characters, either the narrators or their friends and helpers, and feel personally involved in the novel.

The writing is beautifully descriptive and there are very touching moments, some because of the extremes of emotion and suffering, and some because of the moments of clarity and insight that the love of the women and their cooperation with each other brings them. The author has done her research (she explains her process at the end and also acknowledges her sources) and I learned much about the birth of Yellowstone and the Indian Wars by reading this book.

There are serious and current subjects discussed in the novel (abuse [mental, physical, and sexual], rape, drug abuse, mental illness, nature and environment, the protection of wild animals, politics, parent-child relationship), there are adventures and risky situations, secrets, betrayal, and plenty of love. Although most readers will figure out soon enough the connection between the two women, we care enough for both characters and their adventures to keep reading and hoping we will be right about the end. And yes, the ending is empowering and positive too.

An emotional book (yes, I did cry), an enlightened book, and also a realistic book, that shows us some women who are not the perfect heroines, all powerful and knowing, but who make mistakes, hesitate, don’t know what to do for the best, and can be annoying and irritating at times, but who become stronger and learn about themselves by joining with other women and choosing to work together.

An inspiring read and a book that I recommend to women (and men) who enjoy multi-dimensional characters. It will also delight people who love historical fiction, in particular, the Indian Wars, and readers interested in Native American tradition and mythology. Another great book by a writer I will keep my eye on.

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url 2017-11-27 12:51
4 Elements Baby Blessing Ceremony using Rituals from around the World
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Four Elements Baby Blessing Ceremony using Rituals from around the World

  journey into   and  

It all started as a baby blessing ceremony of my two kindred spirits soul-friends. In the middle of the forest, where our camp-site hid, we were greeted by two chameleons mating and we were not dreaming!

Chameleons mating game
Source: artof4elements.com/entry/4-elements-baby-blessing-ceremony
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review 2017-11-25 12:30
Review: Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin
Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin

I love it when a historical romance takes on the forgotten parts to well-known history and Sarah Sundin excels at the forgotten history. This is the story of young US Navy Ensign Jim Avery is stationed in Boston on board the USS destroyer Atwood, a boat built at the Boston Naval Yards where his childhood friend Mary Stirling works as a secretary to the civilian head of the naval yard. They meet up several years after graduation when the Atwood would begin escort duties. Although Mary had a small crush on Jim in high school, he only had eyes for her best friend who happened to be the girlfriend of his best friend. So Mary kept everyone as a friend but didn't once pursue anything more from Jim. Life at the Academy and in the early days of his naval career matured Jim, who is still an easy-going guy and natural people-person. Now with those mature eyes he sees Mary in a different light but doesn't want to be seen as the goofy guy she knew in high school; his pursuit of her is slow and methodical, and doesn't seem to make a dent in her friendship with him.

 

Meanwhile, the war in the Atlantic is heating up and American lives are being lost long before we officially entered the war. Tensions are high at the naval yard between interventionists and isolationists and sabotage is happening with increasing frequency, putting Jim and his sailors in peril on a routine training mission. Mary is smart and has the skills and intuition to suss out the true villain. All while trying her damnest not to fall for Jim and get over her fear of public speaking/attention.

 

I could not put this book down! The pages flew and I just wanted more of this realistic world and the characters that inhibit it. The action scenes were intense but the characters were smart and kept their wits about them. The story takes place over the course of 1941 (starting in March and ending on December 7th) so the reader needs patience as the romance is slow building and angsty without being dark. I love how the author weaves actual history (such as the Lend-Lease agreement with Britain, the constant changes to the draft, and how lingering feelings from the Depression color some of the characters' viewpoints). It is an inspirational story, but the religious aspect is interwined with the characters and not shoe-horned in, so it feels very natural to the story. The book also passes the Bechdel test; Mary often talks to her female friends about her investigation and they help her see different angles, and Yvette (a college friend/roommate and French refugee) and Mary often speak of the war and the politics while riding the train or subway on their way to do some shopping.

 

One quibble I had with the story was the naval jargon, but I just skimmed most of that. Can't wait to read the other two books in the series.

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video 2017-11-09 10:23
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Spiritual Work Art of 4 Elements Book Poem by Nuit

Source: youtu.be/ULJmmK9leR4
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