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The Ghost of You and Me Spotlight & $25 Giveaway

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in Book Features | 0 comments

 

The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram

How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him?

From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels.

The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives.

Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right…even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend.

With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram.

This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.

Author Kelly Oram

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

 

 

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 7/26/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Life & Chaos – Why I’ve Been Absent from Social Media Lately

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

It all began with a goodbye kiss to my husband before he walked out the door to catch a flight. (Okay, I’ll be honest. It was an extremely early flight, and he told me he loved me before leaving our bedroom to meet his Uber driver in the dark. I mumbled something in return and frowned, because I only had two hours left before my alarm went off. In my defense, he wasn’t going on a routine business trip or to see his family. He was going to sail around the Caribbean for ten days with a bunch of guys to strengthen his boating skills.)

Like a skilled corporate wife, I shrugged at the thought of my husband leaving for ten days. I’ve been doing this for years. What could go wrong? And with him in the Caribbean, I figured I could milk that for a while.

Oh, but life can be funny. I mean, it wasn’t funny at the time, but now I can roll my eyes and smile at the thought of those ten days. Every. Single. Day. Something chaotic happened during every single one of those days or nights. Ever woke in the middle of the night from the SMELL of a sick dog that decided to eat an outside plant? Then my son got a messy stomach virus. Oh, and let’s not forget the teenagers. One kept missing the bus, while the one I drove to school each morning thought she didn’t have to be on time with it being the end of the year. Without going into the details, I’ll add three 911 calls made throughout the week as well. By the time my husband made it home from the Caribbean, I felt like death, and I honestly think he feared the look in my eyes.

After that, things got crazy with the end of school activities and packing for our Memorial Day vacation. We chose a quaint little town on the Gulf Coast to see if we would like to move there next summer. We’ve been considering a change for a while now, and this town has great schools and a place for a future sailboat my husband wants to buy.

Well, we visited the town, fell in love with it, and put a bid on a house. Just like that! Talk about spontaneous. The next week consisted of unpacking, decluttering our home, packing, and dealing with realtors to put our house on the market. A few days after the house went on the market, we had company visiting, and then I flew out to Las Vegas with my bestie for a week at the World Tea Expo. Along with writing, I’m passionate about tea, and I plan to start sharing my favorites with others.

And now we’re at today. I have an early morning flight out with the family tomorrow, and I haven’t even started packing. I still have to pick up my dog/house sitter from out of town, and the house needs to be spotless before we walk out the door. (Oh, the joys of having a house on the market.)

As you can tell, I just haven’t had much time for social media or anything else lately. However, this move should give me much more time, and I’m looking forward to getting my life back for writing and tea tastings. Unexpected Beginning is top priority! After the move, I plan to get it off my desk to start Unexpected Legends, the sixth and last book in the series.

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The Cause Within You Review – Christian Nonfiction

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Book Reviews | 0 comments


The Cause Within You, written by Matthew Barnett, is one of the few nonfiction books I was able to finish within a month. I’m bad to read multiple nonfiction books at a time, just grabbing whichever is closest for a bath or before bed. However, this one kept me interested, and I looked forward to reading it when I had a moment to spare.

It doesn’t read like a self help book, as it basically describes Matthew’s journey in turning an empty church in a drug infested neighborhood into a massive outreach church. Fresh out of high school, his father sent him to transform a dying church in California into a thriving church, and against all odds, he did it!

I often struggle with lack of faith in people. I’ve witnessed multiple generations in the same families ruined by alcohol and drug abuse, and when I see someone in that situation, I often think they won’t change or don’t want to change. I know it’s a flaw on my part–especially after reading this book. I would have given up within a few months, yet Matthew persisted. One night he looked around at the pimps, prostitutes, homeless people, and druggies on the streets outside the church, and he knew he was called to minister to them. He became a servant in the community, and it’s amazing how things began to change.

I highly recommend this book. It’s definitely one of my favorites, and I’ve even started watching some of Matthew’s videos on YouTube. His ministry is extremely uplifting and powerful, and I’m glad this book introduced me to it. He clearly has a love for people and a servant’s heart.

I just handed it over to my husband, and this is one of the few books we would both enjoy. With opposite tastes in reading, we don’t share many books. However, this one is for everyone–even teenagers. Highly, highly recommend!

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Smoothies, Teas & Infused Waters – Using Fresh Herbs

Posted by on May 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Warm weather is here, and the gardens are bursting with flavor! Although I don’t have a green thumb and kill most of the plants I try to grow, herbs seem easy for me. Right now my rosemary bush is thriving and could use a good trimming, and I can see some peppermint leaves in their large barrel. Lemon balm, chamomile, parsley, basil–there’s too many to name!

What do I do with all these herbs? I dry some for teas and aromatherapy uses–which make great gifts–and I freeze some. However, I try to use a lot of them while they’re fresh. That means I throw them in summer salads, smoothies, hot teas, iced teas, cakes, breads, and infused waters. Like the essential oils they produce, fresh herbs have powerful benefits when eaten, and you can easily add them to smoothies, salads, and infused waters without noticing them.

The other night I made this year’s first batch of infused water, and the children are drinking it up. How else could I get them to eat rosemary, cucumber, ginger, and lemon without complaining? I also upgraded my smoothie maker and got a NutriBullet RX a few days ago, and I’m loving it. Yesterday I threw in some fresh greens, almonds, frozen fruits, and some goat milk I found on sale into one of the large pictures for lunch, and I put the leftovers in the fridge for later. All three of my children poured some for their after school snack, and I just smiled, knowing I can sneak all kinds of healthy food into those smoothies.

I’ll have to do a post on the NutriBullet RX later. With a powerful motor, it can do smoothies and drinks, and the large pictures make it easy to keep extra in the fridge. It can even make hot soups. That’s a big change from my old Ninja.

If you don’t think you can garden or even like gardening, I recommend you give certain herbs a try. Many of them are easy to grow, and they come back every year. You can even enjoy some of them year round. You just plant them and let nature do the rest. Just like the essential oils most everyone is raving about, the plants offer health benefits. Just make sure you do a little research on the herbs you plan to grow so that you know how much attention they need. Some will take over your yard if you don’t plant them in containers. That’s where large barrel planters come in handy. If you don’t have much room, you can always use smaller pots. I’m just greedy and love my barrels when it comes to certain herbs.

If you’re new to infused water, I suggest you get some ideas from Pinterest, but don’t be afraid to change the recipes. The drink I made last night originally called for mint, but since my mint isn’t ready, I used rosemary. I also love adding grated ginger to most of my waters. It has a lot of health benefits, and it’s the best way I like to ingest it. I keep the roots in my freezer and cut off a piece as needed.

Certain ingredients need to be organic. They spray a lot of chemicals on lemons, and they’re on the dirty list. Everything I’ve read says to go organic with lemons, and I use a lot of them. I start each day with a glass of lemon water.

I prepare all my infused drinks at night so the vitamins and minerals have enough time to get into the water. Once I drink all the water on the following day, I usually add more grated ginger and fill it back up for another night in the fridge. That way I get two days using the ingredients.

If you have any questions or would even like to share a recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. The drink in the picture above contains one lemon, half of a large cucumber, grated ginger, and rosemary sprigs.

                

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The Problem with Farmers’ Markets

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Spring is here, and the weather has been beautiful in the Atlanta area. Last month I wrote a blog post about my first visit of the year to some of the local farmers’ markets with my husband and young son. The following week my two teenage daughters surprised us with their presence to another local market, and we made it a family morning. (I still can’t believe they woke up, got dressed, and walked out the door on a Saturday morning to visit a farmers’ market. I didn’t even force them!)

With perfect weather, my daughters actually let me hold their hands in public, and we walked around tasting samples and filling our bag with fresh goodies. One of my daughters loves cheese, and it’s been causing her some problems. When I spotted a table with goat cheese samples, I urged her and my son to try them with me. I don’t even like cream cheese or cranberries, yet when I took a bite of that cranberry goat cheese on a cracker, I was hooked!

I don’t mean that in a small way either. It’s become an addiction. I HAVE to have my serving of cranberry goat cheese and crackers as a snack every morning. I crave the goat cheese. It calls me into the kitchen–even when I’m not hungry!

Out of curiosity, I purchased some cranberry cinnamon goat cheese I found at the grocery store, but it tasted nothing like the one I bought at the farmers’ market. When I ran out of the two containers I bought from the local farmer, I knew I had to go back for more.

You may be wondering how this is a bad thing. I mean, it’s great that I found something healthier than regular cheese, and I’m also supporting a local farmer. Right? What about the fact that I’ve never tasted anything this yummy, and I now depend on this one supplier for my fix? What if I move one day? What if the farmer stops showing up at the market? I mean, this isn’t a branded item. I can’t get this anywhere else!

So, take this as a warning. Casually strolling around a farmers’ market and munching on artisan samples can be hazardous. One day you’re carefree and got your eating under control. Then you’re suddenly addicted to a food item you never imagined you would even like, and you’re at the mercy of a local farmer to get your daily fix. I’m not going to be able to visit the market this weekend, and I’m already worried about not having this goat cheese next week. This is a problem!

How about you? Leave me a comment below or on the social media post. I’d love to hear about it!

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