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Archive for February, 2012


Book Description

Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest novel for the emptiness of the desert. Answering an ad to be “heiress” to a vast cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory, Kate hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels.

But what awaits her is a life harder than the one she just left. There is no room for mistakes on a working cattle ranch, and Kate is ill-prepared for her new life. She quickly learns that dawn comes early. But she is tenacious.

Having been abandoned by a string of men, Kate has no intention of ever marrying. But she didn’t expect to meet Luke Adams, either. Luke awakens feelings inside Kate she doesn’t recognize, and his steady presence is a constant distraction. She has only written about love in the past, never known it herself. But her feelings for Luke stand in the way of all she has to gain if she is chosen as the heir.

Perhaps God brought Kate to the barrenness of the desert to give new life to her jaded heart.

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The advertisement right at the beginning snagged my interest:

HEIRESS WANTED

Looking for hardworking, professional woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona Territory.  Must be single and prepared to remain so now and forevermore.

How could I resist?  🙂

When the train dumps Kate Tenney at Cactus Patch in 1895, she begins to understand the pitying looks she got while getting off the train. A disgraced potboiler (dime-store novel) author from Boston, she replied to the advertisement based solely on her feeling that because she had written about ranches in her novels, she would have no problem working on one. 😆

“Hands on her waist, Kate glanced around with a growing sense of dismay. This couldn’t be Cactus Patch.  Please don’t let it be so. Never in all her twenty-nine years had she imagined such a desolate place.”

Those of you who know me and my feelings on the desert where I live will no doubt know that I was laughing out loud by this point. I absolutely could identify with Kate’s predicament and her struggle to acclimate not just to the climate, but to the West.

Kate lands at the Last Chance Ranch on the heels of a good number of other heiress wannabes, the longest of which made it a week. The town seems deserted, which she finds unusual, since there was supposed to be a driver waiting for her. It doesn’t take her long to figure out something is seriously amiss in town, and the sole reason for that wastes no time in taking her hostage.

This book is not heavy reading, but the characters are completely delightful. I was laughing out loud through much of it, particularly when Stretch (known for way he told tales) gave his westernisms for current happenings, like “It was so hot, the hen laid hard-boiled eggs, ” and “It was so windy, she laid the same egg three times.”  😆

Along the way to proving she is “the heiress,” Kate has a lot of struggles and struggles to conquer, like staying on a horse, for example. And then there’s the inner struggle she feels when she’s around Luke…….

Initially, I was going to give this title 4.5 out of 5 stars, because there was one particular story-line I wished had been wrapped up. Then I discovered that there is a sequel, and that there is a series. This is book #1 in the Brides of Last Chance Ranch series.

With that in mind, and plans to get the other books when they become available, I give this 5 out of 5 stars.  You won’t want to miss this one if you like books and characters that are just plain fun!

This book is available March 13, 2012.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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“Can you read it without disturbing it?”

Jeff moved around, positioned at an angle and the bold black print became clear. “I can read one word.” Chills slammed through his chest, spread like fingers to his limbs. He jerked away, stiffened.

“What does it say?” “Boom.”

~~~~~~

Beth and Sara are best friends, and heart sisters. Beth promised Sara’s mom she’d watch over her when they were roommates back in college. After the death of Sara’s parents, she’d done just that. Since Sara’s marriage to Robert, though, Beth has felt like Sara is falling through the cracks……… 

Sara is a stress asthmatic, who’s nearly lost her life several time due to her fragile medical condition. Wealthy co-owners of a technology based business, Sara and Beth were connected at the hip until Robert came into the picture.

And now, Robert is missing. Robert is missing, and Beth is the prime suspect.

Since the incident at the attempted wedding of friends Roxy and Harvey, the entire town of Seagrove Village is on edge.  Has the terrorist organization NINA (Nihilists in Anarchy) returned with a vengeance?

Will Robert’s disappearance kill Sara? Why has Sara been acting so bizarre and cryptic for the last several weeks?

Who is Raven? Can they stop her before it’s too late?

Are you sitting on the edge of your seat yet?  🙂 This was a page-turner I did not want to put down! It has everything I like in a book: chemical weapons, terrorists, a desperately impossible time-table that needed to be met to avoid disastrous results, love, faith, and some redemption thrown in.

While there were references early on in the book to the Crossroads Center, I didn’t really “get” that all of these characters were well-known in previous books.  In fact, it wasn’t until the epilogue letter that it dawned on me that this book must be part of a series because otherwise, that information didn’t make any sense.

Now, this either tells you that I am pretty dense- (which I’m not, by the way :lol:) or it tells you that this is excellent writing, because getting involved in the content of this title doesn’t entirely depend on having read any of the other books in the series. Not This Time is the third book in the series.

Because the other books weren’t missed, this author goes on my A++ list and into the category of the few authors I would actually be willing to pay to read. I will *definitely* be going to get the preceding books in this series.

Even though this book ended with some unanswered questions (like who was the faux Joe and what was he really after?), I can only hope that this means there are more books coming in the Crossroads Crisis Series. I would give this book 10 stars if I could, but alas, the system maxes out at 5, so 5 stars it is.

After the trailer, I’ve included the full first chapter as found on the author’s website: http://vickihinze.com/books/fiction/not-this-time. This book goes on sale February 21, 2011.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

~~~~~

CHAPTER EXCERPT

ⓒ 2011, Vicki Hinze

1

Saturday, June 5 at 6:00 p.m., Seagrove Village, Florida

He was late. The country club’s parking lot was nearly full, but Detective Jeff Meyers spotted an empty slot in the last of five rows. He parked and cut the engine, grabbed the invitation to Harvey and Roxy Talbot’s renewal of their wedding vows off the center console, and then rushed through the humid heat back to the main entrance.

Cold air blasted him in the face. He breathed deeply, relishing it. No doubt all the Crossroads Crisis Center staff was already out in the courtyard. He hated to show up for a classy event late and sweaty, but thanks to clashing factions over the coming mayoral election at Ruby’s Diner, there hadn’t been time to shower and change clothes.

Bypassing a grouping of sofa and chairs, Jeff headed toward the back of the building. With all its polish and gold-framed original art, the club was too elegant for his tastes, but the people were friendly enough to make it semicomfortable. There was no need to ask anyone where to go, which was a good thing since not a soul was in sight— kind of funny, that—but Annie and Nora, the self-appointed Seagrove Village wedding planners, had made sure if a body found the front door, there’d be no confusion.

Rose petals on the cool marble floor created a path between stretched white columns to a set of French doors that led outside to the courtyard. A sign would have worked, but the club didn’t allow them. There were limits to its tolerance for things that pricked at its perception of class.

Since Roxy had her heart set on the inner courtyard, they had scheduled the ceremony later in the day to avoid the relentless heat, but it still radiated. With reluctance Jeff left the cool lobby and closed the French doors behind him. Doing his job or not, he would get his ears blistered by Nora for being late. His only hope was that the village matriarch was so focused on the ceremony she wouldn’t notice. She was getting up in age and bat-blind, seeing walls only when she bumped into them, but Jeff had never known Ben Brandt’s housekeeper to miss a thing that mattered to her, which meant Jeff was going to get reamed. He resigned himself to it.

Nora had put everyone on notice. This ceremony had to be perfect for Harvey and Roxy. Dr. Harvey Talbot worked at Ben’s crisis center and Nora worked for Ben. That put Harvey under Nora’s protective wing as one of her “boys.” She was beloved in the village, and anyone who messed with her would answer to everyone—Jeff included.

Truly, Harvey and Roxy getting back together was a miracle, and all the villagers were glad to see it. They never should have gotten divorced. Harvey hadn’t wanted it, but Roxy was with the FBI and she’d pulled a case that involved NINA—Nihilists in Anarchy—a group of terrorists with a criminal wing so ruthless, it gave Homeland Security, law enforcement, and crooks cold chills. Roxy had divorced Harvey to get him out of the line of fire so NINA wouldn’t hurt him or use him to get to her. Not that she’d explained that to Harvey, which is why he’d been as miserable as the men on death row. Apparently, so had she.

Jeff followed the rose-petal trail onto a stone walkway that wound between fat shrubs and fountains that cooled the air with a welcome mist. He’d like to pause to cool down but didn’t dare; if he was lucky, he’d get to hear the “I do agains.”

Intended to seat fifty, the intimate courtyard was surrounded on all sides by brick buildings that held in the heat. He rushed his steps, rounded a cluster of petite palms and spiny palmettos—and came to a dead halt.

Bodies lay everywhere.

All the white-slatted chairs stood empty, and every guest who should have been in one was sprawled on the ground. Under the arch draped in leafy greenery and pink roses lay Harvey and Roxy and Reverend Brown.

Jeff didn’t dare move. Hyperalert, he scanned the scene. The Crossroads group was clustered together. Nora lay facedown, her arm outstretched as if reaching for her companion, Clyde Parker, who was flat on his back with a toppled chair parked half on his stomach. It wasn’t moving. With breaths, that chair should be moving.

Jeff whipped out his phone and hit speed dial, phoning the station. Busy. No surprise; most who’d answer were here, supine on the grass. The silence in the courtyard was deafening. They all lay motionless. What had happened here?

His heart thudding, he pulled his gun, continued searching. Nothing. Fearing a trap, he checked the rooftops but saw only clear blue sky. The lingering scent of something pungent burned his nose. It sure wasn’t the flowers, but he couldn’t tag its source. The building’s walls had trapped the scent, but now a breeze stirred. Whatever the smell, it was faint and fading fast; another minute or two and it’d be gone.

Chemical. Get out of here. You’re getting exposed.

He ignored the warning. He was already exposed, and these people mattered to him; he couldn’t just leave them. Keeping his eyes pealed, he thumbed off the safety and readied for rapid firing, then moved toward the people closest to him: Beth Dawson and her SaBe, Inc. co-owner Sara Jones-Tayton. Sara’s husband, Robert, wasn’t with her. Strange. He seldom missed a social event, and Sara rarely attended one without him. Beth and Sara volunteered at Crossroads, kept the center’s computers safe from hackers, and helped out Quantico when it got in a pinch. Crumpled on the grass behind the chairs, they too must have arrived late and not made the last half-dozen steps to their seats.

His mouth went stone dry. These were all his friends—many of them, since birth. Were they all dead?

Nothing. Not one unexpected sight or sound or movement. He tried the station again. Still busy.

A table draped in crisp white linen stood between the others and him. Flowers and crystal filled one end; a two-tier wedding cake, the other. The breeze bent all the leaves to the north and that faint, pungent smell had disappeared. Whatever it had been, it’d dissipated.

Get out, Jeff. Wait for Hazmat.

The internal battle escalated to a war. He should wait for a hazardous-material team, but his heart wouldn’t let him. Covering his mouth and nose with his handkerchief, he stepped behind the table and bumped his back against the brick building, then slid down the rough wall to Beth. Don’t let her be dead. Please.

In a cold sweat, he squatted and pressed his fingers to her throat. A steady thump pulsed against his fingertips. She was alive. Thank God.

“Beth?” No answer. “Beth?” They had dated a couple times. He had been crazy about her, but she just hadn’t been into him so they settled for being friends. “Can you hear me?” No response.

What about the others?

No. Backup first. You need backup.

Reverting to his life as a beat cop, he reached for the radio clipped to his collar before remembering he no longer had one and his phone was already in his hand. Darting, wary, he tried the station yet again. Finally, it rang.

“Seagrove Village Police.” The rookie, Kyle Perry. “It’s Jeff Meyer. Who’s there with clout?”

“The chief’s in, but he’s in conference.”

“Get him.”

“I can’t, Detective. He said not to disturb him.”

It was quicker to switch than to fight a rookie under orders. “Who else is there?”

“Coroner Green.”

Hank would do. “Get him on the phone.”

A moment later, Hank came on the line. “Hey, why aren’t you at the ceremony?”

“I just got here. Everyone’s out cold, Hank.” Jeff briefed him, requested backup, and then added, “I need a Hazmat team—medical too, but put them in a holding pattern away from the building until Hazmat gives an all-clear.”

“What do you think happened?”

Sara Jones-Tayton was breathing. Shallow and slow, pulse thready but there. “I don’t know.” Jeff stood, his knees crackling. Still no one conscious in sight. He moved on to the next closest group. “No signs of a struggle. They’re just all on the ground, out cold.”

“White powder? Oily residue? Funny smell? Anything like that?”

“No residue or powder. I caught a whiff of something when I arrived, but it’s gone now. There’s nothing else to see—wait a second.” Beth lay on her side, her hand buried beneath her. He looked closely, then checked the others, homing in on their hands. Beth, Sara, Kelly Walker, and Lisa Harper all had strings tied to their fingers— and Roxy did too. “Five women have strings tied to their fingers. Looks like monofilament.”

“Fishing line?”

“Appears so.” He followed the lines to where they converged. “All five lead to one place—the wedding cake.” Jeff double-checked, then added, “To the bride. She’s half buried in the bottom layer of the cake—not Roxy, the plastic bride that usually sits on top of the cake.” He moved closer. The plastic was cracked, its edges jagged. “The plastic groom was ripped off.” Jeff checked beneath the table. “He’s missing.”

“The plastic groom is missing.” Hank stuttered. “Harvey—”

“Is here.”

“Then what does it mean?”

“I don’t know, but this was no accident.” Not with those strings. Jeff didn’t like where his mind was going, yet he’d have to be a brick short to ignore the obvious. “Professionals knocked out everyone and singled out specific targets.”

“Oh, man. Not NINA again.” Hank sounded as nervous as Jeff felt.

The international terrorist organization that, to fund its ideological objectives, black-marketed anything of value—weapons, intelligence, drugs, people. “It’s crossed my mind already.” They’d had two run-ins with NINA; of course it’d crossed his mind.

“I could see NINA coming after Kelly or Lisa—and Roxy busted up their human-trafficking operation—but why Beth and Sara? They can’t identify anyone in NINA.”

“They helped us take NINA down in the human-trafficking case.” When it came to computers, Beth and Sara were two of the best on the planet. Their SaBe was a megasuccessful software company, and everyone in the village knew they helped out the government all the time. Quantico tried repeatedly to hire Beth but couldn’t afford her, and before Sara had married Robert Tayton, she’d spent nearly as much time at Quantico as she had at home. NINA could want them both out of the way for that. “Revenge, maybe?”

Jeff turned to examine the next of the fallen. Darla Green, the wife of the deceased mayor, lay alone. Jeff wiggled his fingers into position on her throat. Breathing. He moved on.

Hank grunted. “NINA can’t afford idle revenge. If they’re behind this—”

“Who else has the ability or guts to pull off something like this?”

“No one who’d actually do it. But that means there’s more to it than revenge.”

“We don’t even know what it is yet.” Jeff kept moving through the crowd, person to person, finding throat pulses and growing more and more relieved. “Whatever it is, we never saw it coming. They came in and did what they wanted—they could have killed them all.” That truth sent shards of fear slicing through Jeff’s veins. His friends—all his friends—could have been murdered on his watch.

“But they didn’t kill them.”

“Not this time.” Jeff gazed down, then glanced over, seemingly seeing double senior women. His heart sank, then slammed against his chest wall. “Maybe something is still in the air, Hank. I’m seeing two Noras.”

“Probably Nathara, Nora’s identical twin. She’s here from New Orleans to take Nora to some eye specialist.”

“Oh.” Jeff had never seen her before. He blew out a relieved breath and checked them both. Strong. Steady. He moved on, past Nora and her sister, and placed his fingertips on the next throat. Nothing.

He tried again.

Still nothing.

Tried a third time but it just wasn’t there. No pulse. A lump rose in Jeff’s throat. “Oh, man.”

“What?” Jeff’s eyes burned. Bury it. You’re a professional. Remember it. His throat went thick and strain flooded his voice. “You’ll need to come out too, Hank. I—I, um, can’t lock down the crime scene by myself, and the rookie won’t be much help.”

“Got it. Backup’s already on the way.”

Not the kind of help he required. “I need backup and high-powered help.”

“How high?” Uncertainty elevated Hank’s voice. A tear leaked from Jeff’s eye. “All the way.” Hank was sharp on the uptake. The chief was too. They’d know to contact Homeland Security and to get the FBI on-scene immediately.

“Al won’t like it. Not without some preliminary work being done first.” Hank Green was wrong on that. “The chief will dial the phone.” Jeff looked into sightless eyes that once had twinkled kindness and his own vision blurred. He gently swept the eyelids closed with his fingertips and searched for his voice. “This has to be some kind of chemical attack. We don’t have the resources—”

“Let’s don’t jump to conclusions, Jeff.”

He started snapping photos with his cell phone. Hank, not the chief, was reluctant to call in outsiders. Why? Protecting the village tourism? He was running for mayor… “You either jump or get dragged into this one, Hank. Chemical is all that makes sense.”

“We don’t have to rush to judgment. They’re alive. We can—”

“I’m afraid we do need to rush,” Jeff interrupted. The first forty-eight hours were critical to successfully solving any case. Stats backed him up on that. “We have a fatality .”

A long second passed. Then another. “Visitor or villager?”

Jeff’s voice cracked. He cleared his throat. No way was he identifying this victim over the phone. Word would sweep through Seagrove like wildfire. “A villager.” He moved over to the cake, snapped a shot. A curled edge of paper was half buried in the frosting. “Whoever did this left a message. It’s attached to the bride buried in the cake.”

“Can you read it without disturbing it?”

Jeff moved around, positioned at an angle and the bold black print became clear. “I can read one word.” Chills slammed through his chest, spread like fingers to his limbs. He jerked away, stiffened.

“What does it say?” “Boom.”

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Book Description

David Ponder is back. This time the fate of mankind is in his hands. 

This is mankind’s last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent humanity hurtling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship, and it consists of only two words.

With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history’s best and brightest minds to uncover this solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to discover the answer.

Readers first encountered David Ponder in The Traveler’s Gift. Now, in The Final Summit, Andrews combines a riveting narrative with astounding history in order to show us the one thing we must do when we don’t know what to do.

My Review

This book was some good reading! While it is a sequel to The Traveler’s Gift which I have not read, overall, I think it wasn’t necessary to have read the first book. There were a few characters that I assume were in the first book that weren’t really needed in this one. Not having read the first title, though, I have to assume that if I had, it would have been nice to visit these folks again.

The concept of travelling is really very interesting. Wouldn’t it be great to have the opportunity to visit with people from history, like Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington Carver (who were also travelers) ? The list of travellers convened for the final summit reads like a who’s who of great people in history.

With the instructions given by the archangel Gabriel, I had an idea of what the answer could be. It’s a good thing they weren’t relying on me, because I, too, was wrong. 🙂 The answers agreed upon and given seemed plausible, and the line of reasoning was sound. I particularly appreciated the information provided by the author at the end of the book, because there were some historical folks mentioned in the book that I was unfamiliar with. To have confirmation that they were real people has left me interested in learning more about them.

That being said, I’m giving this title 4.5 out of 5 stars, because while it was a really good read, it hasn’t left me thinking about the book since reading it. It also didn’t put me in a position where I didn’t want to put it down to find out what happened next. Because I am thinking about the two relatively unknown pivotal people, I’m giving it an extra 1/2 star.

Give this book a go if you want to think! You won’t be disappointed!

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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I’m in ♥♥♥!


I am. I’m in love. ♥♥♥ And it’s life-changing.

Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would fall so hard so fast. I can only hope it’s reciprocated.

I’ve had a taste, and I can’t go back. At this moment, I feel like I would be crushed and breathless if things didn’t work out. To say I would be devastated would be a gross underestimation of the facts. I just cannot imagine.

Yesterday, after doing it for the first time in my life, I was literally euphoric; riding high. I swear- I could feel the rush of endorphins when they hit; leaving me content and completely satiated, yet totally jazzed.

Yes, that’s right. I am in love, and I don’t care who knows it!

Yesterday afternoon, I bought 20 gallons of milk; two week’s worth. I came home and not only did I have room for all of them, but I probably could have gotten them into the new fridge in the house.  😆 We started off with 13 gallons in the fridge; and are now down to 11.  As you can see, we haven’t moved all the contents of the old fridge (which is in the garage) in yet, so I wanted to allow space for that.

Why is this so life-changing? Am I just being dramatic? 😆

Y’all know I don’t like shopping- of any kind- right? My normal grocery shopping consists of weekly trips to Walmart, Sam’s Club, and sometimes other stores, depending on sales. And I hate every single minute of it. Truly, I despise shopping, particularly grocery shopping, because I’ll just have to waste an entire afternoon again next week.

The new fridge, however, allows me to be able to do two weeks worth of shopping at one time. Yay!

It’s a total time-saver! What a deal! I’ll have to make a list (because, you know, I love my lists, too :lol:) and itemize all the different things I can do with those extra 6 hours a week. And, it will save me gas, too!

Lest you think I’m being a bit silly, let me tell you that I am not the only one in love with the fridge. Yep. Hunny’s in love with it too!

Last night, he spent playing around with the ice/water dispenser. He learned quite a bit. Like, for example, not only is the water coming out chilled to 34 degrees, but you can set your water level and walk away. Want 8 ozs of water? Punch it in. Have a bigger glass and want 20 ozs? Punch it in. It also converts to liters.

And there is mood lighting, ooo la la! There are three different lighting settings- and that’s just for the ice/water dispenser!  😆 Not to be outdone, the fridge has mood lighting of its own. Not only are there multiple lights throughout (so you can actually see all the stuff in the fridge from top to bottom, including everything in the produce drawers), but it’s “sensitive” lighting.  😆

Gone are the days of scorching your eyeballs in the middle of the night when you need a snack! Nope! When you open this fridge, it’s kind enough to start with dim lighting and gradually get brighter, allowing your pupils to adjust without pain! They weren’t kidding, calling this the “Gold” edition. 😀

Although, we have to say- we do have one whine that we’ll just have to suck up and deal with. There may be a way (but we haven’t found it yet, so we have to count this as a non-option), but at this point it does not look like we can choose the size of out ice cubes, as we had seen in other models. Boo.  😆 I suppose that’s the trade-off, now that I’m thinking about it.

I have to concede that it was worth the wait. They were supposed to be here yesterday at 10:30. By 1 pm, I was again, getting annoyed. Fortunately, they called to say they were on their way, which I appreciated. They had 10 more deliveries after mine. 😯

But lucky me! Sears called again last night to let me know my delivery would be here today sometime between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm! 😆

Nope. I’m not gonna wait on them this time. I am going to enjoy being in love………… ahhhhhhhhhhhhh……………… :mrgreen:

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Finding the ‘sweet spot.’

Double your pleasure; double your fun.

Puppy pile.

Cuddle party.

Too close for comfort?

No room at the inn.

Chickens that lay together, stay together.

😆

The general rule of thumb is to plan on having one nesting box for every 3 to 4 chickens. And that’s being conservative. Most suggestions say 4 to 5 chickens; and I’ve seen recommendations that say one box for every 8 to 12 chickens, even. For our 13 girls, we go between 4 and 5 nesting boxes; 3 are fixed and 2 are portable. Today, we have 4 nesting boxes out there.

Our chickens are good. Even when they are roaming the yard, they still go back into the nesting boxes when they need to let loose an egg. Early on, we had a grand total of 2 eggs laid out in the yard- one under a bush and the other under the grill, in the cabinet.  😆 These days, should there be any one who needs to lay in the afternoon, you’ll see them dashing into the coop to leave us a treasure.

More and more lately, the girls have been sharing space. 😆 Today, I actually managed to get some pictures.  Even though the numbers of chickens in the nesting boxes was staying the same, they were playing musical boxes and by the time I got back out with my camera, there would be the same number, but different chickens in the boxes together.

 

Silly girls!  😆

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I’m Steamed


I’m normally pretty patient when it comes to counting on others to show up when they say they’re going to, particularly if they are delivering appliances, or have other technical calls.

But this?  Sears called last night to let us know that our 2 hour delivery window for today- a day we had to pay extra delivery for because it was on the weekend- was between 10:45 am and 12:45 pm.

It’s 5:01 and we haven’t been visited. At 3 pm, I called the store, only to be hung up on the first time.  Patiently, I called back. I was routed to someone who didn’t speak English very well.  You can read my thoughts about that here. Despite being annoyed that the person didn’t speak English very well, the gist that I got was that she was going to get a message to the delivery guys and have them call me.

She said that we were delivery #3 and that they were at delivery #2 right then.  No idea why it would take them well over an hour each for those 2 deliveries.

At 4:30 pm, I called Sears again and took a different route with the automated menu.  Once again, after getting to a live person, they hung up on me.

Not to be deterred, I called back and figured out a way to get to the actual store. That was at 4:30 pm.  Supposedly, the manager was with someone and was going to call me back.  Now it’s 10 minutes after 5, and no call; no delivery. Apparently, it’s taking even longer to deliver those two items, because now they are more than 4 hours past their promised 2 hour delivery window. And, it’s been another 2 hours +.

The store closes in 45 minutes.  Anyone want to bet if 1) the manager actually calls me like he supposedly is going to or 2) if I get my refrigerator today, despite paying extra for a weekend delivery?

I’m half tempted to drive down there and have them load my truck, although logic would say that if it’s actually on their truck, that would be a waste of my time. THIS is the kind of stuff that hacks me off royally. In a normal world with choices, I wouldn’t shop there again because lousy service shouldn’t be rewarded. But when you are rural, hey, they can screw you all they want because you don’t have choices.

Sears- you have dropped the ball.  I am steamed.    UPDATE: Well, whaddya know? Apparently, their fax machine which gives them their delivery orders is broken, so the delivery truck never even got LOADED so the lady who told me they were on the second delivery and I was next?  Ya, flat out lied. And, because supposedly they had nooooo idea whooooo was supposed to get a delivery (nevermind they had stuff shipped to them in the store because it wasn’t in stock), they couldn’t call anyone and tell them about their issues.

But wait-there’s more!  When I called, she acted all surprised that I hadn’t been called, because apparently, the delivery service was supposed to have called me to let me know what was going on. She also *almost* tried to argue with me when I told her they were going to refund the Saturday delivery charge. Can you believe that?!

So now they have totally screwed my training schedule for two days, a few weeks before a race. I didn’t run today because I had planned to do it after they came in the morning. One totally wasted day. And now they are coming mid-morning Monday, which means another wasted non-running day because I won’t have time.  I did not need this now.

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Book Description

Once he rode for gold-buckle dreams. Now ride with Lucas McCade as he scouts the back trails over the rolling hills of Oklahoma and encounters the paths of the powers of darkness. It promises to be the ride of a lifetime!

My Review

This book was totally not what I expected based on the above description. Yes, there was a cowboy recently retired from the rodeo circuit to spend more time with his family. One of the main characters, though, was Connor, the high school senior son of rodeo cowboy Lucas and his wife. There were a few different threads going on at the same time in this book.

While it was a fast read, each of these threads could have been explored and developed more. I felt like parts of it were snips that made no sense whatsoever. There were numerous chapters that introduced characters and that was the first and last time you saw them, although one character did make a single, repeat appearance in a situation that was central to the plot. I kept expecting the other minor characters to come back and to be woven into the storyline at some point, but it never happened.

This book could have done really well with storyline review and editing. Instead of the minor character chapters that were completely extraneous, it would have been nice to have had better character development of the main characters. I also wish the description would have said something about demons. The concept of good vs. evil can make for some fantastic reading, but this title didn’t quite live up to that mark.

Because the storyline was so disjointed, I have to give it 3 out of 5 stars. I was never able to get around the confusion of “what does this person have to do with the story” well enough to get immersed in the book.  If you like demons, witches, and brief appearances by angels, you might like this title.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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