Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Blog

Hello followers!

First, let me say sorry yet again that I have not been very active on my blog site. The reason for that is because I have been in college, working, and helping raise two little boys for my (ex) roommate. Now that I am being put on hold with school, I am going to try and focus on my reading and my blogging a lot more. With all of that said, I have decided to revamp my blog, and sort of start new, and fresh. I am moving from blogspot and going over to word press. I feel like it is way better to manage, and I feel like it is more "professional", in a way. So, if you are following me on this blog, please feel free to go on over to my new blog and follow me there. Also, look me up on Facebook and follow that as well for upcoming updates! Below are the links to my Facebook page, as well as a link to the new blog.

Thanks, readers! I look forward to seeing you on my new website!

Facebook
New Blog


Stephany

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Author Spotlight: Martin Gijzemijter: Author of Dinner with God

I received an email last night, from someone who touched me with his story. My email came from Martin Gijzemijter, and he was telling me his incredible story of how his father (and himself of course) had the unfortunate circumstances of losing someone very close to the both of them. Martin's Mom, his father's wife, passed away. His father was having a hard time dealing with it, and coping, and from an "outsiders" view, Martin felt helpless at how to help his father come to terms with the sadness around him, and the pain of losing his wife.

Of course, Martin was sad too. But it is a whole different story when you see someone else go through so much, as Martin's father had.

This story touched so close to home for me. December 28th, 2013, my Grandma passed away. It was devastating to so many of us in our family, but it just about killed my Mom. It killed me, and still does, to see how heartbroken she is. That was her Mother. Her best friend. She never knew a life where she did not have her. Same for Martin's father.

Well, Martin did something incredible for his father. He decided to write a novel, Dinner with God, to help his father cope with the loss of his wife. In Martin's words, "It started with a letter, then turned into a story, and eventually into a novel".

In the novel Dinner with God, Martin is able to send his father on one last adventure with his mother, to allow them to say goodbye. To have closure they did not get. By doing this, Martin states that he is showing his father that he still does have things to live for, and to be grateful for.

Martin was having trouble finishing the project. He couldn't understand why. He met deadlines all of the time. But then he came to the realization that there really wasn't a deadline. There wasn't necessarily a hurry to get in entirely finished, over night. And that, folks, is how his next dream on this project started. Martin decided to write his novel online, with one requirement. He had to write 1000 words a day. By doing this, he would gain followers, who would want to know more, who would want to come back to see what happens.

Once he finished this amazing feat, he was able to get the book published and translated into Dutch. How amazing is that? The novel has been very popular among the Netherlands and now he wants to get the book translated back into English, doing the same thing he did before. 1000 words a day, online.

Once it is completely translated, he will leave it online for an entire week, then take it down to have it edited and published in English.

Based on all of this alone, I cannot wait until 1. this is published online for a week and 2. It is published for all of us to go out and purchase. I will be the first one in line. I promise you that.

The reason Martin is doing this, getting it published, is because it helped his father so much that he and his father are hoping to touch others, and that it will give others hope and courage to be okay again after losing someone close to them.

Finally, with all of that said... this is what we need from you, as readers, as followers, as believers, as what you are...

We, and mostly Martin and his father need to get the word out there. We need to let everyone know about this project. We need to show everyone how important it is to get this novel translated back in English, and to get in published.

You can find more on Martin's project by going here: http://www.dinnerwithgod.com.

Research more into it if you want to. But please, share this if it is on your heart. I feel like this was brought to me for a reason, it is weighing on my heart to get this out there, and I hope it does your as well.

I have told Martin that I will everything I can to help make this dream come true.

If you need anymore information about what you can do, please contact me and I will be in touch with Martin every step of the way during this project. We will do what we can to make this dream come true.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Winner for Finding Me by Michelle Knight Book Contest

Hello, everyone!

Sorry for the late post. July 30th was the last day to enter the contest to win Michelle Knight's book Finding Me. Unfortunately, only 4 people entered the contest. I used random.org to choose a winner, and Pat S. won! She had 24 hours to respond, in which she did! She is very excited to read Finding Me!

If you haven't read it yet, I highly suggest you do so! You can find my review here.

Congratulations, Pat! Expect your copy of Finding Me in the mail very soon!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: The Chance by Karen Kingsbury

Title: The Chance

Author: Karen Kingsbury

Pages: 315

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4703-7

Rating: 4 Book Marks




The day before a teenage Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend Nolan sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other and buried them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return eleven years later, dig the box up, and read the letters. But now, as that date approaches, much as changed. Ellie has abandoned the faith she grew up with, her days consumed with loving her little girl and trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches TV to catch a glimpse of her old friend Nolan, now an NBA star, whose faith is known by the entire nation. But few know that Nolan's own personal tragedies have fueled both his faith and athletic drive. Despite his success, Nolan is isolated and lonely, plagued by a void in his heart that has remained since that night beneath the old oak tree with Ellie. For both Ellie and Nolan, the coming date is more than just a childhood promise. It's the chance to make sense of it all--the chance to find out if it's ever too late to find love again.
Karen Kingsbury weave a moving tale of heart-wrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only a forever kind of love can heal. She delves deeply into a theme that resonates within us all: Hope lives for those willing to take a chance. [[ Blurb taken from inside flap of the book. ]] 



First, can I say that sometimes I feel like the blurbs on the inside flap of the book or the blurb on the back of the book gives too much away? I had a hard time adding the information on the inside flap of this book, simply because it gave so much away. Are you one to read what a book is about before reading the book? I more than likely will not read about the book before reading it.

Anyway. Back to the review.

I am a huge Karen Kingsbury fan. I have read all of her books, with an exception on the last few that have come out. I am a Christian and believe in the power of God himself, as well as Prayer, so reading her books always makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

While reading the book, I debated back and forth on the rating I was going to give it. In the beginning, I thought about 4 stars, then it quickly started to go down to about 2 stars. Honestly, the only reason I thought about giving it such a low rating is because it got super slow for a while. Not much was happening, there was not a lot of answers to things, etc. However, as I kept reading, the overall rating started to go up quite a bit.

Karen writes in the way that you can FEEL what her charterers are feeling. Ellie was broken, alone and confused. That is how I felt. I felt like it was me who was moved to California from the only place I had known. I felt like it was me who had the child out of wedlock. I felt like it was me who was in love with Nolan Cook.

In this book, you felt for every character. Ellie. Nolan. Ellie's parents, Nolan's dad. Ellie's daughter, Kinzie. There was so much passion, loving, caring, laughter, heartache, etc. in this story, that you felt like you were on a roller coaster ride full of emotion.

When you read this book (and you better ALL read it!) you find yourself routing for all of the characters. For Ellie to find herself again. For Nolan to win at some sort of basketball championship. You will find yourself routing for Ellie's mom within the first few pages, hoping something good happens with her and her family.

Most of all, and probably what I enjoyed most about the book... I had no idea where the story was going, nor how it was going to end. This was probably the less predictable book I have read in a while. With each page, I had no idea what was coming next.

Even if you aren't a believer in God, Prayer, religion, etc. I still suggest you read this book. Karen's books aren't overpowering. There is just enough of all of this in it for those who believe, and just enough for those who do not.

As I mentioned above, I really am only giving it 4 out of 5 stars instead of 5 out of 5 simply based on the slow part of the book. But that is no way a deal breaker on whether or not you should read it, because YES YOU SHOULD!



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Giveaway!!! Contest to Win Finding Me by Michelle Knight

It's time for a contest!!! After reading and writing my review on Michelle Knight's book, Finding Me, I was asked if I would like to do a contest and have someone win a free copy of her book. I am very excited to do this, and hope you are all excited to enter yourselves to win!

There will be ONE winner chosen at random by using the Google random counter widget. I will keep track of everyone who is entering themselves. The contest begins TODAY and will end at 11:59pm EST on July 30th. On July 31st, I will announce the winner via a post on here, as well as email them. The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize. If I do not hear from them, a second winner will be chosen.

The winner will receive a free copy of Finding Me, as well as a few other book-ish type things.

You get ONE entry just by entering your name and email. If you would like additional entries added for a greater chance to win, you can go and follow Michelle's Facebook, Goodreads, etc. I will provide links below. For reach social media that you follow, you get another entry. For example, you will get ONE entry for adding your name, then if you follow Michelle on Facebook, you will get an entry for that, giving you two entries. You can also gain entries by following my blog, and/or my Facebook page. Again, gaining one additional entry per social media. If possible, please provide the links proving you followed these areas.


Michelle's Goodreads 

Michelle's Facebook

Stuck Between the Pages Facebook


Use the form below to enter the contest. Have fun, and good luck!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Author Spotlight: Laura dion-Jones Author of Commit to get Fit

Laura Dion-Jones is a pro-health activist, Corporate Wellness Coach (CCWC), Certified Wellness Coach (CWC), radio show host, and motivational weight loss and
lifestyle speaker/writer.

Laura’s weight loss success story speaks for itself. She shed 150 pounds in 2-1/2 years by cutting white starch and sugary carbs from her diet and by making walking her daily cardio of choice. Serious walking! Since January 1st, 2003, Laura has walked over 35,000 miles. That’s all the way around the earth at the equator. And she’s still walking daily -- for the health of it. Today, she’s considered an “Elite Walker” averaging over 50 miles per week.

Laura brings expertise and vast experience in fitness, fashion, and beauty to her coaching
career. This background has helped her become one of the country’s top experts and
motivational coaches in the fields of weight loss, fitness walking, improved personal
appearance and increased self-esteem.

Think of Laura as a catalyst, a one-of-a-kind motivator who provides effective,
accountability-based fitness programs and motivational seminars for healthy weight loss
and maintenance – custom-tailored to the needs of the individual or corporate wellness
program. Her coaching touches on the physical, emotional and environmental aspects of
each person’s life.

With her straightforward and encouraging “if I can do it, YOU can do it” approach, Laura
will give you, your employees, or your organization the jump start needed for increased,
sustainable wellness.

It’s a win-win. Balancing personal health and on-the-job, professional performance will
help your employees lead productive, happy and well-balanced lives. And what company
doesn't want happy, more productive employees? See http://www.commit-fit.com

Author Spotlight information above was provided by BreakThrough Promotions



If you are interested in reading Laura's Commit to Get Fit, I highly suggest you do so. You can hear her entire story about her journey from an plus sized model from the 60s to who she is today. Visit her website at: http://www.commit-fit.com to inquire about the possibility of interviews and/or review copies of her book.

Check back in the next couple of weeks for my honest review of Laura's book!

Review: Finding Me; A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed by Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford

Title: Finding Me - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

Author: Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford

Where I Got It: I was contacted to read and review it.

Why I Read It: Because I wanted to know the honest story that Michelle and the other two girls went through with the kidnappings.

Rating: 5 book marks




Michelle Knight was kidnapped in 2002 by a Cleveland school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. Millions of well-wishers now wonder: What really happened in that house, and how did Michelle find the strength to go on?
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would be be broken.
Heartbreaking, shocking, and ultimately triumphant, Finding Me reveals the details of Michelle's story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find her courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. In sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a  voice for the voiceless and powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year. [[ Blurb from the inside flap of the book. ]]




WOW! Where do I even begin with this book!? It is the most heart breaking, heart wrenching, saddest, shocking, powerful book I have ever read. 100 percent hands down. I kept going back and forth with thinking about just how good this book was, because it is a true story. All of these terrible, awful things happened to this person, to Michelle, and here I am, reading her story and thinking, "This book is amazing". I sort of felt like a bad person for thinking that. This book is a page turner that you will not be able to put down. And again, being a true story, I feel/felt bad for saying that. This poor girl, who turned into a woman and missed out on SO MUCH of her life, was tortured, raped, beat, and here I am, thinking it's a good story.

However, I also decided that it is very well written. The book isn't just about when she was kidnapped. It is written from the beginning of her life. From when she was young, and with her family, with events leading up to when she was kidnapped. It was so well written, that I FORGOT sometimes, that is WAS a true story. Does that make any sense?

The way she wrote her story, made me feel like I knew her. Like I was living it with her, just not getting the physical, emotional and sexual abuse. When she was crying and heartbroken, I could feel it in my heart. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to jump into the pages of that book and hold her. Hug her. Take her out of that prison she knew for 11 years.

I have always felt weird, or indifferent about reading a Memoir. I feel like all of the ones I've written (besides this one, of course) isn't written well. But this one... Wow. Just, wow.

I encourage you to go out in buy this book. Put your entire self inside of it. Read it. Cry. Read it again. In fact, I would be willing to BUY this book FOR some of you, it is just that good.

Michelle, if you ever read this review, please know you are my hero. You are by far the strongest, most courageous woman I have ever known. I hope one day to meet you, to give you a hug and tell you how amazing you are. Keep going strong, girl. Keep making that new life for yourself!!!