Monday, May 30, 2011

My Other Life - HAM Radio Operator

Today, my husband, Bill, and I worked with our local Amateur Radio Club, Tulsa Repeater Organization, to do communications for the Maple Ridge Run. This was my first time to actually do any communications. I learned a little about keeping a log and I walked the run 3.3 miles with the Tactical name: Walker! (Couldn't make it 3rd round!) Here are some photos of the team:

TRO Communications Team
Me - Learning how to do the Log

Wiped out after 3.3 miles!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A delightful read for the hopelessly romantic!

I started this book late last night, but it was so good, I rushed home from church to finish it today!

Save the Date has all the ingredients of a delightful romance: one desperate young lady with a nonprofit that's lost its funding, one rich and handsome politician who needs a temporary "fiancé" in order to get elected, and plenty of sizzling electricity between them.

Throw in a number of interfering relatives, a troubled group of foster girls, and a dash of Mexican drug lords, and you'll discover a book you absolutely don't want to miss!

This is the first book by Jenny B. Jones that I've read, but it won't be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the story and the romance! How can you not love a heroine who counts to ten in Klingon and sleeps in a Wookie nightshirt, She's full of life, has a giving heart, and is plagued with just enough problems to keep you rooting for her throughout the book.  I absolutely loved this book!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review of Lethal Remedy by Richard Mabry

This one kept me reading!

Lethal Remedy is about corruption in the pharmaceutical industry: get the drug out at all costs. When Dr. Sara Miles begins to investigate what she suspects are deadly side effects caused by the “wonder” drug, Jandramycin, “accidents” begin to happen. Her patients are dying, her life is threatened, and she doesn’t know whom to trust with her suspicions.

What I liked about the book is the plot. I know this is a fiction book, but I had a hard time distinguishing fact from fiction while reading it! Mabry uses his medical knowledge to create a book that is not only suspenseful, but also very believable! It didn’t take me long to finish the book because I wanted to find out what happened next!

I have to give the book 4 stars instead of 5 because I don't like the way Mabry uses italics to provide insight into the character’s thoughts. For some reason, I found this annoying. I would rather have discovered this information through conversation. A minor point, but it is one that affected my enjoyment of the book.

If you like medical thrillers, you’ll like this one. It’s not a Michael Crichton, but it’s still a good book. And, it will get you thinking about that next drug you take!

I received this book free from the publisher through netGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Self Publishing Article in the NYT

I just read this article in the New York Times about Self-Publishing, written by Neal Pollack. Yesterday, I read that Amazon is selling more e-books than print books. Self-publishing has been working for me on a small scale, but I keep trying to get "published" the traditional way, while other seem to keep moving toward self-publishing. Hmmmm - am I going in the wrong direction? Any thoughts?

Review of Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy

Deep Trouble is about searching for gold and true love. The heroine, Shannon Dysart, encounters trouble in every chapter and a man that steals her heart. For those of you who like Mary Connealy’s other books, I’m sure you’ll love this one. It’s full of action, adventure and romance.

Personally, I prefer a bit more history, plot and character development in my books. I like to learn as well as be entertained. This book reads more like a Love Inspired Harlequin novel: simple with lots of dialogue. It’s a great book for a fast read on a lazy day, but not something you’ll think about much a week later.

I was provided a digital copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

News on the Homefront

We made another trip out to Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Md. this month. The news wasn't good. My husband, Bill, is now legally blind, and there isn't much that can be done about it, if any. After five years of trying to find answers, we've decided it's time to trust God for healing in His time and move on to the adjustment phase.

There are so many things you don't think about until someone close to you loses their vision. For instance, do you know how difficult it is for someone to do the laundry, cook in the oven, or run the dishwasher with the new touch screen pads? They can't feel the buttons. Or how about putting toothpaste on your toothbrush? Or reading a menu and paying the bill at a restaurant when you can't tell what denomination the money is?

It's been quite an adjustment for my husband, Bill, as he loses more and more of his independence, and for me, as I have to take on more and more of the responsibilities. But, with God's help, we are making it and it's getting better every day. We are adjusting and life is good!

Thanks to everyone who has been praying with us as we go through this process. We really appreciate you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Other Life - Ham Radio

One of my newest hobbies is Ham Radio (KF5JFM). I got into it because of my husband's interest and the fact that he is no longer able to drive because of his vision loss. I used to take him to the meetings and wait around until he was done. Then, one day, I decided to join them! So, I got my Technician's license in 2010; and in April, I got my General's license.

In January, I became the Public Relations Chair for the Tulsa Repeater Organization. A large part of my responsibility is the TRO Signal Newsletter. I enjoy using my writing skills for this super group of Ham operators.

Our big project right now is setting up our Ham Shack. I'll post some pictures as it develops!


Introducing: Kelly Rockey Allen

Great News! Kelly Rockey Allen has agreed to be a contributing writer for my homeschool website, How to Homeschool Today. Kelly is a graduate of Liberty University with a Bachelors of Science in Education and a minor in Special Education. 

I've known Kelly since 1985 when she was a young girl being homeschooled by her parents, Roger and Jean Rockey. Because of a death in the family, our family spent two years living in a motor home in the Rockey’s driveway while Bill, my husband, completed his master's degree at Regent University. Kelly and her brother, John, were about the same ages as my two children, Wil and Shelly; so, wherever we went, we usually took Kelly and John, too. They became part of my family as we became part of theirs.

Today, Kelly lives in the Tidewater area of Virginia with her husband, Mitchell. They homeschool four of their children: Josh, Cayti, Jett and Hannah. 

Kelly is going to be a wonderful addition to How to Homeschool Today. She not only has a degree in Special Education and her own experience as a homeschooled student to bring to the table, but she also has 14 years of personal experience in Special Education because of her son’s struggle with Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome). And even better, she’s a delightful person to know. I enjoyed her as a little girl, and I enjoy her even more as an adult. I’m very blessed to have her become a part of this project.

You’ll be hearing more about Kelly over the next few weeks as we get her settled in as a contributing writer on How to Homeschool Today. In the meantime, check out her blog at Kelly Allen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If you start to put this book down, DON'T!

River's Song (The Inn at Shining Waters series) by Melody Carlson. 

It took me a while to get into River's Song because of all the background material presented in the first five chapters, Once the actual story begins, however, it’s an easy read and a delightful, historical romance.

In the beginning chapters, the author provides a lot of background to Anna's past - how her mother-in-law, Eunice, objected to her son, Adam, marrying a "squaw," as well as how Eunice treated Anna while they lived with her during Adam’s illness and the 10 years after Adam died. Anna becomes nothing more than a housekeeper for Eunice, who spoils Anna’s daughter, Lauren, and encourages her to disrespect her mother’s Native American heritage.

Personally, I would rather this background information were dispersed a bit more throughout the book rather than all up front. It made it harder to get into the book. If I had seen it at a bookstore, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. However, I’m glad I pushed through the first few chapters because it was a really good book!

The present-day story begins with Anna going to the funeral of her mother, Marion. After the funeral, Anna goes to the family home to clean and sell it. Along the way, she meets Hazel Chenowith, an anthropologist who studies Indian history. After showing Hazel some of her woven baskets, the family dugout canoe, and the writings of her Father, Hazel asks if she can transcribe them. A new relationship forms between them, and Anna decides to stay longer. Hazel encourages Anna to turn the family property into an Inn, and introduces her to her son, Clark, the hero and romantic interest of the story.  

River’s Song is a story of healing and new beginnings. Once I got into the book, I loved it! 

Warning: I was extremely upset when I got to the end because there were still some loose ends. However, after thumbing through the discussion questions that followed, I discovered an excerpt from Book 2 of the series. What a relief! Now, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series so I can find out what happens next!

If you like historical romances, you'll love this book. If you want an action-packed, quick-get-to-the-plot story, you might have some trouble. But I encourage you to wait it out. It's worth it!