I'm excited to share this book recommendation from Christine Connor.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
– A Hidden Gem
Most true book lovers have so many books that, after a time, one wonders if their breeding behind your back. You decide that it’s best not to ever move house ever again because of the tremendous amount you’d have to spend on truck rental
and you start to keep books in places no ordinary person would: kitchen cupboards, the garden shed or maybe even in your pillow cases. Anywhere that spreads out the tidal wave of paperbacks and makes your book habit look more like a vague interest than an all-consuming obsession.
Although all of these books probably mean something to you there’s bound to be one that means more than all the rest. One that you will read time and again and each time it will make you laugh or cry or both just as it did the first time. That book, for me, is Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson.
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is a little-known gem of woman’s fiction written by Watson right before the war in 1938. When Watson originally wrote the work it was rejected and she had to barter with her agent just to get it published. Considering the intricate beauty of this work this is quite astounding. Once it was published, however, it did become a success and it was so well-loved that producers began planning a musical film version of the book. Unfortunately just as the film was about to go into production Pearl Harbour happened and the book and the film became buried as people focused on more important day-to-day concerns. For years it remained all but forgotten before, recently, being republished by Persephone Books who specialise in women’s fiction. Since then a film version has been made starring Frances McDormand in the leading role, originally, back during the war, it was supposed to be Billy Burke. Sadly we’ll never know how that version turned out. The 2008 film did its best to live up to the fun of the book but, like so many book to film translations failed to capture its spirit. The problem with turning Miss Pettigrew into a film is that it’s a very pacy book in a lot of respects and has you wanting to read the next chapter even though you’ll be late for work. Again. It’s quite difficult to recreate this on film.
Like all the best stories Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is a simple tale about a very poor nanny who accidentally goes to the wrong address when she’s given a job by an agency. Little does she know as she knocks on fortune’s door that a wonderfully exciting world waits behind it. Over the course of the book Miss Pettigrew, who is at the beginning insular and unsure, gradually grows in confidence through a serious of hilariously uncomfortable social situations and makes a big difference to the lives of the people she has happened upon. These people immediately accept her into their circle which is something Miss Pettigrew, being a poor nanny, is not used to at all and over the course of the book she finds new life-long friends.
Reasons to love it
When I picked up this book for the first time I wasn’t at all expecting the glorious journey it took me on. A friend had found it by accident at the library and had then begged me to buy it and read it for myself. It’s absolutely the best book purchase I have ever made. Not only is the story sweet, the characters genuine and well-rounded and the conclusion well thought out but the writing is actually very, very good. It’s delicately phrased without being too flowery and its witty, dry tone is guaranteed to have you smiling with every page you turn, I know that’s what happened for me.
Perhaps the biggest reason to love this book, however, is Miss Petigrew herself. The character of the retiring nanny isn’t necessarily something we can all identify with but her persona is. She is constantly unsure, constantly hoping for the best but expecting the worst and in a way this reflects how a lot of us feel about our lives for a lot of the time. We’re always hoping that there’s a happy ending somewhere around the corner but never quite dare to believe it until it really happens for us. I won’t give away the ending but I do promise that, if you see this book through to its conclusion, you won’t be disappointed.
One ordinary afternoon, research specialist Dr. Erin Cross steps into a local deli to get some lunch and nearly takes a bullet instead. Thanks to timely intervention from a former Marine, she walks away from the seemingly freak incident. But when she returns to find her lab under security lockdown and her apartment ransacked, she realizes the attack was anything but random. Erin can’t make sense of the threat, given her low profile after a disastrous H1N1 vaccine trial. She doesn’t know that her former colleague has used the virus to develop a potent bio-weapon or that her recent research holds a key to his success. And she doesn’t know that his collaborators want her dead before she blows the whistle.
Fleeing for safety with her research in hand, Erin unravels the threats with help from the timely Marine, former Special Ops agent Sean Flannery. But the closer they come to finding answers, the more questionable Sean’s behavior becomes. His erratic moods and suspicious communications are more fitting for an enemy than a friend. And as the crisis comes to a head, Erin can’t be sure who harbors more secrets — the bio-terrorists pursuing her or the one man who can give her protection.
Definitely my favorite read of the summer. This book is intense, well-written, well-researched, and intriguing. It was one of those books that I kept reading even when it was one in the morning and I had to wake up at four. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fast-paced suspense.
What I liked: Loved the storyline and the main characters. Amazing how a male author could develop a female protagonist so well.
What I didn't like: I didn't enjoy the backstory dump as it interrupts pacing and I'd rather get to know the character slowly through dialogue, thought, and action. I always skip the backstory (someday I'll learn some patience).
Audience: I would recommend it to any adult.
I struggle with my boys leaving me for school. I love having no schedule, laughing at all their crazy games, and knowing the baby will be spoiled and protected when I take a shower or change a load of laundry. At the same time I have to admit I'm excited to have a semi-clean house, save on the grocery bill (you would not believe how much four boys can consume, $1.55 for school lunch is sounding mighty good) and maybe fit in some writing time.
I wanted to do an informal poll. Do you want your children back in school or are you in mourning (or somewhere in the middle like me)? There are no wrong answers. It doesn't make you a bad parent if you're sick of cleaning up gooey popsicle sticks.
Please leave a comment and share how you deal with back to school.
Congrats to Nancy Davis, winner of Just Shy of Paradise
by Carole Thayne Warburton
. Thank you to Walnut Springs Press
for sponsoring this giveaway.
Jessica Davis won Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away
by Alison Silbert. Congrats Jessica! Thanks to all who entered!
Don't forget to enter to win Just Shy of Paradise
by Carole Thayne Warburton. The giveaway ends tomorrow.
Walnut Springs Press
has offered to give one copy (signed by the author I might add) of Just Shy of Paradise
to one of my blog followers. Lucky us!
Please leave a comment below to enter (must be a follower of this blog).
For extra entries:
for sharing the contest on Twitter or Facebook
for sharing the contest on your personal blog or adding the contest to your sidebar.
Contest ends August 6, 2011
Open to residents of U.S. and Canada
Please leave an e-mail address with your comment.
Read my review of Just Shy of Paradise here
When Lily's valuable fishing pole is stolen, her Native American friend, Sky, is charged with the crime. But things are not always as they seem in this intriguing tale of romance, secrets, and betrayal.
I was thrilled to find a new book by Carole. I loved False Pretenses
and A Question of Trust
. Just Shy of Paradise
is a different style than her others but I still loved it. The hero and heroine are both people you want to cheer for and get to know better. The storyline is very intriguing. Carole weaves a tragic historical event, The Bear River Massacre
, into the storyline in a very effective and touching manner.
I would definitely recommend this book.
What I liked: Fun and interesting story with great depth of characterization and plot. I loved Lily (she eats a lot of ice cream, we could be pals).
What I didn't like: Sometimes it moved a bit slow for me, but you all know how impatient I am.
Audience: There is some graphic description of the Bear River Massacre so I would recommend sixteen and up (but I'm a bit overprotective of my kiddos).
Buy Just Shy of Paradise
I was so impressed with this book I decided I needed to do a giveaway so one of my wonderful followers can be inspired to update their website like I was (give me a few weeks, I'm still working on it).
Boost Your Revenues By Turning People Away
is a fabulous how-to book. I learned a lot about how to startup or update a website but I also learned about promotion, marketing, and general internet info (that I probably should've known but didn't). I would recommend the book to anyone who is selling a product online.
So how do you win?
Must be a follower of the blog to enter.
for leaving a comment on this post.
for sharing the current giveaway on Twitter or Facebook.
for posting about the giveaway on your personal blog or putting it on your sidebar.
Please include an e-mail address or other contact info.
Contest closes August 1st.
Contest open to residents of U.S. and Canada.
Check out the Ideal Visitor website
Read my review of Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away here
"The harder I work, the luckier I get." Michael Jordan
One of my favorite nephews graduated from high school this year. He's a smart, good-looking, talented boy. He's also one of the nicest, hardest-working kids I know. The Michael Jordan quote was on his graduation announcement. I'm convinced his brains and talent (can't change the beauty part) have been developed to such a great extent because he learned to work hard at a young age.
There are many different aspects of life where hard work is essential. My husband is riding his bike in a race called Lotoja. From Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the race is 203 miles and almost 10,000 feet of vertical gain. In one day! I hurt just thinking about it. Other riders who have completed the race have told him it is 90% mind over body. Of course you have to train well and have the right equipment but the most important thing on race day: Don't give up.
No matter what you want to succeed at, it is imperative that you put in the time, train hard, and get the right equipment or help but the most important thing: don't give up.
Below are a few areas of my life that I want to succeed at but sometimes find myself becoming discouraged.
: Becoming fit is extremely tough. Many people start an exercise regime and quit because they get injured or sore or just plain sick of it. Please don't give up. I promise you it will get easier. As you do an activity you will enjoy it more. I'm finally recovered from my fourth baby and I completely understand how hard it is to get back into shape. It hurts. But it gets easier and more fun. Keep a positive attitude, keep making yourself get out of bed (I know, I love my mattress too), and keep trying different kinds of exercise. The variety will help you become more fit and keep you mentally excited about exercise.
: As I exercise each morning I am convinced that I will eat healthy the entire day. By two p.m. my taste buds are hollering for their ice cream fix. I'm embarrassed to admit that most days I succumb. But it's okay to give in once in a while. You don't have to be perfect to be a healthy eater. I like the 90/10 diet plan
(i): if you eat healthy 90% of the time, 10% of the time you can eat what you want. I try to eat low fat meals loaded with veggies so I can splurge on ice cream. Don't throw in the towel just because you slipped up on your diet. Enjoy the treat and do a little better next time. Or better yet, plan for the treat so you don't feel guilty or out of control.
(or any worthy goal): I know of many writers who keep a file filled with rejections from agents and publishers. Not me. I toss them in the trash, delete them from my computer, and try to erase them from my memory. Writing is a tough industry. It's rare to hear of a successful writer who didn't deal with rejection. It's brutal, but no matter what kind of industry you're trying to succeed at, you have to keep going. Learn from the setbacks and get up no matter how many times you get knocked down.
: As a parent I repeat myself so often I get tired of hearing it. No wonder my boys tune me out sometimes. Parenting is one of those areas you can never give up on. Even though it seems like they're never going to get it we have to keep working, trying and praying. "No success can compensate for failure in the home
." (ii) My focus has to be on my boys. When I start having those selfish nudges like wanting to eat a meal sitting down, I remind myself that they're growing up fast. I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to teach them but I also don't want to miss out on the fun.
: Endure to the end. How many times have you heard that one? It's always when I get kind of comfortable and think I'm doing things pretty well that the Lord reminds me of several areas I can improve. Never fun, but as we obey the commandments, pray our guts out, and listen to those promptings we can become more like the Savior each day.
What goals or dreams are important to you? How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?
(i) "The 90/10 Diet" by Joy Bauer
(ii) Quote by David O. McKay
, ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
When my boys are having a hard day I read them a funny book. When I'm feeling depressed I reach for a favorite novel. When we just need a break from reality we turn to books.
What if you were experiencing the toughest time of your life? Would you want to escape into a fantastic suspense or intriguing paranormal novel? Would you want to hold your child on your lap and laugh, cry, or teach them with a book?
(Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency) and CFSC
(Child and Family Support Center) help families through nightmarish experiences the rest of can't even imagine or understand.
The other night I sat thinking about the amazing people who run these agencies and wondering how I could help more. The families always need the basics: food, shelter, clothing, money. I know we all try to donate when we can. But it hit me that it would be very nice to provide these mothers, fathers, and children with books. Books might not be necessary for survival but they can comfort, teach, entertain, inspire, and bond.
How can you help?
Donate new or gently used books (they would appreciate children's, middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction and nonfiction) to one of these fabulous organizations or to your local family support or crisis center. If you want to donate to CFSC or CAPSA, email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I can take the books in for you or give you the contact info you need.
Whether you donate to CFSC, CAPSA, or your local organization, post a comment on this blog and let us know how many books you donated. I'll add the number to the counter on the right.
Please help spread the word and share the number of donated books. I can't wait to see that number grow.
Thanks for caring about the children,
I learned so much from Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away
that I wanted to know a little bit more about the book and author. I hope you'll enjoy picking Alison's brain as much as I did.
1. What inspired you to write the book
A colleague had suggested I put commonly asked questions into a book that I could hand out to prospective clients. It seemed like a good idea, so I went ahead and wrote the outline, then found potential book publishers (two of which showed interest in the outline). I completed the copy of the book, resubmitted the full manuscript to the same two publishers outlining the pre-qualifying process I had already completed, and signed a deal.
2. How do you determine your ideal client
“I” determine my ideal client by asking myself “who do I want to help?”, “what
characteristics are included in my definition of an ideal client?”, and “what are the top 3 problems my ideal client has that I can solve quickly and easily for him/her?”
3. How important is choosing the right business?
Imperative. If you are marketing to the wrong business you are wasting time, energy and money.
4. What advice can you give other entrepreneurs feeling overwhelmed by the
business, especially when a lot of things are going wrong at the same time?
Have faith. Regardless of your beliefs, things have a way of working themselves out.
There are numerous experts available, at various different price points, who are more than willing to assist you in generating the results you want.
5. What other advice can you give women entrepreneurs
Keep doing what you love.
6. The title of your book, what does it mean
Simply this: in spite of what most people use a website for (a glorified brochure
available for everyone to see), it is possible to write website copy that builds ideal prospects’ trust in you and your business, and leads them to take some step towards starting the sales cycle for you.
7. Tell us about “Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away
“Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away” is a compilation of all kinds of
experiences I have had with clients over the past 10 years woven between many useful
tidbits of information about how to get a website created and optimized so that it speaks only to your ideal client, rolled into one small book you can reference at a moment’s notice. Jam packed with useful tips on how to clarify the definition of your ideal client, three easy ways to put a website together and where to get the tools, and simple things you can do to increase your search engine ranking, this book is a must-have for any entrepreneur – seasoned or brand new. This book is also ideal for college/university graduates who want a leading-edge in a competitive job market.
8. How does this book benefit the reader
This book walks the reader through three distinct phases of creating a website. Phase 1: Clarifying who you want the website to speak to (i.e. clarifying who your ideal client is) and what message you want to convey through the website (i.e., what do you want your readers to know? What do you want your ideal prospects to do from your website?).
Phase 2: Three simple ways to construct the website (choosing a professional, using a content manager and using a template).
And Phase 3: Simple things that an average business person can do to increase the likelihood that the website will be seen by its ideal visitors (the business’s ideal clients).
9. Who is your intended audience
Anyone interested in learning for himself/herself how to put together an effective website that starts the sales cycle for them.
10. Tell us where “BOOST YOUR REVENUES BY TURNING PEOPLE” is available
The book is available from amazon.com
, Barnes & Noble and from.
Thanks, Alison, for stopping by my blog. Best wishes for a successful book launch. I'm sure many other business owners will enjoy the book as much as I did.
What’s the best way to increase your business? Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away: How to Sell More to Your Ideal Client Online provides the answer in a nutshell. This informative guide that’s backed up by real-life situations is chock-full of business advice that makes success as easy as ABC, with C standing for Computer! Just how can you achieve your business goals? In three simple steps, you will learn to identify your ideal client, see how to design a website, and publicize properly so your ideal client can find your site!
If you are setting up or revamping your website, you need this book. The book has everything you need to make an amazing website that will bring the clients your business needs. I read it from an author's perspective and found help not only for me but for my husband's mortgage business. I would definitely recommend it.
What I liked: Easy to read and answered many questions I've had about website or internet issues.
What I didn't like: Now I have to get to work updating my website!
Audience: Targetted to business owners and anyone who maintains a website
Ideal Visitor Website
(you definitely want to check this out)
Buy Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away
While I was on vacation I crossed the mark - 201 followers. Amazing. Thanks to all of you who take the time to click on that follow button and even more thanks to those who comment. You're all wonderful!
Alaska was amazing. I really needed that time to enjoy my husband. We had wonderful weather and spent most of our time hiking and biking which was a good thing as we ate and ate and ate. I gained four pounds. Don't want to think about how much I would've gained if we hadn't stayed active.
Thank you again for following.
Is it possible to forget who you once were?
Annalisse and Dennis seem to be living the American dream until Annalisse's secret past threatens to destroy their family.
This skillfully crafted novel from Whitney Award winner G.G. Vandagriff explores the long-term effects of personal tragedy in haunting flashbacks of Annalisse's former life—flashbacks that are interwoven with a passionate romance to reveal a person entirely different from the woman Dennis thought he had married.
But as Annalisse struggles with long-buried memories, Dennis's investigation of a toxic waste incident ignites the wrath of a former political ally and an industrial firm that will go to any lengths to cover up a shocking crime.
Can Annalisse reconcile her past and present before it's too late? And can Dennis find a way to save his family and the town they've called home?
I enjoyed this novel. It was different than anything I've read before and I really, really liked it. The author used flashbacks to Dennis and Annalisse's previous loves and it was effective. I usually don't like flashbacks but G.G. writes so well and the flashbacks were intriguing, I found myself looking forward to finding out what had happened in the past.
What I liked: I loved how the author dealt with a very serious subject without depressing me. I also loved that Dennis and Annalisse worked through their issues (and they had huge issues) together. They didn't give up on their marriage and they turned to the Lord for help. It was wonderful.
What I didn't like: The end felt a little abrupt. I wonder if the editor cut it because it didn't feel like something the author would do. But it ended well, no worries there.
I would definitely recommend this book.
Buy Pieces of Paris
G.G. Vandagriff's website
I'm a summer girl. I love having my boys out of school. I love being outside day and night. I also love writing out a list of chores we're going to accomplish each summer. The boys and I are going to deep clean and repaint every room in the house. The lawn will be free of trash and dandelions. My garden will feed the entire neighborhood. I will park my van and we will ride bikes everywhere (think of all the gas money I'll save). Summer reenergizes me. I usually update my New Year's Resolutions and plan to conquer my corner of Cache Valley. But life changed at the Checketts' home last summer. I used to feel I was efficient and organized. I used to have monthly goals and daily to-do lists and if I didn't work towards each goal every day I would get frustrated with myself.
Baby number four has flipped our objectives and made us so much happier. I still want to deep clean the house (though maybe not repaint) and have a garden (thank heavens it's at the back of our property so no one will see how weedy it is). After having four children I finally conquered my obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Because I have no choice. My baby needs me. My older boys need me. My husband needs me. My goals had to change. My new goals focus on my family, serving the Lord, and savoring each moment with this chubby baby. If I don't make it to the gym, turn on my computer, or fold the laundry, I try not to obsess over my lack of ambition.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, in a recent general conference, taught, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” (i)
Prioritizing is the hardest thing for me. Of course I'm not going to give up on my goals: my dreams of a garden, finishing my next novel, saving gas money by biking, or actually having a clean house. These are important things to me and I like to be motivated. We should always be trying to improve ourselves and the world around us. But sometimes we can go too far, get so wrapped up in the to-do list and forget about what's most important.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said he feared that we might "feel the busier we are, the more important we are - as though busyness defines our worth." Slowing down so we can meditate, ponder, and pray more can help us focus. President Gordon B. Hinckley recalled that his father "never ceased growing because he made time for thinking, meditating, and pondering." (ii) Maybe as we write our list of summer dreams we can focus more on improving our spirituality and making it possible for us to slow down and enjoy family, serving others, and the things that matter most.
This is especially true if you and your family are on overload (and who isn't most of the time?). Slowing down and focusing on the essentials will make it possible to accomplish the important things - scripture study, prayer, family meals, family activities, serving others, etc.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this.
Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.
Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.
Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace." (iii)
I pray each of you will have a wonderful, productive summer and be able to accomplish the goals you're setting for yourself and attain your dreams while still focusing on what matters most.
(i) "Good, Better, Best." Dallin H. Oaks, http://lds.org
(ii) "Don't be in a Hurry." by John C. Thomas, Ensign, June 2010 (This is a fabulous article. I re-read it every time I start feeling frantic.)
(iii) "Of things that matter most." President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October, 2010, Church News
We leave in a couple of hours for an Alaskan cruise. I can't wait to enjoy my husband, see the beautiful scenery, and eat the terrific food, if I just didn't have to leave my boys.
Hopefully the trip will also be good for the muse. The voices in my head haven't been chatty since I had my baby.
Does a vacation help you with your writing or do you just go relax, enjoy, and not worry about anything?
Blogger will not allow me to post comments on my blog or anyone else. I apologize if I don't respond to comments. I was going to ask if anybody else is having this problem but I guess if you are you can't post comments either! Hopefully we'll get it figured out soon.
I don't enjoy television. I'd much rather read a book, play with my boys, exercise, or be outside. The exception to this is The Biggest Loser. I love that show. We record it and watch it Friday or Saturday night. But last night I had to find out who won before somebody slipped and told me. Big mistake. My boys were wrestling, making up funny names for the contestants, giggling, and generally just driving me crazy. I actually said, "If you can't be quiet and listen to the show then go to your rooms!" Oh, ornery Momma. It hit me then how grateful I am that I usually spend my nights reading chapter books to my boys and I don't really have any must-watch shows (besides Biggest Loser). I like my sleep too much to stay up late watching television and I'm not sure how anyone watches with their children. But maybe the boys were just extra rambunctious last night.
Do you have any favorite shows? If so, how do you fit them in?
I love reading aloud
to my boys, especially when they're ready for chapter books. My boys have figured out if they want to stay up late they just have to say, "One more chapter, it's so good!"
Last night Double Fudge
by Judy Blume made it so I didn't fold the laundry, clean up the kitchen, or get enough sleep.
We have so much fun with different books, but I have to be careful about reading above their level of understanding. Today my five-year old asked me to read him the Star Wars Trilogy. Um, probably not something he's going to understand or enjoy.
Is it wrong to read a book above their level of understanding? Parent's Corner has a great article about choosing "Just Right
" books. Basically it's important for the subject matter to be something your child will enjoy and not be too far above or below their level so they stay interested. I usually try to follow these guidelines but after I've read picture books with my five-year old he climbs onto the top bunk and listens to his older brothers' books until he falls asleep. I hope I'm not messing him up somehow, but that's just how it works right now.
How do you keep your children interested in reading yet challenge them?
What works well for your family as far as a reading aloud schedule?
I'll sleep when I'm sixty. At least that's what I tell myself as I drag my tired body out of bed at five a.m. each morning. I love my crazy, busy life but there is a small part of me that dreams for those days when I don't have so many responsibilities when I can sleep in and still fit in a workout and get some writing done. Then I talked to my mom the other day (who is sixty). She told me a list of all the things pulling at her - work, children, grandchildren, church callings, friends with cancer and other awful diseases, home, garden, etc. etc. I almost cried, "You mean I'm never going to get to sleep?"
It comes back to what we already know - enjoy the journey. Keep a positive attitude through it and maybe some days sleep in just because your poor body needs a break.
How do you keep up and still keep a smile on your face?