Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I've Read Wednesday #3

Snow days mean more time for reading and that's just what I've been doing. Since last week I read (and reviewed) Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton, The Homecoming by Robyn Carr, The House on Olive Street by Robyn Carr, and Hot Pursuit by Lynn Raye Harris. Lynn Raye Harris was actually our guest at book club this week and she was very insightful about everything from the writing process to story ideas to self-publishing your own novels. She was also very generous and gave us all a goodie bag and book #2 in the HOT series. Hot Pursuit is book #1 and the series is based on a fictional special operations team with each novel telling a different member's story.

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I'm looking forward to reading Hot Mess and finishing Robyn Carr's newest book, One Wish. It's the next one in the Thunder Point series and I'm already enjoying it! There's a good chance I'll finish both of those by the weekend so maybe I'll get around to tackling Between, Georgia or maybe it will keep sitting on the TBR pile and I'll start another book!

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What have you been reading lately?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Musings #2

So I skipped Food for Thought last Friday because we had snow here and frankly I was being a small child and playing outside in it. That's a whole blog post in and of itself though! Stay tuned for our snow day!

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For today I wanted to talk about something that I posted to Instagram yesterday. I saw this in Cracker Barrel last week (Hey, you never know when you're going to see something that speaks to you!) and I couldn't get it off my mind. I've been really bothered lately by people who seem to choose to embrace everything negative in their life. They turn to social media to complain about things in their life that others would see as a blessing. It's hard not to be frustrated and I don't feel that it's my place to remind them of all they have to be grateful for. I struggle with praying for them and then letting it go.

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Probably should have bought this...

I believe we can choose each and every day whether or not we want to be happy. Some days are harder than others to do that and I'm not saying this isn't something that I struggle with but it is a choice each and every one of us can make. I truly believe if you focus on the positive and look for the lesson in the negative then being happy is a whole lot easier!

Do you choose to be happy?
I'd love to hear what you think about the idea of making up your mind to be happy!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton is a book that made me laugh, hope (no pun intended), and even cry for the characters and the life decisions they each struggled with. Being a country girl myself made it easy to fall in love with the small town of Wishing Springs, TX, and the unique personalities of each of its residents. I cannot wait to read Book 2 for Bo's story!

In this book the story centers around Tru Monahan and Maggie Hope who are thrown together in an impossible situation after a series of interesting events led Maggie to fill in for her friend Amanda in a TV interview with Tru. Maggie writes her Gotta Have Hope column and is not a reporter and doesn't have any desire to be in the spotlight. Tru is a champion horse trainer and repeat winner of the National Quarter Horse Finals and in order to keep his sponsors happy he's forced into the interview. What transpires when Maggie goes off script leads to a bet between herself and Tru that he can't turn her into a cutting horse rider in eight weeks. Between the media and his sponsors that bet becomes a reality and Maggie finds herself in Wishing Springs living at Four of Hearts Ranch and being trained by the Tru Monahan for two whole months.

What transpires between them leads each of them to question whether the secrets they keep are worth keeping if it means pushing the other one away. There's much more to both Tru and Maggie than what you see on the surface so you'll have to read the book to see what secrets they are hiding. As I said before the other characters in the story that reside in the town add so much to the story especially Jenna, a pregnant teen that Maggie meets outside of town after the initial interview. She gives her a ride to Over the Rainbow, a home for unwed teens, and that becomes the start of a wonderful relationship between the two that carries on throughout the book. If you want a feel-good, make you laugh, country romance then you'll love Betting on Hope!


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Book info

About the book:

Betting on Hope (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

A bet gone wrong. A small town's meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch.

Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it's beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie's bosses know this is the opportunity she's been looking for to launch her career---and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat.

Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he'd like, but he knows it's the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru's fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do-for her own good.

In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart's desires.
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1Lv6bBc  

About the author:

Debra Clopton
is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Find Debra online: website, Facebook, Twitter

 Blog Tour Schedule



Saddle up for a new romance from novelist Debra CloptonBetting on HopeIn Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart’s desires.

Enter to win a Kindle Fire HD 6 to celebrate the release of Betting on Hope

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of Betting on Hope
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 8th. Winner will be announced March 9th on Debra's blog.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}



I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I've Read Wednesday #2

I finished Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage on Friday when we had our most recent snow day. I thoroughly enjoyed it especially since it spans the entire lifetime of the dog, Meteor.  It's a shorter book so that makes it a pretty fast read. It's most certainly a Christmas book but as cold as it's been lately I enjoyed it just as much curled up in front of a warm fire in February.

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Between, Georgia is still on the TBR (To Be Read) pile but I did read Robyn Carr's latest book The Homecoming since the next one in the series is coming out in March. Robyn Carr is one of my favorite authors and I'm amazed at how well she weaves together so many people's stories and introduces a new character whose story eventually appears in a later novel. I've read her entire Virgin River series and this one is from her Thunder Point series. You can read any of her novels as a stand-alone novel but I recommend starting at the beginning of the series. Virgin River is the first book in the Virgin River series and The Wanderer is the first in the Thunder Point series.


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One of my favorite authors!

I started one of Robyn's stand-alone novels (The House on Olive Street) and I like it so far but I'm only one chapter in. I plan to finish that one and read Debra Clopton's new book (Betting on Hope) by the end of the weekend since it looks like we are going to get snowed in this afternoon. A projection of 4-6 inches of snow means all the schools and most businesses are closed. It's great living in the south in the winter!


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What have you been reading lately?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Musings #1

With all the unpleasant weather we've had lately there's been a lot of time spent inside. Top that off with Allan coming down with the flu and pneumonia just in time for Valentine's Day and we've barely had contact with the outside world! We've been obsessed with watching a TV series called The Killing on Netflix. If you enjoy a good crime drama then I highly recommend this one! The cliffhangers at the end of each episode and season keep you hitting next episode over and over.


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All the bad weather has also kept Sasha, Lucky, and Rusty inside most of the time. We need some warmer days so these three can get out and exercise! They spend the day either going stir crazy or sleeping constantly. I can't help but wish for spring days and running around in the backyard with the pets. Here's to spring and warmer weather being right around the corner!

Anyone else ready for warmer days?
Is there a show you've recently become obsessed with?



Friday, February 20, 2015

Food for Thought Friday #1

A month ago I started using my Weight Watchers (WW)  app to track my food daily and my weight weekly. I hop on the scale throughout the week and keep track of that as well so if the scale isn't particular kind on weigh-in (WI) day then I won't be disappointed. So far I've lost 7.2 lbs and I'm really happy with that. Weight Watchers and I go way back to my first semester of graduate school in 2006 when I signed up for WW online and lost 35 lbs.


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I kept it off for the next 3 years and it wasn't until we moved here that my weight started the up and down mess that drives me crazy. The thing is that I know WW works and if I track my food and embrace the lifestyle of everything in moderation I can still eat all the things I love and lose weight. It works for me because I don't have to give up my Coca Cola, chocolate, or ice cream to lose weight and I've always viewed WW as a lifestyle and NOT a diet. I don't do low fat, fat free, or sugar free anything (even though those are less points) because I know at the end of the day the artificial mess isn't good for me. Yes, I realize that Coca Cola, chocolate, and ice cream don't exactly scream healthy food but we all have our vices. I have been drinking a lot more water and eating more fruits and vegetables and overall I feel a lot better. Losing weight has been a nice bonus!

Next week I'll talk about my WW goals. Have you ever used WW?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I've Read Wednesday #1

Lately I've been reading a handful of books that I've reviewed. In case you didn't catch those they were: Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer, A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings, and Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma.



Next I'd like to read Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson and with all the cold weather we are having here it looks like I'll have plenty of time to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with this one!

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Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage has been sitting on a tray waiting for me to finish it since before Christmas and I'm determined to finish it this week. It's written from the perspective of the dog which is proving to be very interesting!


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What have you been reading lately?