A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Flip the Beat Book Tour + Giveaway

Flip the Beat
by Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance, Modern Day Fairy Tale, Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 10th, 2018

Molly Ivers thinks she is falling for the opposite of Prince Charming, and she knows she should give him up, but, oh, the temptation.

Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, complete with a devilishly sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker Evan Castle.
Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who hasn't given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.

Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she's not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Friday, July 20, 2018

100 Days of Bible Journaling Days 92-100

Day 92: No Condemnation in Christ

Have you ever had to sit in front of a judge to let them decide your fate? Now, I must admit I've never been in that situation, but the idea sows horrifying! Can you imagine what it would have been like to stand before God before Christ's sacrifice. Let's be honest.. we'd all be found guilty! But through Christ's sacrifice, we are redeemed.

For this page, I really just wanted to reflect that simple word. Redeemed. One word, with such power behind it. There was actually some bleed through from the reverse page, so I embraced it and used it for the background of this page. Sometimes you just have to roll with it!

Day 93: He Is With You

Do you ever feel like you're completely alone? Honestly, I think loneliness is one of the worst feelings one can experience, and sadly one that is all too common. I think it is in those moments that we need to remember this message. God is with us. Always.

For this page, I really wanted to think about that idea of loneliness with a simple but important message that we are never alone. This was another page where I played off of the theme from the previous page. This was among my favorite pages for the week.

Day 94: Beauty For Ashes

The lights go out all around meOne last candle to keep out the nightAnd then the darkness surrounds meI know I'm alive but I feel like I've diedAnd all that's left is to accept that it's overMy dreams ran like sand through the fists that I madeI try to keep warm but I just grow colderI feel like I'm slipping away 
After all this has passed, I still will remainAfter I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from painThough it won't be today, someday I'll hope againAnd there'll be beauty from painYou will bring beauty from my pain
This song... oh this song has gotten me through some times. I was first introduced to it (and Superchick) back in high school, and so many times throughout the years I have found myself turning to it. From my miscarriage to my husband losing his job, I found comfort in these words. And through the years, I have also seen the truth out of it. Whatever the world throws at us, God will bring beauty from the ashes.

For this page, I was naturally reminded of this beloved song and wanted to journal that. I remembered I had this candle sticker from a previous Illustrated Faith kit that perfectly reflected that line from the song. 'One last candle to keep out the night'. I played off of the colors from that sticker to create a gelato background.

Day 95: God Leads the Way

As kids, we loved playing Follow the Leader, but somewhere along the way... we wanted to do our own thing, make it by ourselves. Unfortunately, that can leave us lost and wandering. Thankfully, we have the ultimate leader just waiting for us to follow Him, to lead us to the life He intended us to have.

For this page, I wanted to keep it small and simple. Often in my journaling, I go bold. Big spreads, large letters, bold colors. This page still has the bright and bold colors, but I kept is smaller, leaving lots of additional room for journaling my thoughts and notes on the subject!

Day 96: A Day of Rest 

On the 7th day, He rested.

I'm not going to lie, I often wish I had a day to rest... but as moms we know, a whole day of rest is hard to come by. Still resting- and more importantly resting in God- is so important in our well being- physically, emotionally and spiritually. So while we may not get a whole day, those moments we can find here and there are worth everything.

For this page, I tried to think about relaxation. It's a topic that's been covered several times throughout this journal so I really wanted something a little bit different that those previous pages. I came across the tea sticker and thought it would be the perfect illustration--- nothing more comforting than a cup of warm herbal tea, right?

Day 97: He Makes Your Heart Clean

Give us clean hands, oh GodGive us pure heartsLet us not lift our souls to anotherOh God this beA generation that seeksWho seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob

If you're a worship music fan, chances are you've heard this song a time or two. When I was first introduced to the genre, it was an early favorite. All these years later, I still love it. So when I read this devotion, I immediately was reminded of this song.

For this page, I again went simple. A simple reminder that God can wash away our sins, he can make our hearts clean ...we only need turn to him.

Day 98: You Are Saved By Grace

Oh, could there be a great message. Not by works, but by grace we are saved. Grace- by definition- means that we are undeserving...we have fallen short, but Jesus sacrifice has saved us all.

For this page, I couldn't help but think about the lyrics to another favorite of mine, 'Grace Wins':

Here comes those whispers in my earSaying who do you think you areLooks like you're on your own from hereCause grace could never reach that far 
But, in the shadow of that shameBeat down by all the blameI hear you call my name sayin it's not overAnd my heart starts to beatSo loud now, drowning out the doubtI'm down but I'm not out 
There's a war between guilt and graceAnd they're fighting for a sacred spaceBut I'm living proofGrace wins every time
Such a powerful song, isn't it? I feel like these are words that so many of us need. No matter where we are or what we have done, His grace will ALWAYS win. For this page, I wanted to reflect that message. I used a clear cut to create a fun tip in, and I love how it really makes the message pop. 

Day 99: God Is A Constant Source

There aren't many constants in today's world. It seems everything is always changing. Even people can flip flop to some degree, right? In the craziness, we all need that one constant to help keep us grounded. Thankfully, we have that in God. He is constant. Unchanging. Unfaltering. A rock.

For this page, I really focused on that idea. 'Jesus is my rock'. I found it went very well with the page opposite so I kept with the same color scheme. I layered some stickers to create this bold page.

Day 100: God's Promises Are For Your Lifetime

The previous 100 days covered a lot of promises. From comfort to provision to peace. I cannot help but think that this reminder was the perfect way to end this challenge. These promises aren't just for a bit, but everlasting.

For this page, I again went with simple. A simple message and a simple image to represent the promises made by God.

And that concludes the 100 Days of Bible promises! I must admit that when I started this challenge I wasn't sure if I could make it the full 100 days, but I did and they have been so rewarding. They allowed me to expand my journaling skills, spend more time in the Word and grow closer in my relationship with God. I must admit, I'm a little sad for it to come to an end, though I look forward to the next installment to come this fall.

Have you been journaling along? How was the experience for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Everything A Wonder Woman Mom Needs For Back To School + Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway {A #WWHop2018 #giveaway Event}

Wonder woman supermom We all know a wonder woman -- the kind of girl who has it all together, no matter what. We're celebrating the start of the 2018 school year with products that will help any woman be a Wonder Woman! This hop is hosted by Savings in Seconds. Host and participants are not responsible for prizes not delivered by sponsor. Hop ends August 3, so get started on those entries!


***Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Can you believe the back to school season is upon us?

For the kids, back to school means more time with friends, meeting new teachers and of course, new school supplies. For moms, one might think it means a break... but let's face reality: often times it just means even more craziness. So, today I'm sharing my personal back to school must haves for MOMS.

A Planner.

Back to school means back to crazy... a good planner can help keep us all organized. My go to? The Illustrated Faith Planner from Dayspring. I love that these offer a monthly overview, and a weekly look too. They're fun, they're faith based.. perfect for my personal needs!

New PJs/Lounge Clothes.

Want to be the best dressed mom in the pick up line, without sacrificing your comfort (or embarrassing your child too horribly). Upgrade that ratty ol' bathrobe with some cute lounge clothes or yoga pants. They ARE a mom's best friend, right? And if you choose to stay in them all day long? Well, I'm not one to judge! Jane.com offers a wide variety of fun fashions to include great lounge wear. And of course if you want to dress it up a little bit, they have you covered for that too!

Daily Boutique Deals

A Good Devotional.

Starting the day off right with a devotional can make the whole morning school routine a little more bearable. No time in the morning? That time away from the kids while they are at school might provide those few minutes you need! Enjoy it and check out some of these devotionals created just for moms.

Coffee. Lots of Coffee.

Gone are the lazy days of summer... now it's up and at 'em, getting the kids to school. And that, my friends, is why coffee was invented! After all, how else are we going to get through the morning. Every wonder woman is first fueled by coffee!

And as part of the Wonder Woman Giveaway Hop, one very lucky winner is going to have their coffee covered with a Starbucks gift card! Enter using the giveaway form below:

Woman Ex Book Tour + Giveaway

Woman Ex
by Real Laplaine
Genre: SciFi Thriller

The world in the very near future undergoes a radical shift in power - changes forced upon it by two global catastrophic events. Wars suddenly fade to nothing. Religious conflicts disappear. Crime is all but gone. Nuclear weapons are banned and peace reigns across the globe. The proverbial "new-age of man" has come, but not without a price. Woman EX is a thrilling ride into the near future, one where women must take over in a world where men have become an endangered species and are expendable. But, all is not well in the new utopia. Power, as always, corrupts some entrusted with it, and the vision of a society without men drives Lady V, the President of New America, a woman haunted and driven by her own demons, to do the unthinkable. She is about to introduce Woman EX - something that will change the human race forever. 

"An utterly captivating and quickly-paced thriller..."
Author, Victoria Ichizli-Bartels

"Here is another fascinating book from an author I came to enjoy so much."
A.G. Mogan, author of The Secret Journals of Adolf Hitler 

I write existential thrillers in geopolitical, crime and sci-fi genres. I don't strictly follow the rules of the genres - my books have an existential weave to them. I invite the reader to step outside the box of mediocrity and see different perspectives and possibly even, to challenge the paradigms that have become our accepted  "norms."

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Schisms Book Tour + Giveaway

The Scribe Cycle #2
by James Wolanyk

Pub Date: 7/10/2018

Three long years have passed since Anna, First of Tomas, survived the purge in Malijad after being forced to use her scribe sigils to create an army of immortals. Safely ensconced in the shelter of the Nest, a sanctuary woven by one of her young allies, Anna spends her days tutoring the gifted yet traumatized scribe, Ramyi—and coming to terms with her growing attachment to an expatriate soldier in her company.
Away from her refuge, war drums continue to beat. Thwarted in her efforts to locate the elusive tracker and bring him to justice, Anna turns to the state of Nahora and its network of spies for help. But Nahoran assistance comes with a price: Anna must agree to weaponize her magic for the all-out military confrontation to come.
Dispatched to the front lines with Ramyi in tow, Anna will find her new alliances put to the test, her old tormentors lying in wait, and the fate of a city placed in her hands. To protect the innocent, she must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. For even in this season of retribution, the gift of healing may be the most powerful weapon of all.

The Scribe Cycle #1

Pawns in an endless war, scribes are feared and worshipped, valued and exploited, prized and hunted. But there is only one whose powers can determine the fate of the world . . .
Born into the ruins of Rzolka’s brutal civil unrest, Anna has never known peace. Here, in her remote village—a wasteland smoldering in the shadows of outlying foreign armies—being imbued with the magic of the scribes has made her future all the more uncertain.
Through intricate carvings of the flesh, scribes can grant temporary invulnerability against enemies to those seeking protection. In an embattled world where child scribes are sold and traded to corrupt leaders, Anna is invaluable. Her scars never fade. The immunity she grants lasts forever.
Taken to a desert metropolis, Anna is promised a life of reverence, wealth, and fame—in exchange for her gifts. She believes she is helping to restore her homeland, creating gods and kings for an immortal army—until she witnesses the hordes slaughtering without reproach, sacking cities, and threatening everything she holds dear. Now, with the help of an enigmatic assassin, Anna must reclaim the power of her scars—before she becomes the unwitting architect of an apocalyptic war.

James Wolanyk is the author of the Scribe Cycle and a teacher from Boston. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts, where his writing has appeared in its quarterly publication and The Electric Pulp. After studying fiction, he pursued educational work in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, and Latvia. Outside of writing, he enjoys history, philosophy, and boxing. His post-apocalyptic novel, Grid, was released in 2015. He currently resides in Riga, Latvia as an English teacher. 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Baked Jalepeno Poppers {A Recipe}

I LOVE Jalepeno Poppers.

Like seriously, love. Some might even say obsessed. There have been more times than I care to admit that I have asked my husband to stop and grab me some on his way home from work (and even more times when I only thought about it). Let's be honest--- those deep fried delicious poppers may have tasted great, but they weren't healthy in the slightest--- nor were they very budget friendly!

So, I decided to try to create my own at home to save money---and to avoid the frying too! Today, I'm sharing that recipe with all of you!

Baked Jalepeno Poppers

  • Jalepenos
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • Crackers
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Start by halving your jalepenos. Scoop out the seeds and set aside.
  3. Now make the filling- combine the cream cheese and cheese. I didn't measure, but I used one full package of cream cheese and about 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese, give or take. This filled 6 small peppers, with quite a bit left over. I suggest using an electric mixer to blend well. 
  4. Use a spoon to fill the peppers with the cheese mix. 
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet. (You can use foil for easy clean up.)
  6. Crush some crackers and sprinkle over the top. I used Ritz style crackers, but a generic (ALDI) brand. This gives your poppers a little bit of a crunch--- without the deep frying. You could definitely skip this step if needed for dietary restriction (gluten free, etc). 
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the peppers are tender and cheese melted (the crackers should start to brown just slightly).  
  8. Serve with ranch dressing. 

I'm going to be honest--- when I was trying to figure out this recipe I was a little apprehensive: were they going to taste as good as the fried ones? The verdict? They are even better! Seriously, these are absolutely delicious! They still might not be GOOD for you mind you, but certainly a little bit better than the fried versions anyway, AND cheaper! I purchased everything I needed from ALDI so overall it made more and cost less than a small order at a restaurant! 

If you're looking for the perfect appetizer for your next gathering...or just to fill that craving, these are a MUST! 

Encourage Kids To Practice Good Oral Health With These Tips {+ Save on Propolinse Mouth Wash} #sponsored

**This is a sponsored post written by myself on behalf of Proplinse. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Aww, kiddo snuggles. They're the best, right? Until your kiddo gets right up in your face and you discover... bad breath! Eeek, that's not nearly so pleasant, is it?

Man image created by Freepik
This is why it is so important to teach kids at a young age the importance of taking proper care of their teeth and mouth! So.. how do we do that? Today I'm sharing a few simple tips:

Start Young. 

Many of us think that we should start when the first tooth pops out, or even only after they have a few... but we can actually start even younger. Before teeth, we can use a soft washcloth to wipe gums. Once they get that first tooth, you can move onto an appropriate brush- soft bristles and made for their size. You need just a tiny amount of toothpaste--- the size of a grain of rice. By starting them out young, not only does it offer them protection before the teeth pop up, it also gets them into the habit and makes it easier as they get older.

Lead By Example.

Make brushing your teeth a family activity. When your children see you taking proper care of their teeth, they will learn from your own example.

Give Them Choices.

Let your kids choose their own (age appropriate) toothbrush and even their own toothpaste when possible. They can find some with fun characters or favorite colors that will make it that much more appealing. Not only that, but it will make them feel like they have some more control over the situation as well. For my kids, that's a HUGE benefit.

Read All About It.

Find fun stories about taking care of their teeth to make it more entertaining...and even to teach kids the proper way to do it. Kids are often very visual so a good story book with lots of images could be a huge benefit.

Make It Fun.

Create fun games, make rewards charts...whatever works. One thing that worked for my kids was downloading a timer app that let them know how long they needed to brush...it had fun characters too, so they were being entertained AND doing a job well done.

Let Them See the YUCK.

Let's be honest, kids love everything gross. I mean, I cannot tell you how many fart jokes I hear in a day around my house. So... use that to your advantage. Let them see the ickiness that causes bad breath and cavities.

For that, Propolinse can help.

If seeing is believing, Propolinse will make you a believer. This innovative mouthwash contains Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract that absorbs and solidifies dead protein dirt inside of mouth that you can see when you spit. Sounds gross... maybe even looks gross, but it's highly effective! When the kids see the black waste, they'll want to brush it away, right? Kids can be very visual, so as much as we TELL them about the germs and plaque inside their mouths, it can go right over their head. With Propolinse, the proof is in the spit! Is it any wonder that it is recommended by pediatric dentists to encourage kids to brush their teeth?

But it's not JUST great for kids! Many smokers find it useful as well. And honestly, we can ALL use that little extra help making sure that not only are we brushing our teeth, but that we're truly doing a great job of it. Is it any wonder that over 25 million bottles have been sold worldwide?

And it tastes better than other mouthwash products as well, in my opinion. It doesn't contain alcohol so none of that burning sensation that we get with so many other mouthwash products. It's a bit bitter, certainly a different flavor that may take some getting used to, but it works. It leaves our mouths smelling and feeling fresh and clean.

Ready to try it for youself? You can learn more and shop at their website: https://dealspotr.com/go/EYRwv  My readers can use the exclusive code RANDIKAYE to save 20% off with FREE 1-3 Day Priority Shipping!

Prefer Amazon? You can find it there too, no coupon code required!

How do you encourage your family to use proper oral care? How can Propolinse help?