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!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Musings #3

Is it just me or is anyone else extremely excited for spring?! I drove down to Florida this weekend and the further south I drove the greener everything was and the warmer the temperatures were. When I left on Friday our Bradford pear trees were just starting to bud and today they were full of white blossoms. What a difference the weekend made!

I can't wait for April so I can plant our flower bulbs and transplant my flowers from the farm. We may try our hand at a little gardening this year with a raised bed or at least a few pots of different things on the back deck. I'm excited to expand on the two areas of flowers that I moved to our backyard and get a little more color back there.

Are you planning to plant flowers and/or vegetables this year?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What I've Read Wednesday #5

At some point my voracious reading had to come to a halt and this week was it. I read A Heart's Disguise which was only 90 pages so it was a light and easy read yesterday afternoon. I posted a review about it so you can read more about that one if you'd like to in that post.

The Scarlet Letter was tough and I didn't make it very far at all before I abandoned it. I'd still love to read it but perhaps at a time when I'm ready for something a bit more serious that takes a great deal of focus to follow along with. Our book club discussion about it was very interesting and with all the good things that were said I'm a little sad that I couldn't get into it right now and enjoy reading it. Another day perhaps!

lucky book

Today or tomorrow I plan to start reading our next book for the Romance Book Club which is Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr. This is the first book in her three book Grace Valley series and I have yet to read this series so I'm excited to get started. As much as I love her books I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't read all three books in the series before book club in early April!

What have you been reading lately?

A Heart's Disguise by Colleeen Coble

If you are looking for a new series to get hooked on and you enjoy historical fiction this one might be the one for you! Even though this is a novella the author does a wonderful job of developing the beginning of what I believe is going to be a great series. The ideal aspect of a series of novellas is that you can take a couple hours one afternoon and read the entire novella. Hopefully this series will introduce more readers to Colleen Coble's work. I firmly believe that the more of her work I read, the more I enjoy her writing style and her ability to weave together intrigue and romance and produce a wonderful story as the end product.

In A Heart's Disguise your heart goes out to Sarah when you learn she's getting over the loss of her fiance who was killed in the Civil War. I felt an immediate distrust of Ben and I'm not sure what he's up to but I don't believe anything good will come from his schemes to marry Sarah. Sarah's selfless actions to marry Ben in order to fulfill her father's dying wish to see her settled and the love for her father that radiates off the pages makes her an ideal heroine. When Rand (Sarah's former fiance) returns it isn't quite the homecoming he'd hoped for since he assumed his family and Sarah had been receiving his letters but he soon learns the letters never made it to any of them and his death was a lie fabricated by someone he thought to be a friend. Colleen Coble leaves the reader on the edge of their seat with the final scene and I for one am anxiously awaiting the second novella in this series which should be arriving at my doorstep soon!

Book info

About the book:

A Heart's Disguise (Thomas Nelson, March 2015)

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.

The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery's marriage before it's even begun.

After Sarah receives word that her fiancé, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner---despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive---and that Ben Croftner knew it---she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.

But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly---and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancé, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife.

But could Sarah leave her dying father's side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?
Purchase a copy: 

About the author:

Colleen Coble
has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: website, Twitter, Facebook

 Blog Tour Schedule

Please submit your 2-3 sentence snippet from your personal review via the website* (please make sure this does not include the book summary). Please note that your review MUST be submitted this way in order to be eligible to receive any additional titles.

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Please include this link to the blog tour post in your review. 

In the midst of end-of-war celebrations, Sarah discovers her betrothed was keeping a devastating secret in Colleen Coble's A Heart's Disguise. Will Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the only man she’s ever loved? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

Celebrate book one in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession (blog tour coming in April)
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge (blog tour coming in April)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!

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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What I've Read Wednesday #4

Well thanks to being stuck at home with sleet and then Allan getting stuck in Texas all weekend I had a bit more time on my hands for reading this last week, cleaning the house, and finally going through a crate of magazines I hadn't read. I finished One Wish by Robyn Carr and read Hot Mess by Lynn Raye Harris and both were good. One Wish felt like it ended a bit more abruptly than most of her books but I'm sure parts of the story will be continued in the next book in her Thunder Point series. Hot Mess was a novella so it was a bit shorter than Hot Pursuit. However, it still packed quite a punch with enough romantic suspense that I read the entire thing in one sitting!

Tomorrow I have to start The Scarlet Letter because we are discussing that next week in book club. It's not one that I read in high school but I at least know the premise of the story so I won't be entirely lost. For this book club we are reading mostly classics this year. In January we tackled The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (which I didn't finish but plan to!) and in February we read Little Women.


Assuming that it doesn't take me several days to read The Scarlet Letter I plan to read A Heart's Disguise by Colleen Coble. As some of you probably already know she is one of my favorite authors. This is the first novella in her new Journey of the Heart series and I'll be reviewing all of these (one per month for the next six months) so keep an eye out for that.


In the off chance that I either abandon reading The Scarlet Letter or finish both of these I may start one of the new books that I added to my TBR book rack in our den. I'll try to remember to take a picture of that for next week's post!

Have you read The Scarlet Letter?
What have you been reading lately?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Food for Thought Friday #2

I'm going to stop bringing up the weather because we keep getting more winter storms. Yesterday I was iced in. Can you believe that?!

As promised in my first Food for Thought Friday post I'm going to talk about my Weight Watchers (WW) goals today. My first goal is to lose 10 lbs. which I should hit this next Monday. There's just something about losing double digits that makes you really feel like you've accomplished something. After I hit my goal to lose 10 lbs. I am shooting for losing 10%.

I've thought a bit further ahead than that but for now I'm working towards these two goals. I'm continuously trying to drink more water and to add more fruits and vegetables into my diet and it's paying off. As Allan so nicely reminds me I also need to run more, strengthen my core, and do yoga and pilates more often. To start with I'm going to focus on doing at least one yoga sequence a day and I've decided to give planking a try. Wish me luck this week!

Any advice for a novice planker?
Are you a goal setter when it comes to health and fitness?

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.

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!



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!

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.

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!