Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Neatness and Proverbs 31

Neat - habitually pleasingly clean and orderly

29.  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

I don't think most people set out to do a bad job, or to be mean, or to give up.  Maybe some do, but those are not the people about whom I am talking today.  I'm talking about those of us who try, but sometimes do not reach our goal.  Maybe we are looking sideways at what our friends or competitors do, or have, rather than looking up to see our God.  It is human nature to try to "keep up with the Jones's", but I submit that it is more important that we make the best us that we can.  We can't do that if our inside selves and outside surroundings are in disarray.

31.  Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

There's a reason we wear our "Sunday best" to worship services.  There's a reason 'casual Fridays' usually don't include hole-y jeans.  There's a reason we don't take glamour portraits after a hard day's work in the garden.  Now there's nothing wrong with an honest day's labor, no matter if it shows up on "Top 10 Paying Jobs" lists or not.  

I remember a line from a movie, "Chariots of Fire", where a father is advising his son and says, "You can praise the Lord by peeling a spud, if you peel it to perfection".  Those of us who write (and that's all of us, isn't it?) - do we turn in manuscripts with misspellings and jam smudges on the pages?  Uh, I hope not.  We turn in our best work, because we want it judged on its merits, not the cosmetic aspects.

So, as I am a poster child for the domestically-differently-abled, today I am asking for your tips on how to be neat, orderly and organized!


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Maturity and Proverbs 31

Mature - fully developed in body or mind.

14.  She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

When you are young, your food is brought to you; when you mature, you go and get it.  Youth is the promise and possibility; maturity is the fulfillment and delivery of the promise.  Both need the other to function at optimum level.

15.  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Many women are intimidated by the archetypal "Proverbs 31 Woman".  What we've got to remember is that this is a woman with the resources available to be the wife of a king.  She does not have to get up on a cold winter morning when she is sick, to get her children breakfast and make sure they get off to school.  This is not to say that her life will be all ease.  She will still be judged on the smooth running of the king's household.

In the comments, please share a time when you "got down to business".  Have a great day!


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - Dyed and Gone by Beth Yarnall


Hairstylist Azalea March is looking forward to a wild weekend in Las Vegas with her friends. Oh, sure, they’re supposed to be there on business, attending the biggest hair show on the west coast, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun. But fun quickly turns to drama. On the first morning of the show, Dhane, the biggest celeb of the hair-styling world, is found dead. As it turns out, Azalea’s friend, Vivian, not only knew Dhane, but the tale she weaves of how they met is faker than a showgirl’s uh… assets. When Vivian confesses to the murder and is arrested, Azalea knows there’s no way she could have done it and suspects Vivian may be trying to protect someone. But whom?
Azalea now has to convince Alex, the sexy detective from her past, to help her prove Vivian’s innocence and comb through clues more twisted than a spiral perm. But the truth is stranger than anything found on the Las Vegas Strip, and proving Vivian’s innocence turns out to be more difficult than transforming a brunette into a blonde.

Being a devotee of the cozy mystery, I suppose I have a little mental checklist by which I rate my current read.  Here's how Dyed and Gone combs out:
Azalea March is a stylist/salon-co-owner, attending a big hair convention in Las Vegas.  She nurses her broken heart as only Vegas can accommodate.  All seems to be going well until a celebrity stylist winds up dead.  I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say it is in a way that could only be discovered at a hair convention/competition.
Zee's best friend and co-owner, Vivian, confesses to the murder, having been found in Dhane's (the dead man's) room.  James (Vivian's boyfriend) arrives in Las Vegas, with his friend Alex (a police detective and one of Azalea's semi-failed relationships) to see about getting Vivian out of jail.  
It was interesting to see the interaction between Azalea and Detective Kennedy of the LVPD.  One minute it's cold and business-like, the next it's like he is a second love interest (after Alex, in full on-again phase).  
As it turns out, Dhane had a sister, Trinity, who seems to have a tenuous connection to reality at best.  Now everyone is worried about what will happen to her, when another twist appears.  Not only did Dhane have a sister, but a wife as well!  
Before the end of the book, of course Azalea pokes her head in one too many doors and winds up riling a couple of people who have been smelling too much hair dye.  
But for the most part, our intrepid salon-owner has a heart of gold. Loyal to her friends, caring about and helping people who often overlooked by society and even doing nice things for irritating investigators.
There are more twists, turns and tangles in this easy to read cozy than in one show's worth of Cher's wigs!  (But weren't they FABULOUS!)
I would have liked to get a better sense of where the story was headed in the future or a more pronounced finality to the last scene.  But I am looking forward to the next installment of Azalea's story!  And I hope you will too!

Best selling author, Beth Yarnall, writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious tweet. A storyteller since her playground days, Beth remembers her friends asking her to make up stories of how the person ‘died’ in the slumber party game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, so it’s little wonder she prefers writing stories in which people meet unfortunate ends. In middle school she discovered romance novels, which inspired her to write a spoof of soap operas for the school’s newspaper. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
For a number of years, Beth made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find their way into her stories. Beth lives in Orange County, California with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog where she is hard at work on her next novel.

(Disclaimer:  I received an e-copy of Dyed and Gone from the author and publisher through Great Escapes Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions are my own.  No other compensation was offered, requested, or received.)

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#AtoZChallenge - Loyalty and Proverbs 31

Loyal - faithful to one's oath, commitments or obligations.

11.  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Do you know someone who always has your back?  How great is that?!?  I will venture a guess that we all have at least one friend who is loyal to us, and at least one to whom we are loyal.  This quality is essential in families as well.  It is how a parent can tell a child that they love them, even if they are angry with something the child has done.

12.  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

When someone to whom you are loyal makes a mistake, in most cases you don't walk away and pretend like you don't know the person.  You walk with them through the valley.  Even if the wrong done crosses into the legal or criminal spheres, consequences will have to be faced, but you still want the best for the person.

Share with us today how you show loyalty or how loyalty has been shown to you!


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Knowledge and Proverbs 31

Knowledgable - possessing or exhibiting insight or understanding; intelligent, well-informed, perceptive, discerning.

10.  Who can find a virtuous woman?  For her price is far above rubies.

Most people would agree that acquiring knowledge is a good thing.  A person who puts that knowledge to good use is even better.  Life is education.  If we do not learn from our experiences, we cannot profit from them.  

16.  She considereth a field and buyeth it:  with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

In this example, the woman knows a little something about real estate - and presumably the wine business since she plants some grapes.  She was probably not born with this knowledge, she acquired it somewhere.  Maybe someone taught her.  Maybe her father and mother were vintners and she grew up with it.  Maybe she just listened in on people's conversations.  But somewhere, somehow she educated herself (or was taught), and she put that knowledge to good use.

I would love it if you would share with us something that you have learned and how you have put it to good use!


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Friday, April 11, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Joy and Proverbs 31

Joyful - full of joy, gladness, delight; showing or expressing, causing or bringing joy.

28.  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

This one is tough for me.  I think I'm vitamin-JOY deficient or something.  But I keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And usually somewhere during the course of my day, joy pops up her pretty little head.

Sometimes, joy is like a field of flowers - beautiful, fragrant and all around us.  At other times, joy is like a hidden treasure and must be sought with vigor and energy.  Both are balm to the soul.

30.  Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain:  but a woman who feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Joy and beauty on the outside are great.  Who doesn't like looking at things that are beautiful and/or make us smile?  Living joy and living beauty are on the inside of each one of us.  It's the seed that slumbers through the winters of life and bursts out of us in the spring and flowers in the summertimes.

SO, send out some joy to the universe, or your brother and sister A-to-Z-ers.  Honor us with what brings you joy in the comments!


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Industriousness and Proverbs 31

Industrious - working energetically and devotedly; hard-working; diligent

13.  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

We each have a gift and a responsibility to use that gift to make the world a better place.  We didn't sign a contract, and no one will come hunting us down if we don't, but think about it for a minute.  Go ahead.  I'll wait. ...

If we each make our own corners of the universe a little better by giving our best efforts, it also gets better for our friends and loved ones.  Even if the work we do does not affect people directly, it makes the big picture prettier to look at.

19.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

Some peoples' talents lie in the areas of arts and crafts.  I visit several blog link-ups each week where people share where their creative muses have been taking them.  Wow!  The efforts are somewhere in the area of inspiring and mind-blowing.  

I think there is something in the human psyche that drives us to create beauty with our hands.  It may be arts or crafts; it may be words or music; it may be a talent for organization of friendship - the list is endless.

SO, your mission today, should you choose to accept it is to go out and create something beautiful.  Inspire us in the comments with your ideas, past or present!


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)