Thursday, September 27, 2012

Renegade by Angie Lofthouse

So, this month I'll be reviewing three novellas or short stories, if you will, by Angie Lofthouse. They are prequel or side stories to get you excited to read her new book Defenders of the Convenant which came out in March 2012. You can check out all her great writing and purchase links at
Seventeen year old Kwetoo'unuv Walker has nothing on his mind but hunting and girls. And how to avoid getting caught skipping school. But when Earth is attacked by alien invaders and Kwetoo'unuv watches his parents die to keep him alive, life becomes much more complicated. As the world falls before his eyes, he receives a vision from the Great Wolf, Toovuts, compelling him to put aside his fears and become the man God wants him to be. Because in the coming alien occupation, strength and wisdom will be Kwetoo'unuv's only chance to survive.

This book is certainly different than the other two as we see the invasion and aftermath from the perspective of a teenager who is Native American. He does some serious growing up in this book as he learns to be a soldier and warrior. His vision from the Great Wolf turns him into a leader and shows him a safe place to lead the survivors he finds and make a home safe from further invaders. This isn't as emotional or faith trying as the other two stories. So, in that repect is an easier read. We also find out what happens to the stolen children, although that part was the only confusing thing for me in this storyline and it comes at the end, so I won't go into it as it would spoil the ending. I'll have a conversation with Ms. Lofthouse about that the next time I see her.

Overall, good side stories well told and complete in their own rights. Enjoy.

What's a good series you've read lately?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Refuge by Angie Lofthouse

So, this month I'll be reviewing three novellas or short stories if you will by Angie Lofthouse. They are prequel or side stories to get you excited to read her new book Defenders of the Convenant which came out in March 2012. You can check out all her great writing and purchase links at
When Earth falls to alien invaders, young newlywed Vivi Thayer is called to serve as a group leader in a hidden, underground refuge. There she is charged with raising a generation chosen to carry on the work of God. Facing the criticism of the other, more experienced, women in the refuge, Vivi struggles with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. When a heartbreaking loss brings Vivi to her breaking point, she must learn to accept the role God has chosen for her or leave the refuge behind forever.

In this book we pick up the story where we left off with Carly from Covenant. We go inside the refuge with Vivi and Hannah to meet all those who will grow up as Hannah's family - the adults and other babies. We join Vivi in her struggle to raise the babies and her insecurities at being chosen to be a caregiver with her husband in the refuge. The faith struggle while no less real doesn't sit as heavy as in Covenant. The destruction is pretty much total on the earth and the window of time to take in babies is coming to a close. This one has a more positive ending.

Stay tuned for the final installment next week.

Any thoughts so far on the books?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Women of Strength by Tristi Pinkston

The need for courageous, faithful women has never been greater than it is today. As we draw nearer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, we are faced with temptations on every side. But we can prevail as we gain true strength from living the gospel.

Women of Strength, Tristi Pinkston shares inspiring stories, as well as insightful quotes from Church leaders, to demonstrate the power and influence of righteous women. This book invites women everywhere to deepen their relationship with the Savior, rely on the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and learn what it really means to be strong.

"If you are a woman who has wondered if you matter, if you are a woman who is concerned about the world, if you are a woman who has ever felt lost, afraid, or defeated . . . you need Women of Strength by Tristi Pinkston. When you read this book, you will discover your true worth, learn just how valuable you are, and find ways to turn the tide of evil flooding our world today." --C.S. Bezas, author and motivational speaker

"Every Latter-day Saint woman can be reinvigorated, inspired, and uplifted by reading this book. It is a compendium of wise counsel intended just for us and especially for our times. You may even wish to keep it around to reread whenever you need spiritual nourishment and an added awareness of your own power." --Susan Aylworth, author

Click here to read reviews and the first chapter:

Click here to learn more about the author:

Click here to purchase:

 As women, we all need a little boost in the faith department from time to time. Don't miss this wonderful faith promoting and restoring book.
What have you read lately that increased your faith?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Consecrated by Angie Lofthouse

So, this month I'll be reviewing three novellas or short stories if you will by Angie Lofthouse. They are prequel or side stories to get you excited to read her new book Defenders of the Covenant which came out in March 2012. You can check out all her great writing and purchase links at
Carly Emerson never imagined she would lose her two-year old son to faceless android soldiers, nor did she ever consider that keeping her temple covenants might break her heart. When aliens attack, Carly is asked to bear a child who will be hidden in an underground refuge—without her. The grief stricken mother must make a choice: keep her covenants and die or take a chance at survival on her own.

At 60 pages or less, you certainly have time to read this well written story that will challenge your own beliefs on what you think you would be capable of if you found yourself in Carly's shoes. 2 year old son kidnapped by alien soldiers with no hope of retrieval. Loss of friends and loved ones. Death and destruction surround you on every turn and cripple if not erase your father in your Heavenly Father. In your own struggle to find faith, your bishop has just asked you and your husband to sire a child you will give up right after birth to be raised in a safe refuge location and are likely to never see again, probably because you will be dead shortly after delivering the child. Thus is Carly's situation.

If you are a person of faith, whether LDS or another religion, this book will raise questions about how strong your faith is. It may help you to realize that perhaps you are not as strong as you wish to be, or perhaps you will be like Abby a woman whose faith never wavers no matter how great the loss of life is or sacrifice required. I like books that raise questions, even uncomfortable ones.

Look for my next review of another one of Ms. Lofthouse's novellas.

What book religious or otherwise has raised questions in your faith?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Secret Workout for August - I Dare You to Try It!

I'll give you three hints: spins, pirouettes, and body rolls.

Did you figure it out yet?

I've spent the month of August taking pole dancing classes. Yep, you read that right. Pole dancing.

So, how does a devout LDS (read that as Christian for you non-LDS peeps) stay-at-home mom end up at pole dancing classes?

With three things: a desire to have fun while getting fit, a streak of daring and a Groupon.

I can't stand to be bored while working out. If it's boring, I'm not going to stick with it. I have a dance background and I like workouts that incorporate that. They are fun for me. I'm a fan of movies that feature dancing, like Hairspray and Burlesque. Whenever I watch them, I'm totally energized to get up, dance and get fit. Which reminds me, I need to buy Just Dance for the Wii.

(Mom's heads up, even though Burlesque is PG 13, I probably wouldn't let anyone under 18 watch it. Not because of language or gratuitous sex or anything, but simply the impressions it might give without the proper historical perspective of what burlesque was and I'm just not up for having males watch women dance around in Victoria Secret outfits even though the movie to me in no way objectifies women. Just giving you my two cents worth.)

I have a great friend that I've joked around with about how fun it would be to learn chair dancing routines and other forms of dance, like Zumba, for fun. She had recently seen a Groupon for pole dancing in her city and I suggested she give it a whirl. She passed on it. In July, at the beach, I noticed a Groupon for pole dancing in my very own town of Frederick and I clicked on it. I read the offer and then checked out the website. Which you can do here:
or check out their Facebook page here:!/APoleNewYou
As it seemed a pefectly legitimate enterprise and I was looking for a way to pull out of my fitness slump, I clicked on the groupon and bought unlimited pole dancing for a month. I then filled my calendar with as many classes as I could. The only week I didn't attend was when we were at Deep Creek Lake.

The first day I went to class I wondered, What will it be like? What kind of women will be there? What will my instructor be like? (No offense to the guys, but pole dancing is currently a decidedly female trend, although there is discussion about including men if there is enough interest.  Until then, it's a girl thing.)  I fully expected to be sore in my arms, shoulders and core after the first class. Nope. That first week/week and a half, it was my legs. I used and stretched muscles that had been neglected in my bike and swim summer routine. The first week I took 3 classes. The second week, I took 5. The third week I took 2. The last week I took 2. My arms and core never felt all that sore. In fact, I was surprised at how quickly my muscles adjusted and strengthened. It is a serious workout that requires all of your body and mind. Remember you're holding all your body weight off of the floor and spinning around a pole. No easy feat, but way fun.

So, let's answer those questions I had on the way to my first class.

What will it be like?
The toughest workout you've ever had and probably the most fun too.

What kind of women will be there?
Other women and moms just like me and you who want to get fit and have fun doing it. I will say that the women are all on the younger to middle age part of the spectrum. I haven't seen a single grandma age woman there yet. Also, there are all body types. Some women are built like me, some smaller and some are what I fondly refer to as curvy. In one of my classes was a very curvy woman just starting on her fitness journey. She was wise and went to her doctor first before attending classes to see if she could take them and at our first class she informed our instructor that she has bad knees. Our instructor gave her modified moves to do until she becomes stronger and her knees become a non issue.

What will my instructor be like?
My instructors are women like anyone else and I had three different instructors over the course of the month who gave me insight into the techniques used that helped me get the hang of each move. Two are mothers. Watching an instructor invert on a pole gave me far more appreciation for this type of fitness. Also, there are both competitions and conferences for pole dancing.  I was impressed that they really stressed proper technique to prevent injury. They are very conscientious about that aspect. Learn it right and you can grow stronger.

So, perhaps I have helped you give up the stereotype you may be harboring about what kind of woman takes pole dancing classes. She's a woman like you and me who wants to get fit and have fun doing it. So, go ahead, unleash your inner diva and sign up to spin around the pole. I know I'm looking forward to taking more classes as soon a my life allows again. It's the first time I've ever wanted to join any kind of gym workout type thing. I'm hoping next time to take beginning chair dance. That sounds like my kind of fun, as does Zumba, yogalates, and a few other classes they offer.
Take a chance on this underground movement in fitness. There are exotic fitness studios all over the country. You'll be glad you did. I know I am.

So, here's the part you've been waiting for, THE CHALLENGE & GIVE AWAY.
The Challenge:
Sign up and take pole dancing classes. As proof, send me a picture of you with your instructor standing next to the pole. Use the e-mail address on the side bar to send me your pic.
The Give Away:
A fluffy feather boa.
The Deadline:
Halloween. Send the picture to me by Oct. 31. If there are mulitple entries then I will do a drawing. I will announce the winner on Nov. 1.

Ready, Set, Pole!

What new kind of fitness did you try this year? Did you like it or not?