The Breathless by Tara Goedjen {Book Review}

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All opinions remain my own and weren’t influenced. My opinions may differ from those of others as well as the author/publisher. Some of the links on the following page are “affiliate links” and I may be compensated if you click on these links.


No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.
Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.
And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.
And maybe there are secrets so dark, they should never see the light of day.

My Thoughts!

I’ll admit, the cover drew me in and mesmerized me. Goedjen has a unique way with words that really draws readers in and brings them to the edge of the seats with jaws dropped and minds blown. It’s a raw talent that few possess. The characters were well developed and relatable. I loved that the storyline progressed at a steady pace and was easy to follow. I couldn’t put this read down and  flew through the pages. It offers a strong message about family and the pain that those closest to us can bring. It’s a great read that I highly recommend!

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Author Connection!

Tara Goedjen has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and grew up in the South. The Breathless is her debut novel. She lives and writes in Monterey, California.

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Making First Time Home Buying as Stress Free as Can

First time home buying, whether it means buying and moving into a home straight from the nest that is your family home or whether it means buying and moving into a home after some time spent in rented accommodation, is a big deal. It is a big deal because it is a big checkpoint in adulthood and in life in general to pass. And, as a result of this whole process being such a big deal, it can be very stressful too.


That’s where the stress-busting advice below comes into action. To see just how you can take the stress out of buying your first home, or to see how you can help others remain stress-free in such an endeavour, make sure to read on.

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Make mortgage approval a breeze by asking for professional help


Getting approved for a mortgage can be very hard, and thus very stressful. Even if you’ve never missed a payment in your life and have good a credit score most would die for, it can still be hard. And, if you are afflicted with the plight that is a bad credit score, it can be even worse. But, if you followed the mortgage approval process laid out at, you’d be sure to make your mortgage approval venture as breezy as it can be, and thus as stress free as it can be. What such a process entails is obtaining pre-approval, which instantly gets the whole process up and running and off to an ideal start, and moving as quickly as possible to closing with lawyers present.

Borrow from a safe borrowing source when it comes to putting the deposit down


Borrowing money from a safe source means borrowing money from somebody close to you, such a your parents, who won’t enforce a strict deadline for you to pay the money back by or attach crippling interest rates to the money you borrow. And, borrowing money in this way is completely fine, in fact it is completely recommended, when it comes to getting your funds together for your deposit. By doing so, the pressures and stresses of doing will be eased twofold.


But, bare in mind that borrowing from a loved one still means you have to prove the money is now yours to put down as a deposit, and not money you have obtained fraudulently. So, make sure that with the money you borrow comes a legal form documenting an acknowledgment on the lender’s part that the money they have borrowed you is now yours to do with as you please.

Get a guarantee from somebody experienced in the home owning game


Speaking of asking your parents for help when it comes to your first time home owning venture, you should probably choose them to be your guarantors. By doing so you you will find your whole home buying process made a lot easier, and subsequently a lot less stressful, as all the legal bodies involved in the deal will be able to see that you, one, have the backing of people that are experienced in this field, and two, that there is somebody that they can turn to if their relationship with you sours.

Your first home move isn’t the only one that needs to be stress free — every single move you make after that can be too! To see just how, make sure to click here.

Less Obvious Ways to Save Cash Over the Festive Period

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When it comes to saving a few bucks over the Christmas period, most articles will tell you to shop in the sales, make gifts yourself, and use discount codes. But there are also some other less obvious ways to keep a little more money in the bank. You just need to take a little more care not to allow money to go out on things that can be avoided. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind over the coming weeks.


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Avoid Speeding Tickets


It seems like more people receive speeding tickets in December than any other time of year. Why? Well, there are various potential reasons. Some people will be driving home for Christmas, rushing back to see their loved ones. Many will rush to certain stores or outlets to get their hands on top-of-the-list gifts for their little ones. Others will be trying to make the store before it closes to pick up last minute bits and pieces for the festivities. Sure, the anticipation of the holidays can make you want to get from A to B more quickly than the law permits. But is it really worth speeding for the sake of getting to your destination just a little earlier? You’ll get there eventually anyway! As you can see, there are plenty of reasons that you may want to travel as quickly as possible over the festive period, but the law still stands, regardless of how excited you may be to enter the arms of your loved ones, find that prized present, or get home from work to warm yourself in front of the fire. Throughout December, we have more severe weather conditions with chances of wet road surfaces, frost, or ice (including notorious black ice). This can lead to awful accidents at the best of times, never mind if you’re speeding. There also tend to be more hazards around the roads, as children are out of school and may be playing near the roadsides. Traffic can also mean you find yourself quickly approaching sudden jams. Sticking by the speed limit reduces your chances of problems, accidents, and fines. If you do find yourself with a fine, contact a notable attorney such as Powers McCartan. They may be able to help if you weren’t entirely in the wrong.


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Avoid Parking Fines


Much like speeding tickets, the number of parking fines also tend to skyrocket throughout this month. Places of commerce are often much busier and people tend to struggle to find a space to park. This can be frustrating, of course. But just try to hold your patience and wait until someone leaves and frees up a space. While it may be tempting to pull up in a spot that isn’t meant for you, block up someone’s drive, or pull into a space that clearly says “no parking” between given hours, you need to refrain from this. Traffic wardens are out in full force, as they know people are more likely to break the rules. So you can expect to have a hefty fine or clamp slapped onto your vehicle in next to no time if you do try your luck. Also bear in mind that by taking up disabled parking spots, blocking others’ way off their drives, you are inconveniencing others at a time when you should be a little more considerate.


These are just two areas to keep in mind. Take things slow and you will avoid running into trouble. This will keep your pockets heavier and free up more cash to be poured into the festivities.

Investing In Your Future Isn’t All About Pensions

When it comes to investing in the future, most of us think about pension funds. And, of course, they prove invaluable in our later years. If you want any shot at a decent quality of life, it’s essential you tackle them before anything.

But, that’s not the only thing involved when it comes to investing in your future. In fact, there are myriad of ways to ensure your later life is lucrative. And no, we’re not talking about stocks and shares. Though, they have their place if you’re willing to do your research.

Instead, we’re talking about the small things you could splash out on now, which you’ll thank yourself for in the future. Often, when we worry about money, we focus on hoarding it away. But, that may not be the right step. Instead, consider the following ways to invest in your future.

Improve your home

We all know that becoming a landlord can help boost your earnings. But, you don’t have to go that far to see money back from your home. Being a homeowner in itself is the biggest investment you could make. Even sitting back and waiting for house prices to rise will see you better off. Or, you could take an active role in this investment, and do everything possible to boost the value of your house. Sure, renovations in the attic will cost you now. But, having an extra bedroom will see you earning big bucks when you sell. Even if you don’t want to go this far, something as simple as a kitchen renovation will increase value.



Study without the debt

Obviously, any form of study is an investment into your future. But, going to uni leaves most of us in debt for a large part of our lives. It’s no wonder, then, that many of us approach education with some bitterness. Yet, there’s no getting around the fact that learning increases earning potential. As such, it’s an investment worth making. Bear in mind that you don’t have to jump into full-time education and leave yourself struggling. Instead, look into online courses which cost less depending on your circumstances. This option also allows you to work while you learn, and pay debt as you go. So, if you’ve always wanted to go down the Policing route, it’s time to delve into that degree in criminology. It may seem excessive now, but your future self will thank you for it.


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Timeless purchases which increase in value

It’s also worth thinking hard about the things you buy. You may approach something such as furniture shopping with low prices in mind. The issue, then, of course, is that they don’t stand the test of time. Instead, it may be worth approaching from a different angle. Investing in pricier, vintage pieces, may be more of an investment than you realize. Sure, it’s painful now. But, if you keep them in top condition, you stand to earn a lot more than you spent when you come to resell.

Get A Headstart With Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

The new year is a fantastic excuse to take a step back and reassess your finances. From your debt to your investments, and from your mortgage to your savings, every aspect of your monetary situation can be prodded and investigated to ensure that you are on the right financial path. If you are struggling a little financially, enjoy a more frugal Christmas before sitting down with a calculator and doing some festive number crunching. Take a look at how you can generate your own financial New Year’s resolutions that you can stick to.


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Your number one priority at any point in the year, not just in January, should be to clear your debt. Being on a more even keel financially will see you with more disposable cash, a stronger credit score and you will be less stressed. It’s vital that you pay off the short term debt with the higher interest rates first. The quicker you clear these debts, like credit cards and personal loans, the faster you’ll have more money in the bank at the end of each month.


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The Future


It doesn’t matter whether you’re twenty-five or fifty-five, you need to keep an eye on your financial future. Although retirement may seem like eons away, it takes a good few years to build up a savings pot for your twilight years. If you have a company pension, ensure that you keep paying into it. Over time, you’ll accrue a solid nest egg ready for when you’re ready to shutdown your laptop or hang up your hard hat for the very last time.


To make sure that you enjoy a more comfortable retirement, you can’t rely solely on your 401(k) to fund your post-working years. You need to be proactive and work out how your money can work best for you. You need to be a tad more aggressive with your investments without taking on too much risk. Seeing your hard earned cash wallowing in a savings account increasing by minimal amounts each year is not going to see you with the most lucrative return.


Consider using some of your funds to purchase a property with a company like the Waterfront Group. They concentrate on finding you a different sort of home like a log cabin in the mountains or a lodge by the lake. You’ll be able to rent out this property to holidaymakers, seeing a solid return on your investment. If property isn’t your thing, why not explore the joys of the stock market or Forex trading. After a couple of months running a dummy account, you could find yourself buying and selling foreign currencies and making a handsome profit in the process.


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It doesn’t matter whether you’re feeling particularly flush or under the cosh financially, the New Year is the ideal time to get yourself more financially astute. Make resolutions for your debts, savings and investments and stick to them. When you’re old and grey and enjoying your retirement, you’ll have your New Year’s resolutions to thank.

Making Those First Few Weeks & Months Of Parenthood More Manageable

One minute you are living a child-free life that doesn’t revolve around nappies, breastfeeding, and sleep-wake cycles, the next you are thrown into what feels like an alternative universe and have a tiny human depending on you for everything. Becoming a parent is a shock to the system, despite the fact that you have nine months to prepare for the challenge when the day finally comes and you become a parent, you are not prepared for the shock that comes with being handed a newborn baby.


That being said, there are a few things that you can do – steps that you can take – that can help to ensure that those first few weeks and months of parenthood are more manageable. It will never be easy becoming a parent for the first time, but if you take note of the tips below and implement the ones that you find helpful, you can make the process of raising a newborn that little bit easier and slightly less stressful.


For everything that you need to know, read on.


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Put a parental plan in place


It is a wise move to make to discuss how you will parent beforehand, rather than attempting to do so after your little one is born. By taking the time to research different parenting methods and discuss them with your partner beforehand, you can make sure that when it comes to how you will raise your baby, that you are both on the same page about things and know what is what.

This is important because when it comes to parenthood, you and your partner need to present a united front, you can’t be going against each other with different parenting styles. You need to take the time to consider things like whether you are going to let your baby cry it out or whether you are going to comfort them whenever they cry and whether you want to co-sleep with them or not. There is a lot that you need to consider, so taking the time to talk things through beforehand and put a parental plan in place, could be a good idea.


Accept help


Don’t be afraid to accept help. A lot of new parents think that accepting help is a sign of weakness, but the truth is that isn’t the case. Raising a child is hard work, especially those first few early weeks and months, which is why there is no shame in accepting help. Whether your mom offers to come and stay for a week or two and help out with your new addition, housework, and cooking, or your mother in law offers to cook you a month’s worth of food, take advantage of any help that you can get. Asking for help is not admitting defeat, it is simply accepting that you can’t do everything by yourself, which when you become a mother, you can’t do.


Be flexible


Parenthood means being a lot more flexible that you used to be. The chances are that when it comes to doing anything with a baby in tow, you are often going to end up being late or having to cancel plans, and for the first year or so, that is okay. You need to understand that with parenthood, flexibility becomes more important than ever. You can’t control everything that happens when you have a baby to think about, which is why you need to learn to relax and lead a more flexible life. Babies are life-changing, they change absolutely everything about your life, which is why, for many parents, it can take some time to adjust to the challenges that parenthood poses. As a parent, you need to learn to think on your feet, so that whatever your new addition throws your way, you are equipped to cope with. Don’t be afraid to make changes to how you lead your life, as with parenthood comes many changes that as a parent you have to just go with.


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Get to know your baby


The fact is that every baby is different, which means that as a parent it is vital that you get to know your baby and learn everything that you can about them. One of the best ways to get to know your baby is to keep a log of their eating, sleeping and nappy habits, so that eventually, over time, you are able to see a pattern and establish a routine. It isn’t always easy getting into a routine when you have a little one to think about, but if you take the time to learn all about your baby’s habits, you can make getting into a routine that little bit easier. Life as a parent can sometimes feel overwhelming, but if you take the time to get yourself and your little one into a routine, you will begin to feel less stressed out and will be able to enjoy your time with your little one more.


Invest in useful gadgets


Parenthood is not an easy task, that’s the truth of the matter. However, just because parenthood is not always easy, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps that you can take to help make being a parent that little bit easier. There are various gadgets that you can, and should, invest in that can help to make the process of raising a baby easier and less stressful. Often, one of the most stressful parts of raising a newborn is keeping them entertained and preventing them from crying, which is what gadgets like jungle gyms, baby swings, and play mats are for. Sensory toys can also be great for babies, as they can help to keep them occupied while soothing them and preventing crying fits. For times when your baby just won’t stop crying and refuses to settle, it’s important to know what to do. Sometimes gadgets like the mamaRoo infant seat can be all it takes to stop a crying fit in its tracks – click here to read an in-depth review on the mamaRoo infant car seat – other times it can take a lot more than that. Often, going for a drive can help to soothe and calm a baby, sending them into a state of relaxation and helping them to drift off to sleep. A white noise machine can also help, as can certain types of music. When it comes to preventing crying fits, often it’s a case of trial and error – over time you will get to know what calms your baby and helps to send them off to sleep.


Shuffle your priorities


Before having children, our priorities are always our own. Whereas, once we have a baby, that changes, as we prioritize our baby’s needs, over our own. This can mean making changes to all different parts of your life, from your home life and career to your social life. The fact is that even the neatest person can struggle to keep their home clean and tidy when they have a newborn to care for, and this is something that you just have to cope with. A tidy home might have been a priority before you had a child, but now that you are a parent, things have changed. The same goes for your social life, making sure that you attended every girls’ night out might have been a priority, but now that you have a little one depending on you, your priorities will change. Nights out with your friends suddenly seem unimportant compared to spending time with and taking care of your little one. When you become a parent, everything shifts and your priorities change forever – your child becomes your number one priority and very little else matters.


Make mealtimes easier


By far, one of the hardest parts of being a new parent is finding the time to eat, let alone make food. This is why a lot of new parents live off of takeaways and ready meals for the first few months of parenthood. However, this is not a healthy option, particularly if you are breastfeeding, which is why it’s important to plan for mealtimes in advance. If possible, before your new addition is born, make up various batches of meals, portion them up, and freeze them down, so that when your new addition arrives, all you have to do is microwave these meals. It’s much better to eat healthy, homemade meals than ready meals or takeaways, which is why stocking your freezer in advance is important. Another option is to invest in a slow cooker and live off of slow cooker meals, as these take five minutes to prepare and can be made healthy too. If anyone offers to bring you homemade meals to stock your freezer with, don’t be afraid to say yes – when you have a newborn to cope with, you won’t care what you eat, just as long as it’s food of some sort.


There you have it, everything that you need to know to make those first few weeks and months of parenthood that little bit less stressful, and slightly more manageable. Becoming a parent for the first time will never be easy, but if you take note of the tips and advice above, you can make life that little bit easier for yourself and your partner.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner {Book Review}

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All opinions remain my own and weren’t influenced. My opinions may differ from those of others as well as the author/publisher. Some of the links on the following page are “affiliate links” and I may be compensated if you click on these links.


Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

My Thoughts!

This read was simply amazing.  This was a fast paced read that really grabbed my attention start to finish. The storyline was believable and the characters were relatable. I loved that it had so much to offer and that it wasn’t predictable.  I has  a strong sense of romance, love at first sight, and  containing physical attraction. All of which made this book a great read!  I recommend this read!

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Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd) by Jen Turano {Book Review}

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All opinions remain my own and weren’t influenced. My opinions may differ from those of others as well as the author/publisher. Some of the links on the following page are “affiliate links” and I may be compensated if you click on these links.


When shipping magnate Harrison Sinclairs mother catches Gertrude Cadwalader, paid companion to the light-fingered Mrs. Davenport, returning a pilfered item, she comes to the wrong conclusion. However, Harrison is eager to mend fences once he realizes the error. After a real thief starts preying on society, can Gertrude and Harrison catch the culprit?

My Thoughts!

This was a fun read that grabbed my attention from the start. I loved the plot and the well developed characters. It’s funny how a simple misunderstanding can change everything. This was a light read that really shows the true strength of friendship. The characters were well developed and relatable. I loves that Turano offered such a unique, easy flowing writing style. I can’t wait to read more from her.

Purchase It!

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