Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What a mother won't do to get her kid to eat grapes.

Autism is somewhat synonymous with picky eating. My son is no exception. He wants to like grapes. He wants to eat grapes. He likes the smell. He likes the taste. The texture? It gags him to the point of vomiting. I have tried nearly everything. I have tried little grapes, large grapes, peeling the grapes, squeezing the juice and flesh from the grapes, even slicing them in half. Tonight we had a breakthrough! He said, "Mommy, I think you finally solved the texture problem!" I sliced them and I diced them, into itty bitty, teeny tiny bits that he can nearly just swallow! GRAPES! Could this be called the grapes of wrath....no longer?

Wedding Wednesday

 

I always start with the guys. The gals need a little extra time to do final touches on their hair and makeup, and the guys can usually all be ready to go much faster. I get all of the groom and groomsmen photos before the ceremony. This gives the guys time to work out their nerves and relax a bit. 

HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company REVIEW

WAY Comes Home Kit
So, a few weeks ago there was a knock on my door and it was Mr. Mailman. He had a HUGE box for me, and I thought "What in the world is this?!" It was a box full of awesome is what it was! It was a box from HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company, and they sent us their WAY Comes Home Kit to review. 
I can't even begin to list everything that is included in this kit. There's "Nerf-like" balls, a real stethoscope, scale balance, fingerprint bad, workbooks, DVD, teacher/parent book...basically, everything you need to implement the program is included! I said the box was huge, right?! 
WAY Comes Home Kit
How did we use this:
Ok, first I need mention the journals. These are consumable, and it is intended for 1 student/journal. I received all 3 grade levels to review. They are aged for K-1, 2-3, and 4-5. The included vocabulary cards are also consumable, and correlate with the grade levels of the workbook journals. 
Now, you can do a lesson each week, but you know me! I like to get my money's worth....or my review time's worth as the case may be. So, we utilized everything. That means we aren't close to be finished with the program yet!

Typically, we stretched each lesson over 2ish weeks. I say "ish", because to be honest, he just liked repeating some of them, so I let him. This means we have a lot still to work through, and I think that is fantastic! 
So anyway, back to how we use this. Wow, I don't even know where to start!
First: The parent book provides a lot of tips and suggestions for use. There is a section that tells you exactly what you are going to need for each section. This is soooooo handy for scatter brained people like myself! 

Next: Lesson components. This is where you have some flexibility. You can opt out of activities and finish quickly, or you can do it all and move slower. I chose the latter. There a vocabulary list for each lesson. I used this for him to do definition work. He LOVES definition work. I also did some informal spelling quizzes with these words. There are suggested activities to do with each lesson ("Include Me Too" ) that aren't part of the main lesson. These activities are provided for kids not working on that lesson. We did this too, for fun. There are art activities in "Art Attack" and this usually led to lost focus since he'd get all wrapped up in creating a "masterpiece." There are also suggested activities to do outside the home, family friendly internet links and additional study suggestions, book lists, and more. Mr. B's favorite part is the fun facts section called, " WAY more fun.) So as you can see, each lesson packs a big punch.

Mr. B really likes the DVD and the get up and move around activities on there. We would probably progress much faster, but we have to repeat these so often that it slows down the other lesson work! But I'm not going to complain, he really likes it a lot and it's great for his sensor and energy. I like doing these with him, and they really do give you a workout! Mr. B tires easily, and he's not very coordinated, so we can sometimes do it for 10 minutes, sometimes less. I just go by his reactions on the timing.
WAY Comes Home Kit
Our thoughts:
This is a FANTASTIC program that truly does include everything you need to make it work. The only thing I had to add was library books if he chose to use one from the reading list that we didn't already have on hand. I love the overall message of taking care of your WHOLE self, inside and out. I love the Biblical messages included, too. I like that I can choose what to do and when, even though I do love having pre-planned things at times. I found the unplanned to be nice in this case. Honestly, there's so much to this kit that I can't even do it justice with this review. I love how everything is just there. I don't have to go buy additional components, or anything. It's just there. I like that I can modify it to fit our needs easily, and if we need to skip a day or two we can. The workouts are great, and provide us with an activity we can all do together. And the weekend activity suggestions have really given us a lot to think about, and has caused us to get out together more when we wouldn't have before. Just the other night we went to a community day with a hot air balloon and Mr. B. started Bowling AND swim class to "get healthy inside and out!" Definitely recommend this! 
Does HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

This is a physical product that includes EVERYTHING you need! You can totally customize it by doing all of the optional activies, some of them, or none of them. There's no set schedule, and you are free to take breaks as needed.    

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

This covers K-5, but I would say younger or slightly older students would still benefit some. Especially with the workout DVD part! As far as hidden fees, it's not a hidden fee exactly, but shipping is rather expensive. It is a HUGE box FULL of stuff, so you can imagine that shipping is going to cost a bit. BUT the kit itself is super affordable and on sale for $39.95 right now, which counteracts the cost of shipping. Is it worth it? To me it is! Also, they have graciously given me a discount code to share with you that will give you $15 off! Just enter the Coupon Code: GC0737011!!!! 
 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

NOT boring, DEFINITELY Engaging, and totally varied. It is PERFECT for ADHD because it gives them an outlet for that energy! Uncoordinated kiddos with autism may have a little difficulty following the moves on the DVD, but you can help with those. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

It actually does. There's Vocabulary words, science, math, etc. that's all sort of incorporated into the overall program. It's not like a big unit study or anything, but there are certain aspects that do require the use of other subjects. 

Please check out the Review Crew for more reviews! 


WAY Comes Home Kit Review
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sometimes

Sometimes you just get stressed to the max.

Sometimes you just need a mental break.

Sometimes....


Sometimes it's ok to take a few days off to recompose yourself. Life is hard. Parenting is hard. Being a mom is hard. Being a mom to a special needs child is hard. Being a mom to a special needs child, while homeschooling, is hard. It's OK to feel like you need a break. It's OK to take that break, and do nothing but read a book for fun, play internet games, or daydream. IT'S OK! Because SOMETIMES we all need it!

And I certainly did the past few days! Whew!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Catherine West's The Things We Knew REVIEW!

What is better for summer reading than a beach set book?! In my opinion, nothing! Catherine West's The things We Knew is really great book with a beach setting that is perfect for those warm summer days. This is a mystery story that doesn't give away its secrets until the very end. This was a page turner from the get go for me, and I couldn't hardly put it down. Lynette's mother dies, and there's a bit of mystery surrounding her death. Her siblings all hold secretes, and no one is willing to really dredge up a past that Lynette can't remember. Their father, whom they blame for their mother's death, is in ill health and the siblings, who have all gone their own ways, are tasked with coming together to decide the fate of the family home. Each character is strong, and well developed. Their personalities grow and they become more complex as the book unfolds. Each presents their own substory that is also well developed, and ties in with the overall picture. Overall, this is a very well written, well planned bookt hat flows nicely and kept my attention page after page...after page. 

I high recommend you find a warm, sunny spot to curl up and enjoy this book! 







About the book: 

The Things We Knew (Thomas Nelson, July 2016)

A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.

After her mother's death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother's death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can't remember a bit of it.

But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother's best friend and Lynette's first crush, Nick seems to hidingthings from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about theday her mother died and hopes he might help her rememberthe things she can't.

But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn't want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

As their father's failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface---secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate thesiblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/29vkFGh
 
About the author:


Catherine West
 writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.


Landing page:


** I received this free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

Thursday, August 25, 2016

jollyliteracy.com Can Do Cubes REVIEW

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
We have been reviewing a jollyliteracy.com Can Do Cubes set, by just2ducks LLC. This set is made up of several wooden blocks with a variety of letters and letter blends, as well as word chart poster, word chart poster, level 1 and 2 flip style books, DVD and CD-ROM supplements to aid in the use of the blocks. The program is split into level 1 and level 2, with level 1 having 27 blocks for use, and level 2 having 30. There's also punctuation blocks. We also received access to online worksheets and templates that I have found to be particularly helpful!

These blocks have the letters laser engraved, making them nice to look at, as well as use. They are smaller sized blocks, which are great for little hands. As an off label use, they are also great to use while working on fine motor skills! 

How did we use these:
Mr. B has some issues spelling sounds. An "f" sound is spelled using an f, rather than other letter combinations that may make up the word. I wanted to review the Can Do Cubes to see if this multisensory approach would help him "get it." With the Can Do Cubes, he is able to see, and feel, the letters as he literally builds a word. With that said, he is above the level of level one, so we started off with level 2. Level one is more pre-reading, letter sounds, letter names. Level 2 is more blends. 
With these cubes we can play games, such as randomly drawing cubes to see what words we can make, or how many words can we make with each different sound blend. Our favorite was drawing a letter blend, like OU, and then trying to make the most words in 60 seconds. He also uses them to make "road signs" spelling out his own city and road names haha! 

What we liked and what we didn't: 
I like that he can literally build a word. He can stack them, or line them out. He can FEEL the letters that are engraved, as well as feel the word once he has it built. That's really great. I like that I can give these to him for play, and he can still learn. I can give him spelling words to spell, and he uses the blocks to make the words, instead of writing them out. 
I had a few issues trying to find the letters I needed at times. The packaging IS labeled, but with it being cardstock and cardboard, I wonder how long it will last. I wish there was more long lasting packaging for families who may wish to use these for longer. It is really nice to have the chart on the box, so that you don't need to spend a great deal of time searching for the correct cube, but with the packaging not being greatly durable, that might be an issue. Also, you will need to instruct your child to place them back in the proper place for easy use. 
Here is a photo for reference:


As you can see, there are small letters under the blocks that show you what is in that group. Note: Not all sounds are listed. I had to use the chart for the "ph" for the "Phonics" graphic. Not a huge deal, but it could be frustrating for some special needs learners who have issues with being patient. 


Overall:

Overall I really like this concept. The blocks are smooth, and the font used is easy to see and easy to read. It's really nice for the kids to be able to see the different sounds on the blocks, and then use those to build words. I like how each sound is represented. It's great to use to teach kids letter blend sounds, rather than sounding out each individual letter. I like that I was able to take an o and an a and "add them together" to make "oa" and show Mr. B, rather than trying to verbally explain it. There are capital letters included, but the blocks are mostly lower case, and that will also help younger students learn the lower case alphabet.  

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

Please check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew for more reviews of Can Do Cubes!


Can Do Cubes
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jollyliteracy  
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wedding Wednesday


I do a lot of weddings each year. I would go nuts if I did the same old traditional poses all the time. I like to change it up, play off their personalities and make their wedding photos a fun, memorable experience for all! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dana Mentink’s ‘Fetching Sweetness’ Prize Pack Giveaway

I LOVED THIS BOOK!  Sorry, I just had to shout that! Ok...so...you may remember I reviewed a cute little book titled "Sit, Stay, Love" and I thought it was going to be a silly, cheesy book that I'd not really love but then I read it...and I ended up reading the WHOLE book in 1 night because I could NOT put it down?! Imagine my sheer delight when I learned of "Fetching Sweetness," the next in the line after my beloved "Sit, Stay, Love"!!!! I could have screamed with joy when this came in the mail to me! 

I LOVED Tippy in the first book, and Sweetness has won my heart over in this one. I loved it. You have Stephanie Pink who longs to be a literary agent to live up to her brother's memory, and Rhett Hastings-uber rich business guy who gives it all up for his sister to right a wrong from his past. They cross paths when Stephanie is chasing after a dog she doesn't know to win over the author of a much anticipated manuscript, the sequel to her favorite book that she shared with her brother years before. The author, a but eccentric to say the least haha, tells her she can have the manuscript when she finds and delivers her dog, and she leaves Stephanie literally on the Rhett's "doorstep."  After Rhett proves he's not a serial killer, and he doesn't really do that until a fated stop at a gas station proves Stephanie with her missing purse and phone...the journey to deliver "Sweetness" ensues. This book is so funny, and such a pleasant and relaxing read. And then the ending?! OH MY HEAVENS! I just laughed. I can't give it away because I certainly didn't see it coming HAHA! I love this!!!!  Definitely 5 stars! 

_______________________________________________________________________________


A recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest can only be found in Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink. It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Retrieve a reclusive author's valuable new manuscript and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent. But when the author's canine companion, Sweetness, makes a break for it and Stephanie has to track Sweetness down, she meets Rhett Hastings. They’re in for a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.


Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!




fetching sweetness - 400 


One grand prize winner will receive:



  • A copy of Fetching Sweetness

  • A $75 Visa cash card

  • A library book necklace

  • A dog-inspired insulated shopping tote




  • fetching sweetness - collage 

    Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana's blog.




    fetching sweetness - enterbanner
    **I received this free in exchange for my HONEST review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

    Shelley Shepard Gray's The Loyal Heart REVIEW! A great Civil War era story!


     


    I LOVE Shelley Shepard Gray's writing! Her style is so at ease, and it really pulls you in to the story. The characters are lifelike and so very real. The story line has a nice flow, and the ending isn't obvious from the start, which I appreciate. It is having read her books before that caused me to choose this book to review, because I wouldn't have otherwise. Why? Well....the overall topic kind of bothered me. I understand the two battle buddies (for lack of a better phrase) made a pact that should Phillip die, Robert would see to it that his wife was taken care of. I also understand it was a different time period. FYI:  Gray nails the time period and the customs of the day, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with those customs haha! It bothered me that the wife needs a man to take care of her. Yes, I get it...I do...but my inner independent female screams at this. THEN Robert falls for her. He wants to save her reputation since Phillip's legacy is not fabulous, so he falls in love with her? Ohhh Robert, I could smack you! To me, that's not showing her a lot of respect given she just lost her husband, but then again, I guess you can't control your heart. But still...sigh....I wanted to slap him.  That's just not my usual style of book, BUT Shelley Shephard Gray is one of my FAVORITE authors, so I decided I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. I'm so glad I did! This is a fantastic book. Robert has Miranda's best interests in the mind the whole time. She isn't portrayed as a weak, fragile damsel in distress as much as she could have been, so I appreciate that. She definitely leads up future characters and I can't wait to read those stories! Real characters, vivid scenes. GREAT BOOK!

    About the book: 

    The Loyal Heart (Zondervan, July 2016)
    Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn't expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
    Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.
    After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.
    Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
    He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task---Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.
    Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2ae3eOX
     
    About the author:


    Shelley Shepard Gray
     is a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.





    **I received this free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

    Sunday, August 21, 2016

    (Un)Natural Mom REVIEW! Are you the perfect mom for your kids?!

    This really could not have come at a more perfect time, seriously. Parenting is hard, but parenting special needs (mostly solo) is really hard. I can't count the number of times I've questions my abilities as a mom. Or the number of times I have wondered what God saw in me to bless me with my son. All too often this parenting gig is so hard because we are trying to be that other parent. You know...the fun one. Or maybe it's the attentive one. Or maybe is the carefree one. Or perhaps it's the baking cookies and cupcakes one. Or maybe....JUST STOP! This book gives you freedom to break that mentality and be the mom YOU are meant to be. 
    I LOVE the Chapter 2 myths. OH MY HEAVENS! YES!  It's crazy the expectations we put on mothers! You know what? I breastfed for 2 years 9.5 months. Guess what. I hated nearly every second of it. Yes...that's right. I did. I did not hear angels singing with each feeding. Actually, my back hurt, I sometimes had cramps, I had to let other things go....I didn't like it. I detest washing bottles more, and it was way healthier for him, so I did it. I didn't like it. Oh well! that's ok! All those "naturally" occurring things for a mother just didn't really naturally occur for me! And that's ok! And just an FYI to the homeschool party moms: No I did not bake those cookies, and this book tells me it's ok that I didn't! Someone did, and that's good enough for me! 


    About the book: 

    (un)Natural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids (David C Cook, August 2016)
    Do you feel like you're the only mom who serves store-bought birthday treats, dreads school plays, and misses the days of going to the bathroom by herself?
    Unnatural Mom gives you permission to say that mothering doesn't always come naturally to you. Parenting expert and self-proclaimed unnatural mom Hettie Brittz helps you . . .
    -Recognize how unrealistic our culture's standards of mothering are
    -Move beyond the myths of "supermom"
    -Complete a profile to determine your own parenting style
    -Understand and forgive the mothers who hurt you
    -Embrace your capabilities as well as your challenges
    Come find new hope in discovering that every mother hasunique gifts. In Christ, the "unnaturalmom becomes the supernatural mom who is just right for her family!
    Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2aZi9bM
     
    About the author:


    Hettie Brittz
     is an author, international speaker, and one of South Africa's foremost voices on parenting advice. She is the developer of the Evergreen Parenting Course and Tall Trees Profiles. Hettie and her husband, Gospel singer Louis Brittz, live in South Africa with their three children.



    **I received this free through Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**


    Friday, August 19, 2016

    Enlivenze LLC FlipStir Solar System Puzzle REVIEW

    FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
    We LOVE puzzles! We also love games that force us to think. Mix the two together, and you have a home run with Enlivenze LLC! We were blessed with a FlipStir Puzzle  Solar System puzzle to review, and we've really enjoyed it!
    Just what in the world (did you see what I did there? HAHA!) is this thing? Well, it's a contained puzzle in a clear plastic tube like structure that you arrange using a stirring wand, shaking, and moving the pieces around without actually ever touching them. In other words, it's the most frustratingly fun device we've played with in a long while! 

    It looks simple enough. Just a few plastic wedges with curvy edges that you line up to create the puzzle. But it is deceptively easy looking. It is NOT easy to do! At first, I thought Mr. B would breeze through this with it being a level 2 puzzle, then I used it myself. Nope..level 2 is just fine, thank you very much! HAHA! 
    FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
    Enlivenze LLC offers a variety of this 3D puzzles, including the Statue of Liberty, and even the Periodic Table! I chose to go with the Solar System because Mr. B is really into all things astronomy right now, and it is our chosen science topic for the time being. This is a great tool to use to reinforce the learning, and a fun element to his curriculum. 
    What we liked:
    It is not easy! It's not a device that you'll drop $25 on and have it solved in a few minutes, then never touch it again. Noooo....I actively worked at this thing for around an hour before I had manipulated all the pieces together. Mr. B worked for a long time, before giving it to me for help! It is a tricky little beast! Once you solve it, it's not as if it is easier the next time. You shake it and stir it all up, and then you can solve it all over again. The tube allows for plenty of room to move the pieces, but not so much that it's "easy." The curvy edges add an element of difficulty that I truly did not expect. I worked for a while to get Mercury from the bottom, to the top where I needed it. I was so frustrated, but I was enjoying it too haha.

    What we didn't like:
    This is definitely not for small kids who get frustrated easily, or give up easily. It's kinda difficult to move the pieces around, and not lose the positions of the ones you have in place. The FlipStir stirring wand thingy seems a little too flexible for my taste, and I was concerned it may snap. It didn't, so perhaps it is more sturdy than I perceive it to be. I do wish there was a way to "lock" it in place when not in use so that it doesn't accidentally get pulled on or broken.
    Our overall thoughts:

    This should be in the bin of every pre-teen/teen OT patient. It's GREAT for fine motor skills! It is frustratingly fun, so if you want to unleash some stress, this may be the perfect thing----or the worst thing haha. I guess that will depend on your perspective. I did get frustrated with it, because it was a challenge. It's not really big, but it's a little too large to stick in a purse and go. I wish there was a small version that I could take with us more easily to doctor visits and such. I was able to pack this along, but it did take up some space in my bag. Overall, we really like it! 


    Does Enlivenze LLC Solar System Puzzle Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

    1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

    This is a physical game. You can't adapt it beyond it's current design.   

    2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

    Mr. B is 11, and I am....more than 11. We both have enjoyed this! It's a physical product with no hidden fees.  
     
     
    3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

    This is an tough one to answer. Some with ADHD may get too frustrated with it, Mr. B did, but then he went right back and eventually solved it. I found it rather entertaining.  I think this is perfect for fine motor skills therapy!!

    4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

    This is only a fun product. There are various "themes" such as this one being the Solar System, so you may find one that fits in with something you are studying as an added element of fun.

    Please check out the banner below for more reviews on this product, including the other levels and puzzles, from the Review Crew!


    FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
    Crew Disclaimer

    Carrie Stuart Parks’ Undercover Artist Starter Set

    Oh how I love a good mystery! And "When Death Draws Near" gave me just that. Even better? I have been the Pikeville, KY so it brought the book a little closer to home for me. I found this to be very entertaining, and the characters were believable and real. This is book number 3, but I did not feel as if I was missing out having not read 1 or 2.

    I always appreciate it when the author KNOWS what they are writing about, and it is clearly evident Carrie Stuart knows her forensics-and if she doesn't, then she sure has me fooled! The material is presented in such a way that I wasn't left feeling confused or like I had just been to a lecture. 


    There is a lot going on in this book, and at times I did feel like it was a little too much, but not enough to be bothered by it at all. It actually added to the page turning aspect for me. 

    I love the writing style! 




    Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey's world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks' new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?


    Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.




    when death draws near - 400 


    One grand prize winner will receive:



    • A copy of When Death Draws Near

    • A $30 Michael's or Hobby Lobby gift card (winner's choice)

    • Colored pencils

    • A sharpener

    • A pencil case

    • An eraser

    • A coloring prayer book

    • A coloring notecard set

    • A lap desk




    • when death draws near - collage 

      Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.




      when death draws near - enterbanner


      **I received this in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**