Military Monday and *Giveaway*

If you saw my last post about Military Romance novels you might have read its become a recent curiosity for me. It’s not really an obsession, per se….but I do now find myself scanning the shelves for uniforms when at Wal-Mart or Target.  I’ve run across a common thread and I haven’t decided how I feel about it.  So while updating you on my recent reads, and giving you a chance to win some books, I thought I would open this up for discussion.

Here’s my discovery.  Most of the books that I’ve read have the same, but very interesting conclusion.  They have all ended with the military member miraculously timing his declaration of true love and marriage with him someone being able to end his career in the military.  Many times the conclusion is portrayed to the reader by inference that he is choosing his love, and his women, over his career.  The women in the story almost always doesn’t know if she can handle his career and either wonders this allowed all through the book or actually makes that a prerequisite for the returning of her love, or for accepting a proposal.  I don’t know about you but this completely sticks in my craw.  For one it portrays us women in a completely negative light.  Why yes, I will love you, but only if you give up the career that you’ve been in for however long, because I am too week and fragile to handle this difficult lifestyle.  Why yes, I’ll love you but only if you completely give up who you are so that I can have everything I want.  Clearly loving and being with me is a fair trade for whatever you will now have to do to find a career after what seems to me to be a sudden and quick break from your current career.

Now I know I’m totally thinking about this too much, and I’m most definitely reading too much into this.  Are these books not more likely to appeal to the Military Women?  I mean, I don’t know about the rest of us in this category but I wouldn’t mind reading a romance novel that ends with the guy remaining in the military.  It seems to me that there can be love and romance within the military life!  So now that everyone is rolling their eyes at me, LOL, how about I give you a chance to check the out yourself.  Personally I think they are better than any Shades of Grey book out there even though I haven’t read Shades of Grey.  But the military life, while not to be completely romanticized to the point where reality has to place….is pretty darn romantic if you ask me.

What are your thoughts?

Prize: 3 Harlequin American Romance/Operation Family Books
I found all of these at Wal-Mart at different times.  I’d never noticed them before, so I wonder if being in a high volume military location has anything to do with that or not; or maybe I never really paid attention to them before.  This is my first dive into Romance Novels.

The SEAL's Stolen Child (Harlequin American Romance, No 1430)A Baby For Christmas

A SEAL's Secret Baby (Harlequin American Romance, No 1415)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rhe’s Bookshelf – Still Lolo

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Overview:  In December 2011, Lauren (“LoLo”) Scruggs, a 23-year-old fashion journalist, suffered a sudden injury that made headlines around the world. She had been on a short flight to look at Christmas lights and, upon exiting the small plane, was hit by the still-moving propeller blade. A frantic 911 call, several major surgeries, and thousands of prayers later: Lauren lived. But she lost her left hand and left eye. And she had to face some incredibly difficult questions: “What kind of future will I have? Where is God in all this pain? Will anyone ever be able to love me now?” In “Still LoLo,” Lauren speaks out for the first time since her accident. She and her family reveal what really happened that night, what Lauren’s life is like today, what got them through their journey toward healing, and how they conquered all odds to persevere as a family. It’s a compelling and fiercely beautiful story of faith, determination, and staying true to who you are–no matter what.

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LoLo kicking butt!!!

What I Thought:  This proves to be a tough review for me.  Still LoLo is a well written book, by all the members of the family.  I really enjoyed reading about Lauren’s life in New York, how her Faith in God played a huge roll in her life, how he protected her and drove her life forward.  This was so inspiring to me.  I was so drawn in to her story and I felt myself being lifted up.  The word cheesy comes to mind right about now.  It truly does sound cheesy to say that but its true.  However, something about how the book was set up was just off.  It started with the accident, then went through each member of the family, and their perspective.  After which, Lauren picked up with the story of her life, with her sister’s perspective as well.  The next several chapters were back and forth between her life in New York and her early college age years.  It picked up later with her recovery and the perspectives from her and each of her family members.
The story of Lauren is truly amazing and inspiring.  Her faith and her family powered her through some of the darkest times in her life.   However, the set up of the book was all wrong and I had a difficult time reading through it.  It just wasn’t fluid and forced you to keep track of too many things, switch writing styles and ways of communicating.  That is really the only downside to this book.  I’m not exactly sure what I would have wanted done instead, because it was a family who experienced it and it was written as a family experience, so I understand the reason why it was done.

Read for Yourself: Check out the first chapter here!

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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#MGTakeUsAway Second Honeymoon Contest with ModernGreetings

This is the third installment of the ModernGreetings Second Honeymoon Contest!  This is a fun, yet challenging one.  You’ve got to figure out a way to condense that amazing proposal into a tweet that wows the judges!  It is quite fortuitous that I would be bringing you this opportunity so close to Christmas, and oh so close to my very own Christmas Eve proposal.

Christmas Eve 2002 my sweet hubby took me to the very same restaurant we went to on our first date three years earlier, for Junior Prom, sat us at the very same table, and asked me to marry him.  I was absolutely floored that he remembered the table that we sat at.  My very sweet hubby had hoped that it would be as crowded as it ended up being; but there he was in front of a packed house, getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him.  Here we are, what seems like so many years later.

us with our maid of honor and best man
If you are like me then you are sending out New Year’s cards instead of Christmas card….sigh.   Modern Greetings has so many cute card and invitations to choose from.  I just wanna show some them off to you here –

Here’s the down low on this round of the contest:
You have from December 28th – January 3rd to tweet your proposal for a chance to win your Dream Second Honeymoon vacation!  Tweet to @moderngreeting and include the hashtag #MGTakeUsAway.  After you tweet head over to ModernGreeting’s facebook page and fill out the submission form.  Get your family and friend’s to retweet your proposal to increase your odds!
Good luck!

This is a sponsored post brought to you by ModernGreetings.  All opinions and pictures shared are my own and of my own choosing.  I was provided with a voucher to use on their site in exchange for sharing this great contest with you.
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SuperBowl XLVII Party with Shindigz – 20% Military Discount and Giveaway!

Hooking up me fellow military families is so important to me.  While its not necessary, I truly appreciate when companies show some love to those in the military.  When Shindigz contacted me to let me know about their discount I was definitely going to pass it on to you guys!

I’m excited to use Shindigz this year for my Super Bowl Party!  I haven’t thrown one in awhile, but this year I think I’m going to do it.  Check out some of the things I can choose from :

 Shindigz has these great affordable party packs, for any size party.  You can order a pack with one click and you’re done!!  This is the Basic pack, for $19.99.
 I think these little cups would be cute for any kiddos you might have at your party.

About the Military Discount:

Members of the U.S. military can now receive a discount on party supplies as a “thank you” for their service. Shindigz, the world’s largest online party retailer, has started to offer a 20% product discount for members of the military.
 This new benefit is designed to lower the cost of throwing parties for those who have served our country. Shindigz unique party supplies and decorations can be used for soldiers’ birthdays, welcome home events, once-in-a-lifetime celebrations, and all other personal parties.
“We wanted to offer our U.S. military a special discount to thank them, in some small way, for the freedoms we enjoy because of the jobs they do,” states Jacquie Downey , Director of Sales and Marketing at Shindigz.com. “If spouses log into their soldiers’ accounts, they too can order supplies and receive the discount.” 
 Whatever the event, whether it is a wedding, baby shower, anniversary, or bon voyage party, Shindigz offers this new military discount to help soldiers celebrate that special event. “One member of the U.S. Army, serving in Afghanistan , recently received a box of Captain America party supplies and spy glasses to celebrate a fellow officer’s birthday,” Downey said.
“Another Shindigz customer, serving overseas, was able to share a special moment with his pregnant wife in the states. The couple celebrated their first baby shower via SKYPE. He commented that he particularly appreciated that his life-sized standee was able to ‘attend the event in person.’” 
“The sacrifices these men and women take and the time spent away from their families is such an unbelievable feat,” Downey notes. “We appreciate them and we support them.”
For more information on the Shindigz Military discount, visit www.Shindigz.com/military

 Make sure to check out Shindigz!

This is a sponored post, brought to you by Shindigz.  While I was compensated for this advertisement, I am pleased to share this company with you as a supporter of our men and women overseas.  Any opinions, ideas, or comments made by me are my own opinion.  The content of my post is my of my own choice.

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Santa is coming early to our house!

Being in the military sometimes has it’s perks….one of the perks is of course a direct line to Santa. So this year, since Daddy will be working hard Santa is making a special trip to our house this Saturday. When you’re in the military you do what you have do. It took me a little bit of thinking to decide what to do. At first I thought we’d just go with the flow and do Christmas on Christmas and it would just be whatever. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had to just do what we had to do. But I realized since he will be here sort of close to the actual Christmas, the kids are still pretty young, and Brian will not be returning to school after our celebration before the winter break we decided to just go with it early. It’s more important that he be here to celebrate with us. Truthfully my little heart probably couldn’t take not celebrating with him. This particular Christmas seems to of particular importance because its our first one away from our families and closest family friends. December has been quite rough – a virus for Christopher and I, stomach flu for all of us, pretty bad colds for the kids and I. There’s so much I haven’t done that I wanted to. It’s important that I listen to my husband. The kids are young and probably won’t remember everything. At this point I’m doing this for me because I feel like I need to for them. I’m running myself ragged because I feel this need to for myself, to make up for the fact that things are different now. We got our tree late, the decorating didn’t go so well and the kids started melting down/falling asleep, hubbs has been working a ridiculous amount and its just not what I had in mind. However I must remember to take a deep breath. Too high of expectations only sets me up for disappointment. It is not like anything bad has happened, but I think expectations were too high and when things came up that were out of my control, it was difficult to handle.

 A visit with Santa, thanks Operation Homefront!
 with Miss Maryland Teen, showing her their toys.  Such a sweet girl.

 



Christmas at the White House!

        I must remember to concentrate on all the amazing and wonderful things that have happened. The kids and I were able to visit the White House, all decked out for Christmas none the less. Daddy WAS able to go with us to get a tree and decorated it. We put our lights up, decorations are up, we got to see Santa and be blessed by the amazing people at Operation Homefront, which we never have been able to do before. So cheers to the good things. Christmas is not about what happens to us. It’s about giving, which is ridiculously cliched I know. Imparting upon my children the true meaning of Christmas is more important than any of that other stuff.

Merry Christmas!!

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