Feb 25, 2012

Book Review: Targets in Ties

Author:  Tristi Pinkston
Author's Website: www.tristipinkston.com
Genre:  Cozy Mystery

About the book:
After two long years, Ren's mission is finally over, and it's time for Ida Mae, Arlette, and Tansy to travel to Mexico to pick him up. They have their itinerary all planned out visiting the ruins in the Yucatan, shopping, playing in the sand and surf and then they'll head to Ren's mission home and be reunited with that dear boy. But a wanted antiquities thief crosses their path, and soon the ladies find themselves tangled up in a web of lies, intrigue, and costly jewelry. Held hostage by men desperate for riches, they do what only they can do keep their heads about them, plan their escape, and discuss the proper making of tortillas. Will they survive their most harrowing adventure yet?
My review:

First of all, for those who don't already know, a cozy mystery is a book involving a crime solver (generally a woman) who is an amateur sleuth.  It usually takes place in a small setting where the suspects know each other, and with characters you could envision as neighbors or friends.  The amateur sleuth is a likable character who is usually not taken very seriously.  Cozies are often written in a series, giving the reader time to fall in love with the characters.  Tristi Pinkston has accomplished all of this and more in her Secret Sisters mystery series. 

Targets in Ties is the fourth book in the series.  This time Ida Mae and her cohorts, Arlette and Tansy, visit Mexico to pick up Ida Mae's nephew from his mission.  In no time at all, they are sleuthing around trying to solve a mystery--the most dangerous one yet.

The reader can't help falling in love with these little old ladies and their antics.  Ida Mae, Tansy, and Arlette each have their own distinct personality, and Tristi has done a remarkable job giving each of them a voice you can recognize. 

The book is a fun read and is laugh-out-loud funny.  Every time I read the books in this series, I come away feeling uplifted and happier, and I think you will too.  Targets in Ties is available for purchase on Amazon.

The characters from Secret Sisters have their very own blog!  If you need a smile, be sure to check it out.  You can also learn more about Tristi by visiting her blog and website.


In conjunction with this blog tour, Tristi is holding a contest.

Leave a comment on this blog post, and go visit Tristi's blog at http://www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com and become a follower.  You will then be entered to win this fun scrapbooking pack, including paper, tags, two decals, and metal tag frames. You have until midnight Mountain time on March 3rd to enter to win.

Feb 20, 2012

Book Review: Retirement Quest

Author:  John Hauserman

About the book:

RetirementQuest: Make Better Decisions was written by a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner who has been counseling clients since 1992. Drawing from his twenty years of experience, John Hauserman has developed a unique ability to communicate complex financial subject matter in easy to understand terms. Readers are guided through the basics of financial planning, while threads of politics, history, and psychology are woven together to create a tapestry of deeper understanding into the financial planning world. Complete with hard hitting insight into the practices and sometimes abuses of the financial services industry, John has created a masterpiece designed to help those responsible-minded investors who are seeking to avoid common planning mistakes.

My review:

Retirement Quest is a very organized, thought-provoking, look at retirement and how to prepare for your financial future.  It gives the reader an unbiased look at different types of investments, while providing tools for the reader to make educated decisions for themselves.  It covers many topics including, goal setting, risk reduction, and an informative look at the impending financial construct of the future.

I have a business/finance background, so I really enjoyed the book.  But, It's definitely not a light read.  The average reader might find it a bit overwhelming, but it's chock full of great information and reading it is definitely worth your time.

RetirementQuest is available for purchase on Amazon.  Check out the RetirementQuest website for an interactive planning tool and free classes.

About the author:

John Hauserman, CFP  is the chief executive officer of Retirement Journey, LLC. He oversees the details of the RetirementQuest planning experience.
Baltimore Magazine named John a five-star wealth manager, based on nine criteria, including customer service, communications, value for fee charge, and overall satisfaction.

In 2011 John was named the Baltimore area regional ambassador serving on behalf of the Certified Financial Planner (TM) Board of Standards.

Feb 4, 2012

Perfect Just the Way You Are

Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you were meant to be. ~George Sheehan
I LOVE the feeling of new beginnings--my birthday, a new school year, and best of all a brand new year!  I've got a clean slate--a fresh new start, and another chance to commit to the health, love, and life I want for myself.  Today (and everyday for that matter) I get to consciously design my destiny for 2012 exactly the way I want it to be.

As this year began, I felt hopeful.  I had grand ideas about what I was going to accomplish.  They were the usual things--be more spiritual, thinner, more organized, and just a wee bit closer to perfect.  I read books about goal setting, made a list of things I'd like to achieve, and then . . . froze!  I couldn't start any of them. You see, I have this disorder called PERFECTIONISM.  If I can't do something perfect, I shy away from doing it at all.  Now, I know this is stupid.  I mean, honestly, if I can't eat perfectly or exercise every day of the week, 3, 4, or 5 out of 7 is better than nothing, right?   Intellectually, I get that.  But it's still something I struggle with every single day.  It causes me a TON of frustration and feelings of inadequacy.

As a result, I've been reading a lot about personal motivation, happiness, and change; looking for something that will make a difference in my perspective. One author advocates telling yourself, "I'm perfect and worthwhile just the way I am." Let me repeat that . . .

I'm perfect and worthwhile just the way I am. 

And so are you!!

I think it's time that we all resolve to accept and love ourselves exactly where we are. Without all the improvements that we could doubtless make, without the pressure to be better. Without the voice of our mother, or father, or third grade teacher that we carry in our head.

What a concept, to just be at peace with who and what we are right now. Does this mean that we should remain stagnant or refuse to make changes that would benefit our lives? Not at all! It simply means loving yourself now!

So that is my goal this year.  I'm going to learn to love myself.

As far as dealing with the issue of perfection, I've decided rather than tackling everything at once, I'm going to make one small goal per month.  I figure working on the same thing all month will allow the necessary time to cultivate some new healthy habits.  I figure if I work on 12 new habits this year and if even half of them stick, I'll be closer to my ultimate goals of health and happiness.

How about you?  What are your goals for this year, and what's your plan of attack?
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