Friday, June 30, 2017

{ News of the World by Paulette Jiles - TLC Tour and Giveaway!!!


About News of the World

• Paperback: 240 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 20, 2017)

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Jill Gann

About Paulette Jiles

Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, TX.
Find out more about Paulette at her website.

My thoughts:

I will start by saying that the fact that the book features Wichita Falls, was one of the biggest things that drew me to it.  But with that aside, the historical and civil war theme of the story, was another reason why I knew that I had to read it.

There was only one thing that I didn't enjoy about the book, or rather the way it was written, and that was the fact that when someone was talking it wasn't in any kind of quotation marks, so I never really knew someone was having any kind of dialogue.  It made it a little distracting for me, but I will say that it didn't take away from the great story telling.

In the late 1800s, Captain Jefferson Kidd makes a small living riding from town to town reading the news from around the world.  During one of these readings, he is offered a $50 gold piece, and asked to escort a young girl back to her family in San Antonio. 

The young girl, of German descent, had been kidnapped by the Kiowa TribeCaptain Kidd is well known to others that travel from town to town and is for this reason that he is asked to escort a German orphan that was abducted by the Kiowa tribe at the age of 6.  Now 10 years old, Johanna doesn't quite understand what is going on or why she has been removed from the only place she recognized as home.  She truly believes she has been kidnapped and not rescued.  

What ensues during that trip from Wichita Falls to San Antonio, is a story that will touch your very soul.  The two form a bond, as they make their trip south to San Antonio.  Captain Kidd continues his readings as he passes towns, and Johanna helps him by collecting the money.  Eventually, she starts seeing him as her grandfather.

Upon reaching her family, they both quickly realize that things do not look good at all.  Captain Kidd is now put in a very difficult position, he either hands her over to a family that is no good and scares him and the girl, or he keeps her with him.

This story was fantastic.  It reminded me a bit of True Grit, and if you enjoyed that book/movie, you will certainly enjoy News of the World.


  I have an extra copy of this amazing book, to give away.

All you have to do is leave me a comment below, that's it :)

Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents, only.   I'll draw a winner this weekend, so if you think this is a book you would enjoy, go on and enter.  Good luck!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

{ Allergy results and my Atlanticus }

June 29, 2017


It's been almost 2 weeks and I hadn't heard back from the doctor on my allergy panel.  The rest of the results came back fine, I didn't realize until today that my doctor had ordered pretty much a full panel, so everything was checked including Thyroid and so on.  Everything is good there.

Let me just start by saying that, if you're in the military you know how frustrating it can be to try and reach your PCM (primary care manager) by phone.  Usually you can reach the Tricare appointment line but it's automated and you get the run around and so on.

I had been trying for a few days to reach my doctor or at least her nurse, and couldn't get through.  Today I called the Tricare appointment line and they actually transferred me to the Family Care Clinic so I could reach my doctor, which by the way, I didn't.  But the airman that spoke to the me on the phone was extremely helpful and after following some of his suggestions, I finally landed on the right spot which is the Tricare Online Patient Portal.

If you haven't yet done so, you might want to check into that, you can access all the doctor appointments, the lab results, you can order prescriptions and make appointments and even message your doctor through a secure server.  It's amazing!!!!

Ok I'm getting off yeah I got my results from the allergy panel and I'm allergic to quite a lot of things around my house which completely explains why I've been suffering so bad with allergies.

One thing I suspected but wasn't completely sure of, was the dog dander, and yep, it came back that I'm allergic to Cat and Dog Dander.  Oh joy!!!!  I can't get near cats, they make me so sick, but I think my body is used to dogs because we've always had dogs, the only time I really suffer is when they are shedding.

Anyway, I'm allergic to mold, fungus, grass bermuda, grass timothy, grass johnson, white ash tree, birch, oak, juniper trees, russian thistle, mugwort, house dust mites, ragweed and a few other kinds of grass and spores and whatever that I don't even know.  Honestly from that list, I think only one or two things are not around me, everything else is in my house (dogs) or in my front and back yard.  LOL

So I'm waiting to talk to the doctor so that we can figure out the course of action, because I'm absolutely miserable and need some relief.

Alright, after that medical talk, let me show you some prettiness.  I worked on my Atlanticus while waiting for my allergy pills to kick in, and while doing that I started rewatching my Everybody Loves Raymond DVD's from Season 1.  I absolutely LOVE this series.

June 29, 2017

Did you know that the Atlanticus blanket is a boy?  It's actually a him.  How neat is that?

June 29, 2017

I'm loving how it's turning out, I wanted it to be inspired by Cath Kidston colors and I think I've achieved that, only color really missing is the yellow, but I am just so happy with the progress so far, and for once I'm caught up on a CAL.

June 29, 2017

All ready for Part 7 on Monday :)

Well friends, my allergy meds are kicking in and here shortly I'll conk out so I'm going to cut this short and head to bed.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

{ Crepe Myrtles in Bloom }

One of the things that I have always loved about this house, is the big yards, all the trees, flowers, and birds, you know, the fact that we're surrounded by nature.

When this time of the year comes around, the yards come alive with big splashes of pinks.

June 28, 2017

I had no clue what they were when I first saw them, I just knew that they were absolutely gorgeous, but that's where trusty google came in and I researched and found out they were Crepe Myrtles. 

June 28, 2017

There are also tons of flowers popping up all over.  I don't know, it just makes me so happy seeing all the green and different colors abound.  It's really pretty.

June 28, 2017

June 28, 2017

Tomorrow I'm going to snip down a few of the flowers to bring inside.  I always pop some in mason jars and put at least one in every room.  I count myself blessed to have such beauty around me and to be living where I want to, and kind of always dreamed of.  Ok minus the farm animals, and the actual farm, but pretty close :)

June 28, 2017

I'm still pretty shocked at how much I love Texas.  I remember hating it so much the first time I visited and swearing that I would never, ever, live in Texas.  Boy, God must have been laughing at me up there knowing what was coming my way.  Haha

June 28, 2017

I feel at home.  Truly at home!

I think from all the States I lived in, Texas has felt the most like where I belong, though I miss Arizona.  Again, I knowwwww.  You must be shocked because I couldn't wait to get out of there and was very unhappy at first. 

June 28, 2017

I've often felt that I've been put in certain situations because I need to learn a lesson, and I don't always realize that at first, so I fight it and I complain and stomp my foot and go on and on about poor me and how I hate where I am.

I don't feel like I give it a real chance because I'm so busy disliking it and finding fault with it.  I've since then learned to just go with the flow, not make any sort of decision about it until I've lived it, experienced it and gave it a real chance.

June 28, 2017

When Curt first got this job in Texas I started laughing and I remember vividly, sitting across from him and saying "You're kidding me right?  We hate Texas!". 

June 28, 2017

But I consciously decided NOT to make a big stink about it and to just accept it and go from there.  I got excited for the move, I looked forward to being in a new State and new city and trying new things.

I think that did the trick because the minute I drove into into Texas, I fell in love.  It was almost like I had been holding my breath for years and finally let it out.

I love everything about it now.  I love our house, and the acreage around it.  I love the weather, I love people and the fact that everyone says "Have a blessed day".  And police cars all have "In God We Trust" written on them.

It's really where I want to be and where I feel comfortable.  It's home.  If you were to ask me where home is in America for me, I'll proudly reply "Texas". 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

{ Tackle it Tuesday - 06/27/2017 }

Hello everyone and Happy Tuesday!!!

I spent yesterday working on today's tackle it project to share with you all.

We have a Entry Way closet that tends to get very messy and over crowded pretty quick.  I have to get in there and give it a very good clean every month.  This time it had been about two months since I'd been in there and it was desperately needing attention.

I hadn't had a chance to get to it yet, keep saying I need to do it and then putting it off, so yesterday was THE day.

I started by pulling everything out of the closet, vacuuming and giving it a good cleaning inside.

I then went through everything and got rid of what was trash, what was to be donated and what needed to go back in the closet.

It took me a few hours, but I did get it all done.  I really should have taken a photo of the before, but I completely forgot to.

Here are the after photos, and I feel so much better when a corner of my home is neat and tidy.

And there you have it, the closet it tidy, organized and clean.  It took me a while but the rewards are completely worth the time.

Tomorrow I'm tackling our big hallway closet and will take before and after pics for next week's Tackle it Tuesday.  Did you tackle any projects today?

Monday, June 26, 2017

{ Sleeping away from home }

June 26, 2017

Hello everyone.

It's after 10pm and I'm sitting on my brother's couch.  I just finished editing today's pictures and am only now getting this post up.  It's been a long day, my word.

So I'm house sitting for tonight, my son didn't want to do it anymore, he is a 14 year old teen who would much rather be in his own bedroom.  As he calls it, his "safe place".   My brother and his family will be back home early tomorrow morning, so it's really the last night we need to house sit and watch their dog.

It's so strange though, I don't mind visiting people, I don't mind going on vacations and staying at hotels etc, but it's never quite the same as being in your own house, is it?  I've been here just 2 hours and I'm so ready to go home to my own bed hahahah

I did bring my book with me, it's one that I am finishing for a review and I'm absolutely loving it.  I love the style, I love the story, I love how the author's writing just flows, but yeah, enough on that, I'll tell you more about it when I review the book.

June 26, 2017

As I was saying, it was a long busy day for me.  I didn't have to go anywhere, but I did a lot of work around the house, mainly tackling a project that has been needing some attention for about 2 months or so.  It will be featured in tomorrow's Tackle it Tuesday.

June 26, 2017

While in the middle of that big mess you see above, I had a knock on the door.  It was the postman delivering yet another few packages.  It's been my life the past month, I see the postman every single day, or every other day, with a package or two of books to review.  I love it.

June 26, 2017

The books that came in today were, The dress in the Window by Sofia Grant and two cookbooks that I'm super excited to review.

June 26, 2017

Here's a little sneak peek....

June 26, 2017

I've been trying really hard to up my water intake again, I've been abusing the sodas and I can feel a huge difference.  At my age I shouldn't be abusing the bad stuff anyway.

June 26, 2017

For dinner tonight we went to Texas Roadhouse to celebrate my husband's new job.  We haven't gone to a good sit down restaurant in a very long time.  It felt good sitting with my husband and kids, talking, laughing, and sharing an amazing dinner.

I ate too much though and am paying for it now.   At one point, right at the end of the meal as we waited for our ticket, I actually thought I was going to be sick.  Never happened to me before, and I hope it never happens again.  That was a bit of a scary moment there lol

I kept looking around to see where the exit was and how I could make it out of the restaurant quickly without embarrassing myself or ruining the meal for others.  That would have been awful.

Well it's 10:35pm and I'm thinking I need to get some sleep as I need to be up bright and early to leave this house, go back to mine and make coffee for my husband before he leaves for work. 

I hope you all have a wonderful, restful night :)

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/26/2017 }

Good morning everyone and Happy Monday!!!

How was your weekend?

I had a pretty good one, but honestly could have used another day of weekend before the new week came at us.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  

The weather:::
It's cloudy and rainy today, which I'm quite thrilled about as I do love a good rain shower.  Here's a look at the rest of the week:

Right now I am:::
Working on this blog post, also talking to hubby as he gets ready for work.  Today he starts his new job as a federal employee.  No more contracting work, thank goodness.  You can read all about that on my post  Grocery Haul, Cosplay, Blood Work Results and some GREAT news

On my reading pile:::
News of the World by Paulette Jiles and The Light in Summer by Mary McNear

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Last night we all sat down and watched Smurfs 2, and I mean ALL of us, the parents and the two kids.  It never happens, so it was such a nice time, made me miss the old days.  

On my TV:::
General Hospital
The Outsiders (really curious about this show so giving it a go)
ID Discovery Channel

On the menu for this week:::

Outback for dinner to celebrate hubby's new job  
Slow Cooked Barbecue Ribs, Corn on the Cob, Maple Bacon Baked Beans    
Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Potatoes and gravy
Chicken and Sausage Ragu, Garlic Bread  
Fried Chicken with milk gravy, mashed potatoes   
Instant Pot Chicken Casserole, Butter Garlic Spaghetti 
Spaghetti, Salad 

On my to do list:::
Laundry......One load of whites, Jasmine's comforter
Living rooms....Pick up Marley's toys, Dust, vacuum, carpet clean
Kitchen.....unload and reload dishwasher, sweep and mop
Blog.....Continue on with the blog to book, Order 2008 and continue with 2010

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Just started Part 5 of the Atlanticus, even though Part 6 was released today.  I'm not really too worried about being behind or needing to stay on top of it, just going as I can. 

Looking around the house:::
It's a bit of tip right now, I need to give it a good cleaning after the weekend.  It's not dirty, but it's messy in some areas, things just left around from the weekend etc.     

From the camera:::
From the Animania Convention.    

What I'm wearing today:::
Usually I'm still in pjs at this time, but I had to go and pick up my kids early this morning so had to get dressed earlier than usual.  For today I'm wearing some grey sweats with the words Brooklyn down the side of the left leg, and a tank top, plus my slippers of course.   I'll get dressed in something nice later this afternoon before we head to dinner. 
One of my simple pleasures:::
Dipping my ham and cheese sandwich into my coffee.  I know some people will turn their noses up at it, but it's something I've been doing since I was a child and absolutely love it.

Inspirational Quote, Bible verse, anything you want to share:::
Simple and poignant

Sunday, June 25, 2017

{ Fairy Gardens }

Fairy Garden

We've been busy working on the yards, not just because they are huge and need a lot of mowing and attention, but also because we are having a barbecue on the Fourth of July and really want to get things ready for that.

Pops of red, white and blue are starting to show up, we put up the flag, a few other smaller flags, got some more mowing done today and I started my Fairy Garden.

A few years ago, the kids made their own fairy gardens in one of our previous homes on base.  Since then I've wanted to have one myself, but the opportunity never really presented itself.

Couple months ago I purchased a few little things to start and then set them aside, and honestly forgot about them for a while.  Life got busy as always and things get forgotten, you know how that goes.

Fairy Garden

There's something so magical about a Fairy Garden, isn't there?  Do you have one in your garden too?

Fairy Garden

I am so in love with it already, it has the bare minimum right now, but I'm going to add to it as time goes.  Just a piece here and there, and then grow it, adding other houses, trees, little fairies and so on.

I really can't wait to see it come together :)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

{ Grocery Haul, Cosplay, Blood Work Results and some GREAT News }


I did my usual grocery shopping on Friday morning.  At first I had mentioned sharing the haul and maybe doing a video and so on, but I decided against it, matter of fact I had already made the video and was rendering it when I cancelled it.

Here's the thing, I'm a blogger, I write.  I am not a vlogger, I never will be and I really don't much care for videos or putting myself on camera.  I tried and I have done it a couple times, but it's just not me.  So I really don't want to pursue that.

Anyway, Friday morning I headed to the commissary and did my grocery shopping for the next two weeks.

I will say that I am now quite sure my grocery budget needs to be adjusted and increased, because the past two grocery runs have cost about $300.  Not surprising with the prices of everything going up.

I had a really busy day though, right after the grocery store, I came home and had a quick bite to eat since I was the only one home and had to run back out within the hour.


After lunch and putting all the groceries away, I went to pick up my kids, brought them home and then had to get right to work on finishing up Jasmine's Cosplay Gun.  It was done but not until the last minute, we were still hot gluing pieces and doing paint touch ups.

This morning, Jasmine, Curt and I headed to the Animania Convention.  It was the first time it was being held here in town so we were quite looking forward to seeing how it was.

Jasmine looked absolutely beautiful in her D.Va Cosplay, who is one of the characters from the game Overwatch.

I have tons of pictures, but I'll share my favorites and if you want to see the rest you can just head on over to my Flickr Album.






Did I tell you Jasmine wants to pursue a career in Performing Arts and Theatre?  Yeah, that's what she wants to do and I am quite certain she would do really well :)

We didn't stay for too long and were home around 1:30pm, we were supposed to return but Jasmine's feet were really hurting and she didn't want to go back anymore.  I spent the rest of the afternoon editing photos, doing laundry and basically relaxing after a week of rushing and hours on end making a gun out of foam.

On the topic of blood work, I still don't have my allergy panel results back, I think I'm actually going to call them on Monday morning to find out what is going on with that.  Everything else came back as normal, the urinalysis, and my cholesterol and diabetes, everything is just right so I'm very happy with that.  Cholesterol and Diabetes runs in my family so I've been very blessed to not have either.

And lastly, the big exciting news is about my husband's job.

You know that we moved to Texas so that he could take a job as an Instructor at Sheppard AFB.  But, this job was as a contractor, which means that every year, the contract runs out and is up for auction again.  There's always the worry and fear that another company will win the bid, come in and fire the previous employees and rehire new ones.  The past two years, Curt has worked for 3 different contractors.

We've been blessed in the sense that he was able to get a job, but we also had to deal with him being laid off last year.  All this time, he had been putting in for a GS position on base which would make him a federal employee with benefits and a secure job.

He kept being passed up for others with more experience, or others who had friends in the know and so on.  It was frustrating, it was scary, it was worrisome for us, and we even began wondering if making the move to Texas was a good idea.

Of course as always, it's all about God's timing and not ours.

We found out about 2 weeks ago that one of the GS jobs he applied for, he was chosen for.  I couldn't say anything until now, had to wait until it was all official and so on.  He starts on Monday and we are both beyond thrilled and so happy.  This means a secure future and we can finally start building roots and looking into buying a house in Texas.

So there ya go, that's what has been happening the past two days.

I'm off to bed, cause you know, I'm such a rebel to be staying up until after 9pm on a Saturday.  Be jealous friends, be very jealous :)