Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Blast: I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron: A Journey Through Infertility

While I have one precious son, we did not have to go through what Stacey and her husband went through to conceive.  But while I do not have first-hand experience with infertility, I know that many people do, and it breaks my heart just to think about. 

According to CDC, infertility effects 11% of women in the US. Author Stacey Rourke shares her own journey in her new book:

Basal body temperatures. Hormone injections. Invasive procedures - that leave no room for modesty. Tips on “effective positions” from well-meaning grandparents. 

When the natural way fails to work these are all added to the so called “fun” process of making a baby. Walk this rocky path to motherhood with author Stacey Rourke as she openly and honestly shares every good, bad, and awkward step of her three-year long journey. Using humor to break through the perils of infertility, she gives the lowdown on all the strange, embarrassing, and heartbreaking aspects. Stacey guides us through an unforgettable path that ends with a kid on each hip and hope for all those suffering with infertility. 

BONUS MATERIAL: “Morsels of Hope”
Success Stories from Infertility Survivors

Buy I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron: A Journey Through Infertility at Amazon and B&N

If you are facing your own struggles, Stacey wants you to know you aren't alone.

Chat with Stacey Rourke
Wednesday, July 3 at 11:00 am eastern
Twitter: #Infertility

Enter the giveaway:

For more information about infertility visit these sites:
Resolve: The National Infertility Association -
International Council on Infertility Information –
American Fertility Assoc. -

Disclosure: A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prizes. Rayborn Rambles received no compensation for this post.
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Review: Lifeboat

Lifeboat blurb:

Cass Carmichael has lost everything; her husband, her son, and her will to live. She walks the streets and paddocks when she can't sleep. One night she sees a UFO. She can't stop thinking about it. She becomes obsessed.

When natural disasters destroy the earth she is rescued by extra-terrestrials and taken to a new world where the human race can rebuild.

But something is wrong here. This may not be the Utopia she expects. Survivors are vanishing without a trace.

Can Cass unravel the riddle in time to save herself?

My Thoughts:


Did that just...

You mean...

But wait...

These are just a few of my unfinished thoughts immediately after finishing Lifeboat.  What the french fried frogtails?!  See, I just can't put how I feel into words.

Also, I really want to visit Australia.

Shepherd has seriously put my mind through a ______________. insert something sci-fi- nerdy here.

I don't typically read science fiction literature.  Maybe it stems from my childhood aversion to the Goosebump series, or sci-fi movies scaring the bloomers off me.  But in general, the only alien I ever encounter is Roger from American Dad on Adult Swim.  But I've been branching out quite a bit this year in the different genres that I have been reading, so when I heard that Shepherd was looking for people to review her book, I jumped at the chance.  Ok, so I didn't literally jump.  You all know that I am top-heavy and jumping is a hazard to me and others around me.

As a reader, you've got to stay alert during the beginning of the book because of the different character perspectives and past/future/present-day time shifts.  Cass is the main character, and I automatically felt for her.  Just the thought of losing my son and husband is about enough to send me away to be continually sedated.  I was so empathetic, it hurt.  Throughout her grieving, she fixated on UFOs and eventually found herself at a meeting of other enthusiasts.  It was here that she met Rhys, an engineer who was researching for a book about UFO sightings and findings.  But they don't stay on Earth long. 

Dun dun DAH!

Once the surviving humans are left to begin rebuilding civilization, it starts to get really good.  Added into the mix is an Irish guy named Seamus, and an unspoken love triangle begins.  Of course it helps that both gentlemen  are young, fit and good looking.  If it weren't for her past tragedy and current abduction, I'd say "Aw, poor Cass." in a very sarcastic tone.  But come on.  This girl has been through enough.  Give her a little eye candy to ease her stress a bit!

I wish that I had someone to talk to about the ending of the book.  It basically left me speechless.  I told my husband what had happened and how I couldn't figure out if I was supposed to like the ending or not.  I was definitely not prepared for it, that's for sure.  I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and punch an alien or twelve. 

Do me a favor and read this book so that we can talk about it.  It's definitely worth a bit of your time to read!

Author bio:

A.B. Shepherd grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but moved to Australia in 2009. She now lives in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, with her husband and their imaginary friends. She can usually be found seaside at Port MacDonnell, or lost in a fantasy world.

Lifeboat is her debut novel. The Beacon, her second novel, has an anticipated release date of Christmas 2013.

If you'd like to learn more about A.B. Shepherd please visit her website at

A.B. loves to hear from readers. Feel free to email her at with your thoughts regarding Lifeboat, or anything else that takes your fancy.

You can also connect with her on Twitter @ABHPShepherd and on her Facebook page 

Lifeboat is available at the following online retailers:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Camp Summer: Chalk Paint

Homemade sidewalk chalk is all over the Internet. Some use plaster of paris and toilet paper rolls, which result in giant pieces of chalk. Yesterday we tried out the paint recipe. I had been saving my liquid creamer containers for a while now, but these were WAY too big for the recipe. Each color only filled the bottom about a half inch up. But they did make mixing easy (just close the lid and shake) and it also helped with moving them outside without spills.  

The colors we ended up with:

You'd think that red would be a no-brainer, but no matter how many drops of food coloring I put in, it still looked pink. 

I gathered up a handful of brushes and we headed outside, into the humidity and overcast. 

We found that the large paint brush and sponge brushes worked best. The only problem is, they soak up the paint FAST. And you have to wait for the paint to dry before you get the really bright colors. 

Next time, we need a much bigger batch of paints, and more big brushes for everyone. 

Clean-up involves the kids getting soaked with the hose. After they were all in dry clothes and inside, they snuggled up on the floor in front of the tv with their snack bags and fruit punch. I had put the baggies together earlier that morning, putting in a variety of pretzels, popcorn and chips. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pipe Cleaners and Beads

Ugh, the rain.  I know we need it and all, but it really limits our summer activities when it's all yucky out.

The boys didn't seem very interested in this project.  The girls, on the other hand, loved it. 

I started out by asking if they wanted to make bracelets, but they ended up coming up with more ideas than just that.  It took a while for the boys to even come into the room.  Daven put on a few beads.  Cameron twisted a few pipe cleaners together.  And then they were done.  After all, there was golfing to do.  Deedee and Momo, however, made quite a collection of beaded treasures!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book Review: Destine

I was given a copy of this book to read because I agreed to review the second book of the series and wanted to catch the whole story from the beginning.  You can catch my review of that one on July 13!

Have I mentioned yet that I love being able to read books for review?  Because it's awesome.


Destine is a YA book about the impending doom of the apocalypse.  It reminded me of the Buffy series, where the high school principle was trying to basically end the world.  Michelle is a high school senior with a very close best friend.  But because of a boy, their friendship falls apart.  Michelle meets her own guy, Gabrielle, and she soon discovers that he was not always mortal.  He breaks the news to her that she must save the world. (Only YOU can prevent forest fires)

While I was caught a bit off guard by the biblical scriptures quoted at the beginning of each chapter, it really added suspense and depth to the plot.  Since we're talking about the end of the world, a bit of drama is needed.  The four horsemen are coming to high school to end it all!

I enjoyed this book and will immediately be starting the next book in the series.  When I review that book, there will be more information on the author.  Be looking for what happens next!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Chasing Invisible

Chasing Invisible Tour


Could you handle life in the spotlight?

Julia Alexander is a quiet girl from a small town.  Content to spend her days with a small group of friends and a pile of books, Julia thinks her future is set.  When she unexpectedly meets Chase, a fellow college student and budding musician,  she is unaware of just how drastically things are about to change.

Suddenly thrown into the limelight, her life is no longer her own.  Relentlessly followed by the paparazzi, Julia is forced to make tough decisions about fame, love, family and relationships.  But just how much will Julia have to sacrifice to become invisible...

What did I think?

This book was exhausting!  I couldn't put it down.  As a reader, you definitely have to stay alert; moving one chapter forward could put you years into the future.  But it could also just be days ahead - you never know.  This is, however, because the author, Karen Pokras Toz,  has to cover so much ground in very few pages.  We are able to see glimpses into the majority of the main character's life. 

Jules is an introvert and a bookworm.  Much of the beginning of the novel takes place while she is in college, with flashbacks to some of her high school memories.  The older she becomes, the further apart the gaps of time.  This is to highlight the major milestones and conflicts in her life.

Although I couldn't really connect with Jules on a personal level, she is a very complex and intriguing character.  Toz had me turning the pages (well, touching the screen of my iPad to turn the page) to see what was going to happen next.  Julia seems to constantly go back and forth from happy to miserable.

The end of the book got me a bit irritated.  While it makes sense to the overall story and the title, I still would have wanted a different end.  I've rarely felt more disconnect with a book character than I did to Jules at the end of Chasing Invisible.  Well, aside from Gone Girl (yikes - that lady was crazy!)  I just don't see how Julia could do a thing like that. 

While I wish for a different ending to satisfy my own selfish book nerd desires, Chasing Invisible is a good read, and I'm glad that I got the chance to read it.  Check it out for yourself, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

About the Author:

Karen Pokras Toz, recently discovered her love for writing. Karen writes middle grade and adult contemporary fiction. Her middle grade children’s novels have won several awards including the Grand Prize in the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and First Place for a Global E-Book Award for Pre-Teen Literature. Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). A native of Connecticut, Karen now lives outside of Philadelphia with her family. For more information, please visit

Tour Schedule:

June 18 In the Land of Dreams Excerpt
June 19 Tyrneathem Top Ten List
June 20 Cu's e-Book Giveaways Character Guest Post
June 21 Muddying the Waters Review & author interview
June 22 Rayborn rambles Review 
June 23 The Journey Continues Review & Author Guest Post
June 24 The Book Connection Review
June 25 Pavarti K Tyler http://www.PavartiKTyler Excerpt
June 26 Library Girl Reads & Reviews Author Guest Post
June 27 Lubs Book Chatter Review and Character Guest Post
June 28 Fiona's Book Review Blog Http:// Author Interview
June 29 Kats Read Author Guest Post
June 30 From the Bootheel Cotton Patch Book Promo
July 1 fuonlyknew Excerpt
July 2 Fresh Pot of Tea Excerpt
July 3 lindsay and janes views and reviews Review & Character Guest Post
July 4 Girl Who Reads Tips on Thursday
July 5 The avid Reader Book Promo
July 6 Lissette E. Manning Review & Author Guest Post
July 7 Ohana Day Academy Review
July 8 Ali's Bookshelf Review

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Camp Summer: Spring Mill

We traveled down the two-lane highway today to go up to Spring Mill State Park. It's right around an hour away from here, and a neat place to visit. 

The nature center clearly hadn't been updated since my last visit when I was in middle school, but there were puppets and the kids liked goofing around with them. We ate a picnic lunch and then headed over to the pioneer village. Daven spotted a playground, so they spent some time playing before we walked through the old houses and the mill. 

I'm not sure which of the older kids started it, but they pretended to be freaked out by all of the portraits hanging on the walks of the houses. "Ah!  Scary portrait!"  While we were on the third floor of the mill, Daven announced that he needed a potty break. Then he made me carry him down all of the stairs. Where was the nearest bathrooms?  Out the building, over the walking bridge, around the leather shop and down the trail. We made it, though!

Daven liked "that black man". No, my child isn't being racially insensitive. He was referring to the blacksmith. It was really neat watching him fan air into the fire, heat the metal and make designs. 

We couldn't leave without going on a hike - the boys said so. They all had walking sticks, and of course Bubby used his as a light saber. He fell asleep in the van as soon as we got moving. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Daven Says: Bathtub Edition

I put our little man in the tub to "wash away the itchies" from the many mosquito bites he acquired during our hour outside. As I assume many little boys like to do, Daven likes to pee in the tub. I've become pretty immune to it, trying not to laugh but also not getting mad. But today, oh, today I couldn't keep from laughing.  

"I'm making pee angels", he said, as he while aiming at the mound of bubbles at the front of the tub. 

I've got to say, he's clever and creative!