Tackling Summer Goals


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Summer is a break for some. Teacher and other education related professionals have certainly earned it. But for some of us, it is a time to get things done. The days are longer, the weather is beautiful for hiking, biking and swimming, and the scent of BBQ grills is everywhere. Regardless of these distractions, I still have a list. Some are fun activities: hike to Horsetooth Rock. Some are chores: clean out the black hole of a coat closet. And some are professional: read six middle grade books.

In an essence, it is time for a mid-year check-in on those New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s be honest. How are they coming?

Whatever you hope to accomplish this summer, here are several books to help stay on target with goals and dreams:

architect-200x300Be the Architect of Your Life by Karen Otis: In our modern world, so many people are battling unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their lives. Karen Otis, architect and author, delivers a groundbreaking new approach to designing and re-building your life with the creative ingenuity she has used in architecture for decades. By extending her “Architectural Method” to life-building, she reveals a completely new way of thinking where the results are profound, unexpected, life-changing, and transformational. Otis shows you how to take the architectural method of creativity and decision making and project it onto your own life to find direction and fluidity to spiritually “awaken your soul” to a life rich in inspiration and joy.

Whether you are unhappy or unfulfilled with your personal life, your relationships, or your career, this Method holds the answers to change all that. Her eight steps and thoughtful exercises unleash your power to take the mundane and make it meaningful; the expected, and make it memorable.

Rather than r-e-a-c-t-i-n-g to life, you can begin c-r-e-a-t-i-n-g your life.

working on your nowWorking on Your Now (WOYN) by Lori Beard-Daily is a guide to help you plan your life’s course, no matter what stage you are in on your journey. Within its pages you will discover how to take ownership of what WOYN means to you, what WOYN looks like to you, and how you will embrace your WOYN. It provides a solution for how to get started when you are not sure where to begin. It is a wake-up call to your senses. It does not have all your answers, but it does give insight into many of your questions. This book is not intended to be a quick fix that will inspire you for a moment and then have you go back to your same routine after you’ve finished reading it. This book is a thinking book. It is a doing book. In other words, you think about what you want in life, and then you go out and do it! YOU make it happen.

So, are you ready? It’s time to start WOYN!

motivated-389x600The Motivated Job Search by Brian E. Howard:   If you’re looking at this book, chances are you are currently looking for a job and you understand that in today’s market, being successful in a job search takes more than just having a resume. Finding the right opportunity takes action on your part and knowing the actions to take can put you in the right place at the right time. This book will help.

The Motivated Job Search covers meaningful topics like how to correctly prepare for a job search, profiling your next job, understanding the employer’s mind, branding, elevator speech, success stories, LinkedIn, networking, social media, and how to penetrate the hidden job market, along with a myriad of useful job search tools not otherwise written about in other job search books.

The book promotes a self-motivated job search approach where you proactively engage the job market and employers in meaningful ways that result in job offers!

He Said, She Said, I SaidIn He Said, She Said, I Said, couples’ counselor Barbara J. Peters breaks down possible perceptions and misconceptions in seven key relationship areas: communication, trust, forgiveness, intimacy, acceptance, friendship, and love, by using common sense, wisdom, and some professional advice to open up the possibility for a different approach.


All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.

Road tripping a better way – listen to a book


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Remember the old family road trips? Snacks, maps, off-key sing-a-longs, road side attractions and way too much time in a cramped back seat with siblings or cousins.

We submitted our kids to this familial sort of torture true love over spring break. Our trip took us to Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado.

Compared to the road trips of my childhood, there are some significant differences that technology has made. Our kids can watch movies in the car. This works well for straight roads, but when the roads are curvy (like all Colorado roads) it makes them car sick. Not great. To combat nausea, the kids have discovered they like listening to books on road trips. There are several different ways we can do this. Our library has a large selection of books on CD that we can check out. Also, on the iPad, we can download books they pick out on an app.

I like it because instead of staring at a cartoon, they can still look around see the landscape (balls of twine and road side camels are part of the journey, right). Also, with their headphones on, they don’t argue with each other. Parenting bonus!

Listening to books isn’t just for kids. My in-laws listen to thrillers as they make their annual pilgrimage from the Texas heat to Colorado’s cool mountains. My husband’s co-worker has a long commute and downloads sci-fi novels to entertain her as she drives. When I was driving an hour each way to college, I listened to business texts on cassette tape (I just dated myself). Driving and doing homework at the same time was efficient. Even housework is more fun to the sound of a historical fiction novel.

Several BQB books can be found on the Audible App and I think you will like these. They are engaging stories read by wonderful narrators. Wherever and whenever you listen, these are sure to please your ears:

From a Dead Sleep 9781937084547_FC (200x300)From a Dead Sleep by John A. Daly – Few residents in the small, secluded mountain town of Winston, Colorado, have kind words to say about Sean Coleman. He’s a bully, a drunk, and a crime show-addicted armchair detective with an overactive imagination. After a night of poor judgment, Sean finds himself the sole witness to the unusual suicide of a mysterious stranger. With the body whisked away in the chilling rapids of a raging river, no one believes Sean’s account. Tormented over the doubts and mockery of the people of Winston, Sean embarks on a far-reaching crusade that takes him across the country in search of the dead man’s identity and personal vindication. At the end, he hopes to find redemption and the truth – but sometimes the truth is better left unknown. There are times when the truth invites evil. There are times when the truth can get you killed.

docDoc’s Codicil by Gary F. Jones – When Wisconsin veterinarian Doc dies, his family learns that to inherit his fortune, they must decipher the cryptic codicil he added to his will – “Take Doofus squirrel-fishing” – and they can only do that by talking to Doc’s friends, reading the memoir Doc wrote of a Christmas season decades earlier, searching through Doc’s correspondence, and discovering clues around them. Humor abounds as this mismatched lot tries to find time in their hectic lives to work together to solve the puzzle. In the end, will they realize that fortune comes in many guises? Doc’s Codicil is a mystery told with gentle humor. It tells the story of a veterinarian who teaches his heirs a lesson from the grave.

Forgiving Waters Forgiving Waters by Kenneth L. Capps – When the paths of an old cowboy and two young trespassers – one black and one white – cross, many lives are changed forever. Beauregard Lee Kelso grew up in a time of racial division and rampant prejudice. Now, at an age that is way past retirement, he struggles with decisions of his past that won’t allow him peace of mind. Kevin and Leonard are looking for some good fishing in one of the pasture watering holes when they cross onto Kelso’s land. This book is the winner of a 2012 Readers’ Favorite Honorable mention and a Gold (first place) Award in the 2013 Indie Next Generation Award for First Novel.

All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.

Christian Books for Children


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My children are at Vacation Bible School this week. For them, it is a chance to learn new songs, create crafts, play games and make new friends in a positive Christian environment. The activities keep them busy in the mornings and it is an opportunity for me to get to the grocery store unencumbered by my three ‘helpers.’

There are many ways parents and families share religious teachings with their children. Whether it is bible school, church services or family prayers each family has important beliefs to pass on. Here are several books that are beautiful to read together with young children. The questions they will ask and the conversation starters in these books will ensure these books become favorites:

Mama-Front-Cover-478x600Mama, I Want to See God by Vanessa Fortenberry

Do I look like God? Where can I see Him? Wanting to connect more with God, a child asks his mother these questions and more in this rhyming verse book. In answer, Mother’s tender and patient responses model God’s love.

At the story’s end, Mother has answered all of the questions, letting the child have a true connection with God. The purity of children and the spirituality of all cultures radiate in this touching story.


The Four Princesses CoverThe Four Princesses by Jackie Gaskins

The Four Princesses is an exciting story about Grace, Faith, Joy, and Hope.

These princesses, daughters of the Great King, discover they each were created with a gift to be used for His purpose. Read along as the King’s plan unfolds to free His people from the evil Prince Fear, who has held the village captive for too long. The princesses will use their gifts to change the lives of every person they come in contact with. Will the changes in the hearts of the Milkman, Baker, and Butcher be enough to reveal the truth to the townspeople and free the whole community? Will the villagers realize the King has a plan and purpose for each of them, also?

The Four Princesses will reveal that our King has placed gifts within each of us to be used for His purposes. When we use our gifts daily, we can change the hearts of many.


Uppity-Swan-Cover2.2-470x600The Uppity Swans by Kathleen Bettilyon

One day, while dozing on his lily pad, Frampton Frog heard two beautiful swans, Jessie and Tessie, saying mean things to two good-natured but oddly named turtles, Fluff and Fuzz. Upset at this, Frampton decided to do something about it. After asking for strength and guidance from God, he confronted Jessie and Tessie, warning them that God does not like when we belittle others.

Jessie and Tessie listen to Frampton, but do they heed his words? Will they listen to Frampton’s lesson that God loves each and every creature, and that it’s what’s inside a creature’s heart that is the most important thing?


All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.