Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Little Wings - Book Review

            I was excited to do this review because I had heard good things about this book. It did not disappoint. From the first pages, I knew this would be a book I would keep on my shelf as a friend to be read again. Not only is the story intriguing, but the way the story is written is such a treat.
For example, here is a description of the main character’s best friend Cleo:

The women of Christ’s Church who spent many years praying for the unfortunate little Douglas child suddenly looked up in confusion. They were hoping to comfort her soul and God had taken the short cut and given her a full-blown makeover.

And later,  Jennifer’s trip to Maine:

The road to shelter Cove followed the rocky banks unwilling to leave the side of the ocean after working so hard to find it. Some scrawny pine trees tried to obstruct the view by pushing between the water and the street, but they didn’t get far. The ocean reappeared again, watching me, following me, tugging her foamy white skirts along the jagged rocks to keep up with the car.

            The characters and dialogue are deep and insightful. Here’s a look at Little:

            “I’m all here, Jennifer.” Little’s voice stopped me as I reached for the handle. I started and turned back to her at the sound of my name. “Some people think that all old people start going soft in the head but I’m not that old. Only my skin got old and I can’t help that. Ugly, I know, but you should have seen... Boy, tell her that she should have seen me seventy years ago.” She continued without pause so she didn’t really expect him to say anything, which seemed fitting, considering. “I’ve got stories for you and when you’re ready I’ll be here. 

           I couldn't just tell you how good the writing is, I had to show you.

           The story begins when a young woman finds a picture she was not meant to find, and suddenly she has questions about her family and her mother's past she can't leave alone.

          You can find On Little Wings for purchase on Amazon. To connect with Author Regina Sirois, you can go to her website, reginasirois.com

            You can purchase little wings as an e-book, but if you are like me, you'll want a copy on your shelf that you can hold in your hands and enjoy more than once.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Retirement Quest, Make Better Decisions - Book Review

Retirement Quest. Sounds like an epic fantasy where the journey ends up in a condo in Florida, right. Actually, that's not far off, it's a book about practical financial planning so that you can retire to that condo in Florida.

With his experience in financial planning, John Hauserman provides you with the tools you will need to plan a strategy for retirement. I found Retirement Quest to be very informative with topics such as goal setting, risk management, investing, the market cycle and choosing a source of advice, among others.

In chapter 7. Risk in a Modern World, I learned about maintaining a diversified portfolio as opposed to having a non-diversified investment. The latter is basically like having all your eggs in one basket, and if the basket gets knocked over, you risk facing a total loss. A diversified portfolio spread among stocks, bonds and other assets, protects you from this scenario.

"In order to make the best possible retirement saving and planning decisions, we must begin by fully understanding the challenges at hand."

                             John Hauserman, CFP

To take a look at the Retirement Quest website click Here

For a copy of Retirement Quest you can visit Barnes and Noble or Amazon.I would advise anyone interested in getting a jump start on planning for their financial future to become acquainted with the advice given in this well designed book.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Change of Heart

In the adult session of Stake Conference, Sister Suzanne Tate (wife of Elder Warren G. Tate, area seventy) spoke about having a change of heart. When people are frustrated with their circumstances sometimes they need to turn to Alma chapter 5 and learn about the "mighty change that was wrought in their hearts."

Sister Tate listed six things we can do to have a change of heart. They include; 1. Learn and internalize who you are, because it's important to know we are children of God and get closer to him through scripture study and prayer. 2. Be in control of your thoughts and behavior. Before you react, think, "how do I choose to let this affect me?" 3. Make peace with your past so it won't ruin your future.
 4. Relationships are opportunities to grow and improve. 5. Be a beacon of joy and happiness. 6. Forgive everyone for everything and look to yourself for change.

I appreciated Sister Tate's talk, because there are times when I find myself in need of a change of heart. Having the tools to assist me in this goal is invaluable.