Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Reading Stack

I was perusing MaryBeth Whalen's blog tonight ( and she linked to this site So I thought I would let you know what is on my stack right now.

I just finished reading "Dark Fever" by Karen Moning. Some people are into vampires, I'm into fairy or Fae. This book is the first of a series recommended to my be a friend. The story is about an all-American girl named MacKayla who goes to Dublin after her sister is murdered there. The book was full of twists and turns and the references to Fae were spot on with other series that I have read. I finished the book wishing I had the second one so that I could continue the story. A request to the library is in order.

"Walking on Broken Glass" by Christa Allan---From Fae to alcoholism. I just started this book tonight and here is my one sentence synopsis of the first few pages. A woman is forced to face her alcoholism when she is confronted by a good friend. Here is the synopsis from the back of the book "Leah Thornton's Life, like her Southern Living home, has great curb appeal. But a paralyzing encounter with a can of frozen apple juice in the supermarket shatters the facade, forcing her to admit that all is not as it appears. When her best friend gets in Leah's face about her refusal to deal with her life, Leah is forced to make a decision. Can this brand-conscious socialite walk away from the country clubg into 28 days of rehab? Can she leave what she has now to gain back what she needs? Joy, sadness, pain and a new strength converge testing her marriage, her friendship and her faith."

"i am not but i know I AM" by Louie Giglio---I won this book from Wendy Blight ( I have been reading it at night before I go to bed. It is about how the story(life) isn't really about us but about God. I have only read a couple of chapters but it is because I keep going back to reread. He talks about how so often we get caught up in "us"....our day, our life, that we are like a horse with blinders on. We forget to stop, look up, look around and take notice of the main character in everyone's story---GOD. I am excited to continue this if I can just get past the first couple of chapters. LOL

"Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick----Again, a book that was recommended to me. My friend Julianne was telling me how she had bought this book for her daughter and that it was on Border's Clearance for $5. Its the real story of the Pilgrims and their arrival in New England, not the happy "Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving" that we have all grown up with. Here is a line from the synopsis on the back "The promise of the First Thanksgiving had given way to the horror of total war". I am intrigued to read this as my friend Kelly, who is a history professor, always said that just once she would like to see Pilgrims and Indians with sad faces instead of the happy "everything is perfect" faces that they are always portrayed with. She said only then would it reflect actual history.

"The Way of the Heart" by Henri J. M. Nowen---I decided to check this book out after it was referenced in "The Feast of St. Bertie". The book is inspired by the teachings of St. Anthony and discusses clearing a spiritual path by using Solitude, Silence and Prayer.

"Alice I Have Been" by Melanie Benjamin---This book caught my eye as I was entering the library to return/pick up. This is the story of the grown-up Alice in Wonderland.

And so, that is my stack at the moment. I would continue as there is another series that I have in my stack but Shadow is demanding that we go to bed.

What are you reading???? Any good recommendations??? Please share.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review

So I have just finished reading "Latter-Day Cipher" by Latayne C. Scott. I wasn't sure when I first started reading if I was going to enjoy it or not. However, once I got into it I was hooked and the book threw me a loop at the end. I closed the book saying "what???? no, that isn't really what just happened".

The book takes place in Salt Lake City, UT. It involves a female journalist who is sent there to cover the murder of prominent female Mormon. The journalist has a cousin in Salt Lake City who is also a Mormon. The first murder becomes one of many. The journalist is now on a journey to not only cover the story but also to try and figure out the ancient Mormon laws and ways of the church. As her journey leads her to discovery both in the murders and in her faith, her cousin and his family are also searching.

I am not Mormon nor do I know anyone that is. However I found this book fascinating in the beliefs and rituals of the Mormons. The author was a Mormon for ten years so I am trusting that much of what she wrote is factual. As a murder mystery, this was a very well written one. Yet it also brings up the question of "why do you believe what you believe". This isn't an "in your face" Christian book but it is one that will make both the believer and non-believer stop and think.


OK, I am going to do this although it is a very hard exercise for me. I have been encouraged to at least try by Melissa Taylor (

I am the daughter of two wonderful parents.

I wonder what it would be like to not have to worry about money.

I hear so much negativity and doubt

I see families that love each other and then children that are nothing more than material possessions. I see chaos amidst the calm.

I want happiness, contentment, peace and confidence. I want to be debt free.

I am scared, confused, overwhelmed

I pretend that everything is fine. I put on the "happy face" and go through life with a smile while inside I am screaming.

I feel alone, sometimes abandandoned, yet often times I feel love from unexpected places

I touch others, hopefully

I worry about not being able to pay the bills, about being evicted from my apartment, about not meeting everyone's expectations of me

I cry not so much as I used to though I still cry. I cry when I am angry, when I can't find the right words. Medication has helped this crying problem that I have had :>)

I am a nurturer, a care-giver, an animal lover

I understand that not everyone thinks like I do (but I wish they would :>) )

I say ....not sure on this one. Someone will have to help me out.

I dream ….lately I have been dreaming of those I have loved that I have passed away. My grandpa, my mother-in-law, my first true love

I try to please everyone in hopes that they will like me

I hope that I can be the woman who makes her parents proud

I am Jessica Jan Smith Budd.

Okay...this was very, very hard for me. When Melissa posted her daughter's answer's yesterday I read the questions and thought "I can't answer those". Then today, Melissa posted her answers and challenged us to do the same. As I answered, I didn't think. I just typed what popped into my head. So I guess that makes these answers brutally honest. I would love to hear your feedback on my answers and how YOU see me. Plus, I would love to hear your answers about yourself.

Take a moment, reflect on yourself (even though it is hard) and see where your heart really is. After answering these questions, I am reminded that I am blessed. How am I blessed????
  • I have two wonderful parents who raised me to know and love God
  • I have two jobs that allow me to work with people and help solve their problems
  • I have a wonderful boss whose family is like my own
  • I have a wonderful church family
  • I have shelter and a landlord who understands when the rent payment isn't always on time
  • I have an exhusband who doesn't hate me and that still pays for my health insurance/medical needs
  • I have a best friend that I don't talk to for months yet we can still pick up right where we left off
  • I have seen the miracles that God can perform in my niece Sofie and my friend June
  • I have seen God provide when I thought that I was at the end of my rope
  • I have a wonderful Sunday School class of first and second graders

Count your blessings today....I bet you will be suprized by what you have compared to what you don't.