Human Rights For Everyone—Including Our Babies

I think we can all agree that babies are human beings just like we are—albeit with quite a few developmental accomplishments ahead of them.  However, I find that we have a hard time putting this concept into practice.  Actually, to be blunt: it is amazing to me how disrespectful we are of our little one’s rights.

Now I don’t want you to think that I am someone who believes that parents shouldn’t discipline their kids and that they had the right to make their own decisions about everything from the beginning.  Of course not; that’s what parents are for.  But at the same time, children have certain rights from the very day they are born.  It’s based quite simply on the fact that they are noble, spiritual creatures.

My Baby Isn’t a Doll

While some parents dress their children in outfits that I personally don’t like, because said outfits are basically miniature, cute versions of what their parents wear, I feel that the child as a person is being respected.  But there are cases where the parents’ choices really make me uncomfortable; these are the cases where the child comes off as an over-the-top candy or clown.

But I realised early on that this is a personal choice as well, and that I should respect other parents’ choices.  But by the same token, it means that other individuals should respect my choices.  That means that I will not be dressing my baby up in any outfit that is gifted to us.  On the one hand, I am grateful for the token of love and generosity; but on the other hand, if I don’t feel that the outfit is befitting my baby’s true nature as a noble, spiritual being, then I won’t be using said outfit.

Individuals who are upset at the fact that I don’t use their tokens of love have the right to be disappointed, but I really hope that they understand that my baby is not a doll for them to dress as they please, and that they are happy that my baby has an advocate dedicated to her well-being.

My Baby’s Body Isn’t Yours To Enjoy

I love holding babies and hugging them.  They are so sweet and cute, so innocent and filled with hope of a bright future.  And they smell so sweet!

But just like I don’t go around hugging adults randomly, I wouldn’t pick up a baby randomly, even if the parents give me their OK.  I would make sure that the baby is OK with me picking him up, and that’s because from the very beginning, he has the right to determine what happens to his body.

It is particularly distressing to me that people don’t respect the baby’s right to determine who can hold him.  I’ve been told that babies don’t have an opinion on the matter, that they are too small to know better, and that parents need to chill out.  But time and again I have seen the signs quite clearly when a baby doesn’t want me to hold him.

I can’t help but wonder what we are teaching our babies when, in short, we do not give them the right to determine who can do what to their bodies.  If anyone who wants to is allowed to touch them at that age, what’s to say that this trend won’t continue into the future, however subconsciously?

My Baby Isn’t a Toy

This one is like the doll but more so.  Don’t move my child’s limbs around ridiculously.  I know it’s safe for her physically, but you are insulting her spiritual nature by treating her as a toy for your amusement.

Another thing I noticed a lot of people seem to like doing is to use a baby as a prop or a doll.  They will hold its arms and make ridiculous gestures, they will make them walk around, they will propped them up in a certain way that amuses them, things of the sort.  This one also bothers me because, well, would you do that to an adult?  Isn’t it an insult to her noble, spiritual nature to treat her like a puppet that does silly things?

My Baby Isn’t Totally Helpless

While babies are dependent on their parents for so many things, they are also intelligent human beings who can achieve a lot.  But they are learning; they need more time and don’t do things the same way that we would.  When you see a baby trying to reach for something, don’t give it to them, however kind your intentions.  By doing that, you could be sending the message to the baby that it will not be able to reach the item in question, and so he just might as well not try.  Rather, channel your good intentions into encouragement; cheer babies along as they learn the basics of life.

My Baby Has Moods Just Like You Do

You know how some days, you are not cranky, but you just feel quiet?  Those days during which you would rather listen than talk, observe rather than participate?  It’s the same with babies.  It’s important not to label babies and children, especially with negative labels.  My baby isn’t cranky and antisocial.  My baby is just in a quiet, observant mood.  And ironically enough, she is in that mood more often around people who treat her like a doll, don’t respect her body, see her as a toy, and think of her as helpless.

Final Thoughts

Treat babies like real people and you will be surprised by how well they will respond to you.

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Leggo’ Of Your Ego: The Difference between Perfectionism and Excellence

Throughout most of my life (or at least, as far as I can remember), I have been surrounded by people who are never content with what they have achieved; they always want to do a little more, and do it a little better.

I have noticed two broad sub-categories amongst such people: those who take this opportunity to become better as a joyful path they embark on with much gusto, and those who are so hard on themselves that they become bitter, angry, or try to achieve their goals at any cost.

It seems like these two broad sub-categories mark the two ends of a continuum of behaviour in individuals who try to be the best they can: those who make it about themselves, and those who make it about the journey.

In other words, those who do it to satisfy their ego, and those who do it for the sake of becoming a better person.

Those who work on becoming better for the sake of their ego seem to be perfectionists.  They can accept nothing but perfection.  And because perfection is unachievable, they are never happy, and seem to be at increased risk of negative mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health outcomes.

Those who work on becoming better for the sake of becoming a better person seem to be lovers of excellence.  They accept nothing but a whole-hearted effort.  And because it is possible to give oneself 100%, they are deeply happy despite a state of constant effort.  And although they are extremely busy and always in touch with what their approach is lacking, they seem to be at increased rick of positive mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health outcomes.

When one desires excellence for its own sake, one is inspired to try and try again.  When one desires perfection as a way to prove oneself, the path becomes a burden.

Being a perfectionist is having both high standards and an ego, which leads to a lot of frustration. But being excellent means having high standards and being humble, which leads to you constantly trying without guilt tripping.

It might seem like I am belaboring the point, but I feel it is crucial to know which of these two types of individuals we are, and to seek advice and guidance from those whose approach is similar to ours, as each approach begets a specific set of advice.  I have a friend who draws much joy from the process of becoming a better person.  She doesn’t mind “falling” because of a big mistake; rather, she feels grateful for the opportunity to get up, dust herself off, and try again.  She is friends with someone who advises her constantly to “take it easy,” a piece of advice she has told me really irritates her and causes as lot of tension in their relationship.  But once we thought about the reasons why her friend gives her this advice and the reasons why it isn’t compatible with her view of life, she was able to focus on the love with which the advice is given.  Needless to say, the friendship is doing a lot better.

On a larger scale, the concept of being happy with a constant state of striving for excellence has major implications with the way we learn, be it in formal or informal settings.  While excellence implies striving to become constantly better at something, perfectionism implies constantly trying to be beyond reproach.  It’s easy to see, then, how the latter can cause distressing environments of learning.  When it comes to personal development and community building, then, striving for excellence is, to me, the obvious path that must be taken in order to advance in harmony.

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Parenting and Marital Happiness: Not Mutually Exclusive

I am a bit of a nerd, just in case you haven’t noticed yet.  I love reading studies and reflecting on the implications of the results found.  However, I also can be quite harsh when it comes to studies that demonstrate a combination of laxity in their data analysis and over-confidence in their interpretation.

I recently got very annoyed (to put it mildly) at the author of an article I came across on the effects of parenting on marriage.  Just writing about this article is making my blood boil!  Posted on the Fortune website, it shares the result of research into marriage satisfaction when a couple has children, and other related data.

It’s not the results that bother me—well, they do, but only in that it is something that needs to be addressed.  What bothers me is that articles like this one use data collected on a limited sample population to perform an analysis that ignores so much of the context within which the data was gathered that the conclusions can only be disheartening and disempowering.  So the results are being presented not as a hypothesis’ applicable for a certain population, but rather as a universal truth.  Similarly, the results are presented as the only outcome possible rather than one of many possible outcomes.

Of course this is wrong on many levels.

The Reality of Becoming Parents

Having children brings about, of course, a huge change in a couple’s life, but rather than analysing why it is so, the overall conversation around this topic—and the conclusion this article ends with—draws a line of causality between having children and unhappy marriages.  What we are failing to do is to look at the context within which having children brings about unhappy marriages.  When we place this relationship within a vacuum, we ignore a wealth of other causes and, therefore, a significant number of solutions that are within our reach to make sure that the decision of having children strengthens our marriages.

Failing to do so limits our view of reality and, most importantly, robs us of the ability to figure out how to achieve a different outcome.

Some of the Things That Are Being Ignored: Marital Strength Pre-Parenting

First off, it would be interesting to analyse how strong the marriage of “miserable” parents was in the first place—there is, after all, a known, steady breakdown of the sacredness and importance of marriage.  The number of couples getting married with the thought that, should things become tough, there is a way out (a.k.a. divorce) is increasing.

The influences of society that encourage a self-centered, ego-driven view of the world also sap marriages of the selflessness both parties need to evince to make a marriage strong and happy.  Furthermore, the drive for material wealth saps the couples of energy to focus on more important things; instead of having dinner together as a family, for example, parents will be doing overtime or answering work emails at the dinner table.

What would happen to the data if we were to focus only on couples who act on a belief that marriage is sacred, on couples that do not believe in divorce as an option, who strive to be selfless, and who are not focused on the increase of material wealth?

Some of the Things That Are Being Ignored: The Breakdown of the Extended Family Unit and of Community Life

Second, it would be interesting to study the relationship between how “miserable” parents have become over the years and the breakdown of the extended family unit, as well as the breakdown of community life in general.  Both of these traditional forms of support are known to provide the best protection against many negative life events and experiences, including an unhealthy marriage and weak parenting.  Are parents who have a strong and positive relationship with their extended family as unhappy in their marriage as those who do not have such a relationship?  What of parents who are members of a vibrant community versus those who do not have strong connections within theirs?

Some of the Things That Are Being Ignored: The Decline of Our Spiritual Health

Third, it would be interesting to correlate the steady decline in a strong spiritual life with the increase in how “miserable” parents have become.  Many studies have shown that an individual’s overall happiness is intimately tied with his or her level of spiritual dedication and discipline.  It isn’t too far of a stretch to wonder if “miserable” parents are less engaged in their spiritual lives than those who are happy.

Parenting and Marital Happiness: How This Article Should Have Read

The saddest thing about this article is that it provides a wealth of information on how parents can have a happy marriage—if only the data was analysed through a more optimistic lens.  It also would be so much more of an empowering read if the article focused on how the data it presents can be used to change the fact that so many couples state being less happily married after having children.  Because fact remains that there are many parents out there who do become happier once they have children.  Why not focus on helping all parents get to that point, rather than making the miserable parents the norm?

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Petitions and Boycotts: Why I Am Boycotting Nestlé Products

The transformation of the world from its current state to a place where every individual can participate actively in their personal material and spiritual development as well as contribute to the progress of humankind as a whole is going to need the upending of a lot of things—and I mean, a lot.  This means that we need to do more than just sit around and point at the things that are wrong, or to superficially address various issues through petitions and boycotts.

However, I also think that there is a place for petitions and boycotts—as long as they do not count for the bulk of our contributions to social transformation.  I personally have and will continue to sign petitions and boycott specific things.  The latest to have made the list of things I boycott is Nestlé, in an attempt to contribute to chipping away at unethical corporate practices.  As a number of readers have asked me about this decision of mine, I decided to share some of my reasons for boycotting Nestlé in the hopes of engaging more of you in this important and interesting discussion.

Most, If Not All Companies Have Unethical Practices, But Nestlé’s Are Too Blatant To Ignore

The level and scope of Nestlé’s unethical practices are too blatant to ignore: from the CEO’s belief that water isn’t a human right and should be privatized—leading to Nestlé’s draining of water reserves even during droughts (which is happening in Ontario as well)—to infant formula and other foods holding dangerous levels of various toxins, there is a lot of scandal surrounding this company.  (You can test your anger management by watching the documentary Bottled Life!)

Granted, there are a lot of companies that are not as big and therefore not as investigated as Nestlé; and granted, as an individual, Nestlé’s unethical practices came to my attention through organizations such as SumofUs.  And granted, we have to be careful not to demonise anyone or any company.

However, I can’t sit by idly and do nothing at all.  By choosing to boycott at least one company, I am taking a small step into become a more conscious and conscientious consumer.  And a full transformation needs to start somewhere, even if that place is extremely small.

A Related Challenge: Finding Alternative Products

One of the benefits of engaging in this conscious boycott of Nestlé is that I have had to find viable, ethical alternatives to the products I am not allowing myself to buy anymore.  It’s tough, because Nestlé and its subsidiaries are everywhere!  But it has really helped broaden my perspective on a lot of associated issues and topics.

I have also had to reconsider my budget, ethical products being slightly more expensive than unethical ones.  This has allowed me to realise just how much I have been buying that I don’t actually need, contributing to building a simpler lifestyle.

It Gives Some Power To The People

Not that it has been or continues to be easy.  I am still at the beginning of this process and discover daily things that are contradictory between my beliefs and my purchases.  But it also has been an empowering process, as an increasing number of viable, ethical alternatives are available to me—and thus, to you.

The funny thing about empowerment is that it brings a significant amount of light even in the darkest of places.  And I can tell you that it is really nice, in the face of all the darkness in the world, to know that there is a little something that I am doing all the time to help bring light back into the world.

It Creates The Opportunity To Hold Important Conversations

Although I wish I had all the answers, I really don’t.  And neither does anyone else, for that matter.  What we do have are pieces of the answer—each one of us holds a little something that, when put together, will reveal the greater picture.  By engaging in concrete action, I am building a life that is different from that of those around me; this inspires questions which lead to some amazing, eye-opening conversations, that help all of us inch slowly but inexorably towards the truth.

And that, my friends, is very exciting indeed.

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The Life of a Parent: Gaining Insight into a Different Kind of Love

The way I understand the Bahá’í Writing, we are created in the image of God, and we can understand Him better by working on the various aspects of our spiritual selves.  I also understand that we are told that one of the main purposes of marriage is to have children.

It makes sense to me that nothing revealed in the Sacred Writings of any religion would counter their main purpose: to put us in touch with our true, spiritual selves.  Therefore, parenthood isn’t just about perpetuating the human race.  It is also about our personal spiritual development.

And boy, do I feel like I am already so different from the person I was a mere couple of months ago, before becoming a parent!

I could go on and on about the various spiritual lessons I feel I have learned since having a baby.  However, I feel there is one encompassing one that rules them all (yes, much like a certain ring): that of love.

Now this might come as blasphemous, so let me begin by saying that in no way so I ever expect to be able to even come close to understanding God.  But I do believe that we can gain smidgens of glimmerings of understanding, tiny atoms of it compared to the greatness of extent of knowledge that exists.

We are told in all Sacred Writings that God loves us.  But many times, we can think that God can’t love us because we are so messed up; or that God doesn’t love us because look at all the horrible things He is letting happen to us.

When I look down at my baby, I don’t feel like I can even not love her.  I went around a wide circle of parents that I know; some of them have been parents only a little longer than my husband and I, while others have grandchildren; some of them have angels for children while others suffer the consequences of the actions of their children daily.  And every single one of them said the same thing: they cannot not love their children.

So if we, limited little humans, are capable of this kind of love, then definitely an all-Mighty and Perfect God can love us, however messed up we may be.

There are some things that I have to allow to happen to my baby that she really doesn’t like—some of which actually make her suffer.  I’m thinking for example about vaccinations.  In her view, the ones who rule her world—her father and I—are allowing a terrible thing to happen to her.  But of course, her father and I know that the vaccines are necessary for her, that in the long run, not vaccinating her could be lead to a much greater deal of pain than the 24 hours of suffering she went through.  Our love has to go beyond her immediate needs, and accept her pain and be there for her as she sobs her way through the afternoon.

God, then, doesn’t allow horrible things to happen to us; rather, there are horrible things we have to go through in the short run so that, in the long run, we don’t suffer even more.  His Love is what allows for these terrible things to continue happening, because He knows that if He swoops in—which He can—the suffering might ease in the very short term, but will be much worse in the long term.

All of this helps me as a parent and a person.  As a parent, it helps me prepare for the pain my baby/child/teenager will go through when I deny them something or put them through another difficult situation.  As a person, it helps me understand that basically, that is what God is doing when things seems to be going irreparably wrong.  And as a blogger, it makes for quite the powerful blog post.

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Why I Decided To Take Precious Time Away From My Baby To Start Blogging Again

My blogging journey—an incredible, fulfilling one that has given me so much—started almost nine and a half years ago right here in Sahar’s Blog.  I never intended to stop blogging—that is, until I had a baby.

I had always intended to take a short hiatus when each of my children was born.  When my first one was born last year, I took what I thought would be a short hiatus.  But I love the life with my little one so much that I pushed it back once, then twice, and then again for a third time.  I was seriously considering pushing my return to blogging for another couple of months as my beautiful baby went from adorable newborn to hilarious and charming infant.

Perhaps then it will not come as a surprise that it is for her that I am returning to blogging.  Sahar’s Blog has already wanted to be an attempt to contribute to positive online conversations, the ones that translate into action dedicated to the mental, emotional, and spiritual improvement of each reader as well as to the betterment of their communities.  In light of the recent sharp and significant increase in hateful conversations, both online and in real life, I couldn’t abandon the platform that took me so long to build up.  It seems much more important, both for my little one and all the others of her generation, that I start blogging again, to contribute to the positive conversations that are happening on community building, personal development, sexism, racism, and spirituality.

And so, as we ring in a new year, I’m happy to be returning to a wonderful world where, alongside assiduous readers who send me so many emails (and who hopefully will start sharing at least some of their thoughts in the comments section—you know who you are!), I will be attempting to have uplifting conversations that will inspire thoughtful and consistent action.

To my little girl, who might one day read this: I am going to have a little less time with you from now on, but I am spending it paving the way for a world I hope will be much healthier for you and your friends to grow in.

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 2 votes

Book Review: ‘Killer In The Band’, by Lauren Carr

About the author

Sahar's Reviews 2016 02 15 Book Review Cancelled Vows Lauren Carr 'Cancelled Vows'Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries.  The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder, was released in June 2016.  Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry (WV).  Visit the author’s website or connect with her on Twitter.

About the book

‘Killer In The Band’, by Lauren Carr on Sahar's BlogJoshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.

Review

It’s was an interesting experience, reading a book by Lauren Carr that wasn’t part of the Mac Faraday Mystery series (check out Cancelled Vows and Candidate for Murder).  The voice was quite familiar, as was the style.  But the book was about a completely new set of characters, and however endearing the crowd in Mac Faraday’s world are, it was a refreshing change.

This is the first book in the Lovers in Crime series that I am reading, although it is actually the third one in the series.  It felt however that I was reading a standalone novel in that no information was missing for me to figure everything out, and no information was provided in such a clunky way that it came off as a poorly hidden synopsis.  Knowing that Carr provides the same information in a similar manner in her Mac Faraday books, I know that this is a reflection of the skill behind the pen (well, the keyboard, but you know what I mean.)

On a personal note, there is something about the Mac Faraday series that I prefer over the Lovers in Crime series.  Don’t get me wrong; I will still follow the latter and pick up new volumes as they come out, but if I had to choose, I would totally go for a Faraday.  That being said, if the rest of this series is anything like Killer in the Band, I will continue reading them.  The action doesn’t stop, the book isn’t all fluff, the pages get devoured, and the satisfaction is endless.

Thank you to iReads Book Tours for providing
a copy of this book for me to review!

 

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote

Book Review: ‘How to Raise a Smart Ass: Parenting That Should Not Be Tried at Home’, by Lucia Walinchus

About the author

Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, author and ice hockey addict.  She has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was recently named to the 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program.  She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times.  Walinchus currently lives in Oklahoma because she enjoys wide, flat golf courses that make her think she isn’t actually that bad.  More information about the author can be found on her website; readers can also connect with her through Twitter.

About the book

How to Raise a Smart Ass is a funny, witty, rollicking ride through the joys of early parenthood.  The so-titled “Best Butt Wiper in the World” delights audiences by recounting tales of ninja nurses, naughty knights, and super-duper poopers.  Whether you’re a proud parent or you aspire to populate the world with tiny terrors of your own someday, this book will have you laughing out loud, or at a minimum buying lots of sanitizer.  Kids are messy.

Review

Don’t let the title fool you; this book is not a parenting guide.  This might be the only recommendation I wold have to give the author, actually: to reconsider the title.

Other than that, this auto-biography of sorts, was a quick, easy, and hilarious read.  Between the stories my friends have shared with me over the years and my own experience, I could relate to most if not all of Lucia Walinchus’ stories, be they about pregnancy, labour and delivery, breastfeeding and other early month concerns and issues.  They were told in such a helpless, tongue-in-cheek, and resigned voice that I couldn’t help but burst out laughing quite often.  Because of that, I had to stop reading How to Raise a Smart Ass while the baby was feeding or sleeping or suffer the consequences of startling her out of her peaceful food coma or nap.

While the book is recommended for audiences with children or looking to have children, it comes in most handy to parents who have recently had children.  It was a form of therapy for me; I felt less alone in some of the most tiring moments of my day and felt encouraged in my laugh-it-off attitude.  At times I felt like I had met up with the author and, over a cup of coffee, exchange anecdotes and leave the date feeling reinvigorated.  Because parenting is hard and it’s refreshing to just unapologetically share anecdotes rather than be bombarded with advice left, right, and centre.

A must-read for all new parents struggling through the first months, if not years of the lives of their little bundles of joy.

Thank you to iReads Book Tours for providing
a copy of this book for me to review!

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote

Book Review: ‘The Murders at Astaire Castle’, by Lauren Carr

About the author

Sahar's Reviews 2016 02 15 Book Review Cancelled Vows Lauren Carr 'Cancelled Vows'Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries.  The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder, was released in June 2016.  Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry (WV).  Visit the author’s website or connect with her on Twitter.

About the book

Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop – even though he owns the property.  It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Sahar's Blog Lauren Carr The Murders at Astaire CastleTopping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago – and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders.  Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet – including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Review

Much like with any good series, picking up The Murders at Astaire Castle was like saying hello to old friends who have been on some sort of unique adventure.  While the book was quite familiar to those who have read the previous installments in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, it was also unique in its setting, its plot, and, of course, its dénouement.

It is also familiar in the amount of sleep I have lost getting through it, and adding onto Carr’s now long-standing caffeine debt.  I believe she has chalked up at least five or six strong mochas to date.

This latest addictive page turner features many of the characters seen previously in, for example, Cancelled Vows and Candidate for Murder.  The mystery this time arises from a place that is typically associated with the genre, that is, a musty old haunted castle in the middle of nowhere.  The book is just as weighty as its predecessors and yet again doesn’t come off as a drag, thanks to Carr’s writing skills and the wit with which she infuses every chapter.  The pace continues to be, even with so many installments under her belt, quick with an uninterrupted, comfortable flow, with thought-provoking conversations peppered throughout.

Carr makes the case to become a well-known author who can easily rival with some of the big names, and hopefully will never strip out of her stories the weight that makes her books satisfying and memorable, weight that has been removed from most (if not all) mass produced, quickly turned around mysteries and thrillers that are only meant to sell a story without a brand or a set of characters.  You have been warned: picking up just one title from this series is bound to whet your appetite for more.

Thank you to iReads Book Tours
for providing a copy of this book for me to review!

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote

And Then There Were Three: Relaunching The Blog, January 2017!

Parenthood has taken over my husband and I’s lives and we are loving every minute of it.  We have both decided to take the time to enjoy these precious few first months of our daughter’s life.  And so, I have decided that this blog will not relaunch at the beginning of September but rather, in January of next year.  Until then, I will continue to sporadically post reviews and other items; regular postings will be kicked off in a little under three and a half months.  Until then, you can imagine that there are quite a few opportunities for reflections on personal development, family life, and community building that are being offered to me, as well as many new products in my life that I will be reviewing.  I look forward to returning to regular blogging and until then will continue corresponding with readers who reach out to me either by commenting on the various posts, reaching out to me on social media, or sending me personal requests by email.

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote

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