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Book Review: An Anonymous Girl (Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen)

“The title of the project is entered on the blank screen of the computer: The Temptation of Infidelity: A Case Study.

The hypothesis: Thomas is an unrepentant adulterer.
There is only one subject: My husband.
There is only one variable: You.

Jessica, please don’t fail this test. It would be a pity to lose you.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

Jessica – known to friends and family as Jess – is a girl who swims in a world of regret. The shadows of her past, her lies, her secrets, they haunt her. Days go by where she is void of any memories of what she did and then something reminds her, bringing her to the brink of collapse.

Jess is no stranger to the struggle of providing for herself in New York. She works as a freelance makeup artist for BeautyBuzz and barely scrapes by. That is until she learns of Dr. Shields’ study. She isn’t invited in but that doesn’t stop her. She finds a way in, as she always does. The study pays a substantial amount of money. A study on morality, how hard could that be? Jess has the opportunity to make a quick $500 easy but at what cost to her and her family? Little does she know that her cracked and warped world is about to twist in unimaginable ways.

“Sometimes a simple gift is actually a vessel utilized to issue a warning shot.” 

What Did I Think? Keep Reading!
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For You, Grandpa.

” And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree

There will be an answer, let it be

For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see

There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be

There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be”

Rest easy, Grandpa. Be free, be perfect. Sing your heart out in Heaven and rejoice till we meet again…

Always there to make you smile. Now maybe you can share that smile with my kiddos in Heaven, eh Grandpa? Hug them tight for me and chase them all around!

On January 11, 2019, at 11:55 am (Central Time. 10:55am AZ time) my amazing, crazy grandpa (James Saunders) left this broken world to be with our perfect, loving Father in Heaven. So grateful God was more stubborn than the king of stubborn. If you knew how many times my Grandpa skirted on the edge of death (can you say coded 4 times?!), you’d know the battle God fought to keep this man alive to work on his heart more and more. (Ironic bc it was the heart in his body that kept trying to fail him.)

Thankful my mom who was able to be there in Arizona to hold his hand as he left this broken world to step into a world so peaceful and pure. To fully know Christ, to be perfect in every way, to feel love like never before. Sing your heart out, Grandpa. Sing in the choir of angels and hold a spot for me till we meet again. Oh how I’m going to miss you…

He loved going boating with us on Saguaro Lake, AZ

Love in Action. That was us.

Here is a letter I wrote for Grandpa to be read at his funeral this past Thursday as I was, sadly, not able to go…

It was pretty much love at first sight with us wasn’t it? Ever since I was little, I knew I could come running to you, crying and letting you know just how awful mom and dad were for punishing me when I was bad. You were always there to rescue me with open arms. You made it clear to me where my place was with you which was always high priority. I always felt so loved and so accepted. You made me feel like a princess and that I was someone so important and special to you. I will never forget that and will always be so grateful. 

Coming out and visiting you with Eric and then later when Jackson was born was always the highlight of my year. I would look forward to it for months and it would break my heart every time I went home. I think my record was crying for at least a half hour straight after I left as you were always so close to my heart. You always had and always will have a section of my heart and more than anything, I cannot wait to see you again in Heaven where I know you’ll be waiting.

Thank you for all the memories, all the love. Thank you for teaching me how to drive a sports car on curvy roads (a lesson I still practice), thank you for the most incredible horseback ride of my life, for way way too many karaoke nights but most of all, for being you, as absolutely crazy as you are. I love you. Till we meet again. 

Funny but no. Definitely no one else like you – haha!

Grandpa with baby Jackson (then: 4 months old)

Thank you, Lovelies.

And thank you for your service to this country, Grandpa.

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Book Review: Her One Mistake (Heidi Perks)

“You know you can trust me.”

Six words. One moment in time. Two lives changed forever.

Harriet is a mother like many that is nervous to let someone else care for her child. When her best friend, Charlotte, promises her all will be fine, she nervously trusts her friend to take care of her baby girl. She trusts that her daughter will return home safely, that surely her good friend would never be careless with someone else’s child. Harriet pulls up to her house to find a world of her nightmares awaits; Alice is gone. Police have nothing. And this eerily connects to a previous child kidnapping.

or does it?

Something more sinister is going on here that will rock everyone’s world. Someone goes missing. Someone dies. And someone loses the life as they know it for better or for worse. The author cleverly leaves the decision up to you. Do you walk away from this book feeling relieved? Or do you walk away feeling unresolved?


This book was 4 stars for me. It had delicious twists and turns and one epic, jaw-dropping shocker. It was better than I had anticipated and I fully recommend reading! As for what I didn’t like? I felt the ending did not quite match those twists and turns felt throughout the book but still good and worthy of a 4-star review. I love that she didn’t tie it all up in the end with a nice, neat bow however it still left me with a feeling that it could’ve been so much more. I’m not knocking the author because it’s clear she is more than capable. The ending just didn’t fit the book for me but it was definitely worth the read. If you read other reviews, some absolutely love the ending as not everyone has the same taste.

My only other issue is the title. I still cannot quite figure out what her title is referring to but don’t let that steer you off course. It still fits, but not quite as well as one would like.

Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Ash Family (Molly Dektar)

The Ash Family: A Novel

The Ash Family: A Novel by Molly Dektar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Three days or the rest of your life

“Come, my soul, and let us try, for a little season, every burden to lay by, come and let us reason.”

Berie wants none of it. At 19 years old, she doesn’t want her life. Not her college. Not even her boyfriend or her mother. However, till she meets Bay at a bus station, she has no idea what life actually holds for her and if she even wants what it has to offer. Bay hands her a life unexpected but with one condition: three days or the rest of your life.

“What if I stay longer than three days but want to leave after?” I said.

“Why would you want to leave, when you’ll have more freedom here than anywhere else?” he said.


But at what point does freedom become captivity and when you’ve pushed the world away, how does one escape?

And at what point, when does one no longer want to escape?

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Continue Reading
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Book Review: The Daughter (Lucy Dawson)

The Daughter

The Daughter by Lucy Dawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Too many secrets. Too many lies. The past is catching up to Jessica and there’s not much more she can take…

17 years ago:

Something every mother fears has happened to Jess’s daughter, Beth. It destroys Jess and starts to unravel all the tightly woven deceptions she’s kept hidden for so many years. Fearful it would all come crumbling down, she ran.

Present day:

Happily married, new life, beautiful toddler in arms, Jess starts having bizarre things happen to her. Terrifyingly, the past shows itself to be a force of nature and that there’s no escape. Someone wants her to pay, someone wants her to feel pain. The past is here and this time, there’s no running. But at what grave cost?

– – – – –

3.5 stars, rounded up. I debated between 3 and 4 stars and decided this was a book I didn’t love, didn’t hate, wouldn’t recommend as in “man you’ve gotta read this book!” BUT wouldn’t want to discourage others from reading! So enjoy it if you do. I did!


Thank you, Lovelies!






View all my reviews

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$ ‘Tis the Season $

First off… no, this is not a blog about spending during the holidays. Haven’t we got enough of those? 😉 

Nah. This is about TAXES! 
(Silently watches as everyone leaves the room)

(Me)

Okay please don’t leave. This is not really about taxes, per se. 

So I’ll make this a short one. As a business owner (my husband started Listening House Studios years ago, online/in-person piano lessons & more) I have to constantly keep up with every receipt, every dollar spent, to get as many write-offs as possible. If I don’t, we’ll be paying Uncle Sam instead of him paying us. Aaaaand who wants that?


So I wanted to share with you…
(me: briefly, I promise)
(also me: Sarah, don’t make promises you can’t keep)
… a couple ways that make this super easy!

Continue reading “$ ‘Tis the Season $”
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I’m Thankful You Tried

It’s a constant battle between ourselves and the government; who is in charge? Who gets to run what and who gets the say over what should, could, won’t and will be done? 

I believe there can be good in what the government provides for those in need but so often they find themselves caught up in so many rules and regulations that they end up hurting those they aim to help. 

Thank you, but….

Some of you may already know from previous blogs that my son is right where he should be in some areas, well above average in many, but significantly below average in speech. He will be 2.5 years old on Christmas Eve and he cannot say even 15 words. There’s only a handful of words he can say in full without dropping the ending. 

Through the government, bless their hearts, you can get free therapy for your child. In Tennessee, once they age out at 3 years old, they can no longer be provided this service. You can hire a professional speech therapist but sometimes that isn’t even an option (financially) for some families. 

We started this free service back in September (if not sooner). We’ve met over and over and over again with various different people that work in this system and I couldn’t tell you who is who or where they work or what part they play. 

They ask the same questions.
They get the same answers.
They watch Jackson play with the same toys.
They watch how he interacts and it’s…you guessed it… always the same.

 Nothing but wasted time and paperwork, it seems. Meanwhile my son continues playing with children who cannot understand why he won’t talk. They ask their parents in front of us, “why won’t he play?” or “why won’t he talk?” or “He doesn’t talk. I don’t know why.” and my favorite one yet, “I think he speaks Spanish”. (Jackson has his own language and it honestly does sound like a foreign language.)

I’m thankful you tried.

Now, I’m not really upset with the therapist and the case workers. I know they’re swamped. I know they’re underfunded. I know it’s a very thankless job a lot of times. I feel for them. I see you. I hear you. I’m not angry with you. 

What I am? Is a mother who desperately wants her son to tell me what he’s thinking in a way that I can understand. I’m a mother who wants to be able to respond to my son so that he knows I’m interested in every word that touches his lips. I’m a mama bear who’s trying to stay patient and kind because you’re not the ones keeping my son from progressing. 

So while I’m thankful you tried – you’re still trying – to get my son the help he needs, I’m sad to see a good system with good people and good hearts falling short. Maybe there’s no current way to fix it. Maybe this is the best it can be. I sure hope not. I sure hope there aren’t other people out there like us, waiting 5+ months to get any sort of help, knowing they’ll be aging out in 6 months.

I plan to write whomever I can about this. I don’t want other mamas and their cubs to have this hanging over their hearts as well.

If you happen to have any information about this, advice or just encouragement, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you, lovelies. 

Often I wish that the words in my head could be instantly transferred to paper, because by the time they get there, everthing has changed. 

– The Nashville Wife
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Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers (Liane Moriarty)

Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“The lowest point of your life can lead to the highest.”

A health resort. A goddess, once a leader in a man’s world, now a divine leader to worlds unknown. A group of nine strangers longing for a difference in themselves, expectations low with results they could never have dreamed up.

Continue reading “Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers (Liane Moriarty)”