By Tera Kinsman 

Hi, everybody! It’s YA book review time again. This week, I’m reviewing Dark Rising, the second book in Monica McGurk’s Archangel Prophecies series. (To read my review of the first book, Dark Hope, on the blog, click here.) As a thank-you, I received compensation, and two free copies of the book (one to keep and one to give away), but all opinions are my own. Shoutout to Monica McGurk for giving me the opportunity to read and share her work!

The Archangel Prophecies series by Monica McGurk

Book summary from publisher:

Can one person upend a prophecy as old as time?

Hope Carmichael is on the run. The only question is, from whom? The mark on her neck has branded her as part of an ancient prophecy, the Bearer of the Key. But the Fallen Angels have misunderstood and think Hope is their long-awaited way to regain Heaven by force. Now Hope is chasing down the artifact that could open Heaven’s Gates, while seeking to destroy it before the Fallen catch up with her. Will the Triad crime ring track Hope and exact their punishment before she gets the chance? Is the ragtag band of angels surrounding her now there to protect her, or imprison her? And will Michael, the Archangel sworn to defend Heaven at all costs, be forced to deny his love for Hope and take her life, instead, so the artifact won’t fall into enemy hands?

The epic narrative introduced in Dark Hope continues in Dark Rising as Hope crisscrosses some of the most ancient sites in Europe and plumbs the depths of history in search of the truth about the Key, herself, and love. Exploring themes of identity, fate, jealousy, trust, and forgiveness, Dark Rising’s mythological scope and moral urgency deepen as we come to understand the choices and consequences faced by a young woman determined to follow her heart and chart her own destiny.

My Summary and Thoughts:

Sometimes, the second book in a trilogy is sort of…boring? Certain Second Books That Will Remain Nameless have fallen desperately short of the first and sometimes even the third books in their series, leaving me flipping through pages, skimming the words and waiting for an exciting part. 

But Dark Rising didn’t do that. Instead, it built on the plot in Dark Hope, and added more tension and interesting plot twists that I genuinely didn’t see coming. The stakes were dramatically raised for Michael and Hope, as they stumble through Europe, searching for the Key, often with only the slightest clues to help them.  Their circumstances grow darker, but they grow closer. As they learn new, unexpected, and tragic truths about the Prophecy and themselves, Hope decides perhaps she was wrong to distance herself from Michael. But she realizes too late that she may have taken her faith from the one person she could trust, and put it in those she never could.

Mona and Don, her parents, also grow more desperate. New leads about Hope’s disappearance are not appearing often. Though Mona and Don are driven together by their shared love and grief, they are just as often pushed apart by their differing opinions on Hope’s disappearance. Mona still holds on to the logical explanation that Hope was taken by the human traffickers that lurk in high numbers in Atlanta, while Don insists that Hope is part of a higher plan, set apart to fulfill an amazing destiny given to her by God. 

By the end of the book, Hope feels even more alone than she did at the end of Dark Hope. Both her and Mona have experienced terrible loss and sadness. Their world, and the outside world around them, has dissolved into sadness and chaos. But neither have lost hope that the happiness – and perhaps the people – they have lost will return to them.

The book ends on kind of a sad note and cliffhanger, but the sneak peek of the third book, Dark Before Dawn (coming out in 2016), gave me hope (I feel like that’s a pun every time I write it…) for Michael, Hope, and her family.

As with Dark Hope, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these books will be donated to organizations that help fight human trafficking, especially sexual trafficking of minors. 

Giveaway time! Because free stuff is the best stuff.  Below, you can enter to win a copy of Dark Rising.

Dark Rising by Monica McGurk

Terms: No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  Open to U.S. residents sixteen (16) years old or older. My WAHM Plan is responsible for prize fulfillment. The prize will be one (1) paperback copy of Dark Rising by Monica McGurk. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  This giveaway is not associated with nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel. 

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Comments! In the Archangel Prophecies books, Hope Carmichael is in love with an Archangel. So, what non-human would you be willing to date? Alien, angel, vampire, werewolf? Maybe those trolls, amirite, ladies? Or are you a humans-only sort of person? Let me know in the comments below! 

Never would I promote writing on walls, or worse to me, writing notes in books; but now that I’ve had the opportunity to test out the Slickyboard and Slickynotes free of charge for, that is exactly what I’m promoting. 

Creativity is about flow and imagination and with these two new products I’m going to talk about today, dry erase boards and note pads, you can let your creativity flow!

My WAHM Plan: Slickynotes starter kit

I received the Slickyboard Beginners kit which included:
  • 10 30X25 inch Whiteboard sheets
  • 1 slickynotes pad in large (Green)
  • 1 slickynotes pad in medium (purple)

About Slickynotes Whiteboards and slickynote pads:

The electrostatically charged, adhesive free dry erase sheets allow you to stick these to the walls and set your ideas free! Now you can whiteboard anywhere you want! You just stick the whiteboard sheet on the wall and it stays put while you work. 

Stickyboards can be used on any smooth, dry indoor surface.  Another great feature of these products is they are reusable. Just wipe off the dry erase marker on the whiteboard, or erase the pencil off the slickynotes and you're good to go. 

Slickynotes products are made of recyclable polypropylene making them a number 5 recyclable and earth friendly. 

Whiteboard Uses:

My kids have drawn on these, played hang-man, designed clothing sets and more all with a dry erase marker, the slickynotes whiteboard and their imagination. 

These boards could even be helpful in my home office, where I can use one to jot down creative blog posts, alert my husband to urgent business matters etc.

My WAHM Plan tests slickynotes

The only drawback I’ve seen with the whiteboards is glare. If you are going to be using them for presentation purposes in a business environment, you’ll have to account for lighting. Even with my lights off and just one window with blinds partially open, I got quite a bit of glare as shown in the photo above. 

Slickynote Uses:

I found a perfect use for the slickynotes with while going through a new cookbook! I just plop the slickynotes on a page, jot down my motes and start a shopping list right there.  

These would be perfect for studying when the kids head back to school to jot down notes, brainstorm ideas for class projects, even doodling and sketching is okay with these fun, reusable notes. 

Learn More:

I invite you to learn more about the Slickynotes Beginner Kit here. I think you’ll like letting your creativity flow with these innovative products!

Please share in comments:  If you had a few Slickynotes dry erase whiteboards and note pads, where would you put them in your home and what would create with them?


My thanks to on behalf of Slickynotes for providing a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. I received no monetary compensation. I’m disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Tropical Yogurt Parfaits recipe #sweetsummersnack #ad

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Saturday, August 01, 2015
The dog days of summer are upon us and nothing beats a cool sweet treat to beat the summer heat.  I was happy to learn that one of our all-time favorite snacks- Yoplait Original Yogurts now has 25% less sugar, so I whipped up these Tropical Yogurt Parfaits for a sweet summer snack and wanted to share the recipe with you.

I try to keep Yoplait yogurts on hand for my family to eat for breakfasts or snacks. We all love their taste and I love that Yoplait doesn’t use high-fructose corn syrup, or milk from cows treated with rBST; and now that Yoplait’s have 25% less sugar, I feel even better about letting them eat a yogurt when they want. You can go to Yoplait and learn more about the flavors available, see recipes and read the nutrition facts.

My WAHM Plan : #Recipe with French Vanilla Yoplait Yogurt

I was excited to try the new Yoplait Original French Vanilla to see if there was any taste difference. I’m happy to share that I couldn’t tell the difference at all! That’s due to the tireless work Yoplait put in to this new formula. 

They tried over a hundred recipe variations before getting a yogurt that had less sugar without sacrificing any of the taste. Speaking of recipes, here is a super simple, 3 ingredient recipe for Tropical Yogurt Parfaits. 

My WAHM Plan: 3 ingredient Tropical Yogurt Parfaits

I bought all my ingredients at Publix. If you shop at Publix too, be sure to visit first where you can print out a coupon, or upload one right to your loyalty card.

Tropical Yogurt Parfaits Recipe:

Ingredients: (for 2 servings):
  • 2 Yoplait Original 25% less sugar French Vanilla Yogurts
  • 1 cup Pineapple tidbits in fruit juice
  • 4 Tablespoons Sweetened Coconut shreds
Tropical Yogurt Parfaits recipe on

  • Gather ingredients. For quicker assembly of Parfaits, open yogurts, pour Pineapple in serving bowl and open coconut. I used 2 small mason jars for serving my parfaits, but you can use small juice glasses too.
  • In jar, place a large tablespoon of Pineapple with as little juice as possible in bottom of jar.
  • Next, add about half of the French Vanilla Yogurt container.
  • Add a tablespoon of Coconut if desired.
  • Repeat all steps until jars are filled, topping with a small amount of coconut.

Chill before serving and enjoy this cool #sweetsummersnack

Tasty summer treat: Tropical Yogurt Parfaits on  MWP

Win It:

Want to try the new Yoplait less sugar Yogurts for free? Here’s your chance! Thanks to our sponsors, Yoplait and Publix, one lucky reader will win a $15.00 cash PayPal transfer. 

No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter from below.  My WAHM Plan is responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  This giveaway is not associated with nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel. 

Good luck!

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Can you believe it’s the end of July already? Yikes! It is crazy hot and humid here in the south and back to school is looming large, so I really need to keep a healthy snack option for busy summer days on hand while I run errands with my girls. Thankfully, I’ve discovered the benefits of keeping a high protein snack bar in my purse at all times, so I was thrilled to work with Balance bare Bars and Walmart for today’s post.

My thanks to Balance bare Bars and Walmart for sponsoring today’s conversation. I did receive a gift card to thank me for my time, however all opinions and love of healthy snacks are my own. 

My WAHM Plan: Balance bare bars

Finding the Balance bare Bars at Walmart was easy.  They are right over by the vitamin section, which I walk past often on most shopping trips. 

Balance bare bars at Walmart

About Balance Bare Bars:

Balance Bars delicious bare bars, a nutritious, wholesome snack made with real nuts & fruit. Each bar is only 160 calories, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free and vegetarian and comes in tasty flavors like Sea Salt Caramel and Mixed Berry Nut which is also dairy-free and vegan. 

I picked up several Sea Salt Caramel and Mixed berry nut Balance bare bars and couldn’t wait to try them.  While I really liked the Sea Salt Caramel bars, the Mixed berry nut was my favorite! This bar is full of yummy good fruit and nuts with just the right amount of sweetness. I ate this bar on the go the next day and was able to finish all my errands happy, not hangry! 

Doesn’t it look good?

My WAHM Plan: healthy snack option Balance Bare Bars

Walmart is offering an exclusive Balance Bare bar value pack! The 4+1 value pack includes an extra bar and a dollar off coupon inside each box as well making these bars and affordable healthy snack option for you and your family!

As I power through my busy summer days, having a healthy snack on hand is just one of the ways I stay active. I also make sure we have lots of water with us on every single errand we take. I freeze water bottles at night, then fill them and put in a small cooler to go with us. 

If you need some workout inspiration, I invite you to visit Gabby Reece’s site. She’s partnered with Balance Bare bars and created a quick and easy workout. 

Win it!

Thanks to the generosity of today’s post sponsors Balance Bars and Walmart, one lucky reader will receive a $15 Walmart gift card and a variety of Balance bare bars. 

No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter from below.  My WAHM Plan is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  This giveaway is not associated with nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel. 

Good Luck!

Wordless Wednesday: summer flowers in bloom

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The summer heat has taken its toll on some of my flowerbeds and containers, but these faithful plants bloom for me season after season.

My WAHM Plan: Begonias in pots

My WAHM Plan: Succulent blooms

My WAHM Plan: Gladiolus

My WAHM Plan: Marigolds

Please share in comments: What's blooming in your garden this hot July?

The Elite by Kiera Cass Book Review

in , , , , , , , by Tera Kinsman, Tuesday, July 28, 2015
By Tera Kinsman

Last Tuesday, I reviewed the first book in The Selection series, The Selection, by Kiera Cass. (You can read my review on the blog here.) Now I'm reviewing the sequel, The Elite. Summer might be almost over (*sob*), but the series isn't!

My WAHM Plan: The Elite book #review
Courtesy of Harper Collins 

Book summary from publisher:

"The Selection began with thirty-five girls.

Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever---and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want---and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

35 girls. 1 crown. The competition of a lifetime. "

My Summary and Thoughts:

This book, I think, might be a bit better than The Selection.  The first novel had a feeling of hope and possibility.  America is living like a princess in a gorgeous palace, able to help support her family, from the compensation they are given for her participation, and she has the choice of two wonderful guys. 

The Elite has more tension and darkness, which of course meant I tore through it in a day. Life at the palace is no longer fun and games. Rebels attack the palace more and more often, for reasons they don't know, she must take on more responsibility as an Elite, and she begins to see the dark side of being one of the Selected, being a royal, even some darkness in Maxon himself. Maxon, Aspen, and the king of IllĂ©a himself are losing patience with her.  America is running out of time to decide between Maxon and Aspen, to decide if she wants to be a princess or an officer's wife, to decide if she wants either option at all.

I can't wait to read books #3 and #4, The One and The Heir, and of course the highly anticipated fifth book. We don't have a title yet, but a review will (eventually) come when it releases in 2016! 

¡Los comentarios! (That's Spanish for "Comments!" There ya go.) So, the all-important question for Selection fans or soon-to-be fans everywhere: Are you Team Maxon or Team Aspen? (I know, it's like Twilight all over again, but the "team" thing happened, and we just have to roll with it.) 

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Another work week is coming to a close and a new weekend is ready to begin. Can we all just pause for a minute to praise the weekend? Whether you are packing up the family car and heading out on a road trip, or heading to the mall for back to school shopping, there’s one thing you have to pack to fuel up for your weekend- a healthy, yet simple to eat snack. 

I’m all about portable snacks in my purse! Nine times out of ten my family and friends can rely on my “purse of plenty” to hold at least one snack option, usually a bar of some sort. That’s why I was really jazzed to give Nature Valley’s new Simple Nut bars a try!

My WAHM Plan: Nature Valley simple nut bars

Just seeing the box on the Publix shelf made my mouth water! The box reads “Nuts and seeds from nature. It’s that simple (and delicious).  And you know what? Nature Valley is spot on with these bars! We couldn’t wait to try the Almond Cashew Sea Salt bars and we were not disappointed one bit! I LOVED the light saltiness of the cashews, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds with just the right amount of honey.

My WAHM Plan: #simplesnacking outside

When my youngest daughter couldn’t finish her bar and asked me if I’d like it, I gladly accepted it without one bit of guilt!  The only problem I had was a question of manners- do I lick the yummy goodness left off the wrapper or not? In the end, I didn’t, but I would not blame one person who did lick it!

My WAHM Plan: Grab a Nature Valley Simple nut bar and go!

Nature Valley Simple nut bars come in two new flavors, Almond Cashew Sea Salt and Roasted Peanut Honey Original. You can learn more about these bars, including the nutrition facts by visiting Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars.  For a limited time, you can save 75 cents off by downloading a coupon from Publix at!

Win It!

No matter what this weekend has on tap for you, you need to fuel up and I can’t think of a better way to help you with this endeavor than by giving you money! Thanks to the generosity of Nature Valley and Publix, one lucky reader will receive a $15.00 PayPal transfer from me.  Entering is easy using the form below.


No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter from below.  My WAHM Plan is responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  This giveaway is not associated with nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel. 

Good luck! 

$15.00 PayPal Transfer


My thanks to Publix and Nature Valley Bars for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions expressed are my own. I will be compensated for sharing this post with you today, for hosting this giveaway and for sharing the sponsor’s links in the post and as part of the giveaway entries. However, I only share information and giveaways I feel are helpful to my readers. Thank you for being a reader! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.