Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: Outside That Door (Jennifer Robins)

When planning reviews for October, I had a title planned for Halloween but schedules and events tend to throw things out of whack sometimes. Then again, sometimes changes come about through… fate.

Initially, I was going to skim through the first chapter of Jennifer Robins’ Outside That Door with plans to complete the book for a November review. The problem? I could NOT stop reading.

When I read through the Prologue and the first chapter, I planned to read just one more chapter until next week. I’ll stop then. Well, maybe one more chapter. Oh man, I have to read the next chapter to know what’s happening. I can’t stop here. I have to see where they’re going. Okay, really, just this chapter and then I’ll really stop.

Before I knew it, I had read the entire book -in two hours!

I immediately connected with Carl and Beth. Jennifer has succeeded in crafting well-rounded, believable characters, which is not easy in novels that involved two periods. Shift periods, you ask?

Outside That Door introduces the everyday married couple, Carl and Beth, who are thrown back in time. (Yep, they’re having a hard time believing it, too!) Imagine being thrown back in time to a period that you’ve only read about in books. Now imagine that you can’t get back to the present. It that’s not stressful alone, you are forced to wander in the midst of the Revolutionary War with no idea of how or when you will get help.

It can be difficult for an author to make such changes visual enough to be believable. Kudos to Jennifer!  I felt like I was along for the ride when Carl and Beth headed out for a weekend in the Catskills and I was just as bewildered and scared when “we” were lost in time during the Revolutionary War. And Indians? Yes, there were Indians. Fighting. Guns. Scalping. You just don’t know what “we” have been through! Thank God for Thomas and Helen…

I can’t tell you much more than that without giving away spoilers, but I can say that if you are looking for a great read, this is worth your time and a few bucks.

If there is one thing I would change, it would be to expand the last chapter just a bit. Otherwise, Jennifer has knocked this one outta the ballpark!

I recommend Outside That Door for men and women of all ages. It has just enough of everything to appeal to both.

My rating:
5 stars (4.9 if you count my “one thing I would change” comment)

Summary description:

Who would have known a simple weekend vacation to the resort in the Catskill Mountains would end up being smack dab in the middle of the revolutionary war? Carl and Beth never thought such a thing could happen until they stepped outside the side door of their little get-away cottage to find nothing but wilderness and nothing around but the wild life. They search for help only to find soldiers, and Indians. Can they ever get back to the present? Or will they be forced to live among the settlers [and Indians] for the rest of their lives?

Where to buy:

Amazon | BN.com | Astraea Press

Connect with Jennifer Robins

Shapely Girls Fitness: Week 4 Day 22

I’m excited. Yes, still!

I can’t say that I’ve lost a lot; in fact, I’ve not lost much at all (about 2.5 pounds). So why am I excited?

I feel better! I am more active and being active makes us want to keep moving.

I’ve used other exercise/fitness DVDs (e.g. Jillian Michaels) in the past but Debra Mazda’s Let’s Get Moving 2 has been the one that has been fun to continue. I’m not knocking Jillian’s program. But the truth is… Jillian. kicked. my. butt!

With Debra, I don’t feel so much that I am doing a fitness routine but that I am meeting a friend each day where we commit to being active and healthy. To me, that’s the start of a lasting fitness goal!

Since starting Shapely Girl Fitness on October 1, I have actually been more active than I have in-  Heck! I don’t know when I was this active. Maybe 10 years ago!?

You’ll never believe what my oldest daughter and I did last week. Can’t guess? We washed the outside of the house. Yes! I am serious! Of course, it was a little more tedious than planned.

I sent her to town to buy a sprayer. FYI…specify what you mean by “sprayer.” She returned with a spray bottle.

Okay. I’ll go with it! We concocted our mixture of bleach and water in the spray bottle and got to work. About 3 hours later, the exterior of the house looked like NEW! Yay us!

So, what does bleaching the exterior of my house have to do with Shapely Girl Fitness?

Energy. Motivation. Accountability. Fun. Commitment.

There’s a commercial that says a body in motion stays in motion…

This is true. This is Shapely Girl Fitness and I am in love with it!

Give me another month and I might be ready to kick Jillian’s butt –for a change!