Best Funeral Ever – Kyle Thomas RIP

by Thursday, August 25, 2016

RIP Kyle Lynn Thomas aka Zippy | juliekmccomas.com

This is my first cousin, Kyle.

August 10, 2016, Kyle was shot and killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To be honest, we don’t really know what happened. The people that were there know what happened, but I’m getting stories that don’t even mesh at this point.

What we do know is that Michael Charles Jester, from Arkansas (apparently) thought Kyle had stolen his wallet (apparently) and shot Kyle over it. Then somehow shot himself in the hand. (I’m thinking Kyle fought for his life, and the guy got shot in the hand, but that is just my opinion because I know for a fact that my Kyle wouldn’t go down without a fight.) A Good Samaritan saw Kyle laying in the driveway bleeding, and loading him up into the bed of his truck and took him to the QuikTrip to get help. They even talked about how this man had blood on him. This is the story that was reported by the news stations the morning of the shooting.

You can watch the video of Jester running from the police here, on this dashcam video.

Here is the video telling about the Good Samaritan, and much more crime scene footage.

Now, there are more stories circulating about how this chick named Jacalyn Renee Ketcherside dropped Kyle off at the QuikTrip. Then she (apparently) ran, and was arrested later and is in the Rogers County Jail at the time this is being published.

So there are a few things that don’t mesh. But don’t you worry your pretty little heads, I am gonna go all Joe Kenda on this folks and find out the truth. Don’t even think for a minute that I won’t.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this post about my cousin, Kyle, is because of his funeral. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you things were all rainbows and roses in his life. Kyle fought addiction from an early age, and it landed him in prison. He was out of prison almost two years when that addiction got the best of him. The only thing that could get the best of Kyle was death.

These are the things I remember about Kyle. If you knew him, your memories might be different, but I can’t imagine by much.

Kyle loved everyone. He would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it, and after hearing some stories from his friends he literally gave someone the shirt off his back. If someone didn’t have a place to go for the holidays he would bring them to spend the holidays with us, his family. He loved hugs, and he always told people that he loved them. But only if he really loved you. He was the life of the party, and if there wasn’t a party there was before he left. He made us all laugh, smile, and sometimes cry (only because we were laughing so hard).

Kyle touched a lot of lives in his short time on this earth. I witnessed this by seeing all of the people at his funeral. I don’t want to offend anyone by saying this, but if you know me then you know I mean this in a good way. Kyle’s funeral was the best I have ever been to, hands down. The pastor was great, the singing was fantabulous (props to our cousin Darsha for that), and the people were all touched by Kyle in some way.

When the funeral was over I was able to watch each and every friend of Kyle embrace his mom. They would share a story, condolences, a laugh or just a cry. I watched as every walk of life walked through that line. Business men/owners, elementary/jr.high school friends, friends from truck driving school, friends of his mom, drug addicts, recovering addicts, felons, and most of all loved ones. There were whites, blacks, Mexican, etc. There were hippies, bald guys, and beauties. Every walk of life was in that chapel, and there was only one reason – Kyle. I have never felt so honored to sit in a room full of people in my life. We all loved Kyle! We were in it together! We all had something in common, and Kyle brought us all together.

I told my husband, Butch and several other people, that if there was a funeral for Jesus today that is what it would look like. People from all walks of life, all kinds of circumstances, but all of them loved by Him!

I don’t know how all this death thing works, but I truly wish that Kyle could’ve looked down to see how many lives he touched.

He knew the Lord, and he loved the Lord! I will see Kyle again some day!

Walking on Sea Glass by Julie Carobini – My Thoughts

by Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Walking on Sea Glass Book Cover Walking on Sea Glass
A Sea Glass Inn Novel
Julie Carobini
Women's Fiction, Inspirational, Romance
Dolphin Gate Books
May 24, 2016
ebook
298

Book Description:

"Poignant ..." ~ Kathryn Cushman, author of Finding Me and Fading Starlight

Falling in love could tear them apart ...

 Suddenly single, Liddy Buckle flees the desert to work at an up-and-coming seaside resort with her best friend, Meg. The breezy backdrop of an inn by the sea offers Liddy the dream of starting fresh, but soon she is shocked to discover another setback brewing in her life. Despite the battle that lies ahead, she finds herself drawn to Beau Quinn, a captivating widower with a wounded heart of his own. 

As Beau and Liddy's burgeoning relationship attempts to survive, will Liddy have the courage to trust a man again--especially one as emotionally fragile as Beau? Can Beau commit to a woman facing a challenging recovery? 

 And what is going on behind the scenes at Sea Glass Inn, where late night deliveries and secret meetings are spoken about in whispers? Set in a fictional California seaside town, Walking on Sea Glass weaves a romantic story of courage, faith, and the power of true love.
My Thoughts:
I feel like I need to tell you something before I tell you my thoughts on the newest release from Julie Carobini, Walking on Sea Glass. Julie and I go way back, well that might be an exaggeration; I've been reading Julie's books for a long time. In fact, I think I have read everything she has published. So, you might say that I am a fan.
When I saw the cover of Walking on Sea Glass, I saw an inn that I would love to visit. I love the ocean, the beach, and the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach. In fact, I decided to put myself on the beach to read. Yes, I'm landlocked in Oklahoma, but Spotify (who has no idea who I am) has Nature Sounds playlists with the sounds of Ocean Waves. I pushed play, and I could picture myself on the beach right where the couple is walking.
Chapter one brought back memories of my mom and my aunt taking all five of us kids on road trips. Oh, the days before GPS and Siri.  It brought back memories of me going to the lake with my family, and everything was always great at the lake.  Maybe not the ocean, but a smaller body of water.
Carobini has a wonderful way of making each of her characters relate-able to her audience. Her writings are real and pure. Her version of romance is perfect. When you google the definition of romance it says that romance is a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. They could list every one of Julie's books as references to this definition.
Liddy goes through many things that many of us have gone through. It really could have been a true story, and I really could have been her friend. She's a character that I found myself pulling for, and found her creeping into my everyday thoughts.
Shawn really should've been punished. Meg, Liddy's BFF, and I could be BFFs too. She offered to key Shawn's car, so I am not the only one that feels like he should be punished. Yes, I do know that they are just characters in a book.  Beau sounds like such a good guy from the beginning. You know the type - owns his own business, good looking, church-going, and fun. He was probably the captain of his high school football team. But he has been dealt a pretty tough hand in life, and I completely understand why he takes things kind of slow.
There is a bit of mystery to this story, and when it is reveal toward the end of the book I literally laughed out loud.  You know, LOL. It was funny to me because in today's world it is such a real possibility.  I love the scenarios that each character comes up with. Is the chef dealing drugs or in the mob? Just like in real life, everyone has their opinions and there's quite a bit of chatter the inn about the chef and the restaurant. You will love it when the truth is revealed!
Like I said, I do know that Liddy, Beau, Trace, Meg and Pepper are all fictional characters, but Julie brings them to life, and I hated for the book to end. I wanted to finish the book to find out what happened, but I didn't want it to end so soon. Does that make sense?
Walking on Sea Glass was just released today, May 24, 2016.  I'd say it was perfect timing to be a summer read.  It's just under 300 pages, and it will keep you interested the whole way through.  You will cheer, scowl, wince and cheer again! Walking on Sea Glass is wonderfully real, pure, and refreshing!
Now I am going to go find Liddy, Meg and Trace on Facebook. Kidding, I am just kidding.
Thank you to the author, Julie Carobini, for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Currently Reading – May 2016

by Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I’ve kind of been busy over here. I’m trying to spring clean, and it will be summer before I get that finished. Trying to read as much as possible, and still have a life. Let’s chat about what I have been reading lately, and one book that I want to read.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Our book club is currently reading this book, and will meet this Friday to discuss it. This is the second time I have read it, and I am not a re-reader. It is a great book, and I am enjoying it the second time around as much as I did the first time.

Here’s what it’s all about.
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons.

Told in Dinah’s voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s lives.
Redemption Road by John Hart

This is a book that I am reading to review. Not much I can tell you about it yet, other than the book description.

Imagine:

A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…

This is a town on the brink.

This is Redemption Road.

Brimming with tension, secrets, and betrayal, Redemption Road proves again that John Hart is a master of the literary thriller.

 

31 Days to a Clutter Free Life: One Month to clear your Home, Mind & Schedule by Ruth Soukup

Seriously, I have been wanting to read this for a while now, and recently got the chance when it was included in the 2016 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. I am hoping to blog through this book or through Ruth’s 10 Day Unclutter Challenge. I have an email out to her and hope to hear from her soon.

Here is the book description for this one:

Is Your STUFF Controlling Your Life?

Ruth Soukup knows all too well how stressful it can be to have a home packed to the gills, with an overbooked schedule to match.   After years of overspending left her wallet painfully empty and her home painfully full, she realized it was time for a massive change.  She began clearing her life—and her home—of clutter, one small step at a time.   

Now, over the course of thirty-one simple but powerful daily challenges she is sharing exactly how you can do it too.  31 Days to a Clutter Free Life will empower and inspire you to clear your life of the clutter that is filling up your home, mind, and schedule, once and for all.

Over the course of this one-month challenge, you can:

  • Eliminate clutter in all areas of your home and instead create functional spaces for all of your family’s many activities.
  • Replace chaotic counters and overstuffed cupboards with a calming kitchen that makes cooking a joy.
  • Overcome the destructive cycle of always needing more by paring down belongings to those you truly love.
  • Stop overcommitting and instead learn to say no without guilt.
  • Reduce stress in your home and family by clearing out the excess stuff that takes up so much of your time and energy.
  • Create practical and functional storage solutions for every room in your home.
  • Develop a working control center that keeps your entire family organized and on track.
  • Learn the four simple strategies to staying clutter free forever.

What if, one month from today, your life could be different?

At any given time, most of us are stressed out with homes and schedules that feel chaotic and out of control.  It is easy to be overwhelmed with the vast quantities of stuff that comes pouring into our homes, from trinkets and paperwork to endless obligations and activities.  Wouldn’t it be nice to finally have a step-by-step guide to ridding our life of clutter, and instead creating an oasis of calm and order?

Simple Daily Assignments

Over the course of thirty-one simple but powerful daily challenges, this book will empower, enable, and inspire you to clear life of the clutter that is filling up you home, mind, and schedule

Join the Clutter Free Challenge

Join thousands of LivingWellSpendingLess.com readers in completing this life-changing challenge.  You can check in on the blog, or use the hashtag #LWSLClutterFree to share your own progress on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Find accountability & get support of others who have committed to becoming clutter free as well. 

Start Today

The challenge begins on LivingWellSpendingLess.com this October, but you don’t have to wait.  Get the entire challenge now in convenient book format.  A clutter free life is waiting…..are you ready to embrace it?

And lastly, here is one book that I have heard about and hope to read soon.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Here is the book description:
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

It sounds good to me, how about you?  What are you reading these days?

Click on the photos to take you directly to the product pages on Amazon, or click on the little Amazon widget on the side. Every little click helps! (affiliated links)

If I Run by Terri Blackstock – Book Review

by Thursday, April 14, 2016
If I Run Book Cover If I Run
If I Run
Terri Blackstock
Christian Mystery & Suspense
Zondervan
February 16, 2016
ebook
319
BookLook Bloggers/Harper Collins Publishing

Book Description:

Casey knows the truth. But it won’t set her free.

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up.

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

My Review:

First of all, I need to tell you a couple of things. 1) I am already a fan of Terri Blackstock's work, so I was looking forward to reading this one. 2) This is the first book in the If I Run Series. I was not aware of this when I agreed to read this one. Now I feel like I can tell you exactly what I think about this book.

Let's talk about the main character, Casey Cox.  She is one smart cookie. I think she watches too much Criminal Minds or CSI reruns. For being innocent, she sure knows how to run from the law.

Now, Dylan Roberts is such a good guy who is trying to do the right thing. In my opinion, it looks like they could eventually work on her case together and fall in love in the process. But that is just me hoping for a happy ending in the series, because they never even meet in this book.

If the details of this story were yarn, they would be woven into a beautiful piece of art. Needless to say, it is well-written.  It is written in first-person from the viewpoint of Casey and Dylan. It is a bit unpredictable, and perfectly paced. Blackstock is able to write about faith without being preachy or over the top. This one will be on my Best Reads of 2016 list. 

I do have to tell you that I seriously gasped and almost threw my kindle across the room. Almost. When I agreed to read this book, I had no idea that it was the first in a series. I'll just say this, cliff. hanger. Cliffhanger! I wasn't thrilled, but I will be sending Terri a message to find out when the next in the series will be out.

Thank you to Booklook Bloggers who furnished me with a digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

10 Fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes

by Sunday, March 6, 2016

I am in a state of shock, I think. There is only one more episode of Downton Abbey. I think I may need a support group when it is all said and done. Anyone else feel that way?

There are no spoilers here. I haven’t watched the final episode, so if there are some great quotes (there always are) I may add them later down the road.

I wanted to open this up to discussions about Downton Abbey, but I quickly realized that some a lot of people have already watched the final episode of the series.  So instead of spoiling it for myself and many others, I decided to go with some of my favorite quotes.  I hope you will share some of yours too.

10 fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes | juliekmccomas.com

These are not in any particular order, I honestly don’t even remember which season they are from but I did like them enough to write them down.

Violet: “I’m not a romantic, but even I concede that they heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.”

Violet:  “I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”

Isobel: “How you hate to be wrong.”
Violet: “I wouldn’t know. I’m not familiar with the sensation.”

Robert: “There is nothing more ill-bred than trying to steal the affections of one’s dog.”

Carson: “We must always travel in hope.”

Mrs. Hughes: “Of course I’ll marry you, you old booby. I thought you’d never ask.”

Violet to Isobel: “Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”

Matthew Crawley: “War has a way of distinguishing between the things that matter and the things that don’t.”

Violet: “In my experience, second thoughts are vastly overrated.”

Molesley: “All that’s needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

I have so many more, but I had to stop somewhere. Please leave your favorites in the comments and I will add them to my next list.

Now, I’m off to prepare myself for the final episode of the series. Will you be watching?

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