Archive for October, 2013

Big Lots: 20% off everything October 5 & 6 (Saturday with Buzz Club card and Sunday with coupon)


Today and tomorrow ( October 5 & 6) Big Lots is having one of its occasional 20% off weekends, making it a great time to stock up on basic groceries! This is when I buy Nutella (it’s priced at $3, so after the discount it’s $2.40) as well as other grocery items I use a lot. I’ve seen 18 packs of K-cups before for $9, so $7.20 after the discount. It’s also a great time to make big purchases like furniture.

To get 20% off everything Saturday night after 4 p.m. you just have to have a frequent shopper card. They’re free and you can get one at checkout. Sunday you’ll need a printable coupon found here.

There’s also a $1/$10 coupon in the Blount County Schools coupon book you can use.

Add comment October 5, 2013

Review and Kindle sale: Return to Me, by Lynn Austin

I recently had the chance to read Return to Me, by Lynn Austin. This fiction book was published on October 1 by Bethany House.

About this book (from the back cover):

After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo’s prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God’s chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.

Zechariah, Iddo’s oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather’s ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.

Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

Final Verdict:

This book is written in a style that I’m learning to love: it takes real events and fleshes them out with added plot and dialogue, making a historical story “come alive.” This story is one in the Bible that I knew about, but reading Return to Me really made the characters memorable. Austin does a good job of presenting a story that is obviously fictional but ties in actual scripture to create a plot that piques your interest, and in my case, caused me to re-read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah with renewed interest. I did not finish this novel in one sitting, mainly due to the detailed amount of history that Austin includes to set the scene…but it’s definitely worth the read!

If you’d like to check out Return to Me it is currently on sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version. (Regularly $14.99.) If you prefer a paperback copy it’s currently on sale for $12.27. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

The featured product for this review was provided to me at no cost by Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own. If you’d like to sign up to receive review copies from Bethany House, visit

Add comment October 5, 2013

Best deal for The Little Mermaid Blu-ray/DVD combo pack

I’ve been discussing with friends where the best deal is for the new The Little Mermaid Blu-ray Combo pack is. I think this is it: at Walmart you can get the combo pack for $19.98, and when you use the $7/1 coupon from Scott Shared Values (free to sign up, and to get the coupon you, must also have a Disney Movie Rewards account but it’s free too) it makes it $12.98; PLUS when you purchase at Walmart you should get $8 in movie cash to see Frozen, the new Disney fairy tale (loosely based on The Snow Queen). We were planning on seeing this movie anyway – as I assume anyone purchasing The Little Mermaid would be – so this was the best deal for us! I have heard that copies of The Little Mermaid at other retailers did not include this movie cash credit, so make sure you see the Frozen sticker on the front before you purchase.

Hurry, though, as the coupon expires tomorrow!

Thanks, Adrian!

1 comment October 3, 2013

40% off a Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge Membership!

Today Groupon has a deal for half off a membership to the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge! You can either purchase a regular membership, or a Plus membership (includes a nanny pass and two passes for friends.) This deal is good for new memberships as well as renewals.

The last time this deal appeared I was able to pay an additional $30 to upgrade mine to a Reciprocal Membership so we could get in free at Chattanooga’s Creative Discovery Museum as well! I have asked the Groupon folks if this is the case again, and will update when I hear back. If you have any questions,  you can call the museum at 865.482.1074. If Reciprocal upgrade is allowed, it will also get you in the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and the Children’s Museum of South Carolina in Myrtle Beach!

You can purchase the Groupon deal here. (Change your city to Knoxville and search for “museum”, if needed.)

Add comment October 3, 2013

Library Quarterly Book Sale October 17-19


The Blount County Friends of the Library will have their quarterly book sale October 18-19, with a pre-sale starting at noon on October 17 open to FOL members only. (You can join at the door, and I highly recommend doing so, as it’s really worth getting to shop early, plus you’re helping support the library.)

3 comments October 1, 2013

Book review and Kindle sale: City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, by Tracy L. Higley

I recently had the chance to read City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, by Tracy L. Higley. This fiction book was just re-released September 17, 2013 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

As Vesuvius churns, a slave girl-turned-gladiator joins forces with an unlikely source to seek justice. In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.

Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.

Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.

My Verdict:

I love historical fiction, and Tracy L. Higley’s Christian fiction novels have not disappointed me yet. (I previously reviewed Isle of Shadows, and have read a number of her books.) I love how accurate and well, researched her novels feel, which isn’t a surprise since her author’s bio says that “Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels.” This book reminded me of The Mark of The Lion books by Francine Rivers (one of my favorite series), as it is set in around the same time period and has the same types of interactions between Jews and Romans. It differs in its female-slave-masquerading-as-a-male-gladiator angle, which was really interesting. The test for me is always whether I have to finish the book in one reading, or am able to put it down to read later. This was a finish-in-one-night book! City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii would be a great read if you’re heading on vacation for Fall Break next week, as you’ll be entertained, and will feel as if you have learned a little more about life in Pompeii before and after the erupting of Vesuvius. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii it is currently on sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version right now, which is 38% off. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $13.81. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Add comment October 1, 2013

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