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Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

Book Three in Chesapeake Valor Series

In a Nutshell:

Age Appropriateness: 16 and above

Genre(s): Fiction, Suspense, Romance

Suspense/Violence: Moderate suspense

Romance: Moderate romance

Language: None

Would I Recommend It?  Yes

The Nitty-Gritty


This book is suspenseful.  The characters in this book are all employed by the FBI, and (as part of the job description) are dealing with intense situations.  However, there is nothing overtly graphic or disturbing in the book.  Everything is well written and tastefully handled.  The storyline does contain terrorists, people are shot and killed, and one character is caught and tortured (no gruesome details are given).

As mentioned above, one character is tortured.  Ms Pettrey does provide some details on this, but nothing graphic or disturbing.  She provides details that relevant to adequately understanding the gravity of the situation.*


Several of the characters are involved in relationships (married or dating).  Some kissing, hugging, and affection occurs.  This PDA may be more than some readers are comfortable with, but I did not find it to be out of Ms. Pettrey’s typical style.  No inappropriate relationships or graphic details. *

Additional Comments

This book is the third in a series.  It could, however, be read as a stand-alone, although it is best appreciated with the other books in the series.  I found it to be an enjoyable, suspenseful read.

Recommended For:

Female, who enjoys Christian suspense.


*Reader discretion is always advised.

Year End Bucket List

Year End Bucket List

The year is coming to an end.  Slipping slowly down behind the mountain, vanishing from sight.  I like to take this time to look back and think about what all happened this year.  Look back over my shoulder and all that God has done.

People like to create bucket lists.  Lists of things to check off in their lifetime.  Places to visit, people to meet, and things to do and see.  But what if we reverse that?  Rather than making a list for our life, what if we make a list as we live?  It is a change in perspective that can fill your heart with thankfulness.

Don’t look at your list to see what hasn’t happened yet.   Look back and see what He has done.

The nights everyone was home around the table, the amazing sunsets I got to watch, the sunrises as I headed to work in the dawn, the violin music I got to learn, the Hardy Boy books I got to read with my little brother, singing at the top of my lungs, getting to perfect favorite recipes, laughing until tears came, leaving the country and meeting new people, sunrises from an airplane, and long walks down the road.

There is so much to be thankful for.  Here at year’s end.

Handicapped by Dyslexia Ignorance

Handicapped by Dyslexia Ignorance

They are everywhere we look.  They fill our homes, our schools, and our workplaces.  Their ability to compensate and to memorize helps them stay hidden.  They are the children that grow into adults, struggling every day to read and write.  They are told that dyslexia isn’t real, they are called lazy, they are pushed through the system.  And they grow up handicapped, not by their disability, but by the ignorance about it.  

Get Me Started… College Algebra CLEP

Get Me Started… College Algebra CLEP

Get your highschooler ready to earn 3 college credits after graduation with the College Algebra CLEP!!!!


Ready to be done with high school algebra, once and for all?  Ready to get those math credits under your belt and move on?  Most high school students are prepared to take the College Algebra CLEP after finishing the high school level of Algebra 1 and 2.  That means you could graduate from high school prepared to go test out of an entire semester of college credit!  Sound like a good plan?

Well let me help you get started on the College Algebra CLEP!

1) Stock your bookshelves

There are two resources that you *have* to have on your bookshelf for the College Algebra CLEP.  The first one is the CollegeBoard CLEP Official Guide and the second is the REA College Algebra Guide.  CollegeBoard makes the CLEP exams, so their test guide is the best one to have on your shelf, no matter which test you’re taking.  And REA guides are the perfect test prep guide, to make sure you are covering all the problems you will meet on the test.

2) Get to know the College Algebra CLEP

The College Algebra CLEP has 60 questions to be answered in 90 minutes.  A passing score is usually awarded 3 college credits, depending on the policy of your institution. Approximately 50% of the exam is solving straightforward problems, the remaining 50% of the exam is application of the concepts learned in a college algebra course.  A scientific calculator is provided for you, in the test taking software.

3) Take the CollegeBoard practice test

Take the CollegeBoard practice test for College Algebra and figure what percentage of the questions you got *correct* (i.e. divide number correct by total number of questions).  If your total is 60% or above, go take the test!  If not, move on to step 4.  Note that I usually only take the CollegeBoard practice test when I’m assessing my knowledge of the subject.  That allows me to reuse this practice test many times.

4) Study, study, study

This is the perfect time to pull out your handy, dandy REA College Algebra Guide!  I use my REA guide as the backbone of my study time, and then supplement with some other resources.  I use Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and Texas A&M.  I also use the Algebra I For Dummies and College Algebra DeMYSTiFieD books.  Feel free to use the practice tests in the back of the REA guide to measure your progress as you study.

5) Retake the CollegeBoard practice test

Take the CollegeBoard practice test for College Algebra and figure what percentage of the questions you got correct.  If your total is 60% or above, go take the test!  If not, repeat step 4.

Graduation Home Stretch

Graduation Home Stretch

Time to dust off the books and finish this degree!  Once you’ve hit the graduation home stretch it’s a little easier to slow down, but you have to finish strong.  You have to run as fast across the finish line as you started out.

So here’s what I have left to accomplish before I can graduate:

[ ] Western Civ 1 (CLEP)

[ ] Western Civ 2 (CLEP)

[ ] World Religions (DSST)

[ ] Organizational Behavior (DSST)

[ ] Soviet Union (DSST)

[ ] Substanance Abuse (DSST) 

[ ] Vietnam War (DSST)

[ ] Technical Writing (DSST)

[ ] Public Speaking (DSST)

[ ] Human Growth and Development (CLEP)

[ ] Human Geography (DSST)

[ ] Capstone Project (TESC)


And here are my goals to reach before August 28 (which happens to be the 6th Plants and Pillars Film Festival):

  1. Technical Writing
  2. Western Civ 1
  3. Western Civ 2
  4. Human Growth and Development
  5. Substance Abuse
  6. Organizational Behavior
  7. The SAT

Oh yeah, I’m going to take the SAT on June 6 – which is just a few short weeks away.

Yes, I have a lot to do.  I’ll be studying and reading and writing and testing – and trying to blog when I get that chance.  🙂

Control Your Wasted Time

Control Your Wasted Time


It’s going to happen to all of us.  No matter how great your intentions are (or how long your “to do” list is or how many time management apps you have installed on your phone) you will waste time throughout your day.  Instead of living in denial that it is happening, you need to spend your time working to control your wasted time.


How do you currently waste time?  I know that sounds funny to think about, but your time goes somewhere.  When you aren’t working or studying what do you turn to?  Where does your mind go?  Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are quick and easy to get to, so they can turn into huge time wasters.  I’m not saying social media is horrible – on the contrary, I study social media as a part time job – but it might not be the best avenue to always turn to when you have a spare minute.

In addition to those common wasters, we have watching television, surfing the internet, or any other way you can dream up to waste your time.  What we are worried about is passive activities.  When your brain turns off and you cease to have worthwhile thoughts.


Now retrain yourself to control your wasted time.  To reach for challenging activities when you have a free moment to spare.  Start by searching for things that will challenge you and grow you in new ways.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  • Read a book
  • Play a musical instrument (or learn to play one)
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Go for a run
  • Play a mentally stimulating game (like chess or checkers)
  • Draw/paint
  • Write a letter to a friend or family member
  • Cook or bake something
  • Learn a new skill (changing your oil or sewing on a button)

And certainly, last but not least, sometimes just sitting and being quiet is good.  Good thinking only occurs when we are quiet and still with no distractions.  Sit on your front porch or hike somewhere.  Leave your phone and find a quiet place.  Think and pray.

There’s a reason God tells us to “be still and know He is God”.  Find some time to be still and know God.  That is never wasted.

Get a Normal Email Address!

Get a Normal Email Address!


Welcome to your life, wherever this finds you.  Still in high school, venturing through college, finding yourself in the work place, or diligently at home.  Wherever you are, you probably have an email address and this piece of your life is a huge key to how you view life and what you make of yourself.

Besides your Social Security number you will probably use your email address more than any other piece of identification.  And, unlike other generic piece of ID, this is personalized and a peek into who you are.  Make sure you take your time on it.

Job applications, college admission forms, resumes… the list goes on and on.  Each of these will ask for your email address because it’s one of the best ways to contact people in the 21st century.  And on each of these many professional men and women will be looking at your email address.  Where you live is standard, your phone number is standard, but your email will stand out.

You may have a Bachelor’s in Accounting.  You many have a GPA of 3.7.  You may have been valedictorian in high school.  But if your email address is ““, none of that will matter.

Believe it or not, your email address can be the determining factor in getting a job.

Take the time, invest the extra energy, and create a simple, professional, normal email address.  It’ll get you much farther.

The One State with Low Student Debt

The One State with Low Student Debt


There is only one state where the average college student has less that $20,000 of debt when they graduate.  In all 50 United States, we can only find one state with this statistic and that award goes to the western state of New Mexico.  Student debt is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in America.

In a study released in November 2014, New Mexico was found to be the only state where the average college student graduates with less than $20,000 in debt.  

They weren’t far below that mark though, their average came in at $18,656.  New Hampshire came in with the highest ranking student debt, at $32,795.  As more students borrow and borrow more, it drives the cost up – leading to more and more students borrowing.

One of the biggest problems with student debt is it holds the graduate back from their full life potential after graduation.  Having over $30,000 in student loans leads to putting off buying a house, getting married, saving for your own children’s education, starting a business, or saving for retirement.  This delays the benefit that these adults could be to our economy.

Rethinking the traditional college route is becoming more and more of a necessity in our world today.  Testing out of courses and taking online courses can help shorten your time spent on campus and decrease your total college cost.  In addition, the average CLEP prep book is $30 – compared to the average $300 textbook for a traditional classroom course.

There are other options out there, besides binding yourself to thousands of dollars in student debt.  Let’s step back and look at the conveyor belt way of college.  Maybe there is a different way to do it.

How to Schedule a CLEP Test

How to Schedule a CLEP Test

schedule_CLEPScheduling a CLEP exam used to be as easy as calling your proctor, telling her what exam you were going to take, and picking a day.  Now, thanks to some revisions by CollegeBoard, there are a few more steps to take before you can go CLEP a class.  So here is a basic rundown on how to schedule a CLEP exam.

Visit the CLEP CollegeBoard website 

Once there, register for your chosen exam.  Note that you will need to create a free account with CollegeBoard.  You will fill out all your personal information (once!) and it will save for future exams.  Also, you will need to go find your exam and “add it to cart”.  This is just registering for the exam.  You will go ahead and purchase the exam there ($80.00).  Print your ticket and save the PDF copy to your computer.  I had to reprint once and was very glad I had saved it!  🙂

Call Your Proctor

This part doesn’t really change.  Just work out a date with your proctor and put it on your calendar.  Don’t forget!

Go Take Your Exam

Take your ticket with you when you head off to take your exam.  It has a code on it that you will need and your proctor will need to see your ticket as well.  You will also need to pay the proctor fee – usually around $20.00.  You don’t prepay that because it is going to your center, not CLEP.


There are a few more steps now, but nothing major.  Once I had done it a few times it was no big deal.  Just make sure you pre-register and take your ticket with you!  For more information on CLEP exams in general, visit my page: CLEP Exams.


Skills for College Students

Skills for College Students


Skills for College Students: Reading, Writing, and Keyboarding

There are several skills that everyone should learn.  Not only will they help you succeed in school, they can help you be successful in the rest of your “normal” life.  Having these skills not only allows you to study and communicate effectively, they can help prove to prospective employers that you care about learning and that you have the ability to learn.  These are skills that you can’t be taught, you have to teach them to yourself.  You have to have the desire and the discipline to sit down and learn them.  So, without further delay, here are a few skills for college students to learn and develop – in class, their personal life, and the workplace.


In our technological age, this skill is becoming more and more vital for students to know.  Being able to type well and quickly will save you time in class, as you type out notes.  It is also an asset in a job hunt.  Make sure you include your typing speed on your resume!

Figure out how fast you type with a fun typing game!

And learn how to type or improve your skills with a free, online program!

Speed Reading

We can all read, but being able to read quickly for information is a skill most of us have to learn.  I highly suggest that all college students take a speed reading course.  It probably won’t make you the fastest reader in the world, but just improving your speed a little bit is a good thing.

See how fast you read with this fun, quick test!

 Writing to Share Information

Writing is becoming a lost art.  Texting, with it’s short bursts of information, has become the only way many people communicate.  And now with autocorrect, we don’t even have to know how to spell anymore.  Being able to write clearly and effectively is a skill that professor and employers are looking for.

For a fun course in writing, try Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I’ve taken multiple courses from them and love them!