Posted in Weekly Update

Studio Under the Stairs – Weekly Update #1

Happy Monday!

I hope you’re rested better than I am by the weekend and ready to face the upcoming week! As I’m writing this post, it’s currently 3:45 a.m. and it doesn’t seem my dear little one will be letting me get back to sleep anytime soon. Thankfully, the cuteness factor makes the exhaustion worth it! Plus, I can use this time to write my first weekly update, sharing what I’ll be working on in my studio this week and what books are now available for sale.

Currently Recording:

This week, I’ll be in my studio under the stairs finishing up narrating and producing What Kind of People Ought We to Be by Patsy Scott.

Studio Under the Stairs – Weekly Update #1What Kind of People Ought We Be?: Preparation for the Day of the Lord by Patsy Scott
Published by Independently Published on November 15, 2018
ISBN: 1724028863
Pages: 206
Goodreads
Synopsis

Peter (2 Peter 3:11) asks us to consider what kind of people we ought to be in light of the fact that the Lord will return for His people at any time, that this world as we know it will then disappear and that we need to be prepared every day for this anticipated event. This book delves into those things the Lord expects us to be doing and ways we are to prepare. There are four emphases: loving well, readied, holy and growing, Each chapter ends with prayer and includes a "Reflect" section with probing questions. Excellent for individual or group study.

On Sale Now:

In addition to the short stories you can find on audible, the following are now available:

Studio Under the Stairs – Weekly Update #1Bible Made Easy: The Starting Guide for Beginners Getting to Know Jesus Christ by Sarah O. Annie
Published by Independently Published on April 8, 2019
ISBN: 109323007X
Pages: 72
Goodreads
Synopsis

Is God Calling For You?Ever wanted to explore Christianity but not sure where to start?Is the bible too complex for you to pick up?Want a change in your life?Understanding Jesus doesn't have to be that complicated. It can be as SIMPLE as sending a text message.8 Out of 10 people do not even know who or what they are praying to while in the church.Why not...Discover the basics of the Bible?If you're a new Christian and want to learn the significance behind both the new and old testaments, you are in the right place. If you want help looking up verses or finding popular stories, we can help. If you'd simply like to learn more about God, how to be closer to him, and how to pray to him, we are here for you.We know the Bible, and we want to help you know it as well. We want to help you understand what the Bible is and how to use it as a tool in your daily life. We want to show you powerful stories and verses and teach you to find them on their own. We want to show you what words God has given us through the gift of the Bible.Inside this book you will find: History of the bibleStories in the bibleThe Ten CommandmentsThe journey of JesusUseful bible verses

Attention! This book is NOT for everyone!This book is not for people: -Who are atheistic-Who doesn't want to have a better relationship with God.-Who doesn't believe in afterlifeIf you are ready to learn about Jesus and Christianity, Scroll Up And Click On The "BUY NOW" Button Now!

Bible Made Easy Purchase links: Audible US, Audible UK, Audible FR, Audible DE

Posted in Giveaway

Summertime Giveaway!

This year has been filled with lots of exciting and unexpected events and opportunities, for which I’m super grateful! At the same time, it’s flying by at a speed I feel incapable of keeping up with.

And now, here we are, on the brink of summer and I haven’t managed to keep one single 2019 Blogging Goal:

I haven’t started reading through the Harvard Classics.

I haven’t managed to consistently blog once a week, let alone four days a week!

And I haven’t run a single giveaway… UNTIL NOW! I’m finally starting to catch up and my first order of business is a summertime giveaway!

I’ll be giving away one book of the winner’s choice (up to $30) from Book Depository*. The winner will be chosen and announced on Friday, June 21 and you have until June 15 to enter! Entry form is below.

Quick note: This is my first time doing a giveaway and using Rafflecopter, so please excuse any hiccups in the process, and feel free to give feedback and suggestions for future giveaways! Thanks and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Book Depository must deliver to your location in order to win. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and announced on Combing Through the Pages and Twitter.

Posted in book reviews

Be back June 1!

Hey guys! Just a quick post to let everyone know I’m not gone forever, just until June 1. And… I’ll have a new sidekick joining me when I return!

Till then, happy reading everyone!

~Jess

Posted in book reviews

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonaldThe Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald
Published by Gallery Books on February 5, 2019
ISBN: 1501184008
Genres: General (Adult) Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-half-stars

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Synopsis

In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

I received this book for free from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Buy on AmazonBuy on Book Depository

My Thoughts on The Night Olivia Fell:

The love I have for my daughters exceeds anything else found on this earth. If you ask Thing 1, she’d tell you I love my children more than most other parents love theirs… to the point that it gets annoying and suffocating at times!

Thing 1 and I are especially close and she knows my biggest fear is to get “the call.” Even if you’re the type of parent that spends 20 hours of your 24 hour day complaining about your teenager, you know and fear “the call.” It’s the one that causes your stomach to drop before you even pick up the line, the one that changes your life forever, the one where a complete stranger tells you your child is seriously injured — or dead.

It’s every parent’s worst fear.

Thanks to some past events in my life, I suffer from PTSD. My particular trauma involves harm to my children and so this fear is even more magnified for me (probably why I get all suffocate-y sometimes).

It’s probably also why The Night Olivia Fell was such an emotionally gut-wrenching, roller-coaster ride of a story for me!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it… But it was hard to get through. I saw so many similarities between Olivia and Abi’s relationship to my relationship with Thing 1 that it all felt way too personal and real!

Abi and her daughter are obviously super close and Abi loves Olivia fiercely. But then comes the night Olivia falls… suddenly, Abi has to come to terms with the fact that maybe she didn’t really know her daughter at all.

Not only does she have to keep processing that bit of life-altering, earth-shattering news, but her daughter’s pregnant, the police refuse to believe the fall wasn’t an accident, and Abi’s life is just all around spinning out of control! She’s built her entire adult life around Olivia and now she’s gone. Even if she does find out what happened that night, how does she go on???

Final Thoughts:

I’ve got to tell you, this book gave me chills! (And nightmares.) I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a good suspense novel featuring relatable characters and a totally believable plot!

What do you think? Have you read The Night Olivia Fell? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!

four-half-stars
Posted in Adventures in Audiobooks

Adventures in Audiobooks

Well guys and gals, I’m finally ready to announce what the heck has been taking up so much of my time and keeping me from all you lovely people (and totally screwing up my original 2019 blogging goals).

I’ve been incredibly blessed since I started book blogging at the end of last summer. I’ve met some amazing bloggers, authors, editors, etc. It sometimes feels as if my bookish dreams are being granted by a fairy godmother…

Bookish Dream #1 – Free Books to Share the Book Love

My love for books has always exceeded my bank account.

Before discovering the amazing world of book blogging, I had no idea what an ARC (“Advanced Review Copy”) was, let alone how to get my hands on one.

I did love sharing my thoughts on everything I read though. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone discover their next great read… except maybe keeping them from picking up the next horrible one!

Enter Twitter and it’s amazing bookish community! I posted a review of a book last year and shared the post to Twitter. I had no idea how that one post would change me and this blog…

After that post went live, I started getting followed on Twitter by some book bloggers. From checking out their sites and reviews, I learned SO MUCH! I discovered NetGalley, started getting approached by authors looking for reviewers, and my TBR pile grew taller than my 5 feet 4.5 inches without me spending a single dime. But the best part…

I got to share my love of the books I was reading with other people who actually cared what I had to say!!!

Before book blogging, I pretty much shared my love of books with anyone who would listen (whether they wanted to hear it or not). Now, I have actual bookish people to talk to and share my passion with.

Bookish Dream #2 – Getting Paid to Read to People

As a book lover, I’ve always secretly dreamed of getting hired to do nothing but read to people.

I didn’t even care who the people were… kids, adults, iguanas?? Who cares as long as their listening to the story!

And after a lot of second thoughts, training, construction, and even some tears, I finally feel comfortable sharing with you all that this dream is coming true!!! I’ve embarked on a new adventure and I am now an audiobook narrator!!!

By the end of this summer, you’ll be able to find at least 6 books on Amazon, Audible and iTunes narrated by yours truly!! So far, genres I’ve been involved in are suspense, short stories, science fiction & fantasy, and Christian non-fiction. I’ll be sharing titles as they come available and I can’t wait to hear what you all think!

(To that end, if you’re a book blogger who reviews audiobooks and would like the opportunity to receive review copies, please send me a message through the Contact Me page or an e-mail to reviewrequest@jesscombs.com and I’ll add you to my list of potential reviewers and let you know when promo copies are available. And if you’re a rights holder interested in having your book(s) narrated and produced, please message me through the Contact Me page or e-mail to jessica@jesscombs.com.)

I really cannot put into words how incredibly excited and happy I am for this new adventure! But not only that, I’m so thrilled that I’ve met so many people online who I know are going to be just as excited as I am for me and I thank you all for your support and encouragement. The book blogging community is so awesome and I’m proud to be a small part of it!

Thanks for sharing in this dream with me!

Posted in keto diet

4 Surprises from My First Month on Keto

I normally wouldn’t share a post like this, but I’m kinda amazed and want to tell anyone who will listen about it…

I’ve mentioned in some previous posts about the problems with my neck/ arm but haven’t really given a lot of details about what it’s meant for my daily life.

One if the hardest and most challenging things has been my inability to exercise. I went from running half-marathons and 15-mile races on whim to nothing. Running was my “therapy.” It cleared my mind and helped me process all my anxious and overloaded thoughts.

In addition to not getting the exercise I needed for both my physical and mental health, I quit eating healthy. To be honest, I was never a super healthy eater, but I definitely got worse over the last year or so.

I started feeling really bad. It wasn’t just that I’d put on weight and was self- conscious about it, but I physically felt awful. I struggled to breathe walking up the stairs and sometimes got winded just walking around my house. I was becoming more and more miserable everyday.

My husband’s constant suggestion to exercise was super unhelpful because there wasn’t much I could do. And when I found that yoga helped me to feel better and eased my neck/shoulder/arm pain, he didn’t like it and so I quit. (Yeah, I’m aware how stupid that is. We’ve discussed and worked through the stupidity & stubbornness on both sides of that one… You can still feel free to harass me in the comments though if so desire.)

Then, one month ago today, I started following a ketogenic diet.

Well, I kinda started a month ago…? Actually, I’d researched it for a month before that and started lowering my carb intake because I’m a big baby and was scared off the “keto flu.”

Anyway… I’m super excited about my weight loss so far, but what I really wanted to share is the side-effects I’ve experienced in addition to the loss of pounds!

So here are the 4 biggest surprises/bonuses I’ve experienced on keto so far:

  1. Going without sleep thanks to foster babies and teenage babies, I’ve been in a constant brain fog for what feels like forever! But after the first week of keto, I noticed I was thinking more clearly and didn’t feel nearly as stupid as I have been!
  2. I have almost no desire to snack anymore. I was snacking all day long before keto. I also ate a bag of microwave popcorn every night before bed and then got up in the middle of the night craving chips. It only took about 3 days for those cravings to disappear completely! Not only that, but I don’t eat or require as much food to feel full and I hardly even get hungry during the day.
  3. The food!!! I’m not saying I never miss bread (I’ve found some great keto bread recipes), but I am loving the meals I get to eat! What other diet makes you feel this good and still allows you to eat things like bacon cheeseburger casserole???
  4. The health benefits!!! I have high blood pressure that’s incredibly hard to control. I also suffer from intense migraines. Both would plague me for days every single week. In the last month, I’ve had one migraine and one fight with my bp. Since the change in my diet is the only thing different, I’ve got to assume keto is the reason!

So those were the big surprises for me on keto so far that I wanted to share with everyone.

For those who are interested to know what my 1 month weight loss results have been:

Pounds lost: 13.1

Inches from waist: 3.0

Inches from hips: 2.75

I’m interested in others stories… Have you tried keto or been shocked by other diets? Leave me a comment below!