Genre: Non- Fiction

An Unseen Angel Blog Tour

28 Apr, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

An Unseen Angel Blog Tour

An Unseen Angel

by Alissa Parker
Published by Shadow Mountain on 2017
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, Non- Fiction
Pages: 192
Format: ARC
Source: Shadow Mountain
Buy the BookGoodreads
When Alissa Parker lost her daughter Emilie in the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, she started a life-changing journey to answer soul-searching questions about faith, hope, and healing. As she sought for the peace and comfort that could help mend her broken heart, she learned, step by step, how to open her heart to God's Grace and will.

One step brought her face to face with the shooter's father, where in a pivotal and poignant meeting, she was given an opportunity to forgive. Another step brought her into the sheltering compassion of her community as family, friends, and even strangers reached out to buoy her up with their shared faith. And several miraculous manifestations of Emilie's continued presence and influence lifted her heart and will validate the faith of every Christian.

The story of Alissa and Emilie reminds us that the bonds of love continue beyond this life and that despite tragedy and heartache, we can find strength in our family and our faith.
An Unseen Angel Official Blog Tour Image

About the Author

Alissa Parker is the mother or one of the twenty children who died tragically in the Sandy Hook school shootings in 2012. After Emilie’s death, Alissa began TheParkerFive blog as a tool to express the emotions she and her family experienced throughout the grieving process. She is also the co-founder of SafeandSoundSchools.org, which helps people take action to make schools safer, and The Emilie Parker Art Connection, a charity helping local community art programs for children.

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Sweet is the Work Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

30 Mar, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sweet is the Work Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

Sweet is the Work: Lessons from the First Sister Missionaries

by Breanna Olaveson
Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Young women serving as missionaries today are carrying on a noble legacy of faith and dedication that extends back to the early days of the Church. But who were the brave women who paved the way for modern-day sister missionaries? In Sweet Is the Work, author Breanna Olaveson delves into a previously unexplored history that demonstrates the unique ability of women to carry out the errand of angels. Discover the powerful experiences of twelve of the earliest sister missionaries, from the first single proselytizing women in 1898 to some of the well known sisters in Church history who were themselves pioneering missionaries. The women highlighted in this volume demonstrate the valiant and noble history of sister missionaries in an account that is sure to inspire readers to boldly go forth to share the truths of the gospel.
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With short chapters which tell the stories of the first LDS women missionaries, Sweet is the Work is a wonderful historical primer. Where pictures were available, they were used to introduce readers to the names and faces of women who bravely told the Savior’s story and shared their voices throughout the world. Each of the 12 accounts was unique, with some sisters being formally set apart to do the work, and others serving alongside their husbands in a foreign land.

Olaveson uses a bit of a feminist touch which I didn’t care for, but overall, the tone was one of the pioneering spirit of those who roll up their sleeves and get to work. Interesting history recommended for all ages!

Blog Tour Schedule

Giveaway

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Understanding Your Endowment Blog Tour

22 Aug, 2015 by in adult 2 comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Understanding Your Endowment Blog Tour

Understanding Your Endowment

by Cory B. Jensen
Published by Cedar Fort on August 11, 2015
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 143
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Buy the Book
For many members of the church, the temple endowment remains something of a mystery. Yet when understood, the temple can function in our lives as a modern day Liahona, giving us our bearings in our mortal journey back to our Father. Understanding Your Endowment is packed with insights and keys, which can help you unlock the temple s purpose and meaning in your life. It will help you understand the blessings the Lord offers His children through His temples and will enrich your personal temple worship. Understanding Your Endowment examines topics such as covenant ceremonies, the initiatory ordinances, the endowment, and temple sealings in a manner that is plain and easy to understand while still respecting their sacred and confidential nature. Whether you are preparing to enter the temple for the first time or already attend regularly, your temple worship will be enhanced by reading this book.
Understanding-Your-Endowment-blog-tour
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Missionary Possible by Eric Rigby~ Blog Tour

13 Jul, 2015 by in cedar fort, eric rigby, missionary possible Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Missionary Possible by Eric Rigby~ Blog Tour

Missionary: Possible: Preparation Tips from New Testament Heroes

by Eric Rigby
Published by Cedar Fort on July 14, 2015
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, starts with you and the scriptures. Learn how ordinary people became extraordinary and how their stories can build your testimony and prepare you for serving the Lord. Funny and full of practical ideas you can use, this book is perfect for teens and young adults as it leads them through the scriptures and solidifies their testimonies and preparedness.
Missionary-Possible-blog-tour

Missionary: Possible is a short, easy to read handbook for future missionaries taking scriptural references from the New Testament. Eric Rigby uses a pattern found in Acts to invite readers to come to the Lord and ask “what would ye have me do?” and then to follow to promptings with faith. I enjoyed the stories from the field during his time as a missionary in Bulgaria.

Also, very useful are the note taking lined pages at the end of each chapter where readers can put their thoughts and action items. I learned about the Pentacost, Christ’s life with his apostles and how to be a better missionary.

 

About the Author

Eric Rigby finished his first book in the second grade. It was called “The Holey Street” and centered on the attempts of each student in his class as they tried to cross a street pockmarked with supernatural sinkholes (none survived). He has made great strides in storytelling since then. He and his wife are the proud parents of two sons and currently live in Utah.

See the full blog tour schedule here.

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Mighty Miracles by Breanna Olaveson~ Review

18 Jun, 2015 by in adult, covenant, matthew cowley Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mighty Miracles by Breanna Olaveson~ Review

Mighty Miracles

by Breanna Olaveson
Published by Covenant on May 4, 2015
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
We do have miracles today beyond imagination . . . What kinds of miracles do we have? All kinds revelations, visions, tongues, healings, special guidance and direction, evil spirits cast out. Where are they recorded? In the records of the Church, in journals, in news and magazine articles and in the minds and memories of many people. President Spencer W. Kimball

Elder Matthew Cowley witnessed and participated in countless miracles throughout his storied life. As an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from 1945 until his death in 1953, Matthew was among the most spiritually powerful and well-known of the Lord's servants. In this compilation of vignettes, taken from personal journals and correspondence, as well as the treasured memories of those who knew him best, the details of many of his most miraculous experiences, including healing the blind and witnessing the raising of the dead, are painted in vivid detail. From his early missionary work with the Maori people of New Zealand to his widespread influence as an Apostle, Matthew blessed the lives of Church members around the world with his gifts of faith and healing.

Sure to edify and uplift, this biographical portrait of one of the Lord's elect will inspire readers to recognize the mighty miracles in their own lives.

Mighty Miracles is a book that will likely stick with me for the rest of my life. It is the biography of Matthew Cowley, mission president and beloved healer who often traveled to Polynesia. Cowley is a family name for me, my 4th great grandfather being Mathias Cowley, so I was naturally drawn to this title. Told in short two or three page glimpses into Matthew’s life, this is an easy and inspiring read.

There are so many examples within Breanna Olaveson’s memoir that demonstrate miracles have not ceased in our day. I felt warm and comforted by a renewed faith while learning of Brother Cowley. I will pass this on to future generations as a reminder that the Lord works through his servants here on earth.

Author Biobreanna2

I’m a Mormon girl who likes to write. Welcome to the Facebook home of my news articles, blog posts, anecdotes and my upcoming book (coming in 2015).

I worked in the magazine industry before taking my writing from full-time to nap time with the birth of my first daughter. I now have two daughters and get to write a lot from home. I have the two best jobs in the world!

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Enslaved to Saved by W. Reid Litchfield Blog Tour Spotlight and Giveaway

20 May, 2015 by in enslaved to saved, non-fiction, w.reid litchfield Leave a comment

Enslaved to Saved by W. Reid Litchfield Blog Tour Spotlight and Giveaway

Enslaved to Saved

by W. Reid Litchfield
Published by Cedar Fort on May 12, 2015
Genres: Adult, Christian, Non- Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the Book
LDS people generally identify strongly with the idea of being servants of the Lord. Yet, where the KJV of the Bible reads ‘servant of Jesus Christ’ the original Greek in which the New Testament was written invariably reads ‘slave of Jesus Christ’. Although latter-day saints believe the Bible as far as it is translated correctly, most fail to understand the servant/slave translational nuance. This significantly limits the understanding of the original message of these important passages. Since the early saints truly considered themselves slaves of Christ, we as latter-day saints have much to learn from this perspective.

This book teaches the New Testament message that men are transformed from being slaves of sin, to slaves of Christ as they are redeemed by His atonement. It illustrates how frequently the New Testament equates conversion to the gospel to becoming a slave of Christ. It chronicles the many instances in which the early apostles and gospel narrators referred to themselves in this way. It also reviews the extensive Hebraic tradition, which held that man was the slave of God, and numerous instances where theme of slavery is found in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Anciently slavery was a condition that was worse than death, and associated with utter hopelessness and loss of control. Yet enslavement to Christ was paradoxically esteemed to be an essential element of conversion that brought joy, freedom and eternal life. By illustrating this metaphor from the context in which the New Testament was originally written, my book helps the reader gain new perspective into their relationship with their Redeemer, and more completely surrender their will to His.

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About the Author

W. Reid Litchfield is an endocrinologist from Henderson, Nevada. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University (B.S.) and University of Calgary (M.D.) and completed his endocrinology fellowship at Harvard Medical School. In addition to a number of scientific publications he has published medical history papers entitled On The Physical Death Of Jesus Christ and The Bittersweet Demise of Herod the Great. He is the recipient of numerous Top Doctor awards as well as professional awards for leadership in his community and medical society. You can find more of his writings and his blog at www.reidlitchfield.com.

Tour Schedule

May 13: Gospel Thoughts
May 14:
May 15:
May 16: Reidhead Random-ness
May 17:
May 18: Jorie Loves a Story • Mel’s Shelves
May 19: Readalot
May 20: Fire and Ice
May 21:
May 22: Live to Read
May 23: Lisa’s Research & Reviews
May 24: Cher Stuff
May 25:
May 26:
May 27: Novel-ties
May 28: Wit and Travesty

The Giveaway

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Finding Your Roots~ TV Series DVD Review

22 Dec, 2014 by in Finding Your Roots, movie review, PBS, Uncategorized Leave a comment

Finding Your Roots~ TV Series DVD Review

Finding Your Roots

on July 17, 2012
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
four-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the Book
The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of this 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates. Continuing on the quest begun in his previous projects, African American Lives, African American Lives 2 and Faces of America, Gates finds new ways to, as he says, "get into the DNA of American culture." He takes viewers along for the journey with one celebrity pair bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link. And he treks through layers of ancestral history to uncover the secrets and surprises of their family trees.

Gates' guest pairings include...
- Award-winning husband-and-wife actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, who are revealed to be distant cousins;
- New Orleans jazz masters and close friends Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis, whose European immigrant ancestors made very different choices in the slave-era South;
- Spiritual leaders Angela Buchdahl, Yasir Qadhi and Rick Warren, whose ancestors' paths to America were shaped by religious convictions; and
- Education superstar Geoffrey Canada and media legend Barbara Walters, who both rediscover family histories long obscured by forgotten name changes.

Gates shares the findings with each guest and travels with them as they process what they've learned. He accompanies musician John Legend to a rock concert, goes backstage on Broadway with Samuel L. Jackson, joins Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker as he reveals the root-seeking results to his parents, and trails Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Geoffrey Canada to memorable family reunions.

The series searches through several branches of the American past, leaving audiences all the more curious about their own background and eager to unearth their own family roots.

This DVD features subtitles in English (SDH)

I’ve spent the last two months watching episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?, so when I heard there was another genealogical series, this one put out by PBS, I wanted to give it a try. My family purchased the 3 disk series for me off of Amazon. I sat down to watch seasons 1 & 2 in marathon fashion. I enjoyed the narrator Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He is charming and well educated. However, about five episodes in, I started noticing a heavy handed slavery theme. It seems to me there is a definite political message over portrayed in each person’s family tree.

Gates wanted to track down any ancestor of each guest that owned slaves or participated in the civil war. At first, it was interesting, but then it got to be too much. Particularly political for me was the episode with Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon. On previous shows, many ordinary black citizens volunteered to have their ethnicity tested by 23and me. They were each asked to estimate in advance how African American, Native American or European they thought they really are. In this instance, the show took the 23andme DNA results folders into a High School classroom. Gates then proceeded to teach the students about the founding fathers and how they owned slaves.  I was not happy about the indoctrination and revisionist history theme, as well as having minors participate in discussing their DNA testing results on the spot in front of their peers at school. This was way over the top. I was watching the series with my family and as a mother, I would not want this happening in an every day classroom in America.

There is a strong message of “things are not what they seem” and color lines are blurry. Good message, but very persistent delivery. Overall, interesting look at paper trail and genetic genealogy, but I would not recommend watching the discs back to back. Watch them one at a time :)

Content: mild swearing “bleeped out”, civil war and civil rights violence and blood

My favorite episode thus far is one that is still available online.

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Decoding Our Past Through DNA… Secrets encoded in their genomes challenge these guests’ ideas about their families’ histories and their identities today. This episode features Jessica Alba, Anderson Cooper, Valerie Jarrett, Governor Deval Patrick and more.Premiered November 25, 2014. Go online and watch this one before it expires. I cried! Inspiring civil rights message and great discussion of unraveling family secrets through DNA testing.

Video expires December 26, 2014

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Review~ Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

03 Nov, 2014 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review~ Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

by Clark B. Hinckley
Published by Deseret Book on August 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 276
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
The story of Christopher Columbus has become so enshrouded in myth over the centuries, and so distorted by political correctness in recent decades, that the facts of his life remain largely a mystery to all but a handful of scholars.

And yet, author Clark B. Hinckley reminds us, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi suggests that Columbus stands out as "a man among the Gentiles." In fact, Lehi and Nephi describe only two specific individuals in their prophecy of the latter-day restoration of the gospel: Christopher Columbus and Joseph Smith.

Columbus himself wrote that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to undertake his great voyage of discovery; a claim some historians struggle to accept. But this candid and revealing look at the life of Christopher Columbus shows us a man with a great dream.

Through research into original Spanish texts and accounts written in Columbus's own hand, the author retraces the journeys of this dedicated explorer to uncover what may be the most remarkable aspect of Columbus's life: the degree to which he understood his prophetic mission and his place in history.

I picked up Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles by Clark B . Hinckley on Columbius Day in an effort to learn more about the man behind the holiday. The author has done meticulous research with sourced materials to paint a very different picture of the explorer from the one that is being pushed in today’s progressive history lessons. I wanted toe separate myth and legend from documented fact. Including new texts like Columbus’ “Libro de Las Profecias,” we learn that Columbus was a man led by God to unlock the path the to the new world navigating upon the ocean. Columbus himself wrote “with a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project… This was the fire that burned within me… Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Ghost… Urging me to press forward?

Born in Genoa Christopher Columbus was named after St. Christopher. His name literally means Christ – bearer. pgs 18-20 He was a man rejected time and time again until after much persistence, his request to sail in search of the East was finally granted. Packed with history, this offers an integrated view that Columbus was in fact a visionary man who truly felt led and guided. He was well-read and amazingly accurate in his method of navigation. As a history minor, I LOVED this book. I passed the lessons on to my children and we talked about the book in family home evening. Well written, interesting and thoughtfully researched.

About the AuthorClark_Hinckley

Clark B. Hinckley is a banker by vocation and a historian by avocation. A director of Zions First National Bank, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the Harvard Business School. He is a graduate and former faculty member of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

A former bishop and stake president, he presided over the Spain Barcelona Mission from 2009 to 2012. He and his wife, Kathleen Hansen Hinckley, have six children and eighteen grandchildren. They have lived in New York City, Michigan, and Arizona. They reside in Salt Lake City and serve in the baptistry of the Salt Lake Temple and teach Sunday School.

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Candy Canes & Christmastime by Linda Hoffman Kimball~ Blog Tour

24 Oct, 2014 by in adult, candy canes and christmastime, christmas, compilation Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Candy Canes & Christmastime by Linda Hoffman Kimball~ Blog Tour

Candy Canes and Christmastime: Enhancing the Holidays in the Real World,

by Linda Hoffman Kimball
Published by Cedar Fort on 2014
Genres: Adult, Christmas, Non- Fiction
Pages: 178
Format: Paperback
three-half-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Goodreads
If the holiday rush has you feeling like you’ve been run over by a reindeer, this is the book for you! Linda Hoffman Kimball presents a compilation of heartfelt and humorous stories and ideas that help families refocus on the sacredness of the season. Discover unique traditions, fresh ideas, practical tips, and spiritual insights so that your family can get back on track.

A diverse compilation of stories to help us remember the real reason for Christmas and to remind mothers who try to do it all to simplify and just enjoy. Many of of the stories are pulled from previous magazine publications.

I really loved the graphic and cover design of the book, as well as the wide range of voices and recipes.

Some of the hand illustrated clip art didn’t quite fit the stories, and the graphics on the pages seemed a bit misplaced. I would love to have seen a table of contents of the authors with their articles, instead of having them listed separately. Overall, aside from the small editing and organization issues, this would be a great gift and stocking stuffer.

About the Authorkimball_linda

Linda Hoffman Kimball has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a crayon. She came to writing as a creative passion (rather than a requirement for studies) when she realized that storing words took up much less space than storing art. At age 10 she won a Celebrity Look-Alike contest for her costumed portrayal of Bullwinkle the Moose. Other childhood art competitions earned her a Kissy Doll and a transistor radio. With those early triumphs she knew her career would be down the riches-laden path of the arts.

Raised in the midwest and paying property taxes there as well as in New England and the Rocky Mountains, Linda loves to travel to visit or host her family and friends. She earned a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA from Boston University. She and her husband have three grown children who have provided much fodder for her material over the years.

Blog Tour Schedule

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Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

04 Oct, 2014 by in deseret book, Focused, Noelle Pikus- Pace Leave a comment

Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track, One Choice at a Time

Published by Deseret Book on September 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS, Non- Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Where are your choices leading you? Regardless of our circumstances, each moment presents us with decision to make. It doesn't matter what question, trial, or success we experience—each traces back to a choice. At any given moment, we can choose to doubt, fear, worry; to be prideful, angry, depressed, or miserable—or we can choose to move forward. We can choose to be a light. We can choose to be happy. The choice is always ours, and each choice can be a step forward on the path of life we want for ourselves.

The life lessons learned by Olympic athlete Noelle Pikus Pace can equip each of us to turn daily choices and challenges into opportunities for growth. In her warm and relatable style, Noelle shares touching personal stories and teaches how these experiences can help us keep a healthy perspective on the things that matter most. She helps us to see that though all of our goals and trials are different, we each can choose to become the best versions of ourselves one day at a time.

Covering topics from letting go of expectations and pressures to finding a healthy life balance, from standing up for ourselves to standing for righteousness, world champion Noelle Pikus Pace infuses readers with the enthusiasm and confidence to get a little closer to their goals each and every day.

Never has a book been more timely than Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace is for this generation. A silver medal US Olympic skeleton racer, Pikus Pace shares her wisdom with youth as well as her life experiences. In 2006 she was badly injured by a bobsled and had a huge mountain to climb to make it back on the track.Like, all of us, she has faced moral dilemmas, ups and downs, but she remained focused on what matters most.

Noelle shares how important it is to step outside our comfort zone and friendship others. She shares her personal struggle with miscarriage and returning to the track after an answer to prayer. She reminds youth to be modest, to be an example and to let your light shine.

I read this book full of quotes, photos and inspirational graphics in one sitting. It is one I will passing on to my daughters and sons. I cried along with her when she finally grasped her Olympic medal dream, with YW medallion also around her neck on the awards podium. Her temple medallion reminds all of us…”You are more precious than rubies.”
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The Q& A Event

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Noelle absolutely shines when you meet her in person. I had the opportunity to met her at a Deseret Book event and she wanted all of us to see and feel her medal, to feel a part of her victory. She is an amazing example of faith and love. If you ever get the chance…GO see her!

See More Photos and Deseret News Media Coverage From The Event Here (we are in photo nine)

Favorite Quote

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with the whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 “It isn’t always easy to be the one and only standing up for something you believe in. But I can promise you that it is much easier to stand with courage in the days to come if you decide now, today, in this moment, who you are and what you stand for.” ~Noelle Pikus Pace, {Focused} page 67

About the Authornoelle_pikus_pace

NOELLE PIKUS PACE became the first American woman to win the Overall World Cup Title in skeleton in 2005. After playing a variety of sports through high school and college, her exceptional strength in skeleton made her favored to win the gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics. An unfortunate accident prevented her from competing, but the following year she came back to win the World Championships by the largest margin in the history of the sport. Noelle competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the top U.S. finisher, placing fourth.

She retired after the Olympics to spend more time with her family. Following a miscarriage in April of 2012, Noelle and her husband, Janson, decided that she would try one last time to earn an Olympic medal, on the condition that the family would all travel together. Competing in 32 national and international competitions over two years, Noelle finished on the podium 29 times and concluded her career by triumphantly winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and jumping into the stand to share the moment with her family and the world.

Noelle earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master of business administration degree in 2007. Noelle and Janson have two children, Lacee and Traycen.

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