November 25, 2015

Fall Reads: The Christmas Joy Ride


The Christmas Joy Ride
by Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
Pub. Date: September 1, 2015
ISBN: 978-0800719678
Pages: 176
Buy Link: Amazon


Yep, I'm trying to get through my Grinch-like mood by reading a few holiday-themed books this month. You might recall me reading The Christmas Cat last year. Well, the author, Melody Carlson, has published another book titled, The Christmas Joy Ride, which can be purchased at most bookstores.

The novella centers on an Miranda Fortner, who is currently unemployed and is now fearing that the bank will foreclose on her home. Her 85-year-old neighbor, Joy Jorgenson, has sold her own house and is moving to a assisted living place in Phoenix, so she can be near her sons. Miranda is shocked when she learns how Joy is going to get to there - she's going to drive her old RV, which is covered in Christmas decorations, 2,000 miles to Phenoix!

Joy has a mission to deliver gifts to six people that had each won a contest on her blog. There is no way that Miranda is going to let her drive across the country all by herself, so she packs her bags and joins Joy on the trip.
November 24, 2015

DVD Review: A Christmas Horror Story

A Christmas Horror Story
Directors: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan
Cast: William Shatner, George Buza, Rob Archer
Studio: RLJ Entertainment
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Retail: $27.97
Running Time: 107 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD on Tuesday November 24th, is the horror holiday flick A Christmas Horror Story. Directed by Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan, the film stars William Shatner, George Buza, Rob Archer. The single-disc DVD features Behind-The Scenes Of A Christmas Horror Story featurette.

If you've been following my blog lately, then you would know that I don't exactly have the Christmas spirit yet, so the last thing that I want to do is watch a Christmas movie. Nevertheless, for the some reason I've watched two holiday-themed movies over the last few days, which one of the two happens to be the horror anthology, A Christmas Horror Story.

The anthology features four different stories, which are all wrapped together with scenes with William Shatner as a radio DJ, where he's warning his listeners to avoid the mall as there is a someone wearing a Santa Claus suit has taken shoppers hostage.

The first story centers on three kids - Molly (played by Zoe De Grand Masion), Ben (played by Alex Ozerov) and Dylan (Shannon Kook) on a ghost hunt in a school basement, where two other teens were brutally murdered a year before on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately for them, the ghost stories are true and the kids might not make it through the night alive.


One of the first cops who investigated the Christmas Eve murders was Scott (played by Adrian Holmes). Now he has his own set of problems with his seven-year-old son, Will (played by Orion John). The boy has been acting weird ever since he went missing for a few minutes when Scott and his wife, Kim (played by Oluniké Adeliyi), went Christmas tree hunting in the woods. To find out, something else has replaced their son and they'll have to fight to survive the night.

Angels Sing DVD Review & Giveaway

Angels Sing
Director: Tim McCanlies
Cast: Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson
Studio: LionsGate
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 90
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon


If you haven't noticed, the Hallmark channel has been playing Christmas movies nonstop all month and will continue into the New Year. On December 1st, Hallmark will repeat the 2013 holiday drama Angels Sing, which originally premiered on the channel in July 2014. Directed by Tim McCanlies, the film stars Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton (Nashville), Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. The film is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.

Based on the novel When Angels Sing by Turk Pipkin, Harry Connick, Jr. plays Michael Walker, who dreads the holidays each year, mostly due to a devastating event that happened during his childhood. While his father (played by Kirs Kristofferson) has been trying to spread the Christmas spirit to him over the years, it never works.

After Thanksgiving Day, Michael and his wife Susan (played by Connie Britton) begin looking for a new place to live, but they haven't had much luck. While driving, Michael suddenly comes across a "for sale" sign in the yard in front of a beautiful house. Though he knows the house has to be way out of his price range, he talks to the owner, Nick (played by Willie Nelson) and makes an offer for the place. To his surprise, Nick accepts the offer.

Shortly after moving into their new home, Michael, Susan and their son David (played by Chandler Canterbury) quickly realizes that this isn't a normally neighborhood as everyone living there goes a little overboard with Christmas. Griffin (played by Lyle Lovett) is the first to knock on their door with a welcoming gift - a box of decorations. Other neighbors greet the Walker family and all of them drop off decorations as well.

Fall Reads: Now & Forever by Mary Connealy

Now & Forever
Wild at Heart, book two
by Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: June 2, 2015
ISBN: 978-0764211799
Pages: 336
Buy Link: Amazon


One of my favorite genres to read over the last few years has been western-romances, so whenever I see any romance novels set in the 1800s, I automatically sign up to review it. One of my favorite authors who writes these kinds of books is Mary Connealy. During the summer, she released the second book int he Wild at Heart series, titled Now & Forever.

Set in the Dakota Territory/Idaho Territory Border in the year 1866, the novel centers on a tomboy named Shannon Wilde. She's the middle sister of her family who absolutely loves all animals. Along with her other two sisters, they were forced to join the Civil War disguised as men. She now has her own homestead and is raising sheep on her land. The last thing she ever wanted was a man, but that all changes when her path crosses with Matthew Tucker.

Matthew is a lost soul who went into the wilderness with the intention of getting away from the world, but after he almost bumps into a grizzly bear, the beautiful Shannon comes out of nowhere. She saves his life by jumping with him off of a cliff and into the Slaughter River. Before he can even breathe, he finds himself married to Shannon.

November 23, 2015

Two Simple Tips to Help You Get Ready For Thanksgiving!

I'm sure many of you are still scrambling around to get your house in working order and spic & span for Thanksgiving day, so I thought I would mention two simple tips that can help you out.

Steam Mop Your Carpets!

Simply vacuuming your carpet won't get rid of those tough stains, so the best way to remove them is with a steam cleaner.  The SKG Steam Mop is a multi-use steamer that will clean class, tables, sofas and carpets. It's a great way to make sure your house is clean for Thanksgiving Day!

Get a Good Bread Machine!

Book Blast: Chronicles of Ara: Creation

Chronicles of Ara: Creation
by Joel Eisenbergand Stephen Hillard
Publisher: Incorgnito Publishing Press
Pub. Date: February 15, 2015
ISBN: 978-0986195334
Pages: 356
Buy link: The Chronicles of Ara: Creation

About the book:

When J.R.R. Tolkien is summoned to authenticate a recently-discovered "lost" book of Beowulf, events are set in motion that years later will unveil an imminent tragedy: The entirety of the world's art and invention has been inspired by a corrupted muse, who has implanted a series of codes within the works of history's most influential authors, warning of humanity's end and a new dawn of time.

Billy's Thoughts:

I don't read very man fantasy-type novels, but The Chronicles of Ara: Creation caught my attention from the get go, starting with it's cool cover art. While using real-life authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll, in the book might feel like unoriginal to some, for me, it turned out to the be complete opposite. What starts out as a simple quest to find the long-lost "Beowulf," leads to a brand new world of dragons, dragon slayers and a mysterious goddess.

The first half the novel reminds somewhat of the Johnny Depp horror-flick The Ninth Gate, though the rest of the novel is a completely original tale. While I wouldn't say it's a perfect novel like The Hobbit or the Harry Potter books, it's a pretty good read for the most part. It would be interesting to see a film or television (like HBO or Starz) of the novel.

Fall Reads: Steadfast Heart by Tracie Peterson

Steadfast Heart
Brides of Seattle, Book 1
by Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: January 6, 2015
ISBN: 978-0764213014
Pages: 336
Buy Link: Amazon

My journey to clear off all the book on desk continues with my review for the novel Steadfast Heart by author Tracie Peterson. The book was released back January. Yeah, I know I'm really late with the review. I barely remember reading the book back January, so I had to reread the title over the weekend.

Set in 1888, Steadfast Heart centers on twenty-year-old Lenore Fulcher, who would like to fall in love with the man she is supposed to marry instead of being stuck in an arranged marriage to a 37 year-old just to make her father happy. The future husband is one of her father's business partners and she has no say so in the arrangement.

Out of the blue, Kolbein Booth, a lawyer from Chicago, arrives in city to search for his missing young sister, whom he believes has signed up for a mail-order bride program. His search leads him to the Madison Bridal School, but he is disappointed to learn that his sister isn't there at all. However, this is where he meets the beautiful Lenore Flucher, which the two fall in love with each other.

Espresso & Coffee Candy & Mugs Set Review

While my blog's Holiday Gift Guide won't officially kickoff until Black Friday, I thought I would a feature a review for a nifty gift idea that would be perfect for a friend or family member that is hard to buy for.

Earlier this month, I was sent the Espresso & Coffee Candy & Mugs Set which features 2 Antique Vintage Green Cups, 1 Balis Best Espresso Candy (5.3 oz bag), Balis Best Coffee Candy (5.3 oz bag), 1 Dual Speed Hand-held Milk Frother and a Coffee Clip/Scoop. The set is being sold on Amazon for $31.97!

Being a big coffee drinker, I do have several mugs; some I collect and others I drink out of. The two green mugs in this set are high-quality with a very simple design. I especially like the rustic color around the brim each of cup.

I had been using a small plastic tablespoon to scoop my coffee grounds, which I sometimes accidentally misplace. This Coffee Clip/Scoop is well-constructed and features an extra long handle, which you can use to clip onto a coffee bag, so maybe I won't lose this one.

The Dual Speed Hand-held Milk Frother is well-constructed too. If features two speeds - Low and High. It requires two AA batteries (not included). A frother is used to foam milk for hot chocolate or it can be used to foam creams for coffee drinks.


Angels Sing DVD
Ends Dec. 7th

Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

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Leave it on the shelf!

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