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Monday, December 31

This Year: Dream Bigger, Start Smaller By Steven Furtick

I’ve met a lot of people who knew what it was to burn plows and set out to live for God but didn’t know what to do next. They prayed, they made a commitment—and they got stuck. As a pastor, I’ve seen it over and over again. As a man trying to live for God, I’ve experienced it over and over again.

I’m guessing you’ve made plenty of resolutions about stuff you needed to start doing or stop doing. Maybe you were going to start praying or reading your Bible more.

Or maybe you were going to stop smoking or boycott carbohydrates or stop looking at pornography or stop saying mean things about family members behind their backs. Maybe you decided to break away from a relationship you knew was unhealthy for you.

The way I see it, there are two major reasons why well-intentioned people like us get stuck after we burn our plows.

One, we don’t think big enough. Two, we don’t start small enough.
 

Saturday, December 29

A Little Luck of the Irish for 2013


Well, we survived the 2012 apocalypse and many of us survived the madness of the holiday season. Before we can even blink, Valentine's Day will roll on by, leaving us with just over a month until St. Patrick's Day, you know, the holiday where if you don't wear green you'll be pinched to death. Oh wait, that was in back in elementary school. 

As we all know St. Patrick's Day is the day to celebrate the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death. As adults, we look forward to attending the religious services, parades, and of course the traditional glass of artificially colored green beer. And you still might get pinched by people who still believe that wearing green will make you invisible to Leprechauns.

Friday, December 28

Why The Undead Are Still Alive by Lindsay J. Pryor


I’m a British author of dark, paranormal romances. The first three books in my Blackthorn series were recently bought by London publisher, Bookouture. The first two are about vampires – the ‘romantic’ type, in an ever-so-slightly disturbing type of way. And I love my genre. Because of that, I can’t help but feel defensive when others say this vampire obsession is just a trend – that fans will eventually get bored. That this current epidemic will fade to nothing.

The evidence screams everything to the contrary.

Vampires are embedded in our society’s psyche. In fact, they’re embedded in the psyche of many societies outside our own. Nearly every country on our planet has its own version of the vampire myth. Even before Dracula was penned over a century ago, real tales of vampirism had been rife in Eastern Europe for decades. And when those stories (along with the Serbian term ‘Vampire’) infiltrated our society in the 1800’s, apparently any newspaper containing such tales sold by the bucket load. But why? Admit it or not, on some level we all have an instinct to be fascinated with the mysterious and the macabre. We’re all a little bit intrigued by the supernatural, not least our lack of ability to explain it.

So what is it about vampires in particular? What is it that has made them such an iconic romantic figure? Whether it’s the social fascination with bad boys or the psychoanalytic view that vampire fantasies are no more than subliminal repressed sexual fantasies, vampires have got an incessant appeal. But let’s be honest, our current vampiric heroes are a long way from archaic tales of hairless beasts with protruding ratty teeth and rank breath. So when did it change?

The Friday 56 - An Angel by Her Side



Rules:
Grab a book, any book. 
Turn to page 56. 
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. 
Post it. 
Add your (url) post below in the Linky at http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, December 27

I Recommend .....




Bloggers of the Week: The Book Asylum and Bookworms Avenue

Question of the Week: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?

Wednesday, December 26

Resolve to Love By Kerry and Chris Shook

Right now, there are three relationships in your life that trouble you. Perhaps a good friend said something to you yesterday. It felt critical, but you’re not sure what she meant. The two of you used to be so close, but lately you’ve been drifting apart. Something’s not right. Oh, and your mother called. There’s that. You know you should return her call, but you haven’t. Why? You know there are things you should have said before, you avoided them, and now you feel it’s too late. It’s always so hard with her. Always messy. And then...your son has been missing. Not missing physically, but he’s been distant, quiet, silent. Missing emotionally. What’s that about? What’s going on in his life? You want to reach out, but he pushes you away. It worries you.

Maybe the relationships in your life aren’t exactly like these, but I’m guessing these remind you of someone close to you, a problem relationship in your life right now. Maybe it’s not your mother but your father, perhaps not your son but a daughter-in-law. It could be your best friend. Whoever it is, he or she is someone who matters to you—or else the relationship wouldn’t trouble you, gnaw at you on the inside, make you question and grumble, or even bring you to tears.

So take a moment and think, who are these three key people in your life? Which meaningful relationships are troubling you? Relationships you wish were closer. Relationships you’d like to be deeper and richer. Relationships that trouble you, bother you, even make you a little crazy right now.

Tuesday, December 25

12 Pearls of Christmas - Tracey Eyster

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
Does It Even Matter?
By Tracey Eyster

Monday, December 24

12 Pearls of Christmas - Carla Anne Coroy

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
Just Like Mary
By Carla Anne Coroy

Sunday, December 23

Capital Bride Book Blast

Introducing Cynthia Woolf's 
CAPITAL BRIDE
Unexpectedly homeless, un-wed mother Sarah Johnson has few options.  They could go live with her cousin William, but Sara believes there’s something untoward about his offer and it leaves her feeling uncomfortable.  She's qualified to be a governess, but no one will have her because she wasn't married when she had her precious MaryAnn.  Matchmaker & Co could be her salvation as mail-order-bride to Mr. John Atwood.

Single father, John Atwood, is raising his daughter the best he can in the wilds of the Colorado Territory but knows he needs help.  No woman he knows wants to take on the raising of his daughter who hasn't spoken since she saw her mother brutally murdered during a bank robbery.  Can Sarah, John and their two daughters overcome their pasts and find happiness together?

Review - Vicious Circle

Vicious Circle
By Linda Robertson
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: June 30, 2009
ISBN: 978-1439154281
ASIN: B002CT0TS0
Pages: 384

Review:  

I had a limited knowledge of what fantasy/paranormal books were out in the market. I grew up reading a few Anne Rice books and I was addicted to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in novels, but I only began reading paranormal a few years ago starting with the Southern Vampire Mysteries. When Pocket Books offered me to review the Persephone Alcmedi series by Linda Robertson, I eagerly accepted.

Vampires, werewolves, faeries and witches have already been outed out in Vicious Circle. The main heroine is Persephone Alcmedi (or as her friends call her, Seph), whom pays her bills by writing a syndicated newspaper column under an alias, reading Tarot cards, and running a werewolves' kenneling service in her basement on full moons. Her life is busy and it becomes even busier when her Nana moves in with her. Oh, I forgot to mention that she also practices witchcraft.

In this world, vampires are the higher ups in society, faeries keep to themselves and werewolves are treated as second class, which is one of the reasons Persephone has taken an interest in helping them.

12 Pearls of Christmas - Tricia Gover

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
Christmas Mourning
By Tricia Goyer

Saturday, December 22

12 Pearls of Christmas - Charissa Steyn

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
The ADVENTure Awaits You!
By Charissa Steyn

Friday, December 21

Book Blast - Winter's Magic


Winter’s Magic
By Cynthia Gail

BLURB:

Beth Sergeant and Nick Chester come from opposite ends of the social food chain. While he sees a rare beautiful woman without an agenda, she sees a wealthy playboy. Can he convince her to let go of her insecurities and take a chance on love, when challenges from his past force her to reveal her most guarded secret?

Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.

After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.

 Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick's dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick's past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.

12 Pearls of Christmas - Cara Putman

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
Quieted in His Presence
By Cara Putman

The Friday 56 - Hallowed Circle



Rules:
Grab a book, any book. 
Turn to page 56. 
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. 
Post it. 
Add your (url) post below in the Linky at http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/.

What I Didn't Know About Blogging?


 Bloggers of the week: JC's Book Haven and Lit-Rate-Ture!

Question of the week: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?

Thursday, December 20

Book Excerpt - Over the Mountain and Back


BLURB: 

With his father gone missing and his mother losing her grip on reality, Peter Bailey’s life is nopicnic. Peter’s gray existence changes unexpectedly after he takes his new snowboard for a ride in the mountains of Colorado and is stunned to find himself in Transadonia – a hidden world that coexists alongside with the Earth.

Lara Grover never listened to her elders, so warnings like “do not talk to strangers” mean nothing to her. When a boy from an unknown world saves her from an avalanche with the aid of a snow dragon, Lara is not stunned in the least. Instead, she joins Peter on his quest to help him realize the purpose behind his arrival to Transadonia.

Together, Lara and Peter embark on an adventure filled with perils, trickery, betrayals, and unexpected alliances.

Interview with author Vivenne Westlake


What or whom inspired you to become a writer? 

I’ve loved writing since I was a child. I used to have a typewriter that my grandparents bought me and I would write stories or make up a newspaper on it. But as far as my career in romance, I would say my inspiration was Elizabeth Lowell and Amanda Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz). The first romance I ever read was Only His and I fell in love with it and decided I wanted to write romance, too. 

What types of books do you read? 

My house is filled with books. Most of my books are research related. I collect books on the Tudor period, Middle Ages, Victorian England, and Regency England. As far as romance, I like erotic, paranormal, and historical romance. Thrillers and mysteries are fun to read. I also collect self-improvement and spirituality texts. 

What well-known authors do you admire most? 

I have a lot of authors that I enjoy reading, but as far as someone I really admire, I am grateful to Beverly Jenkins. Beverly has been writing African-American historical romance for decades. She was the first person I ever saw writing it and as a teenager, I loved reading her books, loved that someone had the courage and foresight to write them. 

What were your writing habits while writing A Marquess for Christmas? 

12 Pearls of Christmas - Julie Lessman

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
When God Wraps a Present . . .
By Julie Lessman

Wednesday, December 19

Super Book Blast - The Christmas Dare


Blurb:


Self-professed Christmas addict Gia Dixon, and by-the-book Ethan Castle have been best friends all their lives. When tragedy strikes Ethan’s family, Gia’s the rock he depends on to pull him through the darkest days. Then, a shared, long-forgotten memory leads to an unexpected yet tender kiss. Can a simple Christmas dare help them find true love?

Excerpt: 


Funny how times had changed, Gia thought to herself. How was it possible to have gone all these years and not have thought of him romantically? Yet now all she wanted to do was steal a minute alone to kiss him again. Or more.

She saw headlights coming down the road and opened the door, preparing to walk out to meet him.

“No, ma’am,” she heard Ethan call out. He was already getting out of his Jeep and motioned for her to turn around and go back inside.

ARC Review - Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine

Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine
By Sands Hetherington
Publisher:Dune Buggy Press
Pub. Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0984741724
Pages: 320

Review:

Earlier this year, I reviewed the delightful children's book titled Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare for a book tour, and last month, Bostick Communications and Dune Buggy Press nicely sent me an advanced copy of the sequel in exchange for my honest review.

Crosley, the red crocodile in a yellow jacket and his young friend John Degraffenreidt are back in Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine. Picking up where the first left off, Crosley returns to John's house for their second Night Buddies program. Once again, time is almost still inside the Degraffenredit home, making it easier for John to leave for his new mission along with Crosley as when he returns only a few seconds would have gone by.

Crosley is in shock when he checks into the Night Buddies Headquarters as it seems he had already checked in earlier that night. How could this be? Did he forget that he already checked in?

12 Pearls of Christmas - Leslie Gould

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
Year of Adversity Brings Joy
By Leslie Gould

Tuesday, December 18

Review - Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
By James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date: November 12, 2012
ISBN: 978-0316210683
ASIN: B007BGQBFY
Pages: 352

Review:

It’s been several years since I have read a James Patterson novel. My grandmother was a huge fan of his books and after her death I have continued to buy each new release. The latest Alex Cross novel has been sitting on my coffee table for a few weeks. With some free time on my hands, I started reading it yesterday afternoon.

In his nineteenth outing, Detective Alex Cross is looking forward to spending a quite Christmas Eve with his family, but one phone call will change his holiday plans. A distraught man, Henry Fowler, forced himself into his ex-wife's home on Christmas Eve. Henry has taken her hostage along with her new husband, Dr. Barry Nicholson, and her three children. Alex knows that man is on a short fuse and could begin killing the hostages at any second, but Alex is their only hope of surviving the night.

Just as Alex is ready to return home to his family, an enemy from his past emerges from the shadows and intends on bring deaths millions.

12 Pearls of Christmas - Glynnis Whitwer

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
Will They Know What it Cost?
By Glynnis Whitwer

Monday, December 17

Three Things That Really Get Done During Christmas Vacation by Suzan Butler


We see all these blog posts about what to do with our time during those two weeks when the kids are out of school and you’re trying to spend that vacation time before the end of the year. We all have grand ideas about cruises and skiing and visiting family and such.

In my book, O Christmas Three, my characters did exactly that. They packed up and spent Christmas in a lovely cabin in the woods. But unfortunately, that’s not possible for people the majority of the time. We have obligations at home, kids that have things going on, or pets that need tending to, or maybe we’re just not in the financial position to go anywhere that year.

Here’s three things I do during Christmas vacation:

12 Pearls of Christmas - Margaret McSweeney

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
A Mistletoe Medley
By Margaret McSweeney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days Coming to Blu-ray and DVD 12/18 Alternate Ending


Sunday, December 16

12 Pearls of Christmas - Debora M. Cotv

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
Who is Mr. Carbunkle?
By: Debora M. Coty

Review - Changing Fate Through Reincarnation

Changing Fate Through Reincarnation
By Gerald Sze
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pub. Date: November 30, 2012
ISBN: 978-1938690150 
Pages: 328

Review:

A few months ago, out of the blue, I received Changing Fate Through Reincarnation in the mail. I review many books a month from authors, publicity groups, and publishers, so occasionally I forget about agreeing to review a book, but it turns out that I didn't agree to review the book at all. I received an email from Two Harbors Press's publicity a few weeks later asking me to review the book in exchange for my honest review.

Even though I'm a Christian, I do occasionally read about other religions. Changing Fate Through Reincarnation is a mix of Buddhism, Western science and Han Chinese that the author has weaved together to help others have a more meaningful life. Have you ever heard of Karma? The basic principle is that if you’re nice to others, nice things will happen to you. The premise of the book is that a person can completely change his or hers life in the present by changing the way he or she thinks and how he or she reacts to everything and everyone.

Saturday, December 15

12 Pearls of Christmas - Christy Fitzwater


Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
An Inexpensive New Christmas Tradition
By: Christy Fitzwater

Willow coming to Blu-ray in 2013!



Lucasfilm and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are release of WILLOW on Blu-ray for the first time on March 12th, 2013! 

Friday, December 14

Book Blogger Hop December 14th-20th

The Book Blogger Hop meme was created by Jen from Crazy For Books and nicely let me be the guest host for this week. Read the history and rules for the meme here. 


What to do:

12 Pearls of Christmas - Susan May Warren

Welcome to the12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***
God with Us . . . And Us with Him
By: Susan May Warren

Review - A Hidden Truth

A Hidden Truth
By Judith Miller
Publisher: Bethany House 
Pub. Date: September 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-0764210006
ASIN: B008B9HGI6
Pages: 352

Review: 

Over the years, I have become a fan of historical fiction, many involving the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Shakers, but I have never read a book about the Amana Colonies. A Hidden Truth by Judith Miller is about the Amana Colonies and is one of the reasons why I wanted to review it, courtesy of Bethany House in exchange of my honest review.

A Hidden Truth takes place in East Amana, Iowa in 1892 and centers on two women, Karlina Richter and Dovie Cates. The colonies are very strict, with no access to the outside world or the "outsiders". Karlina has lived all her life in Amana, but has always been curious of what life was like outside the colonies.

Just as her father wants to move from Ohio to Texas, Dovie Cates gets permission to visit the Amana Colonies, where her birth mother grew up. She wants to learn more about her mother's past. She stays with the Richter family.

The Friday 56 - The Intercept



Rules:
Grab a book, any book. 
Turn to page 56. 
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. 
Post it. 
Add your (url) post below in the Linky at http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, December 13

What Book Made Me Cry?


Bloggers of the Week: My Library In the Making and Read, Breath, Read, Everyday.

Question of the week: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene…

My Top 5 Favorite Christmas Films

  • 5. A Christmas Story - This 1983 film is based on the short stories by Jean Shepherd (who also does the film's narration) and is played for twenty-fours straight on TBS around Christmastime. I've seen the movie probably a half dozen times before I found out that my parents had never seen the movie before. I bought it on DVD  several years ago and made them watch it. My dad didn't care for it, but mom thought it was funny. I think every kid can related to what Ralphie went through just to get that perfect gift that he dreamed of.

  • 4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - I remember going with my parents and grandparents to see Christmas Vacation at the theater back in 1989 (Just writing this makes me feel old.). It is the third film out four of the National Lampoon Vacation series and it is the best out of the sequels. It later spawned a spin-off sequel with Cousin Eddie, but it was dreadful to watch. Christmas Vacation is played to death thanks to CMT and Comedy Central. I would rather watch the unedited version on DVD. 

Wednesday, December 12

My Top 5 Holiday Cartoons

When my parents first got a VCR in the 1980s, my mom recorded all the Christmas animated specials, with the commercials taken out, onto one VHS tape. I would watch it every year during the holidays until a certain age when I lost interest in cartoons. As an adult, I attempted to watch these classics on basic television, but I was disappointed that some of my favorite scenes were deleted in exchange for advertisement. Over the years I have bought most of these childhood classics on DVD.

Honorable mentions that didn't make the list are: How a Grinch Stole Christmas, Bah, HumDuck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas, Pluto's Christmas Tree, and Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. 


  • 5. A Charlie Brown Christmas - This is one of the few Christmas specials that is still aired every year and is one that drove my mom crazy when I was young because she found Charlie Brown to be annoying. After forty-seven-years since it debuted, it still receives millions of viewers. It is one of the few cartoons that gives kids the real meaning of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11

Do You Remember Those Ugly Sweaters?


Do you remember Ralphie having to wear the ugly pink bunny pajamas in the 1983 classic A Christmas Story? As a kid, do you remember receiving those awkward homemade sweaters from your mother, aunt, or grandmother? If you were one of the lucky ones, then you avoided the embarrassment of wearing the sweater to school after the holiday break.

Now you can have a chance to wear a Christmas tee shirts for your Ugly Christmas Sweat Party this year. AM T-Shirts kindly sent me a black men's XL t-shirt called "Fiery Night" for free in exchange for my honest review.

I received the shirt in the mail in less than a week. The design really is ugly, but in a cool kind of way with the Godzilla wearing a Santa hat battling a tank and planes. The green, red, and white colors will surely get everybody's attention when you walk into a room, whether it is a school party, an office party, or a family gathering. 

My Top 5 Guilty Pleasure Christmas Movies

  • 5. Christmas with the Kranks - I saw the movie when it originally came out back in 2004, which is based on the non-lawyer novel by John Grisham. The movie centers on the Kranks (played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis), who decide to skip the holidays and take a trip instead. Yes, it is predictable, but it has its funny moments.

  • 4. The Santa Clause - I saw this movie starring Tim Allen eighteen-years-ago at the theater with my parents. I later owned a VHS version, but it went bad many years ago. Every year I look for it on DVD, but I could only find it in a 3-pack with the second and third films, which I already own on DVD. Luckily, I finally found The Santa Clause on DVD this year for ten dollars and it is just a funny as I remember it. 

Monday, December 10

A Gamer's Christmas Gift

Christmas is only two weeks away and the shopping days are numbered. If you have a gamer in the family, you might want think about getting a monthly subscription at $25 dollars a month for a new social networking site for online gamers called Face Up Gaming.

Face Up is a brand new entertainment group for playing online poker games, but besides from the month subscription fee, you never have to pay for anything else, unlike other online poker sites that want you to keep spending more money.

DVD Review - The Legend of Zelda: Ganon's Evil Tower

The Legend of Zelda: Ganon's Evil Tower
Studio: United American Video
Release Date: July 22, 2003
ASIN: B0000AZT6I
Running Time: 45 minutes

Review: 

During the middle 1980s and early 1990s there was an animation boom on television. Very few made it past the first season as was the fate of The Legend of Zelda, based on the popular video game, which aired as a fifteen minute segment during The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! on Fridays on mainly Fox stations in 1989. There were only thirteen episodes aired during the series run, but it aired for a few more years in syndication.

Even though I did own a Nintendo game system when I was a kid, I wasn't a big fan of The Legend of Zelda game, but I do recall watching the short-lived animated series. If I remember correctly the series aired in the mornings as I believed I watched it before going to school.

Sunday, December 9

CD Review - Hello My Name Is... Bridgit Mendler

Hello My Name Is...
Artist Bridgit Mendler
Label: Hollywood Records
ASIN: B008R14YBK
CD Release Date: October 22, 2012
Total Length: 42 minutes 11 seconds


It seems like every teen star of a Disney series will eventually bring out an album, such as Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, and others. Some have had a mild success at a singing career and others have bombed.

Now Bridget Mendler of Disney's Good Luck Charlie has released her debut album. One would think she would face the marketing curse of the other ex-Disney stars/singers, but unlike the others, Bridget actually co-wrote all twelve songs. 

I've been a fan of Disney's Good Luck Charlie every since it began airing in 2010. I was aware that Bridget Mendler, who plays Teddy Duncan, was releasing an album, but I just happened to stumble upon yesterday for ten dollars. I was having a bad day and listening to music always cheers me up, therefore I bought the Hello My Name is...Bridget Mendler.

Saturday, December 8

Guest Post - Best Ways and Places to Store Your K-Cups

Keurig Cups, or K-Cups, are very popular with coffee lovers. These individual cups allow you to easily brew your own personal cup of coffee, and there are many flavors to choose from. The problem with K-Cups is that they are often difficult to store, and you’ll like have about 20 or more cups scattered around your kitchen if you don't place them somewhere. This article will tell you the best places to store your K-Cups, and the more attractive ways to organize them.

Places
K-Cups are small. You can easily store them anywhere in your kitchen, but there are a few places that are best suited for K-Cup storage. If you prefer convenience or if you want to use an attractive display, then you should store the cups near the coffee maker. You can place the cups to the side of the coffee maker, or you can place them within arm’s length.

If you prefer organization or if you don’t have much available space on your counters, then you should store the K-Cups in a drawer or cabinet. These areas keep them out of sight, but they are still easy to access.

Layered Baskets and Boxes
If you are looking for organization without much flair, then layered baskets and boxes are perfect. There are many boxes and baskets without layers, and this can be useful if you just have one K-Cup flavor. At the same time, layered holders look much more attractive, organized and you can easily store your different K-Cups on different layers. For example, one layer can be for hazelnut while another is for regular coffee.