Friday, 30 November 2012

Guest Post with Author Michael Loyd Gray


What or whom inspired you to become a writer?

I’m not sure exactly when I decided to become a writer. Even though I began reading and enjoying reading at a very young age, I didn’t think at the time about writing. I even flunked out of college the first time. Too much beer, too many parties. But a few years after that I went back and finished and became a newspaper journalist – a professional writer getting paid to do it. It wasn’t until a few years before I went to graduate school that I started writing short stories. Now I have written eight novels and three have been published, but the first one was written just five years ago. Eight in five years—not bad. That’s the power of motivation and commitment. That’s how novels get written. You write on one every day and you never give up. You adopt Tom Petty’s lyrics as a mantra — “You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down.”

Interview with Chloe Carpenter from I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van Atta


1. Chloe, when people read about you in I Kissed a Dog, they seem to either adore you or hate you. How do you feel about that?

(soft laugh) I can’t say I’m surprised. I can be a bit of a brat, and my sarcasm hasn’t won me any awards. I think it was the way I was brought up. I was rushed off to a child psychologist simply for having strong feelings. I love my mom, my stepdad, too. They’re just so anti-emotion. I’m not sure how else to describe them. They weren’t sure how to handle me and my moodiness. Even as an adult, I’m sure my mood swings and strong opinions can be annoying, but let’s face it; I’ve been through a lot. I came out of my coma with more than the ability to chat with animals, as if that wasn’t enough; I was impacted in too many ways to possibly share. And to put it bluntly, I’m not here to win a popularity contest, most days I’m just trying to survive and stay out of trouble. I’m sorry if you find me offensive, bitchy, or annoying; I’m really not trying to be any of those things on purpose. Bottom line, though, knowing that Zane sees me as a “good woman” is what really matters. I’ll never forget the first time he called me that. (deep sigh) His love makes me a better person everyday we’re together. So there’s still hope the haters will grow to like me too. (more soft laughter)

2. Your feelings about Zane were pretty mixed up throughout your story, tell us about that, if you don’t mind … 

I really was confused, wasn’t I? My first major relationship ended so badly that I was terrified to get involved with another man, especially one who seemed so perfect. Zane is beyond gorgeous, he’s thoughtful, kind, charismatic, and he makes me feel like a princess. I guess I simply couldn’t believe he was for real. And if he was the real deal, why in the world would he want a mixed up, emotional woman like me? I guess my self esteem was suffering more than I care to admit. Then came the secrets. Big wolfy secrets. As a multi-cultural woman, I’m all for interracial relationships … but inter-species? I’ve definitely overcome that little concern. I love my werewolf. Now, anyway. I think at first I was confused because everything happened so fast. I’ve never been a big believer in love at first site, but when I saw Zane behind the wheel of that vintage Corvette, something clicked. And no matter how hard I tried to turn it off, the light (love) just kept shining brighter. Corny? Yes. But true. And the danger we faced together only served to strengthen our bond. 

3. What about Valamir, the master vampire? 

Wii U Nintendo Giveaway!


We have an exciting Giveaway for you! Just in time for the holidays. We are giving away a Wii U Nintendo gaming system. With the Wii U you can play games while experiencing up to full 1080p HD for the first-time ever on a Nintendo gaming console. And of course, you can interact and share with your friends, family, and the world! The Wii U Game Pad, which connects wirelessly, can also be used as the remote control for your TV.
The Wii U Nintendo Gaming System - New For 2012!

Mommy Bear Media has teamed up with several bloggers to bring you this fabulous prize. 2012 has been a year that we grew to love and respect bloggers, new customers, and social media. Through social media we have met many of you and we do know that many of you have purchased family friendly movies through us, and we thank you!

Mommy Bear Media is branching out- we will be bringing you family friendly video games in the very, very near future! You will want to stay tuned for this. Mommy Bear Media offers family themed entertainment to everyone in your family. Mommy Bear Media continues to educate and keep parents informed in regards to good, clean, family entertainment. This is sure to be one of the hottest items this holiday season!

We want you to win.....

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Friday 56 - Not Quite Dating



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/.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review - Walking on Water When You Feel Like You're Drowning

Walking on Water When You Feel Like You're Drowning
By Tommy Nelson and Steve Leavitt
Publisher: Tyndale House Books
Release Date: October 18, 2012
ISBN: 978-1589977228
ASIN: B008VTTYA4
Pages: 176

Review: 

I received Walking on Water When You Feel Like You're Drowning back in October courtesy of Tyndale House Books in exchange for my review. I meant to review the book earlier in the month, but I got swamped with other things and the book got shoved aside until I started reading it a few nights ago. The book covers anxiety & depression, which are something I have dealt with for most of my life and the reason why I wanted to review it in the first place.

Unlike the majority of anxiety/depression books that are written by doctors, Walking on Water is written by two men who have both experienced anxiety and depression. Tommy Nelson has been the senior pastor at the Denton Bible Church for past thrifty-five years and Steve Leavitt is a Christian Biblical counselor in New Braunfels, Texas. Together they have co-written Walking on Water which details their struggles with depression and how a biblical approach can help you crawl your way out of depression.

Anxiety and Depression can occur to anybody at anytime. Sometimes it is triggered from a life changing event, like being bullied or abused, or the death of a loved one. Other times stress can cause anxiety that leads to depression.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Blu-ray Review - The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Director: Peter Hedges
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams
Studio: Disney
Release Date: December 4, 2012
ASIN: B005LAIIL2
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 2 
Running Time: 105 minutes
Rated: PG

Review:

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is making its way onto DVD and Blu-ray on December 4th just in time for Christmas. I recall seeing a few advertisements for it when it was released to theaters, but I never got a chance to see it until I watched it on DVD last night. Disney was nice enough to send me an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

At first I thought The Odd Life of Timothy Green was based on a book, but I was mistaken as it was based on the concept by Ahmet Zappa. It was written and directed by Peter Hedges (What's Eating Gilbert Grape).

Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner star as Jim and Cindy Green, a couple living in the small drought-stricken town of Stanleyville, North Carolina. Jim spends his days working at the town's historic pencil factory while Cindy works at the local museum. The couple desperately wants to have children, but they find out they cannot conceive a child.

Heartbroken, they write down their dream child's characteristics onto pieces of paper, put the pieces into a wooden box and buried it in their garden.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Review - Resurrect

Resurrect
By David E. Stevens
Publisher: Monarch Books
Pub. Date:October 2, 2012
ISBN: 978-0857212498
ASIN: B008M4ISD2
Pages: 384
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/faaOD
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/DStevens

Review:  

Resurrect has been sitting on my desk for a few months, as I received a free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group and Monarch Books in exchange for an honest review, and I recently got around to reading it. The book is written by Commander David E. Stevens, a navy fighter pilot, and by the fighter jet on the book cover, I thought Resurrect might be a war novel, but I was completely wrong. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, so I'll leave the synopsis short.

Navy Commander Josh Logan is the main character in Resurrect and he is testing out a new fighter jet. After a malfunction, Logan quickly avoids crashing into civilians' homes, but ejects from the jet a few moments too late.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Music Review - Kelly Clarkson: Greatest Hits - Chapter One

Greatest Hits - Chapter One
By Kelly Clarkson
Label: RCA
Release Date: November 19, 2012
ASIN: B009LXEBD4


I wasn't even aware that Kelly had a new CD out until I stumbled upon it tonight at my local Walmart at their Black Friday (well, Thursday night) sale. I've been a fan of her music since she one the first season of American Idol. All of her best songs are here including my favorites, Behind These Hazel Eyes, Already Gone, Breakaway, and Don't You Want to Stay.

As a bonus there are three new songs, Catch My Breath, Don't Rush, and People Like Us. Her holiday song I'll be home for Christmas is also the CD. Overall, I really enjoyed listening to the CD and I recommend it to others.

The Songs Are:

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Music Review - Music From Another Dimension!

Music from Another Dimension!
By Aerosmith
Label: Columbia
Release Date: November 6, 2012
ASIN: B0085RQLXK

Review:

I saw Music From Another Dimension at Walmart a few weeks ago, but I it didn't pick it up until today during the Black Friday sales for five dollars. The retro B-movie album cover is cool, but covers can be misleading. I made the mistake of reading several bad reviews, so my expectations were low. It seems that fans think the band will crank out hit after hit, but you have to realize that it has been eleven years since their last release. During that amount of time people can change and so can their style of music.

Friday, 23 November 2012

A Very Merry Golden Records Christmas Review & Giveaway



Do you remember your parents or grandparents playing those vinyl records? Then you probably remember the Golden Records for children, containing classic stories and songs for young ones and old ones young at heart.

Golden Records have been making a comeback this year by releasing old and new records onto CDs and MP3 for a whole new generation of fans to enjoy. They were nice enough to let me listen to A Very Merry Golden Records Christmas, which is part of their Celebrity Series, free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

With Christmas just only a few weeks ago, there is nothing better to get your family in the holiday spirits than listening to wonderful Christmas music. A Very Merry Golden Records Christmas brings back twenty timeless classics, blending in new celebrity voices with the original music and sound effects. Some of the voice talents are Ed Asner, Didi Conn, Cheryl Hines, Wallace Shawn and Dermot Mulroney. 

The Tracks List Includes:

  1. Merry, Merry, Merry, Christmas (Didi Conn and The Golden Orchestra) 
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (John O Hurley)  
  3. Jingle Bells (Malin Akerman) 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Nifty Gift Idea - Custom Posters

*This is sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

The holiday shopping season has begun. If you are like me, I try to avoid shopping in the crowded stores by buying gifts online. Typically, I have most of my of my shopping done a month before Christmas Day, but there are usually a couple of people that are hard to buy for. So I have to think outside of my comfort zone and find a unique gift.

Everyone loves photos, right? A unique Christmas gift idea I came up with, is a custom poster. What do I mean by a [custom poster]?

You can take any family portrait, a pet's picture, a school photo, a vacation photo, etc., and have it blown up to 18 x 24 or a 24 x 36 for custom poster printing. This will make a thoughtful gift, perhaps more than an ordinary gift card.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Review - Call the Midwife: Season One DVD

Call The Midwife: Season One
Starring: Jessica Raine, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt, Miranda Hart, and featuring Vanessa Redgrave
Studio: BBC Warner
ASIN: B0093I913W
ASIN: B0093I5QG8 (Blu-ray)
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Running Time: 360 minutes 
Not Rated

Just in the time for the holidays is the release of the new hit series that aired on BBC in the UK and on PBS in the United States. I recall reading an article in the TV Guide a few months about the show, but I had forgotten it was being aired. Luckily, I got an opportunity to receive a free copy of Season One in exchange of an honest review courtesy of BBC Worldwide Americas.

The series was created and written by Heidi Thomas (also created Upstairs Downstairs) and is based on the memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth. Set in the poverty-stricken East London in the 1950s, the series centers around a young Jenny Lee (played by Jessica Raine), who believes she is going to be working at a small hospital called Nonnatus House, but to her surprise, it is actually a convent. She quickly befriends the other nurses, Trixie and Cynthia, the handyman Fred, and the Sisters, Julienne, Evangelina, Bernadette and Monica Joan. Jenny is there mainly as a midwife, but she has other duties to attend to as well. Just like the other midwives, Jenny must ride a bicycle to visit her patients.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Review - The Breath of Dawn

The Breath of Dawn
By Kristen Heitzmann
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: November 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-0764210426
ASIN: B008B9HQL8
Pages: 448
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/VkkqTX
Blog Tour Link: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/breathofdawn

Review:

The Breath of Dawn is book three of the series that started with A Rush of Wings and Still of the Night. I have only read A Rush of Wings, in which I wasn't the biggest fan of at the time. I hesitated before I signed up to review the third book from Litfuse Publicity Group and Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Even though I hadn't read second book, I still figured out who was who and what was what. In the third entry, Morgan Spencer had a wonderful family and a successful business, but every thing changed the moment his wife died, leaving him as a widowed father to a two-year-old daughter, Livie. His daughter is his entire life, until fate changes things once again for him.

Review - No Safe Harbor

No Safe Harbor
by Elizabeth Ludwig
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764210396
Pub. Date: October 1, 2012
Pages: 336
Buy Links: http://ow.ly/eh4Xf
Blog Tour Link: http://litfusegroup.com/author/ELudwig

Review:

Set in the year 1897, Cara Hamilton thought that her twin brother, Eoghan, was deceased until she gets an unexpected letter from him, in which he urges her to come find him and warns her to trust no one. She boards the ship called the Servia and travels across the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland to America.

When Cara arrives in New York, she meets a stranger named Rourke Walsh. She takes refuge at a boardinghouse where she befriends most of the women whom are living there, all except Deirdre. Why would a woman that hardly knew her, hate her so much? There has to be here than meets the eye about this woman. Cara is determined to learn more about Deirdre, especially when she catches Deirdre prying in her room.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Music Review: Colbie Caillat: Christmas in the Sand



I wasn't even aware that Colbie Caillat had a Christmas album out until I stumbled upon it at my local Walmart today for ten dollars. Colbie has bubbly music that can cheer me up on a bad day, so I had to buy it.

Colbie sings several classic holiday songs, such as Sliver Bells, Santa Baby, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Winter Wonderland. There are duets with Brad Paisley, Gavin Degraw, Justin Young, and Jason Reeves. There are four new songs that are catchy, Christmas in the Sand, Every Day is Christmas, Mistletoe and Happy Christmas.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Pantser Climbs the Outline Mountain By Charlotte Henley Babb


Maven and I have been together for nearly 20 years, and much of her story has not been told. I have many folders of outtakes, random scenes, and character notes. But the time has come, now that I am looking at retirement in 4 or 5 years, to get this stuff organized and written.

I’m learning to outline. Outlining “ain’t no crystal stair” as Langston Hughes wrote, but I’ve got my rope, and my pitons, my hammer and just in case, a vial of fairy dust and a magic wand in my climbing boots. I'm facing a sheer cliff of unknown story, with only a promise of what lies beyond.

My pitons are those 3x5 cards I have hated since that disaster of my first research paper in eleventh grade—I think it was about Odgen Nash. But I have a secret weapon: Larry Brook’s story architecture (http://www.storyfix.com). I can write down my random notes and thoughts on my cards and then organize them as I figure out the plot points and pinch points. I’ve tried spreadsheets (Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method and Ywriter) and various other tools, but the paper cards lend themselves to being carried in my purse and then typed into Scrivener, and from there, turning into scenes.

What started out as the beginning of my debut novel will now likely be the beginning of book four, which has no working title as yet. Stuff happens after the end of Through the Veil, and I’m still working out when it happens and to whom. But forcing myself to make an outline for book two, working title That Darn Maven, has allowed me to get some parameters established and make some rules to corral if not herd these cat-like story bits. Another working title is After Midnight, where I’ll be exploring some of Fiona’s point of view instead of always following Maven.

Review - Almost Amish

Almost Amish
By Kathryn Cushman
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: July 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-0764208263
ASIN: B0073UN96W
Page: 336 

Review: 

Julie Charlton is a wonderful wife and mother, but something is missing from her life. What she needs is some excitement and adventure. Luckily, her sister-in-law, Susan, got picked to be on an upcoming reality series and she gets to bring someone with her. That person happens to be Julie. And they also get to bring their families with them.

What is the reality series about? Well, the participants leave their modern lifestyle and move to the Amish country, where they have to live simple. That means no technology of any kind, except for the cameras that are filming their every move.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A Male's Perspective of the Twilight Saga

My original intent was to write separate reviews on the first four Twilight movies, but why waste my time when I could write one post about the most overrated film franchise of all time.

I recall reading the first book by Stephenie Meyer when it was originally released. I read it and thought it was average at best. I tossed the book into the closet and never thought about it again until I saw the first film advertise. Probably like most readers, I bought the other books in the attempt to eventually read them, but I have never opened any of them to page one yet.

One of my hobbies is collecting DVDs (in which I have way too many of) and of course I bought Twilight when it was released. I recognized Kristen Stewart from the Cold Creek Manor and The Messengers, but I never heard of the majority of the cast, except for Peter Facinelli and Elizabeth Reaser. I had forgotten most of the book's plot, so the movie was basically new to me. For the most part the movie was mediocre at best. Similar to what I did to the book, I tossed the DVD onto a shelf and forgot about it until I saw the advertisements for New Moon a year later.

In New Moon, the Cullens have very little screen time, giving Taylor Lautner a bigger role and a new haircut. I like the werewolf mythology, but the movie has Bella pining for Edward for entire the entire 130 minutes. What was up with the time? It would have been slightly better if it was under 90 minutes, because nothing happens!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Book Blogger Hop: Mix’n'Match Edition

This week's guest host is Butterfly-o-Meter Books.


Question of the week: Mix’n'Match: The bookish gods are giving you free hand, you can pick any one character (book, TV series/movie, play etc) and inject them into a different novel of your choice. Which character and series would you mix’n'matc

The Friday 56 - Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine



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, 15 November 2012

Review: Crossing on the Paris by Dana Gynther


I received an advanced copy of Crossing on the Paris a few months ago courtesy of Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review. Normally I don't read many books that are set during the early twentieth century, but I was intrigued by the cover art and thought that I would at least give it a try.

In the debut novel from author Dana Gynther, set sail aboard the ocean liner the Paris on its maiden voyage from Le Havre, France to New York during the year 1921. The plot centers around three women from different backgrounds.

Julie Vernet has suffered many losses during her lifetime. She lost her brothers during WWI and is still grieving. She is spent all of her life in poverty in France and when she got a chance to work in the steerage class (3rd class) as a maid, she eagerly took it. Her expectations for the life aboard a liner were high, but she was in for a shock as to how the 3rd class lived. Just when she is at her lowest, she begins a romance with a handsome engineer.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Two Lost Souls Find Each Other on Christmas Eve

A Wreath of Snow
By Liz Curtis Higgs
Publisher:WaterBrook Press
Pub. Date: October 2, 2012
ISBN: 978-1400072170
ASIN: B007SYQ4K6
Pages: 215

Review: 

Several years ago, I read Thorn in My Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs, mainly because it was set in Scotland where my ancestors are from. When I saw A Wreath of Snow was up for review on Blogging for Books from WaterBrook Press, I eagerly signed it to review it in exchange for an honest review. With Christmas approaching, I was definitely in the mood for a good Christmas story.

Set in 1894, twenty-six-year-old Margaret Campbell (or as everyone calls her, Meg) dreaded going back home to Stirling, Scotland to visit her family for the holidays. Nearly twelve years ago, her younger brother, Alan, was injured in a curling accident, crippling him for life. Over the years, her parents waited on him hand and foot, giving him anything he wanted. Alan has grown to be a bitter person with a short temper, one that Meg would like to avoid.

Meg has a good life as a school teacher in Edinburgh and she resides in her late aunt's house, which she inherited. She is more than eager to return to her home on Christmas Eve, but Mother Nature may have other plans for her as the falling snow is delaying her train ride home. Her fate collides with a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow named Gordon Shaw.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Review - Courting Cate

Courting Cate
By Leslie Gould
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764210310
ASIN: B008B9HIMA
Pub. Date: November 1, 2012
Pages: 352
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/eSNfb
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/LGould

Review: 

In this Amish version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, Cate Miller is not your typical Amish woman as she would rather spend her time working side by side with her father or reading a good book than spend her time inside a house cleaning and cooking. She has scared away all of the single men in Paradise, Pennsylvania with her sharp tongue and stubborn attitude.

Her younger sister, Betsy, is ready to start courting, but their father will not allow it. He makes a rule that Cate must begin courting first since she is the eldest daughter. This causes a big problem because Cate has no intention of ever marring. Despite the girls' objections, their father has made his decision final.

Cate has no other choice, but to find a respectable husband, which is a little hard considering she has told off every bachelor in the county. Luckily, Pete Treger arrives in town, but just like all other bachelors, he only has eyes for the stunning Betsy. When he realizes that the other men are after Betsy too, he tries his luck with Cate.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Paranormal Romance, What do you think about it? By Hubert de La Bouillerie



Paranormal Romance is an interesting mix. Love and the power of the unusual, can create fantastic situations. Love being one of the most intense and primal emotions we have, confronted with the unspeakable forces of evil will bring the best out in us.

The fight to survive, to protect those we love in the face of insurmountable odds, against the armies of darkness is always gut wrenching and fascinating story telling.

If an author manages to capture your imagination with images of battles, from the mind to the physical, from the surreal to the metaphysical, while sewing a tale that keeps you up at night wanting for more, it can rival any other genre.

There is nothing more satisfying then when love has the power to conquer forces greater then ourselves, to fight the good fight regardless of the consequences and save our soul from damnation, we admire it.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Friday 56 - No Safe Harbor



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/.

DVD Review - 4 Movie Collection: Attack Force/ Into the Sun/ The Russian Specialist/ Conspiracy

4 Movie Collection: Attack Force/ Into the Sun/ The Russian Specialist/ Conspiracy
Directors: Michael Keusch, mink, Dolph Lundgren, Adam Marcus
Starring: Steven Seagal, Lisa Lovbrand, David Kennedy, Danny Webb, Dolph Lundgren, Val Kimer
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
ASIN: B008XAT0SW
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Running Time: 375 minutes
Rated R

Review:

I grew up watching the over the top action movies from the 1980s and early 1990s, so I was more than eager to review the 4 Movie Collection featuring Attack Force, Into the Sun, The Russian Specialist, and Conspiracy, courtesy of Mill Creek Entertainment and Tower PR in exchange for an honest review. 

Steven Seagal plays Marshall Lawson, a commander of an elite military unit, in the 2008 direct-to-DVD Attack Force. While in Paris, three of his soldiers are brutally murdered in their hotel room. He starts his own investigation into their deaths with the help of his much younger girlfriend, Tia, and his military friend Dwayne. He learns that the soldiers deaths are linked to a military drug called CTX, in which Tia was one of the original scientist that helped create it. Whoever takes the CTX becomes an unstoppable killing machine.

I'm not the biggest Seagal fan and it has been awhile since I have seen one of his movies, but Attack Force has to be the worst. The plot is unrealistic and confusing. The fights scenes are ridiculous, the acting is laughable, and half of Seagal's lines are dubbed due to the script being changed after the movie was filmed. Attack Force is one of the worst movies ever made.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Review - Dark Light of Day


Dark Light of Day 
Noon Onyx Book #1 
By Jill Archer 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: Ace 
ISBN: 978-0-425-25715-9 
Number of pages: 384 
Word Count: 123,000 
Buy Links: Barnes & Noble, Amazon 

Book Description: 

Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.

Review:

In book one of the new exciting Noon Onyx series, a battle between good and evil had occurred on Earth over two-thousand years ago, leaving Lucifer and his demon followers in victory. Now, the demons rule over the humans as either rules or tributes.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Review - The Anger Workbook

The Anger Workout
By Les Carter, Ph.D. and Frank Minirth, M.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1401675431
Pub. Date: October 30th, 2012 (Reprint)
Pages: 256

Review:

I signed up to review this book, courtesy of Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review, because anger is part of everyone's lives. Some people can control their anger easily, while others have a difficult time with it. There is not one person that can say that they don't get angry over something every week. With the failing economy, the job market collapsing, and the continuing increases in gasoline prices, there are many things to be angry at.

The Anger Workbook was originally released back in in 1993 and has now been reprinted in an updated version. The authors, Les Carter and Frank Minirth, have written an interactive workbook to help you live a better life by going through thirteen steps toward anger management. Anger is not just slamming doors, screaming at a random stranger, or getting into fights. It is about shutting your feelings down, non communicating with others, feeling frustrated, and being over aggressive.

Review - A Merry Little Christmas

A Merry Little Christmas
By Anita Higman
Publisher: Summerside Press
ISBN: 978-1609366889
ASIN: B009CCG1F0
Pub Date: October 1, 2012
Pages: 256
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/eyLJH
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/AHigman

Review: 

Franny Martin has been taking care of her family's two-hundred-and-fifty acres Oklahoma farmland ever since her parents died during a thunderstorm fifteen years ago. She is now thirty-three, single, having financial trouble, and facing the fact that she will once again spend the holidays by herself. That is until a handsome stranger, Charlie Landau shows up at her doorstep.

Charlie is from the big city, single and is just looking for something more meaningful in his life, in which he wants to buy Franny's farm even though he knows nothing about farming. He has always been a disappointment to his father and he is hoping that he can be successful at farming so his father can finally be proud of him.

Franny is more than eager to sell the farm as she had put it on the market twelve years ago! Before her parents' untimely deaths, she had dreamed of moving to the big city to follow her passion for music. Now, maybe her dreams can finally come true, but before that can happen, she decides to stay at the farm to help Charlie learn the farm life ways. Despite their different backgrounds and differences, there is a deep connection between the two.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: Broken Build

Broken Build
By Rachelle Ayala
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 978-1480010512
ASIN: B0099MLND8
Pub. Date: October 5, 2012
Pages: 330

Review: 

From the author of Michal's Window comes a new suspenseful thriller titled Broken Build, set in the high-tech world with backstabbing and deception around every corner. The author, Rachelle Ayala, had sent me a free copy to review after I had previously reviewed her biblical romantic tale, Michal's Window. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect since this book is set in modern times.

The main character, or should I saw heroine, is Jennifer Cruz, a woman with a rocky criminal past, who has now gone to great manners (plastic surgery, etc) to disguise herself into a new identity, Jen Jones. She takes a job as a computer techno whiz for David Jewell, a software CEO, a man she deeply hurt six years ago in her past life. Of course he doesn't recognize her now. As she spends time with David, their old romantic feelings start to resurface, but she can never erase her past.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

DVD Review - 4 Movie Collection: Universal Solider: The Return/ Knock Off/ The Hard Corps/ Second Command

4 Movie Collection: Universal Solider: The Return/ Knock Off/ The Hard Corps/ Second Command
Directors: Mic Rodgers,
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
ASIN: B008XAT1HM
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Running Time: 367 minutes
Rated: R

I grew up watching countless action flicks during my childhood, some off of basic cable and others my parents rented. Since the first Expendables came out, I have been buying a few of the action movies that I watched as a kid, such as Cyborg, Cobra, Commando, Raw Deal, Kickboxer, etc. So naturally I was excited to review this four movie Jean-Claude Van Damme collection, courtesy of Mill Creek Entertainment and Tower PR in exchange for an honest review.

Universal Soldier: The Return is set several years after the events that occurred in the first film. Luc Devereaux (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) is no longer a Universal Soldier, but he does run the new advanced program for the government. The new soldiers are stronger and faster. They are controlled by an advanced computer program called S.E.T.H. When the government wants to shutdown the program, S.E.T.H. takes control of building and the soldiers. Luc Devereaux is the only one that can shut down the program, but S.E.T.H. is one step ahead of Luc, as the UniSol Romeo (played by Bill Goldberg) kidnaps Luc's 13-year-old daughter Hillary.

The Universal Solider franchise is hard to follow as The Return ignores the two previous made-for-TV sequels and The Return is ignored by the two newest sequels, Regeneration and Day of Reckoning. The Return's plot is really thin. I'm not for sure why the producers wanted to change the tone and ignore a few facts from the first movie. The acting and dialogue is B-movie quality, but the movie does have some great action scenes, starting with the boat chase in the opening and ending with Van Dame fighting Goldberg. In the end, the movie isn't great, but the action is fun to watch.

FREE STAR WATCHERS EBOOK, EDGAR ALLAN POEINSPIRED, 2 DAYS ONLY 11/18-11/19/2012





 "FREE STAR WATCHERS EBOOK, EDGAR ALLAN POE INSPIRED, 2 DAYS ONLY 11/18-11/19/2012: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Watchers-Inspirational-Romantic-ebook/dp/B008251NVU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1351914049 particularly, the series of poems also entitled, Star Watchers.

Star Watchers uses fantasy, horror, and inspirational elements to provoke new ways of seeing the human condition. The poetry depicts unhappy, nervous, bitter and clever individuals; they found themselves in both triumphs and defeats. Unfortunately, these characters often met with the fate of tragedy and unexpected

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Review - The Memory Jar

The Memory Jar
By Tricia Goyer
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0310335108
Pub. Date: October 23, 2012
Pages: 352
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/esMtx
Blog Tour Link: http://litfusegroup.com/author/TGoyer

Review:

Two years ago, Sarah Shelter watched her English best friend, Patty, drown in a nearby lake. She has been haunted by her friend's death ever since that dreadful day and has withdrawn herself from her family and friends that live in the mountain town of West Kootenai, Montana.

Every spring, many single young Amish men from other communities stay in Kootenai for six months for the hunting season that fall. Jathan Schrock arrives to town looking to earn some money to send back home to his folks. He is also there to enjoy some hunting and reflect on what the future may hold for him.

While Sarah Shelter isn't baking goodies for the hunters, she is storing her most precious memories in mason jars or what she calls 'memory jars'. Everyone she knows is either married or about to get married. She believes that the older she gets, the less chance that she will have in finding a husband that is until she meets the handsome Jathan!

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Perfect Christmas Gift For the Women in Your Life


Do you know that there are only 45 days until Christmas Day?

This means the holiday shopping madness is about to begin! I like to avoid the holiday shopping as much as I can due to the crowded department stores by doing most of my gift shopping months before, but there are always a few people that I have trouble finding a gift for, like my mother, grandmother, etc.

I know that I'm not the only male that has trouble finding the perfect gift for the women in his family, as men tend to wait to the last minute to buy a gift and typically the store shelves are empty by then.

I thought it would be nice of me to put together a nifty gift guide to help out other men who are looking for a great gift for their wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, girlfriend, aunt, etc.

DVD Review - Gilmore Girls: The Complete Sixth Season

Gilmore Girls: The Complete Sixth Season
Starring: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy, Scott Patterson, Keiko Agena
Studio: Warner Bros. 
ASIN: B000G1R4SY
Release Date: September 19, 2006
Running Time: 945 minutes
Unrated
Buy Link: Mommy Bear Media

Review: 

A while back I entered into a giveaway on a blog and I won one of the prizes which was a $20 gift card from Walmart. I had completely forgotten about it until I received it several months later. I wasn't for sure what I was going to use the card for. Late one night, I surfed Walmart.com and found the sixth season of Gilmore Girls for fewer than twenty dollars. Of course I had to order it. I have been watching Gilmore Girls ever since I stumbled upon it on the late Soap.net channel earlier this year, but I watch it every weekday morning (if there isn't some kind of marathon) on ABC Family, which had just started airing the sixth season. I received the DVD set very quickly and just like season one and two (that I own on DVD); I flew right through each episode, taking in every bit of the Gilmore Wisdom.

The episodes on season six are:

Disc One:

Episode 1: New and Improved Lorelai (9/13/05)
Episode 2: Fight Face (09/20/05)
Episode 3: The UnGraduate (09/27/05)
Episode 4: Always a Godmother, Never a God (10/4/05)

Disc Two:

Episode 5: We've Got Magic to Do (10/11/05)
Episode 6: Welcome to the Dollhouse (10/18/05)
Episode 7: Twenty-One Is the Loneliest Number (10/25/05)
Episode 8: Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out (11/8/05)

The Friday 56 - A Wreath of Snow



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, 1 November 2012

Fire: Man's Earliest Friend, Foe, and Eternal Obsession by Jill Archer





When my kids were younger, we used to play the "Gas, Liquid, or Solid?" game. We also used to play "Man-made or God-made?" (which works no matter what your beliefs are because there are lots of things in our world that aren't made by man; those things have to come from somewhere). What I love about "Fire" is that it isn't easily categorized in these games. I suppose fire is mostly a gas, but it's a burning gas (or gasses). It's as much a state of being as it is a thing. And yet you can see it and feel it. Likewise, it's made by man all the time. And yet we speak of its discovery. Man did not initially create fire. It existed prior to us.

 Fire has fascinated us for millennia. Alchemists and astrologists consider it one of the four elements, along with earth, water, and air. Even if you're not into alchemy or astrology, you have to admit that there's something fairly, ahem, well... elemental about those four concepts. It's not difficult to see why people have been categorizing the nature of things based on those elements from time immemorial. And out of those four basic elements, none has a more contradictory, fascinating nature than fire.

Fire helps to feed us, by cooking our food, and it protects us by keeping us warm and keeping predators away. In modern times, some of fire's more basic benefits have become obscured. But we still have bull roasts and bonfires. We still roast marshmallows and put candles inside jack-o-lanterns on All Hallows Eve to scare evil spirits away. So fire helps us survive – but it is also incredibly deadly. Not to put too fine a point on it, but fire can kill. That's why arson is a serious crime, often a felony, in all 50 states.

Review - A Short History of the Short Story

A Short History of the Short Story
by Glunaz Fatma, MA, MBA
Publisher: Modern History Press
ISBN: 978-1615991662
Pub. Date: September 5, 2012
Pages: 46

Review: 

In fewer than fifty pages, author Glunaz Fatma successfully gives us the basic history of short fiction stories from Western and Asian Traditions. Being an author of short stories myself, I was very eager to review this book courtesy of Modern History Press.

Many famous writers, such as H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, Alphonse Daudet, Miguel de Cervantes, Shirley Jackson, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rabindranath Tagore, and many others, have written numerous short stories as it gives them more freedom to express their creativeness without being classified by a genre.

Just like a novel, a short story must has a well-written plot that leads to a conclusion. A short story is between 1,000 to 20,000 words. Anything over is either a novella or a novel, and anything under is considered as short stories or flash fiction.