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Sunday, March 31

DVD Review - The 10th Kingdom

The 10th Kingdom
Director:
Starring: Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Scott Cohen, John Larroquette, Dianne Wiest
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: March 19, 2013
ASIN: B00B04NIZO
Retail: $9.98
Number of Discs: 3
Running Time: 444 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Buy Link: Mill Creek Direct, Amazon

Review:

Before One Upon A Time magically dazzled the television screens, there was an underrated miniseries called The 10th Kingdom that aired in five-parts on NBC in February 2000. With a stunning cast with Diane West, Ed O'Neill, Camryn Manheim, John Larroquette, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Ann-Margret, Rutger Hauer, and Scott Cohen, one would think this lavish event would be a ratings goldmine, but sadly it received low-ratings despite the fact that it garnered good reviews from critics and viewers.

The miniseries was previously released onto a single VHS, a two tapes VHS set (several scenes were removed), a three disc DVD set, and later a single double-sided DVD, all which are out-of-print. Mill Creek Entertainment recently released a three disc DVD set of The 10th Kingdom, in which I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

The 10th Kingdom's plot twisted the classic fairy tales. In the opening, the Evil Queen escapes prison and turns Prince Wendell (the Queen's stepson and the grandson of the late Snow White) into a dog, who quickly escapes through a magic mirror and ends up in modern day New York. The Queen sends Wolf and three trolls after him. The Prince quickly crosses path with a young waitress, Virginia Lewis, along with her janitor father, Anthony Lewis. The Wolf's plans of capturing the prince comes to a halt when he lays eyes on the lovely Virginia, who he instantly falls madly in love with her. He joins Virginia, Anthony, and the Prince when they are forced to into the magic mirror and travel to the Nine Kingdoms. Many dangers and mysteries await them as they try to defeat the wicked queen, restore the Prince back into his body, and find a way home.

Review - The Berenstain Bears: Easter Magic

The Berenstain Bears: Easter Magic
By Stan & Jan Berenstain
Publisher: Open Road Young Readers
Pub. Date: October 16, 2012
ASIN: B009HICHAC
Pages: 9

Review:

When I was a kid, I was crazy for The Berenstain Bears book series. I collected every book, well until I got older and became interested in other things. Now as an adult, I occasionally buy one of these delightful paperback books at thrift stores.

Sadly the original authors have both passed away, but oldand new books are still being released after fifty-years since the first book was printed. These timeless characters have even made it into the eBook generation. The Berenstain Bears: Easter Magic was released last fall as an electronic release only. It was originally written in 1997. The plot involves Brother and Sister Bear noticing that the winter weather is leaving and signs of spring are all around. That can mean only one thing; the Easter Bunny is on his way.

Saturday, March 30

Guest Post with author Rebecca Graf



Creating Suspense

Writing a suspense story is not something that comes just from putting words on paper. It entails much more than that. Creating suspense has to be crafted and done with just the right amount of subtlety.

Be Elusive

Suspense comes from never telling the reader everything up front. You don’t want to tell your readers that there is someone hiding in the attic. You want them to wonder what is going on in the house. You want to them to come up with their own wild explanations for strange things. You have to be elusive. Create strange things that happen in the story. The cook might accuse someone in the house of stealing food because some is missing. The gardener finds footprints walking to a wall and never returning. The vase of flowers keeps getting moved during the night. Make things out of place but don’t be obvious. It could be nothing. The explanation for it could be easily explained logically, but something makes the reader think otherwise. Add some nothings in the story. Don’t put a big neon sign pointing to the clue. If the reader misses it, okay. They’ll pick up on it later and be impressed that it got by them.

Using Dialogue

Many people forget that dialogue can be used to help set the scene. It only takes a word or a phrase to get the suspense intensified. If someone is being stalked, a friend could mention seeing someone by the door or ask why a window is open. Immediately, the target and the reader tense up. Sometimes peripheral characters are great for adding to the suspense. They see things the main characters don’t and can give the story a slightly new dimension.

My Revolt Journey Week 4

March is already over and so is the fourth week of Revolt with Nichole Huntsman with a whole new routine of workouts. The program reminds me of the P90X except for the Revolt workouts takes up less than half the time as Nichole Huntsman doesn't waste a single minute. I have had a pair of kettlebells for a few years. I didn't even know how to use them, but I do now as several of the Revolt workouts requite them.

I'm not sore from the workouts anymore, but I recently had a non-exercise (picking up a 30 pound box of cat litter) lower back injury about two weeks ago. It felt fine for a few days, then all of the sudden it came back. I was extra careful during my workouts, but I had to adjust a few routines. I ended up buying the Gold's Gym Waist Trimmer Support Belt and wore it during the rest of this week's workout. I had no back problems for the rest of the week. The belt also came with a lumbar support and a hot/cold pack. I'm happy to say that my back feels about 90% better today. I recommend everyone never to toss around a 30 pound box of cat litter.

DVD Review - LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out

LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 26, 2013
ASIN: B00AXFK96M
Retail: $14.98  
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 1
Running Time: 22 minutes
Rating: Not Rated

Review: 

There has been lots of excitement in the Star Wars universe since the announcement of the upcoming new sequel trilogy. I'm sure fans are excited about the LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out arriving on DVD. The twenty-two-minutes cartoon special aired on the Cartoon Network last year and is now out just in time for Easter.

I'm a fan of the original trilogy, but I missed out when the special aired on television and along with the prequel, The Padawan Menace. LEGO has been releasing Star Wars toys for years, so it was just a matter of time before an animated project was released.

The Empire Strikes Out takes place directly after Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star. He continues his quest, along with R2-D2, to stop the Empire's next move, but he is side barred by a swarm of female fans that call him the Death-Star-Blower-Upper. Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa are building up an army of Gungan Warrior, while C-3PO is stuck with Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon.

Friday, March 29

Tiny Task LED Light Review

Everyone who knows me knows that I love to read. Let me rephrase that. I'm obsessed with books. Being a passionate reader means that I like lying in bed and reading a good novel, but I don't have any place to put a lamp. I have had a few book lamps given to me over the years, but they never really worked. They didn't give off very much light and they were hard to keep clipped onto a book.

I recently got a chance to try out a new product called the Tiny Task LED Light from Mighty Bright free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I guess you can say I was excited about reviewing this miniature light, which I received in the mail very quickly.

The lamp is available in four colors and the one I was sent is blue, my favorite color. The light doesn't take up much room as it is only four inches tall, and it resembles a typical desk lamp. I like that you can twist the neck to position the lampshade to whatever kind of angle you need. You can slide the lamp under a book page, magazine, or newspaper by using the clip on the base. You don't have to worry about the light slipping as it has a rubber on the bottom. It uses two CR2016 batteries that can last up to 4 hours. The energy-efficient LED can last up to 100,000 hours, so you don't have to worry about replacing it anytime soon.

Book Blogger Hop: March 29th - April 4th

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!


Grab the Button!

If you want schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:


(This week's question submitted by Elizabeth)

Silver's Reviews


What are your thoughts on the verification codes? 



2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).


3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

My Answer:
Though verification codes can be really annoying, they do help in preventing unwanted spam. 

Linky List:

The Friday 56: The Very First Bite



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/

Review - Unrivaled

Unrivaled
By Siri Mitchell
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: March 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764207976
ASIN: B00AHY0T00
Pages: 400
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/jiUA3
Blog Tour Link: http://litfusegroup.com/author/smitchell

Review:


It is 1910 and Lucy Kendall has returned to her home town of St. Louis, Missouri after touring Europe. She was looking forward to spending time with her friends and family, but her friends are now married and father has become ill. To make things worse, she learns that her mother has put up the family candy business, City Confectionery, up for sale. Lucy is sadden by this as she had tried many different candies in Europe and was going to suggest her father to stock the store with them, so the City Confectionery could offer the St. Louis residents the best European candies.

Charlie Clarke has had a rocky life, leading him to be sent to live with his estranged father in St. Louis and to take a job at the Standard Manufacturing. He hates his father for abandoning him, but part of him wants to make his father proud. His life changes when he meets the lovely Lucy Kendall.

Lucy Kendall is not going to let the City Confectionery be sold, especially to the St. Louis biggest competitor, Standard Manufacturing, the company that stole her father's prize recipe. She will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery and to create a recipe that will save the candy business, but her plans may come to a halt when she starts to fall in love with the Standard Manufacturing's new promotions manager, Charlie Clarke.

Thursday, March 28

Audio Review - A Golden Easter

A Golden Easter
Studio: Verse Music Group
Release Date: March 1st, 2013
ASIN: B00BNUCTPK
Website: http://bit.ly/Qt3A39
Facebook: http://bit.ly/Qt3A39
iTunes: http://bit.ly/XS3As76
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoldenRecords
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/goldenrecords
Golden Press List Email Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/pbZVr
Streaming Link: http://soundcloud.com/golden_records/sets/a-golden-easter/ 
YouTube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgadmDngNo0&list=SPGJoGBEV-_XYWRf3RO1p_hCl10uZNiLk8


Review:

Last year, Golden Records returned for a whole new generation of kids, releasing new and old songs and stories on  CDs and digital downloads. I was one of the lucky bloggers who got to review a few of the titles, including their latest release A Golden Easter (a digital download), which I received free of charge in exchange for my honest review. 

We all know what Easter Sunday really means, but little kids look forward to the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts. I know the story of Peter Cottontail and Peter Rabbit, but I didn't know that there were so many songs dedicated to the holiday for kids.

The twenty titles on A Golden Easter are:

Kenya Moore: Booty Boot Camp DVD Trailer



Kenya Moore's, from Bravo’s hit show The Real Housewives of Atlanta and former Miss USA, workout DVD "Booty Boot Camp was released on DVD from Acacia on March 5, 2013 to online stories. It will be released to retail stores in May. The DVD has three 20-minutes workouts. There is also a bonus ab-flattening workout.

Check out the DVD trailer below:

Audio Review - On Blazing Wings

On Blazing Wings
By: L. Ron Hubbard
Director: Kelly Ward
Voice Cast: Bob Caso, R.F. Daley, Christina Huntington, John Mariano, Phil Proctor and Kelly Ward.
Studio: Galaxy Press
Release Date: March 30, 2011
ISBN: 978-1592122325
Run Time: 2 hours 8 minutes
Retail: $9.96

Review:

Last week, I listened to the audiobook On Blazing Wings by L. Ron Hubbard courtesy of Galaxy Press in exchange for my honest review. The story was first published in the May 1940 issue of Five-Novels Monthly, a time when many authors (young and old) published stories in pulp magazines. During the 1930s and 1940s (otherwise known as the Golden Age), L. Ron Hubbard wrote 153 short stories from adventures in the sky to journeys on other planets.

On Blazing Wings centers on an American wannabe artist, who pays the bills by being an ace fighter pilot for hire for other countries, despite their differences in politics. His next mission is to go after the Russian Communists, whom are planning on destroying a Finland supply base. While in combat, David's plane is shot down and it seems to be end for him. Or is it?

Wednesday, March 27

Character Interview with Sebastian Kess





Hello! Today I am pleased to interview Sebastian Kess. Sebastian is a magical humanoid from the parallel dimension of Coursodon and has recently been restored to his own body after being trapped in a Kindle.

What an interesting story. So, Mr. Kess, how did you get caught in an eBook reader?

Please, call me Sebastian. I never let a beautiful woman call me anything but. Back to your question, my job is to hunt those from my dimension who use their magical abilities to harm humans. While pursuing a particularly diabolical criminal, I was mortally wounded. I used the opportunity to test one of my many theories of spiritual convergence and converted myself to binary code. I planned to transfer myself to my laptop, but through a series of mishaps, I ended up in an electronic reading device.

Interesting, Sebastian. But, I see that you, or rather, your spiritual essence, somehow ended up inside a human woman. How did that come about?

The Kindle in which I was trapped was purchased and sent to Hailey Parrish. She unwittingly released me and I took refuge in her when she first powered up the device. Lovely girl, by the way, she took the entire co-habitation dilemma quite well. 
 
Oh my! What was it like being inside a woman?

Well, my dear, I’ve been inside many women, but this was the first time I’ve been able to feel what they feel and experience the world through their eyes. Very enlightening indeed.

Monday, March 25

Monday Morning Madness #11: Get Rid of that Unwanted Hair


Being a night owl, I always find myself watching late night television, which is full of infomercials, sitcom reruns, and low-budget movies. I happened to stumble upon the QVC channel where they were selling the Tria Laser 4x hair removal, a new advanced product similar to the laser technology used by professional dermatologist in laser hair removal treatments.

Normally, I don't pay attention to anything be sold on a home shopping channel, but the Tria caught my interest as I have unwanted upper arm hair and back hair, which I shave every few weeks. I've considered waxing, but I don't think I can take the pain.

The Tria Laser 4x looks unique as it uses a Pulse Counter that can track the number of pluses per second. There is a Pulse Counter Chart that will tell you exactly how many pulses there should be per body part. One session a week for three months is suppose to show permanent results. The laser can be used on arms, legs, underarms, feet, hands, chest, back, stomach, Women's upper lip, bikini line, and chin.

Review - Lords of Prophecy




Lords of Prophecy
By Michael A. Rothman
Publisher: M&S Publishing, L.L.C.
Pub. Date: March 3, 2013
ISBN: 9780989089401
ASIN: B00BOELL4K
Pages: 450
Buy Link: Amazon

Blurb:

The Riverton brothers have completed their training, and despite their own personal skills, they worry about the forces arrayed against them. Knowing the barrier that's kept the people of Trimoria safe for over five centuries is weakening, the brothers ready their ragtag army of humans, dwarves, and elves for battle.

In the meantime, on the other side of the ancient barrier, a growing army of demons have readied themselves for the final battle against the people of Trimoria.

As the barrier weakens, Ryan is struck by bouts of debilitating madness. As the barrier crumbles, so does the hope of Trimoria's citizens. 

Review: 

I've never cared much for the fantasy genre until I watched Game of Thrones on HBO and now I have taken an interest in reading fantasy books, which is one of the reasons why I signed up to review Lords of Prophecy courtesy of the author and Goddess Fish book tours.

Saturday, March 23

bubba RAPTOR and HERO Sport Bottles Review

I've been on health kick for the past few months and I've been increasing my intake of water as it is good for losing weight, plus I get extremely thirsty after a great workout. I also try to keep a glass of water nearby while I"m working out, but I've accidentally broken a few glasses. I've tried using a coffee tumbler, but the lid likes to slip off and the water spills everywhere. Luckily, I got a chance to review the Raptor and Hero from bubba brands free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

The Raptor is an insulated dual wall sports bottle made with Tritan from Eastman and will hold up to 160oz. It is BPA free and is dishwasher safe. There is a neat handle on the mouthpiece for easy carrying, which when pulled down raises the mouthpiece. The bottle came with two heavy-duty straws.

The Hero is a massive 24oz stainless steal, vacuum insulated sports bottle and it can keep any liquid cold up to twelve hours. It is also BPA free and dishwasher safe. Just like the Raptor, it has a handle on the mouthpieces and came with two straws.

Friday, March 22

My Revolt Journey: Week 3

Wow, I can't believe another week has gone by. That means there are only three more weeks of the six-week Revolt program from Nichole Huntsman. My muscles were sore from weeks one and two, but I've started to adjust to everything and I'm no longer sore.

I've been trying my best to stay by the diet, though I have occasional snacked around (don't worry it was nothing fattening or sugary). I've been eating more fruit (which I've been lacking) and more salads. I received two new sport bottles at the end of last week and I've been using them during my workouts, so I've been slowly adding more water in my daily diet.

Book Blogger Hop: March 22nd - 28th

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!


Grab the Button!

If you want schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:


(This week's question submitted by Beth)


What are the top 5 books you would grab in an emergency? 



2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).


3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

My Answer:
  1. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  2. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  3. The Stand by Stephen King
  4. To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
  5. Six- Horse Hitch by Janice Holt Giles 

Linky List:

The Friday 56 - Lords of Prophecy



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, March 21

DVD Review: Biggest Loser: Calorie Knockout

Biggest Loser: Calorie Knockout
Extreme Cardio For Maximum Burn
Workout Instructors: Bob Harper, Anna Kournikova and Dolvett Quince
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: December 6, 2011
ASIN: B005N8KPD6
Run Time: Approx. 61 minutes

Review:

I have nearly an arsenal of Tae Bo workout DVDs, but I like to mix things up and try something different, leading me to buy the Biggest Loser: Calorie Knockout on eBay. I've seen the occasional episode of the series, but I have never tried any of the workout DVDs, until now. The workout instructors are Bob Harper, Anna Kournikova and Dolvett Quince. The warm-up and cool-down are both short at five minutes. Each circuit is about fifteen minutes.

Circuit #1 is instructed by Anna Kournikova as she slowly takes you through a cardio-sculpt style workout with a little bit of Tae Bo thrown in. You do need some light dumbbells for the exercises. This is more of a warm-up than the actual warm-up. I was never aware that Anna was ever on the Biggest Loser. She may be easy on the eyes, but she isn't the best instructor.

Wednesday, March 20

The Psycho Sequels Legacy


This past Monday, A&E aired the series premiere of the re-imagined prequel of Psycho called Bates Motel. The title may sound familiar for some of you as there was a two-hour made-for-TV movie of the same name that served for a backdoor pilot for a purposed weekly anthology series, which was never picked up due to the movie’s low ratings. The failed version killed off Norman Bate (big mistake) and focused on a new character, Alex West (played by Burt Cort), who inherited Norman’s house and motel shortly after he was released from the asylum. Lorri Petti costarred as a teenage runaway, Willie, along with Moses Gunn as the handyman, Henry Watson. The plot has Alex reopening the motel, only to encounter strange happenings. I only saw the movie by accident several years ago on the former Sci-Fi Channel. The problem with the movie’s premise was it ignored the previously established continuity.

The first official sequel, Psycho II, came out twenty-two years after the original, but it completely ignored the plot from Robert Bloch’s novel sequel of the same name. Anthony Perkins returned as Norman Bates, who is being released from the asylum despite the protest from Lila Loomis (played once again by Vera Miles). Norman returns home to meet the manager (played Dennis Franz) of the Bates Motel, whom he later fires. After settling back into the house, Norman starts his job at a local dinner as part of his rehabilitation, where he meets the young Mary Samuels (played by Meg Tilly). Before long, Norman receives messages from someone claiming to be Mother along with a few strange occurrences that only he can see. Psycho II is definitely the superior sequel of the series, though it is obviously missing Albert Hitchcock’s magical touch.

Monday, March 18

Monday Morning Madness #10: Blog Friendly PR


It's been over a year since I got my own domain and a blog redesign. I have to say that the last year has been fun as I have slowly broke away from reviewing only books. Many of my readers have noticed DVD and product reviews on here. I have had the chance to work with several amazing companies, which I made contact with them through the Blog Friendly PR.

What is Blog Friendly PR?

Blog Friendly PR is a great company that helps  bring brands and bloggers together. Blogs are new and faster way to market products. Brands that are looking to hire bloggers can sign up to reach the specific bloggers they are looking for, such as Mommy/Daddy blogs, book blogs, fashion blogs, etc. Bloggers that sign up can get access to the newest brand campaigns, review and giveaway opportunities, and make PR contacts. For us bloggers, we get access to the community forum, where you can list your giveaways and communicate with other bloggers. There is an exclusive Elite forum, where bloggers get access to the most recent pitches from PR groups, make PR contacts, and possibly make some cash with sponsored opportunities.

DVD Review - Saban's Power Rangers: Clash of the Red Ranger: The Movie

Power Rangers: Clash of the Red Rangers: The Movie
Starring: Alex Heartman, Najee De-Tiege, Erika Fong, Hector David Jr., Britney Anne Pritle,
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: March 5, 2013
ASIN: B00AQAZZ3Q
Run Time: 45 Minutes
Rating: NOT RATED

Review:

It’s hard to believe that the Power Rangers franchise is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It is making me feel old as I remember when the original series aired. I watched the occasional episodes of the original series up to the In Space series, but I tuned out because the constant cast changes. I wasn't aware that there was a new series on television, until I reviewed two other DVD titles early this year. Lionsgate recently released Saban's Power Rangers: Clash of the Red Rangers: The Movie onto DVD this month and I was sent a complementary copy in exchange for my honest review.

Clash of Red Rangers originally aired in November 2011 on Nickelodeon as an hour special that teamed up the six Samurai Rangers with the RPM Ranger Red. The plot involves the RPM Ranger Red chasing the robotic villain Professor Cog from the RPM alternate universe into the real world, where the Samurai Rangers are fighting the newest Nighlok called Sharkjaw, who runs away in defeat. Cog finds an entrance to the Netherworld as he wants to use the water to destroy the humans in his own universe. To get the water he agrees to help Xandred's Nighlok army in defeating the Power Rangers.

Grinders attack the Samurai Rangers and the rangers only win because RPM Ranger Red used his nitro blaster to destroy the Grinders. The Samurai Rangers gladly accept their new friend, though Jayden has a few issues with him. Cog returns with several Grinders leading the Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink, and Gold rangers to be zapped to the RPM universe. The Nighlok are building a huge army to invade earth and only the two red rangers are left to stop them, but only if they can work out their differences.

Sunday, March 17

Book Spotlight - A Summoner's Tale

A SUMMONER'S TALE: the vampire's confessor
BLACK SWAN 3 AUTHOR: by Victoria Danann
PUBLISHER: 7th House
ISBN: 978-1-933320-67-0  ebook Words: 107,000
978-1-933320-80-9             print    Pages: 350
GENRE: vampire romance, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, paranormal fantasy
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2013
BOOK TRAILER: http://victoriadanann.me/the-summoners-tale/
BUY AT AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Summoners-Tale-Vampires-Confessor-ebook/dp/B00BC1SYKE/


This is the third installment in a serial saga intended to be read in order. 

DESCRIPTION: A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you're least expecting it. Even when you're far, far from home.

Erotic quotient: A little steam. No menage. No BDSM. 

Review - Arkeepers: Episode Two: Angeliks

Arkeepers: Episode Two: Angeliks
By: W.J. Madsen
Publisher little m Books
Pub. Date: January 26, 2012
ISBN: 978-0983048718
ASIN: B007AUJEKU
Pages: 206

Review: 

In this exciting second installment in the Arkeepers series, Jake, age 11, and Alexa, age 8, are from a long line of Angelik ancestry and they are also known as the Arkeepers. Their grandmother gave Jake a magnifying glass on his birthday that once belong to his grandmother, who as also a Keeper. The kids, along with their cat Rex, travel through the magnifying glass to other worlds, where Rex can talk to them. Keepers are the ones that investigate mysterious and keep evil from taking over.

After Jake and Alexa saved time in book one, they were warned by Delbert that others will seek their help. Once again, they go through the magnifying glass, where they meet the biggest cow rancher in the cosmos named Big Daddy. What is the great mystery for Inspector Moustachio and Inspector Girl this time? Well it seems that Big Daddy's cows have disappeared and is up to the brother and sister duo to solve the case.

Saturday, March 16

Review - Arkeepers: Episode One: Keepers

Arkeepers: Episode One: Keepers
By W.J. Madsen
Publisher: little m Books
Pub. Date: January 26, 2012
ISBN: 978-0983048701
ASIN: B007AUJB3U
Pages: 144

Review: 

There are not many recent children book releases that have caught my attention, but when I saw the neat cover art to Arkeeper: Episode One: Keepers, I knew I had to read it. The author, along with Review the Book, kindly sent me a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Jake receives a magnifying glass that belonged to his grandfather for his eleventh birthday from his Grandmother Moustachio, but this isn't a normal magnifying glass. Jake soon realizes that he can see a whole new world on the other side when a mysterious voice speaks to him asking for Inspector Moustachio's help. Being somewhat of an amateur detective, Jake, along with his eight-year-old sister, Alexa, and their cat, Rex, step through the magical magnifying glass and journey to a peculiar new world where Rex can actually speak.

Guest Post with author R. Costelloe


My wife’s love inspired me to write, but that takes a little explaining.

I wrote some as a kid mainly because of my parents. They encouraged me to try it, then cheered along my progress. In high school, I turned in science fiction short stories whenever the assignment scope permitted. In college, I wrote very little fiction. But I would sometimes compose novella-length stories while commuting by bus and subway train. In sort, I was an incidental fiction writer, at best.

But other forces were gathering that would eventually activate a compulsion to write. And they are forces that go back a-ways. As a child I developed an interest in romantic love that was unusual for a boy. And I guess I have a pair of older girl cousins to thank for that. They lived with us at various times, and I noticed that they were never happier than when they were romantically involved. Did I say happy? Better than that. They were near ecstasy whenever they were in love. I looked at them and saw something beautiful. As a result, I looked forward to the distant day that I could share such exquisite feelings with a girl who was just bound to be gorgeous. The only problem with this picture was that my cousins didn’t turn out to be very good at this romance thing. They were in and out of love because they kept getting their hearts broken, or they were breaking up with their beau of the month on a regular basis. Their woes caused me to look around at the relationships adults had, and that’s when I really got alarmed. Most adults had romances that seemed junkyards of how they started out. So humdrum, so bored, plus adults tended to let themselves go to pot, physically, so that they didn’t look the part of a romance partner anymore. Why was that? I didn’t know, but I was determined to have better if I could find a way.

My Revolt Journey: Week 2

After a full day of rest on Sunday, my official second week of the Revolt fitness workout program from Nichole Huntsman began. Spring is nearly here and I'm already battling allergies, but I didn't let that stop me from working out.

Just like the first week, there are many squats in every circuit (which there are two to three circuits that you repeat twice) and a few lunges. Let's just say my gluts were on fire on Wednesday, which was a much need rest day. There were several exercises that I never tried before, like Thrusters and Russian Twists. The workouts ranges from twenty to thirty minutes, but don't let the time fool you as you will workout your entire body.

Unlike some programs that give you only a basic guideline of what to eat, everything in Revolt is planned out for you. The thought of changing your diet may scare you, but you don't have to starve to death. You just have to make better choices. One of my new habits is eating a full breakfast, like the Power Pancakes. You actually get five meals a day, which is more than what I was eating before.

Friday, March 15

Interview with author Victoria Danann

What or whom inspired you to become a writer? 

I think writers are born, not made. My theory is that, if you watch closely, people will usually tell you who they are supposed to be by age eight or so. At that point I was penning Bobbsey Twins stories that would be called fanfiction today.

What types of books do you read?

I stay up on PNR. I need to know what other people are doing so that I can avoid that. My interest runs in phases. I spent a decade on the classics, another decade on Anne Rice, Stephen King and other paranomal authors. I spent a long time on nonfiction: religious studies, mythology, Viking sagas, early Germanic poetry, etc.

What well-known authors do you admire most? 

Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Shakespeare, Gloria Steinem

What were your writing habits while writing A Summoner‘s Tale? 

Since I run and contribute to a couple of businesses, manage a band, and play Classic Rock sometimes, I write when there's time.

How did you come up with the plot? 

This book is the third installment in a serial saga. It was the natural progression of events and life patterns established in the first two books. I can't address your question properly without major spoilers.

What is your favorite part in A Summoner‘s Tale? 

The conversation between Istvan Baka and Elora Laiken near the end of the book.

Book Blogger Hop: March 15th-21st

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!


Grab the Button!

If you want schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

(This week's question submitted by Christine)

Time to take a seat on the director's chair! If you could turn one of your favorite books into a film, who would you cast?

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

Smile Brilliant! Review and Giveaway



I'm a heavy coffee drinker, who refuses to drink from a straw. Even though I brush my teeth daily, I can't get rid of a few stains (most likely from the coffee) on my teeth. My focus this year has been on reinventing me, so naturally I have looked at the many whitening products in the stores. There are so many kits, strips and pastes on the shelves claiming to be the best that I don't have a clue who is telling the truth.

Luckily, I learned about that Smile Brilliant! were looking for blog reviewers to review their LED Teeth Whitening system and I quickly sent in my application. I figured there were many applications, so I wasn't expecting to be accepted, but I received an email confirming the product had been sent off. Of course I was excited about this and I was even more excited when it only took two days to receive it in the mail.

The LED Teeth Whitening kit came in a neat little box (see the above picture) and contained a High intensity Ultra-Blue LED activating light (with batteries), top & bottom protective trays, 4ml Professional whitening gel pen, and a small brush. The product is simple to use. All you have to do is use the whitening gel pen to paint the stained teeth. To stop the gel from coming off, quickly slip the whitening trays into your mouth. Next, you place the light transmitter against the trays and wrap your lips around the rim, so it won't come out. Last, you turn on the light and leave it alone for 20 - 45 minutes. Depending on your sensitivity you can go a bit longer, up to two hours and you don't have to use the LED light constantly. After you are finished, you need to wash and dry the mouthpieces.

Thursday, March 14

Audio Review - The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke 
By. L. Ron Hubbard 
Director: Jim Meskimen
Starring: Michael Yurchak, R.F. Daley, Lori Jablons, Jim Meskimen, Richard Ricco
Studio: Galaxy Press
Pub. Date: January 19, 2009
ISBN: 978-1592121731
Approx. 2 hours

Review:

I know that audiobooks have been around practically my entire life in some form or another, but I have never listened to one until last year when I reviewed several titles from Stories from the Golden Age, which are all by the late L. Ron Hubbard. The majority of the short stories were written during the 1930s and 1940s where there was a boom of magazines on the newsstands. Many of them were cheap looking, made from pulp paper and featured countless adventure tales from well-known writers. Galaxy Press was generous enough to send me a box of audiobooks last month in exchange for my honest review on each one.

My latest audiobook that I listened to this week is titled The Iron Duke (winner of the Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine) and it originally appeared in the July 1940 issue of Five-Novels Monthly. The plot centers on a weapon smuggler Blacky Lee, who isn't liked by the Nazis and most of Europe due to him selling malfunction weapons. He doesn't have very many friends, beside from his loyal companion Stub Doyle.

Wednesday, March 13

Send a Sweet Gift To A Friend Review & Giveaway

Blogging has given me the opportunity to try out many different new products. Last week, I got a chance to work with a company called LittleSomething.com. What is does this company offer? Well, they carry many gifts for under $10 with free shipping (there is an option for faster shipping at an additional charge) that you can send to a loved one. With each gift you get to write a personal message that will be printed onto a stylish note card. For a few bucks more you can have the gift wrapped.

The site carries many items for both children and adults, such as the Sonic Flyer toy plane, Rush Hour Mini Play Scene, Rubber Band Ball, Paddywax Candle, Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn, and many other nifty items. LittleSomething.com nicely offered me two free gifts in exchange for my honest review, one for me and one for a friend. I thought this was perfect as my friend, Michelle, has a birthday at the end of the month. So what did I order for her? I got her the Happy Birthday! Celebration Cake that includes a microwave safe cooking bowl, a cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, a candle, a balloon, and a party horn. For me, I got the Mint Chocolate Chip Poppie's Cookies as I do have a sweet tooth.

What’s A Witch To Do?-The Soundtrack


I don’t do silence. I can’t. I grew up surrounded by chaos instrumented by three demons by the names of Ryan, Liam, and Trevor, my three younger brothers. These were not, and still aren’t, studious, well behaved darlings who liked nothing better than to sit down with a good book or play with her dolls like their angel big sister. No, these boys had enough energy and testosterone to supply an entire Starbucks and bodybuilding gym with some still left over to attempt to “kill” or “wrestle” their sister and each other. Screams, whining, and loud bangs on the television and walls were staples of my youth. So when I moved out on my own, I soon discovered I needed the noise. There is always a television or radio on, even as I fall asleep. This is true when I’m writing as well. I can write pretty much anywhere (if you have a strong desire to stalk me, see the acknowledgments page of my books to see where I write), but the one thing that helps get my creative juices flowing the most is music. The right song can make or break my scene, even inspiring me on some occasions.

As I’m writing, I find that certain songs really helped pump up the visuals and mood. They helped me get to a place where I needed to get inside my head to convey what was going on in my imagination and translate that to the page. Music just adds so much more to the experience. So I started compiling playlists for the books. Like the book, the soundtrack has a narrative flow in line with the book. You don’t have to like all the songs, I have eclectic taste, but at the very least if you sample them, you’ll get a feel for the book. Since this one, What’s A Witch To Do? is set in the South, and I am a closet country music fan, these selections are some of the best Nashville has to offer. Even if you don’t think you enjoy country music, just try one or two. We may make a country fan of you yet. So here it is:

Tuesday, March 12

Holy Smokes, Its Batman!


Anybody who follows my blog knows that my favorite holiday is Halloween. When I was a kid I use to love to dress up and go trick-or-treating. I went as Oscar the Grouch, a Transformer, a pirate, and Jason Voorhees. By the time I entered junior high, I had quit dressing up, but I did continue to decorate the house. Recently, I got a chance to review a superhero costume from Costume SuperCenter. I didn't realize there were so many different types of costumes for kids, adults, and even pets.

I'm not much a comic reader, but I'm a fan of the Dark Knight movies. Costume SuperCenter has many different costumes to choose from including the villains Joker and the Riddler. So which one did I choose? Well, of course I picked out the Batman muscle costume to review.

Three Sides to the Story By Scott R. Caseley



Isosceles begins with nineteen-year-old Sean McIntyre finding his longtime best friend Trey Goodsby dead in the bathroom either intentionally or accidentally by his own hand. On the back of the toilet, a cell phone display reads, Missed Call From Madeline Edwards. Before determining the immediate circumstances that would bring the three of them to this scene, the pertinent question became where did they meet? I floated a few ideas around, but none of them seemed natural. One concrete thing was it needed to be a place where on the outset they could be equals. Ironically, the answer came to me as the first day of school. When many of us think of our school days, we think of struggling to fit in, to climb our way up the social ladder. Then I posited, that whatever lasting impressions these three had on each other should be seeded in this environment.

On a sunny autumn day, Sean walks into the classroom with a sea of children before him as an ironic homage to a scene in one of my favorite films, “Goodfellas”. There’s a famous tracking shot where the camera follows Ray Liotta’s character Henry Hill taking his girlfriend Karen played by Lorraine Bracco to the Copacabana through the back entrance. You see all the various people doing their thing, and Hill walks through like he belongs, almost like he’s royalty. However though Hill felt all that confidence, I wanted Sean to feel small and insignificant.

After that moment, I knew the next place to go was to introduce Madeline into his world in a surreal way. It had to contrast with the faces of his classmates whom he cannot put a name to, yet I knew it had to keep with the notion of his insecurity. When he sees Madeline in the sunlight and is completely transfixed, it was important to state she has an ethereal glow. This served a dual purpose, not just his attraction, but to establish her as someone whom Sean sees as above him.

Review - Swept Away

Swept Away
By Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: March 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209147
ASIN: B00AHY0T0A
Pages: 320
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/iwbMo
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/mconnealy

Review:

After enjoying the Kincaid Brides, I eagerly signed up to review Mary Connealy's first book in the Trouble in Texas series from Litfuse Publicity Group and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Luke Stone fought during the Civil War and now four years later he is returning to claim his family's ranch, S Bar S, but there is a slight problem ahead of him as his father had sold the ranch years ago to Flint Greer, or so he claims to. Greer's story has many holes in it as Luke has the deed to the ranch. He starts to wonder if Greer had anything to do with his father's death.

Ruthy MacNeil is traveling with her family to California by wagon and she isn't looking forward to it as she is informed that she'll be forced to marry her step-brother, Vernon. The family is already working her to death and being married to Vernon will probably kill her, so the only out is for her to leave. While she tries to make her escape, she is swept away at a river crossing, but out of nowhere, Luke rescues her.

Supplements Are Great in the Morning for Breakfast Skippers

Skipping the morning meal may give you extra time to get to class on time or beat traffic while heading to work, but you may be skipping out on some important vitamins and nutrients too. Fortunately, most of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you need can be found in supplements; some of which need to be taken with some type of food or beverage, but a bagel or a glass of orange juice can take care of that without seriously slowing your schedule down.

Hazards of Skipping Breakfast

Skipping breakfast itself isn't bad, as long as you don't skip out on essential nutrients too. Having supplements instead of meal can have a significant impact on your overall productivity during the day. If you skip breakfast and do nothing to supplement the nutrients you are losing, you are more likely to make unhealthy eating choices during the rest of your day, according to research cited by the Society for Neuroscience. Other potential issues associated with skipping breakfast include:

  • Raised cardiometabolic risk factors
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Decreased energy levels 
  • Reduced productivity
 
Choosing the Right Supplements 

Now that you know that you need supplements to get the nutrients you need for the day, the next step is choosing the right supplements. Everybody needs certain vitamins and nutrients to sustain energy levels throughout the day. Most of the vitamins you need to start your day can either be taken with breakfast or found in a supplement, which may include a protein shake, protein bar or a multivitamin. The basic vitamins and supplements that most people need on a daily basis include:

Monday, March 11

Mill Creek Blu-Ray/DVD Giveaway & a 25% Discount Code



I have some exciting news! Mill Creek Entertainment has been nominated in several key categories for the Home Media Magazine Award.

Best Older TV Show on Disc
That ’70s Show: Season 1 Blu-ray, Mill Creek
Masters of the Universe: 30th Anniversary Commemorative Collection, Mill Creek

Best Complete TV Series Set
Masters of the Universe: 30th Anniversary Commemorative Collection, Mill Creek

Best Boxed Set(Non-TV) 
Daimajin Triple Feature Blu-ray, Mill Creek

Best Nonfiction TV Show 
Up From Slavery, Mill Creek

Best Packaging – click to view all packaging nominees: http://www.homemediamagazine.com/lists/2013-home-media-awards-art-and-packaging-nominees
Masters of the Universe: 30th Anniversary Commemorative Collection (Castle Grayskull), Mill Creek