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Tuesday, April 30

Review - Truth Stained Lies

Truth Stained Lies
Moonlighters Series
By Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: March 12, 2013
ISBN: 978-0310283133ASIN:
Pages: 320


Review: 

In the murder mystery Truth Stained Lies from bestselling author Terri Blackstock, an ex-lawyer, Cathy Cramer, spends her day as a investigate blogger, writing posts on high-profile homicides. She uses her knowledge to help her brother, Jay, who is the #1 suspect in his wife's, Annalee, murder. To make matters worse, Cathy receives threatening notes on her blog.

Cathy is determined to find the real killer and enlists the aid of her two sisters, Holly and Juliet, and a private investigator, Michael. Holly is a taxi driver and Juliet is a stay-at-home mother of two little boys, but they act as private investigators to help clear Jay of murder. Michael is the brother of Cathy's ex-fiancé who was killed by a drug dealer. Together, they are determined to solve the mystery.

Review - Destined (House of Night)

Destined
House of Night
By: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub. Date: April 30, 2013
ISBN: 978-0312387983
Pages: 336

Review: 

Before the eleventh book from the popular House of Night series is released this fall, get caught up on all the drama with the today's paperback release of book nine, Destined. St. Martin's Griffin was nice enough to send me a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Despite being the ninth installment, Destined flows more like a stand-alone spin-off, where Aurox and Neferet are summoned by the white bull, but Neferet come up with a plan for Aurox to kill the white bull, so she can become the one and only Goddess of Vampyres.

The heroine, seventeen-year-old Zoey Redbird, is struggling with the possible death of her mother, while at the same time she stumbles upon Neferet's plan to take control of the Houses, who has returned to the House despite her previous evil actions. Neferet awkwardly accepts Rephaim (who has been granted the gift of humanity, so he can be with the love of his life, Stevie Rae) at the House of Night. Aurox isn't too far behind, causing chaos in the Houses. Zoey and her friends have their hands full as they try to stop Neferet's evil plans.

Monday, April 29

Monday Morning Madness #15: What To Do When You Are Bored?


Yes, once again, I'm posting my weekly morning post at almost midnight. Why? Well, I must admit that I slept in until after 10 A.M… No, I'm not sick, I didn't turn in until nearly four in the morning because I was playing an old NFL Playstation 2 game (Yes, I know I'm a little behind in technology.). I have tons of PS2 games, but I haven't turned the thing on in over a year. And when I do play a game, I play for hours at a time. Why do I play for so long? I guess I'm just bored or something.

I have a habit of drinking coffee around midnight. Normally, it is because I'm doing some last minute writing, like tonight. Actually, because of my gaming, I'm now behind in a few reviews and other things, though, I did manage to get one new review posted today, which was kind of a difficult thing to do with Blogger being so slow lately.

CD Review: Shake It Up: I 3 Dance Soundtrack

Shake It Up: I <3 Dance Soundtrack
Studio: Walt Disney Records
Release Date: March 5, 2013
ASIN: B00AMEZCVQ
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

I've been a music lover since I was a kid, liking a wide variety of artists and styles, ranging from folk music to gothic rock, and the occasional soundtrack. Recently, I got a chance to review the newest soundtrack from the Disney Channel's hit series Shake It Up titled I <3 Dance, which I received free of charge in exchange for my honest review. From time to time, I have run across the series and watched a few episodes, but I was unaware that Selena Gomez sang the Shake It Up Theme Song.

The soundtrack features many Disney Channel's stars, including Selena Gomez singing the theme), Zendaya (from Shake It Up and currently on Dancing with the Stars), Bella Thorne (Shake It Up), Caroline Sunshine (Shake It Up), Roshon Fegan (Shake It Up), Coco Jones (Let It Shine), Olivia Holt (Kickin' It), and Bridgit Mendler (Good Luck, Charlie), along with the McClain Sisters, Dove Cameron, and Y.LA.

The songs featured on this release are:

Friday, April 26

Book Blogger Hop: April 26th - May 2nd

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 Tanya)

What was the last book you read that made you laugh out loud?


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:
I would have to say "The Very First Bite" by Cynthia Langston is the funniest book I have read this year. You can read my review here.


Linky List:

6 Cars that Will Save You Money on Gas

Gas is a major expense for many families in the United States; and it’s also a cost that’s hard to avoid. That’s why you should look for a fuel-efficient vehicle if you do a lot of driving. Not only is it better for the environment, but it will save you money, too. So, take a look at these six hybrids that get good gas mileage.

2013 Toyota Prius

2012 Toyota Prius v
Image via Flickr by mariordo59

 Gas mileage: 51 City / 48 Hwy The Prius has always been among the most fuel-efficient cars, and Toyota keeps the price low so more people can afford it. It has a 4-cylinder, 1.8-liter engine that can go from 0 to 60 in 9.8 seconds. One thing that many consumers like about the Prius is its roomy back seat that fits three adults.

Audio Review - Hell's Legionnaire

Hell's Legionnaire
By L. Ron Hubbard
Director: Jim Meskimen
Starring: Phil Proctor, Brooke Bloom, R.F. Daley, Jim Meskimen, Gino Montesinos, Enn Reitel and Michael Yurchak
Studio: Galaxy Press
ISBN-13: 978-1592122622
Release Date: March 21, 2011
Running Time: 2 hours 18 minutes

Review:

Before eReaders, cable TV, cell phones, and computers, people during the 30s and 40s (known as the golden age) spent their time going to the picture shows, listening to the serials on the radio, and reading pulp fiction magazines. Galaxy Press has been releasing the late L. Ron Hubbard's short stories onto audiobooks featuring an outstanding voice casts and amazing sound effects. Galaxy press sent me a complimentary copy of Hell's Legionnaire in exchange for my honest review. The story first appeared in the July 1935 issue of Mystery Adventures. There are two other adventure tales called The Barbarians and The Squad That Never Came Back.

In Hell's Legionnaire, an American, Dusty Colton, voluntarily joins the French Foreign Legion, but soon abandons his duties and quickly finds himself in confrontation with the Berber tribal in North Africa. He witnesses the tribal slaughtering of a geological survey team. He starts to question whether he was better off with the Legion. The lone survivor of the massacre is a woman. Dusty can't stand by and watch her be killed. He must come up with a solid plan to save the woman from the tribal and escape the Legion at the same time.

Thursday, April 25

Review - Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn Series

Normally, I would have to wait several months or even a year to read a sequel to a book, but that didn't happen with the Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn as I received books one and two in this exciting new series free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group and Guideposts in exchange for my honest review.

After their mother had passed away, Caroline Marris follows her sisters Gracie Gold and Sam Carter to the Nantucket Island for a getaway. The sisters have fond memories of staying at the Misty Harbor Inn when they were children, but they are shocked to find the inn is now closed.

Their mother adored the Inn and Caroline can't see the building go to waste, so she talks her sisters into buying it. Gracie and Sam is surprised that their care-free sister is wanting to go into business with them, but they agree to run the hotel with her, even though Gracie is hesitant to move away from her home and her grandchildren.

The sisters are curious about the history of the Inn and run across a startling discovery when they find a few old postcards. It seems the young widow, Hannah Montague, of the original owner mysteriously disappeared in 1880.

Tuesday, April 23

Review - The Magic Pumpkin

The Magic Pumpkin
By Benji Alexander Palus
Publisher: iUniverse
Pub. Date: January 10, 2013
ISBN: 978-1475970487
ASIN: B00B0VJTM8
Pages: 316

Review:

Five-year-old Owen adores his younger brother Oliver and is saddened when Oliver becomes ill. Mysteriously, a magical portal appears and the brothers go through it, transporting them to a magical land. There in this land, Oliver is well and can play games with Owen.

They like to fly on the magical pumpkin and explore the land, but there is a dark force hiding there. Owen and Oliver use the magical pumpkin to protect them at night. They love to play in this land, but they miss their parents deeply. If they go back though the portal, Owen and Oliver may never get to play together again.

Review - Patalosh: The Time Travelers

Patalosh: The Time Travelers
By Z. Altug and Tracy Gensler
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pub. Date: February 29, 2012
ISBN: 978-1463521332
ASIN: B007KLJWL0
Pages: 360

Review: 

Authors Z. Altug  and Tracy Gensler have created an entirely new world in Patalosh: The Time Travelers. The ancient civilization of the Taloshians live on the island of Patalosh on the planet Lumina, where they built the HMS Exploricus airship that can time-travel through portals. They arrived at Earth and settle in Antarctica.

Ten-year-old Orion Spence lives aboard the airship. One day he wakes up to find that his dad (the captain) and his mother (science officer) have been kidnapped by the villain Emperor Daaggerd, who wants control of the HMS Exploricus and the Orion's family book titled Ancient Book of Spells.

Orion locates the first officer and the rest of the crew. He goes on a quest to rescue his parents from the evil Emperor's clutches.

Monday, April 22

Monday Morning Madness #15: Bad Things Happen in Threes


Once again I find myself writing this post at nearly midnight instead of in the morning. I had tossed and turned the previous night and I fell asleep in at nearly six o'clock this morning, resulting in me sleeping in a little late. The last few weeks have been chaotic, causing me to feel worn out.

It seems that bad things really happen in threes. The breaker to my bathroom blew out a few months ago. It has been temporarily fixed, but I've been told that the breakers I have aren't made anymore. My father had a light stroke this month, which I was back and forth the hospital. He has been released and is slowly recovering. The thunderstorms last week lead to rainwater leaking into the finished basement, which has never happened before. The water is mostly gone, but the carpets are still damp. I've tried using a carpet cleaner on them, but it isn’t helping much.

Bloggers Wanted for Kiss the Cook Event!


Kiss the Cook Event

Organized by: Mom Powered Media
Prize: Rachael Ray Cookware Prize Package
Event dates: 6/3 - 6/24

 

Saturday, April 20

Review - The Heiress of Winterwood

The Heiress of Winterwood
By Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: April 9, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401688356
ASIN: B00A2AG674
Pages: 320
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/jXbHV
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sladd

Review:

Though I have read a few Jane Austen books, I'm not the biggest fan of the Regency genre. After seeing the dazzling cover for The Heiress of Winterwood, I thought I would give the book a try, so I signed up to review the book, which I received free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Amelia Barrett is set to inherit her late father's English estate when she reaches the age twenty-four. Her uncle has taken reign over the estate until she comes of age and is married. She is set to marry Edward Littleton, but there is a small problem she must come to terms with. It seems Amelia had promised her dying friend, Katherine, that she would take care of her baby girl, Lucy. Edward is furious over the situation and informs Amelia that she can't raise the child after they are wedded.

She already loves Lucy as her own daughter and will do anything to keep her, which leads Amelia proposing marriage to Captain Graham Sterling, even though she has never met him before. It seems this sea captain is Lucy's birth father. Amelia's twenty-fourth birthday is quickly approaching. She needs to be married to keep her estate and to keep Lucy in her life.

Review - Sweet Sanctuary

Sweet Sanctuary
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: April 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764207891
ASIN: B00AHY0UFY
Pages: 352
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/jRdKJ
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/KSawyer 

Review:

I've been a big of fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books, especially the Mennonite books, so I eagerly signed up to review Sweet Sanctuary courtesy of Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Set in 1944, Dr. Micah Hatcher's world is suddenly changed when out-of-the-blue he receives a mysterious letter from his ex-girlfriend's (Lydia Eldredge) father. It seems that Mr. Eldredge has somehow gotten the idea that Micah is the father of Lydia's son, Nicky. The man is forcing legal troubles if Micah doesn't take responsibility of being the boy's father. Of course, this is all a mistake? Right?

Dr. Hatcher arrives at the Eldridge household to unravel the confusion, where he meets the young Nicky playing in the yard. Nicky instantly befriends Hatcher, calling him Micah-my-friend. Old sparks rekindle when Dr. Hatcher catches a glimpse of the lovely Lydia.

Friday, April 19

Book Blogger Hop: April 19th - 25th

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 Tanya)

What was last book you read that made you cry?


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:
Maybe it is because I'm a guy, but I have never cried from reading a book. If the book is good, I do get emotionally connected to the characters. Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer is my most recent read where I felt deeply for the characters.

Linky List:

@KimVogelSawyer “Sweet Sanctuary” Cupcake Club Giveaway and Facebook Party! {4/30}

To celebrate the release of  Sweet Sanctuary Kim Vogel Sawyer is giving away a Cupcake Club membership (monthly cupcake delivery!) from the amazing Magnolia Bakery in New York and hosting a Facebook Author Chat party {4/30}!


Sweet-Sanctuary-giveaway300

One "sweet" winner will receive:
    • Cupcakes from NYC’s Magnolia Bakery delivered to your door every month. (Eat them all yourself or share!)
    • Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer for you and four of your friends. (Start a book group — cupcakes and a "sweet" read!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Sweet Sanctuary" Author Chat Party on 4/30. Connect with Kim, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be fun giveaways - gift certificates, books, and more!

DVD Review - Exhale: Core Fusion Barre Basics for Beginners

Exhale: Core Fusion Barre Basics for Beginners
Instructors: Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito
Studio: Acorn Media
ASIN: B00BEZECEA
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Run Time 70 minutes, plus turtorials
Rating: Not Rated

Review:

My New Year's Resolution is to have a new me by the end of the year, which involves exercising. I'm not the most flexible person thanks to my lower back and knee problems, which has led me to try out new workouts. Most recently I've been trying out the Exhale: Core Fusion Barre Basics for Beginners, which I received an advanced complementary copy in exchange for my honest review.

I was already aware of other Barre workout programs that are targeted for ballets and dancers, which I'm neither as I'm unbalanced, but the "for beginners" in the workout title caught my attention and I thought I would give it a try.

Core Fusion was created by the husband and wife team of Fred DeVito and Elizabeth Halfpapp and they also own the Exhale mind body spas. Don't let the word Barre fool you as this DVD is aimed for anyone, even the non-athletics like me.

Thursday, April 18

DVD Review - Flash Gordon: The Complete Series

Flash Gordon: The Complete Series
Starring: Eric Johnson, Gina Holden, Karen Cliche, Jody Racicot
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: April 16, 2013
ASIN: B00BHLTIXQ
Discs: 4
Features: None
Run Time: 963 minutes
Rating:  TV-14

Review: 

Flash Gordon was a popular 1930's comic strip by Alex Raymond and ended its run in 2003. In 1935 it became a weekly radio series. The comic made its way onto the small screen in the live-action 1954-1955 series and the animated 1979-1980 series. Three more short-lived cartoon series followed in 1982, 1986, and 1996. Flash even made it on the big screen in forty serials between 1936 and 1940. The comic is more famously known for the 1980 box-office flop that featured a soundtrack by Queen, but over the years it has been become a cult classic.

Flash Gordon returned to television on Sci-Fi (now known as SyFy) for the 2007-2008 live-action series. It was released on DVD in Canada in 2009, but it was unavailable in the United States until Mill Creek Entertainment released it on DVD on Tuesday, which I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

The series followed Flash Gordon's quest to find his lost scientist father, who had disappeared when Flash was only a thirteen-year-old. His father's former assistant Dr. Hans Zarkov informs him that his father didn't disappear. His father had found a rift between space and traveled to another world called Mongo. Along with his ex-girlfriend reporter Dale Arden, Flash travels to Mongo, a world ruled by the dictator Ming, who controls Mongo's only water supply. Flash and Dale soon befriend Baylin, who helps them try to stop Ming.

The episodes on the DVD set are:

L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future 2013 Event

The Writers of the Future annual contest for new science fiction and fantasy writers started in 1983 by its founder and author L. Ron Hubbard. The first ceremony to announce the winners took place in 1985. The illustration contest started in 1988.

The writing and illustration contests continues and is more poplar every year. The winning stories and illustrations will be published in the annual anthology.

The 2013 ceremony took place this past Sunday, which was streamed live.
 

Tuesday, April 16

DVD Review - Once Upon a Rhyme

Once Upon a Rhyme
Studio: Nickelodeon
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
ASIN: B00BAXTYBM
DVD SRP: $14.99
Run Time: 139 minutes
Rated: NOT RATED
Features: Full Screen Format; Dolby Digital - English Stero

Review:

Nickelodeon will be releasing Once Upon a Rhyme on DVD on April 30, 2013 featuring the most popular nursery rhyme episodes from Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, The Fresh Beat Band, Dora the Explorer, The Wonder Pets!, and Blue's Room.

I'm not too familiar with the programs aimed for pre-schoolers, but I was aware of Dora the Explorer and Blue's Room, but the other four shows are new to me. Nickelodeon nicely sent me a complimentary early copy for this review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Bubble Guppies is completely new to me. The series takes place in the underwater city Bubbletucky. This release features the episode "Who's Gonna Play the Big Bad Wolf", where Deema finds her passion for acting when she fills in as the Big Bad Wolf for the production of The Three Little Pigs.

In the episode Umi City Treasure Hunt from the series Team Umizoomi, Milli, Geo and Bolt find a treasure map and go on a treasure hunt all across Umi City. This is a cute episode with lots of adventure, plus it is also educational.

The Fresh Beat Band is the only live-action series on this release, featuring the episode "Royal Wedding", where the band is excited about the upcoming Royal Wedding, but the wedding may never happen as the Princess has a crush on their fellow band member, Twist. The episode reminds me of S Club 7, only sillier. I'm sure children will love the catchy music.

Monday, April 15

Monday Morning Madness #14: The Unexpected


I was hoping for a great 2013 with me getting into shape, writing more reviews and publishing more stories, but God likes to challenge people. I currently have an ear infection, sinuses and a sore throat, which I'm somewhat feeling decent thanks to some over-the-counter meds. On Thursday, my father had a micro-stroke, which hopefully he will be released from the hospital later today, but the recovery process will take sometime.

I'm pissed off that members of my family didn't visit my dad in the hospital. It'll be up to my mom and me to look after him for a few weeks, especially with his eyesight having blind spots, which may or may not improve. I think he can start driving in a few days and go back to work, but he is in for a surprise as his car keys are going to be hidden for awhile. There's also the issue with his tobacco use, which has to stop if he wants to avoid another stroke. 

ZICAM Intense Sinus Relief Review & Giveaway


I never really suffered from allergies until last year when it seemed I was sick every little bit with sinus drainage. Every time the weather changes, my sinuses act up. Spring is here and I mowed the yard for the first time yesterday. I didn't have any allergy problems when mowing, but I did last year. Once the weather gets hot again, I'm sure I'll be having problems.

Being a blogger, I get many opportunities to work with different companies and review different products. Recently, I got a chance to review ZICAM Intense Sinus Relief nasal gel free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I've only have tried a few nasal sprays before, most them were the cheap brands and none of them helped. I've seen the ZICAM brand in the stores, but I have never tried any before.

The nasal gel contains a cooling menthol and eucalyptus. The non-drowsy spray is to help give you a quick relief of your sinus pressure and nasal congestion for up to 12 hours.

Does it work?

Sunday, April 14

Find the Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Mother's day is only a few weeks away, which for me it becomes harder and harder every year to come up with new presents ideas for my mom and grandmother. Sure, I can get my grandmother a music CD and get my mom a quilt book, but they have so many I wouldn't know which ones they already own. Luckily, I received an opportunity to work with Oriental Trading Company, Inc, who nicely sent me a $25 gift card for me and another one for a giveaway (see the bottom of the post for it) in exchange for an honest review.

Picking out a few gifts for my mom and grandmother wasn't as easy as I thought it would be as Oriental Trading has many different products for Mother's Day. Some of the bestsellers are the "2013 Happy Mother's Day" Magnet Picture Frame Craft Kit, DIY Flowerpots, DIY Ceramic Tea Cup Planters, and the 24 Magic Color Scratch Butterfly Ornaments.

After browsing for about two hours, I settled on the Bird Figurine for my grandmother. It is made out of resin and is 7"H. As you can see from the picture, the figurine is beautiful. It is on sale for only $3.99. At that price I figured it would be cheaply made, but I was completely wrong. The figurine is going to look great on top of my grandmother's entertainment center.

Saturday, April 13

My Revolt Journey Week 6

It's been a stressful week for me as there was and still is a family emergency since Thursday, but I still stayed on track with the 6th week Revolt Now Fitness with Nichole Huntsman.

This week's workouts consisted of new routines, like calf raises and woodchoppers. Of course there were a few of my returning favorites like thrusters, squats and dead lifts. What I like about the program is that you don't need a lot of large equipments. All you need is a pair of kettlebells, a pair of dumbbells, a medicine ball, and a stationary ball. You'll also need a bench (or a step bench), a sturdy chair, and a yoga mat for some of the workouts.

The diet plan is fairly simple, in other words eat health. I'm not great at dieting, but I have cut back on things and have been making healthier choices. Like today for an example, I ate lunch at a hospital cafeteria. I had a grilled fish and a small salad. And of course I had a cup of coffee too.

The Top Ten Murder Mystery Rules


SOME RULES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN. Others are broken at our peril. And still others are made to create peril, delicious, lovely peril for the victim in a good old fashioned murder mystery. With that goal in mind, for your consideration I hereby present my Top Ten Murder Mystery Rules. Mystery authors should feel free to stretch them to the breaking point, but do bear in mind that most of the great murder mystery novels abide by them all, and for good reason. They work. 

1. There must be at least one murder, or else good reason to believe a murder has been, or will be, committed. 

2. The murderer’s identity must be unknown to the reader. If the murderer’s identity is unknown to the protagonist but known to the reader, the book is a suspense or thriller novel, not a murder mystery. 

3. The murderer may not be identified through a character’s psychic powers, or through magic, or through time travel, or a futuristic machine. In such cases, the book is some form of speculative fiction, not a murder mystery. 

4. The murderer and the motive for the murder must be clearly identified in the novel, preferably at the end. 

5. While the murderer may be insane, the reason for the murder must be understandable. 

Friday, April 12

Book Blogger Hop - April 12th - 18th

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 Tanya)

What was the last book you read from a genre you don't normally read?


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:
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future: Volume XXVIII. I don't read science fiction very often, but I received the anthology free in exchange for a review.

Linky List:

Thursday, April 11

Review - Threads of Grace

Threads of Grace
By Kelly Long
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: February 12, 2013
ISBN: 978-1595548726
ASIN: B00A2AG4EO
Pages: 304


Review:

As many of my blog readers know, I'm a fan of Amish fiction as I have reviewed countless titles on here in the last few years. My recent Amish read is the eBook Threads of Grace by Kelly Long, which I received free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Grace Raber hasn't had such a simple life as she once dreamed about. She married a rich framer, Silas Beiler, that she didn't love to help pay off her family's debt. She thought maybe she would grow to love him over time, but she was wrong as the man is controlling, cruel, and cares nothing about her feelings. Silas emotionally, verbally, and psychically abuses her.

Once her Autism son, Abel, was born, she prays to the Lord for help and eventually Silas dies. Grace and Abel quickly move to a new Amish community in another state to start a new and better life. Before long, Grace meets a younger Seth Wyse, who is instantly in love with her. Grace wants to fall in love, but she fears of being hurt again.

Amish marriages are different than ours as if a husband dies, a woman has six months to get married or the husband's single brother can take claim. Now, six months have passed and Silas's brother, Tobias, locates Grace and demands her hand in marriage.

Review - The Air We Breathe

The Air We Breathe
By Christa Parrish
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: November 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-0764205552
ASIN: B008B9HRDK
Pages: 352


Review: 

After changing their names and leaving their past behind them, seventeen-year-old, Molly Fisk, and her mother are starting to rebuild their lives. Molly would love to enjoy life like other teens, but due to some childhood trauma, anxiety holds her back from stepping outside her house.

She longs for friendship or even a boyfriend. Life is full of surprises as Molly runs into a unique girl, Claire Rodriguez, a once silent girl that Molly was friends with back in her old life, where Claire and her mother suddenly vanished without saying goodbye.

Molly and Claire have more things in common than they know and together they may be able to help each other heal their emotional wounds and regain their faith.

Wednesday, April 10

Review - The Bridesmaid

The Bridesmaid
By Beverly Lewis
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Pub. Date: September 11, 2012
ISBN: 978-0764209789
ASIN: B008B9HSLG
Pages: 320

Review:

Return back to Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania in the sequel to The Fiddler, where Joanna Kurtz dreams of being a writer, but being an Amishwoman, she keeps her writing a secret from her friends and family. She takes a trip to the Virginia Beach and she meets Eben Troyer. Sparks fly between the two, but she is returning to Pennsylvania and he is returning to his parent's farm in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Like other young lovers, they vow to write to each other. Typically, a long-distance relationship would fizzle quickly, but Eben and Joanna are determined to keep their relationship going, no matter what the costs.

Tuesday, April 9

Audio Review - Death Waits at Sundown

Death Waits at Sundown
Director: Jim Meskimen
Voice Cast: Fred Tatasciore, R.F. Daley, Shannon Evans, Taron Lexton, Jim Meskimen, Tamra Meskimen, Taylor Meskimen, Phil Proctor, Michael Yurchak
Studio: Galaxy Press
Release Date: March 21, 2012
ISBN: 978-1592124077
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours 

Review: 

During the 1930s and 1940s there was a boom of pulp magazine on the newsstands containing countless stories of adventures by great authors of its time. One of those authors was L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote hundreds of short stories, which are all being released onto audiobooks from Galaxy Press.I received a free copy of Death Waits at Sundown in exchange for my honest review. The audiobook consist of three amazing stories, Death Waits at Sundown, Ride 'EM, Cowboy!, and Boss of Lazy B.

Death Waits at Sundown was originally published in the 1938 issue of Western Story Magazine and centers on Lynn Taylor, who's younger brother, Lee, has been set up for robbery, cattle rustling, and murder! Lynn knows his brother is innocent and suspects that a member of the vigilante committee (McCloud) may be behind everything. The night before his brother's hanging, Lynn, along with the town's ex-sheriff, plan on robbing the stagecoach to help raise reasonable doubt for his brother, but awaiting them is McCloud.

The National Rodeo Champion, Long Tom Banner, is falling in love with the beautiful Vicky Steward in Ride 'EM, Cowboy! She feels the same way about him, but there is a little problem. They are going to compete against each other in three rodeo events that may jeopardize their relationship.

Monday, April 8

Monday Morning Madness #13: Norman Bates Loves His Mommy


I'm once again writing my morning rambling late at night. I really should get up earlier, but I toss and turn at night, leading me to fall asleep in the early morning hours, which also lead me to sleeping in. Yes, I'm officially hooked into the bizarre Bates Motel, aka the modern day prequel to the classic film Psycho and the book of the same name. I even watched the second and third films over Easter weekend. I dragged out the Robert Bloch books, but I haven't read them. Actually, I read the original Psycho when I was in high school. I stumbled upon the second and third books at a thrift store a few years ago. What is it about Norman's insanity that entertains me so much? I guess it could be worse, I could be watching Keeping Up with Kardashians, which, sadly, my grandmother watches it with every other halfwit reality series ever since her soap opera was cancelled.

Thank heavens my sinuses have mostly cleared up and my wisdom tooth is calming down. I have some more good news; I can finally fit into my 34 waist Calvin Klein jeans that I bought at a thrift store. I seldom every buy used clothes, but these jeans look brand new and was only three dollars. My dieting hasn't been the best and my exercise has been slow because my lower-back injury a few weeks ago, but something must be working. The way the yard looks I will be mowing by the end of the week, which means fresh air and exercise as I prefer to use a push-mower.

Promo Spot - The Soul's Mark: FOUND





Today it's my turn to host the WINNER of 2012 Royal Dragonfly Book Award:

The Soul's Mark: Found by Ashley Stoyanoff. 
(Book 1 in "The Soul's Mark" Series)

Release date: July 19, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance.



 Synopsis:


Anxious to leave her destructive past behind, Amelia Caldwell moves to Willowberg, excited for a fresh start. Once there, she discovers that her birthmark is more than it seems. She has been marked by a vampire’s soul. Not only does she hold his soul, but Amelia is also his soulmate.



After almost a century of searching for his soulmate, Mitchell Lang fears the worst—he is going to lose Amelia to another man. His heart takes over, and his impulsive decision to take away her free will and to intensify their bond quickly turns her growing love into hate.



When they become trapped in the emotional rollercoaster of their souls' bond, open conflict erupts. Amelia has no intentions of belonging to anyone, not even her soulmate, and Mitchell refuses to let her go.


While she frantically searches for a way to escape his grasp, Amelia unlocks the painful memories of her past and uncovers a powerful secret. But before she has a chance to explore her newfound edge, she finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly game of revenge and is forced to realize that YOU CANNOT RUN FROM DESTINY.


DVD Review - Kenya Moore: Booty Boot Camp

Kenya Moore: Booty Boot Camp
Studio: Acorn Media (Acacia)
Release Date: March 5, 2013
ASIN: B00BEZEFM4
Running Time: Approx. 90 min.
Rating: Not Rated

Review:

You may wonder why a man would be reviewing a workout intended for women. Well, I have lower-back problems, so I thought I would try out a workout that targets the gluteus maximus muscle. There aren't a whole lot of workout DVDs aimed for men, unless you count the high intensity ones, which aren't good for my back. Acacia nicely sent me a free copy of Kenya Moore" Booty Boot Camp in exchange for my honest review. Kenya Moore is a former Miss USA and is currently on the reality program The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which I have never watched before. Actually, I've never heard of Kenya before this workout DVD.

The workout DVD consist of a warm-up, a level 1 workout, a level 2 workout, a level 3 workout, a short cool-down, and a cool-down with additional ab-flattening workout. You don't have to play all the workouts straight through, as you can easily use the menu to pick out which ones you want to try out for the day. No weights are needed, but you do need to use a rug or yoga mat for the floor work.

Despite what the title suggests Kenya isn’t the instructor here, though she does take over for a few routines. The real instructor is Nikki Veal who teaches simple moves that are suppose to shrink your waist, define your abs and give you a butt lift.

Review: Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra

Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra
By Michael Dahl
Illustrator: Lisa K. Weber
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Pub. Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1434247216
Pages: 208

Review:

Charlie Hitchcock is back to solve another mystery in Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra. Everything starts out with Charlie helping the school bully Tyler (who he is secretly friends with) pass out flyers to the upcoming magic show at the Hocus Pocus Hotel. The hotel was once owned by the legendary Abracadabra, who disappeared fifty years ago. He didn't exactly disappear as the boys know his other identity. Abracadabra is hosting a show for amateur magicians which will lead to his return and retirement from the magician business.

The mystery begins when a fellow classmate of the boys goes missing while on stage with the magician Theopolis, who claims he gets his magic powers from demons. Charlie knows this is a lie. Both Tyler and he are determined to find out the truth, no matter what the costs.

Sunday, April 7

My Revolt Journey Week 5

The fifth week of Revolt with Nichole Huntsman went extremely fast consisting of new routines with Bulgarian split squats, thrusters, push-ups, butt kicks, and many other workouts. I was supposed to place paper towels under my feet for the pike-ups, but that didn't work as I have carpet floors, so I used two small paper plates instead.

After having lower-back pains for a few weeks, I was pain free for week five of Revolt, but I had a wisdom tooth that wanted to act up (and it is still causing some pain). I've been adding other workouts (yoga, stretching, cardio, and kickboxing, to my daily routines, except for today (Sunday) which is my much needed rest day.

Saturday, April 6

Interview with author Julia Phillips Smith




What or whom inspired you to become a writer?

That’s pretty hard to put a finger on. The moment I could put together little printed words on those spacer-lined sheets in first grade, I was already writing stories. I do remember being very conscious that the fictional little girl Laura Ingalls was in reality the author’s name on the front cover.

What types of books do you read?

My fiction reading has gone way down since I began writing books. I used to read on the bus to and from my day job, but for a while now I’ve been using my bus commute as naptime. I do love fantasy, and horror but not contemporary horror—I’m much more of a Gothic horror fan. Historical fiction, darker historical romance and every now and then a quirky contemporary novel like EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED.

What well-known authors do you admire most?

Mercedes Lackey, Roger Zelazny, C.S. Lewis and Sergei Lukyanenko for fantasy.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Anne Rice for my spooky fix.

Review - When Jesus Wept

When Jesus Wept
By Bodie & Brock Thoene
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: March 19, 2013
ISBN: 978-0310335931
ASIN: B008EGUFAW
Pages: 336
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/jubpF
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/BThoene
 
Review:

As many of my blog readers know, I am a heavy book reader as I have read many books from may authors and genres over the years. I had found one of the Zion Covenant books by Bodie & Brock Thoene at a thrift store years ago and I ended up checking out the rest of the series at my local library. I was more than eager to read their latest novel When Jesus Wept, courtesy of the publisher and Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Book One in The Jerusalem Chronicles is told from the point-of-view of David Ben Lazarus, who was owner of a vineyard in Bethany (near Jerusalem). He was living a simple life until he met a stranger, Jesus of Nazareth, who will forever change the course of his life.

When Jesus Wept covers the significant events of Lazarus as he witnesses Jesus’s teachings, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection, all which is in the Bible, but it also shows more of Lazarus's family and friends.

Friday, April 5

Book Blogger Hop: April 5th - 11th

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 Tanya)

What book have you've been meaning to read forever AND you finally did?


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:
I'm way behind on my personal reading (AKA - the books I buy myself). Between the hardbacks, paperbacks and eBooks that I have signed up to review, the other books just pile up and collect dust. I did read Merry Christmas, Alex Cross a few months ago, but I have many other James Paterson books to read. I would like to read Red Rain by R.L. Stine, the last few Goosebumps books (also by Stine), Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver, Unbreakable by Nancy Mehl, Forbidden Sisters by V.C.Andrews, and the last few Southern Vampire Mysteries this year, if I ever find the time. 

Linky List:

Review - The Very First Bite

The Very First Bite
By Cynthia Langston
Publisher: Cynthia Langston
Pub. Date: August 8, 2012
ISBN: 978-061565409
ASIN: B008Z4C1PU
Pages: 332
Buy Links: Paperback, Kindle
 
Review: 

Last year, I reviewed the well written Bicoastal Babe by Cynthia Langston and I was sent the author's newest novel last week free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I enjoyed the author's first novel, so I was more than eager to start reading The Very First Bite. I know it sounds like the title of a vampire book, but there is no supernatural plot here.

Actually, the plot is very realistic involving a thirty-something-year-old Lanie Albers who is dreading, but somewhat looking forward to her upcoming fifteenth high school reunion, which is only ten weeks away. She can't fit into that old prom dress anymore as she has put on around twenty pounds extra weight and baggage over the years. She is not the kind of person who likes to exercise or diet, but she is desperate to try anything from extreme diets (Adkins, Nutrisystem, Organic, diet pills, etc), overcrowded gyms, to an at home yoga DVD.

Lanie's life isn't perfect as she has a dead-end job and a non-committing UPS driver boyfriend (Mark). She gets advice from her younger and thinner sister, Libby, and several friends, including the guy, Lance, who lives in her apartment building. Memories of the past keeping haunting her, mostly about her high school boyfriend, Chad, and her ex-best-friend, Candace, forcing her to fall off every diet she tries. Despite some setbacks, Lanie is determined to drop those twenty pounds so she can flaunt her new body at the reunion, but she might not have a date as things with Mark are quickly going down the toilet.

Thursday, April 4

The Friday 56 - When Jesus Wept



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/

Interview with author Scott R. Caseley



What or whom inspired you to become a writer?

When I was in the second grade, my teacher had assigned us short stories to write as part of a new lesson plan. I became hooked right away. I wrote a tale about an elephant and his mother, then one giving human characteristics to food items, and several more. The goal was for us to write stories that we could bind with fabric covers and illustrate them ourselves. The teacher called this “publishing” them, and I think that I personally published at least ten.

What types of books do you read?

I like a good mystery, one that is character driven where the people are so dynamic that really anything is possible except the predictable. I’m reading two really great ones now, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn and “Turn of Mind” by Alice LaPlante.

What well-known authors do you admire most?

Wednesday, April 3

Book Spotlight - Coffee and Cockpits


Coffee and Cockpits
Jade Hart
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:

A New Adult Contemporary Romance, featuring Nina Poppins, a flight attendant, who can’t decide if she wants the sexy co-pilot or the yummy engineer… and ends up having both.

By day, Nina Poppins is a professional flight attendant, who lives to travel, and isn’t afraid to chase her dreams. By night, she’s an award winning salsa dancer who wears sexy corsets and garter belts. She keeps her two lives separate, and none of her colleagues suspect that cool, demure Nina has a hot, spicy side.

Liam Mikin is a co-pilot who can get any air-hostess he wants with one blazing look of his blue eyes. But for some reason he can’t get Nina. He senses there’s more to her beneath the professional cool shell, and he’s determined to find out what it is.

Review - Arkeepers: Episode 4: Guardians

Arkeepers: Episode 4: Guardians
By W.J. Madsen
Publisher: little m books
Pub. Date: January 26, 2012
ISBN: 978-0983048732
ASIN: B007AUJALI
Pages: 248

Review:

When there is a strange mystery to be solved, you can bet the Inspector Moustachio and Inspector Girl is there to solve the case. The brother and sister detective duo is actually an eleven-year-old Jake Moustachio and his eight-year-old sister, Alexa, along with their cat, Rex, and guinea pig, Sandy. They are the Keepers of the Universe, AKA the Arkeepers, who solve the mysteries of universe and battle the evil forces of the Deminion Darkeepers.

It is Halloween Night and there is chaos in the Moustachio's home. Jake and his friends are having an online Sphynx-3 video game marathon, while the doorbell keeps ringing with each new trick-or-treaters arriving for some candy.  Luckily, Grandma Moustachio is there to help their mother with the trick-or-treaters. Sounds like a great Halloween night, but Jake and Alexa are the Arkeepers, so they must drop everything they are doing to investigate a strange voice that comes from the other side of the magical magnifying glass. Of course, Rex and Sandy come along for the ride.

Review - Arkeepers: Episode 3: Darkeepers

Arkeepers: Episode 3: Darkeepers
By W.J. Madsen
Publisher: little m books
Pub. Date: January 26,2012
ISBN: 978-0983048725
ASIN: B007AUJDI8
Pages: 220

Review:

Jake Moustachio and his younger sister Alexa are not your typically kids as they are the Arkeepers, the Keepers of the Universe, just like their grandfather. They are the ones that investigate the mysteries of the universe and try to stop the evil Deminion Darkeepers from taking over.

Jake and Alexa are summoned through the magical magnifying glass (made of Egyptian Crystals) to solve another mystery. Their cat Rex and Alexa's guinea pig, Sandy, come along for the journey, where they can speak English in the other world.

Awaiting them is Captain Snappy, who needs their help as his ship is in danger. It seems a wicked sea witch named Jezebel has been released from her seashell. She has unleashed her wrath onto the Seven Seas by swallowing the ships and dragging them to the Shipwreck Bottom.