Saturday, 30 November 2013

DVD Review - Doctor Who: The Doctor's Revisited - Ninth-Eleventh

Doctor Who: The Doctor's Revisited Ninth-Eleventh
Starring: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith
Studio: BBC America
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Retail: $39.98
Running Time: 339 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


Doctor Who turned the big 50 last weekend and BBC is continuing the celebration by releasing Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited - Ninth-Eleventh featuring a 2-part story for each actor's (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith) tenure as the Doctor. Each story is presented in its original 2-part version, a feature film version with an introduction by Steven Moffat and a 25-minute documentary on each Doctor. Additionally, there are four magnets included with the set.

Christopher Eccleston's stay as the ninth Doctor may have been short, but he did help reboot the franchise for a new generation of fans. His final two episodes, Bad Wolf & The Parting of Ways) are presented in this set. The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack Harkness suddenly find themselves separated on various game shows (The Weakest Link, Big Brother and What Not To Wear), only for a few minor changes - the losers are exterminated. As the Doctor escapes the game show, he soon learns his enemy - Daleks are responsible. The Parting of Ways finds The Doctor sending Rose in the TARDIS back to Earth while he tries to stop a Dalek invasion, all leading to his regeneration.

The Stolen Earth and Journey's End are the two final episodes of the tenth Doctor's (David Tennant) third season (series) which brings former companions Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness and Sarah Jane Smith, to help him stop another Dalek invasion (created and led by Davros and the red supreme Dalek), but this time the Daleks are a step ahead the Doctor, as the Daleks have literally stolen Earth and have relocated it. It almost seems the Doctor will finally be defeated by his nemesis, but everyone's fate lies in the hands of Donna Noble.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Double Giveaway - Frankenstein & The Haunting Of Hill House

Penguin Horror Series
By Marry Shelley
Editor:  Guillermo del Toro
Publisher: Penguin Classics Hardcover
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013
Retail: $22.00
ISBN: 978-0143122333
Pages: 384

Purchase Link:

Book Description from

The epic battle between man and monster reaches its greatest pitch in the famous story of Frankenstein. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship . . . and horror.

The Haunting of Hill House
Penguin Horror Series
By Shirley Jackson
Editor: Guillermo del Toro
Publisher:  Penguin Classics Hardcover
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013
Retail: $22.00
ISBN: 978-0143122357
Pages: 288

Purchase Link:

Book Description from

The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre. First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting;' Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Giveaway Details:

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 : Ripley's Believe It or Not! "Dare to Look!"

Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Dare To Look!
ANNUAL, Book 10
Publisher: Ripley Publishing
Pub. Date: September 10, 2013
Retail: $28.95
ISBN: 978-1609910778
Pages: 256 
Format: Hardback

Purchase Links:

Description from

Dare to Look! is the 10th book – and best yet – in the phenomenal bestselling Ripley's Believe It or Not! annual series. It offers up the world of weird in an all-new collection of unbelievable stories from across the globe. The new Ripley's Believe It or Not! app allows hidden content in the book to come alive.

Jam-packed with a mind-boggling selection of incredible facts, crazy stories, jaw-dropping pictures, lists and interviews, this fantastic book also comes with bonus hidden content that's accessible using our Ripley's Believe It or Not! app. Step right into the world of Ripley's and see it come alive by scanning the special oddSCAN™ logos with a smartphone to reveal exclusive videos, images and more. Organized into thematic chapters, the crazy stories are illustrated with a wealth of amazing images throughout.

Published annually, with brand new extraordinary material every year, this interactive series presents the best of Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Billy's Review:

Book Blogger Hop: November 29th - December 5th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

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 submitted by Elizabeth!

Do you leave a link back to your blog when you participate in weekly memes?


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:

If there is some kind of Linky, then I will leave my blog's link in it. In the past, I have tried to leave my blog post's link in a comment section, but now I don't normally have too much time for other memes.

Linky List:

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Blu-Ray Review - Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes Untied

Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United
Voice Cast: Adrian Pasdar, Fred Tatasciore
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Retail: $39.99
Running Time: 71mins.
Rated: PG


The world of the Marvel universe is expanding every day with recent release of Thor: The Dark World in the theaters, the Agents of Shield television series on ABC and now the first full-length direct-to-video release of the CGI animated Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United, arriving on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital on December 3, 2013. Featuring super bonus content: Marvel "Inter-Missions," Marvel Team-Up With Ryan Penagos & Joe Q and Marvel Mash-Ups.

The 71 minute movie opens up with two HYDRA scientists attempting to supercharge an arc reactor core created by Tony Stark (AKA - Iron Man) with the gamma energy siphoned f from Hulk and his enemy Abomination, resulting the creation of a creature made from pure electricity called "Zzzax." It seems it is an unstoppable energy-devouring monster, but the only way to stop it is for the two most famous Marvel's heroes to team up - Iron Man and Hulk!

Tony Stark's high-tech intellect and Hulk's brute strength and stubbornness doesn't exactly collide together well, so the two are constantly bickering and showing off who has the better super powers. The two must somehow put their differences aside long enough to battle HYDRO robots, rabid Wendigos, a rogue Mark II armor and the destructible "Zzzax."

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Review - A Bride For Keeps

A Bride For Keeps
By Melissa Jagears
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764211683
Pages: 336


It looks I'm finally catching up on a few book reviews. I have read several titles over the last few years with a mail-order bride plot, so I wasn't looking forward to reading another one. I sometimes make my book decisions by either the author's name or the cover of the book. I liked the book cover to A Bride For Keeps, so I signed up to review it, but little did I realize it involved a mail-order bride plot.

In A Bride For Keeps, Everett Cline has used the mail-order bride service three times and three times he has been jilted, leaving him very little faith in ever finding love. A nosy neighbor, Rachel, with well-meaning intentions wants him to have a bride and brings a mail-order bride to town.

To escape her violent past in Massachusetts and start anew, Julia Lockwood joins the mail-order marriage faraway in Kansas. Her husband-to-be, Everett, isn't exactly thrilled to see her, as he only learned about her minutes before her train arrived in town.

Everett has no choice but to marry Julia, but he is unaware of her excess baggage. She thinks of marriage as companionship only and there will be no children. It will take a miracle for the both of them to fall in love.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Simpsons: Season 16 Blu-Ray Giveaway

Hold onto your donuts! Season 16 of the The Simpsons, the longest-running scripted show in television history,  includes all 21 hilarious episodes, tons of meticulously slapped together special features, plus a veritable who's who (woo-hoo!) of celebrity guest voices, including Fantasia Barrino, Jason Bateman, Gary Busey, James Caan, Stephen Hawking, Eric Idle, Jane Kaczmarek, Lucy Liu, Liam Neeson, Amy Poehler, Ray Romano and plenty more!

Season 16 will be released to DVD & Blu-Ray on December 3rd, just in time for Christmas!

The Wolverine Blu-Ray Giveaway

The Wolverine’s Leading Ladies

What does it take to get a woman’s attention? The answer, gentlemen: Iron Claws. Logan, played by Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine, knows exactly what we mean. Jackman returns as The Wolverine and faces his ultimate nemesis in an action-packed, life-or-death battle that takes him to modern-day Japan. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his limits, Wolverine confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality; an epic fight that will leave him forever changed. Through all of this, Logan has no problem attracting women, some trying to save him and others trying to kill him. To prepare you for the film’s release on to DVD and Blu-ray on December 3rd, we’ve compiled a list of The Wolverine’s leading ladies who can’t seem to take their paws off of his claws!

1. Yukio: The Body Guard

Yukio always remained in the “Friend Zone” with Logan, and it’s probably for the best. Thanks to her, Wolverine was able to dodge death several times. She is a badass sidekick!

2. Viper: Toxin Immune “Doctor”

Review - The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper
Home To Hickory Hollow
By Beverly Lewis
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: September 2, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209802
Pages: 352


It's been ten years or more since I read my first Amish fiction novel by Beverly Lewis, but I have fallen behind on her last few series, but I have been trying to catch up on the Home To Hickory Hollow series. I'm glad to say I have finally gotten around to reading the fourth book in the series last week.

In The Secret Keeper, finds Jennifer Burns fed up with her modern lifestyle, so she decides to make a major change. She leaves everything behind and joins an Old Order Amish community of Hickory Hollow. An Amish couple, Samuel and Rebecca Lapp, have agreed to let the young woman live in their home and learn their way of life.

Of course there are many skeptics in Hickory Hollow, but Jennifer is determined to prove to everyone that she is serious about living as an Amish woman. She makes a few friends within the community, while others somewhat disapprove of an outsider in their mix.

The Amish lifestyle isn't as easy as what Jenifer thought it would be and she struggles with the everyday chores. As she gets more acquainted with the community, she finds herself keeping a secret, one she would rather not keep to herself.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Review - Jesse James: The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of the Most Infamous Outlaw of All Time

Jesse James: The Life, Times, and Treacherous Death of the Most Infamous Outlaw of All Time
By: Frank Triplett
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Pub. Date: April 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1620873656
Pages: 432


Jesse James along with his brother Frank, the Younger Brothers and other bandits were the most famous outlaws post-Civil War, robbing banks and trains throughout Missouri and neighboring states. Jesse James was assassinated by a fellow gang member Robert Ford on April 3, 1882. A mining engineer and author, Frank Triplett, finished the first Jesse James biography seven weeks after Jesse James’s death.

This book had the longest title in American literature history - The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of Jesse James. The Only Correct and Authorized-Edition. Giving Full Particulars of Each and Every Dark and Desperate Deed in the Career of This Most Noted Outlaw of Any Time or Nation. The Facts and Incidents contained in this Volume, were dictated to Frank Triplett, by Mrs. Jesse James, Wife of Bandit, and Mrs. Zerelda Samuel, His Mother.

Frank Triplett wasn't exactly a fan of the Missouri governor Thomas T. Crittenden, as the governor had a hand in Jesse's death by putting out a $10,000 bounty on his head and conspiring with Robert Ford. 4,500 copies of the book were sold in 1882, but the governor had his agents collect the books and burn them. To this day only nine books survived.

Review - Cinderella Goes To The Potty

Cinderella Goes To The Potty
By Justin Blaneyz (author, illustrator) & Benji Todd (illustrator)
Publisher: Inkliss
Pub. Date: August 21, 2013
Blog Tour:
Buy Link: 

Ever since the creator of Veronica Mars raised enough money to finance a feature film, the little site Kickstarter has boomed into the mainstream, where actors, producers, writers and everyday people are looking for backers for their projects.

Recently I signed up to review 1/16th of the full graphic novel Cinderella Goes To The Potty from Inkliss, which is part of the new genre called Isfits that uses analogy, graphics and illustrations to help inform children about how to help end sex trafficking.

Cinderella in this tale is forced to live inside a tower. She's been tracking the days by marking on the tower wall. She has been there for 999 nights and she has decided tonight is the night she is going to escape. She hears a man and woman carrying an axe walking up the stairs. One them asks, "Is she fat enough?"

She barely escapes their grasps and the man and woman are eaten by a potty tree. As Cinderella walks further from the tower, the more potty trees she encounters.

I basically read a sample of an upcoming graphic novel in an eBook form, which was a little difficult as the text can be sideways or upside down, forcing me to bend my neck looking at the computer. It would probably been better if I was reading it on my Kindle, as I could just turn the Kindle. At first glance at the title you would think the book would be about teaching children to use the potty, but not so much, as it is more of a Grimm tale that resembles a Tim Burton film. I wouldn't recommend it for young kids, but older kids would like the illustrations.

Monday Morning Madness #34: I Hate Catching A Cold

My original plans for the weekend was to do some more cleaning in preparation of Thanksgiving and to get a several posts/reviews written and scheduled, but it seems when you make plans everything goes wrong. I woke up with a severe sore throat on Friday, but I pushed through it and got a few things finished. My throat was better on Saturday, but I sneezed all day. I did manage to get the fish aquarium and the bird cage cleaned. Plus, I did rearranged my living room. Sunday I awoke to a stuffy nose, cold chills and a horrible cough. I slept most of the afternoon, but I did get to watch The Walking Dead and Witches of East End.

I couldn't sleep, so I made some herbal tea and popped a DVD of Power Rangers Dino Thunder (yes, I'm a geek) into the DVD player and laid in bed until I started to feel better. Since I still can't sleep, I'm typing this post on my new laptop while the Power Rangers are still playing. Yes, the show is silly and is technically meant for kids, but I've been in the mood for the franchise ever since I reviewed a few Power Ranger titles earlier this year. I watched the original series (secretly) when I was in the sixth grade and I continued to watch it until the end of In Space. I had bought the 8-12 seasons set and I received it in the mail last week, which I have never seen any of the episodes before, so everything is new to me. Actually, I'm watching it backward starting with season 12.

Dance Fit Extreme: 4 DVD Fat-Blasting Workout Collection Review

Dance Fit Extreme
4 DVD Fat-Blasting Workout Collection
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Retail: $14.99
Running Time: 2hrs 1min
Rating: Not Rated


Many people will want to work off those unwanted holiday pounds in January and there is no better time than now to get ready for it. Mill Creek Entertainment recently released 4 fast-blasting workouts titled Dance Fit Extreme featuring Fit Dance Jam, Hip-Hop Unleashed, Let's Salsa Dance Workout and Tease Workout.

I wouldn't ever consider Fit Dance Jam as actually dancing as for me it is more of a light Tae Bo workout. It's mostly a kickboxing workout with bad camera angles, running at 29 minutes. It’s not the best workout in the world, but I would recommend it for beginners.

Let's Salsa Dance Workout is a 38 minute of twisting your hips and abs and contains very little dancing. The dance instructor doesn't exactly instruct anything. You won't learn how to dance, but you can work up a sweat. Plus, your abs will be sore the next morning.

Hip-Hop Unleashed is a poor version Shawn T's Hip Hop Abs. The dance instructor tries her best, but the other participants don't know how to follow direction. It's the best workout, but it can be fun.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Review – The Lover’s Dictionary

The Lover’s Dictionary
David Levithan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN: 9780374193683
Pages:  211
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Public Library
Literary Award: ALA Alex Award (2012)
Buy Link
Reading Challenge

I enjoy very much Literary Fiction, especially if I can discern in it a great research behind each word chosen, and also if there’s some originality in the structure of the book. Novels  coming from the Oulipo movement, with Italo Calvino as one of his most famous followers, are definitely my favorite.
So it was a nice surprise to find a young writer trying his hand, or his pen, well, his keyboard, I should say, at a definitely original structure.

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Thanksgiving Cleaning Blues

My week has been filled with me cleaning the house, you know things you don't normally clean except for once a year near Thanksgiving, and of course I've been rearranging and reorganizing things, but I am beyond finished, probably won't be done until Thanksgiving. Plus, I'm trying my best to get all my reviews/posts written for next week and for the Holiday Gift Guide, though there are a few books I still need to read before I can write a review for them.

With a busy schedule I don't have time to get sick, but that is exactly what happened to me. I had a dry throat last night and today I have a severe sore throat, a slight cough, sinuses and a headache. I have a feeling I will be feeling even worse tomorrow, but I'm determined to clean out the fish aquarium, move the entertainment system to the left slightly, dust and a million other things I don't want to do, but I want things to look nice for Thanksgiving.

Plus, I have to go shopping at Walmart (again). Typically, I would rather go early in the mornings, as I don't care for large crowds, though I am planning on going to the Black Friday sale on Thursday night. My new electric razor is great, but I do want to get some disposable razors, as I don't always remember to charge the electric razor. I noticed the department stores have been getting in Shaving kits containing a razor, disposable blades and shaving cream. A few of the kits are cheap and others are a little out of my price range.

Book Blogger Hop: November 22nd - 28th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

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:


You won a 5 minute shopping spree from your favorite book store! What will you grab?


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 try to grab the last few James Patterson's novels and anything else that looks interesting.

Linky List:

Review - Aloha Rose

Aloha Rose
Quilts of Love Series
By Lisa Carter
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: November 19, 2013
ISBN: 978-1426752735
Pages: 240
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:

Recently I have had the chance to review two books from the Quilts of Love Series, which each installment is written by a different author. The twelfth book in the series is titled Aloha Rose and is written by Lisa Carter.

Laney Carrigan's life is completely altered when her adoptive mother passes and leaves her a Hawaiian quilt. The red rose snowflake appliqué on a white background quilt was the quilt that was wrapped around her as an infant. Now it may be the only link she has in finding her parents or anyone related to them on the Big Island. Laney Carrigan hops on a plane headed for Hawaii in the hope finding her birth parents in Aloha Rose.

Upon arriving she is greeted by Kai Barnes, who happens to be adopted by Laney's birth family. She meets several relatives, whom a few gives her a tour around the island. She eagerly wants to be accepted by them, but Kai believes that she is nothing more than a gold-digger.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Review - Path of the Templar by W.C. Peever

On a rare occasion I get a random book in the mail, a book I don't remember signing up to review. I never get upset over this, as I do love getting a new book in the mail, but when I have other books I already agreed to review, those random books get shoved aside. Which is exactly what happen to the book Path of the Templar by W.C. Peever, book two of The Jumper Chronicles. No, I don't recall agreeing to review it, nor do I remember reading the first book. Therefore the book has been collecting dust for eleven months that is until I picked it up a few days ago.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Give Your Body the Natural Food It Craves

In today’s day and age of processed junk food and artificial ingredients, colors, and additives, the human body cannot handle what we expect it to. Since the beginning of time, the body has craved healthy, natural food on a daily basis, but the average American diet is laden with artificial products that offer little to no nutritional value.

In the days of hunting and gathering food, the family provider never searched for packaged foods or snacks laden with empty calories. Instead, they searched for healthy, whole foods, including nuts, grains, meat, fruits and berries, and vegetables. Somewhere throughout the years, we have foregone healthy foods for quick junk that will only satisfy immediate cravings for the short-term.

Start with Natural Meat

It is important to begin your healthy eating habits with the basics, including natural meat, poultry, and fish. Look for all-natural, organic options to reduce your consumption of harmful chemicals, sodium, and other processed foods and animal byproducts. You can easily find ready-to-cook and fully cooked all-natural meat options so that you can have a quick, healthy meal that jumpstarts your body.

Review - The Guardian

The Guardian
Home to Hickory Hollow, book 3
By Beverly Lewis
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: March 26, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209796
Pages: 352


My first time reading a Beverly Lewis novel (well my first Amish fiction read) was with The Convent (Abram's Daughter, book 1) and ever since then I have been a fan of the author's work. I was eager to read The Guardian earlier this year, but the book (along with several others) got shoved aide and I'm just now getting around to reviewing it.

Return to Lancaster County when Jodie Winfield arrives to house-sit her cousin's house. She thought moving to a new location would help her get over the death of her sister, who died six months ago. She has lost all faith in the Lord and this has caused problems in her relationship with her fiancé.

Early one morning, Jodie goes out to train for an upcoming marathon and she stumbles upon a young girl asleep on the side of the road wearing only a pair of underwear. The girl has a bump on her head and a few cuts and bruises. The girl doesn't speak English.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Top Ten Things I Would Do If I Could Astral Project: Katie Hayoz

If superpowers existed, there are so many things I’d love to be able to do: fly instead of walk, clean my apartment just by thinking about it, shape-shift into some gorgeous model or some giant beast, know what number s to pick to win the lottery…

I also think it would be awesome to astral project – to send my soul outside of my body and travel invisibly anywhere in the world, anywhere in the universe.

Unlike superpowers, astral projection and out-of-body experiences have been said to exist. I myself accidentally projected once falling down my basement stairs (you can read about that here). It was enough to spark a twenty year obsession with this particular aspect of the paranormal. And the end result of that obsession is my novel Untethered.

In Untethered, Sylvie sees her ability to astral project as a curse. But for today, let’s see it as a superpower. Something fun and fabulous and not freaky or forbidding. So if I could astral project and go anywhere? Do anything? What would I do?

Here’s my list:

Review - Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley
By Katherine Reay
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: November 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401689681
Pages: 336
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I have to admit that I sometimes, well most the time, make my decision whether or not I'm going to review a book based on the book cover. If it isn't eye-catching, I normally look the other way. For the some odd reason when I received the email invitation to review Dear Mr. Knightley, the book cover image didn't upload correctly, so I scrolled down the email and read the book description. After reading that the main character was a book lover too, I had to review it.

In Dear Mr. Knightley, Samantha Moore (she goes by Sam) grew up an orphan and found herself drawn to the magical world of books written by classic authors, such as Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare. Her love of books leads her to become English major. She quotes from her favorite authors, which become annoying to her friends. At the age twenty-three, an anonymous benefactor going by the name Mr. Knightley offers to pay for her education at Northwest University's Medill School of Journalism. Sounds like a dream come true, but there is one little catch, Sam must write letters to the benefactor, detailing how her schooling is going.

Sam follows through with the letters, which at first they are basic, but since she doesn't know who the benefactor is, she opens up to him and reveals her true emotions. For her entire life she has shied away from the world by hiding behind books. Through these letters she can finally confront her problems and be free of them, maybe even find love.

Review - The Christmas Quilt

The Christmas Quilt
By Vannetta Chapman
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: October 25, 201
ISBN: 978-1426752773
Pages: 256
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:

I love Amish fiction, but I can't seem to keep up with all the new releases this year and of course there are several books released in the fall with a Christmas theme. I have several quilters in my family, though I don't quilt myself, I do respect the sewing hobby. When I had the chance to review The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman, I took it. The book is a sequel to A Simple Christmas Wish, which I don't recall if I have read it or not, though the main character, Annie, does seem familiar. 

Set in Mifflin County, PA, The Christmas Quilt finds Annie marrying Samuel Yoder, her one true love. Two years later, Annie works side-by-side with her husband helping out with the Amish community's minor medical needs. When needed, she assists the local mid-wife, Belinda.

Her best-friend, Leah, has been a little bit moody; as she is due to deliver her first child sometime before Christmas. Annie is looking forward to having a little nephew or niece and she is planning on making a quilt for the baby crib before the little one arrives. At first she thought six weeks was plenty of time to finish the quilt, but God has a way of surprising people. Leah goes into labor a bit earlier than expected.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Monday Morning Madness #33: It's Too Hot For November!

This is November and I currently have a fan circulating, though I think the news channels mention something about flurries later in the week. When the weather suddenly goes a bit wacky (cold to warm or vise versa), it causes my allergies to go even wackier, resulting in me being sick for the most part of yesterday! I didn't get very much writing done as I would have wanted to, but I did get a few Holiday Gift Guide posts finished.

I use to have a Great Finds weekly post, where I listed my book finds that I found at a local thrift store, but I've been cutting back on buying books, only buying the ones that truly interest me. Over the weekend, I bought three books by author Meg Cabot. She wrote the Princess Diaries books, Avalon High and a couple of vampire novels (I forgot the names, but I did read the first one).

The books I picked up by her are:

Review - Ender's Game and Philosophy: Genocide Is Child's Play

Ender's Game and Philosophy: A Genocide Is Child's Play
Popular Culture and Philosophy (Book 80)
Edited By: D.E. Wittkower & Lucinda Rush
Publisher: Open Court
Pub. Date: September 13, 2013
ISBN: 978-0812698343
Pages: 288


Ender's Game has been enchanting science fiction fans ever since it was first released in 1985, followed by several sequels, novellas and short stories. With this recent release of the big-budget feature film of Ender's Game starring Harrison Ford, there have been a few tie-ins books being released including Ender's Game and Philosophy: A Genocide Is Child's Play.

I'm not the biggest science fiction reader, but I do recall reading the original Ender's Game back in the late '90s. Despite some controversy over the author's beliefs, Ender's Game has been considered one of the greats works in science fiction ever published and is loved many fans worldwide.

Ender's Game and Philosophy: A Genocide Is Child's Play features twenty-five essays written by actual professors and PhD's, which each essay goes into the about the philosophy factors of warfare. If you have read the book or seen the movie, then you would know that Andrew "Enders" Wiggins isn't your typically solider with a gun on a battlefield, but instead he is a kid playing a video game in his mind, well the last battle isn't a video game, it's an actual battle.

Review - Adoring Addie

Adoring Addie
The Courtship of Lancaster County, Book 2
By Leslie Gould
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: May 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764210327
Pages: 352


I've been fascinated with Amish fiction for over ten years, well, ever since I read my first Beverly Lewis novel. Any time there is an opportunity to review an Amish books, I eagerly sign up. This year has been a little rocky, with a family emergency and a few other things, therefore Adoring Addie got shoved aside for six months, but I finally got around to reading it last month.

In a Romeo and Juliet-type plot, the Cramers and Mosiers families have been bickering back and forth for as long as anybody can remember, which causes a bit of a problem for Addie Cramer, who has fall in love with Jonathan Mosier, whose family just returned to the county. Addie's parents are insisting that she marries the bishop's son, Phillip Eicher, as Amish daughters are suppose to honor their parents' wishes, but Addie doesn't love Phillip at all. Her heart is with Jonathan.

The only chance of any kind of a future for Addie and Jonathan is for them to come up with a scheme to get their families to forgive each other and start anew.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Review - Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami
Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel
Publisher: Knopf
Pub. Date: 2001, originally published in 1999
ISBN: 9780375411694
Pages:  210
Buy Link
Reading Challenge

I enjoy very much Japanese literature, and it is a yearly treat to read at least a couple of Japanese novels for the Japanese Literature Reading Challenge.
It was time to read another book by the author of the delightful masterpiece 1Q84.
In Sputnik Sweetheart, the narrator K, a thirty-year-old school teacher, is secretly in love with Sumire, 22. But Sumire herself is in love with Miu, a woman 17 years older than her.  One day, Sumire disappears, and K. is trying to figure out what happened to her. He has very few cues to work with, mostly cryptic texts left behind on a computer by Sumire.
Like in many novels by Murakami, I believe, the beauty is not so much in the plot itself than in the writing, in the ambiance, and in the themes tackled along.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Book Blogger Hop: November 15th-21st

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

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 submitted by Elizabeth!

Do you accept books for review only from publishers or do you accept book review requests from authors as well?


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:

When I first started blogging, I accepted review requests from anyone, but after being swamped with requests I decided to make a few changes. Now I only accept requests from agents and publishers, but I do make a few exceptions for authors I have previously worked with.

Linky List:

DVD Review & Giveaway - The Neighbors: The Complete First Season

The Neighbors: The Complete First Season
Starring: Jami Gertz, Lenny Venito, Simon Templeman, Toks Olagundoye, Clara Mamet
Studio: ABC Studios
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Retail: $34.99
Running Time: 506 minutes
Rating: TV-PG


Aliens are in our neighborhood! Well, at least they arrived on DVD back in September with the release of ABC's The Neighbors: The Complete First Season, featuring a gag reel and deleted scenes as the bonus features.

The Neighbors stars Lenny Ventio and Jami Gertz as Mary and Debby Weaver, who, along with their three children (Max, Abby and Amber) move from the big city to a gated community called "Hidden Hills" in New Jersey. Upon arriving they instantly notice the odd behavior of all the neighbors, especially Larry Bird, his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and their two kids, Reggie Jackson and Dick Butkus. At first the Weavers think their new neighbors are crazy, but it turns out they are aliens from another planet.
The episodes on the three-disc set are:

Blu-Ray Review - Turbo

Director: David Soren
Voice Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Peña
Studio: DreamWorks
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Retail: $38.99
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rating: PG


Fast & Furious 6 wasn't the only auto-driven summer blockbuster this year, as there was a computer animation film called Turbo, which arrived on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD this past Tuesday, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The Blu-Ray features are: Turbo in High Definition, Champion's Corner, Smooth Move's Music Maker, Team Turbo: Tricked Out, Meet The Deleted Scene, The Race Storyboard Sequence, Be An Artist!, Shell Creator Game and World of DreamWorks Animation.

Set in Venice, California, Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is a garden snail with big dreams. He dreams of being a NASCAR racer, but he is stuck working in a boring tomato garden with his protective brother, Chet (voiced by Paul Giamatti), who considers Theo to be a big embarrassment to the snail community.

Theo finds himself wondering on the highway at night. A bizarre accident happens where Theo is sucked into the supercharger of a car, fusing nitrous oxide into his DNA. He wakes up the next day with the ability to race as fast as a NASCAR racer.

My Top 5 Dream Vacations

I know people are busy getting ready for Thanksgiving dinners and shopping for Christmas, but this is the perfect time to plan next summer's dream vacation. Prices for plane tickets, cruise tickets and hotel room change in prices on a regular basis, so you can save time and money by booking your trip months ahead of time.

If you're like me, you either don't have the money to spend on any kind of a vacation or something always comes up and you can't go on a vacation at all, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming; therefore I came up with my top 5 dream vacations.

1. Walt Disney Word Resort & Universal Studios Resort - Even though I'm an adult, I would love to go on the rides at Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida. I've never been to the state, not even on a business trip, but besides visiting the resorts, I would like to walk on the beach and visit other attractions. I know a person can book tickets and hotels near the resort, but the attractions I want to visit are scattered about, so it would better for me to stay at a Miami airport motel, which would probably be cheaper.

Review - Trouble in Store

Trouble In Store
By Carol Cox
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: June 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209567
Pages: 352


I've read a few other titles by the author, Carol Cox, so I was eager to sign up to review Trouble In Store during the summer, but this is one of several books that got pushed aside and collected a bit of dust until I picked it up last month.

Trouble in Store starts out with Melanie Ross being fired from her governess job. She doesn't know what do with her life until she inherits an Arizona mercantile from a cousin. Everything seems to be going well until Caleb Nelson claims he is the one who inherited the mercantile and won't let her step into the store that really belongs to her.

It seems neither one can have full ownership of the store without the other one, so he attempts to distract her by setting her up with potential husbands, in the hope that she would hand over the store and leave, but this becomes a bit of a problem, as Caleb is starting to like her.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Do You Read How-To or Self-Help Books?

It seems that almost anybody has self-published some sort of book on Amazon or on some other retail site. I have reviewed several books by independent authors writing in different genres, children books, romance novels, how-to-books, etc… I even have a few books I have bought on my Kindle that are in the how-to genre. One in practically was about freelance writing and how the author wrote best-selling how-to-books. The book was horrible and I consider the author more of a con artist than an actual writer.

There are some how-to and self-help authors (non-self-published) that are truly professional businessman (and women) and  they give great advice in their books. One of these authors is an entrepreneur Michael Masterson, who has written The Pledge, Seven Years to Seven Figures, Ready Fire Aim, Automatic Wealth, Automatic Wealth For Grads, Power and Persuasion and Confessions of a Self-Made Multimillionaire, where he has been giving business advice to many readers. He's not just a how-to-book writer, as he is currently working on a poetry book, a screenplay and a collection of short stories.

Review - Her Eternal Rogue

Her Eternal Rogue
By Gina Danna
Publisher: To The Better End Publishing
Pub. Date: June 30, 2013
ISBN: 978-0615836348
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Pages: 284
Buy Links: Amazon, B&N


At first glance Her Eternal Rogue looks like a Harlequin Regency romance novel at sea, but author Gina Danna puts a twist on the genre by adding a paranormal theme.
The heroine is Lady Lavina Sinclair who has been kidnapped by French pirates, whom plan on selling her into the prostitution trade, but luckily for her, a handsome stranger happens to rescue her.

His name is Captain Alexander Sword (Barrington), who had escaped his controlling uncle in exchange to living on the high seas, but now finds himself known as a ruthless pirate. He was to be hanged for his crimes, but he accepted a deal to rescue Lady Lavina from the French pirates and return her to her betrothed (Nicholas) in England.

The rescue mission seemed to be easy thing to get done, but Alexander didn't plan on falling for the Lady Lavina, who returns his affections. Little does she know that he has cursed - he is actually a vampire.

A Writer's New Year's Resolution

Most people are thinking about Thanksgiving dinners, Black Friday shopping and Christmas gatherings. I'm not big on Thanksgiving, mostly due to my dislike of turkey and anything with pumpkin (though I do like pumpkin seeds) and most of my Christmas present shopping is finished.

I've been thinking ahead to after the holidays are wrapped and what my New Year's Resolution will be.

Almost everybody's resolution is to lose those extra holiday pounds, but mine for next year is to brush on my writing skills.

What does this mean?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Review - A Cast of Stones

A Cast Of Stones
The Staff & The Sword, Book 1
By Patrick W. Carr
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 0764210432
Pages: 432


I'm not the biggest fan of fantasy novels, but after becoming addicted to Game of Thrones, I now have an open mind when it comes to the genre, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to review A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr. Sadly, this is one of several books that got shoved aside and collected dust for months until I finally got around to reading it last month.

Desperate for money, the orphan Errol Stone takes on an mission assigned to him by a church messenger. Over the years, he has found a liking to ale, which helps him forget the deaths of his family. The money being offered to him could keep him drunk for at least a week, so he eagerly accepts the mission, which he presumes to be a simple task. He leaves the blackwater village of Callowford, and goes on a mysterious quest alongside the priest Martin, Luis and a couple of warriors from a nearby village.

King Rodran is in a lot of trouble as he has no heir to take the thrown; therefore the church is taking up the responsibility of selecting the next king, but a dark force begins killing the church readers, they are the ones with the ability to look into a piece of stone or wood and see the future.

Creating a Healthy Mental State of Being

The health and well-being of a person is of paramount importance. Living a healthy life is the first step to having a positive sense of well-being and good health. If you can manage to eat well, exercise, and have a positive sense of self, you will be well on your way to having a healthy life and sense of well-being. If you are like millions of other people, you may have some barriers to implementing the healthiest lifestyle possible. These barriers are varied and can be anything from physical impairments, lack of knowledge, social or psychological barriers, and many things in between. You can help overcome those barriers with help from qualified professionals at places like Miller Counseling Services or other such qualified mental or physical health providers.

Depression or Anxiety
Suffering from depression and anxiety is a debilitating illness. It can affect every part of your life, including social, emotional, and educational, your career, and so much more. You can receive counseling for all types of mood disorders including the following:
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Panic disorder 
  • PTSD 
  • OCD
Eating Disorders

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

My Top 5 Wants For Christmas!

The department stores are already having Pre-Black Friday sales and I'm sure people will be busy buying presents for their children, parents, grandparents, other family members and friends. It would be nice to take a few minutes and come up with your own Christmas list. Sure, Santa probably won't have time to shop for you, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming.

What would my top five wants for Christmas be?

Here is my list to Santa:

1. HP Black Licorice 15.6" 2000-2c29wm Laptop - My desktop is getting up there in age, though it still works great, my deepest fears is that it will quit working one day. Laptop computers are a lot cheaper than desktop computers. Plus, I can work on a short story or the next great American novel from the comfy of my bed.

Review - The Prodigals: Giants in the Land, Book Two

The Prodigals: Giants in the Land, Book Two
By Clark Rich Burbidge
Illustrated By Karl C. Hepworth
Publisher: WinePress Publishing
Pub. Date: October 23, 2013
ISBN: 978-1606152416
Pages: 248


Author Clark Rich Burbidge returns with book two in the Giants in the Land series, which is set in a world where villagers relied on Giants to help them dig canals for irrigation, lifted heavy stones for foundations and the Giants built and took care of the levees. Basically, the Giants helped the people with day-to-day living that is until the Giants suddenly vanished, leaving everyone to defend for themselves.

In book one The Way of Things, a young father named Thomas volunteered to look for the Giants by venturing to the forest, which he had to leave his family behind and everything he knew. Throughout his journey, his faith and courage is tested until he finally learns the true meaning of being a Giant.

Seventeen years have went by since Thomas has become the Land's Forest Ward, occasionally over the years he would venture out to visit his daughter, Hope, who now has two children of her own, seventeen-year-old Tommy and thirteen-year-old, Rose.

Times have changed across the land as a ruthless band of raiders invade the villages and take anything of valuable. These raiders attacked Tommy's father and Uncle Samuel and they kidnapped his sister, Rose. It seems the raiders consider humans as valuables too, putting them into slavery for their leader, Big John, who works for The Leader.

Review - Rules of Murder

Rules of Murder
A Drew Farthering Mystery
By Julianna Deering
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: August 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764210952
Pages: 336

In the style of Agatha Christie's classic mysteries, comes Rules of Murder, book one in A Drew Farthering Mystery series by Julianna Deering.

Drew Farthering has always loved reading a good mystery, especially the books by his favorite detective author, Ronald Knox. Little did he realize that he would be thrown into a real murder mystery when returns to his family home n Hampshire, England, where his mother and stepfather are throwing a party on the grounds of their country estate. The estate is filled with interesting guests, including the lovely and intelligent American, Madeline Parker, who happens to be his stepfather's niece.

Suddenly, one of the guests ends up dead. Don't forget this is the early 1900s, so there are no cell phones to call for the authorities. Like the game Clue, Drew Farthering plans on finding the murderer himself, but it isn't going to be easy, as no one wants to confess to the crime.

Luckily, Madeline was with him when the murder occurred, so he can rule her out as a prime suspect. Using the murder guidelines he learned from reading Knox's books, Drew along with his best-friend, Nick, (the family's butler's son) plan on unraveling the mystery before someone else ends up dead.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Review - The Tutor's Daughter

The Tutor's Daughter
By Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: January 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764210693
Pages: 416


November may be the start of the holiday season for people, but this month is book review catch up for me, as I have a pile of books sitting on my desk that have been read, but are in dire need of reviews. I read The Tutor's Daughter back in December, but I got sidetracked; therefore I had to reread the book this month to refresh my memory.

In the style of Jane Eyre, The Tutor's Daughter find Emma Smallwood helping her father run a boarding school for boys called The Smallwood Academy ever since her mother passed away two years earlier, but the academy is collapsing because of the lack of students. To make matters worse, her father suffers from melancholic.

A few years prior to the Academy's fallout, two of the Weston's sons attended the school. Emma writes to the Weston family asking them if they are in need of a tutor for their children. The Weston reply back and before long Emma and her father head to the cliff-top manor in Cornwall to tutor the two youngest Weston children.

Monday Morning Madness #32: The Holiday Blues

No, I didn't forget to have this written and scheduled for this morning. Actually, the internet connection was extremely slow last night, so I decided to write this today. Plus, I was busy watching The Walking Dead and Witches of East End last night.

The slow internet is a reason why I didn't get a few review posts scheduled over the weekend, so I'm going to be busy today and the rest of the week getting these reviews finished.

I know what "Thanksgiving" is, but it is the one holiday I would rather avoid at all cost. If you are like me, you probably have a few relatives that you don't want to see, let alone like them. Normally, it is just my parents, my grandmother, my uncle and me for Thanksgiving, which I still dread as I'm not a fan of turkey, cranberry, stuffing or anything with pumpkin in it, I would rather watch Home For The Holidays and go to the stores for the pre-Black Friday sales.

Beverly Hills Teens: Volume Two DVD Review

Beverly Hills Teens: Volume Two
Voice Cast: Hadley Kay, Michael Beattie, Karen Bernstein, Terri Hawkes
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Retail: $12.98
Running Time: 723 minutes
Rating: G


Thanks to DVDs, all of your favorite '80's animations series are being are becoming available to own. Mill Creek Entertainment released the first 32 episodes of the 1987 series Beverly Hills Teens earlier this year and now the second volume featuring the final 33 episodes is available to own on DVD.

Beverly Hills Teens is about a group of wealthy teens, but with the typical teenage problems, but the problems are outrageous. It’s a combination of Sweet Valley High and 90210. The series had a wide variety of different characters, such as the 10-year-old freshman Chester McTech, the money crazed Buck Huckster, scheming Bianca Dupree and the part-time model Larke Tanner.

The 33 episodes on the 3-disc set:

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Review - Sutton by J.R. Moehringer
By J. R. Moehringer
Narrated by Dylan Baker
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub. Date: 2012
Duration: 15.12 hours
Buy Link
Reading Challenge

At my block book club, each member shares about the book he/she read and liked during the previous month. One member shared with excitement about Sutton So I had a very long trip planned by car, I decided to listen to it. What a great experience it was!
In the French literature, we have a long tradition of the "gentleman cambrioleur", a thief who is at the same time a gentleman, robbing without violence. The most famous one is Arsène Lupin, a character invented by Maurice Leblanc  in 1906.

But the "gentleman thief" is not necessarily a fictive character only. Indeed, Willie "The Actor" Sutton (1901-1980) was a notorious bank robber in the US, even making it to the first FBI's list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. He managed to escape several times from maximum-security prisons. As the legend and folk hero he had become, crowds cheered him when he was finally released from Attica State Prison on Christmas Eve 1969.

To avoid being bothered forever by journalists, he made a deal to spend a day with a newspaper reporter and photographer, taking them on a tour of his life.
This book is precisely organized  around what that day might have been – Sutton left two autobiographies, but as they contradict each other, the author had some margins to write a believable fiction based on some known facts.