Friday, 31 January 2014

Book Blogger Hop: January 31st - February 6th

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 question is submitted by Elizabeth!


When you receive new books in the mail, do the older ones get moved to the bottom of your list or do go strictly "by the book" and keep your list with older books first and then the new ones?

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: 

It all really depends if there is a book tour, if so then I'll read the books in order of the date I'm suppose to post the review for the tour. If the book isn't associated with a tour, then I go by the "first come, first gets read" method.

Linky List:

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Great Business Blog Advice to Market Your Content

Are you working on boosting your blog rankings? How can you find readers that become devoted to your blog? Learning how to write for the reader can be a challenge, but with the right amount of time and research you can create outstanding blog posts. Use this business blog advice to help you create a blog that people will gladly read.

Remember the Reader

Far too often we come across blog posts that are not written for the reader. The writer usually picks a keyword and creates a topic written to this keyword. You want to use the keyword to help guide you, not to dictate the entire article. Always write for the reader if you want to gain higher website traffic.

Use Appropriate Keywords

There are keywords that do not always read properly. You need to include them for SEO purposes, but you do not want the keywords to become confusing. Difficult keywords can be added to the address or different areas of a page instead of within several lines of content. When you are looking at the keywords, avoid consciously adding them to the content. The keywords should come to you naturally within the content as you write it.

Frequent Posting

Watch the Winter Games "Live" Streaming Event from ESPN

The NFL season is officially done with after the Super Bowl game this Sunday Night and of course the the Winter X Games that were held at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado just ended, but sports fans still have the Winter Olympics to keep them busy until the MLB begins their season this spring.

ESPN covers the Olympic Games, but I'm sure you’re very busy with other things in your life, so you probably don't have time to watch every event this year. Luckily for you, ESPN how has "Live" Streaming Events you can view from your own PC, iPad, Smartphone or tablet.

Instead of waiting until you get off work to go home and watch a recorded event, you can now watch 'Live" events anytime you want. You can watch your favorite Winter Olympic events while you are on your lunch break, stuck in traffic or while you’re sitting in a doctor's waiting room. If you missed the Winter X Games, though it isn't "Live," you can still watch highlights, clips and interviews online from the events.

Review: The Unwelcomed Child by V.C. Andrews

In 1979, readers were engulfed in the one of the most guiltiest pleasure novels ever written - Flowers in the Attic, followed by three sequels and a prequel. Even teenagers became interested in the novel, though they most likely hid their copy under their mattress. Sadly, V.C. Andrews passed away just over twenty-seven years ago, and ever since then a ghost writer has taken over series. At first nobody knew who the writer was, but now it is public knowledge that author Andrew Neiderman is the ghost writer.

Unlike most readers my age, I didn't start reading V.C. Andrews until I was around twenty-years-old, when I bought a hardback copy of Flowers in the Attic (missing a few page though) at a thrift store. Shortly after, I was given my grandmother's (Sadly, she passed away in 2009.) V.C. Andrews collection, as she had lost all interest in the books. The collection was missing a few books, which I quickly bought the missing books at a book store and on eBay. I have continued to collect each new release, though I haven't read the most recent series'.

The newest novel, The Unwelcomed Child, was released last week, just a few weeks after television version of Flowers In the Attic broke rating records on Lifetime. After recently rereading Flowers in the Attic (here is my review for it), I became eagerly excited about reading The Unwelcomed Child, which is a stand-alone novel.

Similar to Flowers in the Attic, this tale has a young girl, Elle Edwards, living with her grandparents, but, no, she isn't being forced to hide in an attic. Elle's rebellious mother left her to be raised my Grandmother Myra and Grandfather Prescott. She's doesn't know much about her father, except for the fact he had raped her mother, resulting in her conception.

Grandmother Myra is very religious and believes because of her daughter's sinful life, Elle was born without a soul. She doesn't want Elle to be influenced by the wicked ways of the world and has sheltered her from everything. Elle doesn't attend public school, but instead she is home schooled. She isn't allowed to listen to any current music and is only allowed to watch television programs that her grandparents approve of.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

DVD Review - Charlie's Angels: Season One

Charlie's Angels: Season 1
Starring: Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Retail: $9.98
Running Time: 1181 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


Arriving on DVD today from Mill Creek Entertainment is Charlie's Angels:Season One starring Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith as the three original angels.

The series ran from 1976-1981 with a total of 110, but has been in syndication ever since. It was remade into feature films in the early 2000s starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. ABC remade the series in 2011 to horrible reviews and was canceled after four episodes.

The original Charlie's Angels didn't exactly get a warm welcoming from critics, but it became popular with viewers. The series follows Sabrina Duncan (played by Kate Jackson), Kelly Garrett (played by Jaclyn Smith) and Jill Munroe (played the late Farrah Fawcett), all of whom have recently graduated police academy, but this is the 70s and they're basically stuck on desk duty that is until Charlie enters their lives.

Sabrina, Kelly and Jill leave the police force to work at the Charles Townsend Agency as private investigators. Though Charlie's voice is only heard through a speaker phone, John Bosley is the one who assigns them the cases.

The episodes on the 4-disc set are:

Monday, 27 January 2014

Do You Have a Virtual Phone Number? ($100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!)

I guess you can say I was an anti-cell phone person until I received a prepaid cell phone for Christmas in 2012. I've never cared much for talking on a phone, but a cell phone does come in handy when there is an emergency or you need to ask someone a quick question. I even find myself texting more often than I do calling someone.

When I first activated my cell phone, I was instantly given a phone number, which of course the first three numbers were my area code. I'm more than fine by having an area code as my cell number, but there some people, especially those who travel, who don't want an area code attached to their number.

Businessman and women, lawyers, agents, etc, have to travel around the world all year long, but there are times when they have to be at a business meeting on the other side of the country. There is no such thing as a Superman or Supergirl, so you can't just fly there in a minute, but instead you  can use your cell phone, iPad or Tablet to virtually attend the meeting.

When doing this, you'll need a virtual phone number!

Advantages of a business virtual phone number are:

  • Save Money On Your Phone Account
  • Establish a Virtual Office Anywhere Around the World
  • Quickly Manage Incoming Business Calls
  • Phone Calls Will Be Forward To Wherever You Are Currently Located.

Monday Morning Madness #37: New Year, Exercise, Setbacks and Books

At the end of every year, I'm sure many people hope for the best for the new year, well at least I do, but it seems no matter what plans or hopes you have, something always goes wrong. Between a broken tooth, the flu bug and sewer drain problems, the year 2014 is on a rocky start. Despite a few setbacks, I have been able to exercise daily since December 26th, then I started the new P90X 3 workout program on the 31st. I'll be starting Phase 2 tomorrow.

I've been reading up a storm this month, well I'm partly attempting to read a few books from my TBR pile, but mostly I'm reading books sent to me to review. I read Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, which is the second time I have read the novel. Of course, I watched the Lifetime's remake, which I thought was better than the 1987's version, but it felt too much like a made-for-TV movie (otherwise silly). I just finished reading The Unwelcomed Child by V.C. Andrews (well the ghostwriter) and I'm planning on writing the review today.

Last year, I went through my large collection of books and I donate several boxes and bags full of paperbacks and hardbacks to the Salvation Army. You would think I would have more room, but since then I have either received more books to review or have picked up a few books from the thrift stores, though I don't buy as many as I use to.

My most recent thrift store buys are:

Blu-ray Review - The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures/Touchstone Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Retail: $39.99
Running Time: 128 minutes
Rating: R


Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 is the true story about the WikiLeaks scandal, titled The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the WikiLeaks' rebel leader. Co-starring in this high-tech thriller is Daniel Bruhl, Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney. Bonus Features include The Submission Platform - Enter the room where the secrets are kept and see it come to life, from first inspiration, through filming and beyond; In-Camera Graphics - Watch electronic words move off the screen and into the real world; Scoring Secrets - Experience the full range of musical styles in composer Carter Burwell's thrilling soundscape for the movie; and Trailers and TV Spots.

I'm almost positive everyone has heard about the WikiLeaks scandal on the news in 2010, which the topic is still discussed today in newspapers, magazines and blogs. Since then, there have been several books published on it and there has been one Hollywood feature film The 5th Estate was quietly released to theaters last October. The film is based on two books, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding.

I only saw the movie advertise on television a couple of times and the only the thing that looked remotely interesting about it was the fact Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock Holmes and Star Trek Into Darkness was starring it as the WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange. I had completely forgotten about the film until I had a chance to review an early copy of the Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review - The Headmistress of Rosemere

The Headmistress of Rosemere
Whispers On The Moors, Book Two
By Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: December 31, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401688363
Pages: 320
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:

Yes, I'm a guy who likes to read romance novels, mostly in the historical western genre, anything on Amish and a few Harlequin thrillers. I don't read much of the Victorian type books, but I did read The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd last year and I did enjoyed reading, which is one of the reasons why I signed up to review its sequel.

The Headmistress of Rosemere is set in Darbury, England in the early 1800s and centers on twenty-five-year-old Patience Creighton, whom finds herself as the headmistress of Rosemere School for Young Ladies. She grew up living at the school her family ran and after her father's death, she steps up to run the school. Neither her mother, who is suffering from depression and her brother, whom headed off to London to settle a few "family affairs" six-months ago, can handle the responsbility of running Rosemere, therefore everything lies on Patience's shoulders.

Rosemere doesn't exactly belong to Patience's family. It, along with the surrounding land, actually belongs to the Sterling family. Over the years the Sterling family have been wonderful landlords, but William Sterling is not like his father or grandfather. He has been going through somewhat of a rough patch, mostly gambling. He owns a hefty sum to creditors and is assaulted by the creditor's henchmen while returning home from a local tavern. Wounded with no other choice, he ends up at the doorsteps of the Rosemere School.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Book Blogger Hop: January 24th - 30th

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 question is submitted by Elizabeth!


Do you think you will ever read every book in your TBR stack? 

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: 

Well, I hope I can one day read all my TBR books. I have several books by James Patterson, R.L. Stine and V.C. Andrews to read.

Linky List:

DVDFab Software Review

I'm sure many of you are movie lovers and you probably own a large collection of DVDs and Blu-rays. And if you are like me, then you have probably converted your old VHS tapes (family home videos and programs recorded from television) onto DVDs. Then you mostly likely ditched your VCR, but this can become a problem, as you can't make a backup DVD or make a copy for a family member or friend.

There are many softwares on the market that can help you make a backup DVD, but look out for a few freeware that contains malwares. I recommend using a professional software, such as DVDFab!

DVDFab has been around for over eleven years and is considered to be the best DVD copy software on the market today. The DVDFab Copy Software allows you to copy any video file or DVD onto a blank disc. Or you have the option to move the video files to another file on your computer or copy the DVD to an ISO file.

The Friday 56 - The Unwelcomed Child

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

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

What Do You Know about Search Engine Marketing?

You have a business, and whether it is shiny and new, well-established, or somewhere in between, you recognize the importance of making the business known. While there are a variety of ways you can accomplish this, one way you should definitely not overlook is search page advertising. When you are looking for a plumber or a nearby burger joint, you most likely do not pull out an atlas. Instead, you go to your computer or pull out your smartphone and consult a search engine like Google or Bing, and you should not expect anything less from your customers. Recognizing this fact is the easy part; making sure that your company’s name shows up high on the search results is where it can get slightly more complicated. To begin with, have you ever heard of the terms PPC or SEO?

Both PPC and SEO are Internet marketing terms, and both work to gain increased traffic to your website. How they achieve this task is where they differ. The first, PPC, or pay-per-click, can also be referred to as paid search marketing, cost-per-click (CPC), or search engine marketing (SEM). When it comes to the search results, PPC deals with the sponsored links section of the search engine. When a customer types a keyword phrase into the search bar that is related to your business, services, products, or industry, your ad will appear as a result. Each time a person chooses to click on your ad, you pay the search engine a small fee. Before your ad can appear in the sponsored link section, however, you must create an account that will allow you to bid upon a space for certain keywords against other similar businesses. Generally, this type of marketing is quick and easy to set up and tends to attract more customers who are ready to buy than those in the organic search results. But organic search results should not be shrugged off either.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Free Birds Blu-Ray Combo Pack Giveaway

Our Favorite Animal Couples in Film and TV History

Don’t be a turkey!
Check out Free Birds on DVD and Blu-ray February 4th

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time we celebrate love and all of the magical feelings that come along with it. Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler star as Reggie and Jenny in Fox Home Entertainment’s animated motion picture, Free Birds. Although Reggie is a time-traveling turkey who is focused on taking his kind off of the Thanksgiving menu, he can’t help but take some time to get to know the lovely Jenny. Their romance blossoms and she gives Reggie added motivation he needs to accomplish his mission.

To help you get into the mood for romance this Valentine’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of the top animated animal couples in film and TV history!

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Regarded as the “Brad and Angelina” of animated animal couples, Mickey and Minnie have been together since 1928, when they first appeared in the animated short film “Steamboat Willie.” This power couple has managed to survive the ups and downs that come with such a long relationship - including the shift to color, and the invention of computer animation.

Donkey and Dragon

DVD Review - Bewitched: Seasons 1 & 2

Bewitched: Seasons 1 & 2
Starring: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Agnes Moorehead
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 1860 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


It’s hard to believe that the classic television series Bewitched will turn fifty-years-old this fall. Though the series ended in 1972, Samantha Stephens has continued to live on through syndication reruns. Sony Home Entertainment released the series on DVD sets, but most are out-of-print. Luckily, Mill Creek Entertainment struck a deal to distribute Sony Home Entertainment titles to DVD, which one of those titles is Bewitched.

Today, January 21, 2014, the first two seasons of Bewitched were released on DVD, as well as a two season combo pack, which happens to be the one that was sent to me for this review. All 74 episodes from seasons one and two are presented in their original classic black & white presentation, totaling an approx. runtime of 31 hours of bedazzling entertainment for the entire family.

I grew up watching the reruns when I was kid during the late 80s and early 90s, but for some odd reason I can't remember a plot from one single episode, not unless you count the so-so 2005 big-screen version starring Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman, which I'm afraid to admit I have seen the movie several times. That being said, I was eagerly looking forward to watching a few episodes of the series again.

Like I said, I don't remember the actually plots, but I also don't recall how the series started, where Darrin Stephens (played by Dick York) bumps into Samantha (played by Elizabeth Montgomery). The two quickly tie the knot and then on the wedding night, Darrin learns Samantha is a witch. They don't move into famous Stephens' house until the second episode "Be It Ever So Mortgaged." Darren doesn't meet his mother-in-law, Endora (played by Agnes Moorehead) until the fourth episode titled "Mother Meet What's His Name," though she had been pestering Samantha in the previous episodes for marring a mortal.

The episodes on the six-disc set are:

Monday, 20 January 2014

DVD Review - SpongeBob and Friends: Patrick SquarePants

SpongeBob and Friends: Patrick Squarepants
Studio: Nickelodeon
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 192 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


Last week, Nickelodeon released SpongeBob and Friends: Patrick SquarePants on DVD containing 14 episodes, all featuring SpongeBob and his buddy Patrick.

SpongeBob SquarePants is currently in its 9th season with a 10th season planned to hit the airwaves later this year. The award winning series has become one of Nickelodeon’s most popular animation shows with both kids and adults alike.

This DVD release features the best buddy episodes of SpongeBob and Patrick throughout the series' first nine seasons. You'll have plenty of fun watching the two best buddies celebrate Best Friend's Day and Starfish Day. There is plenty of adventure when SpongeBob and Patrick get zapped into a medieval version of Bikini Bottom. 

The 14 episodes on the single-disc are:

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Book review: The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN: 978-1400034772
Pages:  235
public library sales
Reading Challenge
Buy Link


Let’s stir things a bit here.
I enjoy good vibrant, suspenseful mysteries. As I had not yet read any by the famous Alexander McCall Smith, and felt a bit ashamed about it, I decided to remedy the situation a few months ago, and finally set to read this popular book.
Mma Ramotswe is the only lady private detective in Botswana. She set up her agency with money from her dad’s big cattle sale, when he died. After telling us about her dad and her own education, the author invites us to follow the detective in cases for her first clients. Actually, she always feels she shouldn’t agree on helping with some cases, but ends up doing it anyway, wanting to help desperate clients.
I got quite of a shock, seeing how boring the book was ! 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Obtain Fast And High Quality Essay From The Reputed Advanced Essay Writing Concern

Among learners, essay writing skill is considered as the most adequate skill since it tremendously helps them to improve their knowledge and their language fluency. Basically the essay writing is the factor of implementing a person's idea and thought into a written format. In order to achieve good essay the student should posse’s in-depth language and thinking ability. On understanding its necessarily the education curriculum built its syllabus in the way of improving the student essay writing strategies. As the part, at each level of the learning the student should submit their essay according to the teachers granted topics. Unlike other boring learning strategies, the essay writing is quite interesting phenomena to the students. The most vibrating feature of the essay writing skill is that one can write any kind of essay no matter whether it is philosophy, sociology, civic and so on depending on their personal desire or requirement. Since the common essay never follows any consecutive structure, this advantageous feature makes the student to eagerly taking part in the essay writing process. By the way if the student has the habit of the essay writing strategies, such tremendous health practices help them to acquire to grammar free content, innovative thinking ability, and so on. In addition to these, this adequate skill is not only help the student to improve their language fluency whereas it also greatly helps the student obtain high grade in their academic part. In that order the instructor is providing essay assignment to the student which covers various topics including technologies.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Blu-ray Review - In the Heat of the NIght

In the Heat of the Night
Director: Norman Jewison
Starring: Sidney Poitier, Rob Steiger
Studio: MGM
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Retail: $19.99
Running Time: 110 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


The classic 1967 film In the Heat of the Night, based on the book of the same name by John Ball, arrived on Blu-Ray for the first time last week, January 14, 2014. The film was directed by Norman Jewison and stars Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. It won five Academy Awards including the 1967 award for Best Picture. Sidney Poitier returned for both sequels, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs! and The Organization. In 1988, it was adapted into a long running television series starring Carroll O'Connor.

At time of the film's release, it was considered an edgy look at life in the south by critics and moviegoers alike. Special Features on the Blu-ray features a commentary with Norman Jewison, Lee Grant, Rob Steiger and cinematographer Haskell Wexler; Turning Up the Heat: Movie Making in the '60s; The Slap Heard Around The World; and Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound.

Sidney Poitier plays the lead role as Detective Virgil Tibbs, who happens to be waiting for a train in Sparta, Mississippi, while at the same time there is a murderer on the loose in the small town. Due to his skin color and the amount of cash found in his wallet, he is taken into custody, but is quickly let go when the Police Chief Bill Gillespie realizes he is a homicide detective who was traveling back to Philadelphia after visiting his mother.

Book Blogger Hop: January 17th - 23rd

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 question is submitted by Judy!

Musings and Ramblings
Do you blog for a living or for fun?

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 mostly blog for fun, though I occasionally make a few dollars from sponsored posts. Plus, it is nice to receive a free book to review.

Linky List:

Review - My Name Is Rapunzel by KC Hilton

My Name is Rapunzel
By KC Hilton
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pub. Date: November 23, 2013
ISBN: 978-1492863007
Pages: 322
Buy Link: Print, Kindle


I believe almost everybody has read or has at least heard of the Grimms' fairy tale called Rapunzel, but many people probably don't know that the Grimm's version isn't the original. It is actually remake of Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force. The fairy story has become more popular thanks to Disney's recent computer-animated film, Tangled.

Author KC Hilton recently published a modern day version of the classic tale, titled My Name is Rapunzel. I enjoyed reading the author's children novels, The Magic of Finkleton and Return to Finkleton, so I was eagerly agreed to review her take on Rapunzel.

The book's narration is from Rapunzel herself, as she explains how she was cursed with immortality by the witch, Gretta, when she was a child. In 1763, she fell in love with a young man named Henry and they became engaged, but Gretta intervenes and their happily ever after bliss never occurs.

With Henry gone, Rapunzel has to accept that she will never find love, though her parents have tried to help her find another love, she can never fully forget Henry. Years fly by, her parents age, but she never does; she even outlives her mother. She moves with her father to the family's castle, but old age has caught up with him too, but he make sure Rapunzel is always protected by leaving the witch Gretta as her guardian.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

What Do You Know about the Mazda MX-5 Miata?

Convertible cars allow the driver to put down the top and let the breeze blow through their hair. Though often associated with the rich and famous, this type of vehicle has been made more affordable by certain car companies, such as Mazda. Are you thinking of looking into a Mazda MX-5 in Kansas City? Here is what you might want to know about this convertible sports car before you visit your dealership.

MX-5 Miata History 

Mazda debuted the MX-5 Miata in 1990. The first generation of the MX-5 featured a five-speed manual transmission and a 1.6-L, four-cylinder engine with 116 hp until 1994 when it received an upgrade to a 1.8-L engine with 128 hp. The first generation was produced until 1997. The second generation would not be released until 1999, however, and would see the addition of an optional four-speed automatic transmission along with its upgrade to a 1.8-L engine with 140 hp. In 2000 a special edition MX-5 was released with a six-speed manual that would become a permanent option in 2001. The engine would also receive an upgrade in 2001 to 142 hp. In 2004 a turbocharged MX-5 became available offering 178 hp. The current third generation arrived in 2006.

Blu-ray Review - Machete Kills

Machete Kills
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Demian Bichir, Charlie Sheen (Carlos Estevez) and Mel Gibson
Studio: Universal Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Running Time: 1hr 48mins.
Rating: R


Coming to DVD and Blu-ray on January 21st is the exciting action-pack sequel to 2010's Machete, titled Machete Kills, once again starring Danny Trejo as Machete and co-staring Michelle Rodriguez as Luz, the leader of She. New faces to the world of Machete includes Amber Heard, Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Antonia Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Demian Bichir Carlos Estevez (Charlie Sheen's birth name) and Mel Gibson. Bonus features include: Deleted and Extended Scenes and Making Machete Kills.

What originally started as a fake trailer to the Grindhouse movies lead to the feature film of Machete in 2010, which also had its own fake trailers of Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again. Thanks to the box-office success of Machete, Machete Kills arrived in theaters this past fall, though it didn't do as well in theaters with moviegoers and critics, the film still has a chance to gain an audience with the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release. The film is already available on Digital HD.

Being an action-junkie, I enjoyed watching the first film,which was a throwback to 70s' exploitation movies, only with more over-the-top violence. That being said, I was looking forward to reviewing the sequel Machete Kills, only to be slightly disappointed with the opening, (SPOILER WARNING) where Jessica Alba's character from the first movie meets her end.

Take Advantage of Stress Reducing Tools in the Workplace

More companies are incentivizing their employees to live a healthy lifestyle with programs like, and they are doing so for a few different reasons. The main reason is that healthy employees are much more likely to be productive during work hours. When you are getting enough sleep, proper nutrition, and exercise, you will be more likely to come to work every day and have the energy, stamina, and brainpower to get the job done. Healthier employees also mean lower costs for healthcare across the board.

One of the biggest things to address in the workplace is stress. When people are struggling to meet deadlines, are not getting along with co-workers, or have more responsibility than they are qualified to handle, it can cause stress that inevitably turns into illness in some form. Fortunately, there are programs designed to help employees learn the essential skills required to handle stress and find joy in their work. When people have the capacity to feel good about their efforts and receive positive feedback, it will naturally encourage them to do better.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Review: Doon by Carey Crop & Lorie Langdom

It seems like most fairy tales are aimed for a female audience, but I have to admit I do like watching Once Upon A Time and reading Grimm's Fairy Tales, so when I saw the cover of Doon, I thought I would give it a try. Plus, it has a Scottish setting and I have ancestors from Scotland.

In Doon, Veronica jumps at a chance to get away from her complicated life when her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland. This isn't a two week vacation, it is for a few months.

Before going on vacation, Veronica had been seeing a strange blond boy, whom magically appeared almost everywhere she went. She thought traveling to Scotland would get her away from whoever he is, but she was wrong. The boy had followed her. Or maybe he is leading her somewhere.

While in Alloway, Veronica and Mackenna stumble upon a set of rings and a mysterious letter that was left behind by Mackenna's aunt. This all leads them to the fairy tale land of Doon; full of princes, enchantments and mystery, but just around the corner lies unthinkable danger.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Review - Flowers In The Attic

Flowers in the Attic
The Dollanganger Family Series
By V.C. Andrews
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
ISBN: 978-1476775852
Pages: 400


It’s hard to believe the guilty pleasure novel Flowers in the Attic is over 34-years-old! I wasn't even born back in 1979 when Flowers in the Attic written by newcomer V.C. Andrews was published. The book about four siblings being locked up in a bedroom and attic for over three years was a huge success, but there was major controversy involving the incest theme involving a teenage brother and sister. The book has been banned from libraries and schools because of this, though over time some have put the book back on the shelves, it is still banded in some locations.

The book is told from the point-of-view of Catherine Leigh "Cathy" Dollanganger and centers on the there and half years when her siblings, Chris and twins Cory and Carrie, are hidden away in the vast Foxworth mansion. After their father died in a car accident, their mother, Corrine, drags them to live in her parent's house, where they are locked in a bedroom by their wicked Grandmother.

Their mother had been disinherited years ago when she married their father Christopher, and now the only way to get back in her father's grace is if she never had any children with her husband, so the Dollanganger children must be  away in a bedroom, which has access to the attic, until their grandfather dies.

During the first year their mother visits them on a daily basis, but as she starts to establish herself back into society, she distance herself from her children. Meanwhile, Chris and Cathy become less like brother and sister to the twins and more like farther and mother, as they take care of them and continue their schooling (well as much as they can). They’re fearful of their Grandmother, whom will give them severe punishment what she considers sinning. Being locked away has put stress on the twins and they are physically becoming ill. As for Chris and Cathy, they are starting to have intimate feelings for each other, despite the fact they are brother and sister.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Blu-ray Review - Runner Runner

Runner Runner
Director: Brad Furman
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Ben Affleck
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: January 7, 2013
Retail: $39.99
Running Time: 91minutes
Rating: R


Arriving on DVD and Blu-ray last week (January 7, 2013) was the gambling-thriller Runner Runner from director Brad Furman and stars Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck (Yep, the future Bruce Wayne/Batman). Special features include House of Cards - The Inside Story of Online Poker (Exclusive to Blu-ray) and deleted scenes.

I've never been a fan of Justin Timberlake's music or film roles, but he won me over in the underrated Clint Eastwood's vehicle Trouble with the Curve. I have always thought Ben Affleck's acting has been extremely wooden or just god-awful at times, so my expectations for Runner Runner were quite low.

Somewhat based on a real-life professional poker player, Nat Arem, Justin Timberlake plays a Princeton grad student, Richie Furst, who has been paying his college tuition by referring students to a online poker site, in which he receives a fee. He once had a wonderful  career on Wall Street, but things happen and now his only source of income is through his gambling scheme that is until the Dean learns of his activities and tells him to shutdown his operation or get kicked out of school.

With no other choice, Richie closes his business, but takes all his earnings and enters an online poker game, in the hope of winning the rest of his college tuition. Despite his poker experience, Richie loses everything!

Never Give The Wrong Gift Again!

This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and PickURGift 

Christmas is officially over (well, until December 2014), so you would think you would have time to relax, but there is another holiday around the corner - Valentine's Day. For some people the day of love is just a scheme created by the card companies, while others celebrate the day in honor of Saint Valentine.

Whatever is the reason you celebrate Valentine's Day, it is not that easy to find the perfect gift for your loved one, especially for men, who are mostly likely to do their shopping at the last minute. Sure, you can go the safe route and buy some roses, candy or cheap jewelry, but your wife, girlfriend or partner, may not feel like you put your best effort into picking out the gift. If only you could read minds it could be a lot easier, but wait, there is something you could do.

There is a new website called PickURGift that can help you buy the perfect present for someone. It's just like writing your wish list, except it is reverse. You're are picking out gifts you think your loved one will like, then you send an email to that person, they will pick out what they would like to have. This is a simple way to give the perfect gift.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Review of Mistress of the Revolution

Mistress of the Revolution
Catherine Delors
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN: 978-0525950547
Pages:  451
Historical Fiction/Romance?
public library
Reading Challenge
Buy Link

A few years ago, I discovered Catherine Delors through her excellent historical novel For The King, so I decided to read her previous one, Mistress of the Revolution.
The book opens in London in 1815, about 20 years after the French Revolution. The narrator Gabrielle de Montserrat reminisces about these events and the following years by writing about them.
After difficult beginnings in the Auvergne region, she is taken to Paris and presented at the court of Versailles, where she is introduced to all the intrigues and affairs. She is helped financially by Villers (a Duchess’s son) and becomes his lover. He gets politically involved, on the wrong side when monarchy is soon to be ended.
Gabrielle is by now lady-in-waiting to the Countess of Provence (the king’s sister-in-law). She ends up getting arrested herself. Will she humble herself, and try to get help from Pierre-André, the sweet heart of her youth, a commoner who made his way up and has now strong political influence in Paris? Would he or even could he really help her?

Friday, 10 January 2014

DVD Review - Power Rangers Megaforce: The Mysterious Robo Knight

Power Rangers Megaforce: The Mysterious Robo Knight
Studio: LionsGate/ Saban Brands
Release Date: January 14th, 2013
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 92 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


The Power Rangers franchise is kicking off its 21st first year with the DVD release Power Rangers Megaforce: The Mysterious Robo Knight, containing four exciting adventures. As an added bonus there is a Mega Bloks Micro Red Ranger Figure (toy for kids 5+) with each DVD.

Power Rangers Megaforce debuted last February on Nickelodeon, introducing new and old fans to a new generation of Power Rangers - Troy Burrows (Red Ranger), Noah Carver (Blue Ranger), Emma Goodall (Pink Ranger), Gia Moran (Yellow Ranger) and Jake Holling (Black Ranger). The five Angel Grove teenagers are summoned by Earth's supernatural guardian Gosei (sent to Earth by Zordon) and his robot assistant Tensou to become the Megaforce Rangers. Their mission is to stop the Warstar aliens from attacking Earth, but they can't stop the forces of evil by themselves, as they must make an alliance with the mysterious Robo Knight.

From left to right: The Blue Ranger ("Noah," left) and the Red Ranger ("Troy," right) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE: THE MYSTERIOUS ROBO KNIGHT.

The four episodes on the single-disc are:

Book Blogger Hop: January 10th - 16th

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 question is submitted by Judy!

Musings and Ramblings
Are you a book blogger purist? Do you only have book related posts or do you review/post on anything/everything that catches your eye?

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 the blog was strictly a book blog. Then I started posting ramblings, sponsored posts, movie reviews and product reviews. I only write reviews on things that interests me.

Linky List:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Everyone Deserves a Legal Defense

There are times when the opportunity to read more about a subject has passed. If you have gotten into trouble with the law for any reason, the time for reading has passed. It is time to act by getting a lawyer that can help you out of your particular jam. Hopefully, your mistake is something that you do not plan on doing again, but even if it is something that you do on a regular basis, the U.S. justice system is based on the idea that you are innocent until proven guilty. That means that the prosecutor has to prove that you did the thing that you are accused of.

The Best Defense

Everyone is entitled to a lawyer when a case goes to court. You could waive this right, but then you would have to defend yourself. As the saying goes, you would have a fool for a client. Practicing law is not simple. It is divided into specializations, and it requires a significant amount of knowledge about procedures and precedents. Ideally, you will hire a defense attorney who has experience in defending other people just like you. Whether you are accused of stealing or driving under the influence, you deserve to have the best defense that you can afford.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

How Do Authors Deal With Writers Block?

I’m often asked, “How do authors deal with writers block?”

There are two types of writers block; difficulty figuring out how to make a scene or plot line work, and the inability to write anything. The answer to one type is “get up,” while the answer to the other is “sit down.”

If you are having trouble making some aspect of your story work, go put on a load of laundry or let the dog out. Better yet, walk the dog around the block. If that doesn’t work, sleep on it. Sometimes the answer will magically present itself when you awake.

Critique partners or writing buddies are another solution. Give a synopsis of your story and then explain your dilemma. You might be surprised what another set of eyes (or ears) can come up with. One thing is sure, if you let indecision go on for too long, it will turn into the more severe type of block, the total incapacity to write at all. Stress, depression, and fear are other reasons a writer stops writing. The only cure for this is to make a change.

Try writing on your laptop instead of your desktop. Listen to music while you write, or pick a different style of music, or stop listening to music at all. Write at a coffee shop or on your back patio. Take a class on writing, especially one with homework.

If you are still having trouble, but your book aside and try writing a short story. Do you have a blog? Write something for it, or post on a friend’s blog.

If you have to start small, that’s fine. Just start. Write something. And write every day. The only true way to get over writer’s block is to sit down and write.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Review - The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Neil Gaiman
Publisher: HarperAudio
Pub. Date: June 18, 2013
ISBN: 978-0062263032
Duration:  5:48 hours
public library
Goodreads: Goodreads Choice winner for Fantasy (2013)

Apart from a cute children’s book, Chu’s Day, I had never read anything by Neil Gaiman, so I seized the occasion when I saw I could listen to it through my library audio book service.
I very rarely read fantasy, I can’t even recall what was the last fantasy book I read, but I got caught in the story right away through Gaiman’s voice. His narration is dreamy, hauntingly beautiful and irresistible, a bit like some of his dreadful characters, although in a positive sense!

The 5 Benefits of Green Tea That You Didn`t Know About

Tea is a beverage that is valued and consumed worldwide. It is one of the most inexpensive drinks to consume with chemical benefits that protect your immune system. The research that has been conducted on green tea has proven that it will significantly improve your health by offering anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties while also protecting your body from harmful viruses.

Mouth and Teeth Health

Green tea contains a natural fluoride that helps to kill bacteria resulting from tooth decay and gum disease. By consuming more than one cup of tea per day you can decrease your risk of oral decay with the help of catechins and polyphenol properties.

Strong Bones

By consuming the beverage often you can decrease your risk of suffering from a bone fracture. Tea helps to diminish bone loss. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components suppress deterioration and increase the amount of cells that help to build strong bones.

Managing your Weight

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Review - Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

Carolina Gold
By Dorothy Love
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: December 10, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401687618
Pages: 336
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:

2014 is officially here and my first book review for the new year is on the new historical romance novel by Dorothy Love, titled Carolina Gold. The novel is inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Elizabeth Waties Allston Pringle.

Carolina Gold is set in the South Carolina low-country during the post-Civil War era, in which a young woman, Charlotte Fraser returns to home to her family's rice plantation, Fairhaven. Her father had recently passed away, so bringing the plantation back to its former glory will all be on her shoulders, but she is determined to learn how to plant, grow and harvest rice, mostly so she can pay off a few debts.

All of Fairhaven's bondmen are now free, so her first objective is to find workers, but it becomes a major challenge for her, as well as finding farming equipment. She eventually comes to terms that she will need an extra job to make ends, so takes a job tutoring her neighbor's two young daughters.

Nicholas Betancourt isn't just only Charlotte's neighbor, he is also the heir to the Willowood Plantation, but he'll be needing concrete evidence to proof it. As the friendship between the two blossoms into something more, Nicholas sends Charlotte on a quest to unravel a long hidden family secret.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Book Blogger Hop: January 3rd - 9th

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 question is submitted by Judy!

Musings and Ramblings
During the holidays there were hundreds of blog hops with giveaways and prizes. How did you keep track of if you what, if anything, you won? 

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: 

My answer is simple - I didn't participate in any giveaways! However, I did host a few giveaways. I use Rafflecopter for all my giveaways. I receive an email when the giveaway ends, just in case I don't remember.

Linky List:

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Writing Tips Wednesdays: 5 Tips for Starting Anew in 2014

If you’re anything like me, getting back into the swing of things after the holidays can be tough. I enjoy the holiday season, and I try to take off as much time as possible to spend with friends and family during that time. I do less work in December to make room for family time.

But, after January 1st, going back to writing again can seem like a drag. So, what are some ways to stay motivated for a new year? My favorite ways are listed below:

Review Your Goals

You had goals that you started in the previous year. In 2013, I wanted to increase my blog following and write a book. I accomplished both of those things, but I don’t want to end there. This year, I am modifying my goals to obtain bigger, greater things. I always want to move forward. Having something to work towards is motivating and helps me pull through the after-holiday blues.

Plan Something Fun

Daily work can get boring. To keep motivated to work, planning something fun can be a good option. This could be a fun break a few months into the year, or perhaps a fun goal, like a reading challenge or something you buy yourself after you reach a big goal.

Stick With It

I find that January can be a hard time for staying motivated. In some instances, the best thing you can do is just stick with it no matter what. No matter what you are writing or working toward, just try to make progress every day. After you start to meet your goals, then you will more than likely become more motivated to continue throughout the year.

Don’t Give Up

If you didn’t meet your goals from last year, or didn’t quite get where you wanted to, you may want to throw in the towel. For example, perhaps something you wrote was rejected or passed over in favor of someone else. You don’t have to throw in the towel. There are thousands of opportunities for a person who doesn’t give up. If you continue on your path and don’t give up, eventually, you will end up in a place that makes you happy.

Stay Positive

It is easy to look forward to the year and get overwhelmed. You don’t have to look at the entire year at once. Sometimes, the easiest way to stay positive about the year is just to look ahead to next month or even next week. Staying positive will help you reach your goals- no matter what they are.

How are you facing 2014? Are you facing the year with open arms or dragging your feet a little? 

Brenda is a fellow book-lover and coffee-addict. She is a freelance writer, punctuation nerd, and grammar enthusiast. Her favorite book genres are Science Fiction, Fantasy with a Twist, and Dystopian. Brenda blogs about books, writing and more at Daily Mayo. Find her here on CaW for Writing Tips Wednesdays the first Wednesday of every month.

Follow Brenda on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to updates from Daily Mayo to keep up with all the exciting things in her life; ranging from drinking coffee to get through the day to drinking coffee just for fun.

Trial And Error - Ronnie’s Journey To A Healthy Lifestyle

Its officially 2014! I'm assuming many people (including myself) are waking up bright and early to exercise as part of their New Year's Resolution. I'm kicking off the 1st with an article by a fellow writer (Not me!). 

Ronnie was always a slightly plump girl, even as a child. She had an unhealthy body image from an early age, leading her to compare herself to her ‘thinner’ friends. This lead to years of erratic eating, with periods of extreme dieting annulled by periods of binge eating.

Struggling with Weight and Low Self Esteem

Throughout high school, college and graduate school, Ronnie struggled with her weight, never really finding a solution that was both healthy and sustainable. Every year in college she would gain 10 lb reaching over 200 lb. Then, after her first baby, she decided to try Weight Watchers.

Struggling with a weight problem often leaves a certain mark on one’s personality. Sometimes it makes you more sensitive to criticism and in Ronnie’s case, it left her with a lack of confidence and negative self-image. It was not until she and her husband decided to start a family that she realized that she could not raise a confident and happy child if she herself was lacking in those qualities.

During her first pregnancy she gained 70 lb. She and her husband started Weight Watchers together just two weeks after the birth of her son. She lost 11 pounds in her first month and from then she was hooked.