Wednesday, 30 April 2014

DVD Review - NewsRadio: Seasons 1 & 2

NewsRadio: Seasons 1 & 2
Starring: Dave Foley, Phil Hartman, Khandi Alexander, Maura Tierney, Andy Dick, Joe Rogan, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 10 hours 12 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


Arriving on DVD earlier this month from Mill Creek entertainment is the first and second seasons of the  90s comedy series NewsRadio, starring Dave Foley, Khandi Alexander, Maura Tierney, Andy Dick, Joe Rogan, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis and the late comedian great, Phil Hartman.

The series aired on NBC from 1995 to 1999 with 97 episodes produced over five seasons. It went into syndication for a few years before officially disappearing from the airwaves. However, the complete series made its way on DVD between 2005 to 2008, but all the season sets are now out-of-print. Mill Creek Entertainment acquired the rights of several Sony Pictures titles, including NewsRadio, in 2013.

NewsRadio is centered on the antics of the office staff of New York City's WNYX radio station, which is owned by Jimmy James (played by Stephen Root). The pilot introduces the new news director, Dave Nelson (played by Dave Foley), who has to fire the current news director on his first day at work. There is an instant chemistry between Dave and the reporter/producer Lisa Miller (played by Maura Tierney), but there is a slight problem - she wanted to be the new news director. Despite the tension between the two, they enter a relationship which they try to hide from the other employees, Bill McNeal (played by Phil Hartman), Beth (played by Vicki Lewis), Matthew Brock (played by Andy Dick), Catherine Duke (played by Khandi Alexander) and Joe Garrelli (played by Joe Rogan).

The episodes on the three disc-set are:

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Review - The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand

Though they were small, my local libraries were my best-friends when I was a kid. My love of reading has continued into my 30s, and of course when I saw a book titled The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand, I eagerly signed up to review it on NetGalley.

This fantasy adventure centers on a young girl named Dorrie, who happens to love sword-fighting. Lets just say life is never boring for young Dorrie, who, along with her brother, Marcus, stumble into the Passaic Public Library. This isn't a regular library, as there is another library hidden within it. There is a magical portal that is the entryway to the Petrarch's Library.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

ARC Review - The Girl Who Played with Fire: A Graphic Novel

The Girl Who Played with Fire: A Graphic Novel
by Denise Mina
Illustrators: Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Pub. Date: June 3, 2014
Retail: $29.99
ISBN: 9781401237578
Pages: 272


The Girl Who Played with Fire is the graphic novel adaption based on the late Stieg Larsson's second installment in the Millennium series. All three books have been adapted into feature films in Sweden; while the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was adapted into a feature film in the United States in 2011, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.

After the events of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander, mysteriously disappeared from Sweden. Her state legal guardian, Nils Bjurman, (who had raped her and in turn she sexually assaults him and then tattoos the words "rapist" on his chest and stomach) is searching for her, mainly because she is in possession of the videotape she had recorded of him abusing her.

Lisabeth is actually taking a long vacation on the Caribbean shores of Grenada, where she meets an American tourist, Dr Forbes, and his wife, whom he has been abusing. Lisabeth quickly gets involve with the situation.

ARC Review - Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell


Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell
by Paul Dini
Illustrator: Joe Quinones 
Publisher: DC Comics
Pub. Date: May 27, 2014
Retail: $22.99
ISBN: 9781401210540
Pages: 144


The DC Comics Universe is full of a variety of male superheroes, but there are also many female superhero characters as well, including Superwoman, Batgirl, Supergirl, etc.. And of course, many of you have probably heard of the character Black Canary that has been appearing on the CW's Arrow this season. In the series, Black Canary's real identity is Sara Lance, while in the comic book it was her sister, Dinah Laurel Lance; though I do have a feeling that Dinah will become Black Canary 2.0 in near future.

The character was first introduced in 1947 and she is normally paired up with the Green Arrow; as you can imagine the character has had many different makeovers over the years, with the most recent occurring in the New 52 reboot. Another character that got a makeover was Zatanna, who first appeared in the DC Comic Universe in 1964. Both of these ionic characters are teaming up for the upcoming graphic novel, titled Black Canary and Zatanna: Boodspell.

Besides from watching Black Canary on Arrow, I'm not to familiar with the character; and I've never even heard of Zatanna before reading the digital graphic novel this morning, which I received from NetGalley. Unlike a few recent DC Comics graphic releases, this isn't a combination of past issues, but instead it is a one-shot, 144 pages issue; giving the readers a glance into the origin of how these two female characters first met.

ARC Review - Batgirl Vol. 4: Wanted

Batgirl Vol. 4: Wanted
by Gail Simone
Publisher: DC Comics
Pub. Date: May 27, 2014
Retail: $24.99
ISBN: 9781401246297
Pages: 192


Comic books may seem like the thing of the past, but thanks to a surge of superhero blockbusters and hit television series (Arrow), not to mention reality TV (Comic Book Men), comic books are starting to become popular again. Publishers have finally entered modern times with digital comic books. 

In the comic book world, superheroes never age, as the comics eventually get rebooted, giving franchises a brand new start. This is exactly what happened with DC Comics with the launch of their New 52 line in 2011, including everything Batman related.

Thanks to NetGalley, I got to review an advanced digital copy of Batgirl Vol. 4: Wanted, which consists of issues #19-25, as well as Ventriliquist #1.

Being a superhero has its ups and downs, and Barbara Gordon has hit the lowest-part of her crime-fighting career with the recent death of her brother, which her alter ego, Batgirl, had a part in his death. She is a complete mess and she has even turn to drinking to try to help with the pain. Nothing seems to help her do deal with what has occurred, even visiting a shrink isn't helping her. To make matter worse, her father, Commissioner Gordon, has a personal vendetta to hunt down his son's killer, Batgirl.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Review: Amity by Micol Ostow

Probably almost everyone has heard about the famous so-called haunted house in Amityville, New York, where the Lutz family fled from their house after living there only 28 days in the middle 1970s. They claimed the house was haunted. In 1977, their experiences inside the 112 Ocean Avenue house was chronicled in the best-selling novel, titledThe Amityville Horror. Several non-fiction book sequel were later published, along with a few fiction titles as well. Ten film sequels were made, including a prequel and a remake. Another sequel is being filmed for 2015.

Thanks to NetGalley, I got my hands on an advanced readers copy of the new horror book, Amity, written by Micol Ostow. Now, I have read the original 1977 novel and I have seen all the movies, even the really low-budget ones, so naturally I was excited to read the new young adult take on the familiar storyline.

Amity is told from the point-of-view of two teens, but with a little twist, they are from different time-lines. Connor Webb's story takes place ten years before Gwendolyn (Gwen) Hall and her family moves into the house.

The book flips back and forth from the two teenagers' narrations, giving us readers a first-hand account of the dark madness that is hidden inside Amity!

Friday, 25 April 2014

DVD Review - Godzilla: The Complete Animated Series

Godzilla: The Complete Animated Series
Voice Cast: Ian Ziering, Brigitte Bako, Rino Romano, Charity James, Malcolm Danare, Tom Kenny
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 14 hours 14 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


Monster fans are patiently waiting for the release of the remake of Godzilla, but until then they can't get sink their teeth into Mill Creek Entertainment's DVD release of Godzilla: The Complete Animated Series.

No, this isn't the 1978 Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but instead this is the 1998 animated series, which servers as a direct followup to the 1998 Godzilla flick that started Matthew Broderick. The film was a box-office hit at the time, but Godzilla's new look was criticized by critics and Godzilla fans alike. Nevertheless, the movie still spawned an animated series that lasted for only two seasons consisting of 40 episodes.

Picking up exactly where the 1998 film left off, Godzilla has been destroyed, but Dr. Nick Tatopoulos (voiced by Ian Ziering) is worried that a few of the creature's offspring has survived. Along with the Humanitarian Environmental Analysis Team (H.E.A.T.), Dr. Tatopoulos locates the last offspring, which the creature becomes emotionally attached to him. Nick becomes sorta like a adopted father to the new Godzilla.

Suddenly, there are strange giant monster reports all over the world. The only weapon that can protect Earth is Godzilla!

Book Blogger Hop: April 25th - May 1st

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 answer the Book Blogger Hop questions in advance and have them scheduled or do you write your post the night before or the day of the Book Blogger Hop?

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: 

Typically, I setup the Book Blogger Hop either on a Wednesday or Thursday night for the current week. When I have some extra time, I'm going to schedule as many weeks as possible.

Linky List:

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Review - 10% Happier

10% Happier
by Dan Harris
Publisher: It Books
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
ISBN: 978-0062265425
Pages: 256
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


As many of my readers already know, I don't read very much non-fiction; mostly due to the fact that most true-to-life stories are depressing and I would rather read a fictional tale with a happy ending. However, I do occasionally read a self-help or spiritual book, which is one of the reasons why I signed up to review 10% Happier by Dan Harris, plus, the author is news anchor, which even further my interest in reading this.

Instead of giving a quick summary of the plot, like I do with my other reviews, I am going straight to my thoughts on the book. By the title and the cover jacket, you would think this would be a self-help novel, but it was far from it. Instead it is a semi-memoir, focusing on the author's entry into the ABC news world, which lead him to drugs and other addictions to help him keep his mind clear due to his heavy work load.

Dan Harris' life changed when he had an on-the-air meltdown on ABC's Good Morning America in 2004, eventually the incident lead him to seek out other healthier ways to reduce stress in his life; mostly medication.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

DVD Review - Gamera Legacy Collection 1963 - 1999

Gamera Legacy Collection 1963 - 1999
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Retail: $14.98
ASIN: B00I099JO6
Running Time: 16 hours 29 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


The summer blockbuster season began earlier this year with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but one of the most anticipated summer films of 2014 is Gareth Edwards' remake of Godzilla. You would think there would be several DVD/Blu-ray releases of the older Godzilla flicks, but surprisingly only King Kong Vs. Godzilla has been released this year; though there are a few other titles scheduled for release in May. Until then, monster fans can enjoy Mill Creek's Entertainment DVD release of Gamera Legacy Collection 1963 - 1999, featuring 11 movies, minus 2006's Gamera the Brave.

After the original Godzilla (Gojira) film was released in 1954, there were a surge of monster films being released, including many sequels to Godzilla. Out of these monster flicks came the giant flying turtle, Gamera, the guardian of the universe and friend of all children!

Yes, a flying turtle may seem a little far fetch and a ripoff of Godzilla, but the Gamera became successful; though I'm surprised there was never a Godzilla Vs. Gamera ever produced.

The films on the Gamera Legacy Collection four-disc set are:

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Jen Swann Downey’s Top Ten List of Things That Inspired Her to Write THE NINJA LIBRARIANS

  1. A desire to keep my family in butter and heat.
  2. My love of libraries – With all my soul, I have loved libraries since I remember loving anything. As a kid, libraries seemed like magic palaces of possibility. The shelves seemed to hold rows and rows of moveable worlds, each one fronted by a door in the shape of a book cover. All you had to do was swing it open and walk inside. And voila! Imaginary people and situations and places and choices. Those childhood books made it clear that I had choices about what kind of person I wanted to be, how I could live, what might count as “normal” or “good”. Libraries have to rate as one of our most beautiful human inventions, especially public ones.
  3. My love for Librarians - As a book-loving child, I regarded librarians with a strange kind of awe (and our local library as a sort of magical palace, stuffed with a dragon’s hoard worth of riches). Librarians were the keepers of all this treasure, and as such, mysterious and powerful custodians. There always seemed to be more to them than met the eye! Something secret and well-intended and unadvertised. Something underestimated, devoted, and heroic. My opinion didn’t change as an adult, as I began to understand that literacy, information and literature often occupied contested territory! It was easy and fun to imagine librarians – professional book protectors, literacy encouragers, and privacy champions -- as literal warriors, with swords as well as shortish pencils in their arsenals.

Review - A Sensible Arrangement

A Sensible Arrangement
Lone Star Brides series, book 1
by Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: April 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-0764210587
Pages: 336
Blog Tour:


I have read many titles by author Tracie Peterson, but I wasn't aware that she has published 100 books! That is a great achievement. Her newest novel, A Sensible Arrangement, is the first book in a brand new series. 

In Christian fiction, the arrange marriage plot has been done to death, as it is a simple plot device to get two strangers under the same roof. Here, there are two widowers, Jake Wythe and Marty Dandridge Olson, who are thrown into an arrange marriage.

Typically, these kinds of novels are set on a ranch or some kind of farm, but not here; though Jake would love to own his own ranch one day, until then he has to settle for working at the Morgan Bank. The bank board members don't care for Jake being single, so under pressure he agrees to remarry.

Getting remarried wasn't the first thing on Marty's mind, as she is still grieving over the death of her husband, who died in a ranch accident. Since his death, Marty has been living with her sister and her family, but she fears she has overstayed her welcome, so she agrees to marry Jake.

Blu-ray Review - Cowgirls 'N Angels 2: Dakota's Summer

Cowgirls 'N Angels 2: Dakota's Summer
Director: Timothy Armstrong
Starring: Haley Ramm, Kieth Carradine
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Retail: $29.99
Running Time: 91 minutes
Rating: PG


Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD last week is Cowgirls and Angles 2: Dakota's Summer, starring Oscar Winner (1975, Original Song, "I'm Easy," Nashville) Keith Carradine, Haley Ramm (X-Men: The Last Stand), Jade Pettyjohn (American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars), and Emily Bett Rickards (CW's Arrow). Timothy Armstrong returns to direct this exciting sequel to 2012's Cowgirls 'N Angels. The Blu-ray special feature is a Behind the Scenes of Dakota's Summer.

Dakota's Summer centers on seventeen-year-old, Dakota Rose, who participates as one of the riders in the Sweethearts of the Rodeo trick rider group. Her life is turned upside down when her older sister, Kristin (played by Emily Bett Rickards), tells her that she is adopted.

She leaves the Sweethearts of the Rodeo to spend the summer on her adopted grandparents' (played by Keith Carradine and Anne Lockhart), farm, where she learns who birth-parents are and eventually tracks down her birth-mother. During these summer months, she befriends a troubled young girl, Summer. As she tries to form a relationship with her birth-mother and Summer, she starts to learn a few things about herself, which might bring her back to the rodeo.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

DVD Review - SpongeBob, You're Fired!

SpongeBob, You're Fired!
Studio: Nickelodeon
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 186 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


Its hard to believe that SpongeBob SquarePants first premiered back in 1999 and its currently at the end of its ninth season with a ten season in the works. Currently, there are 188 of episodes of the animated series, along with a spinoff feature film with a second film planned for 2015.

Arriving on DVD on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, is the new DVD collection, titled SpongeBob, You're Fired!, featuring 14 exciting adventures in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom.

The episodes featured on the single-disc are:
  • SpongeBob, You're Fired! (Season 9) SpongeBob must look for a new job after he is fired from the Krusty Krab.
  • Neptune's Spatula (Season 1) After pulling a spatula out of a bucket of grease, SpongeBob accidentally summons King Neptune and he must challenge him to a fry cook-off.
  • Welcome to the Chum Bucket (Season 2) - SpongeBob's boss, Mr. Krabs, loses SpongeBob's contract in a poker game; therefore SpongeBob is forced to work at the Chum Bucket.
  • The Original Fry Cook (Season 5) The Krusty Krab's former fry cook, Jim, returns to take SpongeBob's job.
  • Le Big Switch (Season 5) SpongeBob switches jobs with an executive chef, as part of a cultural exchange program.
  • Model Sponge (Season 7) Fearing that he might be fired from the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob tries to become a model.
  • Employee of the Month (Season 1) SpongeBob is always the employee of the month at the Krusty Krab, but this month he has competition, as Squidward wants to be the best employee.
  • Bossy Boots (Season 2) The Krusty Krab as a new employee, Mr. Krab's daughter, Pearl.
  • Krusty Dogs (Season 7) SpongeBob creates Krusty Dogs!
  • License to Milkshake (Season 9) After SpongeBob learns that his milkshake license has expired, he must return to milk-shake academy,
  • Help Wanted (Pilot Episode) - SpongeBob attempts to get a job at the Krusty Krab.
  • Wet Painters (Season 3) Mr. Krab hires SpongeBob and Patrick to paint the living room of his house.
  • Krusty Krab Training Video (Season 3) A Krusty Krab training video for new employees.
  • Pizza Delivery (Season 1) SpongeBob and Squidward must deliver a pizza to a Krusty Krab customer.
SpongeBob, You're Fired! features the very first episode, Help Wanted, as well as two episodes from season 9, License to Milkshake and SpongeBob, You're Fired!; with the latter episode causing a bit of controversy with its portrayal of unemployment, causing a media circus over the episode. However, when the episode aired on Nickelodeon, it received high ratings.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Book Blogger Hop: April 18th - 24th

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!


Are your reviews more of a rehash of the story or do you comment on writing style, characters, and reflection?

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 wouldn't say I rehash the book in my reviews, but I always give a brief synopsis of the plot in my own words. Typically, I comment on the plot, the relationship with the two main characters and then give my final thoughts on the book. Every book is different; therefore I don't always write the reviews the same way every time.

Linky List:

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Review - The Queen's Handmaid

The Queen's Handmaid
By Tracy L. Higley
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
Retail: $15.99
ISBN: 978-1401686840
Pages: 400
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I can't believe this month is half way over already. 2014 is flying by way to quickly, but I have made time to read several new titles, including The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley.

Now, I'm mostly a fan of books set in the 1800s, but The Queen's Handmaid is set in 39BC, which is a bit of a stretch from the wild wild west era. Though I don't read books from this time period, however, I do watch movies (Gladiator) and television series (Spartacus) that are sent around that era, so I thought I would give the book a shot.

The Queen's Handmaid centers on a young woman named Lydia, who happens to be the handmaid for Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. She doesn't have a family, as she has been an orphan since birth, and she now resides in the Queen's palace, where she spends her days taking care of the Queen's children.

Age is catching up with Cleopatra and having a beautiful young handmaid is causing a few problems, as men are taking notice of Lydia, especially Herod, the Galilean governor.

How Judo Can Benefit Your Child

Judo is one of the relatively new martial arts to come out of Japan. Developed in the late 1800s, it is similar to many other martial arts, but is considered safer for many children because it doesn’t involve punching or kicking. Judo uses certain techniques to pin an opponent and is an appropriate sport for most people—from young children to adults. Some of the more advanced techniques are only permitted for older age groups, to ensure that they’re used properly. Look for judo in Wakefield to help your child grow into a stronger, more confident young adult. It is a sport for both boys and girls, and many people who aren’t successful in traditional sports can flourish in judo.

  Physical Benefits

The obvious benefit of enrolling your child in judo classes is that they will have an opportunity to be more physically active. Instead of sitting in front of the television or video games all day long, they’ll be up and moving around throughout class. Many parents find that once their children begin attending judo classes, they learn to enjoy physical activity so much that even while they’re at home, they spend less time on the couch. Older children can also build muscle and cardiovascular endurance if they continue to attend judo classes regularly.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review - A Place In the Son: Fitly Joined Together in Love and Growing in Christ

A Place in the Son
Fitly Joined Together in Love and Growing in Christ
by Clarence Ogle
Publisher: New Book Publishing (paperback), Certa Publishing (Kindle)
Pub. Date: November 4, 2013 (paperback), April 6, 2014 (Kindle)
Retail: $18.88 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)
ISBN: 978-1939748140
Pages: 440

Purchase Links:
Amazon (paperback)
Amazon (Kindle)
Book Description:

"A Place in the Son: Fitly Joined Together in Love and Growing in Christ" is a guide to growing in Christ in harmony with other true believers. Readers are urged to examine their beliefs and their lives and surrender all to Christ. The God who is Love has a calling(s) and a place in the body of Christ for every unique person. The wonderful works of God are accomplished as believers obey the Head, Jesus Christ, and love and serve with their assigned partners in the body of Christ. "A Place in the Son" calls believers to press on, to step into the realm of the supernatural, and to enjoy daily fellowship and intimacy with God. Personal experiences and testimonies of God's faithfulness combine with the Word of God to inspire readers. Both new believers and seasoned saints will find enlightenment and encouragement in the pages of this book. The call of "A Place in the Son" is loud and clear: "Search the Scriptures! Know who you are in Christ! Wake up, sleeping giants!"

About the Author:

Clarence Ogle is a retired soldier and certified public accountant living in El Paso, Texas. He has shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of God with inmates in local jails for over twenty-five years. He currently teaches the "Growing in Christ" course at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail. Clarence serves as an elder in his church - Destiny Family Christian Center. He and his wife Hayriye have been married for forty-four years and have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Monday, 14 April 2014

LipiX InstantEdge Ketogenic Coffee Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 
As you can probably imagine, I get a little excited when I get the opportunity to review anything coffee related, as I'm a big coffee drinker. So, naturally, I eagerly signed up to review the LipiX InstantEdge Ketogenic Coffee.

The instant coffee is fortified with Medium Chain Triglycerides, a safe, energetic and rich fatty acids that are easily metabolized by the by the body. Unlike Long Chain fatty acids, MCTs aren't absorbed in the human diet. MCTs provides healthy energy for your brain, while at the same time it gives your body that extra boosts it needs to get through the day. MCTs form ketone bodies in the liver, which is then released into the bloodstream and travels to your brain and other organs.

Review - Entertain Like A Gentleman

Entertain Like A Gentleman
by David Harp
Publisher: New Year Publishing
Pub. Date: January 1, 2011
Retail: $21.95
ISBN: 978-1935547181
Pages: 228

Buy Links:

Book Description:

Knowing how to entertain for that special date or for a large crowd is the epitome of being a gentleman. There is no stronger way to impress someone than by showcasing your culinary skills. Bachelor Chef and culinary instructor David Harap has created a series of menus that any man can make his own. This book helps men create unforgettable meals for their guests without stress or needing years of cooking school. In addition to many exciting recipes for every occasion, that are tons of tips and secrets on how to become the ultimate host. Memorable meals made easy.

About the Author:

Culinary instructor David Harap has a passion for food and cooking since he was a child. Working in commercial kitchens and catering halls to help put himself through Cornell University, David built a solid knowledge base of culinary fundamentals. His cooking style is very much influenced by his global travels and blends international culinary techniques with local and seasonal products. David teaches a wide range of classes, including many on entertaining, at the Central Market Cooking School and hosts an underground supper club, Austin Bite Club. He is also a partner with Stanton Chase International, a leading global executive search firm.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Blu-ray Review - The King of Comedy

The King of Comedy
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Nero, Jerry Lewis
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Retail: $24.99
Running Time: 109 minutes
Rating: PG


Arriving last month on Blu-ray for the first time is 1983's The King of Comedy directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Nero and the legendary comedian, Jerry Lewis. Special Features include Tribeca Film Festival: A Conversation with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis; A Shot at the Top: The Making of The King of Comedy; deleted and extended scenes; and the theatrical trailer.

The King of Comedy is a dark-satire film about the celebrity and media obsession in America. Robert De Nero plays Rupert Pupkin, and aspiring stand-up comedian, who wants his big-break in showbiz. After briefly meeting talk show host, Jerry Langford (played by Jerry Lewis), he believes his opportunity for fame has finally arrived, but he is quickly shoved aside by Langford.

Pupkin has a delusional disorder that cause him to believe that he is close personal friends with Langford. He enlists the help of Masha (played by Sandra Bernhard), who has been stalking Langford, in helping him kidnap Langford for ransom. Pupkin doesn't want any money in return; he only wants a spot on Langford's talk show.

The film was a box-office flop back in 1983 and received mixed-reviews; though over the past thirty years, the film has been more accepting from critics.

Review - My Friend Paris Book Series

Since this is primarily a book blog, I thought I should at least feature a few books for the Easter Gift Guide. I was contacted by Near Year Publishing about featuring the My Friend Paris picture book series, which I eagerly agreed to review one of the books.

The series was created by a fourteen-year-old author, Paris Morris. The first book, I'm Having Twins, in the "My Twins" series was published when she was a ten-year-old. The main character is loosely based on herself and is also named Paris. Paris is a three-year-old who is trying to adjust to the fact that she will no longer be an only child, as her parents are expecting twin girls.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Review - The Melting Pot Cookbook

The Melting Pot Cookbook
A Jewish Grandmother's Stories and Good Old Recipes From the Good Old Days
By Belle Serbin Fields
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pub. Date: December 13, 2013
Retail: $10.49
ISBN: 978-1490462660
Pages: 242

Where to Buy:

Book Description from Amazon:

The best recipes collected over the years by a 100 year old Jewish Grandmother who considers entertaining a competitive sport. Her recipes not only taste good, but they have to look good, too. Belle's recipes are practical and unusual, and her ingredients are everyday item found in every kitchen. Although the book is written by a Jewish grandmother, this is not a kosher or even strictly Jewish cookbook. There are Chinese, Italian, German, Danish, and other nationalities represented among the recipes. Another lure to the book are the interesting tales of where and how she found many of the recipes, and events where she has used them. Finally, there are ideas of recipes that can be combined to present and unusual visual effect, like her 7 layer Jello mold table centerpiece, or her combination salad mold appetizer. Belle is a kitchen artist as well as a great cook and baker.


Many of you probably don't know that I'm a decent cook. Though I learned a few things from mother, I'm mostly self-taught,which started when I became in charge of cooking dinners when my mother went back to work when I was a teenager (I believe it was in 1995). As an adult, I have continued to cook my own meals (though I do get takeout once in awhile) and I own a wide variety of cookbooks (Taste of Home, Rachel Ray, etc.). 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Book Blogger Hop: April 11th - 17th

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 Anne!


What do you think is the best book marketing tool? Blog, facebook, twitter, pinterest, or goodreads?

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: 

Wow! That is a great question. I would probably go with Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThing as great social marketing tool to learn about upcoming books. My second choice would be blogs. As a reader, when I hear about a book or author I have never heard of before, I "google" the book title and see what the buzz is all about. Mainstream critics are somewhat lazy about book reviews anymore, as they mostly copy the description from the back of the book and leave out their personal opinions. What I like about book blog reviews, is that they will give their honest thoughts about the title.

Linky List:

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Review - My Hare Line and the Hat by Patsy M. Henry

My Hare Line and the Hat
My Hare Line, book 4 
by Patsy M. Henry
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Pub. Date: October 11, 2011
Retail: $9.99 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1613462164
Pages: 28

Where can “My Hare Line” series books be purchased? :

Book Description: 

After a pine tree falls and knocks the rabbit pen fence, Brownie asks Rascal if anyone escaped. Rascal thinks this was the silliest thing he had ever heard. As usual, Rascal talks to Aunt Paula Rabbit about what Brownie had said to him. Rascal is shocked to learn that his family is actually quite adventurous! Join Rascal and his adventurous bunny family in My Hare Line and the Hat.

About the Author:

Patsy M. Henry is newly retired, having worked twenty-five years in banking and eight years as an office manager. Her goals for retirement were to take better care of herself and to write. The first goal was easy to slip into. The second goal has been both challenging and rewarding. She had been encouraged to write by family and friends who told her that she missed her calling. It came naturally for her to write about her newfound love for her rabbits first. The author of My Hare Line Meets the Brown Rabbit is from a large family that gets together often. Patsy and her husband, Jerry, live in Bainbridge, Georgia where they are active members of First Baptist Church. They enjoy spending time in to the mountains. They have two grown sons and four grandchildren.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Review: Canvas4Life

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.
When you think of buying a gift for Easter for a loved one, you probably think of candy or flowers. Yes, a chocolate bunny or a bouquet of flowers can make a good gift, but it is a little cliche and it can become old when you give someone the same present year after year, which is the main reason why I'm hosting an Eater Gift Guide this year.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Blu-ray Review - The Nut Job

The computer-animated film, The Nut Job, is arriving on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on April 15th, which is just in time to a make a nifty Easter gift. Blu-ray exclusive features include deleted scenes, storyboards, The Great Nut Heist and Dance-Off End Credits. Additional features include animated shorts.

Animated films are either released during the summer or near the holidays, but The Nut Job was released in January, which is normally filled with movie rejects the studios were afraid to release the previous year. The Nut Job has an all-star voice cast of Will Arentt, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Book Blogger Hop - April 4th - 10th

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 Zeb!


To you, what qualifies a book as good or bad? Are some books objectively better than others, or is it purely a matter of opinion?

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 know some people consider "good" books as only being what mainstream critics call "classics" or "superb," but that's not always the case with me, as you can find a few trashy or tie-ins in my collection. For me to like a book, the book has to grab my interest from the first few pages, if it starts to get boring, there is better chance that I will close the book and toss it on a shelf to collect dust. The meaning of a "good" book is different for every reader. Just because I like reading one book doesn't mean somebody else will.

Linky List:

Review - Middle School: Ultimate Showdown

Middle School: Ultimate Showdown
By James Patterson and Julia Bergen
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date: March 31, 2014
Retail: $13.99
ISBN: 978-0316322119
Pages: 256

Buy Link:

Book Description: 

Readers get a chance to participate in James Patterson's wildly successful Middle School series in this interactive book featuring more than 80 hilarious anecdotes from dueling siblings Rafe and Georgia Khatchadorian--plus dozens of fun-filled activities!

The Khatchadorian kids are an opinionated duo, and as readers of the Middle School stories know, they don't exactly see eye to eye. But when wild-card Rafe and mostly-straight-laced Georgia go at it, the only thing more fun than their ranting is getting to join in! Their back-and-forth banter on a range of topics--from bullying to cafeteria food to school dress codes--introduces more than 40 writing and drawing prompts and other games, along with room for readers to share their own points of view. (Includes over 200 illustrations.)


Its Not Easy Losing Ten Pounds

As many of my readers know, I have been trying to lose weight since last year, but it hasn't been easy to drop those unwanted pounds. Whether it is the first ten pounds or the last ten pounds, it it isn't an easy thing to accomplish without getting liposuction or getting your stomach stapled, which can both be costly and have some negative side-effects, as it is surgery.

Most doctors will probably recommend old-fashioned dieting and exercising to help you lose weight, but most people today are lazy and want everything to happen within seconds, as people want to slim down in time to visit the beach at Boca Raton, Florida.

Not unless you want to have painful surgery, the only other option is coolsculpting, which is a new way to sculpt your body without surgery and is a great way to get rid of the that extra layer of fat that just won't come off no matter how much you exercise and diet. There are many dermatologists, such as Dr. Hershthal, that can preform this procedure. It basically involves freezing your fat cells until they fall off. It may sound easy, but it can be a bit costly if your on a budget.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Review - The Juice Lady's Remedies For Stress & Adrenal Fatigue

The Juice Lady's Remedies For Stress & Adrenal Fatigue
By Cherie Calbom, MS, CN
Publisher: Siloam
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
Retail: $12.99
ISBN: 978-1621365679
Pages: 144

Buy Link:


Don’t let stress ruin your health. Fight back with these all-natural juice remedies. You don’t have to suffer with the effects of stress and exhaustion. By simply adding more raw food to your diet, you increase your intake of essential nutrients and decrease the harmful effects of stress and adrenal fatigue on your body. With recipes and recommendations for healing teas, juices, and smoothies, this quick-reference guide helps you naturally repair, rejuvenate, and reclaim your health. You also get valuable tips on stopping stress and adrenal fatigue at the source, including: · The connection between chronic stress and adrenal fatigue · Practical ways to lower your stress levels · Nine common symptoms of adrenal fatigue · Seven steps you can take to combat stress eating, and more!

About the Author:

Cherie Calbom, MS, is the author of The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet, The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution, and Juicing for Life, which has nearly two million books in print in the United States. Known as “The Juice Lady” for her work with juicing and health, Cherie has taped HealthWatch for CNN and has appeared in Shape, First for Women, Women’s World, Men’s Journal, Vogue, Quick & Simple, Marie Claire, and Elle Canada. Cherie earned a master’s degree in nutrition from Bastyr University, where she now serves on the Board of Regents, and has practiced as a clinical nutritionist at St. Luke Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington.


Review - Dancing With Dragonflies

Dancing with Fireflies
A Chapel Spring Romance, book 2
By Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
ISBN: 978-1401687021
Pages: 352
Blog Tour:
Buy Link:


Typically when I'm in a bookstore (well, Walmart), I only look for certain authors I have read before and avoid any new authors, but since I have started blogging I have been introduced to many other authors, including Denise Hunter.

In this sequel to last year's Barefoot Summer,  Jade McKinley finds herself returning to her hometown of Chapel Springs, Indiana, as she doesn't have anywhere else to go. She is also completely broke. Plus, she is pregnant!

Jade's family is more than surprised to see her return from the big city after only a year. She doesn't want to them to know about her upcoming bundle of joy.

The Chapel Springs mayor, Daniel Dawson, grew up with the McKinley family and has also had a crush on Jade, whom he has always called "squirt," though she had never thought of him as more than a honorary brother. After running into Jade again, those old feelings for her return.

Review - Maybelle in Stitches

Maybelle in Stitches
Quilts of Love Series, Book16
By Joyce Magnin
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426752803
Pages: 240
Buy Link: Paperback
Blog Tour:


I have had the privilege to read several installments of the

Quilts of Love Series this year. No, I'm not a quilter, actually I don't even know how to run a sewing machine, but I have plenty of quilters in my family, so I do respect the hobby. I do love reading almost any kind of novel, which is one of the reasons why I first signed up to read the Quilts of Love Series.

The 16th installment, Maybelle in Stitches, is set during WWII and is centered on Maybelle Kazinski. Her husband, Holden, was called off to war, so she finds herself working at the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock in Chester, Pennsylvania as a welderette. A woman working in a shipyard may seem a little odd at first for 1943, but many women during the war had to get jobs to support their family while their husbands were fighting overseas.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Editing: Necessary or Not?

This past Monday, I was a guest on the Stories for Children radio show hosted by the World of Ink Network.

Although the main topic of the show was about children’s books, we went off onto a tangent about some of the differences between Indie writing and writing published by large publishing houses.

One difference that you will often see is a difference in editing.

Editing has clear goals. In my mind, editing is the process of:
  1. Eliminating any typos, grammar, and spelling issues.
  2. Directing the writer to place the ideas in a more organized fashion or suggesting other organizational changes
  3. Pairing down copy so that the idea can be presented in the fewest words possible, or at least, to clarify the point of the story.  

Some Indie books are amazingly good and are actually better than many of the books published by big-name publishers. I personally love The Woodlands series, and think it is better than Divergent, and possibly even The Hunger Games.

 But on the other hand, some Indie books are published with sloppy errors that make them challenging to read- possibly due to the lack of a qualified editor.

I have read numerous books with typos, spelling issues, convoluted plots, unnecessary content, and a host of other issues that you would not see in a book published by a larger publishing house (usually).

However, some of these slightly-awkward books had amazing and unique plots that I very much wanted to read about.

So, the question we were left with in the show, and what I have still yet to decide an answer for, is: Is it worth overlooking the editing issues if the story is good?

My initial instinct is to say no; simply because, a person who cares about their writing should be determined to present it in the best way possible. I suppose it is sort of like showing up at a business interview in a rumpled suit. The candidate may be qualified for the position, but a rumpled suit shows a lack of care that will probably convey to the interviewer a lack of care about the position.

But on the other hand, if the interviewer (or book publisher), selects someone (or a book) who looks better, that person could lack the substance of the first candidate.

So, in the end, I guess I believe that if a story is good, both the author and the publisher should be responsible for ensuring it is presented in the best light. What errors the author misses the publisher should address. After all, it is their name on the book, too!

What do you guys think?

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.

Review - Tom & Jerry Slippers

Tom & Jerry Slippers
Made by: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment & Turner Entertainment


Men's Large (8-11) - $24.95

Where To Buy:


Who knew epic, long-lived rivalries could be so comfortable? These Tom and Jerry slippers feature the faces of TV's most famous cat and mouse duo. Each slipper captures the character's face in high-quality detail complete with protruding whiskers, fluffy ears, and mischievous grins.


I know many kids probably had a pair of bunny slippers or a pair of slippers featuring their favorite character, but I don't recall ever owning a pair of slippers until I was given a pair of Tasmanian Devil slippers when I was a teenager as a Christmas gift. At the time I had lost all interest in anything animated related, so the slippers where shoved into a closet and eventually lost over the years. Now, as an adult, I have embraced my childhood and I have started collecting my favorite Saturday morning cartoons on DVD. I even own a few T-shirts with my favorite characters on them, like TMNT, Grumpy the dwarf, Garfield and Thundercats.

Using Technology to Market Your Business

The world of advertising and marketing is changing at a rapid rate. You have to grow and adapt to the change in order to stay competitive. It doesn't matter if you are already tuned in to the new ways of gaining new customers or if you are completely out of the loop when it comes to the simple ways in which marketing has changed over the past decade, you can learn more about the new ways to market and gain new customers, as well as up the interactions that you have with existing customers. This article will talk about utilizing social media, digitizing punch cards, and the technology of a lead capture app.

Social Media

The new 'word-of-mouth', social media, is imperative to the growth of a company. No longer do businesses have to rely on neighbors recommending  the company or hoping that the water cooler talk drives new customers to a particular business. Using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, and more can do all of the word-of-mouth work for you, and in an exponential way. There are companies who specialize in getting you more 'likes' on Facebook, more 'retweets' on Twitter, more 'check-ins' on Foursquare, and so much more. If your company has not entered the world of social media, now is the time to do so.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

DVD Review - Power Rangers: Seasons 13-17

Power Rangers Seasons 13 - 17
Starring: Various
Studio: Shout! Factory 
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Retail: $129.99
Running Time: 3300 minutes
Rating: TV-Y

Purchase Links:


Five Complete Morphenomenal Seasons In One Limited-Edition Collection! 

The world’s favorite children’s action-adventure series returns with five more astonishing seasons, including the fan-favorite Power Rangers S.P.D. and the explosive Power Rangers Mystic Force, Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Power Rangers Jungle Fury and Power Rangers RPM. Join your favorite Rangers as they take on evil unlike anything the universe has ever seen!

This limited-edition collection contains all 166 episodes and comes packed with hours of bonus features, including retrospective featurettes celebrating the Power Rangers with brand-new interviews with members of the cast and crew, archival material, and more!


Its hard to believe the Power Rangers franchise turned twenty-years-old this past August and is currently in its 21st season with Power Rangers Super Megaforce. The premise of a group of teenagers becoming superheroes wearing tights and using giant robots, Zords, to fight giant monsters might have seemed a little silly at first, but the series caught on quickly and has continued to bring in new fans with every new season (well series). The franchise actually uses scenes, costumes, monsters and Zords from the Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai franchise.

Similar to other children programs, only a handful of episodes (four or five) were released on single VHSs or DVDs or the year, but there has never been an entire full season actually released. Even the complete series of Power Ranges Samurai was missing a few episodes. Fans finally got their wish when Shout! Factory began releasing box-sets and individual season-sets in late 2012.

Being released today is the limited-edition box set of Power Rangers Seasons 13-17, featuring 166 exciting episodes on 21 DVDs and includes a 48-page booklet. As an added bonus, exclusively for this box-set, is a bonus disc, featuring:

5th Anniversary Giveaway - $50 Amazon Gift Card!

No, this isn't an April Fool's Day joke!

I first started blogging five-years ago today. To celebrate my blog's five-year anniversary, I'm giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card (will be sent to winner via email). Giveaway ends April 30th!


I'm having problems with the Rafflecopter widget, so I have to pick the winner manually. 

The giveaway winner is:

Beverly P.