Search This Blog

Sunday, May 31

Fishing Double Bell Alarm and LED Light Rod Tips Review



Yes, the word "fishing" being featured in a post might surprise some of my blog readers, but I do have other hobbies than just reading!

Actually, I grew up fishing, but it's been awhile since I've been fishing as I've never had much luck at my town's lake. However, if it ever quits raining in my area, I might actually want to get out and go fishing.

About a month ago, I received four Fishing Double Bell Alarm and LED Light Rod Tips to test out and review.

If you fish early in the morning or late at night, you might doze off and forget about your line. Plus, it's hard to see the float/bobber in the dark. That's where these Double Bell Alarm and LED Lights come in handy!


Their very easy to use, just unscrew the light, remove the small piece of cardboard and twist the light back onto the base. This will activate the light. Clip the light to the end of your fishing rod and you're all done. If your line gets a bite, then the two bells will start rattling; alerting you immediately.

Saturday, May 30

Enhanced Creatine Formula Review



You don't have to be a bodybuilder to want to lift weights as most us want to get into the best shape we can be. Using a dietary supplement, such as, such as creatine, nitric oxide and BCAA, can help your muscles recover from an intense workout.

A few weeks ago, I was sent a bottle of Enhanced Creatine Formula from Hyperion as well as a bottle of Fenugreek Complex (60 caps).

The Enhanced Creatine Formula is micronized and unflavored. It features 5g of creatine and 500mg of taurine in each scoop (60 scoops/servings per bottle). It's gluten-free, vegan friendly and made with all natural ingredients.

The Fenugreek Complex is an enhanced creatine uptake, featuring a low-carb formula. Each serving (60 per bottle) has 500mg of fenugreek, which will help optimize hormones and improve creatine uptake in your body. It's recommended to take one serving with the Enhanced Creatine Formula.

How exactly do you use the the Enhanced Creatine Formula?

Well, just mix a scoop of the creatine in with a protein shake or mix it in with your favorite juice as it needs a little bit of sugar to get the creatine into your system.

Strength Stack 52 Complete Pack Review




Since I began my fitness craze earlier this year, I've the opportunity to review several different fitness related products. Last month, I received the Strength Stack 52 Complete Pack!

What exactly is a Strength Stack 52 Complete Pack?

Stack 52 is a fitness game that was created by scientist and military fitness expert Sergeant Michael Volkin, whom was awarded a medal for the diet and exercise programs he designed for the troops. The exercise games have been sold in over 24 countries.

I was sent the Complete Pack, which features the entire Strength Stack 52 Series, the Quick Sweat Dice, and the Weight Loss Stack 52 Deck, a total of 114 different body-weight exercises. The Quick Sweat Dice will help you keep score against your family and friends. The Weight Loss Stack 52 set will help you make better habits, like drinking 16 oz of water before eating a meal and help you stop eating snack foods directly from the package. 


Blu-ray Review: McFarland, USA



McFarland, USA
Director: Niki Caro
Starring: Kevin Costner
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Retail: $39.99
ASIN: B00UI5CUSM
Running Time: 129 minutes
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray & Digital HD this coming Tuesday June 2, 2015, is the heartwarming true story McFarland, USA. Directed by Niki Caro, the film stars Kevin Costner, Maria Bello and Morgan Saylor. Bonus Features include McFarland Reflections - Join Kevin Costner with Coach Jim White and members of the 1987 cross-country team as they look back on the bonds they forged and the opportunities they were given; "Juntos" Music Video - Performed by Juanes; Inspiring McFarland - See the strength and perseverance that brought a community together; deleted scenes and extended scenes.

Based on actual events, McFarland, USA centers on an Ohio high school football coach, Jim White (played by Kevin Costner), whom gets fired after losing his temper with a player. After the incident, he has a hard time finding a coaching job, but eventually he takes a job at the high school in the  Hispanic neighborhood of McFarland, California. Along with his wife, Cheryl, and two daughters, Julie and Jamie, they settle into the small town.

Instead of being the football head coach, he has to settle for being an assistant, that is until a disagreement leads him to step down from coaching all together. Later, after noticing how fast a few of his students can run in his PE class, Coach White decides put together a cross-country team, featuring his students Thomas, Jose, Johnny, Victor, Damacio, David and Danny, and compete for the state championship.

Friday, May 29

Book Blogger Hop: May 29th - June 4th

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!

Can you read in a room with noise or do you have to have total quiet?

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


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

My Answer: 


  If I'm really into the book, then I can shut out any noise that is around me, but I prefer quietness most of the time.

Linky List:

Caffeine Supplement for Focused Energy Review



Everyone seems to be on the go these days. I'm sure many of these people drinks some sort of energy drink or shot, which isn't good for your health. The drinks have way too much caffeine and sugar that can cause you to become sick. Some people have died from drinking them.

The other alternative, which is my favorite, is drinking a few cups of coffee to get you through the day. The bad news is that people like to add sweeteners and creams to their coffee, which will quickly help you gain some unwanted pounds. Why do people add all these calories to coffee? Probably because they don't care for the taste of plain coffee.

About a month ago, I was sent a bottle (60 caps) of Eu Natural Caffeine (L-Theanine), an energy support & mental focus dietary supplement.

Unlike other caffeine supplements, this brand doesn't have any fillers, binders, or artificial ingredients. It also doesn't contain any wheat, gluten or diary. Plus, this brand won't give you jitters or make you suddenly crash in the middle of the day.


Thursday, May 28

Spring Reads: The Proposal at Siesta Key



The Proposal at Siesta Key
Amish Brides of Pinecraft, book 2
by Shelly Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
Pub. Date: May 12, 2015
ISBN: 978-0062337726
Pages: 288
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1AvyvUr
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sgray

Review:

Wow! It seems like I just read the first book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series only a few weeks ago and here I am writing the review for the second installment, The Proposal at Siesta Key, which I read late last night.

Once again, the story is set in the Pinecraft, Florida and centers on Penny Troyer, a young Amish woman whom has been sheltered by her parents ever since they moved from Ohio to Florida after her sister was assaulted. One day she decides to venture away from her home to join a missionary group at the Pinecraft Park. The Knoxx Family, a traveling Mennonite evangelical family, are scheduled to speak at the event and this is where she meets Michael Knoxx for the first time.

While speaking at missionary groups and other events is fulfilling, life on the road is taking a toll on Michael. His leg has never recovered from the accident that has inspired him to help others and some much needed rest is required, especially after he has some unplanned surgery.

Wednesday, May 27

Garden of Life Non-GMO Verified Giveaway


Many products are now changing their ingredients to Non-GMOs, which means they no longer use genetically modified organisms. These organisms are used to modify crops and are featured in the foods that we eat, but they can be harmful to our body.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization that offers a third-party Non-GMO verification and labeling. There are currently over 27,000 products from 15,000 brands that uses the Non-GMO Project.

I'm proud to be participating with Garden of Life (a Non-GMO Project Verified) for an exciting giveaway. Garden of Life produces many vitamins, dietary supplements, protein shakes, meal replacements and other healthy products. 

Garden of Life
currently has 115 Non-GMO Project Verified products and was nice enough to sponsor a giveaway of one Non-GMO Project Verified product to five lucky winners! 

For information about Garden of Life products, please visit: www.gardenoflife.com

For more infomration about the Non-GMO Project, please visit:  www.nongmoproject.org/






Giveway Details:

Tuesday, May 26

Spring Reads: Mr. Mercedes


Mr. Mercedes
by Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Pub. Date: June 3, 2014
ISBN: 978-1476754451
Pages: 448
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

I was pretty excited when I received an advanced copy of Stephen King's upcoming novel Finders Keepers, but I learned it was a sequel to last year's Mr. Mercedes, which I had never read yet. I received Mr. Mercedes as a Christmas Gift, so I dragged it out on Thursday morning and I finished reading the book yesterday afternoon.

While many of King's novels have a horror vibe to it, Mr. Mercedes is a crime thriller! The novel opens up in April 2009, where many people are lined up for the job fair that will open the next morning. Out of nowhere, a maniac driving a stolen Mercedes runs over the crowd, killing several innocent people. While the driver was seen wearing a clown mask, he was never caught.

The novel quickly introduces the main character, an out-of-shape retired detective, Bill Hodge, whom has spent way too much time watching trashy television and debating whether or not to commit suicide. Out-of-the-blue, he receives an odd letter from someone claiming to be the Mercedes Killer. Instead of giving the letter to his ex-partner, Bill decides to investigate the case himself.

At first glance, Brady Hartfield looks like a typical thirty-year-old working a job at a electronic store and working afternoon hours driving an ice cream truck; all so he can support his alcoholic mother, but what people don’t know is that he is the Mercedes Killer and his next target is the ex-cop Bill Hodge.

Monday, May 25

Everlast Vegan Protein Review




Getting the right amount of protein is an essential for your body, especially if you're exercising and lifting weights on a regular basis. During your workouts, you break and tear the muscle fibers in your body. In order for these fibers to be repaired, you need to consume extra protein, especially right after your workout.

A few weeks ago, I was sent a 1 serving (29g) packet of Everlast VP (Pro Vegan Protein Mix). Yes, this is the same Everlast company that makes the Boxing and MMA gloves and equipment. Everlast now has a line of nutrition products.

The Pro Vegan Protein Mix comes in a light vanilla flavor with 22g of protein per serving. It's dairy, gluten and sugar free. It uses a professional mix of yellow pea, rice and hemp proteins. It can be purchased in a 31 servings bag.

The complete ingredients include:

Pea Protein
Carrageenan
Sea Salt
Natural Flavor
Rice Protein
Hemp Protein
Stevia Glycoside


Sunday, May 24

DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Search For Splinter




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Search For Splinter
Studio: Nickelodeon
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Retail: $9.98
ASIN: B00V4RH6F0
Running Time: 65 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

While it might seem like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been on television constantly since 1987, there was actually a hiatus between 1998 and 2003. The second animation series was produced by by 4Kids Entertainment and Mirage Studios. The series debuted in February 2003. It dropped all the slapstick of the original series and focused on story-arcs, which offered a darker plot, similar in style to the comic book series.

While the series was popular with fans of all ages as well as critics, it went downhill when it was retitled "Fast Forward," when the character designs were altered and the turtles were sent to the future. The series tried to bounce back by bringing the turtles back to the past in Back to the Sewer, but it was too little, too late as the series was canceled; though the turtles would return in the TV-Movie Turtles Forever.

Nickelodeon purchased the franchise in 2009 and launched a computer-animated series in 2012, which is currently in it's third season. During it's run, the 2003 series mostly received single-disc DVD releases, featuring only three episodes. A Season 4 two-disc DVD set was later released, though the first half the season was missing. Seasons 1 & 2 were eventually released in two volumes (2-discs) sets each. Fast Forward was released in a similar format as well as Ninja Tribunal (the fifth season).

On June 9, 2015, Nickelodeon will finally be releasing the 2003 series to DVD, but with three episodes per disc. The DVD titles will be The Search For Splinter and NYC Showdown (I'll have a separate review for it posted soon). The Search For Splinter features the very first episode "Things Change" and the two-part season one finale, "The Search for Splinter Parts 1 & 2."

Reread Review: Maximum Ride: The Final Warning


Maximum Ride: The Final Warning
by James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: March 17, 2008
ISBN: 0446194050
Pages: 264
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

If you've been following my blog this month, then you would know that I was planning on rereading the Maximum Ride series before the release of the newest installment Maximum Ride Forever on May 19th. Well, as you can tell, it's a few days past the 19th and this review is for the 4th novel, so I've gotten behind on my reviews. There's no reason to worry as I still plan on getting all the books read and reviewed on here.

After reading the first three books in there series, I was looking forward to reading the fourth adventure in March 2008, but what was released was less of an adventure and more of a political global warming push. It wouldn't have bothered me if this was an adult thriller, but this book is aimed for middle graders.

The three previous novels were action-packed thrill rides with Max and her flock on the run from The School and the Erasers. While they would love to have a normal life, it'll never happen due to the flock are all human avian hybrids. Now they are asked by a group of environmental scientists to go on an expedition in Antarctica.

Friday, May 22

Book Blogger Hop: May 22nd - 28th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

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

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

  This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth!

Why would you stop reading a book? Too long, wrong genre, bad language, not what you expected, or something totally different?

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: 


  The only time that I have to stop reading a book is when I have to read another title for review purposes. I'm almost at the midpoint of Outlander when I had to stop reading it because I have too many titles I need to review for this blog. I have my book marker in place, so I can start reading it again, one day.

Linky List:

Private Gym Review



For males, as we get older our pelvic muscles become weaker, which can cause multiple problems, such as premature ejaculations and rigid erections. The Journal of Urology stated that by age 40, more than 50% of men experience some kind of erectile dysfunction and the percentage increases 16% as males near the 60 year mark. Just like your other muscles, the pelvic muscle can be trained through exercises and resistance training, which over time will help strengthen your pelvic so you can conquer your erectile dysfunctions.

While there are many Kegel Exercisers on the market for women, there haven't been a stystem created for men until now thanks to the Private Gym, the first FDA registered pelvic exercise program. Private Gym was founded by David Mandell and was developed in the conjunction with Dr. Andrew Siegel, a renowned urologist, surgeon, professor and author of Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health.

With the Private Gym, you can now boost your sexual performance in less than two minutes a day without the use of pills, which can have many unwanted side-effects. The system is available in two different versions: a Basic Training Program (Retail: $59.99) or the Complete Training Program (Retail: $99.99).


I was sent the Complete Training Program about two months ago to test out for this review. The kit features:

Interactive DVD Exercise Program

Thursday, May 21

Spring Reads: Secret Brother by V.C. Andrews


Secret Brother
The Dollanganger Family Series
by V.C. Andrews
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: May 26th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1476792408
Pages: 384
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

In 1979, the Gothic novel Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews was published, causing a slue of backlash from libraries, schools and parents. Despite the taboo incest theme, the story about a four siblings being locked in a bedroom & attic by their mother and grandmother became a worldwide sensation. Three sequels (Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns & Seeds of Yesterday) were later published. Sadly, V.C. Andrews passed away before she could finished the prequel novel Garden of Shadows, but the publishers and Andrews' family picked Andrew Neiderman to ghostwrite the novel, as well as every V.C. Andrews title since then.

Fans thought the series had ended with Garden of Shadows until the semi-sequel Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth was released last fall and quickly followed by Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger, in which a long-distant cousin stumbles upon the diary of Christopher Dollanganger.

Arriving on in bookstores next week is the direct sequel to Flowers in the Attic (or a side-prequel to the Christopher's Diary duo). The novel begins in late October 1960 and centers on sixteen-year-old Clara Sue Sanders, whom, along with her little brother, Willie, has been living with their Grandpa Arnold every since their parents died in a tragic accident. One afternoon, Clara Sue is startled by the commotion outside - a drunk driver had hit her brother and his nanny, Myra. While the paramedics did everything they could, Willie was gone before the ambulance arrived at the hospital.

Grief-stricken, Clara Sue must stay in the waiting room by her grandfather's side while the doctors work on Myra. This is when they learn that young boy had been dropped off at the and left at the hosptial by a stranger. The boy is undernourished and had been poisoned with arsenic. (Sounds familiar, doesn't it?)

Before funeral plans for Willie are even made, Grandpa Arnold is determined to find out whom this little boy is. Due to the arsenic, the boy has neurological damage as well as the loss of motor skills; leaving him unable to communicate and walk. Grandpa Arnold hires a detective to find out who dropped the the boy off, but he finds nothing.

Wednesday, May 20

Ozeri Electric Wine Opener Review



While I've never been much a drinker in the past or considered myself to be a wine enthusiast, I do occasionally buy a bottle of wine. Normally, this is on a special occasion, like a holiday, but once in awhile I do go down the liquor aisle at my local Walmart and pick out a sweet bottle of wine.

While I do have an old-fashioned cork screw to open wine bottles, I've always been interested in having an electric one, so you can imagined that I was excited to try out a complimentary Ozeri Electric Wine Opener in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

This is a type of electric wine opener that are seen in restaurants. The Ozeri Electric Wine Opener is the 2nd generation with a new and improved battery that can open up to 40 bottles of wine in one single charge! 

Once you remove the wine opener from the box, you need to charge it for 8 hours to get it full charged before you can use it for the first time. It comes with a foil cutter, so you just use it to cut and remove the seal from the wine bottle. While holding the bottle with one hand, use your other hand to place the bottom of the opener on top of the cork. Press the push-down button to remove the cork. Then press the push-up button to release the cork and pour yourself a glass of wine. As an added bonus, the opener comes with a pourer/stopper.


CRUSCH: Ultimate Tri-Phase Creatine Review



If you have ever been down the dietary supplement section in Walmart, then you've probably seen big containers of creatine (probably flavored) next to the whey protein. You might believe that you need to be a bodybuilder to use creatine, but the truth is that anybody looking to lose weight and gain muscle can benefit from taking it.

Several weeks ago, I received a 90 tablet bottle of CRUSCH: Ultimate Tri-Phase Creatine, which features 5,000 mg of creatine per serving (3 tablets). Typically, creatine comes in a fruit punch mix or has to be added to some sort of juice as sugar activate it. These tablets can be taken anywhere, but you still need to take it with juice or a high carbohydrate beverage.

What exactly is creatine?

DVD Review: Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Best in Show



Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Best in Show
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Retail: $14.98
ASIN: B00UKSXM7A
Running Time: 67 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Wow! It's hard to believe Strawberry Shortcake is celebrating her 35th birthday this year. Who knew that a character on a greeting card would become so popular! Now available to own on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Best in Show, featuring three exciting episodes. As an added bonus, there is a printable coloring pages and a Perfect Puppy digital story book to download.

The episodes on the single-disc set are:

"A Boy and His Dogs" - Huckleberry Pie gets stranded in Berry Bitty City and it is up to Strawberry Shortcake and her pals to help him find families for orphan puppies.

"Partners in Crime" - Blueberry and Huckleberry join forces to write a short story for an online magazine.

"The Mystery of the Disappearing Dog Show" - To help Huckleberry start a dog shelter, Strawberry Shortcake and her pals put together a dog show.


Tuesday, May 19

Spring Reads: The Evil of OZ


The Evil of Oz
by Ryan Fuller
Illustrator: Sanjana Baijnath
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pub. Date: April 7, 2015
ISBN: 978-1493517046
Pages: 108
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Since The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published in 1900, people of all ages have been fascinated with the Oz world. Though L. Frank Baum only published 14 Oz titles before his death, there have been several other authors that continued to write more installments over the years. Recently, the Oz has been published as comic books and graphic novels.

A few weeks ago, I was sent a copy of the graphic novel The Evil of Oz, which is written by Ryan Fuller with illustrations by Sanjana Baijnath. No, this isn't another sequel written for kids, but instead it's a dark and twisted sequel written for adults.

The Evil of Oz finds young Dorothy Gale coming home to find her uncle and aunt murdered. The police thinks they were killed by a random intruder, but Dorothy knows otherwise. If she hadn't worn the silver slippers when she went out, the murderer could have taken the shoes. She grabs the bloody ax that killed her family and she returns to Oz on a quest for revenge!

Oz isn't the wonderful place that she remembered. As soon as she arrives she encounters zombie munchkins, a heart ripper Tin Man and a bloody thirsty Beast King. Not even Oz himself can prepare Dorothy for the horrors that awaits her.

Spring Reads: The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker


The Scarlet Gospels
by Clive Barker
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: May 19, 2015
ISBN: 978-1250055804
Pages: 368
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Even if you're not a horror film fan, you've probably heard of the movie "Hellraiser" and it's eight sequels, which seven of the films featured Doug Bradley as the demonic villain Pinhead. The first film was based on the 1986 novella "The Hellbound Heart" by Clive Barker, whom also directed the original film.

There has been talk for years about Barker's upcoming anthology The Scarlet Gospels, which would feature Pinhead vs Harry D'Armour, another popular character from Barker's works, in one of the stories. Eventually, the unrelated stories were shoved aside and Barker expanded "The Hellbound Heart" sequel into a full novel.

The Scarlet Gospels is finally arriving in bookstores today. Luckily, I received an advanced review copy several weeks ago, so I could have this post published on the release day. While I had never read "Everville" or any of the short stories that featured Harry D'Armour, I have seen the Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions film, so I had a bit of an idea of what the character was about.

The plot involves the blind medium Norma Paine (a recurring Barker character) being contacted the newly deceased Carston Goode, a lawyer who dabbled with black magic, whom demands to hire the private detective Harry D'Armour to cleanup his dark hobby before his wife and kids learn about his habits. It seems like an easy case for Harry, well, until he stumbles upon the Lament Configuration puzzle box and steps into the pathway of Pinhead and the Cenobites.

Monday, May 18

Spring Reviews: 14th Deadly Sin



14th Deadly Sin
Women's Murder Club, book 14
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: May 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0316407021
Pages: 384
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

I was introduced to the Women's Murder Club by my late grandmother about ten years ago when she wanted me to read 1st to Die. A few chapters into the book, I realized that I had seen the television movie version back in 2003. Since then, I've been a fan of the book series. I even watched the bad short-lived ABC television series in 2007.

Now a mother and a wife, Lindsay Boxer is looking forward to spending a night out with her friends (Yuki Castellano and Cindy Thomas) to celebrate Claire Washburn's (the San Francisco medial examiner) birthday, but a homicide detective can never have a break. She's quickly called away from the party to investigate a gruesome crime scene of a woman who was murdered in broad daylight.

Oddly, this is the third year in a row that a homicide has occurred on Claire's birthday. Coincidence?

Lindsay might have to put the murder on the back-burner as another case is assigned to her. There is video footage of a group of masked men wearing SFPD jackets looting businesses and killing bystanders. Did these men steal the jackets? Or are these men actually cops that she works with?


Sunday, May 17

DVD Review: Strange Magic


 

Strange Magic
Director: Gary Rydstrom
Voice Cast: Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph and Alfred Molina
Studio: Touchstone / Lucasfilm
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Retail: $29.99
ASIN: B00UO6IEUI
Running Time: 99 minutes
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD this week from Lucasfilm is computer-animated musical Strange Magic. Directed by Gary Rydstrom and produced by George Lucas, the film features the voice cast of Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph and Alfred Molina. Bonus Extras for the DVD include Magical Mash Up - outtakes, tests and melodies and Creating The Magic - meet the cast and filmmakers.

Inspired by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Strange Magic takes place in a world that is divided by two realms - the land of light, where the fairies live and the dark forest, where the evil bog creatures live. This tale centers on Marianne (voiced by Evan Rachel Woods), the Fairy Kingdom princess, who leaves her groom, Roland (voiced by Sam Palladio), at the alter after she catches him cheating with another fairy.

Heartbroken, she has vowed never to fall in love in again; resulting in her rebelling. Marianne is determined not to attend the Spring Ball, though her sister, Dawn (voiced by Meredith Anne Bull), begs her to attend. She makes an appearance at the Ball, but so does Roland, which leads to an awkward situation.

Sunny, the elf, has a big crush a big crush on Dawn and ventures into the dark forest to find the Sugar Plum Fairy (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth), so she can make a magic love potion for him.  After an encounter with the Bog King (voiced by Alan Cumming), Sunny barely makes it out of the dark forest with the love potion, but he is unaware what that he may in fact have started a war between the Fairies and the Bogs.

Spring Reads: A Heart's Danger



A Heart's Danger
Journey of the Heart, book 3
by Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: May 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-0718031664
Pages: 101
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1G01e4s
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/ccoble

Review:

Every since I started blogging, I have been exposed to many new and great authors, including Christian author Colleen Coble. This year, Thomas Nelson has been releasing her six-part Journey of the Heart series. I loved reading the first books in the series, A Heart's Disguise and A Heart's Obsession, so I was eagerly excited to read the third installment A Heart's Danger this morning.

Let me give you a quick update from the previous books. Sarah Montgomery had been raising her younger brother Joel and taking care of their ill father. She was in a relationship with Rand Campbell, but he was presumed dead during the Civil War. Eventually, she promised to marry Ben Croftner, but it turns out that Ben had lied about Rand being dead, so of course she dumped him. Rand returns to marry Sarah and take her with him to Wyoming, but Sarah won't leave her father's side, so Rand leaves her.

After her father's death, Sarah fears what life would be like for Joel in the hands of their older brother. She packs their bags and takes Joel to Fort Laramie, where Rand is stationed. To her surprise, Rand is already engaged to Jessica. To make things worse, Ben follows her to the fort.

A Heart's Danger finds Sarah's Indian friend, Morning Star, leaving the Fort and rejoining her people. Sarah tries to live a new life without Rand, but she cannot deny her feelings for him.

Friday, May 15

Book Blogger Hop: May 15th - 21st

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

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

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

  This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth!

If you see a book you like but see it is 400 or 500+ pages, will you still read it?

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've read books that were over a 1,000 pages, so reading a book 400 to 500 pages is not a problem for me. As long as the book looks interesting, I'll give it a go.

Linky List:

Plum Deluxe Tea Review



Considering I'm a big coffee lover, it might be a surprise to a few of you to find me reviewing tea! The truth is, while tea isn't my first my choice, I do  occasionally like drinking it.

Recently, I was sent two flavors, Reading Nook Blend and Oregon Breakfast Black Tea, from Plum Deluxe to try out.

Plum Deluxe is a Tea of the Month club, which a bag tea herbs will arrive at your door monthly. You can also purchase the teas separately as well as tea related accessories, such as infusers, loose tea bags, journals and mugs.

All the teas are hand-blended in Portland, Oregon. The teas are organic with no sulfates, no artificial chemicals, and no GMO. Each 1 oz bag makes 15 to 20 cups.

The Oregon Breakfast Black Tea ($7 per oz) contains a mixture of Black Tea, Honeybush Tea, Orange Peels and Hazelnut Essence. Hazelnut, along with Vitamin E,  both give your body an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant boost.

Spring Reads: When Grace Sings


When Grace Sings
The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy, book 2
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Pub. Date: March 17, 2015
ISBN: 978-0307731333
Pages: 352
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/ksawyer
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1FBvcM5

Review:

I use to be part of a monthly book club year ago and one of the books (I don't recall the title) sent to me was by Kim Vogel Sawyer. The author was completely new to me, but she has became one of my favorite authors since then. Now every time I come across a new title by the author, I eagerly sign up to review it.

When Grace Sings arrived in bookstores this spring and centers on Alexa Zimmerman, a young Mennonite woman living in Arborville, Kansas. The community there is of the Old Order Mennonite and they haven't exactly accepted Alexa, though she was raised by the Zimmerman family that already lives in town. She tries to stay positive by using her culinary and hospitality skills to run a bed-and-breakfast.

A hotshot Chicago reporter, Briley Forrester, is sent to Arborville to write a juicy story on the Mennonite community. Upon arriving at Alexa's bed-and-breakfast, he gets a room there. Orphaned at a young age, Briley doesn't exactly understand of how close-knit some of the Mennonite families are here.

Before long another guest arrives, Alexa's cousin, Anna-Grace Braun, whom is to-be-married to Steven Brungardt. The two aren't from Arborville, but Steven inherited his grandfather's farm. Though he would rather be a teacher, Steven doesn't want to disappoint his family by not taking taking over the farm.

Thursday, May 14

KastKing Sharky 2500 Fishing Reel Review




Fishing is a great pastime in the Midwest starting in the spring to the early fall, but I haven't got a chance to do too much fishing because it has been raining every other day for the past few weeks. Hopefully, the weather will get better before Memorial Day weekend.

Last week, I received the cool looking KastKing Sharky Fishing Reel that I had ordered. The reel is available from 1500 to 4000 and I picked the 2500 size, which features a max drag up to 17.5 pounds!

Besides from a lightweight sleek design, the KastKing Sharky 2500 also features:


  • Corrison Resistant Body Construction
  • Computer Micro-Balanced Rotor
  • Precision Machined Pinion & Drive Gears
  • Superior Carbon Fiber Drag System
  • Right/Left Hand Interchangable
  • Non-Slip Ergonomic Handle Grip
  • Can Be Used in Saltwater

Spring Reads: Called To Be Amish


Called To Be Amish
by Marlene C. Miller
Publisher: Herald Press
Pub. Date: February 9, 2015
ISBN: 978-0836199116
Pages: 256 
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1ESK6eR
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/MMiller

Review:

I'm always excited to see a new Amish fiction title being released and every time a chance to review a new title comes my way, I eagerly sign up to review it. Little did I know that Called To Be Amish wasn't a fictional story, but instead it's a memoir.

Called To Be Amish tells the true story of Marlene C. Miller, where the author recounts her abusive and unhappy childhood and her school years where she joined cheerleading and marching band. During her upbringing, her grandmother did take her to church, despite her mother's objections.

The one thing Marlene never thought would happened did - she fell in love, but with a young Amish man named Johnny, whom she met while ice skating. They dated for three years and became engaged by the time her high school graduation neared. She became pregnant shortly afterward. Despite some cold feet, Johnny did marry Marlene in the spring of 1963. By that fall, Marlene made the decision to  join the Amish faith.

Wednesday, May 13

Spring Reads: A Love Like Ours


A Love Like Ours
by Beck Wade
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: May 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-0764211096
Pages: 368
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/bwade
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1R9Tv8p

Review:

While I do love the Christian fiction genre, I prefer stories set in the 1800s instead of contemporary romances. However, I do occasionally step out of my comfort zone, which is what happened when I was introduced to the books written by Beck Wade; so whenever I see a new release by her, I have to read it.

A Love Like Ours centers on a former Marine, Jake Porter, whom suffers from PTSD symptoms. Due the scar on his face and the scars in his heart, he lives a solitary life in Holley, Texas and tries to avoid all relationships. Well, that is until his childhood friend, Lyndie James, returns!

Despite his best judgment, Jake hires Holley to help with his Thoroughbreds. He quickly realizes that she's just as tender-hearted and fearless as she was when they were younger, so he pairs her up with the horse Silver Leaf.

The more time Jake spend around Holley, the more he starts to unblock his heart.

Sunday, May 10

Spring Reads: Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick



Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick
by Suzanne Summers
Publisher: Harmony
Pub. Date: April 14, 2015
ISBN: 978-0385347723
Pages: 384
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

While many people know Suzanne Summers as Chrissy Snow from the 70s' television series Three's Company and as Carol Foster-Lambert from the 90s' television series Step-by-Step, a few might not be aware that she is also a bestselling author of many nonfiction books. Her newest novel Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick just hit bookstores last month and has been featured on many programs, including The O'Reilly Factor.

Sadly, many people don't pay attention to what ingredients that are in the food that they digest as this can be a big factor to many healthy problems, such as allergies, sinuses, weight gain, headaches, depression, fatigue, heartburn, etc.. Most of the aliments are caused by the harmful toxins that we put into our bodies.

Suzanne Summers interviews six doctors (Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, Dr. Sherry Rogers, Dr. Richie Shoemaker, Dr. Walter Crinnion, Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Dr. Garry Gordon), asking them all tough questions of why we're all having health issues and how we can prevent them.

Blu-ray Review: The Pyramid



The Pyramid
Director: Gregory Levasseur
Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley and Daniel Amerman
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Retail: $29.99
ASIN: B00TRUJ92O
Running Time: 89 minutes
Rating: R
Buy Link: Amazon


Review:

Now available to own on Blu-ray is the found-footage horror flick The Pyramid. Directed by Gregory Levasseur and produced by Alexandre Aja, the film stars Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley and Daniel Amerman.Special Features includes an extended ending: Featurettes: Fear, Space, Archaeology, Egyptain Myth, Partners and an image gallery.

The Pyramid centers on archaeological team finding a pyramid with three sides buried in the Egyptian desert. Using advanced techology, they estimate that it is 600 feet deep. After finding an access to a tunnel that releases deadly toxins, the father/daughter archaeologicist duo, Miles (played by Denis O'Hare) and Nora Holden (played by Ashley Hinshaw), decide to take a team, along with a camera crew, inside the mysterious pyramid.

As the team investigates the inside of the pyramid, they quickly realize that they aren't alone, as there are cannibal cats that are guarding Anubis. One by one, members of the team start to die off, leaving only a few to battle Anubis.

Blu-ray Review: Black or White



Black or White
Director: Mike Binder
Starring: Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer
Studio: 20th Century Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 15, 2015
Retail: $29.98
ASIN: B00UKSXN60
Running Time: 121 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Now available on to own Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD is the drama Black or White. Directed by Mike Binder (Reign Over Me), the film stars Kevin Costner (Dancing With Wolves, The Bodyguard) and Octavia Spencer (The Help). Special Features include Shades Of Gray: The Making of Black or White and Promotional Featurettes.

The film centers on a Elliot Anderson (played by Kevin Costner), who's life is completely altered when is wife is killed in a car accident; leaving him to care for their granddaughter Eloise (played by Jillian Estell). Ever since his daughter had died giving birth to Eloise.  Elliot and his wife had been raising her.

Shortly after the funeral, he learns that Eloise's paternal grandmother Rowena Jeffers (played by Octavia Spencer) is going to sue for custody. Elliot will do anything to keep his granddaughter in his life and away from her estranged drug addict father, even it if means batting his own demons.

Saturday, May 9

Reread Review: Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports



Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
Maximum Ride, book 3
by James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date: May 29, 2007
ASIN: 978-0316154277
Pages: 412
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Fans of the Maximum Ride series thought thought the franchise had ended with 2012's Nevermore, but they were wrong as the ninth installment, Maximum Ride Forever, arrives in bookstore later this month. If you've been following my blog this past week, then you would know that I've been rereading the first few books in the series.

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports is the third installment and was first published on May 29, 2007. The book once again centers on Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy and Angel, the six human-avian hybrids that escaped The School in the first few novels. Max and flock have their hands full this time as they go on a mission to stop the evil corporation known as Itex.

Being a teenage hero isn't easy as Max must deal with her feelings for Fang and she must rescue the rest of the flock from the Erasers/Flyboys (Erasers are wolf/human hybrids and Flyboys are the robotic versions). Time is literally run out for the flock, as Itex has given them all expiration dates and the clock is running down quickly.

To save the world and their flock, Max must rely on Fang's blog readers for help as well as the young Angel, whom is trying to fool the Itex.

Youphoria Yoga Mat Review



Being a male, I was never interested in yoga until I started having back problems a few years ago. Though I'm not very flexible, I now find that yoga is great for my back as well as my other joints. I had purchased a yoga mat at my local Walmart store, but it's way to thick and wants to curl up. Later, I purchased a brand new mat at a thrift store, but it never wants to stay still and the edges also likes to curl up.

Last month, I received the Youphoria Yoga Mat to review. It comes in four different colors - black, pink, green and blue. I picked out the black mat. The mat measures 24" x 72" and is 1/4" (6mm) thick. It comes with an elastic carrying strap.

It's made out of high density memory foam, which will help stabilize your hands and feet during your workouts. The bottom of the mat features several proprietary grip circles that will prevent it from slipping. The top of the mat features an unique grip that will prevent your feet from slipping.


Unlike other mats, the Youphoria Yoga Mat is odor free due to fact that it isn't manufactured with any unwanted, harmful chemicals (free from Phtalates). It's been SGS Approved, meaning it's ECO Friendly.