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Wednesday, December 30

Book Spotlight: Strange Girl by Christopher Pike


Strange Girl
by Christopher Pike
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: November 17, 2015
Retail: $12.99
ISBN: 978-1481450584
Pages: 432
Buy Links: Amazon, B&N, BAM, IndieBound, iBookstore, Google Play

Book Description:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Pike comes a brand-new fascinating and seductive new novel about a girl with a mysterious ability—but one that carries an unimaginable cost. 

From the moment Fred meets Aja, he knows she’s different. She’s pretty, soft-spoken, shy—yet seems to radiate an unusual peace. Fred quickly finds himself falling in love with her. Then strange things begin to happen around Aja. A riot breaks out that Aja is able to stop by merely speaking a few words. A friend of Fred’s suffers a serious head injury and has a miraculous recovery.

Yet Aja swears she has done nothing.

Unfortunately, Fred is not the only one who notices Aja’s unique gifts. As more and more people begin to question who Aja is and what she can do, she’s soon in grave danger. Because none of them truly understands the source of Aja’s precious abilities—or their devastating cost.

Love Aja or hate her—you will never forget her.

In Strange Girl, #1 bestselling author Christopher Pike has created the rarest of novels—a love story that swings between a heart-pounding mystery and a stirring mystical journey. 


Excerpt From Chapter One:

My name’s Fred Allen, and I was a seventeen-year-old senior in high school when I met Aja. I was heading home on a hot Friday afternoon after a boring two weeks of classes when I spotted her sitting in the park across the street from campus. I’d like to say I saw something special about her from the start but I’d be lying, although later I wondered if she might have been kind of strange.

There was a perfectly fine bench five feet off to her left but instead of sitting on it like a normal person she was kneeling in the grass and plucking at a few scrawny daisies, while occasionally looking up at Elder High’s sweaty student body as they poured into the side streets or else cut across the park toward their homes.

The sweat was because of the humidity. From June until October, it hovered around 90 percent. But the stickiness was usually vanquished by a brief autumn that blew by in a month or less, and was replaced by bitter winter winds that were so cold they’d bite your ass off—even if you had the bad taste to wear long underwear to school, which only the principal and the teachers did.

I suppose it could have been worse. Elder could have been located in North Dakota instead of South Dakota. Our northern neighbors were something of a mystery to most of us. I mean, it’s not like anyone went to vacation up there. All we really knew about them was that they were always lobbying to change their name to just plain “Dakota.” For some reason they thought that would make their state sound more inviting. Go figure.  


Blog Tour Giveaway:

F.A.T. Melter Review



There's way too many so-called weight loss supplements on the market that are a waste of money and time as they won't help you drop those extra pounds. I've tested out many different brands over the last few years; some have been decent and others have been complete duds.

For the past two weeks, I've been trying out the F.A.T Melter from Fitness Training Answered, which is an appetite suppression formula.

The main ingredients include:

Caralluma Fimbriata Extract - (Appetite Suppressant)
White Kindey Bean Extract - (Prevent Cholesterol Absorption)
Forskolin (Coleus Forskohlii Root Extract) - (Improves Cardiac and Cardio-Respiratory Function)
African Mango Extract - (Reduce Fat Cell Growth And Increase The Breakdown Of Fats)
Garcinia Cambogia Extract - (Decreases Fat)
Green Coffee Bean Extract  - (Fat Burning Booster)
Green Tea Extract - (Boosts Metabolism)
Moringa Extract - (Important Food Source)
Raspberry Ketone - (Aids Lean Muscle Mass)

Tuesday, December 29

Winter Reads: Comic Books Galore!


In my attempt to get caught up on reviews before the end of the year (Yes, I know 2016 is just a few days away!), today I'm featuring five comic books that were published between 2014-2015.


Vampirella Southern Gothic
 by Jose Luis


Book Description: Vampirella, the beautiful and bloodthirsty heroine, travels to Mississippi to help an old flame solve the mystery of his murdered fiancee... a woman who appears to have died thirty-seven times before.

Burdened by a mystical wound that will not heal, can Vampi hack through racist demons, evade corrupt lawmen, and solve this strange Southern mystery... or will the man she once loved sacrifice his soul to get the answers instead?

Final Thoughts: Similar to other comic book characters, Vampirella has received several makeovers since her debut in 1969. Here, Diamond Book Distributors have rebooted the character once again, where Vampirella travels to the south to help solve a few mysteries. By the cover one would think this was a straight up horror story, but actually there is quite a bit of humor throughout each tale. The illustrations are nicely done, adding a bit more fun to the stories. Overall, I enjoyed the new Vampirella and I recommend it to others.


The Crow: Pestilence
by Drew Moss


Book Description: A young boxer, Salvador, refuses to take a fall, but has no problem taking a vicious drug gang’s pay-off. When they take their lethal revenge on Salvador and his family, he returns as THE CROW, in search of vengeance… and forgiveness.

Final Thoughts: I'm a huge fan of the 1994 film version of The Crow featuring the late Brandon Lee. I've never been interested in reading the original comic books, though I did read one paperback tie-in when I was a teenager.

The Crow: Pestilence tells the story of a brand new character, Salvador, a boxer who is killed and is resurrected as The Crow to seek revenge.

While the overall revenge plot is a little stale, the dark illustrations make up for it. In the end, it wasn't a bad read.

Rocky & Bullwinkle
by Roger Langridge


Book Description: They’re finally here! Welcome Bullwinkle the Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel back to comics in these four great tales, "The Psychic Sidekick," “The Washed-Up Wizard," “First Moose on the Moon,” and “The Burger Monster.”

Plus, four back-up stories featuring everybody's favorite mountie, Dudley Do-Right.

Monday, December 28

Winter Reads: My Sweet Audrina



Retail: $7.99: Pages 560
The Gothic fiction genre has almost completely disappeared, with the exception of Anne Rice and of course the ghostwritten V.C. Andrews novels. While I read my first Anne Rice title during my teenage years, I didn't read my first V.C. Andrews novel (Flowers in the Attic) until I was about twenty-years-old, which I found a few hardcovers at a thrift store. After learning that I was reading the Dollanganger series, my late grandmother gave me her collection of V.C. Andrews books (which she owned all the books up to the first title in the DeBeers series).

Anyway, after I finished reading the Dollanganger series, I read My Sweet Audrina, which was the only published standalone (originally published in 1982) by V.C. Andrews before her death in 1986, and it became one of her most popular titles. The novel has been adapted into a two hour (90-minutes without commercials) that will air on LIFETIME on Saturday, January 9, 2016! To tie-in with the movie's premiere, Pocket Books is re-releasing My Sweet Audrina (ISBN: 978-1501138843) to paperback with all new cover art. There is also a sneak peak at the upcoming sequel, Whitefern, scheduled to be published in July.

I don't reread very many books, but I was definitely wanting to read My Sweet Audrina before the LIFETIME movie premieres as I only recall bits and pieces from the novel. Luckily, I didn't have to hunt down my old hardback copy as Pocket Books nicely sent me an advanced copy of the re-release.

My Sweet Audrina chronicles the life of Audrina Adare from age seven to adulthood. Unlike other girls her age, she isn't allowed to attend school, though her coldblooded cousin Vera is allowed to go school. She spends her days at the Whitefern mansion with her mother, Lucietta and her aunt Ellsbeth (Vera's mother). When her father, Damian, isn't working, he makes her sit in the rocking chair in her deceased older sister's playroom (her name was Audrina too), so she can try to receive the "first and best" Audrina's gifts.

The original Audrina died nine-years before the second Audrina was born, which resulted in Audrina (the second) being shutoff from the outside world. She isn't allowed to have any friends or venture off into the woods (where the older Audrina was raped and murdered). While one would think that Vera would be her best friend, that isn't the case as Vera is extremely hateful to her; constantly jealous of the attention Damian gives Audrina.

Despite Audrina's short-term memory problems, she is well aware to stay away from the woods, but she eventually goes beyond Whitefern, so she can get a look at the teenage boy, Arden Lowe, and his mother, Billie, whom live in a small groundskeeper cottage on her family's property. One glance at Audrina's chameleon hair and Arden was in love with her. The two start out as just friends, but eventually end up getting married when Audrina became of age.

Sunday, December 27

Fitness & Coffee Sundays: RIMSports Fitness Gloves Review



I do hope everyone didn't stuff themselves with too many sweets over the holidays! While I did let myself have a few pieces of fudge, I kept my sugar intake to a minimum, and I was able to drop a few pound during the last two weeks thanks to exercise and a dietary supplement that I've been taking. 

My original intention was to kick off a new weekly post called "Fitness & Coffee Sundays" on January 3, but I decided to go ahead and write my first post today. What will my new posts be about? Well, I'll have a small rambling about my own exercise routines and, then, I'll feature a review or spotlight on a fitness related product.

Saturday, December 26

Popcorn & Coffee: Bone Tomahawk



Retail: $29.96; 132 Mins; Not Rated
Arriving on DVD December 29, 2015 from RLJ Entertainment is the horror-western Bone Tomahawk. Directed by S. Craig Zahler, the film stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, and Richard Jenkins.
Special Features include:

The Making of Bone Tomahawk
Deleted Scenes
Image Gallery
Fantastic Fest Q&A with Director and Cast

Set in the 1890s, the film begins with two thieving murders,  Purvis (played by David Arquette) and Buddy (played by Sid Haig), disturbing a burial site, well, that is until they are suddenly ambushed by a group of cannibals. Purvis barely escapes them and makes his way to the small of town of Bright Hope, where he is shot in the leg by Sheriff Franklin Hunt (played by Kurt Russell).

You can't have a criminal bleed to death, so Sheriff Hunt brings in Samantha O'Dwyer (played by Lili Simmons), a young woman who assists the local doctor (the town's drunk) from the time to time, to remove the bullet from the drifter's leg. The sheriff turns in for the night and leaves his deputy with Samantha who is still tending to the Purvis. The next morning, all three are missing from the sheriff's office and the only thing left behind is a single arrow.

Finding an arrow is a bit odd as there are no Indians in their area, so Sheriff Hunt seeks help from the town's only Native American, "The Professor" (played by Zahn McClarnon), who informs about a group of cannibal cave dwellers, known as the "Troglodytes."

Sheriff Hunt enlists his backup deputy, Chicory (played by Richard Jenkins), the womanizer John Brooder (played by Matthew Fox) and Samantha's husband, Arthur (played by Patrick Wilson), who happens to already have a broken leg, to help locate the caves where the cannibals live, and hopefully be able save the captives.

Friday, December 25

Book Blogger Hop: December 25th - 31st

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 @ Silver's Reviews!

What is your preferred format for reviews? Do you tell the story or do you focus on characters and the reason someone would like the review?

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 start out by giving a brief synopsis and then I give my opinion (plot, characters, etc.) about the book.

Linky List:

Thursday, December 24

Winter Reads: The V Girl by Mya Robarts



ASIN: B00L6MFXWG; 375 pages
If you haven't noticed, the vampire & werewolf craze in the YA fiction market has finally started to wind down, but it has been replaced with a new fad - dystopian post-apocalyptic worlds; with the two most popular franchises being The Hunger Games and The Divergent Series.

I haven't read very many dystopian novels, except for the first Hunger Games and the City of Ember series. I have nothing against the books in this genre, but it's just not something that I want to read very often.

By now you might be wondering why in the world would I be reviewing The V Girl, which is obviously set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future. Well, for starters, I was intrigued by the cover art; plus, the synopsis sounded like a different than what I typically read, so I thought I would at least give it a try.

Set in the post-apocalyptic North America, rape and sexual slavery are now legal. The heroine of this tale is Lila Velez, a teenager living in Starville with her family. Like other girls her age, she's dreading being drafted into the Patriots vs. Nats war that's taking place outside of the city. If you're not married by time of your eighteenth birthday, then you become a solider. If Lila goes off to war, she's most likely to be raped and that's not how she wants to lose her virginity.

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston


The Forgotten Recipe
by Amy Clipston
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: December 8, 2015
Retail: $15.99
ISBN: 978-0310341994
Pages: 320
Buy Link: Amazon


Book Description:

After losing her fiancé in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother’s hope chest—and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies.

Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica.

When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.

Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancée to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week . . . and it’s for more than the raspberry pies.

Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?

About the Author:

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at www.amyclipston.com Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks Twitter: @AmyClipston 


Billy's Thoughts:

Wednesday, December 23

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: The Transporter Refueled


The Transporter Refueled
Director: Camille Delamarre
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Retail: $39.99
ASIN: B0168UF1CW
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Buy Link: Amazon

Product Description:

Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) is the best driver money can buy, willing to deliver anything for a price. But when his father (Ray Stevenson) is kidnapped by a gorgeous gang of thieves, Fran must shift his skills into overdrive to rescue him. Loaded with nonstop action and excitement, The Transporter Refueled is turbo-charged thrill ride full of hairpin twists and dangerous curves!


Billy's Thoughts:

Tuesday, December 22

Improve Your Confidence With Hypnosis Programs


 
If anyone remembers correctly, I started out the year with a few "A New Me in 2015" posts, which I planned on featuring reviews for two hypnosis programs, Date Beautiful Women! and Sexually Confident, from Hyptalk.com. Sadly, I stared a bad habit this year of putting off a few reviews, or just completely forgetting about them. Maybe I should take a program to help me to stop procrastinating. Nevertheless, I'm finally getting around to writing a review on both programs.

Let me start out by giving you a brief history about Hyptalk.com. The company was originally founded by Victoria Gallagher in 1999 under the name Hypnotherapy of Nevada and Multimedia Meditations, now known as Hyptalk.com, LLC. Victoria is certified Master Hypnotherapist, Weight Management Specialist, Neuor Linguistic Programming Practitioner and HypnoBirthing Practitioner. She is also a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists.

Date Beautiful Women! is a 33-minute hypnosis program that is available to purchase on a CD or as a MP3 Download (both retails for $29). As the title suggests, the program helps you to approach a beautiful woman that your hear desires. Well, sorta!

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: The Cavern Of Promise (Giants in the Land)



The Cavern Of Promise
Giants in the Land, book 3
by Clark Rich Burbidge
Publisher: Deep River Books
Pub. Date: June 25, 2015
Retail: $15.99
ISBN: 978-1940269504
Pages: 256
Buy Link: Amazon



Book Description:

Thomas and his giant companion have disappeared.

At the mercy of the evil king of Westland, in great peril, and with no hope for escape, Thomas faces an impossible test for survival. Book Three caps this award-winning trilogy with a danger-ridden triple quest: save Thomas, redeem a lost people, and reverse the land's painful slide toward destruction. Can help be found in a mythical cave at the far edge of the world? Whispered legends speak of a ferocious tribe, fearsome obstacles, and fabled treasure. Join Thomas and his companions under an uneasy truce, risking all to seek the source of redemption―the Cavern of Promise―in a journey that could bring deliverance . . . or doom.

About the Author:

Clark Burbidge was born and raised in the mountain Valley of the Rockies. He earned a MBA from the University of Southern California and a BS form the University of Utah. His fiance career and his involvement in community and church service span over three decades. Clark and his wife, Leah, live near Salt Lake City, Utah, where they enjoy their blended family of ten children and three grandchildren.


Billy's Thoughts:

Monday, December 21

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Monsterland


Monsterland
by Michael Phillip Cash
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pub. Date: October 2015
Retail: $12.99
ISBN: 978-1517180676
Pages: 284
Buy Link: Amazon



Book Description:

Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?




About the Author:

Award winning author Michael Phillip Cash adds Monsterland to his growing list of titles. Within two years, this prolific writer has published eleven novels and four screenplays. When not writing, he loves being with his wife and two children exploring the small villages along the North Shore of Long Island.


Billy's Thoughts:

Sunday, December 20

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Naked Nutrition Protein Sample Pack


Naked Nutrition Protein Sample Pack
by Naked Nutrition
Retail: $19.99
ASIN: B00SNJGSAQ
Website: www.NKDnutrition.com
Buy Link: Amazon



Product Description:

Contains all five Naked Nutrition protein products in single serving pouches.

• Naked Whey
• Naked Casein
• Naked Goat
• Naked Pea
• Naked Rice


Billy's Thoughts:

Saturday, December 19

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Songs


Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Songs
by Sara Bareilles
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: October 6, 2015
Retail: $28
ISBN: 978-1476727776
Pages: 208
Buy Link: Amazon


Book Description:

With refreshing candor, Sounds Like Me reveals Sara Bareilles, the artist—and the woman—on songwriting, soul searching, and what’s discovered along the way.

Sara Bareilles shares the joys and the struggles that come with creating great work, all while staying true to yourself. Imbued with humor and marked by Sara’s confessional writing style, this collection tells the inside story behind some of her most popular songs. Most recently known for her chart-topper “Brave,” Sara first broke through in 2007 with her multi-platinum single “Love Song.” She has released five albums that have sold 2.5 million copies and spawned several hits. More than a privileged view inside the experience of a remarkable musical talent—this is a moving tribute to the universal search for growth, healing, and self-acceptance.


About the Author:

Sara Bareilles is a five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and musician. Known for her warm, intimate voice and naturally melodic songs, the Eureka, CA, native has released five albums, including 2013’s critically acclaimed The Blessed Unrest. She lives in New York City. 


Billy's Thoughts:

BOND Dietary Supplement for Men Review




I'm almost sure that almost every man alive wants to be in shape like Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond in Spectre, and attract every beautiful woman that comes their way.

In reality, that's never going to happen (Trust me, I know this for a fact!). However, with a little time and dedication, you can get in decent shape by staying on a healthy diet and exercising five to six days a week. Of course, this won't make you look like Mr. Bond in the bedroom.

Luckily for us, there are many different testosterone booster supplements on the market (I've reviewed several brands on this blog already!) that are an alternative from getting a Viagra subscription from your doctor.

This month, I was sent sample bottles of BOND Dietary Supplement for Men (a morning formula and a night formula), consisting of 90 herbal capsules per bottle (three month's supply).

The morning formula consists of Tribulus, Lepidium, Cnidium, Epimedium, L-Arginine, Trigonella, L-Tirosine, Panax Ginseng, Eleutherococcus, Zinc, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12.

The night formula consists of Zingiber, Serenoa, Cnidium, Tribulus, Withania, Ginkgo Biloba, Turnera & Vitamin B3.

The supplement is meant to increase a male's sexual arousal process. The herbal ingredients in Bond will help stimulate nerves, blood vessels and muscles. So, basically it's supposed to help your staying power during intimacy and enhance your overall sexual experiences.

Friday, December 18

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Falling Like Snowflakes: A Summer Harbor Novel


Falling Like Snowflakes: A Summer Harbor Novel
by Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: September 8, 2015
Retail: $12.99
ISBN: 978-0718023713
Pages: 352
Buy Link: Amazon



Book Description:

When the Christmas season finds Eden in Summer Harbor, Maine, she's on the run from trouble. Romance is the last thing on her mind.:

Riding in a bus in the thickly falling snow, Eden Davis wonders how it ever came to this-fleeing under cover of night with young Micah sleeping fitfully in the seat beside her. When a winter storm strands them in Summer Harbor, Maine, Eden wonders if what might have been the end could be a new beginning.:

Beau Callahan is a habitual problem-solver. He's recently left his job with the sheriff's department to take over the family Christmas tree farm to save it from insolvency. But he's flummoxed. During the busiest season of the year, he's shorthanded. Then Eden shows up looking for work, and Beau believes he's been rescued. Competent, smart, and beautiful, Eden's also guarded and quiet. He soon figures out she comes with a boatload of secrets. But Beau can't seem to help himself from falling for her.

As Christmas Eve approaches, Beau discovers he'll do anything to keep Eden safe. But who's going to protect his heart from a woman who can't seem to trust again?

About the Author:

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Dancing with Fireflies and The Convenient Groom. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys.


Billy's Thoughts:

Book Blogger Hop: December 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 @ Silver's Reviews!

Which format do you use? Blogger, Word Press, or an independent format? Any reason for your choice?

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: 


   Blogger is my favorite. I used Wordpress briefly in 2009, but I like Blogger's format easier to use.
Linky List:

Thursday, December 17

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: The Original Christmas Classics: Anniversary Collection Edition


The Original Christmas Classics: Anniversary Collection Edition
Studio: Classic Media
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Retail: $29.93
ASIN: B00XZF39Z0
Running Time: 277 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon



Product Description: 

Do you remember when... Santa asked Rudolph to guide his sleigh, Frosty magically came to life on Christmas Eve, and Kris Kringle became Santa Claus? Share the wonder and joy of The Original Christmas Classics with your children and grandchildren... creating new memories and holiday traditions that you'll cherish through the years.


Billy's Thoughts:

Wednesday, December 16

Gift Guide For The Gambler In Your Life


 

With only 8 days until Christmas day, you have absolutely no time to waste, so you better finish up your holiday shopping ASAP!

Finding the perfect present for each person in your family can be difficult as everyone has their own unique likes and dislikes. If you've been following my blog for the past few weeks, then you would've noticed the Holiday Gift Guide posts, where I feature books, movies and other stuff that would make a great gift. Sadly, I didn't have enough time to review every single thing I wanted to feature. Therefore, I've put together my "top 5" gift ideas to give any online gambler.

1. Monster Energy Drinks




Yes, I know energy drinks have received a bad rap, but there's no harm in drinking a can once in awhile. For gambler and/or gamers, an energy drink can be crucial to keeping your mind on whatever game you are playing. There are many different brands out there, but I prefer the Monster Energy drinks as you can purchase them in 4 to 10 packs. There are a variety of different flavors as well as ones with that are low in sugar and carbs.

2. Jack Link's


If you're participating in an online tournament, you probably don't have time to go to the kitchen to get some munchies. Jack Link's jerky can make a great gift for any gambler as you keep them near your desk, or wherever your laptop is located, for a quick snack.

Passion House Coffee Giveaway!


There's nothing like waking up to the aroma of a fresh pot of coffee brewing!

If you read my posts regularly, then you would know about my love of coffee as well as anything else with caffeine in it. I'm glad to announce that I'm teaming up with Passion House Coffee for an exciting giveaway - the AME Mix!

What is the AME Mix

Well, the coffees have been divided into three different genres: Ambient, Mainstream and Experimental. 

Each of genre has distinct characteristics:

Ambient will enhance your current state of awareness by offering a creamy, delicate and calming taste.

Mainstream was created to help you relax. It has a balanced, playful and buttery taste.

Experimental will excite your taste buds with it's silky, bright and vibrant taste.

Giveaway Details:

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Edward Scissorhands: 25th Anniversary Edition



Edward Scissorhands: 25th Anniversary Edition
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Vincent Price
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Retail: $24.99
ASIN: B013U8EETQ
Running Time: 105 minutes
Rating: PG-13



Product Description:

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of this beloved masterpiece starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton. Depp delivers the performance that launched his career, as Edward, an irresistibly charming creation with razor-sharp metal hands and a heart of gold. Edward s lonely life in a Gothic castle changes forever when he meets a kindhearted Avon Lady (Dianne Wiest), who takes him to a pastel paradise known as Suburbia. Thanks to his fantastic talents, Edward becomes a neighborhood sensation, but when he falls in love with Kim (Winona Ryder), he must go to extraordinary lengths to protect her.  


Billy's Thoughts:

Tuesday, December 15

The After Holiday Clean Up

 

The holidays are a special time of the year as families gather together to enjoy each other’s company. You’ve worked hard to make your family and friends feel welcome in your home. Hosting this year’s holiday festivities also means you have the tremendous task of cleaning it all up. Where do you start? The after holiday clean up can be an exhausting job, but it doesn’t have to be. It took a village to create the mess, have some of the villagers assist in cleaning it up! Here are some suggestions to keep the cleanup under control both during and after your holiday celebrations.

1. Have your family members pitch in

If you are hosting the holidays, chances are you already have a lot on your plate. With all the cooking and preparation, it’s only reasonable that your guests should lend you a hand with the clean up. Instruct family members, beforehand, that they will be expected to tidy up their personal spaces. Hopefully, if overnight guests see you straightening up around the house, they will be inclined to help. They can assist with folding laundry, dirty dishes and assembling meals.

2. Stay ahead of the food preparation

When preparing food, designate a person to wash dishes or stack them in the dishwasher as they pile up. Put condiments and food supplies away before moving on to the next dish. After the evening meal, wash dinner dishes before beginning dessert. You will breathe a sigh of relief when at the end of the night the kitchen will be one less mess you have to clean.

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: At Love's Bidding


At Love's Bidding
by Regina Jennings
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: December 1, 2015
ISBN: 978-0764211416
Pages: 352


Book Description:

After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the furious family, her grandfather tracks it to the Missouri Ozarks and makes an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house if they promise not to sell anything until he arrives.

Upon their arrival, however, they discover their new business doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its manager, ruggedly handsome Wyatt Ballentine, is frustrated to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more cattle than they can count--but no mysterious painting--Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and salvage a bad situation getting worse. 

About the Author:

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com



Billy's Thoughts:

Monday, December 14

Winter Reads: Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation


Big Bang Generation
by Gary Russell
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pub. Date: September 8, 2015
ISBN: 978-1101905814
Pages: 240
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

With Series Nine (well, Season Nine here in the United States) done with, Doctor Who fans has some time to waste while waiting for this years Christmas Special to air on Dec. 25th. There are plenty of Doctor Who fiction titles in bookstores to keep you busy, like this year's The Glamour Chronicles series.

Released in September from Broadway Books, Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation features a brand-new adventure starring the Twelfth Doctor, minus the companion Clara.

The plot centers on a time portal opening up in Sydney Cover, Australia that leaves behind a huge pyramid near the Harbour Bridge. This strange event gets the attention of Professor Horace Jaanson, Cyrrus "the mobster" Globb and an alien assassin, Kik. To make things even more complicated, a group of con artists arrive to investigate the pyramid, which consists of Legs, Dog Boy, Shortie, Da Trowel and their leader - Doc.

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: American Horror Story: Freak Show



American Horror Story: Freak Show
The Complete Fourth Season
Starring: Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paullson and Michael Chiklis 
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Retail: $59.99
ASIN: B00OQUZP96
Running Time: 647 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: DVD, Blu-ray



Product Description:

Step inside American Horror Story: Freak Show, the terrifyingly twisted reincarnation of TV’s most shockingly original series. Jessica Lange leads an extraordinary, award-winning cast that includes Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson and Michael Chiklis. Lange plays Elsa Mars, the proprietor of a troupe of human “curiosities” on a desperate journey of survival in the sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida, in 1952. Her menagerie of performers includes a two-headed, telepathic twin (Paulson), a take-charge bearded lady (Bates), a vulnerable strongman (Chiklis) and his sultry, three-breasted wife (Bassett). But the strange emergence of a dark entity will savagely threaten the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. 


Billy's Thoughts:

Sunday, December 13

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans


The Mistletoe Inn
by Richard Paul Evans
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: November 17, 2015
Retail: $19.99
ISBN: 978-1501119798
Pages: 300
Buy Link: Amazon


Book Description:

At thirty-two Kimberly Rossi, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership, has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author. Dreading another holiday alone, she signs up for The Mistletoe Retreat, a nine-day writing retreat in Burlington, VT. Deep inside Kimberly knows she’s at a junction in her life and it’s time to either fulfill her dream or let it go. The other reason she decides to attend the conference is because famed romance writer, H.T. Cowell, once the best selling romance writer in America, and the author whose books instilled in her the desire to be a writer, will be speaking in public for the first time in more than a decade.

In one of her breakout sessions Kimberly meets another aspiring writer, and one of the few men at the conference, Zeke, an intelligent man with a wry wit who seems as interested in Kimberly as he is in the retreat. As Kimberly begins to open up to him about her stories and dreams, she inadvertently reveals her own troubled past. As Zeke helps her to discover why her books fail to live up to their potential she begins to wonder if he’s really talking more about her life than her literature. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes that Zeke has his own darkness, a past he’s unwilling to talk about.


About the Author:

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box. Each of his more than twenty-five novels has been a New York Times bestseller. There are more than twenty million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated into more than twenty-four languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Mothers Book Award, the Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, the German Audience Gold Award for Romance, two Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Awards, the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children. You can learn more about Richard on Facebook at  Facebook.com/RPEFans, or visit his website, RichardPaulEvans.com


Billy's Thoughts: