Sunday, 31 January 2016

Winter Reads: A Son's Vow


Blog Tour ; Buy Link
Well, technically I was supposed to have this review posted yesterday, but sadly a few things came up on Friday (as well as Saturday), so I didn't have time to write the review until today.

I always keep an eye out when new titles by my favorite authors are released, so I was thrilled when I heard that A Son's Vow (A Charmed Life, book one) by Shelly Shepard Gray was being released. The author writes many romances that are set in the Amish and Mennonite world.

A Son's Vow centers on Darla Kurtz, a young woman who is dealing with a lot of drama in her life. Three months ago, her father was the cause of a fire that killed five men at the Charm's Lumber Mill. Ever since then, the Amish Community have practically shunned their entire family; leaving her bother to lash out at everyone.

Lukas Kinsinger has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. Besides from taking care of his three siblings, he is also in charge of his family's lumber mill. His stress levels has been skyrocketed ever since the fire and his friendship with Darla is on the rocks. After learning of what the Kurtz family is going through, Lukas makes it his mission to try to help as much as he can, and hopefully grow his friendship with Darla into something even more meaningful.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Book Blogger Hop: January 29th - February 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 @ Silver's Reviews!

Can you pass by a book store without stopping in?

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: 


Yes and No! If the bookstore is new, then I'll probably need to look around in it. However, I tend to ignore Barnes & Nobles and other bookstores when I'm in the city because if I go in, then I'll just spend too much money. If I want to read a specific book, then I'll order it online or ask the publisher if I can review the title.


Linky List:

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Review - Rotten School: Lose, Team, Lose!


I'm not the biggest football fan in the world; however, I did watch the Denver Broncos beat the New England Patriots last Sunday. For this week's reread, I read Rotten School: Lose, Team, Lose! (book four in the series) by R.L. Stine and illustrations by Trip Parker, which happens to have a football plot.

Published by Parachute Press in 2005, Lose, Team, Lose! centers on Bernie Bridges, a forth-grader troublemaker who is living at the private school called Rotten School. Being the coolest and best-looking student (according to Bernie), he has become the quarterback for the school's football team, the Fighting Apples. Unfortunately, the team has a losing record of 1,500 straight losses!

Bernie has a crush on the prettiest girl at the school, April-May-June, but sadly she barely notices him at all. She is one of the school's cheerleaders, but they never attend the Fighting Apple's games due the long losing streak. Instead they cheer on the soccer team, which mostly consists of students from the Nyce House, including Bernie's archenemy, Sherman Oaks.

Bernie is desperate to get April-May-June's attention, and to do so, he must find a secret weapon for the Fighting Apples. Or in other the words he needs to persuade the tallest and biggest student to join the team - Jennifer Ecch.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Winter Reads: Beyond the Silence



Blog Tour; Buy Link
Wow! The first month of 2016 is nearly over, and I've already read several great books, which includes the recently released Beyond The Silence by Tracie Peterson & Kimberly Woodhouse, whom also collaborated on All Things Hidden.

Beyond the Silence is set in the early 1890s and centers on Lilian Porter, a young woman who leaves her home in Indiana and heads to Angel Camp, California, where she takes a job as a nanny, despite objections from her grandfather. Going out west was a dream of her mothers, so she is eager to start a new life; though part of her is scared to death of the unknown.

At first her employer,  a thirty-year-old widow Woodward Colton, seemed to a nice man, who is struggling to take care of his seven-year-old son, Jimmy. The boy hasn't spoken one single word in over a year. However, Lilian hears some odd rumors that Woodward is hiding a dark, deadly past.

As Lilian gets closer to the boy, she begins to suspect that someone might have scared him so badly that he has shut himself off from everyone. Strange situations occur at the Woodward olive farm as well as the arrival of a few unwanted guests, leading Lilian to wonder who Woodward Colton really is.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Winter Reads: Sage's Eyes by V.C. Andrews


Retail: $7.99; 400 pages
If you're an avid reader of this blog, then there's a good chance that you've seen a few reviews for V.C. Andrews' titles on here. My late grandmother was a big of V.C. Andrews' writings, well, up until she learned that the ghost writer that took over after the author's death in 1986 was in fact a male, Andrew Neiderman. After the that, my grandmother quit reading the books, with the last one in her collection being Willow (book one of the DeBeers series).

I now have all the books in my grandmother's collection. I continued to collect each new installment that is released; I even filled in the gaps by finding the rest of the books in the DeBeers and the Broken Wings series, which were missing from her collection.

While I still haven't read all the titles, my opinion of the ghost writer's writing has been mixed. There have been a few good stories and there has been several horrible entries, mostly due to the lack of a "Gothic" feel in the most recent releases.

Available today from Pocket Books is the standalone novel, Sage's Eyes (978-1451650914), which I had received an ARC copy a few months ago. I didn't care much for the last standalone book, Bittersweet Dreams, so I've been putting this book aside; waiting to the very last minute to read it. To my surprise, it's better written than the last few releases. While I would never call it "Gothic," it's not a bad read.

The plot centers on sixteen-year-old Sage, who from an early age has had a "third eye" gift. She can see things that others cannot as if she has lived a past life. Her adoptive parents have tried to hide her gifts from the outside world. Actually, they have convinced themselves that she just has an active imagination.

7 Books Everyone Should Read This Year


 
As one year ends and a new one begins, old resolutions are forgotten and new ones are created. The majority of people use the new year as a time to start over and begin anew, making new goals, resolutions, and ambitions.

From business goals to lifestyle changes to accomplishments, there is a goal everyone is trying to meet in the new year. For the those looking to spend more time reading great, entertaining literature, here are 7 of the best books everyone should read this coming year.




1. Go Set a Watchman

The long-awaited sequel of To Kill a Mockingbird was finally released in 2015. Harper Lee, the brilliant mind behind both books, offers fans of To Kill a Mockingbird a peak inside the life of Scout, Jem, and Atticus, nearly 20 years into the future where the original took place. Set during the civil rights movement, the book addresses many of the same themes as the first book did, but the reader sees it from the perspective of adult-Scout instead of child-Scout. Harper Lee brings the classic story back to life with this amazing novel.

2. Divine Purpose School Workbook

Technically, this book is part of an online workshop; however, due to its amazing subject matter on positivity and finding your purpose in life, it had to be added to the list. The Divine Purpose 101 workshop is created for anyone who is interested in finding their purpose in life and how to live out that purpose in a passionate, life-sustaining way. For those ready to make a lifestyle or career change, this workshop is one of the best places to start.

3. Orphan Train

Monday, 25 January 2016

Reasons To Renovate Your Bathroom in 2016!




Renovating a bathroom is often one of the lowest chores on a person's to-do list. After all, bathroom renovations can often become messy, nasty jobs depending on how long its been since the bathroom was last renovated. However, there are numerous benefits associated with bathroom remodeling, particularly for those looking to sell their homes.

1. Increased value.

A standard bathroom renovation can be expensive. However, by simply replacing old features and adding in energy efficient toilets, baths, and sinks, you can improve the value of your home by $2000 or $3000 without breaking the bank. A new paint job can also help.

2. Save on energy costs.

Many homes are not nearly as energy efficient as they should be. Even when properly insulated, there are a number of steps a homeowner can take to improve the efficiency of their bathrooms at retaining temperature and power. The EPA estimates that energy efficient homes across the country save a total of 1.5 billion in energy costs and nearly 70 billion gallons of water each year through low-flow toilets and green LEDs.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Fitness & Coffee Sundays: RAW Protein & Greens


I once thought protein shakes & drinks were just something that we're tricked into buying just because it was advertised on a workout DVD. However, protein is the #1 key factor in growing muscles, so adding a bit more into your diet is a must for anyone that is exercising, especially if you are lifting weights. 

You have to watch out on what kind of drinks/shakes that you buy as many of them have way too much sugar and fat, as well as other unwanted ingredients. 

Garden of Life has recently released a brand-new line of protein mixes, titled RAW Protein & Greens, which features an organic plant formula featuring organic spinach, kale, broccoli and alfalfa grass juice. There are currently three different flavors: Lightly Sweet (No Stevia), Chocolate Cacao, and Vanilla.

Did I say these were organic?

Yep! Each RAW Protein & Greens is USDA Organic, NON GMO Verified, Certified Vegan, Certified B and Certified NSF. It's free from gluten, dairy, soy, tree nuts, added sugars (except for the Lightly Sweet flavor), filler ingredients, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. One serving has 1.5 Billion Live Probiotics and 13 Enzymes. 

RAW Protein & Greens: Chocolate Cacao

All three flavors have an unique Organic RAW Protein & Greens Blend, featuring Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Spinach (leaf), Organic Chia Protein, Organic Alfalfa Grass Juice, Organic Broccoli (stalk & flower), Organic Navy Bean (sprout), Organic Lentil Bean (sprout), Organic Garbanzo Bean (sprout), Organic Carrot (root), Organic Beet (root) and Organic Kale (leaf).

RAW Protein & Greens: Vanilla
Additionally, each flavor has also contains a RAW Probiotic & Enzyme Blend of Lipase, Protease, Aspergillopepsin, beta-Glucanase, Cellulase, Bromelain, Phytase, Lactase, Papain, Peptidase, Pectinase, Xylanase and Hemicellulase (Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus bulgaricus) (1.5 Billion CFU).

Friday, 22 January 2016

Book Blogger Hop: January 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 @ Silver's Reviews!

Can you recall a time in your life when you were not reading?

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: 


  Nope!

Linky List:

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Review - Rotten School: The Good, the Bad and the Very Slimy


ISBN: B0140D9F94; Pages: 110
Don't you like it when a title of a book puts a spin on a movie title?

Well, usually I don't care for this as I think it is basically a ripoff. However, I do like the title of the third Rotten School book, titled Rotten School: The Good, the Bad and the Very Slimy, which is a spoof of the Clint Eastwood film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I'm an Eastwood fan, so the title doesn't bother me at all.

Published back in 2005 by Parachute Press, the third installment in the R.L. Stine series once again centers on the fourth-grader Bernie Bridges, who is the #1 troublemaker at the private school, Rotten School. All the students are excited about the upcoming dance, well, all except for Bernie, who is being stalked by Jennifer Ecch. She's the tallest, biggest student and she has a huge crush of Bernie, but he wants nothing to do with her.

Actually, Bernie has his own crush, April-May-June - the prettiest girl in the school. As soon as he heard about the dance, he made plans to ask her as his date. Unfortunately, she only agrees to go out with him if he changes his ways and becomes the best student in school. This means no more tricks or cons; and he must improve his grades.

Bernie accepts the bet. Studying is easy, right?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Review - Mary Higgins Clark: Bestselling Mysteries: 5 Movie Collection


Rated: PG-13, R; 473 minutes
When it comes to mystery authors, one of the first names that comes to mind is Mary Higgins Clark, who has over fifty novels in publication. Her first mystery novel, Where Are The Children?, was published in 1975 and is now in its seventy-fifth printing! The novel was adapted into the a feature film in 1986. Mill Creek Entertainment has recently released the 2-disc DVD set Mary Higgins Clark: Bestselling Mysteries: 5 Movie Collection, which features Where Are The Children?; The Cradle Will Fall; Lucky Day; Loves Music, Loves To Dance; and All Around The Town.

Where Are The Children? happens to be the first novel that I ever read by Mary Higgins Clark, back when I was a teenager. Though I enjoyed reading the book, I wasn't even aware that there was a movie until I heard about the DVD release. Directed by Bruce Malmuth, the film stars Jill Clayburgh, Max Gail, Harley Cross, Elizabeth Wilson and Barnard Hughes.

Similar to many book-to-film adaptions, this is more of a watered-down version or the original story. The plot involves Nancy Harmon's son and daughter going missing on the seventh anniversary (which happens to also be on her birthday) of other children's, from a previous marriage, disappearance. Of course the police believes she is the prime suspect.

Despite the R-Rating, the film is pretty tame and could have been rated PG-13. I watched the film early this morning, and it wasn't that bad of a movie. Yes, the directing was a little choppy and the music was campy, but it kept my interests for 97-minutes running time.

Cradle Will Fall was published in 1980 and was adapted into a made-for-television movie in 2004, starring Angie Everhart and Ralston. The plot involves Prosecutor Katie De Maio investigating the suicide of a pregnant woman. She quickly realizes that the woman was murdered. As she gets closer to unraveling the murder mystery, she fears that she'll be the next victim.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Review - Vampire Hunter by Victoria Danann


ASIN: B01APIXTJ0; Pages: 279
My taste for vampire tales have slowly deteriorated over the years, mostly thanks to the overrated and over-hyped Twilight Saga. Nevertheless, since I am a horror fan, I'm always open to reading a new spin on the vampire lore.

Now available to read from 7th House Publishing, Imprint of Andromeda LLC is the newest novel by author Victoria Danann, titled Vampire Hunter (Rammel Hawkings 1). It's a prequel story to the Order of the Black Swan series, featuring the fan favorite character, Rammel Hawking.

I'm not the biggest fan of prequels (books or movies) as to me they always seem unneeded and feel a little forced upon the reader/viewer. I wasn't aware that Vampire Hunter was a prequel to the author's other works (which I have read a few of her other titles), well, until I started reading it this week and, then, I quickly realized that I read about the elf, Rammel Hawking in My Familiar Stranger and The Witch's Dream.

Yes, I said an elf. Victoria Danann has created an unique world with fairies (faes), elves, vampires and other mythical creatures, all of which sometimes tangle with the lives of humans. There are no glittering vampires here, which is a good thing.

Vampire Hunter picks up when Rammel is just a royal kid who likes to run wild in the forest until he runs into Liam O'Torvall, the mayor of Black-On-Terry. Like any gentleman, Liam feeds the boy and escorts him back to his home. Little did he know that Rammel's father, the king, would later let the boy live by himself, somewhat as a hermit; leaving Liam and his wife to occasionally look after the boy.

Interesting Device Statistics: Times, They Are a Changin'


 


The world has changed dramatically over the past few decades. One of the biggest reasons for the change has been technological innovations. Technology such as the modern Internet, WiFi, broadband, wired networks, cell phones, smart phones, tablets, laptops, e-commerce, GPS, and numerous other innovations have changed the world into a digital world.






The Digital World

The evolution into a digital world now allows people do almost any daily task online. People can go online to shop, pay bills, communicate with friends, socialize, look for a mate, listen to music, look at a movie, watch the news, watch a sporting event, download media, and a variety of other things. Twenty years ago it would have been hard to imagine the things people are doing now with the use of modern technology.

Interesting Device Statistics

With the popularity of mobile tech, here are some statistics that are simply astonishing:

1. Roughly 6.8 billion people use mobile phones. Amazingly that is almost 90% of the World’s population.
2. 56% of Americans own a smartphone.
3. 34% of adults own a tablet device.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Review - Mermaid Moon



ISBN: 978-1401690281; Pages: 352
I've been of fan of Colleen Coble's writings for a few years now, and I was excited about her newest novel Mermaid Moon when I signed up to review it. However, after receiving the book, I left it on the coffee table and a few other books got piled on top of it, so I almost completely forgot that I had to post a review for it for today. I can speed read when I want to and that is exactly what I had to do tonight.

Mermaid Moon is book two of "A Sunset Cove" series, but you don't have to read the first book as this is a standalone story. It centers on Mallory Davis, a woman that hasn't been to back to her hometown in Maine for the past fifteen years. Well, that all changes when she gets a mysterious call from her father that sends her home to Mermaid Point to confront her past.

Unfortunately, Mallory comes to the revelation that her father was murdered. She begins her own investigation on what events lead to her father's death and she enlists the help of an old friend, game warden Kevin O'Connor. Actually, Kevin was more than just a friend, she was in relationship with him years ago and ended up breaking his heart.

As the two try to put aside their differences to solve the case, danger lurks around every corner, resulting in Mallory, as well as her teenager daughter, Haylie, receiving death threats. To unravel the identity of her father's killer, Mallory must heal her own personal wounds and learn to forgive her past.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Book Blogger Hop: January 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 @ Silver's Reviews!

Do you think you will ever get tired of blogging?

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: 


  Probably not. However, there have been days where I dreaded writing a review or whatever post was scheduled; mostly because I just wasn't in the mood to write on that particular day.

Linky List:

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Review - Rotten School: The Great Smelling Bee


ISBN: 978-0060785918; Pages: 128
As promised in my first Thursday ReReads post, I'm featuring Rotten School: The Great Smelling Bee by R.L. Stine this week. It's the second installment in the children book series that was published by Parachute Press in 2005. I grew up reading Mr. Stine's Goosebumps and Fear Street series. If I remember correctly, I received the first two or three books in this series as a Christmas present in 2005 (or 2006).

The Great Smelling Bee continues the misadventures of Bernie Bridges, who's basically the craziest kid at the private school called Rotten School. He lives in the third floor of the Rotten House with his very own room. His best buddies Feenman and Crench live in the same house as well as Belzer, a kid with a very big nose that will do anything Bernie tells him to do.

Out of nowhere, Bernie receives a huge crate from his parents. Could it be a computer, a TV or even a car? No not even close. Actually, inside the crate is his Bernie's pets, his rude parrot Lippy and his very smelly dog Gassy. And I really mean smelly; the dog literally clears out the room as nobody can stand his smell.

It seems Bernie's parents are going on a trip for awhile and can't take care of his pets anymore, so Lippy and Gassy are now his responsibility. However, there's a slight problem - no pets are allowed in Rotten School!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Fitness & Coffee Sundays: Pure Morninga Oleifera Review



Well, I've almost made it through my first week of The Master's Hammer and Chisel workout program, with tonight's workout being day 7. I hadn't watched any of the DVDs prior to starting the program, so I wasn't aware of what routines were in each one; which was the reason why I was surprised to find so many leg exercises in them. I don't have the best knees, so I've been extra careful not to injure myself. Let's just say that my body is extra sore from all the workouts.

I've mentioned many times on here about the importance of taking vitamins and supplements as they help your body recover from intense workouts and aid in your overall weight loss goals.

For little over a week, I've been trying out the Pure Morninga Oleifera from #FRESHHEALTHCARE (retails for $64.95, but can be purchased on Amazon for $35.95).

What is Moringa Oleifera?

Well, Moringa Oleifera is a small plant that can be found in North India, where the leaves are either eaten or used in herbal medicines. One cup of fresh chopped leaves contains protein, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Iron, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin A (from beta-carotene) and Magnesium. The leaves are also a great source of antioxidants.

The leaves in the Pure Moringa Oleifera have been freeze dried crushed (pulverized) and contain 1200mg per two vegetable capsules (there are 180 capsules in the bottle that was sent to me). It's mean to be used as a multivitamin that will help promote weight loss, increase your immunity and give you an energy boost.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Book Blogger Hop: January 8th - 14th

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!

Have you made any improvements on your blog since your started your blog? Did you change the format? Did you change your header? Did you add or remove items from your side bar?

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


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

My Answer: 


  When I first started this blog, I just used a free layout that I found on the internet. Since then I've changed the the layout two more times (including the headers, sidebars, colors, etc.), but this time I had everything made by a blog designer. 

Linky List:

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Review - Rotten School: The Big Blueberry-Barf-Off!


Pub. June 2015; Pages: 128
I'm sure we all have many books on our bookshelves that we would love to reread, but we just never have to time to get to them. Well, that's how I felt every time I glance at my bookshelves. For my New Year's Resolution, I've decided to attempt to reread those books, and to keep me on track, I've started a new weekly post called Thursday ReReads.

There are many titles that I wanted to reread, but after a long debate with myself, I decided to start with the Rotten School series. It's written by one of my favorite authors, R.L. Stine, and it lasted for 16 books.

The first book in the series is titled "The Big Blueberry Bark-off!" and was originally published in 2005 by Parachute Press. The book (and the entire series) is set at the private school called Rotten School, and centers on Bernie Bridge (Big B), a kid that has a million schemes up his sleeves throughout the school. He's kind of like the younger version of Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris.

Bernie lives in the Rotten House with his best friends Fennman & Crench, their dorm mother Mrs. Heinie and a few other students (Belzer, Beast, etc.). His newest scheme is selling T-shirts that are made out of rope to the third-graders.

His archenemy is Sherman Oaks, a rich kid that lives in the Nyce House. Sherman is always trying to showoff his wealth, which in this book, includes his new watch with a gold band (worth $500) that has forty-two different functions (plays DVDs, pops popcorn, etc.). Bernie want's to outshine Sherman, and impress his love, April-May-June, who doesn't actually have the same feelings for him, by being her dancing partner at upcoming dance class.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Winter Reads: Amish Christmas at North Star


Retail: $15.99; Pages: 400
Yes, I'm well aware that Christmas is officially over; though some of you might be wondering why I'm reviewing a Christmas title. To tell you the truth, I signed up to review Amish Christmas at North Star the week before Christmas, but it didn't dawn on me that Blogging for Books wouldn't be shipping it until after holidays. The book arrived in my mailbox right before the 1st of the year, which should explain everything.

Published by WaterBrook Press, Amish Christmas at North Star features four romantic novellas by five wonderful authors -  Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark, Amanda Flower, and Kate Ganshert.

The first story is titled, Guiding Star, and is written by Katie Ganshert. It's centers on Noelle (Elle) McAllister, a young woman living in Iowa who gets some shocking news when the Englischer Chase Wellington steps into her life. He has been investigating a twenty-five-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of an Amish baby, and he believes that Elle is that baby.


Mourning Star is written by Amanda Flower and centers on Eden Hochstetler, who is just your typical Amish girl who happens to work at her parent's candy store. Her job is pretty much boring, well, that is until one of their best customers (Issac) is found dead, and Eden suspects foul play is at hand.

In the Stars is written by Cindy Woodsmall and centers on Kore Detweiler, a heartbroken man who plans on avoiding North Star at all costs. It seems that Savilla Beiler had ripped out his heart and stomped on it, so he doesn't want to go back home. Then the unexpected happens and Kore must return to North Star.

Blu-ray Review - Hitman: Agent 47



Rated R; 97 minutes

Now available on DVD & Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is action-flick Hitman: Agent 47 (ASIN: B016XOX3J6). Directed by Aleksander Bach, the film stars Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware and Zachary Quinto. Special Features on the Blu-ray includes: deleted scenes, The Hit Counter, Re-Imagining HITMAN, Ultimate Action: Staging The Fights, Hitman: Agent 47 Comic, Making of the Comic, Promotional Featurettes, Gallery, Poster Gallery and Theatrical Trailers.

Based on the popular video game franchise, Hitman: Agent 47 is the second film adaption (the 2007 flick starred Timothy Olyphant in the title role); though the new version is considered a reboot and completely ignores the original.

Hitman: Agent 47 is set in a world where there was a secret cloning program designed to create the perfect killing machine. These assassins are enhanced with the ability to kill without remorse. The scientist, Dr. Piotr Litvenko (played by CiarĂ¡n Hinds) who was in charge of the program disappeared without a trace.  For decades, his daughter Katia (played by Hannah Ware) has been searching for his whereabouts. Out of nowhere, she receives a warning from a man calling himself John Smith (played by Zachary Quinto) that Agent 47 (played by Rupert Friend) is coming to kill her.

Unfortunately, for Kaia, John Smith turns out to be Brian, a member of the Syndicate International, who will stop at nothing to track down her father. Kaia actually has similar clone abilities, leaving her a new target for the Syndicate. Her only hope of survival is to team up with Agent 47.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Fitness & Coffee Sundays: Getting Ready for The Master's Hammer & Chisel


Instead of kicking off a brand new workout routine on January 1st, I'm starring it tomorrow (Jan. 4th), which is the beginning of the first full week of 2016. The workout program that I'll be starting is The Master's Hammer and Chisel (Beachbody) that will last for 8 weeks; with each workout running between 20 to 40 minutes. 

I purchased the basic package, which comes with 6 DVDs, featuring 13 different workouts (the 10-minute AB Hammer is featured on each DVD) and two bonus workouts, 21 Day Fit Extreme: Dirty 30 Extreme and Body Best: Best Total Body. Also, there is a bonus disc with a a 17-minute workout called The Master's Cardio. Additionally, there is 7 color-coded containers and a protein shaker.

You can't just jump into a program like this without some simple preparations.

Here are three tips:

Figure out your meal plans and go to the grocery store.

A healthy diet is one of the important factors into getting into shape, which was something I was lacking last year. I've already cut out the energy drinks (yes, they're horrible for your body) and replaced it my bad habit with celery (my favorite vegetable).

Make sure you have the right equipment.

The Master's Hammer and Chisel requires light to heavy dumbbells, so make sure you have several different sizes (or the adjustable kind), so you can switch to different weights during the workouts. There are some floor workouts, so if your floor isn't carpeted or if you don't have a thick rug, I would recommend getting a yoga/exercise mat.

Drink Water!

Yep, you'll need plenty of water handy while exercising. I recommend getting a 16 to 20 ounce water bottle.

Update: While my original post was written on Sunday morning, I had forgotten to publish it until today. 



Saturday, 2 January 2016

Strange Girl by Christopher Pike


Pub. Date: Nov. 17, 2015; 432 pages
I escorted her to the windows and if I’d been forced to critique my stride I’d have to say I looked like an extra on The Walking Dead. I was definitely taking time finding my cool gear. But eventually I began to calm down and by the time we’d waited in line and it was our turn to order I was feeling pretty good about myself. Why not? I’d just met Aja and already I was taking her to lunch. Not bad for a few minutes’ work. I’d decided to pay for whatever she ordered to show what a gentleman I was. (excerpt from Chapter 1)

Some of my readers might recall me talking about my love for "Point Horror" books from the late '80s and early '90s. Besides from R.L. Stine, my other favorite author from that era was Christopher Pike, the bestselling author of the Thirst series (The Last Vampire 1-9).

Mr. Pike's newest novel, Strange Girl (ISBN: 978-1481450584), was released to paperback last November (published by Simon Pulse). I wasn't aware about the book until I heard about the book blog tour for it, and of course I eagerly signed up to review it.

Strange Girl centers on Fred Allen, a seventeen-year-old wannabe rock-star. Despite his good looks, he isn't exactly popular with the girls his age; though he did have one girlfriend, Nicole Greer, but she broke his heart. The only other girl in his life is best friend, Shelly Wilson, who plays the keyboard in their band (Half Life) as well as serving as their manager. While he's well aware that Shelly has had a crush on him for years, she is nothing but a friend to him.

Top 5 Best Book Covers: January 2016

Top 5 Best Book Covers

The meme's rules are simple:

  • Grab the Top 5 Best Book Covers button!
  • Post your 5 favorite books covers that are being released in the current month!
  • You can use a blurb or book synopsis in your post.
  • Put your blog URL in the Linky. 
  • Visit other blogs and comment on their 5 picks


Star Wars: The Force Awakens
by Alan Dean Foster
Pub. Date: Jan. 3, 2016


Description: More than thirty years ago, Star Wars burst onto the big screen and became a cultural phenomenon. Now the next adventures in this blockbuster saga are poised to captivate old and new fans alike—beginning with the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And alongside the cinematic debut comes the thrilling novel adaptation by New York Times bestselling science fiction master Alan Dean Foster.

Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2,and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges
 
So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens. . . .

Billy's Thoughts: While I have yet to see the new Star Wars movie, I do like the movie poster of it, which happens to be the same cover art to be novelization that will be released on Tuesday.


The Only Pirate at the Party
by Lindsey Stirling & Brook S. Passey
Pub. Date: Jan. 12, 2016


Description: Dancing electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling shares her unconventional journey in an inspiring memoir filled with the energy, persistence, and humor that have helped her successfully pursue a passion outside the box.

A classically trained musician gone rogue, Lindsey Stirling is the epitome of independent, millennial-defined success: after being voted off the set of America’s Got Talent, she went on to amass more than ten million social media fans, record two full-length albums, release multiple hits with billions of YouTube views, and to tour sold-out venues across the world.

Lindsey is not afraid to be herself. In fact, it’s her confidence and individuality that have propelled her into the spotlight. But the road hasn’t been easy. After being rejected by talent scouts, music reps, and eventually on national television, Lindsey forged her own path, step by step. Detailing every trial and triumph she has faced until now, Lindsey shares stories of her humble yet charmed childhood, humorous adolescence, life as a struggling musician, personal struggles with anorexia, and finally, success as a world-class entertainer. Lindsey’s magnetizing story—at once remarkable and universal—is a testimony that there is no singular recipe for success, and despite what people may say, sometimes it’s okay to be The Only Pirate at the Party.

Billy's Thoughts: While I'm not the biggest fan of autobiographies, I would like to read "The Only Pirate at the Party" by violinist Lindsey Stirling. I stumbled upon her music videos on YouTube last year and I quickly became a fan of music.

Feverborn
(Fever Series, book 8)
by Karen Marie Moning 
Pub. Date: January 19, 2016


Friday, 1 January 2016

Book Blogger Hop: January 1st - 7th

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 Alyssa @ The Duchess of Fiction!

What is your most anticipated books of the year?

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: 

End of the Watch
Book 3 in The Bill Hodges Trilogy
by Stephen King
Release Date: June 7, 2016





Linky List:

Go Sport-it Fitness Push Up Bars Review


  
If you're planning on doing your fitness training at home with a workout DVD/Blu-ray program, then you need to double check that you have the correct exercise equipment for it.

Many of the 90-minute programs recommend some sort of push up bar. You might be wondering why you can't just use your hands for the Push Ups? Well, there are so many reps in these programs that your best off using a Push Up bar so you won't injure your wrist.

Yes, these are the same Push Ups that we always dreaded during JH gym class, but there's no reason why we should hate this simple exercise as adults. Push Ups can easily help you tone muscles in your arms, back and chest, as well as strengthen your core.

A few days ago, I received the Go Sport-it Fitness Push Up Bars to test out and review. It retails for $24.99, but can currently be purchased on Amazon for $19.99.

I'll be starting Beachbody's Master's Hammer and Chisel on January 4th, so I was already looking into getting a new pair of Push Up bars right before I was sent the Go Sport-it Fitness Push Up Bars, which I received at a discounted price in exchange for unbiased thoughts.