Monday, 31 July 2017

Music Review & Giveaway: Nichole Nordeman: Every Mile Mattered

iTunes; Spotify; Amazon
While almost everyone knows that I'm a bookworm, many of you don't know that I'm also a music lover. As far as I can remember back, my first music cassette tape (Remember those?) was of Sesame Street. By elementary school, I was into country music (Garth Brooks, Sawyer Brown, etc.). From junior high thru high school , I was listening to classic rock and some pop music on CDs. However, as I have gotten older (I'll be 37 in September.), my tastes have changed quite a bit. I still listen to a little bit pop, rock (classic, alternative, and Gothic), contemporary, and a few country singers. As of this year, I've been listening to several Christian artists.

Now available from Sparrow Records (Capitol CMG Label) is the 5th studio album from the Christian singer Nichole Nordeman, titled "Every Mile Mattered."The singer has won 9 Dove Awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year in 2001 & 2003.

To be completely honest, I had never heard of the artist before receiving a press release about her new album. After watching one lyric video on YouTube for "Dear Me," I thought I would give the artist a try by reviewing "Every Mile Mattered."

The album has eleven songs on it, including a new version of "Slow Down" featuring Nichole's daughter, Pepper Ingram, and a remake of U2's "Beautiful Day." "Slow Down" originally appeared on her 2015's EP, titled "The Unmaking." The single sold over 146 track equivalents, and the lyric video has over 30 million views. The single also peaked at #38 on iTunes singles chart.

The eleven songs on "Every Mile Mattered" are:

Every Mile Mattered
You're Here
Dear Me
No Longer
Hush, Hush
Listen To Your Life
Beautiful Day
Sound Of Surviving
Anywhere We Are
Slow Down (feat. Pepper Ingram)

Friday, 28 July 2017

Book Blogger Hop: July 28th - August 3rd

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

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 Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer!

Do you read tie-in novels to movies or television series? If so, which ones?

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

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

My Answer:

Occasionally, I will read a novelization or tie-in to a movie or TV series. Over the summer, I read the novelization for Alien: Covenant. During my teenage years, I read dozens of Buffy the Vampire Slayer & and Angle tie-in novels. I've also read a few tie-ins to Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Castle over the years.

Linky List:

Popcorn & Coffee: Warlock Collection: 3-Film Set Blu-ray Review

Lionsgate; Rated R; 296 minutes; Amazon

Now available Blu-ray from Liongate's Vestron Video Collection Series is the Warlock Collection, featuring all 3 films on a two-disc set, as well as a bunch of special features.

Filmed in 1988, but released in 1991 in the United States, Warlock centers on a Warlock (played by Julian Sands), who barely escaped death in 1691 by traveling through a portal to 20th century Los Angeles. Hot on his trail is the witch-hunter Giles Redferne (played Richard E. Grant), who travels through the portal on a revenge quest.

After quickly adjusting to the present world, the Warlock summons Satan, who gives him orders to find the The Grand Grimoire, a Satanic book that contains the true name of God. The twist is that the pages of the book have been hidden around the country, which sends the Warlock on his own quest to find them and assemble the book.

Meanwhile, upon arriving to the present day, Redferne befriends a young waitress, Kassandra (played by Lori Singer), who has been cursed to grow old quickly by the Warlock. With a only days left to live, thanks to the curse, Kassandra, helps Redferne collect parts of the Grand Grimoire, and find a way to kill the Warlock.

Julian Sands ("Warlock") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's WARLOCK.

Lori Singer ("Kassandra") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's WARLOCK.

The first sequel, Warlock: The Armageddon, was released in 1993, and it has nothing to do with the original except for the fact that it stars Julian Sands as the Warlock. The plot centers on a teenage couple, Kenny and Samantha (played by Chris Young and Paula Marshall), who are both killed and later resurrected to become Druid warriors, so they can protect the six magical rune stones and stop the Warlock from unleashing Satan from hell.

Book Tour & Giveaway: 30 Second Death

A Tobi Tobias Mystery #2
by Laura Bradford

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Pub Date: 7/11/2017

To help an old friend, Tobi Tobias gets a third-rate thespian a part in a commercial, and learns that in the advertising business, bad acting can lead to murder . . .

When Tobi Tobias opened her own advertising agency, Carter McDade was there for her every step of the way. A brilliant hairdresser, Carter has just landed his dream project: doing hair and makeup for a theatrical production of Rapunzel. But the dream turns into a nightmare when he runs into Fiona Renoir, a cruel, talentless starlet who won’t let Carter touch a hair on her head.

To get Fiona out of Carter’s hair, Tobi hires the difficult actress for a bit part in her latest commercial. But true to character, Fiona is a terror on set, and Tobi is starting to think she’s made the biggest mistake of her life. But things get even worse when Fiona drops dead in the hairdresser’s chair, and the only suspect is the man left holding the tainted hair dye, Carter McDade. And unless Tobi can prove his innocence, he’ll never do hair in this town again.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Review - Alien: Covenant: The Official Movie Novelization

Titan Books; 348 pages; $7.99; Amazon
I've had the worst blogging experiences trying to write my review for Alien: Covenant: The Official Movie Novelization. After reading the novel last month, I had set up the basics for my review - images, buy link, etc., but then, abracadabra, the post was magically deleted. Frustrated, I put aside writing the review for a few weeks. Then I slowly worked on a long review, where the first few paragraph talked about the history of novelizations. Over the weekend, I dabbled a little more with the review, and then early yesterday morning I finished writing it. I did a little editing and I was seconds away from clicking the  'publish' button when suddenly the entire text disappeared within a flash. I went to use the "undo" button, but it wasn't available, as if my review was never written. After a few cuss words came flying out mouth, I calmed down and began to write what you are currently reading. No, it's not the review I wanted to post, but it is what it is, and hopefully a few readers will enjoy it.

Why did I read a novelization to begin with?

Well, I wanted to watch the science fiction-horror flick Alien: Covenant, but I knew the one-screen theater in my town would never get the movie becasue it was rated R, which is normally a no no for a volunteer-run theater. Instead of waiting for the film to be released to Blu-ray (Next month, right?), I decided to read the novelization.

Alien: Covenant: The Official Movie Novelization is written by Alan Dean Foster, based on the screenplay by John Logan and Dante Harper. Alien: Covenant is a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, as well as being a prequel to the original Alien (1979). This isn't the first time author Alan Dean Foster has ventured into the Alien universe, as he also wrote the novelizations of Alien, Aliens, and Aliens 3.

The novel opens up with a prologue (aka, Chapter 1), where we see the creation of David, the synthetic android that appeared in Prometheus. The following chapter introduces the colonization ship Covenant that is bound for a remote planet called Origae-6, carrying two thousand colonists and a thousand human embryos. After the ship is damaged from a stellar neutrino burst, the android named Walter wakes up the crew from stasis.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

DVD Review - Minnie's Happy Helpers DVD Review

Disney; 66 minutes; Walmart
Being released on DVD today from Disney Home Entertainment is Minnie's Happy Helpers, featuring six 11-minute episodes and one bonus episode ("Teed Off!"). There are no special features or extras on the single-disc, though it does come with a FREE Magnetic "Helper" Chart.

After Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series ended, Disney Junior debuted it's replacement series, titled Mickey and the Roadster Racers, earlier this year. Each episode is divided into two 11-minute segments. One segment would center on the Sensational Six \(Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Pluto) racing around Hot Dog Hills and other parts of the world and the other segment centers on Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo-Loca racing around Hot Dog Hills, helping their friends with odd jobs.

Voice-cast for the series includes: Voice Cast: Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse; Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck; Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse; Daniel Ross as Donald Duck; April Winchell as Clarabelle Cow; Jim Cummings as Pete; and Bill Farmer as Goofy.

Episodes on the DVD are:

  • Egg-Xasperating! - The Happy Helpers babysit Clara Cluck's egg.
  • Happy Hula Helpers! - In Hawaii, the Happy Helpers gives hula dance lessons for a birthday party.
  • Tea Time Trouble! - Before the Happy Helpers can have tea with the Queen in the London, they must fix the clock known as the Big Ben. Meanwhile, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy learn how to be gentleman.
  • Happy Birthday Helpers! - The Happy Helpers must race around town to save a birthday cake.
  • Bed, Breakfast And Bungled! - Clarabelle helps the Happy Helpers take care of a bed and breakfast.
  • Gone Fishin'! - The Happy Helpers (and Donald) accidentally invade Mickey and Goofy's camping trip.

Bonus Episode
  • Teed Off! - The Happy Helpers join the big golf tournament as caddies.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Popcorn & Coffee: Prison Break: Event Series Blu-ray

Fox Home Entertainment; 390 minutes;

Now available on Blu-ray from Twentieth Fox Home Entertainment is Prison Break: Event Series, featuring all nine exciting episodes from the reboot season (aka, the fifth season). Produced by Paul Scheuring, the series stars
Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies, Amaury Nolasco, Paul Adelstein, Robert Knepper and Rockmond Dunbar.

Prison Break: Event Series (also known as Prison Break: Resurrection) is a sequel mini-series to the series Prison Break that aired on Fox from 2005 to 2009.

Picking up seven years after season four finale, Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell is mysteriously released from prison and is given a picture of Michael in the Ogygia prison.

Since T-Bag has now forgiven everybody for sending him back to prison, he tracks down Michael's brother, Lincoln Burrows, and gives him the picture. After telling Michael's wife Sara about the picture, Lincoln, along with C-Note, travel to Sana'a, Yemen to see for himself if Michael is actually alive.

This is Prison Break, so of course Michael is somehow alive, sporting several new mysterious tattoos, and must once again find a way to escape from a prison, as well as unraveling another "hard to follow" conspiracy plot.

The only featurette is "A Return Home: The Making of Prison Break Event Series."

Friday, 21 July 2017

Book Blogger Hop: July 21st - 27th

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

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 Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books!

Have you ever read a book or books you would consider 'toxic' because of the effect it(they) had on you? If so, which one(s)?

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:

While I don't recall any of the titles, there have been a few books that were so good that I couldn't sleep. The stories and characters stayed on all my mind. I had to give up sleep, so I could I finish reading.

Linky List:

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Author Guest Post: Sheri S. Levy

During my early childhood, I was addicted to books. When I started teaching special needs children, ages six- nine years old, I wanted to influence their desire to read. I read aloud every day and left them hanging on the next conflict in the story until the following morning. During the day, we sang songs, and I required them to follow each word with a finger. I played word games on the chalkboard and kept their inattentive brains engaged in learning. Now that I know the value of a therapy dog, I would have had one in my room. In my day, I had set up a reading center for the students sit on the floor and read to stuffed animals.

After I retired from teaching, the desire to write about service dogs went to the top of my to-do-list. I called service dog organizations around the U.S. to ask questions and do research. One day while in a grocery store, I met a young boy with a dog wearing a vest. I assumed he was a puppy raiser since I had learned about them for other dog organizations.

When I spoke to him, he clarified. “No, Mam. This is my diabetic alert service dog.” His mother gave me permission to interview him and I wrote my first magazine article. It was published in Club House Magazine in 2010. The story, Scent with Love, won in the Dog Writers Association, 2011. It also was nominated for a Maxwell Medallion Award. I received a monetary award and a trophy for the boy involved and myself. It was a thrill and certainly gave me some confidence to continue writing.

After writing Scent with Love, I started writing Seven Days to Goodbye. My characters and setting came from experiences and memories. I used our first Aussie, our favorite beach, and I had interviewed another mother about her son with autism and discovered how his service dog changed his life. I became involved with PAALS and they helped me write my stories correctly. I am proud to be involved with their expertise and share my book and author visits proceeds with them. They always have a waiting list for people needing a special companion.

My favorite parts of Seven Days to Goodbye are the interactions with Logan, a seven-year-old boy with autism, and Sydney, the service dog who has been trained to help children with autism.

“Syd-ney, Syd-ney,” Logan screamed in a high-pitched voice, flinging his hands in the air.
Sydney looked to me for permission. I, of course, said, “Okay!” And he darted to Logan.
Not wanting to interrupt their greeting, I walked slowly towards them. “Hi, Logan. You’re awake early.”
He jumped up and down, repeating, “Syd-ney, Syd-ney, Syd-ney.”

'My Daughter's Legacy' Blog Tour, Author Chat Party, and Giveaway

Meet two women in different eras but both with unfailing conviction in Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould's new book, My Daughter's Legacy. Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? Nicole Talbot's life is back on track after years of substance abuse. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family's legacy, she must risk all that she's gained-her fresh start, her family's trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.

Celebrate the release of Mindy and Leslie's new book by entering to win the $75 Visa Cash Card Giveaway (details below) and by attending their author chat party on August 1!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of My Daughter's Legacy
  • One $75 Visa Cash Card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 1. The winner will be announced at the My Daughter's Legacy Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Mindy, Leslie, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Summer Reads: My Daughter's Legacy

Harvest House Publishers; 398 pages; Buy Link; Blog Tour

Now available from Harvest House Publishers is the historical drama My Daughter's Legacy, book three of the Cousins Of The Dove series, by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

Unlike most of my reviews, I keeping the book synopsis extremely short for this one, as I don't want to give away too many spoilers with this title.

My Daughter's Legacy weaves together two different stories that are over one hundred fifty years apart. 

In the present day Virginia, the story centers on a recovering-addict named Nicole Talbot, who is working at a therapy center during summer break from college. 

In 1864, the story centers on Therese Jennings, a young woman who works as a governess during the day and tends to wounded soldiers at night.

legacy pin 2

Monday, 17 July 2017

Popcorn & Coffee: Smurfs: The Lost Village Blu-ray Review

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; 90 minutes; Amazon
Now available on Blu-ray + Digital (also available on 4K Ultra HD, and DVD) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the animated fantasy adventure Smurfs: The Lost Village.

Directed by Kelly Ashbury, the film features the talented voice-cast of Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter, Mandy Patinkin, and Julia Roberts.

The Smurfs (also known as Les Schtroumpfs) characters were created in 1958 by Belgian comics artist Peyo, but didn't really become a pop culture phenomenon until the Hanna-Barbera produced Saturday morning animated series debuted in 1981; lasting 9 seasons with 256 episodes.

The franchise seemed to be over until Sony Pictures Animation released a CGI/live action film in 2011 and followed by a sequel in 2013. While both films made a decent amount at the box-office, the movies received negative reviews from critics and die-hard Smurfs fans; which eventually lead to the all 3D computer-animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village being released to theaters earlier this year.

Smurfs: The Lost Village mostly centers on Smurfette, the only female resident in Smurfs' village. Smurfette was originally made of clay by Gargamel, in the attempt to locate the Smurf's village, but things didn't go as planned. Papa Smurf redeemed Smurfette and she became one of the Smurfs.

After accidentally breaking Brainy's invention, Smurfette sees a blue Smurf-like creature go into the Forbidden Forest. While she couldn't catch up with the creature, she did find the creature's hat, which is similar to the ones the Smurfs wear. Unfortunately, Gargamel briefly captures Smurfette and he finds the creature's hat. After using a locator spell on the hat, Gargamel goes on the hunt for the lost village of the Smurfs.

Feeling responsible for what has happened, Smurfette and her pals Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty venture into the Forbidden Forest to save the lost village from Gargamel.

Blu-ray Special Features are:

  • Filmmaker Commentary 
  • Demi Lovato Meets Smurfette
  • Lost Village Dance Along
  • Smurfify Your Nails
  • Kids At Heart! The Making of Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • Meghan Trainor "I'm a Lady" Music Video
  • Baker Smurf's Mini Kitchen
  • Draw Your Favorite Smurfs
  • The Sound Of The Smurfs
  • “Making The Song ‘You Will Always Find Me In Your Heart’"
  • “The Lost Auditions” Featurette 
  • 4 Deleted Scenes
  • The Emoji Movie Sneak Peek

Friday, 14 July 2017

Encourage Kids To Reading During The Summer!

You know a new school year is gearing up when stores start stocking up with paper, pens, crayons, and backpacks. There's no better way to get your kids back in the routine of learning than reading a good book. There are plenty of "summer reading" programs to participate in (schools, libraries, etc.), or you can encourage your kids to read right from their own home.

My love for reading goes back to my childhood. I recall participating in the "summer reading" program at a small local library. There wasn't very many books to chose from, but I had a blast reading them.

Today, I'm teaming up with the Oriental Trading to feature a few fun products that I believe will encourage kids to read.

Summer Reading Log

If you read a lot, then keeping track of each and every title you read might be a difficult task. Luckily, you can use the My Summer Reading Log booklet ($14.99 per dozen) to keep track of the titles of books you have read, minutes read, and whether you liked or disliked the book. Each 5" x 8" booklet has 27 pages featuring Summer Reading Log pages, as well as a "Draw a picture of something you've read about" page. The front cover has a spot where you put your name, and the back cover has a neat goal marker.

Reading Reward Card 

Not every kid is going to want to read a book, but there are was to encourage them to do so, such as giving them a Reading Reward Card (discontinued; 30 pieces per unit). The 4 1/2" x 3 1/2"card features a cute illustration of an owl reading a book. There are 20 small book illustrations on the card, which represents 20 books you have read. A parent or teacher can use a hole punch to punch a hole through each book illustration once a child/student has read one book. Once he or she gets a full card punched (aka - when you have read 20 books), you can reward the young reader with a gift (toy, book, candy, pizza, etc.).

Summer Reading Stickers

There isn't a kid in the world who doesn't like stickers!  A fun way to reward a child/student for reading a book is to give them a nifty sticker. Oriental Trading has a wide variety of stickers to chose from, such as the Summer Reading Stickers ($2.49; 100 stickers per roll). The adorable stickers features summer-theme illustrations with cute sayings, such as "Chill Out And Read" and "Have A Ball With A Good Book!".

Dr. Seuss Read Bulletin Board Set

Book Blogger Hop: July 14th - 20th

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

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 Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte!

What is your go-to drink and/or snack while 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:

My go-to drink would be plain ole black coffee. I don't eat snacks while I'm reading, as I'm afraid I'll get stains on the pages.

Linky List:

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Get Healthy This Summer with Fermented Proteins!

Last month, I had the opportunity to try out several samples from Genuine Health (aka, The Fermentation Experts).

The sample products sent to me were:

Advanced Gut Health Probiotic
Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins  (powder mix)
Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins (protein bar)
Fermented Vegan Proteins (powder mix)
Fermented Vegan Proteins (protein bar)

As you probably see there is a theme here with Genuine Health, as their products are non-GMO, soy free, gluten free, and natural & clean. Their protein mixes & bars are either made from fermented vegan or Greek Yogurt. Fermentation helps to break down proteins, which reduce digestive efforts. Plus, fermentation helps the body to absorb nutrients.

I was sent one Greek Yogurt Proteins bar (cherry almond vanilla) and one Fermented Vegan Proteins bar (peanut butter chocolate). Both bars contains 15 grams of protein with a total of 210-220 calories. I liked both flavors, but my favorite was the cherry almond vanilla.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Summer Reads: A Letter from Lancaster County

Harvest House Publishers; 336 pages; Buy Link; Blog Tour

Now available from Harvest House Publishers is  A Letter from Lancaster County, book one of the Lancaster Discoveries, by bestselling author Kate Lloyd.

The novel centers on Angela, a wife to a successful lawyer and the mother of two children, who had recently lost her own mother. Despite her comfortable lifestyle, she is anything but happy. Her younger sister, Rose, is an unmarried businesswoman, who wants to be closer to Angela, as the two have been estranged.

After receiving a letter from their Aunt Silvia, a Mennonite, the sisters take a trip to Lancaster County. While it seems like a mini-vacation at first glance, the two sisters uses this time to mend their relationship, and unveil a buried family secret.

Interview & Giveaway with Lynn Winchester, author of The Rake's Bride

Now available from Charizomai Press, LLC is the historical western romance The Rake's Bride, book five in the Dry Bayou Brides series, by Lynn Winchester.

The author has taken a few minutes out of her busy schedule for a Q&A about her newest novel.

When did you become interested in storytelling?

When I was a little girl and I realized I can make up my own worlds and my own people.

What was your first book/story published?

My very first was a book of poetry and short stories I published through my real name. The first book I published under a pen name was THE DIVA AND THE DUKE, published as Jackson D’Lynne. It’s a sexy time-travel paranormal book. My first book as Lynn Winchester was THE SHEPHERD’S DAUGHTER.

What inspired you to write THE RAKE’S BRIDE?

It is the 5th book in my Dry Bayou Brides Series. I kind of HAD to write it because it is a continuation of the story of this town. Also, I felt that there needed to be a story about a summer romance gone wrong, and second chances at making it right.

What character in THE RAKE’S BRIDE is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

None of the characters are me. That’s the beauty of making people up, I can make them better people than I am.

What is your favorite part in THE RAKE’S BRIDE?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Review - The Berenstain Bears: Bless Our Gramps & Gran

Zonderkidz; 24 pages; $3.99; Amazon
Now available from Zonderkidz is the newest entry in the Living Lights Berenstain Bears picture book series, titled The Berenstain Bears: Bless Our Gramps & Gran, written and illustrated by Mike Berenstain.

Ever since the first Berenstain Bears' title was published back in 1962, generations of young readers have been entertained by the adventures of the Berenstain Bears. The original authors, Stan and Jan Berenstain, have both passed away, but their son, Mike, has taken over the franchise.

Bless Our Gramps & Gran is set on rainy September afternoon, where Brother, Sister, and Honey are bored out of their minds. Besides from homework, the cubs have nothing new to look forward to.

Papa Bear mentions that Halloween is just around the corner, but Sister complains that is still nearly two months away. That's when Papa points out another holiday on the calendar - Grandparent's Day.

Brother, Sister, and Honey quickly become excited about the Grandparent's Day and come up with a creative gift idea to make for their Gramps and Gran.

Review - Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson

Water Press; 345 pages; Buy Link; Blog Tour

Now available from Waterfall Press is the historical drama Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson.

Set in Ireland during WWII, the novel centers on a widowed midwife Nan O'Neil finding an injured Canadian RAF pilot, Dutch Whitney, at her door. Any solider discovered in Ireland must be reported and interned, which is a major problem for Nan, as she doesn't want to be caught harboring a combatant.

Kate Lloyd's 'A Letter from Lancaster County' Blog Tour and Giveaway

Will their sibling rivalry get in the way of these two sisters' chances at life and love? Find out in Kate Lloyd's new book, A Letter from Lancaster County. When a letter arrives from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Angela and Rose decide to visit their mother's Mennonite sister in the heart of Amish country. Angela and Rose discover surprising family secrets that add to their strife and threaten Rose's romance with a new beau. Through it all, the two sisters must find the faith necessary to face their personal problems and allow God to restore hope and healing to their hearts and relationship as only He can.

Celebrate the release of Kate's new book by entering to win her Two Sisters, Two Winners Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Letter from Lancaster County
  • A Kindle Fire
Another grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Letter from Lancaster County
  • A queen-size Amish quilt

Jeanne M. Dickson's 'Grounded Hearts' Giveaway and Blog Tour

What do you get when you mix World War II, a brave midwife, a wounded pilot, and a risky secret? Jeanne M. Dickson's new historical fiction novel, Grounded Hearts. When midwife Nan O'Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she's taking a huge risk by letting him in. Still, something compels Nan to take in "flyboy" Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection-and an unbreakable bond.

Join Jeanne in celebrating the release of her new book by entering to win the Celtic Knots Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Things to Consider When Buying Outdoor Water Features

Water fountains, pools, streams, ponds – these and other water features are outstandingly effective to make one feel the natural serenity in their yards. The concordance and cool they carry, and the watery ambience offered are most likely the reasons why homeowners today are fascinated with the idea of installing these features in their outdoors.

If you decide on installing a water feature, it is more likely to be a permanent addition to your space. It is capable of influencing your yard’s esthetic, safety and use, and should be carefully planned before buying or building one. We are presenting you here with 6 important considerations while buying water features for outdoors:

1. Choose the appropriate location

Before digging up for any water feature, check the area of utility lines. You must not place a pond under the trees to avoid filling it with leaves and rubble. In case of a spray fountain, place it in a space that is shielded from the breeze, so the wind can swash the spray and stimulate evaporation. Also, your zone code governs the installation of a large water garden near the property line.

2. Consider scale, proportion, and style

Outdoor water features should be with regard to the house and ground. They must accentuate your yard and not function as a focal point. For example, in a small garden, an esthetic ceramic pot equipped with a recirculating bubbler will be sufficient. In a formal house or garden, a water feature with geometric lines will look ideal. A water body that imitates shapes found in nature will go with a casual style.

3. Get a building permit

If you are building or installing a water feature that will go deeper than 18 inches, or that may require electrical wiring, then you will need to get a permit from your local building department.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Bookends #8

What am I currently reading?

Well, I've been busy for the last two weeks, so my plan of reading Royally Roma have changed, though my bookmark is in place. I had to read a few books (His Guilt, Grounded Hearts, etc.) for upcoming book tours, which one of those reviews will be posed later today. Hopefully, I will find a some time to read Royally Roma this week. I'm also reading Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall by Diana Gabaldon, which I received on Saturday.

What am I reading next?

I'm still planning on reading The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher by L.D. Crichton next, probably followed by Royally Romanov by Teri Wilson.

Summer Reads: His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray

Avon Inspire; 288 pages; $12.99; Buy Link; Blog Tour

Now available from Avon Inspire is the Amish romance-drama His Guilt by New York Times bestselling author Shelly Shepard Gray. It's the second novel in The Amish Of Hart County, which started with Her Secret (read my review here).

His Guilt centers on a young Amish man named Mark Fisher, who has returned home to Hart County in the attempt to put his painful past behind him. Despite being raised Amish, Mark grew up in an abusive household, but somehow found a way to survive. While he always thought of himself as a good person, two years ago he was wrongly accused of assaulting a young Amish woman.

After leaving his home for two years, Mark has now returned to Horse Cove, Kentucky with the dream of fixing up his family's old house. Of course finding a job wasn't easy, as everyone believe he's guilty. The only job he could get is at the Bloom and Berries nursery, which happens to be the same store where Waneta "Neeta" Cain works, a young Amish woman who believes Mark is guilty of assaulting the girl.

Eventually, Neeta''s feelings for Mark changes, and she eventually believes he is innocent of accusations. However, their blossoming friendship becomes in jeopardy when one of Neeta's friends is attacked, and everyone in the community believes Mark is responsible for the crime.

Popcorn & Coffee: The Unholy: Vestron Video Collection Series

Lionsgate; Rated R; 102 minutes; Amazon

Now available on Blu-ray for the very first time from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is the 1988 horror-thriller The Unholy, the 10th title in the Vestron Video Collection Series.

Written by Phillip Yordan and Fernando Fonseca, and directed by Camilo Vila, the film stars Ben Cross, Ned Beatty, William Russ, Jill Carroll, Hal Holbrook, and Trevor Howard.

The Unholy centers on Father Michael (played by Ben Cross), a priest who recently survived from falling out of an apartment window. Shortly after the incident, Archbishop Mosely (played by Hal Holbrook), assigns Father Michael to take over the St. Agnes church. The two previous priests at the church were both murdered.

After reopening the church, Father Michael takes it up upon himself to solve the priests' murders. His only lead is Millie (played by Jill Carroll), a young waitress at a Satanic nightclub. He starts a friendship with Millie, and helps her to escape from her abusive older boyfriend, Luke (played William Russ), who happens the be owner of the Satanic nightclub.

At the Satanic nightclub, Luke has live fake sacrificial shows to entertain his customers. Through one of the performances, he accidentally released a demon known as the Daesidarius (played by Nicole Fortier), who is hellbent on sending any sinner's soul to hell.

Special Features on the Blu-ray are:

Interview & Giveaway with Jenn Windrow

Now available from Muse It Up Publishing is the urban fantasy Evil's Unlikely Assassin by Jenn Windrow.

The author has taken a few minutes out of her busy schedule for a Q&A about her new novel.

When did you become interested in storytelling?

I liked to make up stories as a kid, I guess some people call that lying. 😀 Honestly, I’ve always loved to read, and had so many stories of my own in my head that I just decided to try to get them out on paper and see what happened. I didn’t get serious until my youngest entered kindergarten then, writing was a bit difficult with two little ones in the house and Dora the Explorer always playing in the background.

What was your first book/story published?

Struck By Eros was my first novel published, but I had a short story called Swallowed By Darkness published in a small online magazine. Since then I’ve taken that story and placed it on Amazon myself.

What inspired you to write Evil’s Unlikely Assassin?

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Yes. Seriously. In the old version they play at Christmas every year, there is a character names Hermy. Hermy doesn’t want to be an elf, Hermy wants to be a dentist. I wondered what would happen if a vampire didn’t want to be a vampire. How would they become human again?

What character in Evil’s Unlikely Assassin is the most/least like you, and in what ways?