Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide Review & Giveaway: SOL REPUBLIC Amps HD In-Ear Headphones

headphone

I work in an office and for the longest time I kept trying to think of a way to make my day better. I don't know why it took so long for me to realize that all I needed to do was add music into my work day. This finally dawned on me about a month ago. I found a pair of headphones that we had and went on my merry way. The day was much more enjoyable when it had a soundtrack.

When I heard about the SOL REPUBLIC Amps HD In-Ear Headphones, I was pretty excited. Think about how much better TV and movies look in HD. Wouldn't that be great for music too? I received my pair a week ago and I have to say that it almost feels like I'm at a concert when I have them in.  The sound comes across so much crisper.

headphone2

When I first removed the headphones from the box, I thought wow, those are kind of big.  I usually use ear buds, so I was a little concerned that these might be a bit uncomfortable for me.  They were at first and then I realized that I had them in backwards.  No wonder they hurt my ears!  

It's amazing how a product can come into your life and make you see that you can make you start to appreciate things even more.  I thought music was about as good as it was going to get.  I was wrong, and I'm happy about that.

photo-3

One of my favorite things about these headphones is that you can change the volume and pause the music without having to get on your phone or iPod.  So, if you are out running or something and want to adjust the volume, you just push the +.  To pause or play, you just push the symbol in the middle.  Voila!

The SOL REPUBLIC Amps HD In-Ear Headphones would make the perfect gift for the music lover in your life.

Would you like to win a pair?

headphone3-1

SOL REPUBLIC is giving one of my readers a pair of these same headphones!  There are no shipping restrictions, but if you live outside of the US, you will be responsible for customs fees.  Here is how you enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge for review purposes. I did not receive any form of monetary compensation.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Love Swagbucks!


Swagbucks has some great deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday - first, all of the Jewelry in the Swag Store will be on Sale starting Friday and going all the way through Monday. If that wasn't good enough, you get double Swag Bucks for any purchase made on Shop & Earn on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! For an added bonus, from 6am-9am PT on Cyber Monday, you'll get TRIPLE Swag Bucks for your Shop and Earn Purchases! Here's a fun video they made about it:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Law: The Newest world wonder

This is a guest post by Terri Huggins 

The eight wonders of the world. I’m sure you’ve heard of them before. They include the Great Pyramid of Giza, the statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. If you’re lucky you’ve probably visited some of them. There are also many other “unofficial” world wonders worth seeing. Depending on who you ask, some might site The Golden Gate Bridge in California, the Empire State Building in New York or the Grand Canyon in Arizona. All of those are great. But if you ask me, I think a few professions should be added to the list; especially attorneys at law.

Think about it. Attorneys hold a lot of power. They have the power to win lots of money for people or lose a ton of money for people. Their defense can get clients thrown in jail or ruin the reputation of a company. They have the power to make a room full of people believe anything they want them too. Most importantly they can change lives for the better or worse. Unfortunately, in one particular case it may have been for the worst.

See, attorneys know how much power they have so there can be a major problem if it falls into the wrongs hands. That’s what happened in the Chevron Ecuador judgment in Canada. (The case is so crazy that some may start calling this a wonder of the world.) Apparently, attorneys used a documentary to prove Chevron endangered the environment only to find out that they plaintiff’s attorneys used fraud to make the video. Now the judgment is up in the air. Now, if that isn’t considered a wonder, I don’t know what is.
This post was sponsored by Chevron

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#Giveaway - Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon


ABOUT THE BOOK:

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?



a Rafflecopter giveaway  


Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for hosting this giveaway.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

#Giveaway - Hey Arnold: Season 2, Part 1


Spend more time in the ’hood with Arnold and his best buddy, Gerald, as they endure playground bullies, secret crushes, new teachers, an alien invasion and more! Don your cap and your unbuttoned flannel shirt and head for the TV for 10 big-city adventures on 2 DVDs! Hey Arnold: Season 2, Part 1 will be released on March 20, 2012, for the suggested retail price of $19.93.

Hey Arnold features an all-star voice cast, including Toran Caudell (Recess), Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Francesca Smith (Recess) and Jamil Walker Smith (SGU Stargate Universe).

#Giveaway- The Taker by Alma Katsu


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A young doctor at a county hospital in the northernmost corner of Maine, in below-freezing temperature, is on duty when the police bring in a young woman, who allegedly killed a man and left his body in the north woods. Luke, the doctor, is strangely drawn to her, as she pleads with him to help her escape. As she begins to tell him her story, she grabs a scalpel and slices herself deeply across the chest. As Luke watches in horrified amazement, the sides of the cut creep together and heal themselves. So begins her story—a love affair that began 200 years before, when a ten-year-old Lanore McIlvrae first declared her love to Jonathan St. Andrew, son of the man who founded the settlement in northern Maine. Lanore became pregnant by Jonathan, was sent off to Boston in disgrace to have her baby, and was abducted by a Hungarian count, who lived a life of unbridled sensuality. Having given her the gift of eternal life, the count tells his story, which began in 1346 Hungary, where he was the apprentice to an evil alchemist who seduced and murdered virgins. Now, nearly two centuries later, their paths have crossed again with unexpected consequences....

Blending the allure of immortality with the occult, The Taker sweeps readers along a historical journey—each time period and setting as rich as the last.

Read a scene from The Taker here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Alma Katsu lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. Her debut, The Taker, a Gothic novel of suspense, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and has developed an international following. The Reckoning, the second book in the trilogy, is coming out in June 2012. The Taker Trilogy is published by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster.

Ms. Katsu is a graduate of the Master's writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor's degree from Brandeis University, where she studied with John Irving. She also attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career as a senior intelligence analyst for several US agencies.

Visit Alma's website



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review & #Giveaway - Socks4Life Gift Certificate

I have been contemplating returning to the work force for a while now, but a certain job opening pushed me to apply.  I am anxiously awaiting a call back and hope to start working soon.  Don't worry, I love to blog and will continue to share my thoughts about different products.


I was given the opportunity to review some socks from Socks4Life.  I decided this would be the perfect time to get some new dress socks.  I love the section offered  and it took me a little while to choose which socks I would like to have most.  I kept going to the novelty socks because they are my favorite.  I had to keep reminding myself that I needed dress socks.  Oh, the internal battles...


When my new items arrived, I was thrilled with the quality.  The colors are so vibrant and each pair feels great against my skin.  Best of all, the prices are reasonable.  

Next on my list is to buy some socks that are part of the Summer and Spring Fashion Trends.


#Giveaway - #BeingFlynn Movie Tie-in Book & $25 Fandango Bucks



Can one life story have two authors?

Being Flynn is the new dramatic feature from Academy Award-nominated writer/director Paul Weitz (About a Boy). Adapted from Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir Another Bulls—t Night in Suck City, the movie explores bonds both unbreakable and fragile between parent and child.

Nick Flynn (portrayed in the film by Paul Dano of Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood) is a young writer seeking to define himself. He misses his late mother, Jody (four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore), and her loving nature. But his father, Jonathan, is not even a memory, as Nick has not seen the man in 18 years.

Jonathan Flynn (two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro) has long defined himself as a great writer, "a master storyteller." After abandoning his wife and child, Jonathan scrapes through life on his own terms, and ends up serving time in prison for cashing forged checks. After prison, he drives a cab for a number of years, but with his drinking and eccentricities now accelerating, he loses his job. Despite the occasional grandiose letter to his son, he has remained absent from Nick's life.

Suddenly facing eviction from his apartment, Jonathan impulsively reaches out to Nick and the two come face-to-face. The older man is eloquent and formidable; overwhelmed, Nick nonetheless prepares to integrate his father into his own life. But, as quickly as he materialized, Jonathan flits away again.

Moving on, Nick takes a job at a homeless shelter, where he learns from Captain (Wes Studi) and Joy (Lili Taylor) how to relate to the guests who arrive night after night. Seeing the homeless – some permanently, some temporarily so – and hearing their stories, Nick finds purpose in his own life and work. He also sustains a romance with a co-worker, Denise (Olivia Thirlby). Then one night, Jonathan arrives, seeking a bed, and Nick's senses of self and compassion falter. To give the two of them a shot at a real future, Nick will have to decide whom to seek redemption for first.

Evocatively told, ruefully funny, and moving in its depiction of the ties that bind, Being Flynn tells a story that reveals universal truths.

Release Date: March 16, 2012

Visit the website






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 15, 2012

EASTER SURPRISE

Content by Kyle Lowe

The other day, I walked in the living room. The phone rang, so my son, who was on his lap top hopped up to answer it. It was a kid from his class asking him about a math problem on the homework. I happened to glance down and notice that he was logged onto www.Cabletelevision.net. I know that he was probably looking at all of the sports packages that were offered. I have three boys, they all love sports, and they always complain that we never have enough sports channels. I didn’t say anything to him about it, but I have a great idea for Easter. The “Easter Bunny” is going to give all of the boys ( including my husband) a television upgrade in their Easter baskets. I am going to put a card in each basket and let them know what I have decided to do. I think that it is going to be one of the best Easter gifts that they could get and certainly one that they will get a lot of use out of!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon


The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters. Now Nick's saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

You should get Sherrilyn Kenyon's book with Amazon coupons and read other books from the author.

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That's the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn't the average teenager. He's a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.


He's learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn't the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.


And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.




Visit www.sherrilynkenyon.com for more about SHERRILYN KENYON, INFAMOUS, and all of her novels.

It's Time To TrimBack

TrimBack.com
TrimBack.com
Quote startTrimBack.com because time is money and they save you both.Quote end 
These difficult economic times have paved the way for creative shopping to be done. There are a lot of people these days who are searching for ways to save money when they need to purchase online and off. This is the reason coupons and online coupon codes available from websites such as TrimBack.com are quite popular. With coupon sites growing at a fast pace TrimBack.com releases a few new features that are a first to the coupon industry.

Local Group Deals - TrimBack has teamed up with local deals sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and others to offer the best in local deals.

Exclusive Holiday Coupons - Holidays coupon codes can easily be found with an all new holidays portal. Holiday coupons include Christmas, New Years, Easter, Valentines Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday just to name a few.

Deal of the Day - Along with the online deals section now on the home page a daily deal will be featured as "Deal of the Day". TrimBack has teamed up with merchants to offer exclusive deals. These deals will only be found on TrimBack.

Merchant Accounts - This feature is still in the works and will be available soon. Store owners will have the ability to add their local or online store to TrimBack.com. Features include add/delete coupons and online deals, add a map to their page with the store location, add and create printable coupons, add a logo and much more. Store owners will have complete control of their store page. This is a great feature which no other coupon site offers.

Coupon Community - A new "Coupon Community" has been added to TrimBack and this section of the site comes with many features. Some features include a points system, save deals with one easy click, and manage email subscriptions within the control panel. Users will love the manage email alerts section because it gives them full control of when and what they want to receive in their email accounts.

“We have worked hard to integrate new features and are very excited about the addition of Groupon to the site. This gives us the edge we need to offer the best in online and offline savings” says Samir Alley, TrimBack.com's founder. With around 90,000 coupons available, Samir says TrimBack will keep on looking for new ways to help shoppers save time and money while offering the best experience possible.

With over 100,000 visitors per month, 10,000 Facebook fans and all these new features, TrimBack is sure to make an impact in the coupon industry and is well on its way to be one of the largest coupon sites on the internet.

About [TrimBack.com] TrimBack.com a one stop solution for an array of Coupon Codes, Promo Codes, Discounts and Deals for online stores the include kohls.com, dell.com, macys.com and much more. TrimBack.com has over 90,000 coupons and deals that get refreshed ranked and sorted each and every day.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Tour - Prophecy of the Flame by Lynn Hardy


ABOUT THE BOOK:

In a blinding flash of light, five nondescript strangers are yanked from this world and thrust into a land of sorcery as they are granted the looks and abilities of the people they were playing. This band of wannabe heroes soon discovers that having the powers they have always dreamed of, does not make life a dream come true. The Crusaders of the Light struggle to form a cohesive band as they blend twentieth century technology with the supernatural powers of this new world, fighting to liberate the kingdom of Cuthburan from the evil horde threatening humanity.

Battle is also waged within Reba, an ordinary housewife who has become the most powerful mage on the planet, as she struggles to remain true to her wedding vows. Drawn against her will to the arms of Prince Alexandros, Reba must choose between a marriage to a handsome prince in a magical world or returning to the husband she left behind.

MY THOUGHTS:

I love to escape from reality by burying my nose in a book.  That's exactly what I did with Prophecy of the Flame by Lynn Hardy.  Once I started reading, I could not put it down.  What I enjoyed most about Lynn's writing is that she was able to not only keep me intrigued, she didn't write a book that was completely predictable.  You can imagine how excited I became when I heard that Prophecy of the Flame is currently being made into a movie.  When you are in the mood for a magical story, pick up Lynn's book and be ready to catch fire!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Led by a series of dreams and encouraged by friends, Lynn Hardy began the journey to become an author. She stored her work in a computer file labeled “second job.” Writing began as a passion she could not contain and has become much more than she ever expected.

In the Fall of 2010 Prophecy of the Flame – Book One reached #1 on Amazon kindle, shortly after Book Two in the series released. In the spring of 2011, Lynn released the Full Cast unabridged audio book of Book One. Now both fans and newcomers can hear the book come to life as every character jumps of the page with their own unique voice.

In reality, Lynn is overcome with compassion for families who are suffering through the recession and so she has created Agape Assistance – Shelter for Families One Book at a Time. (AgapeAssistance.org) Prophecy of the Flame has now attracted the attention of Hollywood. With 100% of the proceeds from Book One in the series going to Agape Assistance, there is now a full length movie now in the works.

Lynn has attended many science fiction conventions and has had the privilege of serving on panels about writing. Renaissance fairs are another favorite event for the author. Seeing others dressed in costume (as she always is during book signings) makes her feel right at home. Meeting other writers at these conventions and events who are struggling to break into the publishing field has led Lynn to merge Resilient Publishing with Borderline – a unique type of publisher that offers the individual attention to their authors that the big publishing houses give, with the control and increased payouts of self-publishing. As marketing director of Borderline, Lynn is blazing a new path for authors to follow.

The road has been longer and more complicated than she would have ever guessed–not always smooth, but filled with wonderful surprises. Like most stories, Lynn is sure that her journey has only just begun.

Visit her website at www.lynnhardy.com.


Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of Prophecy of the Flame by Lynn Hardy for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Addicted to Homeland

Posted by Hyman Weeks

I decided that I have a really addictive personality. I know that sounds ridiculous but ever since I got DirecTV at home I can't find a show that I like on TV without making sure I'm DVRing every single episode of it, and when I get home and have more than one episode to watch I will watch them all no matter how late I have to stay up. That's what happened to me the other day when I discovered Homeland which is a new show on Showtime this year. There have only been 12 episodes but it took me exactly 12 hours to get through all of them… I stayed up until four in the morning! It's not like I have a lot of vices and I'm not addicted when it comes to terrible things like alcohol or cigarettes so I guess this really isn't the worst thing in the world but it is kind of embarrassing to tell someone I can't control myself when I find a TV show that I really, really like.

Review & #Giveaway - VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men


ABOUT THE DVD:

A long time ago, in the faraway town of Bethlingham, roved a band of merry men, led by the fearless Robin Good. Their mission: to help people by fundraising from the rich and giving to the poor! But when a greedy Prince starts stealing the townspeople’s hams, donations are down and Robin’s friends take off and decide to give robbing from the rich a try. Feeling rejected, Robin thinks things can't get any worse, until he finds out that the ham-hoarding Prince has also captured his friends. Can Robin overcome his own hurt, rescue his friends and restore the townspeople's hope? Find out in this fun Veggie story where kids learn that there's no hurt too big for God!




MY THOUGHTS:

I have to say that I am never disappointed when it comes to VeggieTales.  Even as an adult, I find that they deliver a clear message for any age, they are wildly entertaining and kids eat them up!  Watching my nephew dive right in to Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men was such a pleasure.  Hearing him talk about the DVD even long after we had finished watching it made me so very happy.  I'm glad that there are videos out that capture a child's attention and teach them something special all at the same time.

#Giveaway - Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream


ABOUT THE BOOK:

In thirty days Clementine Pritchard will be finished with her last painting and her life.

World-renowned artist and sharp-tongued wit Clementine Pritchard has decided that she's done. After flushing away a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions, she gives herself thirty days to tie up loose ends—finish one last painting, make nice with her ex-husband, and find a home for her cat. Clementine plans to spend the month she has left in a swirl of art-world parties, manic work sessions, and outrageous acts—but what she doesn't expect is to uncover secrets surrounding the tragedy that befell her mother and sister. In an ending no one sees coming, will we lose Clementine or will we find her?

A bold debut from an exciting new voice, Losing Clementine is a wonderfully entertaining and poignant novel about unanticipated self-discovery that features one of the most irresistible, if deeply flawed, characters to grace contemporary fiction in years.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: Thank you to HarperCollins for providing the giveaway copy of Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

#Giveaway - The Gruffalo Prize Pack


A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. Since the mouse “looks good” to all, he explains that he’s meeting the Gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the Gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo.






Blog Tour: Her Frozen Wild by Kim Antieau

About Her Frozen Wild

Scientists in the Altai in Siberia uncover the 2,500 year old frozen mummy of a tattooed priestess or shaman. This mummy has the same mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) as American archaeologist Ursula Smith whose mother disappeared in Siberia 30 years earlier. Ursula travels from the U.S. to Siberia to unravel the mystery of the “lady” and meets Sergei Ivanovich Polyakov, a Russian doctor who graciously invites her into his home. After they become lovers, she discovers he has the same tattoos on his body as the tattooed lady. He tells a disbelieving Ursula that they have met before and she is destined to save the ancient People, considered as devils by some and shape-changing gods by others. A shaman takes Ursula to one of the sacred timeless caves where Ursula’s mother supposedly disappeared. When Ursula allows the shaman to tattoo her, she is thrown back in time where she must unlock the mystery of the People and their link to her past in order to save them and Sergei—even if it costs her her life.


My Favorite Books
By Kim Antieau

Since this post is going to be on the Readaholic, I thought it would be appropriate to write about some of the books I have loved over the years. Like you, Bridget, I was always a voracious reader. I loved books and stories. When I was a child I would sometimes sleep with my favorite book under my pillow, hoping that I would dream about it.

In elementary school, I read any book about horses I could find. I read all the Chincoteague books by Marguerite Henry. Plus I gobbled up Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books. I read them over and over, although my favorite was the one with the aliens, The Island Stallion Races.

Then in middle school, I loved the Narnia books as well as any horse books. I was getting frustrated that hardly any of the books had girls in them, or if they did, the girls didn’t have much of a role or else they were relatively powerless. It was around this time that I created by own imaginary world where my friends and I were from another planet; on that planet girls and women had magical powers—and rode horses and unicorns—and the men and boys had no powers!

At various times when I was young, I also read Jules Verne and Alexander Dumas. Although I never finished any of their books, I loved the alienness of what they wrote about. Verne’s style was so odd and floral. The worlds Dumas wrote about were so different from my own. I was fascinated by The Count of Monte Cristo even though I never finished the book. (I have always preferred shorter novels.) I loved Dickens, too, and I did read and finished David Copperfield. It was one of my favorite books for a very long time.

In high school I started reading gothic novels. Most of them were written by women so at least women and/or girls played a major role in the books. I also read just about every end-of-the-world apocalyptic novel there was. Most of them were assigned to us in school. It’s no wonder I was a bit depressed in high school! We read 1984, Brave New World, On the Beach, and Alas, Babylon. The future did not look very bright. We were either all going to be poisoned by nuclear war or we’d become automatons unable to love or live freely. Yikes!

Fortunately a teacher of mine introduced me to the work of Daphne Du Maurier. Although Du Maurier’s heroines were not always powerful, they were well-developed characters who seemed like real women. Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel are both books I still recommend people read, especially writers. In Rebecca, we never know the name of the woman who narrates the entire novel. In My Cousin Rachel, we’re never quite sure what is happening. Du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now is one of the most frightening stories I have ever read. In fact, I’ve never re-read it because it was so scary to me.

I also read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in high school. Some people claim that if someone prefers Jane Eyre over Wuthering Heights, that person has no romance in her or his soul. Well, I did not like Wuthering Heights at all. I thought the characters were unrealistic; they acted like children—and not very well-behaved children.

I didn’t see anything romantic about the way Heathcliff treated Catherine. I thought he was a bully and a bit psychotic. Plus Catherine was so powerless through the entire story. In Jane Eyre, Jane took her power. She was the center of her story. Yes, she was in love with Rochester, but once she discovered he had deceived her, she left. I loved Jane Eyre, the person and the novel.

Oh wow, I see I’m only up to high school, I’ve gone on for pages, and I’ve just skimmed the surface! Maybe I should tell you about some writers and books I like now. Fast forward quite a few years. I still like strong women or at least women who are not caricatures, women who are multi-dimensional.

I got my Masters degree in American literature, so I read a lot of books in my college years. I grew tired of books about older men lusting after younger women. (The male professors were picking out these books for us to read.) I was thrilled when I took a science fiction course. Yes, some of the books were outdated and the male writers could be just as clueless as they were in any genre. However, a lot of women were starting to write science fiction then.

After years of reading mostly male writers in college—or women writers who could only tell the tales of powerless uninteresting women—I got to read Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree, Pamela Sargent and Kate Wilhelm. Wow! Fantastic imaginative settings and powerful women! I was thrilled. Pamela Sargent edited a science fiction anthology series called Women of Wonder with all women writers. I can only say that it blew my mind. The stories were eye-opening, to say the least, so rich, thought-provoking, and full of great characters.

Who do I read now? I still read lots of books, but when I’m writing fiction I read only nonfiction and poetry. Some of my favorite writers in those genres are Terry Tempest Williams, Mary Oliver, Tom Cowan, Vicki Noble, Mario Milosevic, Dale Pendell, Patricia Monaghan, and Stephen Harrod Buhner.

In fiction, I enjoy most of Barbara Kingsolver’s books. Pigs in Heaven is one of my favorites. The main character is on a road trip with her adopted daughter, and they travel through many of the landscapes my husband and I have traveled. Her books have compassion and heart and an appreciation for the land and the Earth.

Alice Hoffman is another favorite of mine. I happen to be a fan of the Latin American magical realists. Although Hoffman is not a magical realists, her novels are all filled with myth and magic and ordinary life, and it’s not necessarily unordinary for the myth and magic to be all mixed up in every day life.

Charles de Lint is another favorite. Charles’ books are mythic, filled with fairies, music, and art. His work is also compassionate and heartfelt, and he writes really good women! Although I love his current novels, some of my favorite books of his are from his early years, probably because they were some of the first novels I had read by him, and I was so thrilled and impressed to find him. I loved Svaha. How to describe it? A kind of mythic Native American science fiction apocalyptic futuristic novel. OK, and that does not do it justice. I also really loved Jack the Giant Killer, which was probably the first modern day fairy novel I’d ever read.

Another of my favorite writers is Mario Milosevic. I should mention that I happen to be married to him, but I loved his writing before we married, and why should leave him out just because we happen to live together? His poetry is amazing. Sometimes simple and beautiful, other times complex and mysterious. His prose writing is like that, too. It’s always something different with Mario. He has written one of my favorite books in the world, period: Terrastina and Mazolli, a novel told in 99 word chapters about a year in the life of a free-spirited couple, their five-year-old twin daughters, and the people in their small town in the Pacific Northwest. There is something tender and lovely about each little chapter.

I better stop now! Those are a few of my favorite books and favorite writers. As I mentioned earlier, when I’m writing, I can’t read anyone else’s fiction. I like to re-read my own books while writing. I know I’m not supposed to admit that, but I feel like the characters in my novels told me their stories and I wrote them down. So why wouldn’t I want to re-visit old friends now and again?

Thanks, Bridget!

Kim Antieau has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, both in print and online, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s SF, The Clinton Street Quarterly, The Journal of Mythic Arts, EarthFirst!, Alternet, Sage Woman, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. She was the founder, editor, and publisher of Daughters of Nyx: A Magazine of Goddess Stories, Mythmaking, and Fairy Tales. Her work has twice been short-listed for the Tiptree Award, and has appeared in many Best of the Year anthologies. Critics have admired her “literary fearlessness” and her vivid language and imagination. She has had nine novels published. Her first novel, The Jigsaw Woman, is a modern classic of feminist literature. Kim lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, writer Mario Milosevic.
Her latest book is Her Frozen Wild.

Learn more about Kim and her writing at www.kimantieau.com.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Author Q&A & #Giveaway - Clawback by Mike Cooper

Q&A with Mike Cooper
author of CLAWBACK
(Viking / On-sale: March 5, 2012)

Ruthless bankers, one-percenters behaving badly, populist anger—the themes in CLAWBACK come straight from today’s headlines.  Are you an Occupy Wall Street fan?

In fact, I’d wanted to write a full-length Silas Cade story for a while, before Occupy started making national headlines—I’ve published some short stories with him as a protagonist.  The original concept was of a hitman accountant.  I was amusing myself there—after years in finance, who wouldn’t want to bring automatic weapons into an audit?  So the character and setting were ready to go.  Then Wall Street cratered the world economy, and the plot practically wrote itself—“Don’t bail them out, take them out!”

I should stress that, however cathartic it might seem in the novel and however much blame they bear, shooting banksters is not a good solution to the country’s financial problems.  The Occupy movement has done well to bring the real issues to everyone’s attention: inadequate regulation, sociopathic behavior among the financiers, and consequent extremes of inequality.

Do you really think financiers are sociopaths?

Not all of them!  The problem is that the financial industry—nearly a tenth of GDP now, an all-time high and truly an astonishing figure—is built on a structure of individuals maximizing their own gain.  That’s capitalism, I suppose.  But when everyone on Wall Street is primarily concerned with the size of their own bonus, overall outcomes are poor. 

What research did you do for CLAWBACK?

The usual:  talked to some traders, read a lot, walked the streets of New York City.  The financial material was familiar to me already, less from work than from paying attention to the news every day.  A lot of specific details (on weapons for example) I checked using the information cornucopia of the internet.

Not everything in the novel is accurate.  It’s fairly difficult to acquire a concealed-carry permit in NYC, for instance.  But that’s the benefit of fiction—if the story’s compelling and believable, that’s good enough for me.

You mentioned traders.  CLAWBACK’s window into their lives is fascinating—they seem driven by an almost carnal desire for the acquirement of wealth.  Are they really like that?

Some, sure.  But after a point the money’s just scorekeeping.  Even a 25-year-old can only drink so many bottles of Cristal Brut.  The better traders have an unusual combination of risk tolerance—or risk desire, really—and capacity for objective analysis.  They want the thrill of jumping of the cliff, but they know exactly how far they’ll fall, what the acceleration will be, and how hard they’ll hit the water. Many of the novel’s characters (not just the bankers) are cynical, gossipy and sarcastic.  

It sounds like your worldview is somewhat jaded.

Perhaps that’s what studying Wall Street does to one’s psyche?  I’m kidding.  Some people believe in the goodness of humankind, especially in the abstract, but find fault or difficulty in everyone they know.  For me it’s rather the opposite:  I’m deeply disappointed in civilization’s progress and pessimistic about its future, but most people I meet in person are interesting and likeable.

Is that what encouraged you to become a writer?

Oh, I’ve always been a writer.  In third grade I wrote my first book – a six-page science fiction epic that ended, classically, with “it was all a dream!”  But I didn’t try to get published until our daughter was born and we decided that I’d be the stay-at-home parent.  I published a few stories, wrote a novel that found an agent but not a publisher, wrote another novel that did sell, started another…and then our second child was born, free time totally evaporated, and I went fallow for a couple years.

Are your children older now?

They’re in grade school.  Our older has read some of what I’ve published.  Our policy is not to censor—whatever they want to read, go ahead!  So far it’s worked out; I think children are generally good about stepping back when a book is too scary or complicated or challenging.  Which is only to say that neither has read CLAWBACK.  I haven’t stopped them, but I think they might miss the humor.

Your sister Sophie Littlefield is a writer as well—how did you both end up in the same profession?

Genetics?  Our father, an academic, has published numerous books.  Sophie got started years earlier than I did, publishing fiction and nonfiction in magazines.  I got the first book contract, but then she sold one novel, another, then another, and never looked back.

People often seem to assume that if either of us is cornered, in private, and given enough to drink, we’ll spill all—about the rivalry and jealousy and backstabbing.  The boring truth is that Sophie and I have a wonderfully supportive relationship.  In fact, it’s great to have someone to talk freely with, about all the little irritations of publishing that we normally keep hidden away.  We do write in somewhat different genres.  Sophie’s inclined to darker themes, and has a keen ear and eye for relationships, while my books tend to have exploding helicopters.

Not just helicopters!  Silas Cade is interesting in how thoroughly he’s managed to keep his life off the grid.  He leaves no data trail at all, which would seem especially difficult in Manhattan.  Could someone looking to slip off the radar employ any of the techniques he uses?

Most of them.  Like a thriller author whose afterword notes that, say, certain lockbreaking methods and kitchen-sink explosive recipes have been altered for public safety, I won’t tell you which disappearing techniques might backfire.

But in seriousness, privacy is a considerable concern of mine.  Advances in technology—from storage to visual surveillance to Big Data analytics—have made it impossible to live free from the Panopticon’s eye.  The danger is not just from government, though legal and technical protections are being eroded with astonishing speed.  Private-sector aggregation is just as scary, as anyone who’s tried to clear up a credit-score inaccuracy knows.

The world knows far too much about me already.  I’m not ready to live in a mountain shack with no electricity or phone service (still less our children), but the loss of privacy is a loss of liberty as well.  We would all do well to emulate Silas, at least in some ways.

What’s next for you and Silas Cade?  Will he be on to other adventures?

Yes!  Look for him in a short story, “The Sellout,” in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine this month.  And Viking will publish the sequel to CLAWBACK next year, in 2013.

As Silas himself has pointed out, when your job is taking down corrupt bankers, you won’t want for work any time soon.  With luck he’ll be around for some time yet, helping Wall Street heal itself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mike Cooper is the pseudonym of a former jack-of-all-trades. Under a different name his work has received wide recognition, including a Shamus Award, a Thriller nomination, and inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2010.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

After a stint in the Middle East, black ops vet Silas Cade becomes an "accountant"-the go-to for financiers who need things done quickly, quietly, and by any means necessary. Silas is hired by a major player to pay a visit to a hedge fund manager to demand clawback: the mandatory return of compensation paid on a deal that goes bad. But before Cade can tell his client that he got his ten million back, the guy turns up dead.

And he's not the first. Someone's killing investment bankers whose funds have gone south. Silas's scrubbed identity, and his insider's perspective, makes him the ideal shadow man to track down whoever's murdering some of the most hated managers on Wall Street. With the aid of a beautiful financial blogger looking to break her first big story, Silas tracks a violent security crew who may be the key to the executions. But as paranoia and panic spread, he begins to wonder: is the threat coming from inside the game-or out?

With breakneck pacing, nonstop action, and cutting edge details of today's financial intelligence technology, Clawback hurtles to its final twist, a gripping contemporary tale of shady finance, venal corruption, and greed run rampant.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for hosting this giveaway.

Friday, March 2, 2012

#Giveaway - Treasure Buddies Combo Pack


SYNOPSIS:

The Buddies are off on an all new adventure, and this time their journey takes them all the way to the ruins of ancient Egypt where, with the help of some new friends, including Digger the Archeologist dog, Cammy, a baby camel, and a mischievous monkey named Babi, they’ll explore mysterious tombs, dodge treacherous booby traps, and race against a devious cat in search of the greatest treasure known to animalkind, the lost collar of Cleocatra.

#HungerGames - Inside The Training Center


It's almost time for the 74th annual Hunger Games.  Are you ready?




THE HUNGER GAMES opens in theaters everywhere March 23rd, 2012 - will you be there?

Review & #Giveaway - Terax Crema Ultra Daily Hydrating Conditioner

Photobucket

About Terax Crema Ultra Daily Hydrating Conditioner:

"The cult favorite, Terax Crema is a luxurious conditioner, scrented with rice flower, shea, bergamot and juniper is the ultimate way to revitalize stressed tresses. Terax Crema's intense moisturizing properties are designed to heal and restore split ends, breakage, dryness associated with chemical treatments and environmental damage (wind, sun, chlorine and sea salt deposits), as well as combat static electricity. By altering the pH level of the hair, Terax Crema opens the cuticle and allows moisture into the hair shaft leaving it soft and silky. Use Terax Crema daily for healthy, manageable, and frizz-free hair."

THOUGHTS:

I use a lot of harmful products on my hair, such as hair color, a blow dryer and a flat iron.  Needless to say, my hair takes a beating.  I'm constantly battling split ends and frizz.  I have tried several products in the past that promise to tame your tresses but just end up making my hair look greasy or stiff.

I was interested in finding out what Terax Crema Ultra Daily Hydrating Conditioner could do to help with my hair dilemma.  My hair feels and looks amazing. It isn't nearly as dry and doesn't break easily like it did before.  I feel more confident when I go out, which feels great!


Blog Tour Review & #Giveaway - Stella Cameron & Cynthia Garner


ABOUT THE BOOK:

After her husband's tragic death, Leigh Kelly arrives on Whidbey Island determined to start over. Yet the tiny town of Chimney Rock is not as peaceful as it seems. Women have been disappearing, and Leigh can't shake the feeling that she's being watched . . . especially at night. Soon, she's experiencing visions she can't explain and fighting her attraction to a handsome stranger who seems to know her most intimate desires.

As the leader of the Team, a pack of werehounds forced to hide their very existence, former special ops soldier Niles Latimer is desperate to prove a man's heart beats beneath his predator's body. And Leigh-the mysterious beauty possessing powers she doesn't yet understand-may be the one woman who can help him. But Niles isn't the only one who recognizes Leigh's true identity. Something evil is waiting in the woods-and the hunt has begun . . .

MY THOUGHTS:

I have been a fan of the paranormal genre since the fifth grade.  I never seem to get bored from reading paranormal books and that's because there are authors like Stella Cameron.  She can take a subject and make it her own.  I became a fan of Leigh's instantly and enjoyed the intensity of this book.  If you are a paranormal fan, Darkness Bound is a must read.

Stella Cameron Q & A:

How has writing changed your life?

1. Writing changed my life completely, my focus. I'm never alone because I have another populated world in my head. Also, writing has given me the opportunity to spend so much time with what I love most, reading and writing. From the early days when I had little children and had to write from 4 to 7 in the morning and after they were in bed at night, I've always found time to write every day unless something extraordinary got in my way.

What author has influenced you the most?

2. Now there's an easy question—I don't think. I can't pick out just one. Stephen King has inspired me with his imagination and excellence. Pat Conroy really taught me so much about emotion and the outrageous. Years ago Susan Howatch helped me develop my sense of spinning dark threat. Jayne Ann Krentz gave me a love of humor. Ann Maxwell is the queen of tension. My dear, now gone friend, Suzanne Simmons showed me it's okay to mix humor and pathos.

If you could change places with someone for a day, who would it be?

3. Now I'm going to bomb out. No one. I believe we have to play the hand we're dealt and deal with our strengths and weaknesses. There are things I wish I could do but they are all so unattainable. What I long for most is justice tempered with kindness and understanding. And if I had my one big wish, it would be that no child or animal would ever suffer. So you see, I start to sound silly, almost childish. Above all: WIPE OUT JEALOUSY AND ENVY.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world-or send it spiraling into chaos. Half-demon, half-human, Nix de la Fuente is accepted by neither and mistrusted by both. Determined to prove she's more human than not, she devotes herself to solving crimes between the world's mortals and its most unsavory undead. But her latest case brings her face to face with the one vampire she could never resist . . .

Called in to investigate a string of violent murders, special agent Tobias Caine isn't interested in rekindling his relationship with Nix. Yet one look and the vampire knows his need for her is as strong as ever. Once, their all-consuming passion nearly cost Nix her fragile hold on her humanity. Now, as their hunger for one another intensifies, exposing them to an unimaginable danger, it could cost them both their lives.

MY THOUGHTS:

Kiss of the Vampire is the first book of Cynthia's that I have read and I was instantly smitten with her writing.  It is impossible to put this book down once you start reading.  An unrelenting tale of suspense and romance, Kiss of the Vampire is an undeniable treat.





a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclosure: I received free copies of these books for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What I Made In February

Business 2 Blogger = $130.00
Blogsvertise = $140.00
Advertising = $70.00
PayPerPost = $20.50
Google Adsense: $18.25
Social Spark = $15.00

Total =$393.75

Amazon Gift Cards:

Blog Posts = $40.00
Social Moms = $20.00
Swagbucks = $10.00
Irazoo = $5.00

Total = $75.00

Target Gift Card:

Nielson Mobile = $10.00
Not Able To Cash Out Yet:

Social Moms = 3,807 points
Wikets (app) = 2,334
Superpoints = 1,655 points
Irazoo = 796 points 
ZoomBucks = 398 ZB's
Swagbucks =  264 SB's
MyPoints = 191 points
Gift Hulk = 168.4 points 
If you sign up using my links, I may receive monetary compensation or "points". 

Review & Giveaway - The Dawn of Saudi: In Search for Freedom by Homa Pouragari


ABOUT THE BOOK:

This poignant mystery is about three people whose lives intertwine in a tale that depicts the oppression of women and the human rights abuse under the pretext of religion. Dawn Parnell made the mistake of marrying a Saudi; Sahar Al-Hijazi is forced to marry a man she doesn't love; Jason Crawford has business ties to the Al-Hijazi family. As the lives of these three people cross paths, the story takes the reader on a dangerous journey from Saudi Arabia where women are considered the property of a man, to United States where women are independent.





MY THOUGHTS:

The Dawn of Saudi is a gripping mystery that holds your interest.  I enjoyed  getting to know Sahar Al-Hijazi and felt the undeniable emotion tugs as I read about her life.  I've was born and raised in the US and it still shocks me how women are treated in Saudi Arabia.  This is a touching romance that will stick with you long after you have you have stopped reading.

AUTHOR BIO:


Homa Pourasgari resides in Los Angeles, California. She received a degree in Business from Loyola Marymount University, after which she left to live in Paris for one year and attended the University of Sorbonne, focusing on literature. Multilingual, she has been traveling since the age of 5 and has experienced many different cultures. Homa has worked in various industries such as marketing, retail, banking, accounting and fitness but has always returned to her true love – writing. She is currently working on a new book. Lemon Curd is her first novel.

Visit the website



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Dawn of Saudi: In Search for Freedom by Homa Pouragari through Business 2 Blogger for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.