Saturday, 28 September 2013

Banned Book Week 2013

Banning Books: 

Image courtesy of the American Library Organization: http://www.ala.org/b

I feel that banning books is the unsavory practice- not books that contain sexuality, religion/ magic- Why?
  • Books are meant to make you think
  • Books are meant to make you feel
  • Books are filled with the everything of life- Life is the good, the bad, the ugly. If you edit that out, what is left? Unicorns and rainbows?
  • Books are about expressing creativity. 
  • If you have a problem letting your child read a book, don't let them read it. BUt don't enforce it on others. Kids mature differently. Kids learn differently and how does it impede their learning in real life? Some of the themes may be picked up/ lerned from others as they progress through society. 
I have several favourite 'banned books. 
Margaret Atwood: A Handmaid's Tale- One of my favourite dystopian novels
Margaret Lawrence: The Stone Angel
To Kill a Mockingbird
JRR Tolkien Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit
JK Rowling: Harry Potter

Quotes: 

I used to think censorship simply meant 'the suppressing or deleting [of] parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds,' as the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary puts it. But since reading Places I Never Meant to Be by Judy Blume (see #267), perhaps the most censored writer in the United States, I’ve come to agree with the definition she quotes from The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia: '[The] official restriction of any expression believed to threaten the political social, or moral order.' Here the idea of a threat to the status quo seems especially important in these perilous times.”—Pat Holt, Holt Uncensored #272

* * * * * * * * * *
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”—UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights* * * * * * * * * *

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Unspoken Memories by Gabbie Duran; Cover Reveal


Unspoken Memories by Gabbie Duran

Blurb:
She awoke with only one clue about who she was, and that one clue led her to him…Abigail Adams had it all, she's a gorgeous supermodel, has a wealthy fiancĂ©, and a career on the rise. But that quickly changes when she wakes up in the hospital not remembering anything. The only memories she does have are not her own, but the ones that lead her to him.After Abigail discovers that her fiancĂ© has been cheating on her, she leaves him and runs to the arms of the one man she is hoping will give her the answers she seeks.Matt Garcia is used to playing the field, but then supermodel Abigail Adams unexpectedly shows up at his door hoping he will be the answer to her past. Will he finally learn to take a break from his no strings attached lifestyle and show her that she doesn't need her past, but the future he is willing to offer her? Will he be able to leave his past behind?With every unspoken memory she regains, will she learn to open her heart to Matt and trust him, or will she learn to guard it until he finally learns to let go of his past?




Isn't that a beautiful, gorgeous cover? Maybe even vintagey?  The colours and the image are just romantic and speak to something greater. How does the image make you feel? Love it? Hate it? 







Excerpt for Unspoken Memories
Copyright © Gabbie S. Duran


I sit there in silence, giving them time to absorb everything I’ve said.Trying to distract myself again from the tension beginning to build up inside, I begin to look around the room. I notice on one of the walls is a wall hanger, with a whole bunch of medals hanging from them. I walk over to them and start looking at them. As I'm doing this I get another memory.
This one is of Matt and me. A crowd of people surrounds us, as a medal is being placed around my neck. I feel ecstatic as I hug him. I’m looking behind him at the big banner that says "Portland Marathon" in big green letters. It’s a finish line, and by the year on the banner it was just last year.
Excited, I turn to face Matt, this must be where we met. Even though I don’t remember reading anything on Google that said I was a runner. "We ran the Portland Marathon together last year, that's where we must have met."
He gets up and comes over, standing next me and begins concentrating on the medals with me.
"No, we didn't," he clips out, keeping his eyes on the medals.
"Yes, we did, you’re in my memory and we’re crossing the finish line together.” At least I’m pretty sure we did. “They gave us our medals together and we are hugging."
Matt looks back at me with a fierce glare. His chest is beginning to rise and fall, and he’s shaking his head. His eyes turn glassy like he wants to cry, but he's fighting to hold it back. “I didn't run it with you,” he insists, staring at me in disbelief, and irritation laces his voice. “I ran it with my sister. It was the last race we ran together."
Oh shit! Then why am I having this vision? It has to mean something, I was pretty sure it was my memory. It felt so real.
"Are you sure? I’m pretty sure I’m right. I clearly see the memory. It was only last year, and I'm pretty sure I was there with you. "Can I be wrong? No, I wasn’t
asleep when I got this one, so I know it has to be an actual memory. "What about my dream of running with you in the park, that has to be real, right? There's a trail in the background."
This makes Matt angry and he walks away. "Now you’re fucking with me. Who's been feeding you her info?"
"What are you talking about, nobody is feeding me info. I told you these are the things that I remember. The only things I remember. Besides you, and who is this she you keep referring to?"
Matt shakes his head and runs his hands through his hair. The other guy starts drinking from his beer again. He looks like he wants to put his two cents into the conversation, but he decides to stay quiet. He's trying to absorb everything, and so am I.
"Look, there is no way you would have those memories unless somebody told you about them.”
He goes quiet but then his eyes light up, like he’s just realized something. I’m soon disappointed when he says, “I get it. She must have done some designer shit for you. That’s when she must have mentioned that she ran the marathon. She talked about running to anybody who would listen."
I shake my head in disagreement, wanting him to believe me.
Matt starts pacing the small space in the living room in front of the patio door. What is he talking about, and who would design something for me? I start biting my thumbnail and pacing the room next to him, but in the opposite direction, causing us to pass by each other. That's when the other guy stands up from the couch.
"Dude, you guys need to stop that walking shit, you’re making me trip."
I’m irritated again as I look over at him and snap, "Oh, shut it Trey, I'm trying to figure this out!"
He drops his beer and it lands on the floor with a loud thump. Matt’s body spins around fast, facing me, and he covers his mouth with a fist.
"Holy shit, she even sounded like her when she said that!"


Connect with Gabbie on Goodreads

Monday, 23 September 2013

Running from Forever- Release

Runningecover

Synopsis:

Recent college graduate, Kayla Reynolds was ready to leave the university, sorority life behind. Leaving her boyfriend of over three years, she packed her bags and moved four hours south to the big city…New York City. Bright lights, streets that never sleep, and a business lifestyle that she yearned to have were all at her fingertips.

Kayla Reynolds was chasing her dream.

Determined and eager to make it in the corporate world, Kayla changed everything- her image, lifestyle, and outlook on life, putting her career first and her personal life second. That was until her first day, the first time she got a glimpse of Miles Blackwell. Corporate CEO and part owner of ETV, and not to mention, incredibly handsome, Miles Blackwell took Kayla by surprise, stealing her heart as he did.

But nothing had ever come that easy for Kayla. Life had always seemed to have a personal vendetta against her, stepping in when everything seemed too good to be true, reminding herself of whom she really was. It wasn’t until she met Merrick Drake that she realized when to stop; when running was no longer an option. For the first time in her life she had someone she could relate to; someone who wouldn’t judge- who saw the person she was inside. She and Merrick connected…on more levels than one.

When life was too much to handle, they ran.

But there was only one person that could make Kayla stop for good. Only one man that made her want to stay.

Would Kayla finally stop running or would it all be too much to handle?

Chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite & 2 signed copies of Running From Forever! Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway!

Excerpt:

She let out an exasperated breath. “No. No, I gotta figure this out.” She turned to face me, legs crossed, intertwined. “I don’t know what to do, Merrick.”

I felt it in my chest. She was lost, pleading for help. I didn’t know if I was the best person to help her. I’d lived just as fucked up a life myself. From the age I could run, I did, staying at friend’s houses almost every day of the week, stopping home quick after school just to make sure my mom hadn’t overdosed and was dead on the floor. I did this almost my whole life…up until I ran here.

“I can’t really help you, babe, if I don’t know what happened,” I told her as sympathetically as I could, looking into her sad eyes. Even if I wasn’t the most qualified person to give advice, I wanted to help, but I also needed to know what happened first.

Kayla rubbed her face with her hands, keeping them over her eyes for a minute longer. She was thinking; questioning if she was ready to spill. I didn’t want to force her to do it, so I sat there quietly. I wish I could just sweep her up and run far, far away; take her away from all the bad in her life permanently, but that would mean I had to run again, and I was done running. I couldn’t do it anymore.

“I loved him.” Her voice was a whisper. She removed her hands from her face but only to look down to her crisscrossed feet. She couldn’t look at me while she told me, and I was okay with that. “I let my guard down when I knew I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it.”

About the Author:

ashley wilcox

Some may consider me a jack of all trades, but I consider myself well rounded.
I’ve waitressed, styled hair, answered phones and, most recently, worked full time as mom to my two beautiful little boys.
Then there was this book… Everyone and their brother started talking about this book series titled Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. I didn’t really pay attention to the craze at first, since I wasn’t a big reader- okay, I didn’t read at all. But curiosity got the best of me, so I downloaded it to my kindle.
I was immediately hooked. I read the whole series in three days. Yes, three books in three days.
I kept finding all these great books that I HAD to read (just ask my credit card!).
Then I started hearing voices. Voices that turned into stories; stories that were begging to get out of my head.
I started writing them down on scraps of paper. Then I transferred them to my computer. Before I knew it, Planning on Forever was born.
The voices in my head are still talking, so I’m still writing.

Links:

http://www.ashleywilcoxauthor.com/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ashley-Wilcox-Author/534100859949004

https://twitter.com/ashleywilcox55

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6564533.Ashley_Wilcox?from_search=true

RunningFromForeverFinalbanner

profilewebsite

Friday, 20 September 2013

My Bubz 17-18 Months



Time passes by so quickly. He's a list of somethings my little guy like to do. He is learning a lot each day. Talking more. You can see him problem solving.: 

My bubz, 17 months
I can't believe my little monkey is 17 months! He is very big for his age lol.
I won a pair of Skights, based in Toronto, Skights are super cute tight/ socks perfect for any diaper wearing/ potty training kid. I got a size large and they fit him just right.
Verbally

  • He can say “what's this?” “Turtle, bubble, roar, vroo
  • I want a snack
  • Juice
  • Kiss
Physically
  • He can scoot down stairs on his bum or hold your hand and walk down them. He can also walk up stairs holding on to the banister.

  • He can dance, jump, run and walk carefully down hills. He loves to colour, especially on himself lol.
  • He loves to watch tv, especially Max and Ruby and Franklin. He likes to watch music videos on Youtube and dance to them. He also enjoys sitting down in his chair to look at his books. Favorites include Clifford, TMNT (He borrows them from his uncle), Winnie the Pooh and Sesame Street.
  • Has discovered enjoyment in puzzles and animal sounds (moo, baa)
  • He loves to hide and play peek a boo. He will hide in corners, under tables, behind chairs and in the little house we made from the stroller box.


What 's this. What's that?

18 months

  • <Nursing less during the day. Too busy drinking, eating , playing, reading, 
  • <nursing more at night
  • <will fall asleep on daddy
  • >or on the couch
  • <knows how to turn tv on and off- watches less. Turns channel and volume too
  • He can scoot down a hill on his bum
  • He plays ring around the rosy by falling on his bum
  • <Rocking out to Metallica, A7, System of A Down- I am so glad it doesn't scare him. lol. 
  • < Sesame Street, especially Elmo and Cookie Monster
  • <Katy Perry and others
  • <play pretend with his toys
  • <Colour, eat playdough (lol)
  • <love dinosaurs and cars, trucks and trains
  • <Will look at his uncle TMNT book over and over

What has your baby/ toddler/ child learned this week?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Baby Bullet Giveaway 2013 (Mami's 3 little Monkeys)


Welcome to the Baby Bullet Giveaway Event!

 Sponsored By: Baby Bullet

I am so excited to be promoting this giveaway for my generous host. The Baby Bullet is a perfect good for moms of all ages/ The Baby Bullet makes it easier to make food for your baby. Added bonus- you know what is it your baby's food and you don't have to worry about preservatives. 

One lucky reader will win the complete set for making healthy homemade food for baby! 
Mami's 3 Little Monkeys & Baby Bullet have teamed up to giveaway a 20 piece Baby Bullet set. 
This prize pack will include: 
  • The Batch Bowl
  • Power Base
  • 6 Date Dial Cups & Storage Tray
  • 2 Short Cups & 2 Stay Fresh Lids
  • Easy Pop Batch Tray & Lid
  • Blend Blade (Stainless Steel)
  • Mill Blade (Stainless Steel)
  • 1 Spatula
  • User Manual
  • Pocket Nutritionist
  • Cookbook
Total Value of $60 


Read Mami's 3 Little Monkeys Review HERE!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents whom are at least 18 years of age at the time of entrance. This giveaway will run from September 16th at 12am CST til September 30th at 11:59pm CST.
Enter through the Giveaway Tools entry form below for your chance to win this great prize pack! All entries are optional, but please be courteous and help us show our appreciation to the sponsor by following them via at least one social media site. One winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 
Good luck!


Disclosure: GlutenFree+2 and all other participating bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment of the above prize. I received no form of compensation for this publication. If you would like to see your product(s) in an event similar to this one please contact Sarh at mamis3littlemonkeys@yahoo.com.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Autumn AMP Giveaway: The Parenting Patch Oct 1- Oct 15th


What better way to celebrate autumn than with a cloth diaper giveaway? Plus, it occurring in my birthday month- I so hope I win :D Details are below.
The Parenting Patch is beyond excited that sign ups are now open for the Autumn AMP Giveaway. With gratitude, the event is hosted by The Parenting Patch and co-hosted by Hackanatorhttp://hackanator.com/, A Sensible MommaLeettle Baby, Cloth Diaper Guru, My Cloth Diaper Stash, Conservamom, Cloth Diaper Addicts, and Thinking About Cloth Diapers.
The autumn season is almost here. In honor of fall, The Parenting Patch is giving away an AMP cloth diapers prize pack to one (1) lucky winner. The prize pack has a retail value of  $83.10. I t includes:  three (3) AMP One-Size Duo Pocket Diaper in red, orange, and lemon (yellow); three (3) AMP microfiber inserts; two (2) two-layer AMP Boosters; and one (1) three-layer AMP Booster.
The Autumn AMP Giveaway runs from October 1, 2013 to October 15, 2013. The Autumn AMP Giveaway is open to legal residents of the United States of America and Canada. Participating blogs are eligible to enter to win.  I am so excited about this :D 
Signs up for the Autumn AMP Giveaway continue until September 24, 2013.
To participate in the Autumn AMP Giveaway, you choose one (1) free Facebook or Twitter link on a follow page with an announcement post. Please include the sign up dates, the event dates, the prize, and a link to this post in your announcement post. Do not copy this post word for word. :)
Another link such as Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook cost $1.  Daily comments cost $5 each.
For more information, head on over to the Parenting Patch at: http://parentingpatch.com/autumn-amp-giveaway-sign-ups-now-open/#WsizXbuA1djDLwqt.99. Good luck! 

Disclaimer: GlutenFree+2 is not responsible for picking the prize winner, nor shipment of the prize. I was not compensated. for my promotion of the giveaway.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

October ARC Giveaway (Reading in Twilight)

How would you like to win an October ARC? How about 6? Reading in Twilight has a giveaway for 2 winners to win 6 books. International winners pay shipping.

Some books from Pack 1:


And Pack 2:
What package would you like to win? What books are you looking forward to reading? 

Friday, 13 September 2013

I hope you all enjoy this lovely excerpt of Render by Stephanie Fleshman. You need to buy it! This is a great read!
Please enjoy this fun, playful excerpt from Render by Stephanie Fleshman. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

Render: An Excerpt


I spin around and pull her to me, sighing as her arms lock around my neck. I lower my face to her hair, turning it into the curve of her neck to breathe her in.

Her body molds to mine, lithe and boneless, and my arms swallow her as I tighten my hold. It softens all the hard points, the tension I’d been holding onto, smoothing the muscles in my shoulders and back.

“You have great problem-solving skills, by the way,” I tell her softly in her ear.

Keeping her arms around me, she leans back against the wall to look at me, a baffled expression on her face, whether in relation to the compliment or the unexpected direction in conversation, I don’t know.

“Do I?” Her voice lifts in a flirtatious pitch.

“Mmm. It’s why I asked you out,” I tease. “You solved most of my problems just by agreeing.” Looking back, I realize just how true this is, though I doubt she’ll take me seriously.

Her lips curl in an obliging smile, and her eyes say it all, disbelieving in their beauty, corroborating what I already knew. But she’s still smiling, and I alone am responsible for that.

She curls her hand around the side of my neck, and I feel her thumb glide over the scar behind my earlobe, one I incurred at fourteen, when Lukas slammed my head into the bathroom mirror. Then I broke his collarbone. Both of us ended up in the emergency room that morning, an incident that resulted in our father leaving for work a half hour later. It’s always quieter when our father is home.

“How are you doing?” she asks, looking up to search my eyes.

I slide my hands from the small of her back to her waist, as my gaze sweeps from shoulder to shoulder. I can already feel the ground of normalcy beneath me, her presence holding the pieces of my life together, when it seems everything can come apart at any moment. “Good now that you’re here.”

This seems to make her both happy and sad. A look of gloom passes over her face even as a small smile touches her lips. Then her eyes trail down the front of my body, taking in my suit jacket and pants. “You look like a lawyer,” she comments. “Straight from the courtroom.”

I can’t remember a time when she’s ever seen me in a suit. The closest is the tux I wore to her senior prom two months ago, which is not much different than what I wear now.

“It suits you.”

I raise my eyebrows in doubt. “What? Looking like a lawyer?”

“Not just a lawyer. You look…professional.” Then, with a full smile, she adds, “I like it.”

“Ah,” I say, mirroring her smile as I grasp her meaning. “I like that you’re my biggest fan.”

Her teeth shine bright against her tan skin. She drops her arms to her sides, and I lace my fingers through hers. She smells of honeysuckle, vanilla, and lavender all at once, with soft underlying notes I can’t name, a scent that swirls inside me, tantalizing every cell in my body.

I lean forward, canting my head slightly to fit my lips to hers. I have to fight to keep the rhythm slow, to savor every second. But when her mouth opens, urgency builds within me, and I press farther. Too soon, though, she’s pulling away, leaving my blood pumping in a hot stream and my heart pounding against my chest. I place a hand on the wall behind her and lean forward, closing the narrow space she’s put between us.

“I wasn’t finished,” I say.

I’m already tilting my head to kiss her again when she stops me with one word. “Wait.”

“Wait?” I mutter against her lips.

I feel her palms on my chest, easing me back. It’s hard to concentrate on anything but touching her, but I slowly resign myself to the conversation that is apparently inevitable, when my only instinct is to kiss her. I straighten and meet her eyes, which does nothing to tame my thoughts.

“I got your note,” she says.

When I started mowing Mrs. Whitney’s lawn, Elizabeth gave me a key, so I could let myself in when they weren’t home. In the beginning, I would leave Raya notes on her dresser, not knowing at the time that she’d actually keep them. When she showed me every note I’d ever written her, my first instinct was to laugh, because it seemed senseless. But then I saw how impressed she was and felt empowered that I could make her so happy. She probably has a shoebox full of notes by now.

I back her against the wall until we’re touching from hips to shoulders. Her eyes, as warm and green as summer leaves, meet mine. She’s looking at me as if I did something amazing, but just in case, I ask, “Is that all? Or is there something else you want to add, because I’d really like to kiss you right now?”

Her eyes dip momentarily to my mouth. “I was going to thank you for the note, but you distracted me.”

“You don’t need words for that.”



Render Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, Render, the debut YA Paranormal novel by Stephanie Fleshman, is on sale for just 99 cents! What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Get Render at its discounted price of 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  3. Visit the featured social media events
  4. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.

About Render: A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving... Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan--until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads
Please enjoy this fun, playful excerpt from Render by Stephanie Fleshman. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.




Thursday, 12 September 2013

Render- Interview with the author

   Oops, I forgot to publish this yesterday for you~ I hope you enjoy this amazing guest post. What are you thoughts on it?
Please enjoy this guest post by Stephanie Fleshman, author of the enticing Paranormal YA, Render. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.


The 5 Guys You'll Meet in YA Fiction:

A Guest Post by Stephanie Fleshman



According to GalleyCat, YA eBook revenues increased 120.9% last year. The great news is whatever YA male character types keep you reading, it's unlikely you'll run out of books anytime soon. After a while contemplating my favorite YA reads, I noticed a pattern when it came to the male heroes in these stories. Without further ado, here's a run-down of the 5 guys you're likely to meet when reading a Young Adult novel...
Guy #1: The Broken and Vulnerable
When I think of broken, I think of Josh from Barry Lyga’s Boy Toy. The sad thing about Josh is that he knows he’s broken but blames himself instead of the person at fault.

When I think of vulnerable, two characters come to mind: Sam from Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series and Cabel from Lisa McMann’s Wake series. Cabel is doused with gasoline, then set on fire by his alcoholic father. He wants to be loved, yet is scared. What makes him strong in a not-in-your-face kind of way is that he wants to love. His lack of resentment and hate is what makes him attractive.
Guy #2: The Abusive
In Jennifer Brown’s Bitter End, Cole is the product of “like father, like son.” In Swati Avasthi’s YA novel Split, however, Jace is the product of being victimized by his own abuser. Unlike Cole, Jace is capable of remorse and guilt. He not only owns up to his actions, but he wants to pay for them. By comparison, Jace makes Cole look like a sociopath.


Guy #3: The Obsessive
It’s no secret that Edward from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is borderline stalker when it comes to Bella. She is his world entirely. In his mind, though, he is only being protective. So, is Edward protective, overprotective, or obsessive? You decide:
  • Protective: Capable of or intended to protect someone or something.
  • Overprotective: Having a tendency to protect someone, esp. a child, excessively.
  • Obsessive: Of, relating to, characteristic of, or causing an obsession; Excessive in degree or nature.

Guy #4: The Dominant
A good example of this type of YA male lead character is Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. Patch is 100% boy. He’s self-confident, strong, and stands his ground against Nora. Though he is dominating, I don’t believe it’s in a harmful or abusive manner.

In the second book, you get to see more into his heart as he begins to really care for Nora’s well-being.

By the third book, he’s thinking of Nora’s safety and how he can stay with her. He sacrifices what he wants in order to protect her and their relationship, which seems non-existent to Nora by this stage. Not everything is what it seems, though.

Other good examples are Alex from Simone Elkeles’s Perfect Chemistry and Avi from the same author's How to Ruin series.


Guy #5: The Lovable
I’m going to start with Koldan from my own YA novel, Render. Koldan is firm but not so dominating that he feels the need to control. He’s confident and strong, but recognizes his weaknesses. He’s romantic in the sense that he will do whatever it takes to keep Raya safe, even if it means risking his own life. And he’s not afraid to show his feelings for Raya.

Now, I cannot move forward without mentioning Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. Thirteen years! Thirteen!!! That’s all I’m going to say. Those of you who have read Hopeless know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, there’s nothing about this guy not to love.


Now I've got a question for you: What's your favorite YA male character type?
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, Render, the debut YA Paranormal novel by Stephanie Fleshman, is on sale for just 99 cents! What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Get Render at its discounted price of 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  3. Visit the featured social media events
  4. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.
About Render: A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving... Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan--until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

Kindle Fire Giveaway

Kindle Fire September 



This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT!



Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7″.
Kindle Fire HD 7″ Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)


Sponsoring Authors & Bloggers

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Candace's Book Blog
  4. Every Free Chance Book Reviews
  5. Author Lori Verni-Fogarsi
  6. Ketch's Book Nook
  7. Author Rachael Renee Anderson
  8. Author Karey White
  9. Buku-Buku-Didi
  10. Author Marcia Lynn McClure
  11. Author Bella Street
  12. Brooke Blogs
  13. Author Anna Kyss
  14. Author Ednah Walters
  15. These are but Shadows
  16. The Real Bookshelves of Room 918
  17. Fae Books
  18. Magical Manuscripts
  19. Chair in the Shade
  20. The Book Bellas
  21. Page Flipperz
  22. Romance Schmomance
  23. A Bookish Escape
  24. bookitty blog
  25. Author S.A. Larsen
  26. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  27. Jessabella Reads
  28. Author Jennifer Laurens
  29. Bea's Book Nook
  30. Books 4 Tomorrow
  31. Meredith's Musings
  32. Libby's Library
  33. Author Deanna Roy
  34. Word to Dreams
  35. Bookhounds
  36. Diva Book Nerd
  37. Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
  38. Author Kim Cresswell
  39. Author Inger Iversen
  40. Author Elizabeth Isaacs
  41. Lori's Reading Corner
  42. Author Lena Sledge
  43. Author Kerry Taylor
  44. Author Brinda Berry
  45. Author Niecey Roy
  46. Author Kary Radar
  47. Author Josh Baker
  48. Author Helen Smith
  49. Author Annette K. Larsen
Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7″ HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).
There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire.
Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway.  Details can be found here.
Ends 9/30/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Render- My Reveiw and a give-away


Render Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, Render, the debut YA Paranormal novel by Stephanie Fleshman, is on sale for just 99 cents! What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Get Render at its discounted price of 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  3. Visit the featured social media events
  4. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.
About Render: A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving... Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan--until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Book Trailer:
http://youtu.be/tum4hXClOoI- Check it out!

 My Review:


Can I just say I was blown away by this novel? First, I was just so entranced by the names. Fiction uses a lot of common names. It was cool reading all these different names. Particularly, Koldan's and Raya's names stuck out to me. Also, I really liked the historical aspect of the Render. I am a huge fan of historical fiction, especially if they ask what if. 
    Render does this amazingly well! It ties together all aspects of the story- Why is there is a Russian stranger at his grandfather's funeral? Why did his grandfather leave a map? Why did his grandfather never talk about his past? I was so engaged by the story! I kept needing to know what happened next. I was excited and terrified at the same time. What would happen? Why was it happening? And oh my goodness, I can't believe that just happened! I also like how you don't figure exactly how much danger Koldan and his family are in until later in the book.The danger is intensified and unexpected. There are quite a few twists in this novel. I also liked the fact that I didn't guess the truth.
  The story is this: Koldan's grandfather has recently died under mysterious circumstances. Koldan is a genius, who graduated high school early. Koldan's father wants him to focus on his career. However, Koldan is in love with Raya and wants to marry her. Koldan, his brother Lucas and Raya decide to follow the coordinates on a map to figure out what their grandfather wanted them to find.

Raya is a more average high school. She loves Koldan and has a very playful attitude.

Lucas is Koldan's brother. They seem so different and yet are very protective of those they care about.

I felt connected to the characters. They are very well developed. I also liked that they were not completely cliche :) Additionally, Ms. Fleshman did a great job with the multiple   POVS.  The characters did not sound alike, which can happen with POV. Nor was it confusing. It was easy to tell the different chapters apart. 


The setting was well described and unique! It definitely added to the mystery. A remote island, a yacht and an unique culture make for an interesting experience. The setting only added to the mysterious nature of what Koldan and Raya have to endure.

The writing pulls at your emotions without being over the top. The ending was so unexpected. It left me wanting to read more. I loved it ~ I give the book 5 stars. All I noticed were strengths: Character development, setting, plot, pacing- It was all there and well developed. My only disappointment was the ending because I wanted to keep reading!  



Stephanie Fleshman

Follow the link for the give-away!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzE3YzI0YTkzYTJkODQ0ODQxZDUwNTUwMTQ3OTkxOjkz/

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Render: Blog Tour and Giveaway

Render Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, Render, the debut YA Paranormal novel by Stephanie Fleshman, is on sale for just 99 cents! What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Get Render at its discounted price of 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  3. Visit the featured social media events
  4. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.

About Render: A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving... Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan--until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Free Blogger OPP (and paid) Innotab (Can and US)

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BeFunky_BeFunky_myawesomebaby.jpg
InnoTab 3S Giveaway
This giveaway is hosted by Empowered Mommy and Joys Of Life
FREE blogger opportunity with paid options. OPEN to US/CAN.
Prize: Vtech InnoTab
Event Dates: October 15 - November 15
Sign-ups: October 12
Get 1 Free link (Facebook or Twitter) with announcement post. ($5 waiver fee without announcement post)
Additional links for $3 each
Co-host for $20- Get up-to 3 free additional links and a back-link to your blog on the final giveaway post.
Host pages/Comment pages $10 each
The blog who refers the most bloggers will get free co-host spot. (If you paid for co-host and wins referral prize, your payment will be refunded)
Questions? Email me: admin@empoweredmommy.com

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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Gluten Free Peach, Nectarine and Blueberry Crumble

Peach-Blueberry Crumble- Gluten Free

So, I share with you, the recipe I adapted (originally blackberry and peach crumble) for peach and blueberry gluten free crumble.
Blackberry and nectarine cobbler
Old Ingredients:
1 lg Nectarine; cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 c Blackberries; picked over
1/2 c All-purpose flour
1/2 ts Baking powder
1/4 ts Salt
2 1/2 tb Cold unsalted butter; cut into bits
1/4 c Milk
2 tb Sliced almonds

(All fruit.com)

I doubled the recipe to feed 5 people:

5 peaches, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about half the size of your thumb(
1 cup of blueberries- stems removed
2c of gluten free  flour
 1ts baking powder
salt to taste
2 1/2 tb cold butter (( used earth balance)
1/2 c of milk, maybe a little more
No nuts due to allergies

First, check your fridge. What ingredients do you have? You can make crumble out of anything. Personally, I am not a fan of heated apples or bananas, but anything else is fair game. I wanted to use up peaches, nectarines and the last of the blueberries (goodbye summer. long sigh)
Next preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Nice and toasty :)  Grease up casserole dish with your choice ( I used Earth Balance)

Then, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Looks like yummy icing. Mix fruit with yummy mixture.  Looking good already!
The 3rd step involves, whisking together baking powder (not soda), salt and flour. In this case, I used Namaste all purpose flour. 

Almost done! Put the fruit mixture into the baking dish. Place the flour on top.  Ooh I forgot to mention I add cranberries on top for extra pizzazz. It worked well!
Next put the baking dish into the oven. Bake until golden brown. 

*Do not leave oven unattended. Please do not forgot about the yumminess. I did this with my second and it didn't turn out so well :)
 Another note, the recipe said to cook for 20 min, I baked for closer 35 min, because of the denseness? 
My Crumble :)
Okay, it doesn't look good, but it tasted good! Bad lighting lol.
And there you have it! Simple and delicious with coffee or tea. Do you prefer crumble, cobbler or pie? 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Blogger OPP: Non-GMO Awareness Giveaway Event with Natural Vitality!

Natural Vitality Giveaway

For members of the Green Moms Network and other bloggers:

Remember our last giveaway event with Natural Vitality? If not, you can refresh your memory here. Well, that event with such a huge hit that Natural Vitality is sponsoring another giveaway event in honor of Non-GMO Awareness Month!

Natural Vitality makes high-quality, award-winning dietary supplements to assist your in achieving optimum health. All of Natural Vitality’s products are Non-GMO Project Verified and the ingredients in their supplements are organically grown!

They are probably best know for Natural Calm, a magnesium supplement that helps your muscles and nerves function properly, keeps your heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and assists in keeping your bones strong.

But they also offer several other high-quality supplements:
Osteo Calm
Vitality B Complex
Vitality C Complex
Organic Life Vitamins
Plant-Sourced Minerals
Energy28
Natural Kids Calm Multi
During this event, we’re giving away $155 of Non-GMO Verified supplements from Natural Vitality, including:
Natural Calm (16oz)
Vitality B
Vitality C
Plant-Sourced Minerals Liquid
Plant-Sourced Minerals Capsules
The Non-GMO Cookbook: Recipes and Advice for a Non-GMO Lifestyle
This event is hosted by Happy Mothering and the Green Moms Network, and will run from October 1-21, 2013.

To participate, please fill out the appropriate form

Green Moms Network members, please complete this form. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aK7hiep6E7xcf8bnDhfQ7Kg71H2s-72k7ncCBrWWjDw/viewform?edit_requested=true#
All other bloggers, fill out this form. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pa4U2Nkb8yFrdPSAyAkrLvmtZwkg0CWVhv7ZFuEukMU/viewform?edit_requested=true#

Thank you~

Thank you to Happy Mothering and the Green Moms Network :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Yoga and Meditation Challenge- Week 1 +updates

I have to say this yoga + meditation week has been going pretty well! On Monday morning, I was able to practice some stretches. It felt really good! I like to meditate before I sleep. It relaxes me. I do this a few different ways. I either listen to my breathing and say OM OMM Shanti Shanti (Peace, Peace) while breathing deeply or I think of something that is relaxing like a waterfall. Wednesday, i was able to do more yoga. I did the Standing Sun Salutations and Cat-Cow pose to get ready for sleep. Followed by child's pose and more meditation. 
 What time of day do you practice yoga and meditation? In the morning, yoga can awaken your spirit. Sun salutations are a great way to start the day! Here is a link to a video to learn beginner sun salutations!
http://www.yogajournal.com/video/267

The right poses before bed can calm you down. They put you in a relaxing state and include cat-cow pose and child's pose. These are two of my favourites~ 

Yoga Journal


The key take out is that you have to practice what feels good for you.


Week 2:  Going well with both yoga and meditation.

Week 3 Update; my monthly cycle. Do a few poses. Apparently you are not supposed to do forward bends, but I am not 100 % sure. Meditation helps me relax and sleep.

Week4 update: A little off track this week. Must continue to do so, Will feel so much better!

Baby Bullet- Bloggers Wanted! (Hosted by Mami's 3 Little Monkeys)


Baby Bullet Giveaway! 
The complete set for making healthy homemade food for babies! 
Mami's 3 Little Monkeys & Baby Bullet have teamed up and will be giving away a 20 piece set. 

This prize pack will include: 
  • The Batch Bowl
  • Power Base
  • 6 Date Dial Cups & Storage Tray
  • 2 Short Cups & 2 Stay Fresh Lids
  • Easy Pop Batch Tray & Lid
  • Blend Blade (Stainless Steel)
  • Mill Blade (Stainless Steel)
  • 1 Spatula
  • User Manual
  • Pocket Nutrisionist
  • Cookbook
Total Value of $60

Bloggers will receive 2 free links (Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest) with announcement post or small fee. 
Additional links available for a small fee. 
You must promote this event at least 4 times throughout the 2 weeks.

This giveaway is open to US/CAN and will run from Sept. 16th - Sept. 30th.


END!

Thank you! :)

Multi-Testing Mommy: Summer @PlasmaCar Fun {#GIVEAWAY}

How would you like to win a Plasma Car? It is such a neat toy. Check out Multi-testing Mommy *Can Only* I am hoping to win! :)

Multi-Testing Mommy: Summer @PlasmaCar Fun {#GIVEAWAY}: On the last day of school, my kids arrived home to a super fun surprise on our front porch... I had allocated some time before they got ho...

Lexia- Character Interview



Character Interview with Lexia, Lincoln and Alice, From The Deadwood Hunter Series Book 1

Rachel shared her character interview with me! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Can you please tell us your name and the book you live in?
Hey! I’m Lexia or Lex for short and I’m a character in Rachel M Raithby’s book LEXIA, The Deadwood Hunter Series #1. The books named after me and I live in Deadwood, so Rachel is obviously an absolute genius {Smirks and Winks}
How did you convince your author to make a book about you?
Well I used to pester her all night whilst she was trying to sleep, and then she went on this really nice holiday, to the Gold Coast, Australia. I spent most of the two weeks there, knocking on her skull, telling her she could be writing whilst laid on the pool side. I think she started the book to shut me up {Laughs}
Can you tell us about a favourite childhood memory you have?
I remember this day when we had to move again and I really didn’t want to, I must have been 4 years old. Well anyway I remember crying in the back seat as we were driving, when my dad suddenly changes direction and announces we were going to the beach. We parked up and got out, dad grabbed the food he’d packed earlier and we started to walk across these rugged fields, I was so tired and dad had to carry me on his back after a while. I’m not sure how long we walked but eventually we came to this secluded beach, it was too cold to go in the water, but I spent the whole day on that beach, running about and dad built this amazing sand castle. I never did ask him where that was.
Can you tell us something that you found hard from your childhood?
Moving around a lot when I was young was hard, but it’s also great seeing all these different places. Probably the hardest part was growing up without a mum; there are only some many things you can tell your dad! Thank god I have Alice.
Alice is your best friend in LEXIA isn’t she? Can you tell us a little about her?
Yes Alice is my best friend and where do I start? Alice is one of those people that drive you absolutely insane and you love them for it. {Smiles} She has a special talent for always getting what she wants, but she is loyal and the best friend a girl could ask for.
Did you learn anything from the adventure in this book?
Yes, life likes to bite you in arse {Crosses arms and scowls}
What was the most exciting thing that happened to you in this book?
That’s a bit spoilery don’t you think? I don’t want to give the game away!

Aww come on give us a little something!
Don’t think you can pull an Alice on me and have me spilling my guts! I will tell you this, push me and you’ll be sorry! {Smiles smugly with an evil glint in her eye}
Okay, okay! Keep yea pants on. Is there anything in this book that you regret doing?
Plenty, but I can only say I regret wishing it would have been nice to have a mum.
What would you like your Author to think about when she’s writing book 2?
I’d like her to stop channelling her evil side, that she inherited from her dad and give me a break! I mean there is only so much a teenage girl can deal with!
Thanks for joining us Lex!
Thanks for having me here, it’s been nice talking to someone other than Rachel, she’s quiet boring sometimes you know! All dirty dishes and clothes, and boy can those kids scream!
Okay now we welcome Lincoln into the room, tell us Lincoln how did you manage to get your Author to write you into LEXIA?
Hey thanks for having me, and she didn’t take much convincing! Look at me {Hands sweep over body} Rachel swoons whenever she thinks of me; I’m surprised she got any writing done at all. {Grins}
Pretty confidant aren’t you?
Just a fact, I’m hot.
{Shake head and smile} Right back to the book, what have you learnt from life after being in this book?
That life is never as it seems, you think you have it all worked out, your path right in front of you, and then Boom! It all changes, and it never works out the way you thought it would.
Wow that’s deep.
Is it? I like it deep {Smiles seductively and winks}
Lincoln!
What? {Gives me that puppy dog smile}
Now I know what Lexia means about your smile.
{Leans back in chair with a smug look on his face}
Let’s keep on topic, in chapter 5 Lexia says “...and a stunning but scary ass guy is stalking me” What are your comments on that statement?
Well we’ve already been over the fact that I’m hot, and as for her saying I’m scary? Well okay, sometimes I may come across that way, but really I’m a nice guy {Smiles}
And the stalking comment?
I was trying to avoid that one, Lexia obviously exaggerated here; women do that a lot {Smug smile}
Hmm, we asked Lexia what her favourite child hood memory was, what’s yours?
Listening to my father telling me stories as a kid, and playing with my friend Caden.
And your hardest?
Moving away from a place that was my home.
Okay one last question before we welcome Alice, what would you say your best quality is?
Alice! You won’t get away from her she never shuts up! My best quality? Hmm that’s hard I have so many, probably that I’d do anything for the people I love and I mean anything. {Serious Glint in his eyes}
{Hmm I see what Lexia means by the scary} Well thanks for dropping by, send Alice in on your way out please.
Sure thing! Great to be here {Winks and leaves}
Hello Alice, we’ve got a few minutes left, so let’s get right to it, Lexia says you have a special talent for getting what you want, care to comment?
Hey! It’s so great to be here and sure yes, I get what I want most of the time, and with Lex I always get what I want, but then she shouldn’t be such a push over!
Lincoln said you never shut up, what would you say to that?
Did he now? Well he’ll be sorry when I get out of here! I don’t talk that much; I mean it’s not my fault that I have so many interesting things to say! Like did you know that Lexia’s dad Mike has been a bit crazy lately? And he had the nerve to tell Lex she couldn’t see guys! I mean, hello! She’s practically middle aged! {Gestures’ for me to come closer} Did you know Lex is nearly twenty! She swore me to secrecy, so don’t tell her I told you! You know I’d so kill my dad if he said I couldn’t see boys! Were teenagers how can we not see boys? CRAZY!
Anyway Alice! Next question, can you tell us how important your role is in this story?
{Rolls eyes} So important! Lex would be no where without me! Were like sisters!
Last question Alice, we asked Lex to tell us what the most exciting thing to happen to her in the book was but she wouldn’t say, can you tell us?
Well... I’m not sure, Lex did lecture me about not giving anything away but if it’s strictly between you and me, then what’s the harm?
Exactly Alice, I knew we could rely on you! Do tell.
Okay first mega secret did you know that Linc – {Lex crashes through the door, has her hand over Alice’s mouth with lightning speed} I KNEW YOU COULDN’T KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT ALICE!
{Alice is dragged out of interview room} Sorry interviews over! Thanks for having us and we hope you like our story!
Bye Lex, Alice.
Don’t forget me {Lincoln winks and walks away}

B-bye {Sat momentarily stunned, staring at Linc’s stunning arse}