Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Madness Giveaway 1: Mia Bossi Diaper Bag (Ends 3/5) U.S.

This is the beginning of a fantastic month-long listing of giveaways!  Come back each and day for unbelievable giveaways!

A friend of a blogger friend of mine was on the hunt for a unique and stylish diaper bag.
She came across this fabulous company called Mia Bossi. Anyone heard of them? I had not.She sent this cute email:
Hi! I wanted to share a company with you. I was on the search for baby diaper bags...different and cute and not your normal kate spade or coach diaper bag. I came across a company called Mia Bossi. I loved the style of the bags and how different they were. I fell in love with one model but was upset to see it did not come with a messenger strap like some of the others. I took it upon myself to write the owner Janet Mandell and ask her about other bags with the messenger strap that would be close to the one I liked. Janet was nice enough to "custom make" my bag by adding the strap that I wanted. I just thought the customer service was really top notch. She even gave me her phone number so that she could text me pictures once she added the strap...I don't know if this is something you want to share on your site. But the company is and the owner is Janet Mandell. Love ya...I posted some pics...please disregard my hugeness.... 2 more weeks.   dawn3 dawn4 dawn2  
Ok, how ADORABLE is Dawn? And how BEAUTIFUL is that bag? SWOON!
Mia Bossi is giving away the OH, SO FABULOUS! Maria Tangerine bag to one lucky Mommy Guru fan! This bag retails for $400!
A little about the Maria Tangerine:
  • Machine washable faux fur changing pad
  • Zip-in and zip-out inside lining (additional insert for computer or briefcase available)
  • Cell phone holder
  • Two exterior bottle holders
  • Two interior bottle holders
  • One private zippered pocket
  • Diaper holder
  • Baby wipe holder
  • Private zippered pocket for personal belongings
You can follow Mia Bossi and it's FABULOUS founder, Janet Mandell on:
Giveaway ends March 5th at 11:59pm EST open to US residents only, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
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"Reconnaissance (Colonization #2) Cover Reveal (ends 3/2) U.S./WW


Nova Williams has lost her one shot at Lieutenant hood and at love. Lieutenant Crophaven has promoted her rival, Andromeda, all because her lifemate, Sirius, sacrificed their mission to win back Andromeda’s love. 

While sneaking out to prove Andromeda is a fake, Nova finds an alien ship hovering over their colony. Lieutenant Crophaven assigns her to a reconnaissance mission, giving her a second chance to redeem herself. Sirius must fly her and a research team to the vessel to decide if they are a threat. Thrown together with the lifemate that betrayed her, she battles with her own jealousy while her team battles for their lives.

Can she forgive Sirius in order to save her team and warn her colony?

About the author:

Aubrie Dionne writes science fiction fantasy with romantic elements. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Inkspell Publishing, Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She’s also a professional flutist in New England.

Please visit her website:



Twitter: @authoraubrie


Prize 1: 1 Paperback after release
Prize 2: 5 eBooks after release
Prize 3: 1 Necklace (as shown) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am pretty sure that the ebooks will be worldwide, but the others will be U.S.

On (Kindle) Fire with Author T.I. Wade (Ends 4/1) WW

Author TI Wade is the popular science fiction author of the Invasion USA Series and his most recent series, America One. Known for his technological thrillers, this giveaway is a celebration of his books and his way of saying “Thanks” to all of his readers! Please take a moment to check out his books! INVASION USA click here. AMERICA ONE click here. He invites you to also learn more at Thanks, and good luck winning the Kindle Fire!

Author TI Wade is the popular science fiction author of the Invasion USA Series and his most recent series, America One. Known for his technological thrillers, this giveaway is a celebration of his books and his way of saying “Thanks” to all of his readers!
His first series, Invasion USA, is a breakneck thriller in which every electronic device made in China for the past thirty years all shut down at once! From traffic lights to airport communications, television to iPods, automobile systems to children’s toys, the whole of Western civilization is effectively dismantled. “A truly frightening scenario vividly brought to life!” You can learn more about INVASION USA or buy the books HERE!

TI Wade’s most recent series, America One, mixes space exploration with government intrigue: Ryan Richmond is a self-made billionaire who has always dreamed of going into space. After building his own space shuttle by employing the best minds in the industry, he is faced with the US government trying to seize his ship, America One! You can learn more about AMERICA ONE or buy the books HERE!

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The Grimm Chronicles Blog Tour (Ends 3/15) WW

Tour Schedule

The Grimm Chronicles

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally. Now the characters of the Grimms' stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.

For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

Additional features for this special edition:
- An introduction
- Two special "Lost Diaries"
- A behind-the-scenes interview
- A collection of original Grimms' Fairy Tales

The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.

Also Available Volume 2 of the Grimm Chronicles

Book 4: The Orphanage of Doom
Book 5: Blood and Thunder
Book 6: The Order of the Golden Dragon


“5 stars!” ~ Bookies Book Blog

"Highly recommended for all who love fairy tales and the YA genre." ~ My Cozie Corner

"All in all the books were excellent." ~ LilyElement

"If you love fairy tales and them being turned into modern day stories you will love these short stories." ~ Mom With a Kindle

5 stars (out of 5) ~ I Am, Indeed

“Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland. “ ~ Bookfetish

“I absolutely loved this book! No, let me rephrase that, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! Nope, that doesn't even do it justice. Vol. 1 has the first three stories from the 12 that will ultimately make up the chronicles.” ~ Jesse Kimmel-Freeman


I’d made a habit of cutting through the alleys to get home quicker. Really not a big deal in my neighborhood—the most recent crime had happened two weeks ago: some teenagers had toilet-papered a house. They got caught and were promptly grounded for two weeks … it was big gossip.
Briar the giant rabbit was with me, gleefully recounting old stories about past heroes. He seems to enjoy doing that. Usually I listened pretty intently, but tonight I couldn’t stop breathing in the perfect air. Somewhere, a handful of birds were finishing up a conversation before bedtime. The end of a beautiful Wisconsin summer day.
So I wasn’t exactly expecting a giant frog monster to be lying in wait behind the Williamsons’ garage.
“Rabbit!” I shouted, pushing him aside the moment I saw the shadow spring out from behind one of the tall green garbage cans next to the garage door. Briar went flying to safety … and I ended up right in the monster’s path.
I didn’t even get a good look at him before a pair of strong, slimy arms wrapped around my body, pushing me across the alley and toward the Carlyle family garage. I could feel his hot breath on my neck. I could hear saliva vibrating in the back of his throat and it was all I could do to keep from screaming in horror.
My leg planted itself firmly on the concrete. I dropped my weight and spun us around, letting the momentum carry us forward. Only now the slimy creature was leading the way; he slammed into the garage and his grip loosened enough for me to pull away.
Slip away, actually. Because he was really slimy.
I jumped a few steps back so I could get a good look at him. The sun had almost completely set; the light on the Carlyle’s garage blinked on like some serendipitous spotlight.
“You’re disgusting!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t help it … he really was disgusting. He looked like a giant human-shaped frog. His arms and legs were thin and green. His head was big and round and he had enormous bowl-sized white eyeballs. His mouth opened, letting thick white drool ooze out.
“Alice!” he said. Or maybe it was just a slurping sound and my mind was playing tricks on me.
He smelled like a sewer. Like rotting grass mixed with old banana peels and dog dung. I smelled that way, too. My second-favorite sleeveless linen Pintuck top was soaked through with whatever stinky slime  had been coating his arms.
“Stay back!” I warned, but the creature stumbled forward, reaching out for me. I dodged out of the way and backed up, trying to put some distance between us. But before I could, the frog-creature turned and hopped.
Right on top of me.
We fell onto the hard concrete. His slimy webbed fingers held me to the ground. His giant mouth opened and more drool oozed out. Deep inside that giant mouth were teeth: little, sharp teeth.
“No!” I cried out. I kicked wildly and connected with one of his legs; he groaned in pain, losing his balance. I pushed with all my might and rolled him away from me. The sharp tips of his webbed fingers cut my skin as he tried in vain to grab me again.
But now I was up. My elbow hurt from when it had landed on the concrete and my arm was bleeding from the stupid creature’s claws, but I was still up.
“The magic pen!” Briar called out.
I turned, searching for his familiar rabbit-shaped form in the darkness. Only a few of the garages had floodlights so most of the alley was full of creeping shadows. My vision blurred. The entire alley seemed to be spinning. Get a hold of yourself, Alice! Use the pen!
I pulled it from the pocket of my jeans and ran to the other side of the alley. I drew a saber on the garage door and pulled it away. I spun, watching the frog-creature stumble to his feet, groaning a stomach-churning guttural groan.
My sweaty hand tightly gripped the handle of the sword. The weight felt good. The blade looked sharp. About 88 centimeters long, give or take. Unlike the foil, which was a fencing sword designed for stabbing, the saber’s entire blade was sharp. I could slice this nasty frog-guy in half if I really wanted.
“Alice! Look out!”
I glanced up and jumped out of the way right before the frog-creature could grab me. He kept going, slamming into the garage door with a thud and falling over. I stepped up and stabbed my saber at his head. He ducked out of the way and the saber’s tip connected with the concrete.
The blade bent, then snapped in half.
“Oh cripes!” Briar cried out from the shadows.
“Settle down, rabbit!” I shouted. OK. I still had half a sword. The end was sharp enough. Don’t panic, Alice. Death by frog is not happening under any circumstances.
The frog creature was standing again. His mouth opened and closed, opened and closed. Even in the darkness, I could see his sharp white teeth. Each webbed finger twiddled, ready to bury itself in my soft slightly tanned flesh.
“Come on, then,” I told him.
He obliged, taking two steps toward me and then he was airborne, a good ten feet in the air. I clutched the hilt of my saber and drew in a long, deep breath. As he descended, I could see the terrible claws of his webbed fingers, all of them pointed directly at me. I ducked low, stepped left, and then stabbed the broken blade upward.
Poof! The frog-creature burst apart into a thousand little papery shreds that burned away as they floated to the ground.
“Wonderful!” Briar exclaimed, stepping out from behind the Williamsons’ garbage can. He clapped his little paws together.
“Yeah, right,” I murmured. “You know, this whole hero business would be a lot easier if I had some super powers. That really hurt when he landed on me!”
Briar shrugged. “Yes, well, we do what we can with what we have.”
“And where were you, might I ask?” I stabbed a finger at his soft belly. He always wore the same outfit: slacks and a vest.
“I was monitoring your progress,” he said, “from behind the garbage can. I did at one point offer some advice, too.”


Top ten fairy tales (by Ken Brosky):

1. The Juniper-Tree
Definitely one of the prettiest stories.

2. The Musicians of Bremen
Funny. Downright hilarious. Only a couple pages long.

3. The Golden Bird
I don't remember why I liked this one.

4. Hans in Luck
Ah, Hans. He has many adventures. Unless there's more than one "Hans."

5. Snow-White
The original is good. A little more violent than you may expect, though ...

6. The Glass Coffin
This is definitely one of the creepiest stories. It inspired Stephen King, too.

7. Twelve Dancing Princesses
The moment I read this, I had an idea for a book in the Grimm Chronicles series. It's definitely going to be scary.

8. The Fisherman and His Wife
The original "too many wishes" story. An inspiration for writers for centuries.

9. The Valiant Little Tailor
This is one of those fairy tales that's just delightful. And most people have never read it.

10. The Miser in the Bush
I like this one because the hero of the story goes on a journey and gets a bunch of neat magical items!

About the Authors
Ken Brosky received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also teaches English at Madison College. This is his first Young Adult series.

Isabella Fontaine owns a farm in Wisconsin and enjoys reading weird books like House of Leaves. This is her first Young Adult series.

Tour Giveaway
5 Kindle ebook copies of The Grimm Chronicles Volume 1
Ends 3/15/13

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Boba Carrier Double Giveaway (Ends 3/16) U.S.

Sponsored by: Boba Family
Visit My Four Littles for the Boba Organic Carrier Review.
Cohosted by:
One winner will receive a baby carrier from Boba Carriers.  I have a couple friends who would absolutely love this, and maybe you or someone you know would also!
US Only. All entries will be verified before winner is notified.
Giveaway ends March 16th at 12:00am.
Disclosure: My Devotional Thoughts is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. To see your brand or business featured on Four Littles Media please email

Spring Fever Giveaway Hop (ends 3/15) U.S.


Welcome to the Spring Fever Event hosted by Andersons Angels and Joy of Momma Joyner. This Event features a little bit of everything to help you need to help welcome Spring! Each blog has gathered up a unique Prize Package of $25 or more so be sure to visit each blog from the linky below and enter for your chance to win some really amazing prizes! This event will end on March 15th at 11:59pm EST.

My prize is Surprise Box worth at least $25.  Not saying what it is, but you will enjoy it!  So enter below on the rafflecopter, and hop on!

Note:  I am waiting to hear from a possible sponsor, so I can add that at a later time, but no matter what, you are guaranteed the surprise box.

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Andersons Angels, and the Spring Fever bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that fail to fulfill their prizes.

Kindle Fire Giveaway (Ends 4/1) U.S.

Welcome to the Four Littles Media Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Cohosted by: 
Prize: Kindle Fire from

I can't even tell you how much I would love to have a Kindle Fire.  They are still a very hot item, and I think they will be for many years to come.  I have a kindle, but to have a kindle fire would be the ultimate!  And you get the chance to win one.
This giveaway is open to those ages 18 and up in the United States. The giveaway will end 12am EST on April 1, 2013. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email announcement. All entries will be verified. The only entry required is the first one, completing extra entries only increase your chances of winning. This giveaway is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Please email with any questions or concerns.

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... Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. My Devotional Thoughts is not responsible for prize fulfillment. My opinions are my own and may differ from yours.

Guitars for All Needs

Do you have a little rock star in training and/or a former rock-band "wannabee" in your home?  It is very possible that guitars are something in your home that have become necessities.  If that is the case, be sure to consider esp guitars.  You can find every kind of guitar imaginable for everyone on your list.  They are always running all sorts of specials, so you can also save money.  And who doesn't like a good deal?

Cheap Used Instruments For All Your Musical Needs

It is quite possible that you have a budding musician living in your house.  When kids are in elementary and middle school, there is a lot of pressure and hype for them to join the school band.  If their friends are joining, they may submit to the positive peer pressure and join.  This can be a really good thing, and you never know that your child may have a great musical talent that will carry them through their life.  He/She may even become a professional musician.

While it seems wonderful for your son or daughter to join the band, you may really struggle to find a reasonably-priced instrument.  Consider cheap used instruments as a less expensive option.  Your child can have a quality instrument, but it won't cost you an arm or a leg.  You would be amazed at the selection of instruments and the unbelievable price.

Wikipedia: Great Source of Information, But Use With Caution

All too often, Wikipedia gets a truly bad reputation.  People all over tend to put it down, and there was even a time that I used to believe all the negative press about it.  In the education field where I work, I find that students have been indoctrinated to avoid Wikipedia like the plague.  After all, you might find misinformation, idiosyncrasies, and maybe even inappropriate items.  Interesting, isn't it?  I think that is a great description of problems you might find on the general worldwide web as a whole, not just Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a great source of information for everything from various companies, such as  Netspend , entertainment news, and even history.  Very often, when you do a search for information about something, Wikipedia shows up in the first few search results.  It is like a one-stop shop for information about various topics.  It is nice when you can see annotations and links to other sites to verify the information you are reading, and more often than not, what you read on Wikipedia can be verified as correct.

I fully understand the issues people have with Wikipedia.  Anyone can come along and give misinformation about the topic, person, or whatever it is you are researching.  This means that when it comes to controversial topics or people, there may be negative items and unconfirmed things written on that particular page.  While it is true that it might be easier to get wrong information into cyberspace through Wikipedia, it is possible to find incorrect information on other websites or even in books.  Misinformation has been around for as long as humanity has been here, but it is the internet that has caused misinformation to inundate our society in a much quicker way.

In my opinion, Wikipedia is not the problem.  If I read something on Wikipedia, I want to verify it on at least 1-2 more websites, books, or articles.  But that is not just this site--that is true about any website.  I have found glaring errors all over the web, and for me, Wikipedia is not the top site for errors.  I always tell students that if they use Wikipedia, they should be cautious.  However, I would tell students to be cautious when using any website.  If there are references listed below the Wikipedia article, check them out.  Verify everything about which you are writing, and if it is a controversial issue, read both sides.  I used to get into all sorts of potential arguments with students who had read "such and such" on the internet, but they couldn't even tell me which site it was, and they never verified it.

For me, Wikipedia is not bad.  It is a source for a lot of information, and all information needs to be verified.  One website is generally not enough to firmly believe or state something.  Always check out your information no matter where you get it.

Disclosure: "This sponsored post was made possible by SheHeard. I have been compensated for my time and work on this campaign, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own."

Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Lotion Review

As I get older, my skin gets older.  Thankfully, I have been taking good care of my skin for most of my life, but I still tend to struggle with minor wrinkles and often dry skin and acne.  I am always on the lookout for products that can help me repair my skin and make it better.  It is even better when products can truly protect my skin from potential damage due to advancing age.

I am very happy to tell you about Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Lotion.  I have been using this product off and on for several weeks now.  I wanted to truly take the time to give this a thorough review, and so I truly spent some time finding out the best way I could use this on my skin.

When I first began using this, I really struggled with it burning my skin.  No damage was caused, but it just seemed too intense for my skin.  But on the flip side, it truly gave my skin a wonderfully soft and supple feeling.  I didn't want to give up.  So I began to experiment.

What I discovered was this.  First of all, it was very important that I followed up any use of this product with a moisturizing cream.  It says this on the back, and I highly recommend doing this.  It will not interfere with the workings of the alpha hyrox.  Secondly, I discovered that only using this every other day seemed to have better results with my skin.  The tingling still occurs off and on, but it much more tolerable.  I don't have overly sensitive skin, but sometimes I do struggle with skin dryness when using lotions and creams like this.  Alpha Hydrox is not something I have ever used with any degree of consistency, and I think my skin is slowly getting used to it.

I am honestly quite impressed with this lotion.  According to their website, it has the highest percentage of Alpha Hydrox available without a prescription.  It is also quite affordable ($11.99) which means I plan to buy this in the future.  It also lasts a long time, so this is a great investment.  My skin today feels softer, smoother, and I feel like it is able to breathe.  The dead skin cells are gone, and I feel like my clean, clear skin is shining through.

I invite you to follow this wonderful company on facebook, youtube and twitter for the latest news, contests, and more.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

"The Joy of Hate" by Greg Gutfeld Book Review

The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony OutrageThe Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage by Greg Gutfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, what can I say? This book is written by Greg Guntfeld, the co-host of "The Five" and "Red Eye" on Fox News. I became a big fan of his over the past year. I love the fact that he is funny, sarcastic, and completely irreverent. And his book is full of straight talk just like his reporting style. This is Greg Gutfeld uncensored, so be warned that there is a lot of profanity and issues that are covered that are completely inappropriate but necessary. If you have thin skin, this is not for you. He makes fun of everything and all sides of the issue. He is also a libertarian, but amazingly, he is basically conservative. I agree with him on almost everything. Honestly.

The most thought-provoking chapter concerned the government's all-out war on weight loss and eating healthily. I'm not trying to spoil anything for anyone, but let me just say that his contrasting weight loss and bedroom behavior made me stop and think about this issue in a completely different light. I never found myself getting angry at him during the book. What you see with Greg is what you get. You could often tell when he was being serious and when he was not. He speaks a lot of truth encased in humor and sarcasm. and you will not leave the book wondering what he thinks about certain issues. If you are ready to be challenged and possibly even offended, this is a definitely the book for you.

I own this book, and no one paid me anything to write this review. The author has no idea I own the book, and he doesn't even know who I am. So he did not influence my review in any way.

View all my reviews

About the Author (from his website)

Greg Gutfeld has been called “outrageous and outspoken,” neither of which he denies. A libertarian political satirist, humorist, magazine editor and blogger, he is perhaps best known as the host of the Fox News Channel program “Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld.” Airing at 3 a.m. ET Tuesday through Saturday, the show covers a variety of topics, including news, entertainment, sports, and gossip. Gutfeld is also a host of FNC’s “The Five,” a weekday program at 5 p.m. ET.

The Weekly Standard calls him “the most dangerous man on television.” According to the magazine, unlike other media darlings, “Gutfeld’s stuff actually is subversive, a stink bomb hurled into every faculty lounge, mainstream newsroom, movie studio, and nonprofit boardroom in America.”

Prior to joining Fox, Gutfeld was a staff writer at Prevention and editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine. He later became editor-in-chief of Stuff, where he increased circulation from 750,000 to 1.2 million and created controversy month after month. He helmed Maxim magazine in the U.K., and was a contributor to the Huffington Post, where he became legendary for his “inspired, lunatic ridicule of his leftwing fellow Huffers.” He’s been published in countless magazines, has appeared in too many profiles to mention, and was only fingerprinted once.

He currently blogs on his own site, The Daily Gut, as well as Big, where he writes about the news and pop culture of the day, from a conservative libertarian humorous slant. He’s appeared on dozens of TV shows, as a regular on “The O’Reilly Factor,” while also stopping by on Dennis Miller’s radio show and spots on “Opie and Anthony.”

He is the author of four books, among them, “The Bible of Unspeakable Truths,” which garnered praise and pithy quotes from the likes of Dennis Miller, Mike Huckabee, Ann Coulter and Andrew Breitbart, founder of and, who said: “Trust me, you don’t want him setting his sights on your hypocrisy and public failings.” Consider yourself warned."

Follow him:

This Day in History February 28, 1638

Scotland location map

I was quite intrigued by this tidbit in church history.  In 1637, relations were not good between the churches in England and Scotland.  King Charles I and Archbishop Laud tried to bring them together.  As you can expect, the Scottish people weren't too happy with some of the things that were tried since the bishops of England were mandating certain things through books of common prayer and the like.  So the Scottish decided to get together and created a covenant.  This National Covenant was signed on this date in 1638, in the Church of Edinburgh in Scotland.  Leading individuals signed it, and on the next day, even more people signed it.  When the Kind of England would not listen, civil war broke out.  A few years later, Parliament did come up with a similar document that guaranteed a lot of the same rights that the Scots had claimed in this National Covenant.

For more information:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back" by Sariah Wilson Top Ten List Blog Tour (Ends 3/10) WW

Tour Schedule

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson 

Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.



“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”
~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy

“Sariah Wilson's new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”
~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair

“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I've read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn't put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle's battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you'd think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”
~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing

“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors - Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn't go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I'll be re-reading this one all the time!  She's extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that's a real modern-day fairy tale.”
~Hilary at Novel d’Tales

“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn't have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn't want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It's a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”
~Andrea of Literary Time Out

The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”
~Ana of The Book Hookup

Author Sariah Wilson

Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

top 10 fairy tale characters (by the author)

(I picked European/Grimm Brothers type tales, because I’m not as familiar with fairy tales from all over the world.)

10. Wicked stepmothers.  They’re the driving force behind most of the great stories, and you can’t have a great hero/ine without a fantastic villain.
9. Hansel & Gretel.  You had to admire a pair of kids smart enough to turn their situation around and trick the witch and saving themselves.
8. Little Red Riding Hood.  I like her determination, and although she may not have been the brightest bulb in the box, I’ve always liked her devotion and good nature.
7. Jack (and the beanstalk).  Here’s a guy who figured out how to turn his life around! I mean, yes, it involved stealing, but he got rid of a bad giant and took care of his mom.
6. Rapunzel.  Poor princess who got caught in an awful situation.  I tend to think of the Disney “Tangled” version (which will be true for the upcoming princesses as well), and love her spunk and curiosity.
5. Sleeping Beauty.  I don’t know if she’s a role model so much, but she’s one of my daughter’s favorites, so she had to be included.
4. Snow White.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Snow White.  Someone who could take a horrible situation and make it better for herself and those around her.  We have the same coloring (one of the few non-blondes!), so she’s always been my favorite princess.
3. Ariel.  I think in the original version the prince marries someone else and the little mermaid dies.  But even then, it’s a story of a girl going after what she wants, of sacrificing everything for her great love.
2.  Belle.  Another good, kindhearted heroine who sacrifices for her father, and falls in love with someone because of the inner beauty only she can see.  Women still love those stories where a heroine sees beyond a gruff exterior to the fantastic guy underneath.
1. Cinderella.  Her love story is epic, and the basis of every great romance we have today.  Where a handsome, charming and wonderful man sees through the façade and falls in love with a unique, lovely, and amazing woman that the rest of the world has overlooked.  (Just like in “Pride & Prejudice!”) 

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/10/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Goddess Fish: "Woman of Substance" by Annette Bower (Ends 3/1) WW


"You will never understand what it means to be fat.” With those words, grad student Robbie Smith begins the Fat-Like-Me project. In order to support her thesis, she puts on a fat suit to measure people’s reactions to the new her.

Accused of embezzling funds, Professor Jake Proctor returns home to spend quality time with the only father he has ever known. There, he meets an intriguing overweight woman who reminds him of his late grandmother. She’s witty, charming, and cares deeply for those around her, including his dying grandfather.

When Robbie meets Jake while she’s in disguise, she deceives him for all the right reasons. But how long can she maintain the deception before Jake discovers that she is not who he believes her to be?


Robbie Smith the main character meets Frank Proctor, Professor Proctor’s grandfather.

“Name’s Frank Proctor. Frank by name and frank by nature.”

She clasped his outstretched hand. “Robin Smyth.” It wasn’t an untruth. Robin Mary Smith was on her birth certificate, even though most people called her Robbie, but the slight surname change was part of her strategy. The tip sheets for maintaining a secret identity suggested the deception should be close to the truth. The truth was she didn’t have to alter her stride to match her steps to his as they shuffled back to his bench. The bulk of her thighs helped considerably.

“I haven’t seen you around the park before.” He bent at the waist and lowered himself to the bench.

“I’ve been here.” She’d waved to him many times when she’d run past him without her disguise. She just hadn’t introduced herself before today. When she sat down beside him, the extra inches on her behind almost bounced her back to her feet.

“Relax. Enjoy the sun.” He pulled a bag of cold toast from his pocket and passed her a piece.

As the geese began to paddle to the shore, she said, “The geese trust you.”

He teased the bread into crumbs with bony fingers. “These here birds know me. I like to be outside. I live over there.” He turned toward a seniors’ care home, where she’d often seen men and women sitting on benches and in wheelchairs around the front door.

“How’s that working out for you?” she asked. The man’s legs looked like pencils covered in black socks extending from under his pant legs and into his Velcro-fastened running shoes.””

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First of all, this book is to be appreciated since there is no profanity nor sex scenes.  That alone makes me want to recommend this book fairly highly.  When I take into the account the clever story line, I hold this book in even higher esteem.  This is a book that is targeted at adults aged 25-40, but it would be suitable for young adults as well if the topic interests them.

I myself have been obese for several years in my life, and my mother has been most of her life.  We discussed the fact that our weight never seemed to cause anyone to look down upon us nor not accept us.  We both figured that we were shielded from some of the issues raised in this book due to our personal situations and the circles we frequented.  I would love to read a book where an obese person enters the skinny world and finds prejudice and jealousy.  That is my experience, but that is another story.

As clever as I found the story, I felt like I wanted more.  I felt like I didn't know any of the characters very well.  Robbie shared the most, and Jake did to an extent as well.  But the supporting cast left a lot of unanswered questions.  I felt that I couldn't truly connect with the characters since I felt that their background was not too detailed.  I also found myself getting bored towards the end.  I would have like to have seen the story wrap up sooner or for there to be more unrest.  But in short, the book is an enjoyable one that will make you think of one other top issues in our country in a new way.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Annette Bower writes about women in family and women in love and women’s quest for love. Her short stories are published in magazines and anthologies in Canada, United States and in the United Kingdom.

Her first sweet contemporary romance Moving On, A Prairie Romance is e-published by XoXo Publishing™. Her second novel which is a blend of sweet romance and women’s fiction, Woman of Substance is e-published by Soul Mate Publishing.

Annette Bower lives and writes stories from a high rise where she can see the immediate hustle and bustle of downtown Regina and experience the changes in the grain fields throughout the Saskatchewan seasons.

Twitter: @bowerannette

Author of Moving On A Prairie Romance with Amazon

Christmas Wishes with XoXo Publishers with Amazon

Woman of Substance with Soul Mate Publishers (will send links after available)

Books available at:

XoXo Publisher:

XoXo Publisher:




Annette will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.  Follow the entire tour for more chances to win!

"Endless" by Tawdra Kandle Book Blast (Ends 3/17 ) U.S.


After the tumult of her high school senior year, all is right in Tasmyn Vaughan’s world. She’s attending college with her boyfriend, and she’s learning to control her powers. Everything is finally perfect, until it isn’t. When her new part-time job leads to more than she bargained for, Tasmyn is thrown into a deadly fight against forces of evil that she didn’t even know existed. Mastering her extraordinary gifts—along with the strength of an endless love—may be the only weapon that can guarantee her a happily ever after. Check out the entire King Series: Book 1: Fearless Book 2: Breathless Book 3: Restless Book 4: Endless

It is always a thrill to help out authors like this, so please take a look and see if this is something you might be interested in.  And enter the giveaway while your at it!

About Author Tawdra KandleTawdra Kandle

Tawdra Kandle is the author of THE KING SERIES, a young adult urban fantasy quartet. Born in South Jersey, Tawdra published her first short story at the age of 13 in Child's Life magazine. During the early years of her marriage and motherhood, she wrote articles and columns on parenting and homeschooling, as well as some homeschooling curriculum. THE KING SERIES is her first published full-length fiction. Tawdra currently lives in central Florida with her husband, and children, both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair. Follow Tawdra Kandle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Tawdra Kandle is giving away an awesome swag pack. Fill out the form below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy Hair Care Giveaway (Ends 3/13) U.S.

Hair Care is an important part of any beauty regimen. Keeping your hair looking and feeling great can be a challenge. With so many products on the market how is a girl to know which ones to use and which to avoid? The Pretty Kitty Blog had the chance to review a trio of products from Enjoy Hair Care that I think you will want to learn more about. Winter can be a disaster to your hair. This line will help restore moisture and improve the overall quality of your hair.

Enjoy Hair Care products are practical hair care products designed for professional use with Hairdresser Power! The line of shampoos, conditioners, treatments and styling aids that Enjoy Hair Care has to offer is impressive to say the least. If you are not familiar with the Enjoy brand, head over to their site and search for a salon near you. This is an experience your hair will thank you for! Connect with Enjoy to learn more. Professional Hair Care- website Facebook The Sublime Media Connection, Sweet Silly Sara and the Pretty Kitty blog want to give one lucky reader the chance to win an Enjoy Moisture Plus Trio! This giveaway begins on 2/28 and ends on 3/13.

This sounds like another great product to try, and beauty products are certainly something that most of can always use.  So be sure to enter!

 “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.” The participating bloggers are not responsible for the shipment of this prize. That is the responsibility of the sponsor.

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This Day in History February 27, 1854

Robert Schumann was one of the more troubled composers in music history, and on this date in 1854, he tried to commit suicide.  He had recently made friends with young composer Johannes Brahms, and he had struggled with mental issues before where he heard voices and even considered harming his very talented wife.  He threw himself from a bridge into the Rhine River, and was picked up by a boatman.  He was then sent to an insane asylum.  He died about two years later.

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