Monday, December 31, 2012

Honey the Hero Book Tour #IOBookTours

Honey the Hero 2
Honey the Hero by Emlyn Chand

Honey, an inquisitive young parakeet living in the Australian Outback, decides to become a superhero after she spies a human family watching Superman. Since she already has the power of flight, all she needs to do is create a costume to conceal her true identity and then fly off in search of animals that need rescuing.

Unfortunately, every time she tries to help, Honey only ends up making matters worse. She spoils Kangaroo’s game of hide-and-go-seek by revealing his hiding place to Wallaby; Mr. Anteater must go hungry when she alerts the ants to his presence, and Mrs. Koala is made a laughingstock among bears when Honey pretends to be her Joey. Finally realizing that she’s not as heroic as she’d like, Honey gives up her day-saving efforts.

But what happens when someone actually needs Honey’s help? Will she rise to the challenge?

About the Author Emlyn Chand:
Emlyn Chand
Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!


Purchase the book: - Paperback / Kindle
Barnes And Noble - Nook / Paperback
Smashwords - Multiple Digital Formats

Win one of three ebooks!

Monday Motif: The Vampire's Hope #FMBTours

The Vampire's Hope 1

The Vampire's Hope 2
Title: The Vampire's Hope
Author: Danica Winters
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Description: Ellie Smith, an emotionally stunted dancer, finds more than she bargains for after her human life is taken by the vampire, Master Liam. Once inside the Vampire’s underground lair, the Keres Den, she meets Ian, an immortal Viking warrior, who is infiltrating the soulless prison. (New Paragraph) As Ellie begins her training, she learns that the dark tunnels around her are filled with even darker secrets. As the truth of her existence come to light, she is faced with a choice—does she let her past dictate her future, or can she begin to feel again?

Review: This is one heck of a fast read. I read it in a matter of hours. The story jumps right into the action and doesn't stop the momentum until the story is done. Ellie is human at the beginning of the story. She's had a very tough life and finds that there is nothing worth hoping for or even an emotion worth feeling. She is completely numb to everything around her. The only thing that drives her is the need to find a job so she can eat. This need takes her to a bar where she blindly walks into her new life. Lucky for her, she really didn't feel anything as she was killed and turned into a vampire. In reality the new life suits her just fine since she kind of felt like she wasn't alive to begin with. However, as a vampire her emotions actually spark to life (instead of the other way around like most vampires). She finds herself inexplicably drawn to a man named Ian. He is her sole reason for disobeying orders, well him and her still driving need for food. He will show her what it means to feel and also to hope. Hope is the key to everything in her new life. What will happen when she learns to hope and to love? Why was she turned into a vampire? Why does Ian bring out the emotions she never felt she had? You'll have to read to see. Trust me when I say, it won't take long for you to get those answers because you will be done with the book before you know it.

Buy the Book:
Amazon - The Vampire's Hope
Barnes And Noble -
All Romance -
Kobo -

15 Ebook copies of The Vampire's Hope by Danica Winters Ends Feb. 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Stops:
Nov. 4th- Kharisma Rhayne (Interview/Giveaway)
Nov. 5th- Arianne Cruz (Review)
Nov. 10th- Book Review Club (Review/Giveaway)
Nov. 14th- My Escape (Review/Giveaway)
Nov. 17th- Blood, Lust and Erotica (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Nov. 20th- I am, Indeed (Interview)
Nov. 23rd- Bookluvrs Haven (Review/Giveaway)
Nov. 27th- Full Moon Bites (Interview/Giveaway)
Nov. 30th- The Avid Reader (Review/Giveaway)
Dec. 1st- A Bit of Dash (Review/Giveaway)
Dec. 4th- Kristy Centeno (Spotlight)
Dec. 5th- Lizzy's Dark Fiction (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Dec. 6th- Musings of a Writing Reader (Review/Giveaway)
Dec. 10th- Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict (Interview)
Dec. 11th- Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict (Review)
Dec. 12th- Books Amour (Spotlight/Giveaway)
Dec. 18th- Harlie's Books (Review/Giveaway)
Dec. 24th- Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews (Interview/Giveaway)
Dec. 25th- Fighting Monkey Press (Review)
Dec. 28th- My Seryniti (Interview/Giveaway)
Dec. 31st- Identity Discovery (Review/Giveaway)
Jan. 3rd- Cherie Reads (Review/Giveaway)
Jan. 4th- A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books (Review/Giveaway)
Jan. 6th- Simply Infatuated (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Jan. 10th- My Cozie Corner (Review/Giveaway)
Jan. 11th- My Seryniti (Review)
Jan. 15th- 1889 Labs (Guest Post)
Jan. 16th- A Book Lover's Library (Review/Guest Post)
Jan. 17th- Reader Girls (Review)
Jan. 20th- Book Lovin Mamas (Review/Giveaway)
Jan 22nd- I am, Indeed (Review/Giveaway)
Jan 30th- Reading with Holly (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Monday Motif: Interview with Fate's Design author Lola James #FMBTours

Fate's Design 1

Welcome to the Fate's Design tour with Full Moon Bites. I read this book a while ago for another tour group and wrote a review HERE. My review included an interview that is very much about the story itself, so when this tour came up, I decided to ask Lola James some questions that surround her future works (in case you are confused by my interview below). I hope you enjoy it and are intrigued enough to check out all of Lola's works (Unbound, Bound to Remember, Once Upon a Midnight Dreary [collection of short stories by several authors I love], A VILLAIN'S FATE, A Fate Series Short).

Interview with Fate's Design author Lola James:
  1. Where do you see your Fate series going?

    Well without giving much away, some of Megan’s dreams come true and she begins to question those around her.

  2. You recently held a giveaway for a lucky reader to name a character in your next book. What was your motivation behind this giveaway?

    Well I wanted to get my readers involved and have a fun contest while doing it. That contest was for another series, Spellbound.
  3. Has the winner decided which God/Goddess will be featured in your next story?

    She is going to me a new character and she is going to have ties to my favorite character in that book, Dawn. I can’t say more without giving the story away.

  4. Will the chosen God/Goddess actually be based off of the myths or are you basing the character off of the ideas of the winner?

    It’s going to be based of something else. But the next book you will see almost all of the gods and goddess show up at some point.

  5. What other books do you envision in the future? Will you run similar giveaways for those?

    I will have another contest like that for the third book of the Fate series.

Fate's Design Picture
Title: Fate's Design
Series: Fate Series - Book One
Author: Lola James
Desription: A summer vacation in Italy with her twin sister, Morgan, is just what Megan Romano needs. But instead of fun, wine, and relaxation, she finds unexpected romance. Alexandros DiPiero, a sexy and mysterious Italian businessman, falls for Megan the minute he lays eyes on her, but Megan knows it’s too good to be true.

Increasingly haunting dreams that warn of danger and destiny plague Megan’s every sleeping moment. As her nightmares become deadly and her love life heats up, Megan will come face to face with her worst fear.

Buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords

Enter for a SIGNED paperback copy of Fate's Design (Fate Series #1) by Lola James Ends Jan. 9th

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Savory Sunday: Double Peanut Butter Cookies

Savory Sunday

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter is a staple in my family. My son LOVES it and so do (when it doesn't bug my acid reflux). I decided to try this recipe for my Christmas cookies this year. It's different from your normal peanut butter cookies because it is put together like a sandwich cookie with more peanut butter in the middle. I tell you what, if you love peanut butter, you will die for these cookies!

1 1/2 cup Sifted All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 tbsp Milk
Peanut Butter as wanted
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Sift together all dry ingredients.
3. Cut in shortening and peanut butter till mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Blend in syrup and milk.
5. Shape into 2-inch roll and wrap in wax paper; chill at least an hour.
6. Slice 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
7. Place half the slices on ungreased cookie sheet; spread each with 1/2 tsp peanut butter (this is the additional ingredient).
8. Cover with remaining slices; seal edges with fork.
9. Bake for about 12 minutes.
10. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from cookie sheet.
**Makes about 2 dozen**

Two Images depicting Step 5
Double Peanut Butter Cookies 1
Double Peanut Butter Cookies 2
Two Images depicting Step 7
Double Peanut Butter Cookies 3
Double Peanut Butter Cookies 4
Image depicting Step 8
Double Peanut Butter Cookies 5

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday (Non)Fiction: The Darkening Dream First Chapter #IOBookTours

The Darkening Dream 1

The Darkening Dream 2

The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

The Darkening Dream is the chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts - Sarah Engelmann's life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.

With the help of Alex, a Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex's elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah's own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah's continuing visions reveal?

No less than Gabriel's Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be herself.

First Chapter:
One: Agitation

Salem, Massachusetts, Saturday afternoon, October 18, 1913

AS SERVICES DREW TO AN END, Sarah peered around the curtain separating the men from the women. Mama shot her a look, but she had to be sure she could reach the door without Papa seeing her. After what he’d done, she just couldn’t face him right now. There he was, head bobbing in the sea of skullcaps and beards. She’d be long gone before he extracted himself.

“Mama,” she whispered, “can you handle supper if I go to Anne’s?” Last night’s dinner debacle had probably been Mama’s idea, but they’d never seen eye to eye on the subject. Papa, on the other hand, was supposed to be on her side.

Mama’s shoulders stiffened, but she nodded.

The end of the afternoon service signaled Sarah’s chance. She squeezed her mother’s hand, gathered her heavy skirts, and fled.


The journey through Salem’s bustling downtown took only ten minutes, but the Indian summer sun left her corset sticky and cruel. A final two blocks brought Sarah to her friend’s pre-Revolutionary house, a kernel of which dated to the seventeenth century. Wings, rooms, and gables had sprouted during the past two hundred years, and in its present form the house and stables were large enough for five family members, seven boarders, a decent collection of horses, and a dog.

Sarah entered without knocking. Mr. Barnyard, the Williamses’ obese basset hound, rushed to greet her. After suffering his affections, she found Anne in the sitting room helping her mother with the mending. Several inches taller than Sarah, she wore her straw-colored hair in two looped braids, and possessed all the womanly curves Sarah found lacking in herself.

“What a nice surprise,” Mrs. Williams said. “Sarah, I know you’re not much for the needle, but some conversation would help pass the time.”

Behind her mother, Anne stabbed herself in the chest with an imaginary dagger.

“I hate to disappoint you,” Sarah said, “but I hoped to steal away your oldest daughter. Where’s Emily? Can’t she help?”

Mrs. Williams shrugged a padded shoulder. “Out back somewhere. If I hadn’t whelped that one myself, I’d swear she’s some sort of changeling. But take Anne, she’s all thumbs today.”

Anne set down the trousers she was sewing and tugged Sarah out the door.

“Thank God,” she said, leading Sarah upstairs to the bedroom she shared with her younger sister. “It was so stuffy in there I thought my stitches might melt.” She cracked the window, sat on the bed, and patted the quilt next to her. “What’s brought you here on a Saturday? Shouldn’t you be helping your own mother?”

Sarah pulled the door closed and sat next to her friend.

“I had to talk to someone. Your brother isn’t going to barge in?”

“Sam’s earning extra money at the cotton mill. Tell me.”

“My parents ambushed me at Shabbat dinner last night.”

“That sounds exciting,” Anne said. “Attacked you with candles and loaves of bread?”

“Papa brought a man home with him unannounced. Not one of his usual cronies, a gentleman. In his twenties. His name was Chaim Hoffmann.”

Anne squealed. “That’s a mouthful. Was the fellow handsome?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Extra, extra! Sarah Engelmann forgot something!”

Sarah had to smile at that. She replayed last night’s dinner in her head, trying not to grimace as the awkwardness returned with the imagery.

In her mind’s eye, her parents and Mr. Hoffmann hung before her as vividly as if they sat in the room. His skin showed little evidence of exposure to the sun, his bearded face was thin, and his spectacles were twice as thick as her own.

Sarah blinked and the memory vanished. “Not handsome, not ugly.”

“Then his manner was bothersome?”

She shook her head. “Gentlemanly enough. Clearly he was very bright. A student of Papa’s friend.”

“So what’s the problem? Your mother married at eighteen. With your birthday coming up on us, your father’s probably barely reining her in.”

“I have to finish school,” Sarah said. “And at least begin college. What’s the point of having studied my whole life if all I do is settle down and start a family?”

“But it’s exciting just the same. At least you have prospects.”

“What are you talking about?” Sarah said. “Half the boys in school would cut off an arm to court you.”

Anne sighed. “Even the thought of choosing is stressful. If it were all arranged it’d be easy. You’re lucky.”

Lucky? Sarah couldn’t imagine one of Papa’s friends’ sons allowing her the freedom he did. Or the respect. They’d only want their table set and six brilliant sons to make them proud.

“I know what we should do!” Anne said. “With this heat and with your, um, stresses, we need a break. My lummox of a twin traded for a new filly this week. Why don’t the three of us go riding tomorrow, take a picnic, make a proper outing of it?”

Anne was right. School had started only a month ago, and Sarah’s life was already dominated by study.

“What time?” she said.


The girls drifted downstairs to find Mrs. Williams and Emily entertaining a boy in the parlor. So close to becoming a man, he looked to grow four inches if you glanced away.

Emily’s pink dress was disheveled but she appeared luminous just the same. Sarah worried about what was going to happen when she came into her own. Anne could be bold and outspoken, but she had a fundamental prudence entirely absent in her little sister.

The new boy rose to greet them. He was about the same age Sarah’s brother would’ve been and almost as handsome.

“Charles Danforth.” He extended his hand. His hair was much straighter than Judah’s.

“Nice to meet you,” Anne said, shaking hands. “You’re a friend of Emily’s?”

Emily looked like she wanted to take a bite out of someone.

“We both study Bible with Pastor Parris,” the boy said.

“Charles is just leaving,” Emily said. “He stopped by to bring us some of his mother’s preserves.”

Charles offered Sarah his hand, and she took it. The late afternoon sun streamed in through the windows and threw their shadows against the wallpaper. A sound rose in her ears, slow and mournful like that of the shofar, the ceremonial ram’s horn blown to announce the New Year.

Sarah felt queer. Her mouth dry. Before her eyes the silhouettes on the wall contorted, human limbs and torsos shifting to form the shape of a leafless tree. The reddish hue of the sun — surely that’s what it was — made the tree look as if it was drenched in blood. The horn continued to sound in her ears, loud but seemingly blown at great distance.

She released Charles’ grip and the bloody tree vanished, in its place only the shadows of two young people who’d just shaken hands.

About the Author, author
Andy Gavin
Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels including The Darkening Dream, a dark historical fantasy that puts the bite back in vampires.


Buy the book:
Amazon - Kindle / Paperback
Barnes and Noble - Paperback

Enter to win 1 50.00 GC , 1 Signed Poster, 1 Signed Game, and 4 Bookmarks

Nevada's Golden Age of Gambling Guest Post #LightningBookPromos

Nevada's Golden Age of Gambling
Title: Nevada's Golden Age of Gambling
Description: Nevada's Golden Age of Gambling is a photo-rich history of the casinos from 1931 to 1981. All about the building of empires from Reno and Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas and a dozen other Nevada casino towns.

Stories detail how the casinos were built, who the major gaming pioneers were, and how they managed to build Nevada from a agriculture and mining based economy into the greatest gaming empire in the world.

Chapters include the history of casinos and their founders from Bill Harrah and "Pappy" Smith, to Moe Dalitz, "Bugsy" Siegel, and dozens of others.

Guest Post from the author:
Writing About What You Love

As any reader knows, when an author really loves their subject matter it shows in the writing. You can’t write about the Irish Potato Famine if you don’t know the subject, nor can you attract and retain any readers if you don’t really love the history behind the story. Even a sad and depressing subject can make for a beautiful article or manuscript. Frank McCourt’s memoir, “Angela’s Ashes,” is hardly a happy story, but the writing is gripping, beautiful in parts.

Finding your own subject matter to concentrate on is a key to not only being successful, but keeping yourself happy with your work. Dean Koontz probably wouldn’t be successful if he was writing cook books. Well, not unless in the middle of whipping up a soufflĂ© the eggs started hatching into strange beasts that scattered into the wind and wreaked havoc on the residents of the surrounding towns. That’s probably a cook book I would buy. Why shouldn’t I get some story in the middle of main course chapters?

In my case, I fell in love with Lake Tahoe, the beautiful mountain lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains sandwiched between California and Nevada and I moved there after college. At the time, Nevada had casinos and California didn’t. That alone was exciting, and so I set out to visit every casino at the lake.

I was fascinated by the idea that casinos had been around since the early 1900’s, even before they were legal, but there was very little know (or shared) about their origins or their owners. When I found some old photos of the casinos in local shops the bells went off in my head.

Perhaps, I thought, there were others like me who wanted to know when the casinos opened, who owned them, which Mob families were getting “skim money,” and what they looked like in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

I eventually produced Nevada’s Golden Age of Gambling to fill the need I had for my subject, because I love casino history, and now readers can gaze at dozens of old photos and read why “Bugsy” Siegel got gunned down in Los Angeles even though his Flamingo casino in Las Vegas was successful, how Bill Harrah’s first casino in Reno was a bust, and how “Baby Face” Nelson worked for the casino bosses at the Cal-Neva at Lake Tahoe to while-away the hours between bank jobs.

Of course you don’t have to do nonfiction for your next book. Just sit quietly for a few minutes and think about what you love. What would be fun to write about, even if there are plenty of other novels to compete with? If you love forensic science but are intimidated by Patricia Cornwell, think about putting your characters in a new setting. Would it be bad for the story to be set in space, on a submarine, or a desert island before starting the autopsy?

You can write about what you love, and you can find an audience for your work, if you take the time to make your story special. Make it different than any story before it, either with new characters (maybe the forensic scientist is a robot), new settings (in an elevator), or new ideas (no dissection, only a psychic). Let your mind wander, then rope it in and see what you’ve got!

Purchase the book: - Kindle

Tour Stops:
28th Phaedra @ Identity Discovery (guest post)
29th Susan @ My Cozie Corner
30th Sandie @ Booksie's Blog
1st Connie @ Character Connection (guest post)
2nd Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!
3rd Darryl @ Savage Lullabye

This book tour is brought to you by Lightning Book Promotions

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Emeals Offers A Great Deal! #USFamilyGuide

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Get Fit New Year's Resolution Giveaway! #MomBlogSociety

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Thursday Climax: Millicent Marie Is Not My Name Review #IOTours

 Millicent Marie Is Not My Name 2
Title: Millicent Marie Is Not My Name
Author: Karen Pokras Toz
Publisher: Grand Daisy Press
Description: Twelve-year-old Millicent Marie does not like her name. After all, she was named for a woman who died more than fifty years ago and was not the most loveable member of the Harris family. Her friends call her Millie, but when she writes in her diary she refers to herself as Amanda – the name she always wished she had.

When Millie’s younger brother finds her diary on her computer, he decides to publish it as a blog for the entire world to see, including the boy Millie has a crush on. In the midst of all the mayhem, Millie/Amanda discovers she is suddenly Springside Elementary’s most sought after sixth-grade mystery gossip and advice columnist.

But not all is fun and games, as Millie quickly learns, once she realizes feelings are at stake. Nobody, least of all Millie, expects things to turn out as they do in this tale of friendship and respect.

Review: I really enjoyed this story. I found it very interesting to see how Millie reacted to finding her diary turned into a blog. She was very lucky that in her diary she never used people's real names. You may ask yourself, "Why would a 6th grader not write real names in her own diary? It's not like she was planning to let someone else read it." That's a good question. It's one I have as well and honestly cannot answer other than when I was that age, I was always afraid of who might accidentally get a hold of my diary. I used real names in mine, but I can see how that fear just might make someone want to keep names out of even their private writings. Brother's are a strong motivating factor when they are in the same school as you.

I found it also very neat to think about a 6th grade girl with a blog. What would one write about? They probably would mostly write about the happenings of school. The idea that someone from school actually found her blog and then everyone in her grade began reading it was a little out there for me. I know I have had to work hard to increase my readers at times, so how did it become so popular within her own school overnight? The best part of this popularity though is what she actually does to help people with it. She learns a lesson on what it's like to be bullied and what it is like to be the bully. Seeing that both situations are wrong is a huge step for her. She discovers that bullies don't happen overnight and that there is normally a very real reason for their behaviors. This story is put into a perspective that I think will help kids understand how to deal with bullying a bit better than some books that just say, "Don't bully." I will definitely be keeping it in mind if I hear of anyone in need of that sort of help.

Purchase the book: - Paperback / Kindle
Barnes And Noble - Paperback

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Stops:
11/13 - GoingCrazy!! WannaGo??!! - Promo
12/04 - Andi's Middle Grade & Chapter Books - Promo
12/25 - Good Karma Baby - Promo
12/27 - identity discovery - Review
12/27 - Hooks and Book - review
01/15 - Second Bookshelf on the Right - Promo
01/17 - Jenn's Review Blog - Review
01/17 - 5 Girls Book Reviews - Review
02/05 - Book Reviews by Dee - Promo
02/07 - Stressed Rach - Review

This book tour is brought to you by Innovative Online Book Tours

Thursday Climax: Closure Excerpt #PromoBookTours

Closure 1

Closure 2
Title: Closure
Author: Kim Carmichael
Publisher: Hot Ink Press
Description: There’s always the one…

He’s one person throughout life you think about every so often, the one who leaves his unique indelible mark on you, the person with whom you need closure.

For Margaret Collins that person was Mike Taylor. After he broke her heart seventeen years ago, she left everything she knew and reinvented herself. With a new home, a new look and a new name, Riley Williams is now an up and coming journalist given the assignment to interview a Mike Taylor. She never suspected he would be her Mike Taylor. With Mike having no hint of Riley’s true identity, she must decide if she will make him pay for sins he doesn’t remember committing, or if she can wipe away the past and be with the one man who she has always wanted?

Excerpt: There’s always that one guy. Riley watched her date and shook her head.

"Stay there, I'll get the door." Mike got out of the car.

The cellophane on the roses Mike gave her when he arrived at her apartment crinkled in complaint as she moved them to the back seat, but not before she breathed in one more time. The floral perfume combined with his cologne made her dizzy, or maybe it was the ride down Pacific Coat Highway to Malibu.

Yes, there was always that one guy, the one that every other man is measured against. Up until yesterday she hadn’t thought about Mike in years, but he was always there. His imprint was all over her, a fingerprint unique to only her. How many men had to live up to memories they couldn’t compete with?

Part of her wished she possessed the strength to turn him down. Part of her wished he hadn't shown, or cancelled. Part of her wanted this date to reclaim what she lost so long ago she forgot she missed it.

The moment she got in the car with him, she became the seventeen-year-old Margaret again. Only her former self never got this far. At the time she convinced herself it was better, the date would have been terrible, he was too goal oriented, and he only wanted what he perceived as an easy lay.

He took long strides around the car, opened the door on her side and held out his hand.


Now she was Riley. Margaret was gone. Riley had hidden her away with a name change taken from her parents' middle names, a bottle of hair dye, and a move to a new state.

She paused, studying him. Tonight he wore a pair of black pants and matching blazer and dark blue button down. As always, he fit his situation perfectly. She acquiesced and put her hand in his.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World Excerpt #PromoBookTours

 Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World 2
Title: Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World
Author: Devin D. Thorpe
Description: Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World from the author of the highly acclaimed book, Your Mark on the World, is a collection of articles about family financial planning that originally appeared at

925 Ideas… is an easy and readable guide to help your family find financial peace. Author Devin D. Thorpe explains:
1) how you and your spouse can find agreement on money matters,
2) how to teach your kids about money,
3) how to pay for your children’s college education,
4) how to live like a millionaire
5) how to come up with $25,000 in a crisis
6) how to make ends meet on one income
7) how to get out of debt and stay out of debt
8) why home ownership should be your family’s top financial priority
9) how to ask your boss for a raise
10) how to use your finances to do more good in the world.


Excerpt from 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World by Devin D. Thorpe

How to invest your first $5,000 for retirement

So you’ve just accumulated $5,000 in your IRA and now you need to invest it. It is impractical, if not impossible to invest it directly into stocks and or bonds so you’ll want to invest in a mutual fund or ETF.

You could split your investment and invest in two or three funds, but if we presume that you will continue to make contributions to your retirement account and that those future investments can go into other funds, our goal for today is to help you choose your first mutual fund.

Let’s assess your situation.

Are you over or under 50 years old? If you are older, you have somewhat less time to invest, making the risk of a reversal greater for you so you’d want to invest more conservatively. If you are younger—or much younger—you can and should tolerate a bit more risk.

How do you feel about risk? Does the idea that you could check the value of your mutual fund at some point in the future and discover that its value has declined send you into a panic? Does the idea that it might be worth 20 percent more in a year excite you? Would knowing that your retirement savings is at risk prevent you from sleeping at night?

If you conclude that you can tolerate investment risk well, then you should be considering mutual funds that invest in stocks. Their values rise and fall more than funds that invest in bonds, but over the long haul you should expect to earn more in stocks than bonds. If you don’t tolerate risk well you may want to make your first investment in a bond fund.

If you feel panicked about risk, please consider that without taking some risk, it is almost impossible to save enough for retirement. Risk free returns don’t earn enough interest to keep up with the value eroding impact of inflation. Money in the bank is better than no money in the bank, but it will be worth less tomorrow than it is today. To retire comfortably you need to get comfortable with moderate risk.

Morningstar is a private company that rates and categorizes mutual funds. There are dozens of categories. Your first mutual fund investment in your IRA could come from one of the following three categories:

Large Blend: A large blend fund invests in the stocks of large companies with a balance of growth and value investments (growth stocks are those projected to grow faster than the market and usually do not pay dividends and value stocks are those that are perceived to be trading below some other measure of value).

Moderate Allocation: A moderate allocation fund invests in both stocks and bonds, with more money invested in stocks than bonds. A portion of the money may also be allocated to cash. These funds expect to achieve some appreciation as well as to generate returns through dividends.

Long-Term Government Bond: These funds invest in treasury bonds that mature more than ten years in the future. Such bonds have no credit risk, that is no risk of not being paid on schedule, but as interest rates change, the value of the bonds will fluctuate.

Each of these fund categories would make a good first fund for your retirement savings. They offer high expected returns—compared to what you can earn in a bank account. They are listed in order from most risky to least risky. You can decide which of these three best represents your risk tolerance based on your own situation.

Once you’ve decided upon a category, you’ll want to choose an individual fund based primarily on the expenses. Your broker should provide you with a list of mutual funds you can purchase with no transaction fees. You’ll also want to choose a fund that doesn’t charge a “load” or upfront fee. You’ll also want to avoid marketing and distribution fees called 12b-1 fees. Finally, you’ll want to look for funds with low expense ratios. All of these fees must be disclosed so you can figure out which fund is best for you.

Your broker should provide a screener to help you choose a mutual fund that meets your criteria. You may also want to try the Yahoo mutual fund screener.

With that, you’re all set to make your first mutual fund investment in your IRA.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Day 27 #Giveaway #25DaysXmas

Blogshare Post of the Day - Dec. 25th by Operation $40K 
There are a lot of people that are forgotten during the holidays...they are not part of someone's "A" list and usually end up alone. You might not know their story, you might think they have somewhere to go,
you might not realize that the empty chair at your holiday table could have been the richest gift you could share this holiday season...your fellowship. 
Check out my post and make sure
you enter the giveaway for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

Blessings to you and your family!
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Enter to win a different prize each day, from Nov. 29th through Dec.24th,
with the 25 Days of Christmas Blogshare Giveaways!
Each day we will be highlighting a post from one of our 28 blog partners.
Look for the link daily that will take you to the blogshare post of the day.
By clicking on the day link you will find the rafflecopter form to enter
each of the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

Monday, December 24, 2012

25 Days Of Christmas Day 26 #Giveaway #25DaysXmas

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Blogshare Post of the Day - Dec. 24th by Tots and Me
It is very important to me to teach the children the true meaning of the Christmas holiday. There are so many traditions surrounding Christmas and I want to make sure the ones we choose to share with our children are meaningful and focused on the birth of Jesus. One tradition I used to love growing up was that my mother would put candy canes on the tree for Christmas morning while we slept. Of course, we thought it was Santa Claus when he brought the presents. Though we don't put up a tree or teach our children about Santa Claus, I still love to give the children real peppermint candy canes. I didn't realize growing up (and I don't think my mother did either) that their is a Legend surrounding the Candy Cane. Though I am sure this is just a story, I love that it focuses on Jesus.

Please stop by Tots and Me to learn of the Legend of the Candy Cane and how we include candy canes in our Christmas Celebration. While you're there enter to win today's giveaway!

Enter to win a different prize each day, from Nov. 29th through Dec.24th, with the 25 Days of Christmas Blogshare Giveaways! Each day we will be highlighting a post from one of our 28 blog partners. Look for the link daily that will take you to the blogshare post of the day. By clicking on the day link you will find the rafflecopter form to enter each of the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

25 Days Of Christmas Day 25 #Giveaway #25DaysXmas

December 23rd

     Aren't you excited?!  It is almost Christmas!!  Well, today's featured post and giveaway is being held at 3Ps in a Pod. The featured giveaway is a fun, retro game system featuring 12 Pac Man and Pac Man related games!  We also have a special featured post is about some easy and clever ways to wrap beautiful  Christmas gifts ~ And who doesn't love the look of all the gifts neatly wrapped under the tree?
     Well, Alyson has put together a terrific set of ideas using items you probably already have, right in your own home. The beautiful package pictured above is just one of the simple yet appealing ideas offered! 
To check out the whole post and enter today's fun-filled giveaway, go here
victorianchristmas - 29
Enter to win a different prize each day, from Nov. 29th through Dec.24th, with the 25 Days of Christmas Blogshare Giveaways! Each day we will be highlighting a post from one of our 28 blog partners. Look for the link daily that will take you to the blogshare post of the day. By clicking on the day link you will find the rafflecopter form to enter each of the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

Savory Sunday: Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Savory Sunday

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I normally make sugar cookies for Halloween and Christmas. This year I was asked to make an array of Christmas cookies so of course I had to make sugar cookies. I decided though that I wouldn't make my normal recipe. I will save that for another day. Since I am making all these cookies for my in-laws I decided to make a more traditional recipe. I found this one in an old 1950's cook book. After making them, I think they need icing, but you tell me what you think!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies 2

2/3 cup Shortening
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg
4 tsp Milk
2 cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies 1
1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla.
3. Add egg; beat till light and fluffy.
4. Stir in milk.
5. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; blend into creamy mixture.
6. Chill at least one hour.
7. On lightly floured surface, half the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.
8. Use desired cookie cutters to cut the dough and place on greased cookie sheet for 6-8 minutes.
**Makes approximately 2-3 dozen cookies**

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies 3

Saturday, December 22, 2012

$500 Paypal Cash Giveaway #MomBlogSociety


Everyone can use a little cash right? We’ve teamed up with some other amazing bloggers to bring you a Paypal $500 cash giveaway!


We’re giving away $500 cash via PayPal to one lucky person.

Enter to win $500 Cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway. One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.

Open Worldwide.
Starts 12/22 12:01am EST on December 30th, 11:59pm EST

25 Days Of Christmas Day 24 #Giveaway #25DaysXmas

¤Christmas Blogshare¤ 
Post of the Day - Dec. 22th
by Mama Papa Barn
Photo from
Have you ever thought about what other cultures and nations consume during the holidays? Well, you are going to learn about how ¤Guyanese¤ celebrate the holidays through food! Get the tasty bits here!

Saturday Cinema: Oz the Great and Powerful Poster

Disney Picture

Oz the Great and Powerful

“Like” OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL on Facebook: "Follow" OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL on Twitter: Visit the website: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL lands in theaters on March 8, 2013!

Friday, December 21, 2012

25 Days Of Christmas Day 23 #Giveaway #25DaysXmas

Enter to win a different prize each day, from Nov. 29th through Dec.24th, with the 25 Days of Christmas Blogshare Giveaways! Each day we will be highlighting a post from one of our 28 blog partners. Look for the link daily that will take you to the blogshare post of the day. By clicking on the day link you will find the rafflecopter form to enter each of the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways!
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Today Sweeping The USA is giving away an Electric Stainless Steel Fondue Pot!! Mmmmm fondue......Go HERE for your chance today!

#BookBlast: Swept into the Darkness #PromoBookTours

Swept Into The Darkness
Swept into the Darkness (Chronicles of the Celestial)

Sydney London is no ordinary twenty-four year old. Ever since she was a child she has had unique out of this world abilities. Suffering from a near death experience and surviving a deadly car crash Sydney is no stranger to death and loss. Cut off from the world around her she encounters an Angel and eventually falls for him inspired by deceitful magic.

Her one true love awaits in the shadows attempting to guard and protect her by risking his immortality. Traumatized by the murder of her best friend she sets off on an unspeakable journey to bring the dead back to life. Sydney's journey of self discovery opens her up to learn of her true angelic identity. She is led in the middle of an inter dimensional war among a hybrid breed of Angel Vampires and the Hierarchy of the Angelic clan. Will her unique powers and the love she bears for her guardian be enough for her to save the Earthly Realm or will she be Swept into the Darkness?

Purchase Swept Into The Darkness
Kindle | Paperback | BN | Smashwords

About Author LaTaeya Lane

Years of exposure within the writing and publishing world have made a lasting impact on Author LaTaeya Lane. Writing since she was seven years old, Lane began jotting down phrases and themes later turning them into poems and short stories. Writing became such a passion throughout her youth that she became the Junior and Senior editor of her High school newspaper. She wrote her first novel at age sixteen but was not seeking publication at that time in her life. Lane entered several creative writing contests during her early years of writing and won a few of them. Always captivated by the supernatural and elements of fantasy, Lane was inspired to write a series of books that focused on going beyond the boundaries of life and imagination. The angel vampire fantasy "Swept into the Darkness" is Lane's first published book in a series called "Chronicles of the Celestial." Lane completed a degree in social Sciences and currently works to support the education of special needs middle school students. Lane resides in the state of New Jersey with her husband Leo and is working on writing a publishing the second book in the series.

Follow LaTaeya Lane
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Tour Prize in an Amazon Kindle. Open to US/ Can residents