Monday, November 30, 2009

Giveaway: EXIT MUSIC by IAN RANKIN ends Dec 13


About Book:
It's late in the fall in Edinburgh and late in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he is simply trying to tie up some loose ends before his retirement, a new case lands on his desk: a dissident Russian poet has been murdered in what looks like a mugging gone wrong.
Rebus discovers that an elite delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, looking to expand its interests. And as Rebus's investigation gains ground, someone brutally assaults a local gangster with whom he has a long history.
Has Rebus overstepped his bounds for the last time? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, controversial career, will Rebus even make it that far?


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO Valerie AND Hatchette Book Group, I HAVE
5 COPIES OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to U.S. and Canada
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends December 13, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)



Best of luck!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Decoding The Lost Symbol by Simon Cox


Full Description:
Dan Brown's new novel once again features Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, this time in the United States, racing to uncover clues and crack codes involving secrets that are perpetuated to this day. But how much of the novel is true and what is pure fiction? Simon Cox, bestselling author of Cracking the Da Vinci Code and Illuminating Angels & Demons, offers the first definitive guide to all the mysteries featured in The Lost Symbol.
Based on extensive research, this A-to-Z guide lists the real people, organizations, and themes features in Dan Brown's latest novel, explains their histories and their meanings, reproduces and analyzes the symbols themselves, and provides insider knowledge gleaned from years of exhaustive study. From the monuments of Washington, D.C., to the secrets of Salt Lake City and the hidden enclaves in Langley, Virginia, Cox knows where the facts are hidden about the Freemasons, Albert Pike, the Rosicrucians, the Founding Fathers, and more.
This is the only resource you'll need to understand and enjoy the complex new world of The Lost Symbol.

Read excerpt: http://www.fsbmedia.com/excerpt_display.php?isbn13=9780743287272

©2009

About Author:
Simon Cox was the founding editor in chief of the successful newsstand magazine Phenomena. Having studied Egyptology at University College London, he went on to work as a research assistant for some of the biggest names in the alternative history game, including Graham Hancock, Robert Bauvel, and David Rohl. He splits his time between Britain and the United States.

For more information: http://www.decodingthelostsymbol.com/

My Take On The Selection:
While this book had so many great facts and information that was quite interesting and new to me, it still feel flat for holding my attention.
I suppose only seeing the movies, and not actually reading the Dan Brown books, may have something to do with it. I will say it makes me want to read them more now than ever.
I did learn quite a few cool things from this book, if they are indeed valid. The thing with that, is you really just never know unless you research it yourself. None of the subject matter really appeals to me enough to do that either.
I do know some people that will be absolutely mesmerized and dig deep into this book, however I am not one of them. I do recommend you read, if you have read Dan Brown's previous novels, or have a keen thirst to learn of Freemasons, alchemy and conspiracy theories. It is that!


~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook, Volume 1 By Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore


Book Description:
The rich tradition of country cooking, the distinctive taste of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, and the heritage of rural America are all elegantly captured in Jack Daniel's The Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook. Included are more than 350 recipes, stunning full-color photographs, and stories of the people, places, and traditions of Middle Tennessee. Illustrated and indexed.

©2009

My Take on the Book:

I'm not a drinker, let alone whiskey drinker, but I do love recipes! My Mother always taught me, "you can't make an opinion on somethin' you've never tried." And I follow in that creed when it comes to food.
This cookbook had many recipes that are worthy of a taste test, just from reading the recipes. However I did try two. The Soda Biscuits~page 79 , and The Corn Chowder~page 38. And they were so good!!! It is definitely a hit in my house!!!
I don't think you have to be a drinker or whiskey lover to enjoy this cookbook, so I suggest getting your own copy!


BAKING POWDER BISCUITS PAGE 78







CORN CHOWDER PAGE 38








~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Friday 56



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
*Post a link along with your post back to http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/


Page 56, Sentence 5:

That would have been familiar territory for him.

A Christmas Carol Special Edition by Charles Dickns & Stephen Skelton


Full Description:
Since its publication in 1843, the tale of a miserly old man and the ghosts who visit him has been bringing the true spirit of Christmas into hearts and homes. Whether you've read the story a thousand times or have only seen the movie, A Christmas Carol Special Edition will enrich your enjoyment of this holiday favorite with:

* The complete text of the Charles Dickens classic.
* Annotations offering interesting insight into the story's biblical allusions, the author's faith, and compelling Christian themes throughout.
* Discussion questions designed to engage and promote dialogue among readers of all ages on such subjects as regret, repentance, and redemption.
* A list of related resources to enhance your study.

Enjoy A Christmas Carol Special Edition in your home, study group, book group, or Advent celebration and learn how to say with Scrooge:

"I will honour Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year."

©1843
©2009


About Author:
Charles Dickens has held the title of the world's most celebrated nineteenth-century novelist for more than two centuries. Incredibly, his popularity continues to grow today. In addition to A Christmas Carol, his legendary literary works include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities,and Great Expectations.

Stephen Skelton
is the producer of a best-selling video-based Bible study series, which includes The Mayberry Bible Study and The Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study. He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee.

My Take on the Book:
It was the classic story I was hoping for, and though when I learned of a reading guide, I was unsure I'd like it. But I did. It really did challenge me at times, and what I think or believe. That is something that doesn't happen every day.
As a child, every year my Mom watched Scrooge on television, and I fell in love there. This story was almost as if that movie was playing along.
There really is something truly beautiful about the season, and this time of year.
Curl up by your fire, and read this.

Excerpt here: http://fsbmedia.com/excerpt_display.php?isbn13=9780784723913

~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ten Tips for Making Great Photo Greeting Cards for the Holidays

By Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm,
Authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography: How to Shoot, Enhance, and Share Your Digital Pictures



If you want your family's photo greeting card to impress your friends this holiday season, here are 10 helpful suggestions from professional photographers Michele and Tom Grimm, authors of a brand new handbook, The Basic Book of Digital Photography.

1. Plan Ahead. Eye-catching photos take some thought, so envision the card you want to send before you take any pictures. Pick a setting with an uncluttered background. Decide what type of clothes to wear (causal or dress-up?) and what colors might be appropriate (red and green will enhance a Christmas theme). If you want to shoot outdoors, consider the weather and the time of day for the best light. Cloudy or overcast days are perfect for portraits without shadows; avoid bright sunlight that causes people to squint.

2. Get Your Camera Ready. Be sure to install new or freshly-charged batteries so the camera won't stop working in the middle of your shooting session. Also check that there is room on the memory card to hold plenty of new exposures. And remember to carefully clean the camera lens of dust and fingerprints; use a microfiber lens cloth. For pictures of the best technical quality, adjust the camera's "image quality" and "image resolution" to their highest settings. Finally, make certain the "date/time" setting is turned off so those numbers won't appear on the front of your family and ruin every picture.

3. Move in Close. Remember that friends mostly enjoy seeing the faces of your family and pets. Get close to them by moving the camera physically closer or adjusting the zoom lens to fill the viewfinder or LCD monitor with their faces. Aim the camera's autofocus target on the eyes; be careful it isn't pointed between the heads of people because the background will be in focus instead of the family's faces. Also, make sure there are no windows or mirrors in the background that are distracting or cause reflections, especially if you are shooting with flash.

4. Forget About Red-eye. If the sun is causing shadows on the faces of your family, or you are shooting indoors in dim light, we recommend using the camera's built-in flash or an external flash unit to provide "fill" light that illuminates your subjects more evenly. Avoid the "red-eye reduction" flash setting, if your camera offers it, because this makes a series of pre-flashes or a steady light that causes some people to blink or shut their eyes. "Red-eye," an annoying bright red spot occasionally seen in the pupils of the eyes, is easily eliminated later with your computer's image-editing software.

5. Use a Tripod, and a Friend. Put your camera on a tripod so it will remain in the same position after you compose the family picture. Recruit a friend to trip the shutter release instead of using a remote control or the self-timer to fire the camera yourself. Remind everyone to keep looking toward the camera and not glance away to see if the baby or dog is behaving; depend on your friend to snap the shutter when everybody looks their best.

6. Keep On Shooting. Someone in the family group is certain to blink, yawn, scratch or look away just as a picture is taken, so shoot again and again. One of the joys of digital photography is that it costs nothing extra to make a dozen or so exposures rather than just one or two. A warning: Your subjects will quickly get restless, so don't spend time between shots checking images on the camera's LCD monitor to see how they turned out. Pick the best image later when you view all the shots at full size on your computer.

7. Create a Collage When Family Members are Absent. Can't get everyone in your family together for a holiday card photo? A solution is to get and assemble individual photos of each family member into a collage or montage that becomes a single image. Many image-editing software programs -- probably including the one that came with your camera -- have a feature for easily merging photos. First choose a template from various designs that hold different numbers and sizes of images, then arrange your family's photos as you like.

8. Dress Up Your Holiday Photos with Borders and Type. Your computer's image-editing software also enables you to add borders and to type captions that become part of the family's holiday photo. Pick a border with a design and colors appropriate for the season. You can select different typefaces, sizes and colors, and position the text wherever you wish in the picture. Also, local and online photo centers offer holiday-themed templates for greeting cards that are easy to fill in with your own photos and text.

9. Print Your Own Holiday Photo Cards. Remember to design your photo card so it can be printed on standard sizes of photo paper and will fit in standard-size envelopes. To save money, select a "Picture Package" in your image-editing software to make several prints on one piece of photo paper -- such as two 5 x 7-inch or four 4 x 5-inch prints on a single 8-½ x 11-inch sheet -- and cut them apart. Also consider HP Holiday Photo Card packs with 20 sheets of 5 x 7-inch glossy photo paper and matching envelopes for $9.99.

10. An Easier Option: Order Your Cards at a Photo Center. If your mailing list is large, it usually is more convenient and economical to have your holiday photo cards printed at a local or online photo center. Many allow you to upload the photo image file online to a selection of card templates that you can personalize with family names and greetings. The cards and envelopes can be picked up a few hours later, or will be mailed to you. Search online for "photo greeting cards" to find a wide choice of photo-finishing companies, including shutterfly.com, snapfish.com, and photoworks.com.

©2009 Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm, authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography: How to Shoot, Enhance, and Share Your Digital Pictures
Author Bios
Tom Grimm and Michele Grimm, authors of The Basic Book of Digital Photography: How to Shoot, Enhance, and Share Your Digital Pictures, are a husband-and-wife photojournalism team who have spent nearly four decades traveling the globe; the couple has visited every continent and more than 130 countries in search of the perfect photographic image. Their photographs and articles have been published worldwide in magazines and newspapers and on the Internet. The Grimms are authors and illustrators of thirteen adult and children's books.

Tortine di Gianduja e Banana Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Banana Tartlets

by Mary Ann Esposito,
Author of Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites: Quick and Delicious Recipes from an Italian Kitchen


Not to appear to be a Scrooge, but the holidays are coming faster than the next app for the iPhone and for many, the nemesis of the holidays is simply procrastination. There is just so much to juggle to make the merriest time of the year . . . merry. Gifts to buy and wrap, cards to write or email, cocktail parties to attend, trees to buy and decorate, cookies to bake, and . . . and . . . and.

But that's just the icicle on the tree; what about the big feast? This is where a lot of people have their greatest stress for the holidays; there is just no time to cook. But wait a minute. I have a plan for you; think of it as a personal gift -- below are four tips on how to simplify your holiday feast.

1. Take Survey of The Pantry: One of the first things I do, right after Thanksgiving, is take survey of the staples in my pantry and make a list of things to stock up on now for the holidays. You can lay in healthy snacks like dried fruits, drinks, wines, nuts, flour and sugar for cooking, and all the other dry staples you need.

2. Decide on a Menu: Next, I make a menu by deciding now if I want to do an easy buffet of hot and cold foods that everyone can help themselves to or do I want a sit down meal that will be served. Make a decision and then make a plan on the food items to be cooked, and keep it simple.

3. Involve Your Family and Guests in Preparations: Maybe it's time for new traditions like inviting your guests to participate in the preparation by bringing a neighborly dish to share. You might ask for sides, salads and desserts while you provide the main course like a baked ham studded with cloves and surrounded with sautéed apple rings. So doable, and the ham and apples will require minimum effort on your part.

4. Keep Things Simple: If that has no appeal, consider going the route of doing a number of make-ahead casseroles that can be prepared now and frozen, or made several days before and held in the refrigerator. Casseroles have the advantage of serving a lot of people inexpensively. Tried and true items like lasagna, shephard's pie and chicken tetrazzini are perfect foods to serve. Add a couple of interesting salads, platters of fresh fruit and cheese and a little bubbly, and you have a party!

Just recently my latest book, Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites, hit the bookstores and the premise of less is more is perfect for the holidays as well as any day of the week. I show you how with only five ingredients you can turn out some pretty nifty gourmet looking dishes without worrying if the stock market is going to crash. For instance, how about serving a sausage and lentil soup from the book and make it in a crock pot. Use the crock pot as your serving piece and let everyone ladle out their own. Or make the pork roast in Barolo wine in a slow cooker. The best part is that these recipes, and more like them in the book, can be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated. They will taste even better.

So simplify the holidays by starting early to make a plan, stock your pantry, decide on a menu, involve your family and guests in the preparations and above all, keep things simple. After all, this is meant to be the merriest time of the year and even Scrooge finally saw the bigger picture of what "merry" really means.

©2009 Mary Ann Esposito, author of Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites: Quick and Delicious Recipes from an Italian Kitchen
Author Bio
Mary Ann Esposito, author of Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites: Quick and Delicious Recipes from an Italian Kitchen, is the creator and host of the long-running PBS series Ciao Italia, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010. She is the author of eleven successful cookbooks, including Ciao Italia Slow and Easy and Ciao Italia Pronto! She lives in Durham, New Hampshire.

For more information, please visit www.CiaoItalia.com

Giveaway: A GOOD TALK by Daniel Menaker (ends Dec 10)


A GOOD TALK is an analysis of and guide to that most exclusively human of all activities-- conversation.

Drawing on over forty years of experience in American letters, Menaker pinpoints the factors that drive and enliven every good conversation: the vagaries (and joys) of subtext; the deeper structure and meaning of conversational flow; the subliminal signals that guide our disclosures and confessions; and the countless other hurdles we must clear along the way. Moving beyond self-help musings and "how to" advice, he has created a stylish, funny, and surprising book: a celebration of "the most excusively human of all activities."

In a time when conversation remains deeply important-- for building relationships, for relaxing, even for figuring out who we are-- and also increasingly imperiled (with Blackberries and texting increasingly in vogue), A GOOD TALK is a refreshing celebration of the subtle adventures of a good conversation.

Visit TitlePage.tv where Daniel Menaker hosts episodes of The Title Page and posts blogs about literary works, authors, and issues.
Daniel Menaker is also a contributor on the BarnesandNobleReview.com


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO ANNA AND Hatchette Group, I HAVE
5 COPIES OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to U.S. and Canada
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES


All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.


For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends December 10, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)( Also My Birthday! ;-) )


Best of luck!!!!

On The Line by Serena Williams with Daniel Paisner


Full Description:

One of the biggest stars in tennis, Serena Williams has captured every major title. Her 2009 Australia Open championship earned her the #1 world ranking for the third time in her illustrious career - and marked only the latest exclamation point on a life well and purposefully lived. As a young girl, Serena began training with an adult-sized racquet that was almost as big as her. Rather than dropping the racquet, Serena saw it as a challenge to overcome-and she has confronted every obstacle on her path to success with the same unflagging spirit.

©2009

About Author:
Serena Williams grew up in Compton, CA, She was trained by her father on the public tennis courts before rising up the tennis ranks. Serena has wide-ranging interests aside from tennis, including starting her own fashion line and opening a school for children in Africa.

Daniel Paisner
is the author or co-author of more than forty books. He has collaborated on seven New York Times best-selling titles, including Denzel Washington's A Hand to Guide Me, Whoopi Goldberg's Book and Geraldo Rivera's Exposing Myself. He lives in Port Washington, NY.


My Take on the Book:
Honestly I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book, and then by the end I was disappointed.
I knew it would focus on her career, but her attitude towards her rivalry with Venus doesn't sit well with me. It almost felt fake. Plus I was tired of hearing about it before long. She has a tendency to go on and on.
I did like the stories about her family life, how she became the fantastic player she is, and also tidbits of other things like Africa. I felt those parts were heartfelt and awesome. If she had included more of that personality to the book, it would have been much better.
This is one of those I would be on the fence about referring people to read. If you really, and I mean really, like Tennis then read. If you don't, then it won't be for you.

~ I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest opinion. ~

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday




Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/?s=Teaser+Tuesdays

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:



Me, walking onto the court with a bouquet of flowers while everyone booed.It's like one of those "What's wrong with this picture?" scenes.

~ Page 70, On The Line by Serena Williams with Daniel Paisner

Friday, November 20, 2009

2010 100+ Reading Challenge


RULES:
1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

You know I HAD to join this challenge. I think it will be fun!


My reads and reviews:


1. The Cost of Dreams-Gary Stelzer http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/cost-of-dreams-gary-stelzer.html
2. Beautiful Mess-Diamond Rio http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/beautiful-mess-story-of-diamond-rio.html
3. The Mudhogs-Dalton James http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/mudhogs-dalton-james.html
4. Men With Red Ties-Nastya Polikarpova http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/men-with-red-ties-nastya-polikarpova.html
5. The Twitter Book-Tim O'Reilly http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/twitter-book-tim-oreilly-sarah-milstein.html
6. A Good Talk-Daniel Menaker http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/good-talk-daniel-menaker.html
7. How To Be Famous-Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-be-famous-heidi-montag-spencer.html
8. Ciao Italia-Mary Ann Esposito http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/ciao-italia-mary-ann-esposito.html
9. Rock N Roll Confessions: Book 1 - Helena Danyluk http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-n-roll-confessions-book-1-helena.html
10. The Basic Book of Digital Photography - Tom Grimm & Michelle Grimm http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/basic-book-of-digital-photography-tom.html
11. Rice Cooker Meals: Fast Home Cooking for busy people (cookbook) - Neal Bertrand http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/rice-cooker-meals-fast-home-cooking-for.html
12. The Last Surgeon - Michael Palmer http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/last-surgeon-michael-palmer.html
13. The DIY Bride Crafty Countdown - Khris Cochran http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/diy-bride-crafty-countdown-khris.html
14. Amish Friends Cookbook Volume 2 - Wanda E. Brunstetter http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/amish-friends-cookbook-volume-2-wanda-e.html
15. Love To Love You Bradys - Susan Olsen & Ted Nichelson http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/love-to-love-you-bradys-susan-olsen-ted.html
16. Angel and Apostle - Deborah Noyes http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/angel-and-apostle-deborah-noyes.html
17. The Paper Bag Christmas - Kevin Alan Milne http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/paper-bag-christmas-kevin-alan-milne.html
18. Topless Prophet - Alan Markovitz http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/topless-prophet-alan-markovitz.html
19. Kill Dress - John Young http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/kill-dress-john-young.html
20. The Names of God: An Illustrated Guide - George W. Knight http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/names-of-god-illustrated-guide-george-w.html
21. Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman - Ogo Akubue-Ogbata http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/egg-larva-pupa-woman-ogo-akubue-ogbata.html
22. Darwin's Nightmare - Mike Knowles http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/darwins-nightmare-mike-knowles.html
23. The King and Dr. Nick - George Nichopoulos M.D http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/king-and-dr-nick-george-nichopoulos-md.html
24. A Note From An Old Acquaintance - Bill Walker http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/note-from-old-acquaintance-bill-walker.html
25. Get Financially Naked - Manisha Thakor & Sharon Kedar http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/get-financially-naked-manisha-thakor.html
26. The Italian Billionaire's Ruthless Revenge - Jacqueline Baird http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/italian-billionaires-ruthless-revenge.html
27. 100 Greatest Trips http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/100-greatest-trips-4th-edition.html
28. How Things Really Work Encyclopedia http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-things-work-encyclopedia.html
29. Life In The Wild http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/life-in-wild.html
30. Revolve 2010 http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/revolve-2010.html
31. Once An Arafat Man - Tass Saada http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/once-arafat-man-tass-saada.html
32. The Choice - Suzanne Woods Fisher http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/choice-suzanne-woods-fisher-surprise.html
33. Cupidity - Hayley & Michael DiMarco http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/cupidity-hayley-michael-dimarco.html
34. Living With Diabetes http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/canadian-diabetes-association-living.html
35. Explained Myths & Legends http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/explained-myths-legends.html
36. Triangle Of Deception - Haggai Carmon http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/triangle-of-deception-haggai-carmon.html
37. Everyday Easy One-Pot (Cookbook) http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/everyday-easy-one-pot.html
38. O SIYAM http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/o-siyam.html
39. Love Your Heart - Tim McGraw & Tom Douglas (Children's) http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/love-your-heart-tim-mcgraw-tom-douglas.html
40. Better Than Lennon - John Cherry http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/better-than-lennon-music-and-talent-of.html
41. The New Complete Guitarist http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-complete-guitarist.html
42. Punk http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/punk.html
43. Eyewitness Companions: Architecture http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/eyewitness-companions-architecture.html
44. All Things Hidden - Tricia Goyer http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/all-things-hidden-tricia-goyer-surprise.html
45. Love Song - Richard Haffey http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/love-song-richard-haffey.html
46. Jordan (Book 3) -Susan Kearney http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/jordan-susan-kearney.html
47. Soul Catcher - Leigh Bridger http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/soul-catcher-leigh-bridger-deborah.html
48. The Shack - William Paul Young http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/shack-william-paul-young.html
49. Life Lessons From A Horse Whisperer - Dr. Lew Sterrett http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/life-lesson-from-horse-whisperer-dr-lew.html
50. Everyday Easy Chicken (cookbook) http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/everyday-easy-chicken.html
51. Do It or Age Quickly - J.B. Berns http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/do-it-or-age-quickly-jb-berns.html
52. Saint Patrick - Jonathan Rogers http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/saint-patrick-jonathan-rogers.html
53. To Sin With A Scoundrel - Cara Elliott http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/to-sin-with-scoundrel-cara-elliott.html
54. Houseworks Revised - Cynthia Townley Ewer http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/houseworks-revised-cynthia-townley-ewer.html
55. The Rough Guide to The Beatles (3rd edition) - Chris Ingham http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/rough-guide-to-beatles-3rd-edition.html
56. Pocket Kama Sutra - Tracey Cox http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/adults-only-pocket-kama-sutra-tracey.html
57. Three Cups - Mark St. Germain http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/three-cups-mark-st-germain.html
58. Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure - Allan Richard Shickman http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/zan-gah-prehistoric-adventure-allan.html
60. The Cook's Herb Garden - Jeff Cox & Marie-Pierre Moine http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/cooks-herb-garden-jeff-cox-marie-pierre.html
61. Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Julia Child http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/mastering-art-of-french-cooking-julia.html
62. Gold Digger Nation - Hal Roback http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/gold-digger-nation-hal-roback.html
63. Sons of Thunder - Susan May Warren http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/sons-of-thunder-susan-may-warren-tour.html
64. Say You're One Of Them - Uwem Akpan http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/say-youre-one-of-them-uwem-akpan.html
65. Raven Stole the Moon - Garth Stein http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/raven-stole-moon-garth-stein.html
66. Girl On Top - Nicole Williams http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/girl-on-top-your-guide-to-turning.html
67. Around the World Cookbook - Abigail Johnson Dodge http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/around-world-cookbook-abigail-johnson.html
68. Thicker Than Blood 0- C.J. Darlington http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/thicker-than-blood-cj-darlington.html
69. The Spice Necklace - Ann Vanderhoof http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/spice-necklace-ann-vanderhoof.html
70. The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes - Frederick J. Vagnini M.D http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/weight-loss-plan-for-beating-diabetes.html
71. A Touch of Scandal - Jennifer Haymore http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/touch-of-scandal-jennifer-haymore-blog.html
72. Eyewitness Travel Guides: Canada http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/eyewitness-travel-guides-canada.html
73. Songbird Under a German Moon - Tricia Goyer http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/songbird-under-german-moon-tricia-goyer.html
74. Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country - Allan Richard Shickman http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/zan-gah-and-beautiful-country-allan.html
75. Rick & Bubba's Big Honkin' Book of Grub - Rick Burgess & Bill "Bubba" Bussey http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/rick-bubbas-big-honkin-book-of-grub.html
76. Digital Photography An Introduction 3E - Tom Ang http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/03/digital-photography-introduction-3rd.html
77. St. John of the Midfield - Garasamo Maccagnone http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/st-john-of-midfield-garasamo-maccagnone.html
78. Prilla's Talent - Stefan Petrucha http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/disney-fairies-1-prillas-talent-stefan.html
79. Share from the Heart - Marilyn Randall http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/share-from-heart-marilyn-randall.html
80. Parkers' Astrology - Julie & Derek Parker http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/parkers-astrology-julie-derek-parker.html
81. Lemon Tart - Josi S. Kilpack http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/lemon-tart-josi-s-kilpack.html
82. Lethal Rage - Brent Pilkey http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/lethal-rage-brent-pilkey.html
83. How to Achieve Heaven on Earth - John E. Wade II http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-achieve-heaven-on-earth-john-e.html
84. I Has A Hotdog - Professor Happycat http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-has-hotdog-professor-happycat.html
85. Sexaholics - Pynk http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/sexaholics-pynk-blog-tour-author-guest.html
86. A Distant Melody - Sarah Sundin http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/distant-melody-sarah-sundin-blog-tour.html
87. Dear John - Nicholas Sparks http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/dear-john-nicholas-sparks.html
88. Will the World End in 2012 - Raymond C. Hundley http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/will-world-end-in-2012-raymond-c.html
89. How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly - Connie May Fowler http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-clarissa-burden-learned-to-fly.html
90. The Twilight Gospel - Dave Roberts http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/twilight-gospel-dave-roberts-blog-tour.html
91. The Rough Guide to Cloud Computing - Peter Buckley http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/rough-guide-to-cloud-computing-peter.html
92. Tomato - Gail Harland & Trevor Cole http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/tomato-guide-to-pleasures-of-choosing.html
93. Dead Man of the Year - Stephen Hawley Martin http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/dead-man-of-year-stephen-hawley-martin.html
94. She-Rain - Michael Cogdill http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/she-rain-michael-cogdill.html
95. Heartache & Sin - Charles Soto http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/heartache-sin-charles-soto.html
96. Guardian - Katie Hines http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/guardian-katie-hines.html
97. Hollywood Moon - Joseph Wambaugh http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/hollywood-moon-joseph-wambaugh.html
98. Asking For Trouble - Sandra Byrd http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/asking-for-trouble-sandra-byrd.html
99. Beaded Hope - Cathy Liggett http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/beaded-hope-cathy-liggett.html
100. Ruby of the Realms - Daniel Kamin http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/04/ruby-of-realms-daniel-kamin.html

The Friday 56



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
*Post a link along with your post back to http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/



Page 56, Sentence 5:

She was already ranked in the Top 20.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Embrace the Struggle, Living Life on Life's Terms by Zig Ziglar & Julie Ziglar-Norman


Full Description:
When life becomes a struggle...embrace it!

From a highly successful career in motivational speaking to a daily struggle overcoming the effects of a head injury, Zig Ziglar's life changed drastically in just minutes when he suffered a traumatic fall down the stairs one fateful night. After years of speaking and writing about the value of having a positive attitude and being thankful, Zig was challenged to put his own words into practice.
In true Ziglar style, filled with optimism and honesty, Zig shares his experience, along with heartening stories from friends, as he seeks to encourage and remind you that life is worth living, even if it's not on our own terms.






For more information, visit the website: http://www.embracethestruggle.com/



©2009



About Author:
Zig Ziglar has motivated the sales forces of multi-national corporations, as well as the thousands of individuals who have attended his seminars and read his books. He is the president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation and the author of the bestsellers Secrets of Closing the Sale, Success and the Self-Image, 5 Steps to Successful Selling, How to be a Winner, and How to Get What You Want.
Julie Ziglar Norman is Zig and Jean Zigler's third born and youngest daughter. Julie has co-authored Embrace The Struggle with her father, and their dynamic on-stage relationship has inspired more than 100,000 people in audiences all across America. Julie lives in Alvord, Texas, with her husband, Jim, three cats, three dogs, three horses and one box turtle.



My Take on the Book:
This book, though mildly religious, had my attention from the beginning. Usually religious books don't do that so much for me. This book was fantastic!
I like where the author got the title from. A story by Brother Bern, which was truly inspiring. Actually, many times throughout this book I felt inspired or could relate on many levels. I especially related to the Alzheimers section. I lost my Papa, and my Dad from it. My father was only 67. At least my Papa was with me until 83. Though he did not know me then. Each time I remember thinking, "At least they're in Heaven and not suffering anymore."
The book didn't challenge my faith, but it did make me look at what I value most and why. I like when a book can reaffirm your beliefs.
They were stories we could all connect to. From family, finances, career, health and marriage. My favorite part of th ebook is Chapter 11, Zig Ziglar's family is expressing their views on the family's struggles. It was nice to hear all sides and not just one.
The ONLY problem I had, was on Page 1, no less. 2nd Paragraph there is a typo. It is spelled achievemen, which is obviously supposed to be achievement. That is great when that is all I can complain about. I highly suggest you take a gander at this book, and I leave you with a quote;

Where there is struggle, there is life. ~Zig Ziglar~


~I did not receive any compensation for this post. This is my honest opinion.~

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Introduction to Decoding The Lost Symbol


by Simon Cox,
Author of Decoding The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Expert Guide to the Facts Behind the Fiction


It was April 2009, and I was just arriving at the London Book Fair at the Earls Court Exhibition Halls. I was intending on catching up with friends, my UK publisher, and having a general look at what was new in the publishing world. However, I knew that something remarkable had happened the minute I had arrived. An air of excitement and expectation filled the packed halls, and smiles were emanating from all around. Grown men were close to tears.


I instantly knew what had happened: the new Dan Brown book had been announced.


This was to be the start of nearly five months of manic preparation and debate. Clues and hints would be given out, opinions bandied about, and crazed supposition would fill thousands of web pages. However, let's wind back the clock to the publication of Brown's previous Robert Langdon thriller, The Da Vinci Code, in 2003.


Back then, Dan Brown was a semisuccessful author of several thrillers, one of which was the first Robert Langdon novel, Angels & Demons, published in 2000. Sales had been average to poor, and Brown's publisher decided to take a gamble with The Da Vinci Code, sending out ten thousand free copies to bookstores and their book buyers, reviewers, and trade professionals. The plan worked, and soon sales really began to take off.


At the time, I was the editor in chief of a U.S.-based newsstand magazine called Phenomena. The Da Vinci Code was starting to cause quite a stir within the alternative-history genre that I inhabited; in fact, several authors that I had worked for as a researcher had their work credited as source material for Brown's book. (Phenomena even ran an article "casting" the movie version of The Da Vinci Code, should it ever come to pass. For the record, not one of the actors we thought would be so terrific in the roles of Dr. Robert Langdon, Sir Leigh Teabing, and the book's other characters was cast for Ron Howard's 2006 film starring Tom Hanks.) Eventually a small London publisher approached me about writing a short guide to The Da Vinci Code. The book, Cracking the Da Vinci Code, went on to become an international best seller in its own right. I subsequently wrote Illuminating Angels & Demons, a companion to Brown's other Langdon-based novel.


Intriguingly, the dust jacket of the U.S. hardcover edition of The Da Vinci Code seemed to contain clues hinting at the next novel in the series. This fascinated me, and I found out all I could about these clues and the secrets that they potentially held.


Time passed, and rumors began circulating that a title had been chosen. The new book was to be called The Solomon Key -- an apparent reference to a medieval book on magic with the same title. Impatiently, I began researching all that I could about this centuries-old text, which supposedly was written in Italy during the Renaissance but claimed a lineage that went all the way back to King Solomon himself. Perfect material for a Dan Brown thriller, I thought. Brown's publishing team registered a new website, solomonkey.com, and everything seemed poised for the new book to arrive soon.


More time passed . . . and more time passed . . . and still no definitive word about the new book, though plenty of fresh rumors abounded: Brown had scrapped the book; there would be no follow-up to The Da Vinci Code. Brown, exhausted from having fended off a high-profile copyright-infringement lawsuit in London, had decided to take an extended break from writing. It was even claimed that the 2004 movie National Treasure, starring Nicolas Cage as a treasure hunter seeking a mysterious war chest hidden by the Founding Fathers, had stolen so much of the forthcoming book's thunder that it required a complete rewrite. The unsubstantiated allegations were completely fanciful, of course, but they replicated over and over like a virus on the ever-conspiratorial internet sites that monitored the story, sending the rumor mill into overdrive.


Then came the 2009 London Book Fair. Only a couple of months before, I had predicted to my UK publisher that the announcement would indeed be made at the London event. More in hope than expectation, it has to be said, but accurate nonetheless.


A press release was handed out by Brown's publishers, and suddenly a new title presented itself. The Lost Symbol, to be published on September 15, 2009. What could such an enigmatic title mean? What was lost? Which symbol? The race was on, the game was afoot, and I rushed headlong into research-and-reading mode. What you hold in your hands before you is the outcome of that labor.


Before long, a new website appeared, at www.thelostsymbol.com, though nothing but a holding page was evident for quite a while. Then, out of the blue, the site added links to a Dan Brown Facebook page and Twitter feed. Excitement grew to fever pitch, as thousands of people became Facebook and Twitter followers of Dan Brown overnight.


Steadily, these new media outlets began to reveal tantalizing clues and tidbits of story line. With each revelation, I furiously took notes and researched everything I could find. It was as if a whole new world were opening up. It was a cornucopia of material, and I started ordering more new books for my library to cover some of the subjects mentioned.


Some of the clues actually gave coordinates to several locations, such as the so-called Bimini Road. This unusual underwater structure off the island of Bimini in the Bahamas is claimed to be a man-made edifice and a remnant of the lost island of Atlantis. I had spent two summers on Bimini a number of years back as part of my research for a book about Atlantis. "Great," I thought, "now I have a head start on some of the material." Coordinates were also given for the Great Pyramid of Giza, the last standing wonder of the ancient world and another place with which I was intimately familiar. Then there were coordinates to Newgrange in Ireland, a monumental passage tomb built around five thousand years ago. The stone structure is famous for its alignment to dawn on the winter solstice, when a narrow beam of light briefly illuminates the floor of the chamber. I had just visited Newgrange with the author and Freemason Chris McClintock.


Possible adversaries and secret societies were hinted at. Ciphers, codes, and cryptograms were revealed. Historical figures were mentioned. It was all adding up to a furious game of who could be first to reveal the answers to the clues. Websites sprang up detailing the background and history of some of the people, places, and groups being mentioned. It was an internet feeding frenzy.


Then I remembered something: Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, a character from The Da Vinci Code, whose name had a hidden meaning. Aringa is the Italian word for "herring"; rosa means "red." Dan Brown liked to throw multiple red herrings into the mix. I began to look at the Twitter and Facebook clues in a new light. What if many of these were indeed red herrings? What if I were immersing myself in subjects that weren't included in the published book? That's when I stopped even looking at the Facebook and Twitter pages. After all, everything would be revealed on the day of publication, September 15.


Even this date, we were told, was part of the puzzle; chosen specifically for the book's release. I began to check almanacs, history books, websites, conspiracy theorist blogs, but found nothing. Then it hit me: 09.15.09; 9 plus 15 plus 9 equals 33. So it was true. The Freemasons, and specifically Scottish Rite Freemasons, would be a central theme of the book -- something that had been hinted at on the dust jacket of The Da Vinci Code years ago.


Then, before I knew it, publication day arrived. I began reading The Lost Symbol furiously. When I finished some twelve hours later, I realized that my suspicions had proved correct: many of the clues leaked over the previous months on Dan Brown's Twitter and Facebook pages were indeed aringarosa -- red herrings. There was no Morgan affair; no Aaron Burr; no William Wirt (and the strange story of his skull); no Knights of the Golden Circle; no substantial mentions of Albert Pike; no Benedict Arnold; no Confederate gold; no Babington plot; no Alexander Hamilton and the origins of the New York Stock Exchange; no Sons of Liberty; no Lost Colony of Roanoke; no Robert Hanssen, the U.S.-born Russian spy; no Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.


Cleverly, there was no Key of Solomon, either. Instead we have a family with the surname of Solomon, who hold the keys to the eventual outcome. The Great Pyramid figures in the story, though not prominently and not in the context that many had thought.


Dan Brown and his publishers had managed to pull off something of a coup, keeping the plotline of The Lost Symbol pretty much under wraps until the day of publication (although a couple of U.S. newspapers did print reviews the day before, in defiance of the publisher's embargo). It was an amazing feat, especially considering that the book's print run exceeded five million copies, and it guaranteed Brown a huge amount of media and public attention.


So: what did we end up with? Is The Lost Symbol a worthy successor to Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code?


The Lost Symbol is, in the end, a pretty good thriller that keeps Robert Langdon on his toes and involves some big themes and historical enigmas. However, it's the deeper, more hidden elements of the book that I believe will have the most impact over time. Between the lines of the novel, Dan Brown has attempted to write something akin to a hidden Hermetic text. It's a bold and ambitious undertaking, and one that I applaud him for. Indeed, the last ten chapters of the book and the epilogue are more or less an extended treatise on Deism, Hermetic thought, and religious tolerance.


The Freemasons are the secret society of choice this time around. I'm sure that there will be those who see Freemasonry as a covert, sinister movement intent on power and blasphemy. I see it rather differently. I am not a Freemason, nor will I ever be one. But I do know many Freemasons. Indeed, Ian Robertson, one of the chief researchers for this book, is a Freemason, as is my friend Chris McClintock, author of the soon-to-be-published Sun of God book series on the origins of the Freemasonry and its symbolism. Neither of them is in any way sinister, nor are the countless other Freemasons that I know and respect. I like the stance that Dan Brown has taken with Freemasonry within The Lost Symbol. Many commentators thought that the Masons would, in effect, be portrayed as the "bad guys," but this is not the case. In fact, Brown makes a convincing argument for Freemasonry being a tolerant and enlightened movement with some interesting and forward-thinking ideas.


While it should be said that Freemasonry is a secretive society, it is not a secret society. Membership is easy to research and find out about, and most members are not shy about letting you know that they are within the craft, as it is called. Since the heyday of Freemasonry in the eighteenth century, it has attracted men of a certain social standing and, to an extent, still does. But the group has become more welcoming as of late, and I hope that this trend continues.


One of the things I wanted to get across within some of the entries of this book is that maybe it's not Freemasonry we should be wary of -- instead maybe we should fear the real secret groups and societies of which we know very little or nothing. Then again, maybe we are simply chasing shadows, wisps of rumor and supposition that have tormented us for millennia; a fear of secret and hidden things that, in the end, may not be that secret or hidden after all. Another thing worth noting is that although many of the people mentioned in this book were not Freemasons (Pierre L'Enfant springs to mind), or at least we have no evidence that they were, they would have been intimately familiar with the society and its workings. Many of their contemporaries and peers would have been members, and the craft would have been all around. It seems likely, for instance, that Thomas Jefferson, though we have no direct evidence of his membership in a Masonic lodge, did have sympathies with the Masonic ideals of brotherhood, enlightenment, and religious tolerance.


Once again, like my previous guides to Dan Brown's books, this book is laid out in an easy-to-read A-to-Z format. There are some sixty entries in all; fewer than in previous guides. This was deliberate, as I wanted to give you a much more in-depth took at some of the themes, places, people, and groups featured in the novel.


The BBC in the United Kingdom once called me "a historian of the obscure," a title that I like very much indeed. I have aimed to bring you some of that history of obscure and hidden subjects within the pages of this book. If you feel the urge to look deeper and delve further into some of the interesting subjects highlighted here, take a look at the bibliography and start building your own library of esoteric and arcane subjects. Just make sure that you remember to sleep and eat while familiarizing yourself with the ancient mystery traditions -- it's an addictive pursuit but also a very rewarding one, and one that I hope many of you will undertake.


If you want to talk about, debate, or extol any of the subjects in this book or the novel itself, head over to my website at www.decodingthelostsymbol.com, where you will find a forum for debate and articles and blogs. If you want to contact me directly about any of the issues raised, I have my own Facebook page under my name and can be found on Twitter too (@FindSimonCox).


Writing this book was a lot of fun, and it has given me a newfound respect and admiration for the men who founded a new and fledgling nation in America, at the end of the eighteenth century. As a British writer and historian, it's a period of history that I was not that familiar with and I have really enjoyed the research and subsequent writing about this tumultuous time. The Founding Fathers really were incredibly enlightened and forward-thinking men, who guided the formation of a republic with steady hands and an unwavering resolve. I will forever look at them, and this period of time, in a brand-new light from now on.


I hope you enjoy Decoding The Lost Symbol, and find its contents enlightening and interesting. I pass it on to you with the hope that you will find it as fun to read as it was to write.


Simon Cox
Bedford,
United Kingdom
September 2009
The above is an excerpt from the book Decoding The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Expert Guide to the Facts Behind the Fiction by Simon Cox. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.
Copyright © 2009 Simon Cox, author of Decoding The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Expert Guide to the Facts Behind the Fiction


Author Bio
Simon Cox, author of Decoding The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Expert Guide to the Facts Behind the Fiction, was the founding editor in chief of the successful newsstand magazine Phenomena. Having studied Egyptology at University College London, he went on to work as a research assistant for some of the biggest names in the alternative history game, including Graham Hancock, Robert Bauvel, and David Rohl. He splits his time between Britain and the United States.


You can visit his website at www.DecodingTheLostSymbol.com

Seven Ways To Manage Your Diabetic Waistline During the Holidays‏

By Frederic J. Vagnini, M.D., FACS, and Lawrence D. Chilnick,
Authors of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes


During the holiday season many dedicated dieters or those who follow special diets for diabetes, heart disease or other conditions not only "fall off the wagon" but also leap into the deep end of the pool. Don't feel guilty. This is a normal reaction to attending large family dinners where everyone makes food loaded with seductive carbohydrates. We also go to multiple parties -- sometimes on the same day -- where the hosts have hired caterers who specialize in delicious appetizers and desserts that are so good you just stand at the buffet and eat more and more.


Worse, in some cases you are at the home of a sensitive relative who has taken gourmet cooking courses and will be insulted if you don't have at least seconds of every dish. Your diabetes is not an excuse where they are concerned.


Can you have "your cake and eat it" during this holiday season that now seems to stretch from before Thanksgiving well into the coming year? If you adopt a simple strategy, you can survive the holidays without too much damage.


The first thing you have to admit is that you are not powerless over the mounds of mashed potatoes, hams, turkeys, stuffing, butter coated green beans and apple and pumpkin pies. Next, adopt these few logical steps below and with any luck and preparation you will come out of the holidays as healthy as you went into them -- your blood sugars and weight at the same levels three months before.


One
: Put Yourself Into Pre-Holiday Training: Think of the holidays as sort of an Olympics (for Eating). The first thing any athlete does is begin training. As a diabetic you are already exercising, eating properly and taking medication and supplements. Adopt a strategy that helps you increase your exercise and lowers your blood sugars even more. Begin this a month ahead of Thanksgiving. When you are shopping park farther away and walk everywhere you can. The more "workouts" you get with proper food and exercise the better shape you will be in.


Two: Holidays are not a license to eat. We all tend to have "slips" when following a weight loss plan -- especially as a diabetic whose health depends on keeping nutrition balanced. Do not rationalize as you line up to shovel food on your plate that this is only "for today". It won't turn out that way. There will be more parties and unless you adopt the attitude that "today is just like any other day" you will be on the downhill slide.


Three:
Use Visualization. Think of how you felt in the past when you did overeat. Remember over eating and the bloated, nauseous feeling that may have led to you getting sick and ending up vomiting and passed out on the couch. Just bring that sensation back and you will already start backing away from the table.


Four: Think Of The Damages: Keep in mind that over eating during the holidays can destroy an entire year of work and you end up possibly gaining 10-15 pound in a few weeks. It is OK to go off your diet a bit but keep the consequences in focus.


Five: Stay Home When You Can: This one is tough but if you can keep the "exposure" down your odds of staying on track increase.


Six
: Don't Go To Parties Hungry: In effect pre-medicate. Have a small salad or something healthy when you go to a party or dinner so you will not be as tempted.


Seven: Avoid the "liquids". Parties seem to attract bottles of beer and glasses of wine. Remember how many calories these contain and stick to water if you can.


The holiday season is about seeing old friends, family and having a good time. While all the food and entertaining is hard to avoid, if you keep these ideas in mind you can still enjoy yourself and not suffer from it. The most important lesson is that if you keep exercising -- staying in training -- you will have a much easier time continuing your weight loss program after the holidays are passed..
©2009 Frederic Vagnini, M.D., FACS, and Lawrence D. Chilnick, authors of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes

Author Bios:

Frederic J. Vagnini, M.D., FACS, coauthor of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes, is a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon whose understanding of the ravages of cardiovascular diseases is grounded in twenty years as a cardiac surgeon. He hosts a popular call-in radio show and has published several books, including The Carbohydrate Addict's Healthy Heart Program, a New York Times bestseller.


Lawrence D. Chilnick, coauthor of The Weight Loss Plan for Beating Diabetes: The 5-Step Program That Removes Metabolic Roadblocks, Sheds Pounds Safely, and Reverses Prediabetes and Diabetes, is the authors and creator of the New York Times bestseller The Pill Book, which has sold 17 million copies and is still in print after more than two decades. He is a publishing executive, editor, teacher, journalist, broadcaster, and author of several popular health reference books, electronic products, audiotapes, and videos.


For more information please visit http://vagnini.com and http://www.fairwindspress.com/description.asp?isbn=9781592333844

Tamed by a Laird by Amanda Scott





Full Description:
National bestselling author Amanda Scott sweeps readers back to the turbulent fourteenth-century Scottish Borders, where valiant men and women risk everything for their land. Jenny Easdale is ready to accept her fate. She's agreed to marry a man she will never love - yet not before slipping away for one last adventure. Following a traveling minstrel troupe, she's whisked into a world of intoxicating freedom. Then, all too soon, she finds herself in danger - from a vengeful political plot against Scotland and from the man who has come to take her home. Dutybound to return with his brother's wayward bride, Sir High Douglas is not prepared for how her quick wit, courage, and laughing eyes touch his warrior heart. Now, as the merry minstrels play matchmaker and passion sparks between Hugh and Jenny, the conspiracy against Scotland builds...and threatens all they hold dear.

©2009


About Author:
Amanda Scott, best-selling author and winner of the Romance Writers of America's RITA/Golden Medallion and The Romantic Times' awards for Best Regency Author and Best Sensual Regency, began writing on a dare from her husband. She has sold every manuscript she has written. More than twenty-five of her books are set in the English Regency period (1810-1820), others are set in fifteenth-century England and sixteenth-and eighteenth-century Scotland. Three are contemporary romances. Amanda lives with her husband and son in northern California.

For more information visit her webiste: http://home.att.net/~amandascott/


My Take on the Book:
I enjoyed this story, despite it taking forever to get into the romance part of it. Which when it did, it was hot!!! 150 pages into it I was still waiting for a heaving bosom, or something.
The stories aside from the romance were fantastic!! I enjoyed the history of Scotland and the feud with the English. I loved the detail the author used when describing scenery and characters. I felt a part of 1367 Scotland and not just a reader.
And of course the romance was awesome. I really got into the characters, and was cheering along that they stay married. I knew it a match too!!! In order to understand this, you MUST read the story. You, too, will get involved in mess Janet and Hugh make for themselves, and you, too, will cheer them on.
I think all you romance readers will LOVE this book in the end. Just keep reading!!! I can't wait to read the sequel, due out in January 2010.


~I did not receive any compensation for this post. This is my honest opinion.~

Teaser Tuesday


Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/?s=Teaser+Tuesdays

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!



My Teaser:


I pray that you, too, have the comfort and joy knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

~Page 31, Embrace the Struggle by Zig Ziglar & Julie Ziglar Norman

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Friday 56



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
*Post a link along with your post back to http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/



Page 56, Sentence 5:
"Nay, for I'm to see the Joculator," Jenny said. "I hope I'm on the right path."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Contest Time!!! Ends Nov 27, 11:59 pm est CLOSED


Decoding The Lost Symbol by Simon Cox

Full Description:
Secret Societies . . . Forgotten History . . . Conspiracies . . .
From the bestselling Dan Brown expert, a guide to the fascinating and mysterious world of The Lost Symbol
Dan Brown's new novel once again features Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, this time in the United States, racing to uncover clues and crack codes involving secrets that are perpetuated to this day. But how much of the novel is true and what is pure fiction? Simon Cox, bestselling author of Cracking the Da Vinci Code and Illuminating Angels & Demons, offers the first definitive guide to all the mysteries featured in The Lost Symbol.
Based on extensive research, this A-to-Z guide lists the real people, organizations, and themes features in Dan Brown's latest novel, explains their histories and their meanings, reproduces and analyzes the symbols themselves, and provides insider knowledge gleaned from years of exhaustive study. From the monuments of Washington, D.C., to the secrets of Salt Lake City and the hidden enclaves in Langley, Virginia, Cox knows where the facts are hidden about the Freemasons, Albert Pike, the Rosicrucians, the Founding Fathers, and more.
This is the only resource you'll need to understand and enjoy the complex new world of The Lost Symbol.

Author Bio:
Simon Cox was the founding editor in chief of the successful newsstand magazine Phenomena. Having studied Egyptology at University College London, he went on to work as a research assistant for some of the biggest names in the alternative history game, including Graham Hancock, Robert Bauvel, and David Rohl. He splits his time between Britain and the United States.


You can visit his website at www.DecodingTheLostSymbol.com


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO ANNA AND FSB ASSOCIATES, I HAVE
2 COPIES OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!

RULES: Open to U.S. and Canada
SORRY NO P.O. BOXES

All comments must be separate and have a valid email.

Mandatory: Must comment and leave email, good for one entry.
NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

For extra entries, leave separate comment for each:
+1 Be a follower of my blog.
+1 Blog or tweet contest, leave link. Can be done daily.

Easy as 1-2-3! Contest ends November 27, 11:59 p.m. (e.s.t.)




Best of luck!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking For Closure: The Theresa Ferrara Story by Maria Stewart


Full Description:
On the afternnon of February 10, 1979, Theresa Ferrara took a phone call at Apple Hair Cutters on Long Island, New York. Then she headed out the door-"to make an easy $10,000," as she told her niece. She said she'd be back in ten minutes. That was the last time anyone saw her alive. The FBI ruled it a homicide. But what really happened to Theresa Ferrara? Was she killed over her involvement in the Mafia's legendary Lufthansa Heist-the biggest in history? Was she murdered in connection to her rumored informing on New York drug dealers? Or was it something else entirely? Was she even dead?
Looking For Closure chronicles her niece's courageous and decades-long journey to uncover the truth behind her beloved aunt's mysterious disappearance-and the partial remains that turned up three months later, identified as Theresa's. Using police and court records, newspaper reports, interviews and forensics technology, Maria Stewart pushes for a renewed investigation into the case. And she discovers the incredible secrets behind a life she thought she knew. Through it all, this real-life thriller provides important details on the case that riveted the papaers and served as inspiration for characters in the movies Goodfellas and Ten Million Dollar Getaway. Stewart examines every possible lead from phone calls purporting that Theresa was still alive to a psychic's intriguing statements. But what she discovers could be even more shocking than she imagined possible.


©2009


About Author:

Maria Stewart is the oldest niece to Theresa Ferrara. For more than twenty years, Stewart has been examining ever piece of the case. At age 40, she uncovered major flaws in the official investigation, prompting a new look at what happened to Theresa. Stewart has three children and lives on Long Island, New York.

For more information visit; http://outskirtpress.com/lookingforclosure


My Take on the Book:
I'm almost at a loss on where to begin. It was a really great book to read, but because of the subject and nature of the book, I feel I must tread softly in this review. It is not some tale to be told for sport, this was someone's life, and their family does not deserve more bad talk or lies. My heart is still wrenched for the family of Theresa Ferrara. They may have a little more closure, but in many ways it is still very much up in the air. With so many unanswered questions surrounding her disappearance and death, correction murder, how can the family feel resolve. I know if it were me, I would wonder everyday, "what if?" It doesn't help if you have crooked police and agents at every turn.
I am thankful for the Author sharing her story with me. It must have been the hardest thing anyone could do, in writing about it. I hope anyone who reads this book, will see what the family needs most. Which I believe are answers. Though the crime happened in the 70's, if anyone has information or any piece of news at all, please come forward. If you haven't heard of the story before, I highly recommend you take the time to read it. It will open your eyes to many things, but mostly you will learn of one womans life, love and family.

~I did not receive any compensation for this post. This is my honest opinion.~

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Guilt Gene, Poems by Diana Raab




Full Description:
Since the age of ten Diana Raab has been using her journal to capture images, feelings, and opinions, many of which have resulted in published poems. Her life's passion for keeping a journal served as a platform for her work as a full-time writer. This latest book, THE GUILT GENE, is a collection of sixty accessible poems depicting her view of inner and outer life.
Raab's poetry collection addresses a broad view of personal issues, including her life as a hippie in the sixties, coping with health issues, family sagas, travels, musings, fantasies, and her life as a writer. The universal themes will appeal to a broad audience, while addressing deeply personal issues.


©2009



About Author:
Diana Raab's poetry is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009 Next Generation Book Award for Poetry and The Reader Views Book Award for her last collection, Dear Anais: My Life in Poems For You (2008).
Raab shares her passion for journaling with others by teaching its benefits and joys at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and to teens in the community. She also facilitates journaling and memoir workshops around the country. She stresses the healing power of journaling and how poetry can be born on the pages of a journal.

For more information, visit her website: http://dianaraab.com


My Take on the Book:
I was quite excited to review this book, then it disappointed me. I love poetry, and am even guilty of writing it from time to time. I felt as though most of the "poems" in this book, were more like vignettes or random thoughts. Very scattered and put to paper. There were only six that I enjoyed or even considered a form of poetry. Sorry, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, and sure won't be on my recommendation list.


~I did not receive any compensation for this post. This is my honest opinion.~

Teaser Tuesday



Hosted by: http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/?s=Teaser+Tuesdays

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!


My Teaser:

Hewas always telling her how to do things, like how she should cook, clean, and take care of herself. He was just like Felix Unger.

Page 57, Looking For Closure: The Theresa Ferrara Story by Maria Stewart

Monday, November 9, 2009

10 Tips to Connect With Your Body When Diagnosed With Illness

By Zippora Karz,
Author of The Sugarless Plum: A Ballerina's Triumph Over Diabetes



I am a former ballerina with the New York City Ballet, and presently a public speaker, movement motivator, ballet teacher, and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust. When I was diagnosed with diabetes in my third year in the company, I thought my career was over. I had always thought of myself as a positive person. As a hard worker, I could see the positive results in ballet. After my diagnosis my positive perspective basically went out the window. It didn't happen right away; at first I was convinced I could conquer my diabetes with my dancers discipline. But after being mis-diagnosed twice and struggling with my prescribed insulin doses, I found balancing my diabetes was not as predictable as balancing on my pointes. Once I eventually learned how to dance with diabetes, my next struggle was internal. Was this a suitable career for an insulin dependent diabetic? Thankfully, I didn't give up, and six years after my diagnosis I was promoted to soloist ballerina and would go on to perform for a total of sixteen years.

1. Know what the facts are.

Educate yourself as much as you can about your situation. There are so many emotions involved, and I am one for allowing yourself to experience them, but you need to know the facts. I was positive and determined to overcome my situation, but being mis-diagnosed sent me on the wrong path and I went astray. It took me years to understand the type of diabetes I had and it was many years before I figured out how to dance on insulin and manage my diabetes successfully. It is true that knowledge is power.

2. Come out of denial.

Be gentle with yourself, allow for shock and grief, anger and fear, whatever emotions you feel. But again, use your intellect to make decisions that can help you get the right care. Denial can help keep you motivated and positive, but it needs to end or it can lead to ignorance. I believe I stayed with a doctor who gave me the wrong advice because I was still in denial, and a part of me wanted to believe his improper diagnosis.

3. Communicate.

Because my blood sugar levels were often elevated, it was difficult for me to have clarity. I had trouble speaking up to authority figures based on my childhood experiences and was intimidated by my doctor. Therefore I was not able to ask the right questions or explain my concerns and difficulties. At work I was also afraid of telling my directors, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins, what was happening to me. I didn't communicate with my doctor or my directors, and tried to do it all on my own. This made my journey all the more isolating and difficult. Find a doctor you can trust and become a partner with them.

4. Take responsibility for your health.

We have to know and believe we are worth it -- that our lives have meaning. It is up to each of us to be our own cheerleader. Become interested in the process and investigate the right components for success. Doctors do not always have all the answers. I have always been passionate about physical and emotional well-being. I enjoy discovering the best way to eat for my body and how to work with my personal psychology. Your journey to optimal health can and will be a journey of self-discovery.

5. Work with your body.

I was angry with my body for failing me and saw my body as the inadequate enemy ruining my life. When I learned to see my diabetes as a child, one I needed to nurture and take care of rather than yell at, I finally learned how to be on my own team.

6. Breathe.

There are many different breathing techniques. Start by being aware, slowing down and noticing your breath as it goes in and out. Try to inhale, filling your lungs with air, and then on the exhale slowly allow the air to seep out. Picture a feather gently floating to the ground.



7. Move Freely.

Besides more vigorous exercise, spend some time doing gentle stretch like movements. Find a comfortable, position whether it be sitting or lying down, and picture the waves in the ocean. Allow your torso to gently rock back and forth, twist and curve in any way that feels comfortable. Keep breathing.

8. Eat well for your body.

We all know that healthy foods can satisfy us physically as well as emotionally. Learn how to love eating healthy by finding alternatives to unhealthy foods you crave when you are stressed. I ask myself what texture I am craving; creamy, salty, crunchy, fatty or sweet and then pick the healthiest food that will satisfy that need. Not only do my blood sugars stay balanced, my cravings and my emotions calm down.

9. Release held emotions: Going Deeper.

Learn how to deal with daily stress and deeper emotions. Rather than holding them in, transform them. If you are particularly stressed take some time to feel what is going on emotionally inside of you. It may help to journal, talk to someone, or simply breathe. Giving yourself permission to relax is extremely important.

10. The Dance Within.

The passion and freedom of spirit I experienced early in my life became my reference for the future. No matter what I'm doing, whether it's mundane or extraordinary, there is a constant dance within me that connects and engages me to the world around. Find your own dance and keep it close to your heart.



I believe when we practice tools to connect with ourselves we will be better able to maintain balance despite the chaos around us. I want us all to live full, healthy, and vibrant lives, where dreams are realized, and potentials and passions fulfilled. I believe this is possible, even with a chronic illness as I am experiencing. I believe it starts within.

©2009

Author BioZippora Karz, author of The Sugarless Plum:A Ballerina's Triumph Over Diabetes, is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker being one of her favorites) as well as works choreographed for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Miss Karz danced with the New York City Ballet from 1983 through 1999. She now serves as a teacher and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, rehearsing and staging Balanchine's choreography for a host of national and international dance companies. She is also a diabetes spokesperson and educator who regularly addresses major diabetes conferences and organizations worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles, California.


For more information please visit www.ZipporaKarz.com

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