Monday, April 30, 2012

April Monthly News

Welcome to the April edition of Monthly News!
I had a rant this month, in regards to a certain blogger plagiarizing. Read about that HERE.


BOOKS:

1. Intangible - J. Meyers (recommend)
2. Eyes of Justice - Lis Wiehl (recommend)
3. The Humming Room - Ellen Potter (recommend)
4. Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer - Maureen McGowan (recommend)
5. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa (recommend)
6. Hollywood Celebrities - Sati Achath
7. Firelight - Sophie Jordan (HIGHLY recommend)
8. The Lost Saint - Bree Despain (recommend)
9. Baroness - Susan May Warren (recommend)
10. Barefoot in the Sand - Roxanne St. Clair


PAGE COUNT:
13740


PRODUCTS:
1. Ecowear by Future Oxygen
2. Ethical Bean
3. Mont Bleu Glass Nail Files 
4. Hot Biker T-Shirts


Yearly Total: 48 Books, 7 Products


FREDA'S FAVE FIVE (In No Particular Order):


Sunday, April 29, 2012

#48: Barefoot in the Sand - Roxanne St. Clair (With Interview & Giveaway)

When all you hold dear is taken away . . .
When a hurricane roars through Lacey Armstrong's home on the coast of Barefoot Bay, she decides all that remains in the rubble is opportunity. A new hotel is just what Mimosa Key needs, and Lacey and her teenage daughter are due for a fresh start. And nothing, especially not a hot, younger architect, is going to distract Lacey from finally making her dreams a reality.
A second chance is the only thing you have left.
Love has already cost Clay Walker everything. And if he's going to have any chance of picking up the pieces of his life, he needs the job as Lacey Armstrong's architect. What's not in the plans is falling for the headstrong beauty. Her vision of the future is more appealing than anything he could have ever drafted for himself. Will Clay's designs on Lacey's heart be more than she can handle, or will she trust him to build something that will last forever?

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Forever; Original edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455508217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455508211
Author Bio:
 Roxanne St. Clair is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She currently writes romance for Grand Central/Forever, including the popular "Guardian Angelinos" series and also penned an eight-book award winning series called The Bullet Catchers. Next year, Delacorte Press will release her first Young Adult novel, which has been optioned as a feature film.  She resides in Florida. Sexy contemporary. Romantic Suspense.

My Review of Edge of Sight is HERE.
My review of Shiver of Fear and Face of Danger are HERE.


My Opinion:
I give kudos to Roxanne for venturing into the contemporary romance world, a job well done!
I have to admit, I prefer the scary stuff though just a tad. I'm not sure if that's just a generalization of my tastes or of her writing, but it didn't make me want more romance versus the edge-of-your-seat suspense. I just keep thinking back to her earlier books I have read and wished it was more like that.
With that said, if I hadn't been such a fan of the Guardian Angelinos series, without those thoughts I would have enjoyed it more. I realize that too.
I liked the story, it was quite charming with the setting... minus the hurricane.... and the love triangle was nice. I found it a little predictable, but those who read my reviews know in a romance, I like predictability.
So in all afterthought, I like it. I think Roxanne did a good job venturing out of scaryland, and I would give another book a go.


3/5


Recommend? Yes! Romance fans would enjoy it.


DISCLAIMER: I received a copy for review. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion.


A Word with Author, Roxanne St. Clair.....


Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everywhere, honestly. For BAREFOOT IN THE SAND, the inspiration started when I spent time at my parents’ retirement home on the Gulf Coast (I based Barefoot Bay on their deserted, gorgeous beach), then lost my home in Hurricane Andrew a few years ago (that’s how the book opens), and continues today since I still live in Florida, constantly soaking up the atmosphere of sun, sand, and surf. But the setting and situation is only part of the story, of course. The characters come from my imagination, although I will admit a few of the people who live on Mimosa Key (a fictional island and home to “Barefoot Bay”) are drawn from real life. I hope one of my neighbors doesn’t recognize herself!

 
Do you have a favorite book of your own writing?
I do, and I’m always surprised when authors can’t pick favorites. I have several; most of them were books that were what I call “gimmes” -- quite easy to write. For some reason, the characters just popped on the page and the process was fun instead of painful. (Yes, writing can be painful!) My favorites include HIT REPLY, my one and only “chick lit” book, FACE OF DANGER, my last romantic suspense, and DON’T YOU WISH, my upcoming Y.A. BAREFOOT IN THE SAND was most definitely a favorite because I got to try my hand at a new genre and launch a new series -- always fun!

 
What would you say to aspiring writers in the romance genre?
Oh, there’s so much to say! Read, of course, and write what you love to read. That’s probably pretty obvious. I’d also say don’t listen to the “rules” because they’ll just quiet your voice, but don’t be stubborn when multiple critique partners or agents tell you what’s wrong with your story. Lastly, I’d say this is truly the most exciting time EVER to be a writer. There have never been more options for publication and I think the ereaders have really increased the number of people buying and loving books. Oh, and grow a thick skin and make true friends -- you’ll need both!

What are you reading now?
I’m about to start THE WEDDING DRESS by my incredibly talented and very dear friend, Rachel Hauck. Cannot wait!!

Thanks for answering a few of my burning questions Roxanne! 


And now for the giveaway......
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.....

  


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hot Biker T-Shirts


Hot Biker T-Shirts is a great source to get your biker t-shirts, with great designs, at an affordable price! They've got some cool biker t-shirts like:
There is even some classic biker t-shirts like:


My Opinion:
I was sent a t-shirt for review.
I really like the quality of the graphic on the back, and that is a plus too, being on the back and the front is just black. I sometimes get frustrated while shopping, trying to find shirts with less business on front. I prefer it on the back. The t-shirt feels to be in good quality while against my skin, and I gotta say, looks pretty damn good! I am a chick, but don't get it twisted, I love biker tees, besides being related to some. A new favorite place for cool t-shirts!

5/5  

Recommend? YES!!!! 

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Free Friday, Saturday & Sunday: The House of Women - Anne Brear

As the Victorian Age draws to a close, lonely and brokenhearted, Grace Woodruff fights for her sisters' rights to happiness while sacrificing any chance for her own.

The eldest of seven daughters, Grace is the core of strength around which the unhappy members of the Woodruff family revolve. As her disenchanted mother withdraws to her rooms, Grace must act as a buffer between her violent, ambitious father and the sisters who depend upon her.

Rejected by her first love and facing a spinster's future, she struggles to hold the broken family together through her father's infidelity, one sister's alcoholism, and another's out-of-wedlock pregnancy by an unsuitable match.

Caring for an illegitimate half-brother affords Grace an escape, though short-lived. Forced home by illness and burdened with dwindling finances, Grace faces fresh anguish and murder when her first love returns to wreck havoc in her life.

All is not lost, however. In the midst of tragedy, the fires of her heart are rekindled by another. Will the possibility of true love lead Grace to relinquish her responsibilities in the house of women and embrace her own right to happiness?


  • Kindle: 459 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing (June 8, 2011)
  • ASIN: B00557VUN4

#47: Baroness - Susan May Warren (With Giveaway)

Coming of age in the turbulent Roaring Twenties, two daughters of fortune can have anything they possibly want—except freedom. Expected to marry well and take the reins of the family empire, Lilly and Rosie have their entire lives planned out for them. But Lilly longs to flee the confines of New York City for the untamed wilds of Montana. Her cousin Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen. But following their dreams—to avant-garde France, to dazzling Broadway, to the skies of the fearless wing walkers—will demand all their courage.

When forced to decide, will Lilly and Rosie truly be able to abandon lives of ease and luxury for the love and adventure that beckons? At what cost will each daughter of fortune find her true love and a happy ending?
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: SUMMERSIDE PRESS (March 6, 2012)
  • ISBN: 9781609366315
Author Bio:
 SUSAN MAY WARREN is the best-selling author of more than thirty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have earned her acclaim from readers and reviewers alike. She is a winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the RITA Award, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and a nominee for the Christy Award. She is the founder of My Book Therapy, a community that helps other writers find their voices. Susan and her husband have four children and live in a small Minnesota town on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior. Read more at susanmaywarren.com.

My review of Book 1, Heiress, is HERE.

My Opinion:
While it's true this story picks up where Heiress left off, it can be read as a stand alone book. However, I don't think you should do that. This well written series deserves to be read in its entirety, it's THAT good.
Heiress is about a woman named Esme. This book is about her daughter and niece. I enjoyed this one too. Especially the heartwrenching ending. None of it happened the way I expected and I'm happy about that. My mind didn't expect such an ending!
Looking forward to book 3!


4/5


Recommend? Yes, after reading book 1, Heiress.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy for review. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion.


AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY.....
Comments on this post DO NOT count toward the giveaway.

Win Kindle Fire from Susan May Warren! Enter Today - 4/18-5/7!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 72 with me!  
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple. 



Lacey couldn‘t let go of his hand. Not just because his fingers were strong and callous, or because just the sight of him made her knees a little wobbly, but because…


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CardSwap.ca (With Giveaway)

CardSwap.ca: Canada's #1 site for buying and selling gift cards.

CardSwap offers Canadians a fast, easy and totally secure way to redeem unwanted gift cards for cash, buy gift cards at discount prices, and even donate gift cards to a charitable cause.

Did you know Canadians lose over $1 billion each year in unused gift cards?
Consumer Reports magazine estimates 1 out of every 4 gift cards remains unused after it was received, or they are lost or discarded.

CardSwap is the solution! Now you can sell your unused, unwanted gift cards, buy ones you do want, or donate them to charity. CardSwap is a reputable company that verifies and validates each card and guarantees customer satisfaction.

For more information visit the website, CardSwap.ca 
Facebook and Twitter or their blog

My Opinion:
CardSwap is a great site for Canadians and their gift cards. It is easy to create and account and navigate. There are a lot of merchants, and there are some more added all the time. The website lets you add favorite merchants to your wishlist, and even choose 5 for top priority. They also have the fabulous options of getting a card mailed or an ecode. People who shop online can appreciate the ecode.
I am definitely going to be letting all my fellow Canadians know about this website upon contact. I think it's the best thing since sliced bread!


5/5

Recommend? YES!!!! All my Canadian readers need to check out this site!

DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED $25 GIFT CARD FOR REVIEW. I WAS NOT COMPENSATED FOR THIS POST OR MY OPINION.

And now for the giveaway.......
Fill in the Rafflecopter form... and be sure to take note of the mandatory option.

.
 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

#46: The Lost Saint - Bree Despain


The non-stop sequel to The Dark Divine delivers an even hotter romance and more thrilling action than Bree Despain's first novel.  Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi.  She gave her soul to the wolf to save him and lost her beloved mother.  When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do.  She must become a Hound of Heaven.  Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero.  But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel begins to crumble.  Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace becomes prideful in her new abilities - not realizing that an old enemy has returned and deadly trap is about to be sprung.  Readers, ravenous for more Grace and Daniel, will be itching to sink their teeth into The Lost Saint.

  • Kindle: 446 KB
  • Print Length: 414 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1606840584
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (December 28, 2010)
  • ASIN: B003WUYON4
 My review for book 1, The Dark Divine is HERE

My Opinion:
While I enjoyed this book, I thought the first one was better. With that said, I enjoyed getting to know more about Grace Divine and Daniel Kalpi. I was a little disappointed with how Daniel acted throughout most of the book, but it was also a key part of the tale.
I can still picture this being a blockbuster hit series! So you can rest assured it's an exciting read.


4/5


Recommend? Yes, but only after the first book.

DISCLAIMER: I acquired a Nook copy. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays




Harry Mac made a grab at me, but too late, he missed. I took off along the ridge. Jeff, Ed P. and Harry Mac charged after me.

#45: Firelight - Sophie Jordan


A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.





Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)
  • ISBN: 9780061935084



Author Bio:
Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.

website: sophiejordan.net

My Opinion:
I want to yell and cry! I can't believe the ending, even if it was good and had me on the edge of my seat, I still can't get over how it turned out.
Am I disappointed? Not in the least, just surprised.
Now I have to get a copy of the next book.... I have to know what happens next.... what do they do to Jacinda??? Oh, the burning questions in my mind....
Yes, if you haven't read this book, get a copy. I mean, who isn't fascinated by dragons?! And this is like no other dragon story out there, it's waaaay cooler than that!
I don't know which I liked better, the adventure/fantasy aspect or the romance. It was a great blend of both and very exciting!


5/5


Recommend? YES!!!


DISCLAIMER: I won a copy. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion.

Giveaway: The Sugar Frosted Nutsack - Mark Leyner



High above the bustling streets of Dubai, in the world's tallest and most luxurious skyscraper, reside the gods and goddesses of the modern world. Since they emerged 14 billion years ago from a bus blaring a tune remarkably similar to the Mister Softee jingle, they've wreaked mischief and havoc on mankind. Unable to control their jealousies, the gods have splintered into several factions, led by the immortal enemies XOXO, Shanice, La Felina, Fast-Cooking Ali, and Mogul Magoo. Ike Karton, an unemployed butcher from New Jersey, is their current obsession. Ritualistically recited by a cast of drug-addled bards, THE SUGAR FROSTED NUTSACK is Ike's epic story. A raucous tale of gods and men confronting lust, ambition, death, and the eternal verities, it is a wildly fun, wickedly fast gambol through the unmapped corridors of the imagination.

Thanks to Anna and Hachette Book Group,  I have 3 copies up for grabs!
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

#44: Hollywood Celebrities: Basic Things You've Always Wanted to Know (Vol 1) - Sati Achath


Hollywood Celebrities contains biographical snapshots of the current crop of top 55 Hollywood celebrities. From this book you will learn about each one's: name at birth; nickname(s); date of birth; birth place; height; zodiac sign; education; family; awards; and interesting factoids. Each snapshot is accompanied by a caricature of the celebrity, drawn by the author himself.
Among the celebrities included are:

Angelina Jolie                            Brad Pitt                                   Bruce Willis
Cameron Diaz                           Catherine Zeta-Jones                Clint Eastwood
Demi Moore                             Denzel Washington                    Drew Barrymore
Dustin Hoffman                         Eddie Murphy                           George Clooney
Harrison Ford                           Jack Nicholson                          Jennifer Lopez
John Travolta                            Johnny Depp                             Julia Roberts

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (December 19, 2011)
  • ISBN: 9781468112900



My Opinion:
I was excited to get this book for review, but feel it let me down a little. When seeing the description, it's the interesting factoids that appeals to me. We all want to know what our favorite celebrities are into, what colors they like, what hobbies they have..... that sort of thing. While it had this information in it, I really felt like it wasn't enough. Not personal enough. Strange when you learn of their heritage, birth and education and still feel it's impersonal, but that is my end impression. 
I appreciated the information that was given, most of it is common and available knowledge, while a couple things were new to me. 
The caricatures were great, very artistic indeed. Though on a few I didn't see the likeness, I still have a couple I think were spot on like George Clooney and Whoopi Goldberg. 
The last criticism I have to give is in expressionism. Where the author wrote, "when a child", I would have used, "as a child". 
I admit, this is a book I don't think I'll be recommending. It just fell flat for me, sorry.


2/5
Recommend? No.
Disclaimer: I received a copy for review. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Get to Know Author Christopher Geoffrey McPherson

Good day readers!
Today we have author Christopher Geoffrey McPherson joining us to talk about his book, News on the Home Front.

Christopher, welcome!
Please tell us about News on the Home Front;

 Newson the Home Front is a look at what was happening in the states while war raged overseas. It focuses on two women who have been friends since childhood and how the war affects them.

Who or what inspires your writing?
  Everything inspires me. I am always looking for some neat story to relate to people. In the case of "Home Front" I have always been a big fan of America between the wars (roughly 1918 - 1945). A lot has been written about the military aspect of the second world war, but very little about how people coped at home when their loved ones were overseas.

When did you know you would be a writer?
  I have been a writer most of my life -- from writing animal stories when I was a child to later working professionally at newspapers, magazines, in radio, for stage and some television. 

How long did it take you to write your novel?
 The actual writing only took a couple months; the research part took over a year.
 
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
 I rarely have any trouble writing. I hear about all those people who have trouble starting or ending a story, or writer's block. That has never affected me. Probably the hardest part of writing is getting people interested in reading it.

Do you have any writing rituals?
  I spend a lot of time researching everything I write. One ritual I have is allowing all that research to stew in my brain for a while -- until it eventually sorts itself out. For my third novel that I expect to come out later this year I did research for a couple years, and then let it stew in my brain for another couple years. Finally, last year, it began to sort itself out. I think you need to let a story stew for a while.

Have you written any thing else?
  Thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, hundreds of hours of radio documentaries and a couple short plays. As far as long-form writing, my second novel just came out. It's called, The Life Line and is about the big earthquake that levels San Francisco and how this affects a handful of characters.
 
Any advice to aspiring writers?
  I'm sure I'm repeating what others have said, but it's true: the only way to be a writer is to write. It also helps to read a LOT of other writers.

Who are your favorite Authors?
  I love Ayn Rand the best (The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (especially his Pat Hobby stories about Hollywood).

What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
  Easily, Atlas Shrugged. Not only is it a sweeping epic story, but Rand's characterizations and setting of scenes is some of the best writing in the history of writing.
 
What are you currently reading?
  A biography of Ernest Hemingway. I'm not a huge fan of his writing, but he led a very colorful life.

How do readers find out more about you?
  They can read a little biography of me at http://www.plasticliving.com/aboutme-02.html but you can certainly learn more about me in my writing. There is a lot of me in everything I write. 

 

Friday, April 20, 2012

#43: The Iron King - Julie Kagawa




Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210084




AUTHOR BIO:
Julie Kagawa worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, until she sold her first book and stopped training to write full-time.


My Opinion:
I feel a tear prickling the back of my eyes as I set the book down. The sacrifice and bargaining that was made and upheld throughout the story, was heartwarming and heart-wrenching all-at-once.
I really loved this book, and can't wait to get  my hands on the next one.
I heard many reviews before I got to read it, and every one of them lived up to the hype! It really is a well written, and fantastical adventure. The hint of romance is always in the air, but for me it was more the fantasy element. I told the hubby, it's like reading Salvatore's books, without so many descriptive words, and that is really how I swallowed it.
I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy like R.A. Salvatore, or Weiss and Hickman. It has the same fantasy elements, characters and such.

5/5

Recommend? YES!!!!!


Disclaimer: I won my copy. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion.


    Free April 20 & 21: The Reluctant Marquess - Maggi Andersen

    Charity Barlow wished to marry for love. The rakish Lord Robert wishes only to tuck her away in the country once an heir is produced.

    A country-bred girl, Charity Barlow suddenly finds herself married to a marquess, an aloof stranger determined to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. She and Lord Robert have been forced by circumstances to marry, and she feels sure she is not the woman he would have selected given a choice.

    The Marquess of St. Malin makes it plain to her that their marriage is merely for the procreation of an heir, and once that is achieved, he intends to continue living the life he enjoyed before he met her.

    While he takes up his life in London once more, Charity is left to wander the echoing corridors of St. Malin House, when she isn’t thrown into the midst of the mocking Haute Ton.

    Charity is not at all sure she likes her new social equals, as they live by their own rules, which seem rather shocking. She’s not at all sure she likes her new husband either, except for his striking appearance and the dark desire in his eyes when he looks at her, which sends her pulses racing.

    Lord Robert is a rake and does not deserve her love, but neither does she wish to live alone.

    Might he be suffering from a sad past? Seeking to uncover it, Charity attempts to heal the wound to his heart, only to make things worse between them.

    Will he ever love her?


    Amazon UK
    Amazon US

    • Kindle Edition: 334 KB
    • Print Length: 135 pages
    • Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing (6 Mar 2012)
    • ASIN: B007I8N2W0

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    The Friday 56

    Welcome to Week 72 with me!  
    Rules:
    *Grab a book, any book.
    *Turn to page 56.
    *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
    *Post it.
    *Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple. 


     
    He nodded and held up the wine bottle. "This is Mistwine. You just had a swallow. A cup will make everything go back to normal."
     
     

    Mont Bleu Glass Nail Files

     Mont Bleu, the home of superior quality crystal nail files and glass nail files. Czech made glass and crystal nail files with SWAROVSKI® crystals.

    With an amazing range of stylish, practical, and luxurious nail care tools to suit all your needs, including:

    •    Exclusive jeweled nail files made with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS
    •    Durable crystal nail files decorated with business logos or appealing designs
    •    Transparent glass nail files
    •    Hand-painted designs
    •    Safety Czech nail files designed to protect the fingers of the user.

     To request more information or to buy glass nail file, please visit the links.


    My Opinion:
    I was sent a great package with more than just glass nail files in it.
    Yes, you see earrings and tweezers too!
    The earrings are very pretty blue, almost the exact color of my birthstone, so that was a nice surprise. The tweezers are fab! As you can see they are more flat and wider, with an easier grip to use. It was a lot better than the ones I was using.... easier to get a hold of with that wider end. Both of the nail files are my favorites now too. I was one who used a metal nail file, and it did the job, but left some jagged edges sometimes. With a glass nail file, you don't get that jagged edge, but a smooth, clean finish. 
    Now I was in a hurry one day, and didn't want to take the time to give myself a whole manicure. 
    I decided to just buff out the chipped nail, with the plain color glass nail file, and I'm glad I did.  I was able to buff it out, apply a new coat of polish, and go on about my time. With all that was going on, I found it extremely convenient. The best part is, my polish didn't ruin the glass nail file. You wouldn't even know I had it on while using it.
    So I think these are the best things since thong underwear! Really!!!


    5/5


    Recommend? Definitely! Visit the website and get one or two!


    Disclaimer: I received some products for sample. I did not receive compensation for this post or my opinion.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Out Today: Touchback - Don Handfield (With Guest Post and Freebie Info)

    WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU GOT A SECOND CHANCE?

    When Scott Murphy scored the winning touchdown in the 1991 state championship game, it should have launched a golden future—the full scholarship to Ohio State, the million-dollar signing bonus, marriage to the beauty queen, and NFL glory.

    Instead, it all ended with a sickening pop as his leg shattered in four places. The next twenty years would be a study in Murphy’s Law—whatever could go wrong did. Just when things seem at their worst—he's losing his farm, his relationship with his wife is crumbling—a miracle happens: Murphy gets a chance to reboot his life.

    Back in his teenaged body in 1991, he realizes by changing his past, he can have the future he always wanted. Everything he lost is within his reach, even his high-school sweetheart.

    But what about the devoted wife he left behind? Torn between two women—two lives—he can only choose one future. Murphy must decide if getting everything he’s ever wanted is worth giving up everything he’s ever had…

     TODAY, APRIL 17, THIS BOOK IS 100% FREE ON AMAZON


    Watch the Trailer HERE


    What came first, Touchback the book or Touchback the film?

    Touchback began as a screenplay many, many years ago. It was written at a time of great personal turmoil (I was going through the end of my first marriage) and ended up being a breakthrough work for me, as things written in that state of heart usually are. The script got me signed with my first real agent, and was soon optioned by Goal Line Productions, a company owned by the family of football great John Madden, who wanted to produce it independently.

    I did several passes at improving the script with them, but it never got off the ground. The option expired and the rights reverted back to me. A few years later, Warner Bros. wanted to produce it. We got close, but ultimately they chose to make We Are Marshall instead.

    About a year after that, Morgan Creek came forward and was enthusiastic about making it with legendary TV director David Nutter at the helm. That, too, fell apart.

    After the dust settled on the last failure, I was told Touchback was “dead.” The movie would never get made. There were two reasons why the movie was so hard to produce:

    First, American football movies don’t play well overseas. Second, Touchback was, at its core, a Capra-esque love story. These kinds of films don’t get made much in Hollywood these days. The ones that do are based on books with built-in followings, and many of those are written by the same person—Nicholas Sparks.

    It was this train of thought late one night that led me to Nicholas Sparks’ web site and blog. I had always been a fan of his work, and his personal story behind The Notebook inspired me. I decided that to get Touchback the movie made I would write Touchback the novel, hope it got published, and then pray it became a best seller.

    Then, they would have to make the film.

    My plan seems ridiculous now as I write this, but, in a way, it worked. I was 70,000 words into the manuscript when I got a call from the company that ended up financing the movie—Freedom Films. Though I had never shared the novel with anyone at that point, I will always believe the act of writing the book helped to will the movie into existence.

    So, I put the novel aside and went on to make the movie, but, because I had done so much work on the book, I retained the rights to publish it when I made the film deal.

    The production rewrite I did on the film before it shot used a lot of elements that weren’t from the original script, but were born in the act of writing the novel. In fact, throughout the process, one informed the other.

    After the film was completed it was picked up for distribution. When we got our release date of April 13, 2012 I realized I had 70,000 orphaned words collecting cyber dust. It occurred to me that if I didn’t publish the book by the time the movie came out it was never going to happen.

    United Talent Agency, the company that represents me as a writer and director also represents some of the best authors in the business, including two of my personal favorites—Nicholas Sparks and Wally Lamb. I approached my agents there about helping me find a publisher for Touchback the novel and the response was an enthusiastic yes, we can help you get it published—in two years!

    So began my crash course in self-publishing.

    I set to work refining the manuscript, building it out and getting it ready for publication. I was fortunate to find a wonderful editor named Alice Peck to help me get the book into shape. Alice steered me to the team at novelpublicity.com, which has been a great help in navigating the oxymoron that is modern book publishing. It is both an arcane and technologically challenging undertaking, but ultimately liberating.

    Books are the one artistic medium that can truly be authored. You are the talent, and often the director, the producer, and the distributor (with a little help from Amazon) as well. It’s truly an amazing time to be a writer, and the stories of other self-published authors I’ve come across (from John Locke to James Redfield to Thomas Paine to James Joyce) in the process of pursuing this have been inspiring.

    After years spent working in film and television, writing books is magical. If I want Bob Costas in my movie, I have to deal with studio executives asking me why I want Bob Costas when I could try for Bob DeNiro to play the sportscaster because he means more overseas. If I manage to clear that hurdle, I have to talk to Bob Costas’ agent, and then if he says no or we can’t afford him, it’s back to the drawing board. It’s a whole involved process that, at the end of the day, may or may not happen. And if I do happen to luck out and get Costas, he might forget his lines, not like me, or any number of other issues could prevent it from working out. And it doesn’t just apply to talent—one is constantly restricted in filmmaking by factors like location, budget, time and other factors beyond your control.

    If I want Bob Costas in my book, it’s as simple as typing his name. He will always be there, on time, and speak every line I give him without complaint. If I want Bob Costas riding on a gorilla’s back and jumping from a skyscraper on a bungee cord, it’s just a matter of typing it. In a movie, there would be endless meetings, stunt doubles, green screen, and computer generated gorillas…the list goes on and on.

    Note: Bob Costas is not in Touchback the movie, nor was he ever intended to be. He is however in the book. It’s a bit of a flight of fancy, but you can do that in books. It’s also important to note Bob Costas does not bungee in Touchback and there are no gorillas in the movie or book. And no animals were harmed in the making of either!

    The whole process gave me so much respect for prose writers. It's damn difficult work. Despite twenty years of screenwriting experience, ten of that professionally, writing prose is an art unto itself, and something I don’t take lightly. It’s a process I enjoy immensely, but have a long road ahead to master.

    * Guest post by Don Handfield, author of Touchback, screenwriter and director of Touchback the major motion picture.

    Teaser Tuesday

    SHOULD BE READING



    I didn't scream this time, but came very close. As it was, I nearly fell out of the tree.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Giveaway: The Lifeboat - Charlotte Rogan


    Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life. In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die. As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she'd found. Will she pay any price to keep it? The Lifeboat is a page-turning novel of hard choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describes.

    *Recently I saw this book featured in People magazine.*


     Thanks to Anna & Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies up for grabs.
    Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    #42: Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer - Maureen McGowan


    In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince—she's a brave, tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire-slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!
    Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is an entirely new type of fairy tale–one that will keep today's kids guessing and offer them hours of magical fun.

    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 2011)
    • ISBN: 9781607102564

    Author Bio:
     Maureen McGowan has long been making up stories. She has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart Competition, and in 2008 was a finalist in the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards. Before becoming an author, Maureen held various jobs, including auditor, software development manager, and hedge fund CFO. Born and raised in various Canadian cities, Maureen lived and worked in Northern California and Philadelphia for a number of years. She now lives and writes in Toronto, Canada.


    My Opinion:
    LOVED IT!!!
    It was everything I was hoping for and more... the fact that it has 8 different ways to it, remarkable! Quite clever too, if you think about it.
    I loved Sleeping Beauty in this story so much more than the original fairytale, and let me tell you it had a large bit to live up to being my favorite fairytale. She was so independent and strong, and the fact she could defend herself was a bonus!
    I realized after I decided to read it, that it's a second in the series. Yes I have the other book, Cinderella Ninja Warrior, but I didn't think I would be lost. I sure don't feel lost now after reading it either.
    Good stuff, for everyone 12+.


    5/5


    Recommend? YES!



    Disclaimer: I won my copy. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion.

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    #41: The Humming Room - Ellen Potter


    Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life.
    As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.
    Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a tragic secret.
    Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write.

    • Hardcover: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)
    • ISBN: 9780312644383

    My Opinion:
    A really cute story for kids. I also enjoyed it, as it took you on a ride through a mysterious garden. And yes, the book does say it is inspired by The Secret Garden, I felt it to be quite different too.
    I wish the story ended better for Jack, and I am still curious what else happened. Maybe another book will be out??

    3/5


    Recommend? Yes to ages 9+


    Disclaimer: I won my copy. I was not compensated for this post or my opinion.

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    #40: Eyes of Justice - Lis Wiehl


    The Triple Threat Club has solved intense murder mysteries before…but this time it’s personal.
    Cassidy, Allison, and Nicole fight for justice every day—Cassidy as a crime reporter, Nicole as an FBI agent, and Allison as a federal prosecutor. Together they’re a Triple Threat to be reckoned with.
    But when a ruthless murderer kills one of their number—and the authorities seem intent on keeping them out of the investigation of the crime—their desire for justice goes into overdrive. They find an unexpected ally in a quirky private investigator named Ophelia whose methods confound the wise.
    Yet just when it seems police have the killer in custody and justice is within sight, he somehow strikes again. Not knowing whom to trust, the team engage in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the killer. Nothing can be taken at face value…and nothing will ever be the same.
    A riveting Triple Threat mystery that will leave readers shocked and satisfied.


    • Hardcover: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 3, 2012)
    • ISBN: 9781595547088
    Author Bio:
    Lis Wiehl is a New York Times best-selling author, Harvard Law School graduate, and former federal prosecutor. A popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears on The O’Reilly Factor and was co-host with Bill O’Reilly on the radio for seven years. Noted author Roald Dahl helped New York Times best-selling author April Henry take her first step as a writer. When April was eleven, she sent the famous children's author a short story about a frog who loved peanut butter. He read it to an editor of an international children's magazine, who then asked to publish it. April has since written several highly acclaimed mysteries and thrillers. Her books have been short-listed for the Agatha Award, the Anthony Award, and the Oregon Book Award, and translated into several languages. Two have been chosen for BookSense by the independent booksellers of America. April lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and daughter.

    My Review for Book 3, Heart of Ice, is HERE.

    My Opinion:
    When I picked up this book, I was expecting a story more like the last one I read. A murder, and the three ladies look to solving it. That all happened, but I wasn't prepared for one of the main characters to become a victim.
    Then I kept reading, mainly because I was more interested to know how the remaining two would solve it.
    Funny how two become three once more with Ophelia coming into the picture, and again the mystery was solved.
    I really enjoyed how it all came together. That says a lot, considering I only read book 3 in this series. I had just been lured in, and one is gone, and it still kept my interest.
    I also think even if you haven't read a previous book in the series, you won't get too lost or even notice. The mystery is that good, it is really all you focus on while reading.
    So another hit in this series, for me anyway. I think most of you would agree if you read it.


    4.5/5


    Recommend? Yes.


    Disclaimer: I received a copy from ThomasNelson. I was not compensated for my opinion.

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    The Friday 56

    Welcome to Week 71 with me!  
    Rules:
    *Grab a book, any book.
    *Turn to page 56.
    *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
    *Post it.
    *Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.  
    Dog boy. Wolf in sheep's clothing.

    Follower Appreciation Giveaway

    So, a little while back I posted on the Facebook fan page that after Easter I would host a giveaway for you wonderful followers.
    And that time is now!



    I am offering a follower of Freda's Voice a book from Amazon or Book Depository, (Up to $10), of their choice.
    You must be a follower (GFC or Linky) to enter.
    Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.


    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Get to Know Author Johnny Ray

    Hi readers!
    Please welcome author Johnny Ray to the blog this evening to talk about his book, Models and Lovers. So without delay, I ask you Johnny to tell us about the book...
    Models and Lovers was released on 3/23/2012, and is available at Amazon.
    Here is a synopsis;
    Have you ever had love slip between your fingers? When was the last time you had a hero and heroine that you could really pulled for?
    This is a love story blossoming inside the world of modeling. In spite of the glamor and intrigue of this high fashion world, love is really about one guy and one girl finding each other. But wait, there is one more condition--they have to admit it to each other.
    Thomas (Tommy) Conseco, the frightfully delicious owner of one of the top modeling agencies in New York City, demands respect which he has so rightfully earned. Aspiring models from around the world would sacrifice anything to become one of Tommy’s “girls” fully knowing he can make them a legend, or send them home crying. Tommy has one rule he has followed without exception. He never gets personally involved with anyone in the modeling industry, and as far as sex with his models and employees is concerned, it’s strictly off limits. As a result, his heart is immune to even the most beautiful women in the world. This rule has served him well in business, but has left his personal life and bed cold and empty.
    Enter Balarie Danson, the woman who is about to turn his carefully constructed world upside down. Balarie may not have the glamorous looks of a super model, but she’s bright, attractive and terrific at her job booking talent for the agency, especially the male models. Yielding to her charms, Tommy invites her to go on a business trip to Milan with more than business on his mind. When she turns him down, saying she’d prefer to concentrate all her energies in the New York market, Tommy assumes she’s refusing him and the possible chance at romance. The truth—Balarie is secretly terrified of flying and a long cross-Atlantic flight is more than she can face, despite her ambition in business and her secret attraction to her enigmatic boss. She’s heard the rumors, but the sparks flying between them are telling her Tommy’s looking for more than her talent as a booking agent. But Balarie is also looking for more than a one-night stand. So if Tommy intends to break his long-standing rule and seduce this woman into his bed, he’ll also have to let her into his heart because Balarie won’t settle for anything less than a love that lasts forever, and a hero who can help her conquer her fear of flying.

     
    Who or what inspires your writing?
    My biggest cheerleader is my wife who is a published Russian poet. I would say that my fans are what inspire me to write day after day. I belong to a lot of writer groups which also gives me tremendous support. 

     
    When did you know you would be a writer?
    I have been writing for a long time, but it is when you receive that first royalty check that you realize that you are truly a professional writer. 

     
    How long did it take you to write your first novel?
    This is an interesting story. Like many writers, my first story was absolutely terrible. I loved it, but no on eels did. However, I rewrote it many times, over ten and still cold not sell it. However, after I wrote ten other novels, I went back one more time, but started from scratch and rewrote it again. This time I sold it but it is under a different name.

    What is the hardest part of writing for you?
    Many writers are introverts and this makes it easy to disappear and write hours at a time. I am an extrovert and love to be with people. I have to have people around me when I write. I know this adds to the time it takes me to write, but I get to enjoy my writing much more.

     
    Do you have any writing rituals?
    I get up early and every morning head to a new coffee shop. On the beach we have about three coffee shops per block, and this beach is 35 miles long. I usually write until lunch. I polish and do my social networking in the afternoons. I love twitter and Facebook, etc. On twitter I have four accounts with over 70,000 followers. On the other sites like Facebook, etc, I am limited to 5,000 connections, which is a shame. I think I know more people in Iceland than 5,000 people.
    At night I spend time with my wife and our 13 year old son. We stay very active on the beach and on the bike trails.
    Later at night, I am back to write and will usually call it a night around one or two in the morning. 

     
    Have you written anything else?
    I write under several names with around ten novels completed there.
    Under my name I also have THE REJECTION LETTER which was self published last year and can be found on Amazon.
     
    This is a romantic thriller involving a serial killer who found inspiration from a rejection letter a want-to-be writer received and now has a new target—literary agents.
    Here is a synopsis;
    To someone else, the rejection letter might be perceived as a simple piece of correspondence. But when Amy, who suffers from bipolar disorder receives a form rejection letter from Edward, an agent she had an affair with at a recent convention, she takes the rejection as both personal and professional—in short—a declaration of war.
    Amy quickly embarks on a plan to get revenge by destroying Edward’s literary agency. However, Amy is soon not the one to be feared the most. Her actions create a copycat, a serial killer, who targets literary agents and viciously murders them. Living with the knowledge she has created a monster, a serial killer, is one thing, while doing nothing to stop the madness is another. But how could she track down a killer when she has no training in such? Thinking like a mad man might be the only way—but could she go there and survive herself?
    When the winds of fate rekindle the romance with Edward, thus making him the next target—she really has no choice but to help the FBI. But will she be too late?

     
    In THE HERITAGE which released last year also, and can be found at Amazon.
    This story revolves around a rape that happened while being under the influence of a date rape drug. To find the truth, she obtains the help of a bodyguard who worked for employees aboard the yacht where the rape happened.
    Here's a synopsis;
    FIRST
    RAPED—IMPREGNATED—DISGRACED
    NEXT
    A KILLER WANTS TO STOP THE BABY FROM BEING BORN AND
    DISCLOSING THE FATHER
    FINALLY
    A WEDDING—A BABY—A HERITAGE
    HOW?
    PREPARE FOR SOME PLOT TWIST IN ONE OF THE BEST ROMANTIC THRILLER OF THE YEAR
    New York City socialite Kristina Sutherland, the daughter of legendary Lawson Sutherland, a top executive with Lyon International discovers she’s pregnant, but doesn’t remember having sex for a long time. While contemplating an abortion she bumps into and confides in Shawn Davis, the head of security at Lyon International and asks him to take her to an abortion clinic out of the city for consultation, making him promise to keep any details in confidence. While she realizes she needs him as a bodyguard to keep the press away and guard her privacy she also knows he has a loyalty conflict due to his position in the corporation. Shawn provides security to the company elite and their families. Desperate, she knows no one else to turn to that she trusts.
    Shawn is the secret grandson of Brent Lyon, the chairman of the board of Lyon International. After Brent asks Shawn to come to his office they talk about their past and how Brent regrets his earlier decisions. Brent had disowned his daughter, Shawn’s mother when she ran off with a want-to-be rock star. She had raised Shawn on her own until she died a few years earlier. Brent had invited Shawn back into his life only after her death, and only to a small degree which had to remain a secret to avoid scandals which could ruin the corporation.
     
    I also wrote a book on HOW TO WRITE YOUR MEMOIRS. This is a workbook on how to gather and prepare to write your memoir. It is also on Amazon.

     
    Any advice to aspiring writers?
    Write, write, and write some more. Then get a thick skin and get it reviewed by everyone you can harass into reading it. And learn to honestly want them to tear it apart. Even to the point of insulting them if they go easy on you. It takes a lot of rewriting to learn how to write correctly. 

     
    Who are your favorite Authors?
    I have so many, but of all of them the two that have inspired me the most are Sandra Brown and Jackie Collins. 

     
    What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
    The list is long, but anything by my favorite writers above.

     
    What are you currently reading?
    After all of the massive attention on FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY, I had to see what was so special about this book.

     
    How do readers find out more about you?
    I am all over the net where I am also known as Sir John. I have a blog www.sirjohn.us where I have a page listing all of my novels and my other social connections. 

    Author Bio: 
     
    Johnny has a passion, a thirst, for life and adventure that he loves to share with his readers. He has written many novels under various pen names and ghostwritten for others.
    He is a graduate of Auburn University with post graduate work at the Birmingham School of Law, The University of Alabama, The University of Tennessee, UCLA, New York University, Wil-Var Institute and The American College. He has received the following certifications: Certified International Property Specialist, Certified Residential Specialist, Certified Managerial Accountant, Certified Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant.
    He lives in St Petersburg, Florida where he works full time as a writer. He belongs to the Florida Writer Association, the Romantic Writers of America, the Mystery Writers Association, and can be found attending various national conventions as well as supporting several local writing groups. His novel THE SALSA CONNECTION won the Royal Palm Literary award for best thriller. Johnny Ray has several popular blogs he maintains and is the most popular writer on twitter with over 70,000 followers.

    The author loves to be reached by fans, or for interviews and workshops. Johhny Ray can be reached by email at 
    or on his blog he can be reached.

    Thanks Johnny for stopping by!

    Stella & Dot

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