Friday, January 31, 2014

January Monthly News

Welcome to the January 2014 edition of monthly news!
First off, with the new year we have moved and registered at our own domain! WOOHOO!! Freda's Voice is now 100% Freda's Voice!!!
After my stats last year, I learned I loved YA Fiction the most. It was what I read most, and seemed to turn to when I wanted a good and sometimes gritty read.
I also decided to host my own reading challenge. Have you signed up? The goal is to read at least 100 books. It seems like a lot, but that's what a challenge is supposed to be. I do hope you will join anyway.
Won't be keeping stats on anything this year... can't be bothered.
I also started a recipe section. Not sure how far this will go.






MOVIES:
1. The Ultimate Life (recommend)
2. Enough Said (recommend)
3. Flowers in the Attic 2014
4. Carrie 2014 (recommend)
5. Big 25th Anniversary Edition (recommend)


Yearly Total:  10 Books, 2 Products & 5 Movies


RECIPES:
  1. Oreo Cupcakes


Book of the Month:


Book of the Year:







ALPHABE THURSDAYS (Get To Know Freda):
A Is For Animals                                        A Is For Asleep
B Is For Books                                           B Is For Best Friend Bella
C Is For Cake                                            C Is For Cookies
D Is For Dad(s)                                         D Is For Dream (Come True)
E Is For Elvis                                              E Is For Ewok
F Is For Freda                                            F Is For Festive Family
G Is For Gangs                                         G Is For Game
H Is For Hobbies                                      H Is For Hooked
I Is For Inked                                              I Is For Insane
J Is For Jalapeno                                      J Is For Juice
K Is For Kids                                              K Is For Kitty
L Is For Live Music
M Is For Mom
N Is For Noob
O Is For Older
P Is For Poetry
Q Is For Quiet
R Is For Religion
S Is For Soup Nazi
T Is For Two Things
U Is For Unique
V Is For Vince

Big 25th Anniversary Edition

Two-time Oscarr Winner Tom Hanks* received his first Best Actor Nomination for his disarming turn as a 12-year-old man-child in Penny Marshall's timeless, "hilarious" (Newsweek) delight. Tired of being a kid, Josh Baskin wishes he was big. When he wakes up the next day, he's an adult! Now, Josh must hold down a job - and please a new boss (Robert Loggia). Tougher still, he must convince his best friend that he's still himself, and explain to a beautiful woman (Elizabeth Perkins) who falls for him, that he's not. Soon, Josh just wants to be a kid again, but can he? As exhilarating as it was during its acclaimed debut, the "warmhearted" (The Washington Post) Big is available as a Blu-ray+DVD combo pack!


AVAILABLE NOW!

Rated A

104 minutes


AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA





REVIEW:
This was an amazing movie when I watched it in the 80's, and this time around was no different. I am so thrilled to have this classic Tom Hanks comedy in my personal collection. This really is one of his best movies ever.
It amazes me how every time I watch it, I always laugh, get emotional in parts, and feel the same way like it's the first time seeing it. Though this time around I realized some actors that were in the movie that really came a long way too, not just Tom. His love interest is one of my favorite characters from 'Weeds'. 
When purchasing this bluray combo, there is two nice surprises inside, from some of the famous parts of this movie. Firstly, when you open the wrapper, this opens up to play the piano scene between Tom Hanks and Gene Hackman. That was cute and immediately brought a smile to my face. Then when I opened the case to get the dvd out, 3 cards from the fortune teller machine fell out. Epic!!
So not only do I get to watch this funny and heartwarming film any time I want, but now I have mementos from the best parts.


5/5

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 163!

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







Sadly, I'm still reading the same book.
I'm at the end though, so this 56 is from Page 156.
AMAZON US

I watched as he maneuvered his way between drunken men and women and disappeared into the dark confines of the pub. I waited outside, my eyes darting nervously at the faces of the people passing me, their features harsh in the lights of the gas lamps.











K Is For Kitty

For once I am actually gonna post the same as the graphic.
Except this is not my kitten I will posting. It is in my family though, I suppose it could even be my fur-niece.
Let me tell you all about it.
Meet Sophie.
She is one of five kitties that my nephew found abandoned this winter along the train tracks. All of the five kitties got nice warm and loving homes, but Sophie got the best one of all. My sister's.
She loves to play and run around. She is quite the character really.
Plus she is so spoiled she will not eat treats from the ground. She will only eat them if my sister picks her up and feeds her by hand.
One day, she decided to climb up my nephews pant leg all the way to the top of his head. She thought sitting on his baseball cap was the bees knees!
Wish I had a photo, but that is a memory you will have to visualize in your mind. It was funny though.
Anyway, she is the newest addition to my family, even though it's extended family.

Do you consider your siblings/parents/family pets as family too?


Alphabe Thursdays



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oreo Cupcakes #Recipe

Oreo Cupcakes

These are the easiest cupcakes in the world to bake. I use box mix, so even easier. They taste delicious and the whole house has them gone in record time. I thought I would share with you though it's not rocket science here.

INGREDIENTS

  • White Cake Mix
  • Eggs, (Egg whites actually)
  • Oil
  • Water or milk, (I use milk)
  • Package of Oreo Cookies
  • White Frosting

METHOD
Add cake mix, egg whites, oil and milk according to directions on the cake mix box. The mixture will be a little lumpy, but it's supposed to be. Add 6 crushed up Oreo cookies to batter and mix again.
Pour mixture into cupcake pans that have cupcake sleeves inside. Fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake at 350 until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely.
Once cooled, use frosting spatula to make a little dent in the top of cupcake. This is to insert an Oreo into it. After adding Oreo to slot on top of cupcake, use frosting spatula to add frosting. Be sure to gently add to cracks around Oreo. This will keep it nice looking.
That's it. Eat and enjoy!

Makes 12 cupcakes.

#10: The One Year Book of Amish Peace - Tricia Goyer

In our instantly connected world, it’s surprisingly easy to lose our connection to God. This devotional taps Amish wisdom in order to help us draw closer to God and hear his voice. In The One Year Book of Amish Peace, you’ll get a daily taste of Amish values and wisdom. Tricia Goyer shares her fascination with the Amish in a way that will inspire and encourage believers to carve out more time in each day to listen to God and experience his presence. This daily devotional contains interesting facts about the Amish, recipes, and information about the way the Amish handle money, rear their children, and center their lives on faith in God. You’ll be inspired to slow down and find ways to simplify so that you, too, can experience God in the ordinary.

  • Series: One Year
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 20, 2013)
  • ISBN: 9781414379807




Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of one, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.
In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of friends, recently launched www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.


REVIEW:
I really love yearly devotionals. That is why this book didn't get reviewed at the end of last year. I had to wait until I could begin it with the new year. I'm so glad I waited too.
Each day brings a new vignette that teaches us something about living a good life based on Amish practices and beliefs. Tricia also uses references to the bible to get us to understand fully what that teaching is. More often than not, after reading the daily vignette and teachings, I have to sit a while and really think about what I learned or how I feel, even how it makes me feel. That to me is a good devotional, and exactly what you look for.
I will continue to read this every day, as I feel I benefit from the teachings, even though I am not Amish. Their teachings benefit anyone wanting to live a happy, Godly and full life.


5/5

Blasting About: Mooncalf (With #Giveaway)

Mooncalf coverMooncalf by Linda Zern

Over Olympia and Leah's heads, Americans race the Russians to the moon; on their television sets young men fight and struggle in the mud of Viet Nam; and America holds its breath between heartbreaking tragedies.

But on Miss Brinker's school bus, in the seat with the rip in the green plastic, Olympia and Leah fall in love, the way children do: immediately, completely, and without knowing or caring why they shouldn't. Olympia Crooms, with her happy hair, and Leah Breck, with her silly red dog, are two smart girls.

Olympia's father works other men's orange groves in rural Central Florida and tells his daughter that school is the best way to reach for the stars. Leah's father moves his family from the Space Coast to the country where she and her brother can climb orange trees, imagine lions in the tall grass, and learn to feed baby cows milk from a bottle.

At Evegan Elementary, two smart girls find each other and have to decide if they will learn the hardest lessons of all: the false traditions of their fathers.
Praise for Mooncalf

"One of the most admirable things about Mooncalf is that it's difficult to find a single wasted word in the entire book. Granted the book is short; yet, it is very rare to find a book which treats with such delicacy the choosing of each word--each adjective, verb, and noun. Themes, motifs, and symbols are everywhere throughout Mooncalf, and most impressive of all none of it is discarded. Motifs and themes exist in big and small circles in Mooncalf, circling back in on themselves as well as intertwining themselves with the plot and the characters that inhabit it. And those motifs and themes, those messages and those symbols, don't go away once you've finished the book. They stick with you. It's hard to forget Mooncalf."" ~ The Thousander Club

"I never expected to be moved to tears by a book meant for adolescents. Buy it, read it, share it, and let yourself be changed by it." ~Lacey Smith


Excerpt

Olympia’s voice was a whisper in Leah’s ear.
“I don’t have those things, those cooties.”
“I know. I don’t even care what those things are.”
“Cootie bugs. Miss Rhodes is saying I have bugs crawling and living in my hair and at my house.”
“Miss Rhodes didn’t mean you.” Leah felt icky. “She couldn’t mean you.”
“It’s because I’m one of the poor kids, you know. She said it: sharecroppers.”
Without looking, Olympia pulled her hand out of Leah’s and started trying to flatten the wrinkles out of the crushed paper doily on the valentine. Leah put her hand over Olympia’s, the valentine a ruined mess under their fingers.
“But Miss Rhodes has hair just like yours.”
“No,” Olympia said, shaking her head. “No, Miss Rhodes doesn’t want hair like mine, like she had when she was a little girl. She wants white folk’s hair. That’s what Granny Mac says. ‘Cuz some colored folks like her don’t know who they want to be any more.’”
Leah looked at the neat part in her friend’s black braids, and loved the way Olympia’s barrettes danced when she dropped her head. She saw only the complicated, clever patterns in her friend’s clean black hair.
Leah saw only Olympia.



mooncalf tour
LindaAuthor Linda Zern

Linda Zern is a native of Florida where she learned to be moonstruck.
She wrote her first children's chapter book, The Pocket Fairies of Middleburg, in 2005. Writer's Digest called "the perspective of these tiny beings [the pocket fairies] refreshing, enchanting, and intriguing."
Florida Publisher's Association was kind enough to award her little book the President's Book Award for best children's book of 2005.
Mrs. Zern has since published an inspirational book, The Long-Promised Song, serving as both writer and illustrator. Three collections of her humorous essays (ZippityZern’s Uncommon Nonsense) can be found at Smashwords.com, and her award winning essays have been recognized and published at HumorPress.com.
Her current project, Mooncalf, is her first work of historical fiction for Middle School readers. Set in rural Central Florida, the author tells the story of two misfit girls and the hard lessons they must learn about friendship and love from their friends, their families, and their world.
The mystical state of Florida remains an enchanted and delightsome place for both Mrs. Zern and her husband of thirty plus years, and so they continue to make their home among the palmettos and armadillos in the historic town of Saint Cloud.




BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/28/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#9: Step-By-Step Cakes #DKStartSomethingNew

DK Start Something New Boutique until January 31


If you want success in the kitchen, DK's new Step-by-Step Series will take you through every single stage of classic recipes with clear, illustrated, step-by-step instructions that guarantee you will be cooking with confidence.
Featuring two hundred recipes in easy, step-by-step sequences that showcase every single stage, Step-by- Step Cakes covers a spectrum of cakes, from angel food, jelly rolls, and mini cakes, to red velvet, sponges, and chiffon cakes.
Step-by-Step Cakes will have readers cooking the world's classic recipes successfully, whether making a birthday cake or whipping up biscuits, cookies, or treats for the family.

  • Series: Step-By-Step
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • ISBN: 9780756692674




REVIEW:
One of my goals for this year is to bake more, or should I say, learn to bake more. I have always been handy in the kitchen, but at mealtimes only. Baking and sweets I didn't do. The older I get, the more I want to bake. The hubby loves cakes so I figured I would give this book a try.
I gotta be honest. I suck at cakes and need to keep trying. Practice makes perfect they say, and I need lots of practice. You will soon see why.
I made two honest attempts in this book and both were fails. Here's the first:
Bienenstich 'Bee Sting Cake'
Looks delicious right?
I know. I couldn't resist giving it a try. Imagine a green-horn like me attempting one of the hardest ones in the book... no wonder it was a fail.
But it could have been good.
I just need to learn how to work with yeast. Yes, I am green there too. 
Any way, here is what I got:
It looks yummy, but it didn't rise.
Couldn't be split and that is a shame since my custard mixture came out perfect.
I didn't have any vanilla bean left so didn't want to even bother trying again.... in the garbage it went.
Next day, I thought, "Hey, pick an easy cake."
Sounds fair, since I am as new as they get in the cake department. (Yes, I have baked tons out of a box, but does that really count?!)
Anyway.... attempt number two was in full swing.
Victoria Sponge Cake
Now this is easy. Just a regular cake, no big deal.
Guess who can't do a regular cake?
Yup. Me.
It came out tasting perfect. It would have been so nice..... had I had smaller baking pans or doubled the mixture. No, like a twit I spanned the mixture out in big pans and wondered for a fraction of a second why it looked like two cookies.....
Then I re-read the instructions, and sure enough, it says in huge letters clear as day what size pans I need are much smaller than what I used....
Oh, I cursed myself....
And now I get to show you fail #2.... lucky me.
No this is not a sugared peanut butter and jam sandwich... though that sounds pretty yummy too.....
This is my spongy not spongy cake.
It tasted ok, but not enough to eat more than a bite. So off in the garbage it went too.
I'm not gonna give up though. Even if maybe baking just isn't for me... No, I plan on trying some more in this bad boy, and maybe even tonight. I am bound and determined to master cakes. Watch me.

Believe me when I tell ya it's not the book, it's me. The book is amazing. And it will teach this greenie how to bake. Watch for updates on my bakescapades.

5/5

My review for Step-By-Step Bread





Teaser Tuesdays


AMAZON US
One night, our circus sold out. Every seat was filled, and some sat in the aisles or on the hard rock at the edges of the ring.

#Giveaway: Lumiére - Jacqueline Garlick (With Excerpt)

Welcome Jacqueline Garlick to Freda's Voice! 
Hi Jacqueline! Why don't you tell us a little about yourself.

I'm Jacqueline Garlick. Author of YA, New Adult, and Women's Fiction. I originally hail from the shores of Bournemouth England. No I don't, I'm just kidding, but my father's parents did! Actually, I hail from another familiar shore though. I grew up on the banks of the Thames River in Chatham, Ontario, not Chatham, England, but trust me it's just as murky. I love strong heroines, despise whiny sidekicks, and adore a good story about a triumphant underdog. (Doesn't everyone?) I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper) and plan cool writing events for cool writers (check out niagarawritersretreatandconference (dot) com.) I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology (doesn't everyone?) and would rather hang out with a dog, than a cat. I prefer creating things to cleaning things, and believe laughter is a one-stop-shop solution to all that ails you. It is also my position that ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky can improve on any bad day. You will always find a purple wall (or two) in my house (perhaps even a door) and a hidden passageway that leads to a mystery room. (Okay, so you won’t find a hidden passageway but a girl can dream, can’t she?) Oh, and tea. There will always be tea. I love specialty teas...and collecting special teacups from which to drink them (doesn't everyone?) (See website for collection.) 

In my former life, I was a teacher (both grade school and college-don't ask), but more recently I've been a graduate of Ellen Hopkin’s Nevada Mentor Program and a student of James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass. An excerpt from Lumière earned me the 2012 Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship.

Because of my edgy, rule-breaking, Tim Burton-esque style of writing (yes I did just start a sentence with 'because'...it's legal now, get over it) I am often referred to as the Quentin Tarantino of YA among writing friends (in particular my agent.)  

Lumière—A Romantic Steampunk Fantasy—is my debut novel, Book One in my young adult The Illumination Paradox Series. I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.


I look forward to reviews and comments from my readers, and welcome requests for skype visits, guest blogs, pod casts and interviews! You can connect with me here:

WEBSITE   |   FACEBOOK   |   GOODREADS   |   TWITTER  |   PINTEREST   |   GOOGLE+

She is here today to share an excerpt and is also having a giveaway for her book, Lumiére. 
What's cool about this book? The cover got me right away. I learned from the author that she actually designed and sewed the dress herself! Incredible!!!

Let's check the book out, so you can see what I mean...

Is that cover not amaze-balls?!?!?!?!

Here is what it's all about:


One determined girl.
One resourceful boy.
One miracle machine that could destroy everything…

After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum.

Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own. 

Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same goal, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all.


When darkness is safer than light…

PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US   |   KOBO US

Excerpt From Lumière:

“Wait!” I shout, surging forward, shouldering my way through the crowd. I fight my way to the front and pound on the doors of the carriage. “Please!” I shout. “I need to speak to you!” But the stranger doesn’t hear.
He brings his whip down hard over his horse’s back and the carriage leaps forward, parting the angry crowd like soil in a furrowed field. “Wait!” I hoist my skirts and chase after the carriage. “Please!” I shout. “Please! Wait!”
A second crack of the whip and the carriage moves faster. I race on, struggling to keep up to its side. If I lose sight of the carriage, I’ve lost everything. All hope of ever leading a normal life.  
I can’t let that happen.
Won’t let that happen.
He will not take my father’s machine.
“Please, I beg you, stop the coach!” I lunge, throwing myself at the back of the coach, barely catching a toe on the edge of the running boards, embedding my nails into the carriage’s seams. The carriage bursts forward through the streets of Gears, the city fast becoming a memory.
“Stop!” I plead as my boot slips from the running boards. I swing out to one side and dangle by one arm.
 The stranger at the mount turns his head.  “What are you doing?” he shouts. “Get off!” 
“Get off?”
I kick my way back up onto the platform.    
“I said get off!” he shouts again.    
“I won’t!” I say, hoisting, myself up higher onto the cab.
My foot slips again and I sink beneath the rooftop, striking my chin hard on the way down. Grasping at the coach’s seams I desperately try to hold on, the toes of my boots burrowing twisted trenches in the dirt road below. My heart lodges in my throat as I lose my grip and swing out again to the opposite side.  
“Bloody Hell!” I hear the stranger curse.
His face appears over the top of the cab seconds later. His eyes are lit like flares. I hang by the tips of my fingers, shocked, staring up at him. I don’t know whether to scream or cry. 

AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY
One person in US or Canada will win a copy of Lumiére.
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter. Read the terms at bottom of form for full rules & eligibility.


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Romwe Back To School Deals

Romwe back to school deals
20% off for whole store by this coupon: 20%offback
Only three days: 28th Jan to 30th Jan
Don’t miss, girls!
Check all items here :http://www.romwe.com/?susie

Carrie

Chloe Grace Moretz and Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore star in this exhilarating re-imagining of Stephen King's iconic best seller. After merciless taunting from classmates and abuse at the hand of her religious fanatic mother (Moore), Carrie's (Mortez) anger - and her telekinetic powers - are unleashed. And when a prom prank goes horribly wrong, events spiral out of control until the terrifying conclusion of this powerful, pulse-quickening horror story.


AVAILABLE NOW!
Rated R
100 minutes


AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA





REVIEW:
I like this remake. A lot in fact.

The original was amazing, and nothing compares to Sissy Spacek, but this remake brought Carrie into our time and made it so much more relate-able. 
It was also a little different in parts. but all in a good way.
The bigger budget for this film, compared to the original, made a huge difference to the film and cinematography.
Julianne Moore took me back a few when I first saw her. Being such a beautiful woman, and she is just the complete opposite in this film. She played the part of the mother perfectly though.
It was really an amazing movie.


5/5

Sunday, January 26, 2014

#Giveaway: My Pacific Pearls Black Pearl Drop Dangle Earrings (ARV $125)

Love is in the air, and what a better way to show your love than to give your lady some pearl jewelry.

At the end of last year, I was lucky enough to review a pair of Black Pearl Diamond Drop Dangle Earrings. They are so beautiful and make me feel glamorous when I wear them. The best part is you can dress them up or down. Wear them with a dress or with your jeans and a blouse. They are so versatile!

Now here is your chance to win a pair for your lady love, or even as a gift to yourself!
View earrings at My Pacific Pearls
My Pacific Pearls is offering one pair of these beautiful Black Pearl Drop Dangle Earrings to one lucky winner.
Giveaway is open worldwide!!!

You must sign up for their newsletter, but all other entries are optional. Small price to pay for a great pair of earrings!

Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter, and be sure to read the terms at the bottom of the form for full rules and eligibility.

Good luck!


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