Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Monthly News

Welcome to the November edition of monthly news!
Not much exciting happened in my world, what about you?



Yearly Total:  85 Books, 19 Products & 25 Movies

Book of the Month:

Book of the Year:




ALPHABE THURSDAYS Favorite Poetry:
A Girl's Garden - Robert Frost
Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky - Lewis Carroll
Carpe Diem - William Shakespeare
Dream within a Dream - Edgar Allen Poe
Echo - Christina Rossetti
Flower Garden - Wayne Jarus

God Gave A Loaf To Every Bird - Emily Dickinson
How Do I Love Thee - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
Just After Rain - Ross Clark


CHALLENGES FAILED:
  1. Monthly Keyword Challenge

CHALLENGES COMPLETED:
**No compensation was received for posting. Opinions are owned by this site.

#85: The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe - Romain Puértolas

Meet Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod. One day a fakir leaves his small village in India and lands in Paris. A professional con artist, the fakir is on a pilgrimage to IKEA, where he intends to obtain an object he covets above all others: a brand-new bed of nails. Without adequate euros in the pockets of his silk trousers, the fakir is all the same confident that his counterfeit 100-Euro note (printed on one side only) and his usual bag of tricks will suffice. But when a swindled cab driver seeks his murderous revenge, the fakir accidentally embarks on a European tour, fatefully beginning in the wardrobe of the iconic Swedish retailer.
     As his journey progresses in the most unpredictable of ways, the fakir finds unlikely friends in even unlikelier places. To his surprise--and to a Bollywood beat--the stirrings of love well up in the heart of our turbaned hero, even as his adventures lead to profound and moving questions of the perils of emigration and the universal desire to seek a better life in an often dangerous world.
     The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe [pause for breath] is a hilarious tale that evokes the manic energy of a Marx Brothers romp and calls to mind the incisive social commentary of Candide. Pull up your Poang chair and take an unforgettable tour of Europe propelled by laughter, love and redemption. (Meatballs not included, but highly recommended.)


  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada (August 5, 2014)
  • ISBN: 9780345814173




ROMAIN PUÉRTOLAS was born in Montpellier, France. He wrote The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe on his mobile phone while working as a French border guard. Romain has previously worked as a cleaner at the Brighton Palace Pier, where he learned how to say 'Don't lean on the slot machine' without a French accent. This is his first novel.


REVIEW:
Best book ever!
What a story! What a journey! I love how it all comes together. So humorous, such fantastic and clever storytelling, you surely don't realize this is a first time author. What an epic adventure! You really can't help but get immersed in this extraordinary journey.
Aja, the fakir, is so interesting and more unique than any other character I have read about before. Really, at the end, I wanted more. Though the story opened, flowed and closed perfectly, I could keep reading day in and out.
Romain Puértolas is a genius storyteller and frankly, a new favorite of mine.
I now NEED a copy of The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. I strongly suggest you start reading his books too!

5+/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This copy was won. Opinions are owned by this site.

#84: The Swallow - Charis Cotter

In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives. Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren't alone--they're actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so... ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose's name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family... before it's too late.

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (Sept. 9 2014)
  • ISBN: 9781770495913



AUTHOR BIO:
Charis Cotter grew up in downtown Toronto beside a cemetery and developed an early love of reading and acting at her local library, where she appeared in plays. She studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Cotter's series of biographies for children have received critical acclaim and her book, Toronto between Wars: Life in the City 1919-1939, won the Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence in 2005. Cotter has toured Canada from coast to coast, engaging children with her lively school presentations that feature games, storytelling and her entertaining alter egos: Queen Elizabeth II and the Scottish Silky Ghost.

She lives in a particularly haunted part of Newfoundland, where she has been working with children to publish their own books of traditional local ghost stories. The author lives in Western Bay, Newfoundland.


REVIEW:
Best ghost story ever!
This is not a traditional ghost story where an entity is going around spooking everyone. No, this is about two young girls and one is a ghost. For most of the story, you believe one thing about the ghost and then all of a sudden, like a truck coming out of nowhere, the story becomes epic! Everything you thought you knew becomes something totally different and it works!
This is such an intricately told tale that had me guessing, intrigued and in awe throughout. I even got choked up a few times. Yeah, choked up during a ghost story... stop laughing.
I know so many of you will enjoy this story as much as  did.

5/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This copy was won. Opinions are owned by this site.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

#Giveaway: Deadly Odds - Allen Wyler

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.
He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands. Visit his website at www.allenwyler.com

Bestselling author, Allen Wyler, (Dead End Deal, Deadly Errors, Dead Ringer, Dead Wrong) is back with a new breakout suspense thriller with a “techno edge”:  Deadly Odds.
Twenty-three year old Arnold Gold is a Seattle-based odds-maker and local computer genius.  Described as a "part-time hacker and full-time virgin" by his friends, the awkward young shut-in flies to Vegas to try and get lucky--in more ways than one.  But his high stakes activity on the Net inadvertently thrusts him into a vortex of international terrorism.
Dark Net Hacking has resulted in murder, and now it will take every last bit of Arnold's genius intellect and legendary hacking skill to stay one step ahead of the murderous terrorists, the FBI, the local cops and his lawyer.  Gold's only chance to save himself is to find a bomb hidden somewhere in Vegas, and somehow prevent the explosion that will turn Sin City into the scene of the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11.
Wyler's wild new thriller is as horrifyingly plausible as it is darkly funny and enjoyable.  Deadly Odds is not only a page-turner, it's a terrific character-driven story about a young man who lives life through a computer and discovers its dark side.  Edgy, twitchy and filled with enough tech savvy detail to keep both the techno-thriller and classic suspense fan enthralled, Deadly Odds is a new generation's thrill ride.



AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY

Open to US & Canada
1 winner

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





**No compensation was received for posting. This site is not responsible for the prize shipment.

#83: The Gurkha's Daughter - Prajwal Parajuly

A disfigured servant girl plans to flee Nepal; a Kalimpong shopkeeper faces an impossible dilemma; a Hindu religious festival in Darjeeling brings with it a sacrifice; a Nepali-Bhutanese refugee pins her hopes on the West; a Gurkha's daughter tries to comprehend her father's complaints; two young Nepali-speaking immigrants meet in Manhattan. 

These are just some of the stories describing and dramatizing the experiences of the Nepalese people and the Nepalese diaspora - the people whose culture and language is Nepalese but who are dispersed to India, Bhutan and beyond. 


  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc (January 2, 2014)
  • ISBN: 9781780872964


AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA   |   AMAZON UK



REVIEW:
Full of culture!
I have to admit, it was the cover that initially pulled me in. I imagined a story of immigration. At the end of this story I got what I expected.
Up to that point was a collection of stories. These stories were about various people in India, Nepal and Bhutan. They were rich with culture and had profound moments for me with the heart of the characters I was reading about. I feel I learned a lot about these cultures and their traditions in every day life. While similar to ours, they are so very different too. Even among their own countries they are the same but different. Even in how they speak each other's languages. The sad thing is, these stories did nothing to make me want to visit these places. These people had hard lives. Harder than I could ever know, and women are treated very, very differently. As a woman, sometimes it was hard to read. I am sure they are beautiful countries, but life is just too different for me.
I appreciated what I read though. I feel I have a better understanding of these men and women's stories. As a whole, I don't know that I can say I 'liked' the book though. The stories were not connected in any way, so it had a strange flow. The ending is what got to me though. It ended with the immigration to New York City, and I felt it was the weakest story of them all. Since the whole cover is what pulled me in and the immigration part is what I hoped for, I feel a little let down.
I'm sure other people will feel differently though. To each his own.

2/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. I won this copy during ABEA. Opinions are owned by this site.

#Giveaway: Posterjack.ca (With Review) #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Posterjack.ca is an Canadian online photo printing company, serving the entire Canadian population from their Toronto location. They also have stores online for the US, UK, Austria, France, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland. (See the bottom of the homepage to be redirected.)

I love Posterjack!
They take memories, and bring them to life. The best part is, these memories will be upfront and with you every day instead of just here and there when it passes through your mind. 
Twice now Posterjack has done this for me.

The first time, I wanted to give my in-laws a gift that they could cherish forever.We had a moment together, that was captured by me, and I knew it was perfect.
A day we enjoyed as a family, which we have many, but my mother-in-law celebrated her 65th birthday on this day. 
They loved the gallery box. It hangs in the family room, where they spend the majority of their time.

This year I knew I could do it again and make someone else happy with a life-long memory. 
My hubby is the target of my love and appreciation this Christmas. With one of his favorite things as the subject. It also happens to be a memory from a day him and I spent together. A day date in another city. A romantic meal, a trip to the local landmark and aquarium, a walk on the water, it had it all. So I sent this digital photo for Posterjack to print on canvas and make another gallery box.
Yes, those are sharks! My hubby loves them and in this moment at Ripley's Aquarium, when you stand under them... I can't begin to describe the surreal feeling. 
The hubby is going to absolutely love it!
It is so well-crafted. The website is so easy-to-use and when you are customizing your order, it even tells you if your image is good enough quality to use. Within a few minutes you could have a custom-made memory. Plus it ships very quickly.
I couldn't be a more satisfied customer, and frankly, this will be my only stop for gifts of this kind.
The holidays are here now, and Christmas is only a few weeks away. This would be a great gift idea.... which you can still get it if you order before December 14.

Or enter this giveaway...  if you live in Canada.

Fill in the Rafflecopter form.
1 winner

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





**No compensation was received for posting. Product was received to facilitate a review. Opinions are owned by this site. This site is responsible for supplying the prize that was provided but is not responsible after recipient receives prize. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Tech #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Bolse offers the most innovative new products  to tech savvy consumers. They always stay a step ahead of the changing marketplace no matter how quickly technology changes. Bolse can help you stay ahead.

Bolse sent me a couple of items to try out, and I think they would be great stocking stuffers. Everyone who has an iphone and a car can benefit from the first item, and anyone with an iphone can benefit from the last two. Let's check them out.
This is the Bolse® [Apple MFi Certified] 3-Port (25W / 5A) High Output USB Car Chargers, Build-in 2-in-1 Lightning & Micro USB Cable With SmartIC Technology Charging Station for iPhone 6, 5; Samsung Galaxy; iPad Air; Motorola and HTC; Tablet; GPS. It is a handy item to have in your car when you travel anywhere. 


Get it at AMAZON

I love the design of it, and was thoroughly impressed it can charge both my Samsung and my hubby's iPhone. It has a great hideaway Micro USB port, and its' cord is just the right length between the charger and you if you need to text or talk. It looks like it gives less leeway than it does. 


These two cords have the same uses, they are just different colors. These are the FRiEQ® 4-Feet Gold Plated 3.5mm Male to 3.5mm Female Car and Home Stereo Cloth Jacketed Tangle-Free Auxiliary Stereo Audio Cable Extension Fits Over Tablet & Smart Phone Cases For iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Android, MP3. And they are quite handy too for tech and music lovers!



Get the blue/yellow cable at AMAZON
Get the green/black cable at AMAZON


These cables are awesome. Mind you it took a minute to realize what exactly the do. Well, they hook up to your phone, tablet, etc, and hook into your car stereo! Now you can listen to the tunes on your device in your car! How cool is that?! I know some teenagers that drive that would LOVE these in their stocking!

Great quality, these cables are durable and sound great. They have gold plating and are bound in a cord to protect them. You can visible see how high quality they are when you pull them from the box.

Just a few ideas from Bolse and FRiEQ to get your stocking filled. Be sure to check out the website, or browse Amazon, for more great products available.

**No compensation was received for posting. Product was received to facilitate a review. Opinions are owned by this site.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings)


Welcome to Week 204!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *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.






Katherine Zook fell into step with two Englisch women who were crossing the parking lot toward the Bird-in-Hand market. Normally, she would avoid the chatty tourists, but the tall man with the shoulder-length, salt-and-pepper hair and a limp was following her again.


Book Beginnings
You may only use the Linky if you participated in the Friday 56!











**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This is a meme post. 

Worst Cooks in America

Food Network TV has some of the coolest shows on television. Back for its' sixth season is Worst Cooks in America. If you haven't seen this show before, let me tell you about it.
Worst Cooks in America is a competition series where celebrity chefs turn disastrous cooks into skilled culinary cooks. Chef Anne Burrell returns to go against first-time opponent, Chef Tyler Florence.
Each week these great chefs lead two teams of kitchen-challenged recruits in a gruelling culinary boot camp. This is designed to give them skills they need to cook good food.
A $25,000 grand prize is awarded to the contestant that makes the most impressive culinary transformation. Plus they will deliver bragging rights to their celebrity chef team leader.
Get your first glimpse of all the contestants. All of these brave men and women will be showing their stuff off in the kitchen competitions.

“Welcoming a new roster of Worst Cooks is an annual tradition, and our viewers love watching their comical kitchen mishaps evolve into serious cooking chops,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. “Anne and Tyler are both fiercely competitive and determined to whip their contenders into tip-top culinary shape, and the transformations are remarkable.”


So on January 4th at 9pm est, I hope you will be tuning into Food Network TV for Worst Cooks in America. I know I will be!

Be sure to check out Food Network for more great shows, ideas and recipes at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+!


**Compensation is received for posting. Opinions are owned by this site.

#Giveaway: Lampe Berger Paris #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Lampe Berger originated in 1898, bringing fresh scents to homes.  Now serving 56 countries, they have a vast collection of lamps with an incredible variety of designs, styles and materials. 15 new models are created annually, each one requiring 18 months of work. They hold a collection of 100 lamps currently. These lamps not only give a nice scent, they cleanse the air as well.

Remember a little while back I did a review for a beautiful smoky colored lamp?
Well, the fabulous people at Lampe Berger Paris are offering one reader a kit like I received with a lamp and fragrance! Now you can try it and see how amazing it smells and how it purifies the air.
This would be an amazing hostess gift during the holiday season!

Fill in the Rafflecopter form if you live in Canada!


Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway





**No compensation was received for posting. Opinions are owned by this site. This site is not responsible for prize shipment. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Xmen Days of Future Past

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.


Rated PG
131 minutes

AVAILABLE NOW!



AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA   |   AMAZON UK



REVIEW:
Fantastic movie!
I love how this story meshed the past and the present, original characters with new ones. A couple have changed and some remained the same. Of course, Wolverine is still my favorite and the start of the show once again. I didn't mind though. 
Tons of action, things getting blown up, and mounds of fighting scenes. There were a couple of boring moments, or where it got a little sappy for me, but thankfully those moments didn't last long.
Not a movie for the whole family, unless your youngest kids are pre-teens. Them and up will definitely enjoy it!
Probably my favorite movie in the series franchise now, just so you know.

4.5/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. An eScreener was provided to facilitate a review. Opinions are owned by this site.

Blasting About: Cranberry Bluff (With #Giveaway)

Freda's Voice is happy to be part of the blast for Cranberry Bluff. Please read to the end and enter the great giveaway! Good luck!


Cranberry Bluff

Cranberry Bluff by Deborah Garner

Molly Elliott's quiet life in Tallahassee, Florida, is disrupted when routine errands land her in the wrong place at the wrong time: the middle of a bank robbery. Accused and cleared of the crime, she flees both media attention and mysterious, threatening notes, to move across the country to Cranberry Cove, where she has inherited her Aunt Maggie's bed and breakfast on the Northern California coast. Her new beginning is peaceful - that is, until five guests show up at the inn for a weekend, each with a hidden agenda.

Mix together one blushing honeymoon couple, one flamboyant boutique owner, a deadpan traveling salesman, and a charmingly handsome novelist, and there’s more than scones cooking at Cranberry Cottage Bed and Breakfast. As true motives become apparent, will Molly's past come back to haunt her or will she finally be able to leave it behind?



Author Deborah Garner

Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.




Add to Goodreads


Cranberry



Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/23/14

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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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**No compensation was received for posting. This post is part of a promotional tour. This site is not responsible for the giveaway or prize shipment.

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