Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tranquility Initiative *Giveaway* 2 Winners

Tranquility Initiative by Joan Meijer

About The Book:
Wars were the inevitable result of the destabilization of the Middle East. They were small wars as wars go; bloody, destructive, battles waged between ethnic groups in the wake of the American invasion of Iraq and its subsequent defeat at the hands of the insurgents. Even with the emergence of dictators, who kept their mutual hatreds and suspicions in check for a time, the differences between ethnic groups and religious factions could not be held in check forever. Now those differences emerged with new vigor. The wars that were the creation of religious leaders hoping for bigger power bases, focused the people's attention on the grievances of their divisive past at the expense of any hope for a prosperous future. Brushfire after brushfire flared up throughout even relatively stable Middle Eastern nations. Before long, they had traveled up into the Muslim areas of the former Soviet Union. They spread in all directions, until they came at last to the sixteenth century Tartar strongholds in the ancient war zone that surrounded the historic city of Astrakhan. The members of the European Economic Community and NATO, threatened by their own Muslim communities, were determined to avoid involvement at all cost. Burned by the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wary of their own huge Islamic populations, they steadfastly refused to be dragged into the swirling vortex of ethnic dissention playing out in ever widening circles on their eastern flank. They chose instead to let the various factions settle their differences among themselves. The predictable result was genocide. Then, ten years after the turn of the 21st Century, the bloody skirmishes took on a whole new significance. The Nation of Islam united and began to ascend outside the Middle East. When it became obvious that the bottom third of the former Soviet Union was falling under the influence of the Iranian mullahs, Europe became restless. As the Jihad nibbled at the corners of the western world once again, Europe went on the defensive. The United States became involved in what became known as the Astrakhan War, by increments. It had all looked good on paper; a UN Peacekeeping profile, with the support of NATO, doing the right thing to prevent world war. Americans joined their allies in an all out effort to contain the threat to the European way of life. There was worldwide agreement that something had to be done and, if done in concert, would naturally be victorious. Once again, American mothers sent their children to fight on the side of right. Once again, the leaders of the free world were dead wrong. The concept of peace through war only works when the countries seeking to interfere in the affairs of another country are, and continue to be, committed to the fight. In a religious war, people who lack fanaticism are at a decided disadvantage. As the Astrakhan Intervention dragged on, the American population was once again faced with a test of its resolve. 9/11 was a distant memory, and without a similar catalyst, Americans could not see the point of protecting the citizens of a country thousands of miles from home. What had started as a firm desire to do the right thing became a grinding intervention in the kind of civil unrest that would not go away. Taxes were raised, the balancing of the budget was put on hold, body bags began to flood into hometowns.....

My Thoughts:
At first the book was hard to get into, only because it was packed with so much information right away. But once you got past that (very quickly), and understood what was going to happen, then it got better! And I stayed up past midnight to finish this book! This book is jam packed with suspense, mystery, military gun-ho fighting, drama, and a good bit of horror. This story could be a sensitive read to some, as there is a lot of political/religious stuff, as well as very graphic details and profanity. But, I think that all of that has to be in the story to make it such the great read that it is!

About The Author:
Joan Meijer is the author of twenty fiction and non-fiction books and a dozen short stories including the ground breaking "MetaFitness: Your Thoughts Taking Shape" - featured on Oprah. Her most recent fiction release is "Tranquillity Initiative" a medical thriller about an anthrax attack on New York City. Joan has just won The Author's Show Contest and will be included in the 2011 edition of "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading." She is also one of the 2010 winning writers in National Novel Writing Month - completing her book "Relentless: The Search for Typhoid Mary" now available in Kindle. Joan is the former president of The National Emergency Care Advisory Council which worked with the major Networks Program Practices Departments to correctly represent first aid in programming. She is a former New York City Paramedic but she says she's save more lives as a First Aid Instructor for the American Red Cross. One of the lives she saved was that of a 38 year old student who, as a result of her teaching, recognized that he was having a heart attack even though he was exceptionally fit and young, took himself immediately to the hospital where he went into cardiac arrest as he walked in the door. Both "Tranquillity Initiative" and her first novel "Provenance," a rescue story based on a true event in New York, are available on Kindle. Learn more at Joan Meijer's Website.

Two readers will win a copy of this book! Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.
4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends December 9th. Good luck!

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hartstrings Clothing For Children

I got the cutest out for Callan to wear on Christmas! And I got it from Hartstrings!

Hartstrings is well known for its great selection of brother/sister coordinates perfect for holidays, Sundays, portraits and parties... Hartstrings has a stellar reputation for updated-classic design, high quality and enduring garments. Having the best dressed child on the block isn’t hard when you choose Hartstrings! Hartstrings has childrens clothing in sizes newborn to size 16 in girls and newborn to size 14 in boys. Hartstrings, celebrating the gift of children.

This is what we got for Callan:
Polar Bear Double Sleeve Tee: Boys Adorable Red and Black Double Sleeved Tee Features a Plaid Polar Bear Applique.
Flat Front Corduroy Pants: Boys Classic Corduroy Flat Front Pant with a Softly Washed Finish 

He is going to look so handsome! I love it. Hartstrings has great clothing and amazing quality. Check out Hartstrings on Facebook, as well as Hartstrings on Twitter.

I received products from Hartstrings in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Continuum Games For The Holidays! *Giveaway*

Continuum Games Mission – To bring families together through exciting new game concepts that appeal to all generations of game players. Continuum Games publishes its own line of award winning games and also serve as a distributor to the BEST in class games from independent manufacturers. Check out their family games today!

Lumps, the Elf Coal Game
Getting coal in your stocking has never been so fun!
Getting coal in your stocking is now the best gift of the holidays!
The Lumps Legend: Children around the world have been so good over the past few years; lumps of coal have built up at the North Pole. Puzzled by what to do with the excess coal; Santa’s elves decided to create an exciting new game that uses lumps of coal of all shapes and sizes. The game is so much fun, good little boys and girls, for the first time ever, are excited to get lumps of coal in their stocking! Lumps, the Elf Coal Game is the most addictive family dice game you’ll ever play! The goal is to score the most points in three rolls by rolling pairs of the same number. Roll a pair of 3s, score 3 points; a pair of 10s scores 10 points. What makes the game unique is that it has four different types of dice and there are few high numbers. On each turn you have to make decisions on which dice to keep and re-roll. Do you play it safe and hold a pair of 4s, or chance it and try for a high pair? The endless possibilities make Lumps exciting and addictive. Great stocking stuffer!

Family Talk 2
Questions to get the whole family talking! Family Talk 2 takes the dinner table discussions with you wherever you go!
The second edition of our award winning Family Talk game. Engage your family in meaningful conversations with this set of 100 new and exciting questions. Simply pick a card, ask the question and get a surprising and often hilarious glimpse into the hearts and minds of family members. Winner of the Tillywig Brain Child Award. Fun, Portable family game of conversation keeps today’s busy families connected. 100 new and exciting question cards attached to round carabiner clip for use anywhere – at home, at a restaurant, in the car, on vacation. Questions that get the whole family talking – even hard-to-talk-to Teens!

One lucky reader will win both of these games! Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.
4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends December 9th. Good luck!

I received products from Continuum Games and Asylum PR in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monster Factory *Giveaway*

The Monster Factory is a character toy brand run by Adam Dunn, Rhya Tamasauskas, and Bliss Man. Together they design and create engaging monster characters who live in a bizarre, yet strangely familiar world. Combining their backgrounds in film, art, and fashion, the creators have developed a strong sense of collaboration that affects every aspect of their process from storytelling to product design. Their efforts have produced countless monster characters who, despite their appearances, are just like you and me.

Mr. Jefferson conducts himself in a gracious manner, though he has been known to lose his temper while playing board games. Mr. Jefferson, resting his chin in his hand, stared down at the board while he considered his next move. Across the table, Wayne waited patiently, organizing his game pieces into neat little rows in front of him. Mr. Jefferson pondered. Wayne smiled. Mr. Jefferson suspected that he was trying to psych him out.
"Not this time my friend… Not… This… Time…" he muttered under his breath, still without making a move. Wayne sighed. This was going to be a long night. When Mr. Jefferson first began organizing the weekly game night, it enjoyed a very healthy attendance. Tempted by offerings of homemade beef stroganoff and cheese fondue, his friends and fellow teachers at Orde Street School didn't need much convincing to attend. However, they quickly learned that Mr. Jefferson's calm nature vanished when he put his competitive tactics into motion. His "healthy gamesmanship" had a pesky habit of devolving into pure psychological warfare. It turned out that no amount of warm cheese dip or chocolate covered pretzels was enough to ease the pain of his in-your-face victory dances and un-sportsmanlike taunting. Soon the weekly game nights were whittled down to just two participants: Mr. Jefferson and Wayne. But Wayne didn't seem to mind. He found Mr. Jefferson's passion inspiring.
"Pass me the rule book," Mr. Jefferson requested. Wayne slid the "Conundrum!" playbook across the table. Mr. Jefferson opened it and flipped the pages slowly, shooting sly glances at his opponent as he perused.
"Just as I suspected!" he hollered triumphantly, slamming the book down on the table.
"What?" implored Wayne, wary of his friend's epiphany. Mr. Jefferson held a dramatic and suspicious pause.
"…Nothing… Nothing at all… May I offer you a coffee?" It was another one of his bizarre diversionary tactics. But Wayne wasn't falling for it.
"No thanks. I'll wait." Mr. Jefferson nodded. Wayne was proving to be a worthy adversary.
"…How 'bout a little music then?" Mr. Jefferson strolled over to his vintage 1970s Cordiggan sound system. He swept the dust off the cover of the record player, and glanced back at Wayne. Wayne waved. Mr. Jefferson quickly turned back around, and knelt down to flip through his vast record collection. After careful consideration, he settled on a 1979 release by George J. Campbelle, a self-proclaimed R&B legend. Carefully removing it from its sleeve, he gently placed it on the turntable; Mr. Jefferson relished in the ceremony of it all. Mr. Jefferson ambled back to the table and took his seat, giving Wayne a healthy dose of stink-eye. Wayne nodded his head to a mellow rhythm emanating from a pair of tall brown speakers. Mr. Jefferson turned his attention back to the board, miming potential move-scenarios with his hand and talking softly to himself. And then it clicked. He grabbed his game piece and hopped it across the board.
"If I move diagonally here, you have to retreat back to yellow five, leaving me to double up green twelve and leaving you with no other options left… CONUNDRUM!" he yelled excitedly, jumping to his feet and nearly knocking the cheese fondue pot onto Wayne's lap. Wayne stood up and offered his hand across the table.
"Good game buddy." He said warmly. Mr. Jefferson flailed about in an elaborate touchdown dance, then moonwalked over to Wayne, and shook his hand.
"You too, pal. You too." Mr. Jefferson retired to the kitchen. He packed a small doggy bag with a plastic container of fondue cheese and a paper bag full of donut holes. He then took a small clipping from his spider-plant, and carefully placed it in a cup of water for Wayne to take home. He presented the care package to Wayne, who graciously accepted.
"Thanks man. Are we still on for a game of squash Saturday?" Mr. Jefferson nodded.
"Wouldn't miss it, man. I'm bringing my game face!" Wayne smiled.
"I trust you are."

One lucky reader gets to win Mr. Jefferson! Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.

4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends December 16th. US only, sorry. Good luck!

I received a product from Monster Factory in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aeropostale Cologne

I'm sure most of us have heard of the Aeropostale brand. "Aéropostale , Inc. is a mall-based, specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories, principally targeting 14 to 17 year-old young women and men through its Aéropostale stores and 7 to 12 year-old kids through its P.S. from Aéropostale stores. The Company provides customers with a focused selection of high-quality, active-oriented, fashion and fashion basic merchandise at compelling values. Aéropostale maintains control over its proprietary brands by designing, sourcing, marketing and selling all of its own merchandise."

So we know that they have nice clothes. I see the logo on clothes kids are wearing all over the place. Very popular. But did you know they sell awesome cologne for guys? I love the smell of many of their colognes. They have manly woodsy and patchouli cologne. They have fresh scent and clean scent cologne. They have vibrant spicy and sporty cologne. And I do love a good smelling man. These colognes can be for a teen male, or an adult male.

Check out Aeropostale online or in stores, and go smell the colognes! You won't regret it. Get a nice scent for your man as a stocking stuffer!

No Paved Road To Freedom *Giveaway*

No Paved Road To Freedom by Sharon Rushton

About The Book:
No Paved Road to Freedom is a gripping and emotional story that humanizes the impact of communist occupation in Romania after World War II. It is relevant, it inspires, and it reminds us that freedom is precious. Based on a true story, it documents the extraordinary courage of Cornel Dolana and his family as they pay an incredible price for resisting communism. Cornel makes up his mind to escape the oppression and uses his ingenuity to put his plan in place. His fortitude keeps him moving toward his goal, despite enduring enormous setbacks, brutality, and extreme outdoor elements that few humans could survive. For several decades stories like Cornel’s could not be told for fear of persecution. From hundreds of hours of interviews over several years, author Sharon Rushton incorporated the highlights as well as the many details of Cornel’s experiences. She uses dialogue to bring the story to life. Rushton said, “His story is so incredible, it had to be told.”

My Thoughts:
Call me stupid, but I would have never known about communist Romania until I read about it in this book. I am sure it is public knowledge, and I may have even learned something about it in school, but I just don't recall. This book is very intriguing, and once you start reading, you can not put it down. The story is told so well, and you will become awe inspired by the journey of this one man. The courage one human being can have is truly amazing. This book is a story, a reality, a truth! A must read!

About The Author:
A veteran freelance writer, Sharon Rushton’s articles have appeared in U.S. and Canadian publications. In addition, she has combined her skills in management, education, public relations, marketing, writing, film/video production, photography and speaking to communicate issues and develop programs in the field of fish and wildlife and youth development. She was the founding executive director for the Future Fisherman Foundation and helped to establish aquatic resource education programs throughout the country. She also developed an award winning program called “Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs.” She has been honored with numerous awards throughout her career. For more info, visit No Paved Road To Freedom.

One reader will win a signed copy of this book! Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.
4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends December 8th. US only, sorry. Good luck!

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Kimochis Review & *Giveaway*

Kimochi (Key.Mo.Chee) means "feeling" in Japanese. Plushy Feely Corp., creator of the award-winning Kimochis...Toys With Feelings Inside, provides children, parents and educators with playful tools for learning to identify and express feelings. When kids can communicate their feelings effectively, they develop positive social skills that lead to lasting friendships and success in all aspects of life. Kimochis build confidence and feeling at a time.

We recieved Huggtopus for Callan! Kids will love collecting and expressing themselves with Mini Kimochis! Each one comes with a fun comic book and an emotional attachment (feeling keychain). Huggtopus comes with Silly and comic, Huggtopus and the Uggtopus Feeling. They are so cute! And the story/comic that goes with it is great!

One lucky reader will win 1 6 inch Kimochis plush with small keychain and comic book. Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.

4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends December 12th. Good luck!

I received a product from Kidtoons in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kernel Season's *Giveaway*

Kernel Season's makes 16 delicious flavors of popcorn seasoning. Their products can be found at many movie theaters and stores and are kosher, gluten-free, all natural and contain no MSG. They can be sprinkled on popcorn, veggies, rice, eggs, noodles, potatoes and anything else you like!

We got to try two new holiday flavors from Kernel Season's. Pumpkin Spice and Milk Chocolate Carmel! On popcorn, both were a bit weird, but still very good. I'm just a girl who likes her popcorn buttered and salted, nothing else. So it was a delicious surprise to find I like a little flavor on my popcorn!

Pumpkin Spice: A delicious blend of holiday spices that turn popcorn is a deliciously sweet Fall treat! Milk Chocolate Caramel: Everything rich and decadent for popcorn ... without the guilt! Try them both on…coffee, ice cream, desserts, hot cocoa, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal ... be creative! 

One lucky reader will win one of each of these seasonings! Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.

4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends December 15th. US only, sorry. Good luck!

I recieved products from Kernel Season's and Impressions PR in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Common English Bible Tour - Advent

What is special about the Common English Bible?
It’s easier to read and understand. For many, reading the Bible and then truly grasping what it means can be a challenge. Yet the Bible is meant for everyone. The Common English Bible is a new translation of the Bible in a language that readers naturally speak and communicate - a common language.  To keep scripture relevant, and integrated into worship. Cultural and religious settings have changed dramatically. Changes in worship impact the words we use in our churches. And language is changing even faster because of the digital revolution. Combined with huge cultural shifts underway, these changes are so enormous that a completely new translation of the Bible is required.

This week is the beginning of Advent (November 27th to December 24th). The theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. With the view of directing the thoughts of Christians to the first coming of Jesus Christ as savior and to his second coming as judge, special readings are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent.

John 3:16-17 (CEB): 16 “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. 17 God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

This week, one reader will receive a softcover version of the CEB. Here's how: 

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.
4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends December 6th. Good luck!

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The B&B Media Group. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Getting Fit At Home Deals & Steals

  Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. R...