Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Blast - From Gods by Mary Ting (plus Giveaway)

Welcome to the Book Blast for Mary Ting's From Gods. Keep reading to learn more about the book & author, and, be sure and check out the giveaway at the end of the post. You can enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

From Gods New

From Gods by Mary Ting
Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don't blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome should have been having the best summer ever, before heading off to college. Suddenly her whole life changes while visiting her cousin, and meeting the Grand brothers; Mason, in particular. Though she's sure he is someone she should stay away from, the attraction was undeniable. Strange things begin to happen, throwing Skylar's life into turmoil. Implausibly, she gets caught up in a world where the descendants of ancient gods have super powers, and evil beings are after her. Not only are her discoveries difficult to accept, but now she is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?

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Praise for From Gods
“A fast paced adventure full of mystery, action, magic and romance! Readers won’t be able to put this book down!” ~InD’tale Magazine  

“From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It’s full of hotness that you never want to end!” ~Michele, Insane About Books  

“From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting's Demi Gods and Vultures!!!” ~Mindy, Books Complete Me  

“This book is “electric” as it blends paranormal romance, mythology (which I love), action and suspense together for an amazing read. Mary Ting, you’ve done it again! This book exceeded my expectations and I was literally blown away as if I were struck by lightning!” ~Vanessa, Fairiechick’s Fantasy Book Reader

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mary ting

Author Mary Ting
Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.  

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BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/23/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, February 25, 2014

Movie Trailer Tuesday - The Children of Huang Shi

Welcome to "Movie Trailer Tuesday - my weekly blog feature where I share movie/dvd recommendations by posting a quick blurb and movie trailer for you to check out. 

Have you watched any good movies recently? Feel free to share in the comments below.


Based on a true story, this historical drama follows British correspondent George Hogg and his efforts to save a group of war orphans during Japan's occupation of China in the 1930s. Very moving!

Rated R for some disturbing and violent content.


Monday, February 24, 2014

$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

~This Giveaway Is Now Closed~

I've teamed up with a fab group of bloggers for a $25 Amazon gift card this week! Will you be the lucky winner?


Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form located below to enter. Besides the mandatory entry, all other entries are optional. Giveaway ends March 2nd at 11:59 PM EST and is open worldwide.

Good Luck!

~Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join an awesome group of bloggers!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Infographic: Is It Time To Move Out?

I'm sharing the following Infographic courtesy of No compensation of any type was received for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

It seems the trend these days is for many 20-somethings (and even older) to continue living with their parents, or else to be moving back in with them because of tough times. As a parent of a 20 year old son who still lives at home, I have conflicted feelings about this topic.

On the one hand, I know my son is nowhere near ready to live on his own. Mostly for financial reasons but also because he doesn't have a clue as to all the responsibilities living on your own entails. He has it pretty easy at home and besides a few bills, he really doesn't have to take care of much else.

On the other hand, how else will he ever learn to be responsible and support himself unless he goes out there and just has to do it? I think some parents today (me!) tend to make things way too easy on their kids and shelter them a little too much.

He will soon be 21 so he is still young. I see nothing wrong with him continuing to live at home for now, at least until he figures out his future a little bit more and becomes more financially secure. He says all the time that he wants to move out but I see no signs of him making the necessary preparations for said move (i.e. saving money). He works a full-time job but he definitely has not figured out how to save. I feel like that's a failure on our part. We have talked to him over and over about the importance of saving. But, he is a young adult and I cannot physically confiscate his paycheck and make him save money. Can I?

It's a slippery slope and tricky to figure out...just how much to butt in to the affairs of your young adult child.

At what age did you first move out on your own? Or, if you are a parent to older kids, what ages were they when they moved out?

Anyway, while we're on the subject of moving out, here's a great infographic I came across at -- Check it out...
  Moving Out - millennials infographic

Witnessed Sibling Bonding

Every once in awhile as a parent you get to witness a special moment of sibling bonding; some little event or circumstance that they happen to be sharing ever so sweetly.

The other day, I got to witness one such episode between my 17 year old daughter, Shelby, and my 13 year old son, Zachary.

We were all in the car, heading out to grab some dinner. My husband and I were in the front seat chatting so I really wasn't paying much attention to the kids in the backseat. They are teenagers and many times there's fighting and fussing going on when they are cooped up in the car. But, this particular day, they were fairly quiet, talking amongst themselves.

I happened to look back and see Zachary, smiling as he was saying something to Shelby. Then, Shelby reached over and pulled aside his shirt sleeve so that she could peer at his armpit. (Yes, I said she was looking closely at his armpit). Next, Shelby poked around on his armpit and then got a big smile and began nodding her head. She patted him on the back and said, "Awesome!"

Apparently Zachary was sharing his exciting news that he had recently developed a few armpit hairs. He was very proud and Shelby acted very happy for him.

image via Can Stock Photo

...and that, my friends, was my tender moment of witnessed sibling bonding. Even if it was over something as funny as amrpit hair.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quotes to Encourage and Motivate Your Teen

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Giveaway - Asian Orchid & Coconut Bundle from Vitabath

~This Giveaway Is Now Closed~

As a Vitabath Insider, I was invited to host the following giveaway. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions expressed are my own. Giveaway items to be supplied and shipped by Vitabath.

As many of you have probably already heard, Pantone declared Radiant Orchid as the Color of the Year for 2014.

Here's what Pantone has to say about Radiant Orchid:
“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

I have to agree that it is a beautiful color. I think it's feminine and pretty, somehow both warm and cool, and also quite rich looking. It certainly gets me in the mood for spring and leaves me wanting to find ways to incorporate the color into my own little world.

Speaking of orchid, Vitabath has a luxurious line of spa quality bath and body products that I love. One of the fragrances available is called Asian Orchid & Coconut

The Asian Orchid & Coconut products are from Vitabath's In Bloom line and are described as a "whisper soft kiss of orchid petals with hints of exotic coconut and pink sugar." Doesn't that sound just lovely!

Vitabath has generously offered an Asian Orchid & Coconut bundle for giveaway to one of my blog readers. This set includes a body wash, fragrance mist, and hydrating body lotion.

*Giveaway open only to U.S. residents who are 18 or older. Please enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway will end  at 12:00 a.m on 2-26-14. At that time, one random winner will be selected from all eligible entries. Winner must respond within 48 hours or new winner will be selected. Vitabath is responsible for prize fulfillment.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Quick and Easy Dinner - Pizza Sandwich

"Pizza Sandwich" is something that we've been having in my family since I was a little girl. I think my mom originally found this dish in a Bisquick recipe booklet way back when. It has always been one of my favorites and uses common ingredients that you most likely have on hand. Pair it with a garden salad and you have a quick and easy, comfort-food type of dinner.

Pizza Sandwich - Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground beef
2 or 3 small cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
12 slices American cheese
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pizza Sandwich - Directions:

Cook ground beef until brown and then drain. Mix in 1 can of tomato sauce and the oregano; simmer uncovered about 10 minutes

In mixing bowl, combine baking mix, egg, and milk together for crust (I usually adjust these amounts...the dough can be quite stiff and difficult to spread. I prefer it to be a little thinner so that I can "pour" the crust in rather than "spread". Hope that makes sense.)

Place half of the Bisquick mixture into a greased 9x13 pan

Pour remaining tomato sauce over dough, spreading evenly (I usually use about 1.5 of the small cans for this part)

Layer on 6 slices of American cheese

Next layer on the ground beef mixture

Sprinkle mushrooms over ground beef layer (I only add these to half the dish since my oldest son hates mushrooms; you could also leave out if you prefer)

Layer 6 more slices of American cheese and Parmesan cheese

Pour remaining crust mixture over top. Bake 20-25 minutes at 400


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Random Things My Teens Have Said

If you've been around here for awhile, you know that I'm a mom to four kids, ages 13-20. Living in a houseful of teenagers means:

  •  there's rarely a dull moment
  • it's often loud
  • there can be arguments at any given time over any given topic
  • you never know what you will hear come out of their mouths

photo credit: Marc Wathieu via photopin cc

To illustrate my point, here are some actual things my teens have said recently:

"Oh,'re actually reading."

 "Dude, you're breath smells like crap."

"Give me a napkin...I have crab meat in my eye!"

"I will throw your socks out the window!"

"Mom, we're just laughing. Do you hate the sound of children's laughter?"  (this was said to me after I yelled at them to quieten down in the car)

"Mom, that's so lame. If you buy that, I will have to disown you because that's so lame."

"Mom, you need to start dressing cuter."

"Of all my friends' moms, you're the least fat. Except Debbe. She's freakin' skinny." (This was said to me. I think it was supposed to be a compliment)

"Punch him in the leg!"

"You might not know this, but I'm 17, meaning I'm about to be 18."

"Everybody uses their pants as a napkin."

"It smells like steak farts."

"I just farted."

"Connor just farted."  (When you have multiple boys in the house, you'll find that the subject of farts comes up A LOT. It's gross but by now I've accepted that it just comes with being a parent of boys.)

"I'm such a freakin' good person!"

"That makes perfect sense if you don't think about it."

The circus seemed so much cooler when I was little. Now it just seems like a bunch of creepy old clowns and animal abusers."


There you have it! Some words that came right out of the mouths of my teens. Like I said, never a dull moment!

Have your kids said anything really funny or kooky lately?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Around The World In 11 Romance Movies

The following infographic is provided courtesty of Neoman Studios. No compensation was received for this post.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

 Valentine's Day is the perfect time to enjoy a good romantic flick. Here's an infographic that takes a look at the locations of some popular romantic films.

Around the World in 11 Romance Movies

Around the World in 11 Romance Movies [Infographic] by the team at Cheapflights

It's Gonna Be A Big Year!

I just recently realized that 2014 is going to be a big year for my family. We've got lots of milestones and important events happening this year...

*My oldest son will turn 21 this spring. YIKES! He will officially be legal.
photo credit: f_shields via photopin cc

*My second-born child, and only daughter, will turn 18 AND graduate high school AND leave for college. SOB!
photo credit: lumaxart via photopin cc 

*My third-born child will turn 16. This means driver's license time for him!
photo credit: comedy_nose via photopin cc

*My daughter and I (along with my mom and sister) are going on a trip to Ireland. This will be our first time traveling abroad and my daughter's first time in an airplane.
photo credit: musical photo man via photopin cc

*After serving 23+ years on the Louisville Fire Department, my husband will be retiring from his job.
photo credit: SalFalko via photopin cc

*Since all of my other children are having milestones, I didn't want to leave out my youngest (he is 13). He will be getting braces this year, so I guess that's a milestone of sorts.
photo credit: -MONICA via photopin cc

So, that's some exciting things going on for us. What about you? Do you or your family have any important milestones coming up in 2014?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lumière Book Blast (plus Giveaway)


Lumière by Jacqueline E. Garlick

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…

“One of the most inventive story worlds I’ve read in years…” Donald Maass, Author of Writing the Breakout Novel, Writing 21st Century Fiction, and The Fire in Fiction

“Such an engaging story featuring witty dialogue, gripping action scenes and a romance that will make your heart melt!” Laurel May

“I liked the mix of reminders I got from authors like Mervyn Peake, L.Frank Baum and Ray Bradbury. I'm sure that every reader will find shades of other famous writers, including or excluding these three.” Richard L. Bunning

“Eyelet and Urlick, the two main characters... There's so much to love! They are like salt and pepper: totally different, spicy, argumentative, and brilliantly smart.” Rosemary Danielis

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.

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Author Jacqueline E. Garlick
I'm Jacqueline Garlick. Author of YA, New Adult, and Women's Fiction. I love strong heroines, despise whiny sidekicks, and adore a good story about a triumphant underdog. I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper) and plan cool writing events for cool writers. I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology. I prefer creating things to cleaning things, and baking to cooking. I believe laughter is a one-stop-shop solution to all that ails you and if that doesn’t work there’s always Ellen Degeneres. 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. (See website for collection.) In my former life, I was a teacher (both grade school and college-don't ask) and 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. 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.

BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/14/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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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