Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cover Reveal: UNCOVERING SECRETS by Barbara Hinske

We are happy to host another Goddess Fish Promotions Cover Reveal! This time we are hosting a reveal for Barbara Hinske's new Rosemont Series novel Uncovering Secrets! Be sure and check out the cover and book information. As a thank you, Barbara Hinske and Goddess Fish Promotions are hosting a giveaway for a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  To enter, use the widget after the book information.

Mayor Maggie Martin is knee-deep in the financial problems facing Westbury. The investigation into the fraud and embezzlement that created these problems is going nowhere and she’s on the hot seat to produce results. The bad guys are always one step ahead, with bribes and blackmail at their disposal. Her late husband’s mistress also has an ace to play against Frank Haynes. But will he slip through the net once again?

Meanwhile, Rosemont’s attic gives up its secrets; some welcome, some not. Will Frank Haynes establish his claim to Rosemont?

Enter to Win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card:

Please note, this giveaway is not hosted by Slysam Enjoys & Shares. I am simply promoting the opportunity along with the cover reveal. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author Barbara Hinske:

Barbara Hinske is a practicing attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. She has two grown children with her exceedingly kind and good second husband, who died of cancer in 2006. Lucky in love, Barb married another exceptional man and father of two in 2010, and they live in their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs.

On Amazon (Affiliate Links to Follow):

Monday, June 1, 2015

Enter to Win Writers of The Future Vol 31 #WofF31

I enjoy a good anthology. To me, it is a little like going to a Tapas restaurant as you get a bite sized sample of a variety of authors and ideas. If I fancy a taste of Science Fiction, Writers of the Future does not dissapoint.

I received a complimentary copy of L Ron Hubbard Presents: Writers of the Future Volume 31 Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology to feature Enjoys & Shares. Each year, the series features writers and illustrators that the judges consider to be "bright emerging talent." The publisher will provide a free copy to one lucky reader! To enter, see the giveaway widget towards the end of this post.

Writers of the Future contains over 464 pages of Science Fiction or Fantasy short stories and illustrations. It features work of contest winners, a few nonfiction essays and short stories from contest founders and contest judges. As with any anthology, I enjoys some works more than others. The value is in the diversity of voices and ideas. It is fun to find that rare gem. Here is a video trailer for the book:

Writers of the Future is an annual contest that was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The book features winners of the writer and illustrator contests. You can also view The Writers of The Future awards ceremony online. Some of you may recall that I previously posted about their live stream. The entire ceremony is on their YouTube channel along with other content such as audio excerpts from the book and other bonus material. Their channel is definitely worth a look, in case you are interested here is a link to the Writers of the Future YouTube channel.

The following is a quote from the publisher summarizing the Writers of the Future Anthology:
"The future is here…the future is now!  Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson and Larry Niven have seen the future. Now, you can, too.

A constellation of the brightest lights in the Science Fiction and Fantasy firmament have judged these authors to be the best, the brightest, the truest emerging stars in the field.

From Alien Invasion to Alternate History, from Cyberpunk to Comic Fantasy to Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, these are the winning writers who have mastered every version and vision of sci-fi and fantasy.

Don’t be left behind. Get a read on what’s next.

“The Writers of the Future contest looks for people with the best imaginations who can see through the possibilities of the strangest and best ideas and tell stories that intrigue us and involve us.” —ORSON SCOTT CARD

Celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Writers of the Future contest and the 26th anniversary of the Illustrators of the Future contest"

Enter to Win A Free Copy of Writers of The Future (Closes 6/8/2015):


Writers of the Future Vol 31

Where To Purchase Writers of the Future:

 The Writers of the Future Vol 31 is available at the Writers of The Future Website or on Amazon (and other book retailers). Click here to follow my affiliate link to the Writers of the Future Amazon product listing. (Note, if you click on my Amazon affiliate link and make a purchase then I receive a modest commission.)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Publisher Plus for Mac Is An Affordable Desktop Publishing Option (Enter to Win A Copy!)

Whether you are making a flyer for a special event, a media kit for your blog or a brochure a simple desktop publishing application is handy to have.

I was given a complimentary copy of Publisher for Mac to review and 6 lucky readers will receive a free download of their own! (To enter, see giveaway form after the review).

I was impressed at how easy it is to use Publisher Plus. I have used more complicated desktop publishing software in the past, but I think the learning curve is fairly low on this software. It reminds me of a simpler version of Mac Pages, but it doesn't seem to stall my computer as much as Pages can.

Publisher comes with a variety of easy to use templates for flyers, brochures, newsletters, posters, menus, magazines, invitations, business cards, resumes, certificates, disc covers and more. You can also make a custom publication of your own to your specified dimensions.

When your document is complete you can export it to PDF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSD formats so you can most likely find the appropriate output for your audience.

All in all, Publisher Plus is a great option if you want a simple desktop publishing program to use to design printables, flyers, posters and publications like newsletters and catalogs.

Video Demonstration From Pearl Mountain: How To Make A Personalized Flyer Using Publisher Plus for Mac:

Enter to Win You Own Copy of Publisher Plus For Mac:

Publisher Plus For Mac

Where To Purchase Publisher Plus for Mac:

Publisher  Plus for Mac and other software are available from Pearl Mountain Software, see their website for more information and demonstrations!

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Reference ID: pm836a0dcbf5d22652569dc3a708274c16

Sunday, April 19, 2015

With Malice Towards One Brings You Back To The Time of Lincoln

The graphic novel With Malice Toward One by Mike Person brings history alive for children and adults alike! The novel focuses on historic events surrounding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

I received a complimentary review copy of With Malice Towards One to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own based on my experience reading this book.

I was impressed with the illustrations, writing style and the educational exercises at the end of the book. I included a couple images from the book to give you a taste of the style.

It is clear that author Mike Person felt committed to making this book an educational resource. After the story, there are numerous educational exercises and resources including a word find, quizzes, games and a glossary.

As an adult, I found With Malice Towards One to be a quick, entertaining and informative read. I enjoyed it very much and learned a couple details about this important historical event. The graphic novel style makes it a more immersive experience for people who are more visually oriented.

An screen capture of an illustration from With Malice Towards One

Summary With Malice Toward One by Mike Person:

  • $ 16.99    
  • 80 pages
  • Publisher : Cranston House
  • 1 edition ( June 4, 2013 )
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615791751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615791753
  • LCCN: 2013908437
  • BISAC: Juvenile Nonfiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / History
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.4 x10.8 inches
  • Suitable for ages 11 and up 

 Description of "With Malice Towards One":

While Washington D.C. celebrates The Army of the Potomac's latest victory with a Grand Illumination Ceremony, four men meet in a hotel room overlooking the crowded streets filled with party-goers. Richmond has fallen, and "The Old Man," General Lee has just surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. The mood in room six of the Herndon House Hotel is dire. The original plan was a kidnapping. Booth's fellow conspirators, Powell, Herold, and Atzerodt quietly sit, listening to Booth trying to re-motivate them. He uses the sounds of revelry coming from the streets below to stoke up their anger. Something decisive must be done; a spark is needed to ignite new hope in the Confederate cause. "This Tyrant. This man Lincoln, who should make himself a king must die!" This, is truly the "crime of the nineteenth century," and the largest manhunt in military history. It's the "full" story about the first murder of an American President. The story, that has been left out of the classroom. Told in a way children can understand it the most. Visually." (description from publicity materials for With Malice Towards One)

An screen capture of an illustration from With Malice Towards One

For More Information or To Purchase With Malice Towards One:

For more information about With Malice Towards One, visit the official website at:

It is also available on Amazon (affiliate link to follow): Paperback With Malice Towards One by Mike Person.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Breaking News: Writers of The Future Livestream Tonight at 6:30 pm PST! #WotF31

What a day for Scifi and fantasy fans! Not only does the new series of Game of Throwns debut, tonight is the awards ceremony for the 31 annual Writers of the Future Awards!

About the Writers of The Future from Galaxy Press: The future is here…the future is now!  Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson and Larry Niven have seen the future. Now, you can, too.
A constellation of the brightest lights in the Science Fiction and Fantasy firmament have judged these authors to be the best, the brightest, the truest emerging stars in the field. From Alien Invasion to Alternate History, from Cyberpunk to Comic Fantasy to Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, these are the winning writers who have mastered every version and vision of sci-fi and fantasy. Don’t be left behind. Get a read on what’s next. Celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Writers of the Future contest and the 26th anniversary of the Illustrators of the Future contest #WotF31 (source Writers of the Future publicity materials)

To view the livestream or for more information visit: The Writers of The Future official website, the livestream event starts at  6:30 pm PST sharp!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Enter to Win: Six Month Subscription to GMovies

gMovies fills a special niche. Where else can you find streaming inspirational, family-friendly entertainment with a Christian focus?  gMovies offers a variety of genres including drama, comedy, romance, documentary, children, thriller and science fiction. Does this sound good to you? If so, read on as you just might win a free subscription!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary subscription to gMovies through Fly By Promotions and gMovies. gMovies has also graciously offered one Enjoys & Shares reader a free six month subscription!

About gMovies:

A screen shot to illustrate how gKids is organized

gMovies is well organized categorizing films by genre, alphabetically and by popularity. It is available online, through an iPhone app and through an Android app. Several cable providers also allow access to the gMovies channel.

I like top share descriptions from the company itself. While subjective, it  can help to hear how a company describes their product to see whether it suits you:

"gMovies offers instant access to almost 300 faith friendly feature films of every genre, in addition to animated stories, television series and biblical documentaries. Always available on your computer or mobile device, gMovies also includes the bible-based animated series “Pahappahooey Island;” teen drama “Much Ado About Middle School” starring Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether and Amanda Waters; and the “Left Behind” drama series starring Kirk Cameron and based on the New York Times bestselling books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins."

Enter to Win:

gMovies Subscription

In The Meantime, even if you don't win this giveaway you can still enjoy a Free Two Week Trial: 2 Wk FREE Trial  FREETRIAL88


Visit or their parent company UP Media for more information.

Check Out The Hippity Hoppity EAster Giveaway Hop!

Hippity Hoppity

Welcome to the Hippity Hoppity Giveaway Hop, brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers & Up All Night Blogging!
Hosted by Mama Smith’s Review Blog & Women And Their Pretties

Co-Hosted by: Melanie Meditates, EasterBabe's Theory, Muscles & Mascara Blog, Cia Says, So Simply Stephanie, Marilyn's Treats, Our Refuge and Strength, & Life of a Southern Mom Each blogger participating in this hop has a giveaway with a prize value of at least $15 – and some are much more than that! Be sure to scroll down the whole list and visit them all – there is no limit to how many prizes you can win! There will also be a twitter party on April 14th to go along with this hop with even more chances to win. RSVP for that by clicking here. Good Luck and Have Fun!

DISCLOSURE: Mama Smith’s Review Blog and Women and Their Pretties are not responsible for any of the prize fulfillment. Each blogger is responsible for providing their sponsor with their winner’s contact information.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fun Reads: New Chapter From George R R Martin's Upcoming Book!

I am a big fan of George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice Series! I am patiently waiting for both the upcoming book Winds of Winter and the return of HBO's series Game of Throwns!

Great news! Mr. Martin's just posted a chapter from Winds of Winter on his website.

I just read it and had to share. The chapter involves Sansa and I believe it shows some interesting aspects of her character development that we only have seen hints of before.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Virtual Book Tour: The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween Excerpt (and Giveaway)

I am pleased to participate in this virtual book tour featuring The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween by Dr. Barbara Holstein. Thank you to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing this tour. Please look for an excerpt from the book, author autobiography and a giveaway drawing for a $20 gift card to Amazon or B&N! Best of all, you might find your next read or the next read for a tween you know!

BLURB The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween by Dr. Barbara Holstein:

"I hate Angela and I wish she would move away tomorrow!" "I get so worried when I hear my parents fighting at night." "My mother thinks my crush is silly. I know I am in love!" "I have so many questions about growing up. Who will answer them?" "I feel so awful when Jake makes fun of me." "When I grow up I going to remember how to have fun with my kids and never look away." Growing up is tough. Adults don't always understand you (even though they were once kids), and children today face increasing pressure to be, look, or act a certain way. Written in the voice of a girl on the cusp of becoming a teenager, The Truth provides young girls with an opportunity to see how a girl, who is in many ways like themselves, handles her toughest problems and most personal thoughts. Each new page brings forth a discussion to help girls handle everyday problems: How do you survive a bully? How do you handle a crush on a boy? What can you do about relentless teasing by your peers? What really matters as you grow older?

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, The Truth is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

Giveaway For $20 Giftcard 

Barbara will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt From The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween:

Date: June 27

Dear Diary,

I can’t believe it. Today we moved, and I feel like I’m in a dream. I just keep walking around our new house and wondering when we will go home. It feels so different and strange. Everything is on one floor (that’s called a ranch house). The floors are all bare wood. My mom said our rugs would look terrible here so she let the people who bought our old house keep them. I think she was probably right. They were a dark maroon and the walls here are a light cream. I don’t think that would look good. I went to the bathroom three times since we got here and every time I used a different bathroom. I can’t believe it. Three different toilets in the same house! Only my friend Susan, my rich friend, had more than two bathrooms in her house. And four bedrooms! And a family room. I can’t believe we have this much space now.

When I look out of the windows I expect to see the shrubs and the Hudson’s house who were next to us on the left, but I don’t. Instead, I see a big open field that will probably have houses built on it by next year. That’s what my dad said anyway. And when I look out to the right I expect to see our clothesline and the Dixon’s driveway, but instead I see rose bushes and a wooden bench under a tree that the last owners said we could have.

Tonight, we had to eat supper off paper plates and use plastic forks, knives, and spoons because our boxes are still packed. My aunt made us a big picnic basket full of food and that’s what we ate for supper. It was delicious. There was fried chicken, potato salad and potato chips, cupcakes for dessert, and fruit salad. And at the bottom of the basket under the ice was a whole package of Hershey Kisses. Yum!

My brother already started to play with a kid next door who’s about a year older than he is. He’s so lucky. I have no new friends yet and that’s the truth!


About the Author Barbara Holstein:


The following is an autobiography from author Barbara Holstein... 

I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!  My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years.  The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web. In particular,,, on Facebook at Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Psychologist & Author, on Pinterest  and on You Tube. Just look for me on You Tube via Barbara Becker Holstein.

Where to Purchase The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween:

Affiliate Link to Follow:

The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween is available on Amazon in hardcover or ebook versions,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sister India Features Spirituality and Sex (Author interview and Giveaway) #Indianovel

Sister India tells the story of compelling characters on a journey who find themselves in a guest house in the sacred Indian city of Varanasi. The novel features vignettes that give peeks into the characters past and what led them to this point. The book touches on travel, racism, religion, romance, sensuality, violence, and many other topics. It is fascinating and at times painful and sometimes hopeful.

I received a complimentary copy of Sister India to facilitate this post. The author Peggy Payne has graciously offered one lucky Enjoys & Shares reader a copy of Sister India.

Sister India's main protagonist is an obese American woman who distances herself from her painful past by immersing herself into her new life in India and by soothing herself with food. The story takes a turn as she starts to heal and finds love in an unlikely place.

The mesmerizing descriptions of Varanasi, India and the varied, complicated characters make Sister India a fascinating read.

Enter to Win a Free Copy Sister India by Peggy Payne

Be sure and check out the book summary information and my interview with author Peggy Payne after the giveaway widget. In addition, to the giveaway Peggy Payne has offered a free 20 page mini e-book, At Sea With My Writing: A Novelist Cruises to Book Deals, to anyone who emails her a request. Her email address is:

Enter to Win A Free Copy of Sister India by Peggy Payne

Summary Sister India by Peggy Payne:

The exotic and suspenseful New York Times Notable Book that tells the story of an eccentric guest-house keeper in Varanasi, India, and the passions evoked by her sacred city along the Ganges

The Lonely Planet recommends the Saraswati Guest House, and meeting Madame Natraja, "a one-woman blend of East and West," as well worth a side trip. Over the course of a weekend, several guests turn up, shocked to encounter a three-hundred-some-pound, surly white woman in a sari. Then a series of Hindu-Muslim murders leads to a citywide curfew, and they unwittingly become her captives. So begins a period of days blending into nights as Natraja and her Indian cook become entangled in a web of religious violence, and their guests fall under the spell of this ancient kingdom--at once enthralled and repelled by the begging children, the public funeral pyres, the holy men bathing in the Ganges at dawn.
This is a traveler's tale, a story about the strange chemistry that develops from unexpected intimacies on foreign ground. And Peggy Payne's extraordinary talent vividly conjures up the smells of the perfume market, the rhythms of holy men chanting at dawn, the claustrophobic feel of this ancient city's tiny lanes, and the magic of the setting sun over the holy Ganges. For anyone who has harbored a secret desire to go to India and be transformed, Sister India, called "mesmerizing" by Gail Harris and "a modern version of E. M. Forster's classic A Passage to India" by Dan Wakefield, takes you on this journey without ever leaving home.
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books (February 5, 2002)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
ISBN-10: 1573229105
ISBN-13: 978-1573229104


Interview With Author Peggy Payne!

I was fortunate that Peggy Payne agreed to a mini-interview to give us a little insight on her work...

Q: What inspired you to write Sister India? How did you come up with Estelle?

I decided that I wanted to set a novel in Varanasi because I was thinking of what to write for my second novel and I really wanted to go to that holy city on the bank of the Ganges. I'd been a travel writer before writing fiction and had a trip there scheduled that was cancelled because of monsoon flooding. (I'd been to India the first time for a Society of American Travel Writers convention.) The thought of going to Varanasi -- and the images of the old maharajah's palaces along the waterfront --was still with me years later, and so I applied for a fellowship to sponsor my research. The one I got sent me to India to spend 3 months in Varanasi. It was like having an extra life -- an Indian one -- tucked inside my regular life.

The research I did while I was there was to take notes of everything I saw, felt, heard during my time there. I wanted to be able to set all kinds of scenes in lots of different kinds of locations in the city. I also did a lot of reading about the history and about Hinduism and did some interviewing.

I didn't come up with the character of Estelle until I got back home. It made me very nervous that I came back home without knowing anything about the plot of the novel I was going to write. About 2 weeks later the first line of the book and the voice of Estelle/Natraja had popped up in my head.

Q: I notice that on your website you refer to your work as “novels of sex and spirituality”, please explain a little what you mean…

A: These two subjects rarely combine in novels. They're generally considered 2 different types of readers, but I think that they are importantly related, that both take us out of ourselves and can give moments of feeling connected with something larger.

Q:I read that you applied your husband’s interest in clinical hypnosis caused you to learn much that you applied to Sister India, would you tell us a little more about that?

A: My psychologist husband's specialty of clinical hypnosis was essential to me because I felt that the attraction of the Ganges was hypnotic and the maze of narrow lanes was like a physical image of a deepening trance. I wanted the language of the book to sometimes take on the rhythm and flow of a hypnotic induction or an incantation.

Q: Would you tell us about some of the awards Sister India has received? What kind of reception have you had from readers?

A: Sister India was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Here are some of the quotes from reviews, etc.

Sister India is a traveler’s “mesmerizing, hypnotic story,” says the creator of PBS’s Body & Soul Series, “of discovery and redemption.”

“From the novel’s very first sentence, her ravaged voice grips the reader.”
The New York Times

“A poetic mosaic of sights, smells, sounds, and tastes”

“Benares Silk: West-meets-East defies the oriental stereotypes in an American’s
novel set in India’s holiest city.”
India Today International (a 2-page spread on the book)

“So very relevant to our times”
Benazir Bhutto
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan (from an email she wrote me)

“…Pits the ineffable demand of the spiritual against the pragmatic concerns of the worldly.”- New Age Journal

Payne writes with a sure, graceful hand, moving her characters from fearful isolation to connection, from awakening to redemption.”
The Charlotte Observer

Sister India is a book of wisdom, even, one wants to say, of enlightenment.”-
The Independent Weekly

People tell me that they felt as if they'd been in India while reading the book. Some wonder why I chose a main character who was so fat. (That's how she first popped up in my head, and I think it was a way to deal with the eating disorder that I had any years earlier.)

Q: For readers who enjoyed sister India, tell us a little about your other work…

A: All my novels have sex that enhances the characters' spirituality. All of them have some element of the supernatural. My other two novels are:
  • Revelation, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, which is about a minister who hears the voice of God and is thrown for a loop by the experience.
  • Cobalt Blue, winner of a 2014 IPPY for Visionary Fiction, about a woman who has a spiritual experience that at first makes her out-of-control with sex.
I've also written for publications including Cosmopolitan, Travel & Leisure, Family Circle, More Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Coastal Living, etc. I blog at Huffington Post and on my own site,, on the subject of the intersection of sex and spirituality. I'm co-author of The Healing Power of Doing Good. I'll also send my 20 page mini book, At Sea With My Writing: A Novelist Cruises to Book Deals, to anyone who emails me a request. I'm at

Where to Find Peggy Payne on the Web

Where To Purchase Sister India by Peggy Payne: 

(Affiliate Link to follow...)

Sister India is available at many book retailers including Amazon. It is available as either an ebook or paperback:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Vanabode Offers Options For Travel and For Life #vanabode

Do you dream of travel? Or maybe just living a simpler life that allows you time for activities you love? Vanabode is an e-book and lifestyle resource offering information about one option to travel and live for about $20 a day.

A collage of promotional images provided by Vanabode author Jason Odom #vanabode

Disclosure: I received compensation including a review copy of Vanabode by Jason Odom to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own. This post also links to my Amazon affiliate link as one option to purchase Vanabode by Jason Odom.

Originally I expected Vanabode to be a travel guide, but it is more than that. Vanabode is really an option for a lifestyle. It isn't a lifestyle that will interest everyone, but if it interests you... You likely know who you are. I think the following quote from author Jason Odom may help you see if Vanabode appeals to you...

This description by the author best summarizes the Vanabode lifestyle:
"Author Jason Odom and his wife Kelly have traveled over 700,000 miles in 15 years enjoying the sumptuous beauty of pristine national parks and the exciting nightlife of big cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas. Vanabode shows you how to earn a living working in some of the most exciting places in the United States like national parks and state recreational areas, how to sleep safely and comfortably in your own bed every night; how to eat better than you ever have, how to cook for free without electricity, fire or fuel; how to get rid of all our current debt and regain your freedom; and most importantly - how you can do it forever if you want. Do you want to travel for 3 months? How about 3 years? Vanabode shows you how down to the tiniest detail and you do NOT need to make any expensive purchases to make it happen."

Included in Current Vanabode Edition:

  • Vanabode 126 page e-book
  • Updated information on acquiring a free cell phone with free monthly minutes.
  • Free Lifetime Exclusive password protected access to the Vanabode forum.
  • Online reservation system for renting parking places short and long term. 
  • Links to new off-grid communities where you can trade labor, or skills for living quarters, food and living expenses like free parking, and entertainment. 
  • Private list of small farms looking for "farm sitters" where you get paid to park and hang around. Updated gun carry law information. 
  • Links to climate resources for all data on where you will be camping for every month of every year. 
  • Links to special "spring finder" where you can get free fresh pure spring water on tap. 
  • Links to new "farmers market finder" tool shows you where all the fresh farmers markets and local only road side eateries are through out the United States. 
  • Master "host list" displays hidden communities all over the United States that welcome you to park and live in exchange for a little labor or expertise. 
  • Links to new job listing sites

Vanabode offers options and possibilities to cover all sorts of practical aspects of using a van for an extended road trip or as a way of life. It touches on how to eat well, ways to make money, links to resources and more. While I don't see myself living or traveling in a van at this point in my life journey, I found it eye-opening to read about the possibility and strategies to handle the practical aspects.

Where to Purchase Vanabode:

Vanabode is available on the authors website: and at some online book retailers including Amazon: Amazon's listing for Vanabode travel and lifestyle guide. There is also an audio version on Amazon for those who may want to listen to Vanabode while on the road.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Discover New Music With The Music Box

Subscription boxes are all the rage! It is no surprise, receiving a subscription box is a little like receiving a gift. The Music Box is a fun subscription box that introduces you to new music every month!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary bundle from The Music Box including a compilation CD and a box.

An example of contents from a monthly Music Box

My Experience With The Music Box:

I was impressed with the content in my Music Box. Each box apparently contains at least 2-4 music CDs and other goodies. That was very much my experience. I was surprised at the quantity and the quality of the music CDs.  My box contained hours of listening pleasure and I liked all of it.  It turns out that every Music Box is packed according to subscriber preferences and it is rare for two boxes to be the same!

The Music Box is also reasonably priced. They offer three options:
  • The Box: $10 per month, contains 2-4 CD's & other goodies.
  • The Envelope: $5 per month, is a compilation CD with 15-20 songs. Featuring genres such as Pop-Punk, Pop-Rock, Indie, Alternative, etc.
  • The Bundle: $13 per month, contains one music box and one envelope. 
 I highly recommend The Music Box for any music lover who likes to discover new music.

Interview with Ashley From The Music Box

 Q: How did the idea come about to offer a music subscription box like this?
A: My husband and I met at a music college (Full Sail University) about 5 years ago, so we've both always had a passion for music. We really wanted to find a way to promote up and coming artists and at the same time give music lovers an opportunity to discover them! One day I was opening my BirchBox and it hit me... THE MUSIC BOX!

Q: How do you choose the music on the compilation CD?
A: Choosing the music for the compilation CD actually takes a lot more time than one would think. You can't just throw all the songs on the CD and call it good. Kory (co-owner & husband) listens to every song and with his magical ears he is able to put the songs in order, in a way that the music just flows.

Q: Where do you find the bands that you feature?

A: Most of the artists we feature either submit their music to be featured or we recruit from social media like Twitter and Reverbnation.
Editors note: There is an artist contact form on The Music Box website -- here.
Q: How do you choose the items in the subscription box?

A: Almost every single Music Box is different. We never "pre-make" boxes, every box is "made-to-order". This process does take a long time but we try very hard to give each subscriber what they ask for. So, if they want Pop Rock music, we add at least 2 Pop Rock CD's. And then from there we add the extra goodies like stickers, wristbands, T-Shirts, autographs, download cards, etc.

Another example of the types of goodies from a monthly Music Box

For More Information or to Subscribe to The Music Box:

For more information, visit The Music Box website or The Music Box subscription sign up.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: The Available Tart by Eugene Roome

The Available Tart by Eugene Roome is a fun read about middle aged members of a previously popular all-female rock band. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to receive a review copy to read.

The Available Tart was a fun read and moved quickly. It changed perspectives a bit  and was occasionally confusing. It includes themes of friendship, moving forward, and plenty of rock and roll. It is at times funny, at times touching and always entertaining.

Summary The Available Tart:

  • File Size: 3630 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Vestibular Hallucinations Project LLC (March 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983569312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983569312

Plot Summary (From the Publisher):

The Tinseltown Tarts are a middle-aged, four member, once wildly popular all-female rock 'n' roll band from California. Facing a midlife crisis, Pete follows them on their Midwestern tour. He's keeping his distance, but he's on one of the member's radar...and she's actually available. The book's a fast-paced, humorous, sometimes serious male-perspective "romance" novel with a trashy title and many layers.

Where to Purchase: the Available Tart

Affiliate link to follow: The Amazon link below is an Affiliate link.

The Available Tart is available from many book retailers including Barnes and Noble and Amazon (Available Tart on Amazon).

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pick Up Some CeolWaves Celluloid Medium Gauge Picks

Images of CeolWaves celluloid medium gauge picks in use! #ceolwavespicks

CeolWaves celluloid medium gauge picks look and sound great. While we all know it is the musician and the instrument that make great music, it can help to have the right tools for the job! 

Disclosure: I received a sample from CeolWaves to test and review. I love music, but am not personally a string musician. I gave them to my resident Guitar and Banjo player. I have had the pleasure of listening to music played using CeolWaves celluloid medium gauge picks and interviewed him about his opinion.

While these  high-quality genuine celluloid guitar picks have been designed with the serious musician in mind. Both pros and beginners find them easy to use, according to CeolWaves (and observed experience). These medium gauge picks are quite versatile as they work well for a variety of acoustic or electric string instruments. CeolWaves states that it is one of their most popular picks. The picks come in a set of 10 in a velvet pouch. This us a good value, according to my test subject and he liked having a pouch to keep them in.

As a listener, I enjoyed the sound both on an electric guitar and acoustic.  I am told they feel nice and smooth in hand and are a pleasure to use. They seem to have decent durability as he has been using the same pick for the past three weeks.

Features and Benefits of CeolWaves Celluloid Medium Gauge Picks:

  • 10-pack guitar picks in a deluxe black velvet travel pouch
  •  Celluloid medium gauge
  •  Use with classical, acoustic, bass and electric guitars and with the mandolin, banjo or ukulele
  • No hassle, no questions asked, guarantee from seller
  • Great customer service, this is helpful if you are buying gifts for a musician or if you are one!

Where to Purchase CeolWaves Celluloid Medium Gauge Picks

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate link below, if you click on the link and make a purchase then I receive a modest commission. It doesn't effect the price you pay, but is a great way to support this blog.

CeolWaves Celluloid Medium Gauge Picks are available on Amazon and other authorized retailers. Click here to visit Amazon listing for these fabulous medium gauge guitar picks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Tour: Henge by Realm Lovejoy

Inspired by one of the greatest legends of all time…

Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.

Enter to Win a $20 Amazon or B & N Gift Card:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Impressions of Henge by Rsalm Loveday:

I must admit I uually enjoy Arthurian stories especially if the stories center on a strong female character. I enjoyed Le Morte deArthur, but I enjoyed Mysts of Avalon even more. 

To me, Henge bears some similarities since it also has a strong female character and is sympathetic to Morgan. It is different since it is part of a young adult fantasy series and set in modern times. I don't think I've read an Arthurian inspired story set in modern times.  Henge also reminds me a little of Harry Potter.

Since so many  other works have been based on Arthurian legend, do we really need more? I think this reinterpretation offers something new especially as a young adult, urban fantasy.

 I enjoyed the story telling style, the characters and the twists and suspense. I also like the determination of the protagonist Morgan. She has a focused passion for magic even at a young age. It is interesting to follow her as she learns that many things are not as they seem.

I don't want to give an spoilers, but I was fortunate to have the opportunity to publish an excerpt so you can sample the flavor of Henge...

An Excerpt From Henge by Realm Lovejoy:

We head toward the east side, near the King’s Tower, to which I haven’t ventured before. The building we approach has a door with two sculptures of medieval knights on either side, their faces covered with a helmet.

“This is the Knight’s Station,” Lancelot explains, catching my gaze.

We pass through a hall. More armor, shields, and swords hang on the walls.

“Knights were a lot more honorable back then.” He gestures to the decorations. “Now, instead of a sword, I’ve got a simple trigger that unleashes a bullet—it’s almost a coward’s weapon.”

Lancelot pats the gun by his side as he takes me into what appears to be a small meeting room, surprisingly plain for how ornate the hallway is. There’s a table and two chairs. He sits me down in the poorly lit room.

“Do you ever use your gun?” I ask to break the silence.

“Sometimes. It’s been peaceful lately… until the fire. Might have to use it again soon.”

Lancelot smiles at me as he goes to the windows to further close the venetian blinds. As the light diminishes, my anxiety heightens as to why I’m here. I have nothing to look at except for his back. His shoulders are the epitome of male idealism—square, strong, and nicely slimming down to his waist. Like a model. I mentally kick myself and look at the table instead.

“Do you know Ban du Lac?” Lancelot asks.

I shake my head.

“My old man. He has a stout with your father, Sir Gorlois, once in a while. I hear Sir Gorlois is a brave man—it’s no surprise he has raised a strong lady. You ran into that fire. Wouldn’t expect anything less from Sir Gorlois’s daughter.”

A recorder is on the table. He flicks it on. He sees the bewilderment on my face and doesn’t look away as he lights a cigarette, which I’m sure is not allowed in here.

“Gorlois must be proud that you’re in Arthur’s Round to serve the King.”

His cigarette smoke is already suffocating me.

Lancelot studies me. His eyes are silver and searing. The first thing I think of is a knife. His eyes are weapons—and he knows the affect they have on people, especially women. His mouth curves into a smile, deliberate and slow.

About the Author Realm Loveday:

Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at

Author web links:

Where to Purchase Henge by Realm Lovejoy:

 Henge by Realm Lovejoy is available on Amazon 

Goddess Fish Virtual Tour for Henge:

This post of part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Other Stops on the tour include:

January 14: Books in the Hall
January 21: Long and Short Reviews
January 28: Slysam Enjoys and Shares
February 4: Unabridged Andra's
February 4: Triquetra Reviews

FTC Disclosure: I receive a review copy of this book to facilitate this review, no other compensation was offered.