Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Busy Mom Time Savers




Maybe you're sick and tired of hearing from me. I can be quite wordy--or so they say. I know ways I save time during the day, but I would love to hear tips from other busy moms like you. Sharing can be fun!

If you're on Twitter you can share with me at https://twitter.com/BusyMomsDaily

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop Winner Announced!



WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!

Congratulations goes out to Melina R. She is the winner of our Christmas books and nautical memento package that we raffled off during the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop.

Thanks to all who participated. We hope you'll visit us again soon. Remember to check our Giveaways page to find new contests.



Thanks also, to the coordinators of this event. They did a great job of promoting it and encouraging the participants.

Teaser Tuesdays for July 31st


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Boone hurried out, feeling both embarrassed and justified. He appreciated Steve's attitude, but he hated being catered to.


~ Page 98, The Brotherhood, by Jerry Jenkins

Teaser Tuesday for July 31, 2012



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


How much harder would Queen Juana's hatred against me burn, once she learned of this? What would little Joanna think of me, the aunt she trusted, when she grew old enough to understand exactly what I had done to secure my place?


~ page 141, The Queen's Vow, by C.W. Gortner

Monday, July 30, 2012

You've Got Mail Monday



I originally thought I would get this done early since the girls were going to vacation Bible school this week, but I decided to go grocery shopping instead of trying to deal with it after they got out. Grocery shopping is my least favorite chore, so I try to get it out of the way early in the week.

Last week was another slow mail week. It looks like Ernie the mailman is back from vacation, because our mail time is back to normal. The majority of what he brought me last week went right into the recycle bin. What I was excited to see, however, were two great books I am reviewing at The Book Connection.

The first is The IRA on Film and Television by Mark Connelly. This is the description:

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) has for decades pursued the goal of unifying its homeland into a single sovereign nation, ending British rule in Northern Ireland. Over the years, the IRA has been dramatized in motion pictures directed by John Ford (The Informer), Carol Reed (Odd Man Out), David Lean (Ryan’s Daughter), Neil Jordan (Michael Collins), and many others. International film stars as Liam Neeson, Brad Pitt, James Mason, Robert Mitchum, James Cagney, Richard Gere, and Anthony Hopkins have portrayed IRA members as heroic patriots, psychotic terrorists and tormented rebels.
 
This illustrated history analyzes celluloid depictions of the IRA from the 1916 Easter Rising to the peace process of the 1990s. Topics include America’s role in creating both the IRA and its cinematic image, the organization’s brief association with the Nazis, and critical reception of IRA films in Ireland, Britain and the United States.

I'm always fascinated by how Hollywood brings history to life on the big or small screen, so I think I'll like this one.

The other book is from one of my favorite legal thriller authors, Pamela Samuels Young. Here's the blurb from Attorney-Client Privilege:

A brutal murder, missing documents and an unscrupulous opposing counsel lead attorney Vernetta Henderson on a quest for justice—and ultimately—revenge. The hotshot L.A. lawyer takes on a corporation with a long history of discriminating against women. While Vernetta simply wants justice for her clients, the corporation’s hired gun wants to win . . . and she doesn’t care how. On the home front, Vernetta’s infamous sidekick Special has finally found true love. But is the price more than she’s willing to pay?

This is another of Young's books featuring attorney Vernetta Henderson. I've also read Murder on the Down Low, which is excellent. I'm excited to read the latest Vernetta Henderson story.

Who are some of your favorite authors? How do you feel about grocery shopping--love it or hate?

Patients As Consumers: Shopping Around for Cost-Effective Health Care



Last year, we received word our husband's employer was switching their health insurance offerings. We used to have an HMO where we had a co-pay and the insurance picked up the balance of most services by any provider in their network. If we visited a provider outside of the network, the insurance company still paid 80%. The one disadvantage to the HMO was its high premiums. For a healthy family like ours, it wasn't necessarily the most cost effective.

Our current health insurance plan costs us significantly less in premiums, but each family member has to reach a deductible. Our Well Child Care of Adult Preventative Care visits are totally picked up by our plan, which thankfully are the bulk of our visits. What this new insurance plan has been best about is making me realize the role patients play as consumers of health care.

In the past, when my doctor ordered tests of any kind, he would make a suggestion for where to have the tests performed and I would go there, giving no thought to how much it costs. Now, I realize I am not only a patient, but a consumer. My doctor recently recommended I get an MRI performed on my spine. My jaw hit the floor when he told me how much it costs. That's when the hubby and I got into a conversation about comparison shopping for this service. I wouldn't buy the first flat screen television I found without checking prices at several stores, so why should I automatically go to the first recommended MRI service provider without checking to see how much it costs to have other providers perform it?

In under an hour, I discovered local prices range from $650 to almost $1300 for an MRI Lumber Spine without contrast material. All the providers I spoke with have been in business for years. One mentioned their price as being $550, but the radiologist was a separate fee ranging from $100 to $200. She was the only one who mentioned that, so I asked about it. She explained some providers bill globally, others don't.

I learned a lot today. It's important to look into multiple providers before plunking down hard earned cash for medical services. When checking into the price of medical services, make sure your quote is apples to apples and not apples to oranges--like global billing versus itemized billing. I also got a firsthand glimpse into what could have partially led to the health care crisis. If patients choose higher cost options without shopping around first when the insurance company is paying all or a majority of the bill, the increased cost will eventually be passed on to all consumers in the form of increased premiums. Our new health plan is making me more aware of my role as a consumer of health care services, and my more informed choices could help make insurance more affordable for others too.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Free for Kindle: Daughter of Joy by Kathleen Morgan



After losing everything, Abigail Stanton seeks respite as a housekeeper for rugged Conor MacKay. Will this new journey move her from grief to joy?

Set in the late nineteenth century outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, Daughter of Joy tells a compelling, perceptive tale of one woman's faith journey. In the wake of losing both her husband and young son, Abigail Stanton is searching for a way to make sense of her losses.

She takes a job as housekeeper for Conor MacKay, the owner of Culdee Creek ranch. Conor, a confusing, often volatile man, carries deep pain-and secrets-in his inscrutable heart. Though they are wary of each other at first and protective of their bruised hearts, Abby and Conor challenge each other to take off their masks.

Winner of the "2000 Golden Quill" award for inspirational romance, Desert Rose chapter of RWA.

  • File Size: 2552 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (August 1, 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001GMAQPU
  • Currently FREE!

  • PURCHASE HERE!

    Free for Kindle: Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa by Melanie Dobson


    Just picked this book up FREE for my Kindle.


    As the rest of the nation is embroiled in Civil War, the Amana Colonies remain peaceful. Amalie Wiese arrives in the newly built village of Amana in 1863 only to find that her betrothed, Friedrich, has left to fight with the Union army. Amalie tries to overcome her worries as she sets up a communal kitchen. She hopes that working alongside Friedrich’s best friend will provide some comfort, but Matthias is abrupt and cold. Little does Amalie know that Matthias has been in love with her since childhood but will not betray Friedrich by pursuing her friendship. When Matthias himself leaves for the battlefront to deliver supplies to the soldiers, war wages in Amalie’s own heart. Will love claim victory?

    Visit the author online at www.melaniedobson.com.

  • File Size: 623 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summerside (December 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006H57AV4
  • Currently FREE

    PURCHASE HERE! 

    Energy-efficient Motors and Pumps for Your Pool

    As of March 15, 2012, Florida Building Code requires energy-efficient motors and pumps on all new swimming pools. It also requires them for any pools that undergo renovations of 30% or more. By complying with this new Code, you can save energy and money.


    You can find variable speed pool pumps and motors at your local Pinch-A-Penny. Variable speed pumps can run at lower speeds while maintaining the same level of cleaning/sanitation. Not only will you reduce your energy consumption, there will be less noise too. Pinch-A-Penny carries a variety of variable speed pumps manufactured by:

    Hayward
    Jandy
    Pentair

    You'll also find energy-efficient motors made by Century Motors and Marathon Motors. Check your local store to see what they have available.

    Pinch-A-Penny can help you calculate your energy savings. Stop in today to upgrade your pump or motor. Invest to be up to code. Invest to save the planet. Invest to save money.


    This post sponsored by Pinch-A-Penny.





    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Free for All Friday! - Last of the Seals by Greg Messel Giveaway



    The year is 1957 in San Francisco. Sam Slater is a lifetime minor league baseball player for the San Francisco Seals. The Seals have just one more season left as San Francisco is about to become a major league city. The Giants are coming to town in 1958 and the Seals will be displaced. Sam has come to the end of his baseball career and is going to join the private detective agency of his best friend. When his friend is brutally murdered, Sam must go it alone and try to find out why. Along the way he is swept off of his feet by a beautiful Elvis-obsessed TWA stewardess named Amelia Ryan. Sam and Amelia try to unravel the mystery together. Sam’s best friend, Jimmy inadvertently saw something he shouldn’t have. Sam and Amelia have pictures in their possession that have crime families in San Francisco and Chicago very worried. Then a young woman Sam has been searching for is found dead on the beach. Suddenly, Sam and Amelia find themselves in danger. On dark and foggy San Francisco nights, trouble is lurking just around the next corner.

    Read the reviews!

    "Messel keeps his readers at the edge of their seats as he unveils plot twist after plot twist. Last of the Seals will inevitably leave readers anxious for the next installment in the Sam Slater Mystery Adventure Trilogy." --JJMason, Amazon Reviewer

    "I devoured the book." --From the TBR Pile

    "The three threads of retiring baseball player, the lore of one of the most storied minor league teams and the budding romance are combined to make a story that keeps your interest. Some can read it just for the romance, but baseball fans will have an affinity for the story. Many future major leaguers, including the great Joe DiMaggio, played for the Seals and the sadness of the bittersweet loss and then gain of a professional team will tug at the heart of all baseball fans." --Charles Ashbacher, Amazon Reviewer

    "I couldn't put it down and read it in one day." --Pennsylania Reader




    Greg Messel has written four novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. “Last of the Seals” is the first in a series of mysteries which are set in 1957 San Francisco. The second book in the series “Deadly Plunge’ will be published around Christmas of 2012. Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist while working for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.
    To get your paperback copy of LAST OF THE SEALS by Greg Messel: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Seals-Greg-Messel/dp/0985485906/
    To get your e-copy of LAST OF THE SEAL by Greg Messel at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Last-of-the-Seals-ebook/dp/B0083WCHOO
    To learn more about Greg, go to his website: www.gregmessel.com
    Visit Greg Messel on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gregmessel
    Like Greg Messel on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greg.messel
    Enter to win a copy of Last of the Seals by Greg Messel by using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Guest Blogger: Protecting Your Personal Data by Jane Smith



    Losing your personal information or your intellectual property is a bigger concern than ever in this age of hacking, identity theft, bootlegging, and Internet piracy. Whether you’re a bestselling author or an ordinary Joe, it’s never too soon to learn some lessons about the security of your files. Here are the most important pointers for keeping your work yours:

    1. Always back up what you write

    Often data losses occur not because of malicious action or theft but through sheer negligence or hardware failure. Make sure you frequently back up your documents, either to an external hard drive or to a secure and reputable service in the cloud, like Google Drive or Dropbox.

    2. Encrypt

    Remember to password-protect your data whenever possible, and in the case of highly sensitive material, consider encrypting the whole document. There are plenty of free software tools to help you do this; just ask Google.

    3. Be careful who you share with

    In the literary world, we often like to send advance reading copies or even the original .doc file around to our most respected colleagues for feedback. This is a healthy part of the creative process, but it also can create opportunities for piracy. Entire book manuscripts are now susceptible to leaks than can reach thousands upon thousands of downloaders. Make sure you’ve password-protected your work as mentioned above, but also limit its circulation to a few of your most trusted friends and coworkers.

    4. Consider low-tech, but be careful

    It’s a lot harder to pirate a notebook (the actual paper kind). It’s also a lot easier to lose. Just ask rapper Eminem, who at the height of his career in late 2000 lost a Britney Spears journal (being used ironically, I’m sure, but still embarrassing!) full of lyrics for a new project. He thought he left it on a Delta flight from Cincinnati to New Orleans, and offered a reward. Almost twelve years later, it still hasn’t shown up. Makes digital look not so bad after all, huh?

    A freelance blogger and writer with a special interest in personal, criminal and professional records, Jane Smith knows the value of a thorough criminal background check. Her posts offer tips and information on the subject, and she welcomes your feedback at janesmith161@gmail.com.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Anger Mastery by Kevin Burk Winner!



    Congratulations to Terra H. She picks up a copy of Anger Mastery by Kevin Burk. An email has been sent to the winner. She has 72 hours to respond with her shipping information or a new winner will be selected.

    Thanks to all who participated in this giveaway. Check out our Current Giveaways page to see what other giveaways are running right now.

    Thanks for your loyal readership. It is greatly appreciated.

    Book Giveaway: Betrayal and Forgiveness by Linda Armstrong-Miller

    In the Bible, the Lord asked that we not make promises unless we are sure that we can keep them. Lisa made a promise and has done everything in her power to keep that promise. a lesson her father needed to learn. Before he was able to practice keeping his promise, he lost the love of his daughter, his best friend, and he was about to lose the love of his son. Time was running out for all of them, but they didn’t know it.

    Read the reviews!

    "Action, romance, suspense, and family drama combine to make this a must read." - Books, Books, and More Books

    "Part-thriller, part-drama, Betrayal and Forgiveness is an out-of-the-ordinary story that will appeal to fans of Christian fiction." -Mayra Calvani, author of Dark Lullaby

    PURCHASE AT AMAZON!

    Linda Armstrong-Miller is a retired registered nursed. She leaves in Ga. With her husband Mike and daughter Cayla. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is the way the truth and the light. I Believe.
    Linda’s latest book is Betrayal and Forgiveness.

    Enter to win a copy of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Linda Armstrong-Miller by using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway




    Book Spotlight: The Dark Side of Valor by Alicia Singleton

    Child advocate Lelia Freeman saves children for a living. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she ventures to abandoned squats and crackhouses to rescue teens from the hellish streets of Los Angeles. When she is summoned to Washington to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war-torn African nation, Lelia is kidnapped and becomes a political pawn in a sinister conspiracy. Oceans away from everything she knows, she must trust a mercenary to save her life, or die in the clutches of a psychopath.

    Hunting, combat and staying alive are Elijah Dune’s specialties. Vengeance is his passion. Haunted by past demons, he’s travels to the Motherland to collect a debt. A debt that demands one payment. Death.

    Caught in the crosshairs of a madman, Lelia and Elijah must survive the jungles of Zaire and the horrors of their pasts or be forever consumed by the DARK SIDE OF VALOR.

    Read the reviews!

    "A well-paced novel of suspense that veers into romance and ends like a thriller." - Kirkus Review

    "This is an exciting romantic suspense starring two people connected by their love for his daughter and their guilt over their failure to protect his child." - The Mystery Gazette



    PURCHASE AT:





    ~ ~ ~$100 VISA CARD GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

    Pump Up Your Book and Alicia Singleton are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $100 Visa Card! Click here for details an entry form!


    Born and raised in Philadelphia, the Howard University graduate embraced the written word at an early age. She credits this to her loving, older sister whom, while they were youngsters, made the author eat lotion on a regular basis. Realizing the need to sound-out the ingredients on the lotion label, Alicia stopped the lotion-eating practice, but continued to read the labels of the concoctions her sister brought for her to try. This early necessity to read flowered to a passion; hence, a writer was born.The award winning author resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son. Still an avid reader, label or otherwise, Alicia is hard at work completing her next suspense novel.Her latest book is the suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor.

    Visit Alicia’s website at www.aliciasingleton.com.

    




    

    Check out The Busy Mom's Daily Paper at Paper.li



    Many moons ago, I heard about paper.li. This is a content curation service that makes you Editor-in-Chief of your own news site, allowing you to publish topic based newspapers from content you find on the web.

    Anyone with a Twitter or Facebook account create a paper. You create the content streams. You can also create "queries and searches based on Twitter users, #tags, keywords, Facebook, your own Twitter timeline, Google+ users, RSS feeds and more."

    I started The Busy Mom's Daily paper for free, but they also offer a Paper.li Pro service for only $9.00 a month. If you visit my paper right now, you'll find links to articles from The Wall Street Journal, another that talks about a new online Bible Study, information on the Purina Pro Plan Twitter Party, NPR's list of best-ever teen novels, writing tips, Olympics news, reviews and giveaways, and more.

    You are able to retweet items of interest from my paper.li site, which makes it easy for you to share what you like. The nice thing for me is that now the paper is set up, it automatically updates, so subscribers get fresh content every day without me lifting a finger. I love it!

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Book Review: Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell

    Enjoy a rhyming story of a young child's trip to the zoo in Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell. A young boy is on a trip with his Mum where this is a lot to see and do. Talking parrots, long-necked giraffes, crazy climbing monkeys and more fill this day out at the zoo with tons of fun.

    This simple, delightful book for youngsters is a perfect way to prepare children for their first trip to the zoo or to remember a recent zoo visit. Kids will be able to memorize the simple, lyrical prose while the bold colors will captivate them. What I think is so wonderful about this book is how it teaches children to cherish those times with their mother.

    Out and About at the Zoo is an adorable story for your little ones.

    Paperback:32 pages
    Publisher:CreateSpace (May 18, 2012)
    Language:English
    ISBN-10:1477446591
    ISBN-13: 978-1477446591
    SRP: $8.99

    I received a free electronic copy of this book. This review contains my honest opinion, for which I have not received any monetary compensation.

    Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer, author and illustrator. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Rome, Italy with her husband and their two young sons.

    Author website: www.JoLinsdell.com

    Purchasing links:

    Amazon.com

    Amazon.co.uk

    Amazon.it

    CreateSpace.com

    You've Got Mail Monday



    It's Monday, so that means another peek inside my mailbox. After returning from vacation, we had a boatload of mail. Thankfully there wasn't as much to sift through last week. I think our mail carrier is on vacation, because the mail is coming later than usual, and one day we didn't get any mail at all--which rarely happens.

    A new Justice® catalog arrived. The girls try to beat each other to the table when that one comes in. The Lil Diva (10) and the Lil Princess (8) have already given me a list of things they want for back to school. Hard to believe school starts up again in month.

    Another great catalog that came in was Pottery Barn Kids. We're eyeing their Larkin Bedroom Collection for the Lil Princess. Her bed belonged to her father and her dresser was the one I bought when I was pregnant for John Boy (okay, not the best nickname, but I had to call him something). Our son is now 25, so I'm impressed that the dresser is still usable. Our girl is definitely due for an upgrade. We bought the Lil Diva bedroom furniture from Bob's Discount Furniture a couple of years ago. She's tough on things, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money. It's holding up well, and she's been happy with it, so it was a good purchase.

    The American Girl® doll catalog also showed up. We had a group of girls over yesterday and they all played in the bonus room with their American Girl dolls. It's cute to watch them. I think Santa is supposed to bring McKenna this year.

    Our Fed-Ex® driver dropped off a package that contained a scanner and software from the National Consumer Panel. I used to participate in this program years ago, when the technology wasn't as advanced as it is now. After reviewing the contents: scanner, charge base, USB cable, and software, I've decided it isn't for me. What you are supposed to do is scan your purchases. In addition, you can complete surveys using the scanner's keyboard. You earn points for rewards.

    I must have forgotten how time consuming a project it is. Though you scan barcodes, there is still a lot of manual entry: store name, if you used coupons, if you used a rewards card, and the most time consuming--price and quantity. Granted, the scanner will use the data you input to remember your favorite stores, but I buy over $200 worth of groceries a week. I pay attention to prices while in the store, but once I get home I just want to put it all away. If I need to hold onto my receipt and find a price to match up each product I purchase, it will take me an hour or more to get all the groceries put away. It's a shame, because I really wanted to do this.

    That's it for You've Got Mail Monday. Look for my reviews of WordGirl: The Rise of Miss Power and Super Why: Around the World Adventure coming this week.




    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Book Spotlight: Betrayal and Forgiveness by Linda Armstrong-Miller

    In the Bible, the Lord asked that we not make promises unless we are sure that we can keep them. Lisa made a promise and has done everything in her power to keep that promise. a lesson her father needed to learn. Before he was able to practice keeping his promise, he lost the love of his daughter, his best friend, and he was about to lose the love of his son. Time was running out for all of them, but they didn’t know it.

    Linda Armstrong-Miller is a retired registered nursed. She lives in Ga. With her husband Mike and daughter Cayla. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is the way the truth and the light. I Believe.

    Linda’s latest book is Betrayal and Forgiveness.


    PURCHASE AT AMAZON!



    FOLLOW THE REST OF LINDA'S TOUR




    Tuesday, July 24
    Book Review at Musings by Maureen
    Wednesday, July 25
    Book Feature at The Book Faery Reviews
    Thursday, July 26
    Friday, July 27
    Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
    Tuesday, July 31




    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Book Spotlight: Driscoll's Eye by John Russo

    When an Egyptian seer’s orb is implanted to replace Marty Driscoll’s blinded right eye, its mystical powers alter his personal and professional life forever …………….

    One life-altering moment occurred when Marty Driscoll, Yale’s star quarterback was severely beaten by Carmine Brocco a small time hood. As a result, Marty was blind in his right eye. His footloose roommate Todd Hamilton swiped an Egyptian seer’s orb from his Archaeology class and convinced Marty to have it inserted instead of a glass prosthesis. No longer able to play ball, Marty decided he must do something more meaningful with his life. He transferred to Harvard law secretly vowing to seek justice for what Brocco had done to him. While working summers in security in his father’s mall he started to experience weird sensations in his implanted eye. It was there he also met Sara Jenkins and they fell in love. When he passed the bar Marty was assigned to the New Haven States Attorney’s office. Meanwhile the strange sensations in his eye continued to occur. It was after Sara was killed by a stray bullet that he became more determined to see that those who mindlessly harmed others were punished. He finally discovered that the strange orb in his eye would guide him in that endeavor.


    Purchase this book at:

    Key bookstores

    John Russo has had several short stories published and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize Award, a Derringer and was runner-up in Writers Digest Short Shorts Contest in 2003. Two of his short stories appeared in Level Best Books anthologies in 2005 and 2006. His debut novel, The Benny Arnoldo File, was published in 2003. His second, Indian Givers, was published in 2005 and The Vandenberg Diamonds was published in 2006. Driscoll’s Eye was published in February, 2010, and his latest, The Legacy, was published in June, 2010. In addition, he has had four E-book novellas published: Grounds for Murder in December, 2010, The Gold Eagle Mystery in June, 2011 The Antique Toy Con in December 2011 and Forecast for Murder In January 2012. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, The International Association of Crime Writers and Sisters in Crime.


    Visit the author online at johnrussoauthor.com

    Free Ebook: The Journey (The Adventures of Jecosan Tarres, #1) by Laura Lond



    His father killed in war before he was three, his mother unexpectedly dying when he was eight, Jecosan Tarres is young and poor, yet he has something not many men have: a faithful heart, a strong spirit, and the knowledge of truth taught to him by his mother and Priest Shaledan. Alone for a year, but later befriended by Dalian the blacksmith, he has already beaten the odds of being destitute and forgotten, but clearly something or someone is at work in his life. With his faithful dog Gart and his friend Dalian, he sets out on a life defining journey after a messenger visits him with a commission to go to Kanavar, the ancient capital of Meoria, where he is to enter the king's service and somehow prevent the war that is about to break out in his country. There are powerful forces interested in his journey, both to fail and succeed. Join young Jecosan as he struggles along, escaping sudden traps, facing prison and captivity, fighting pain and despair, losing and making friends.

  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591605296
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HILRLM
  • PRICE: Currently free

  • PURCHASE HERE!

    Free EBook: The Sword of the Scroll by David Lantz


    The year is 585 B.C., when kingdoms vied for world domination, and religion played a key role, just as it does in our day. On one side is the Old Testament Prophet, Daniel. On the other is the prophet of a new religion, Zoroaster, who wages Jihad to spread Zoroastrianism world wide. These two historical figures meet when Daniel, an emissary from Babylon, proposes a marriage of political convenience between the warring kingdoms of Lydia and Media following what history records as “The Battle of the Eclipse.” Set against a backdrop of astrological events, international war and political intrigue, the two are pitted against each other in a spiritual battle not fought with human weapons, but with The Sword of the Scroll.

    READ AN EXCERPT HERE!


  • File Size: 673 KB
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Publisher: David Lantz; 2 edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041OT1UQ
  • PRICE: Currently free

  • Friday, July 20, 2012

    Keep Your Pool or Spa Drain Properly Covered to Avoid Entrapment



    Keeping a pool or spa properly maintained is important to extend the life and enjoyment of it. One aspect of maintenance that can easily be overlooked is the drain. If the drain is uncovered,  or the cover is broken or improperly attached, it can lead to a person becoming entrapped. Without a proper drain cover, the suction from the drain can easily pull hair, clothing or body parts into the drain, entrapping the swimmer, causing injury or even death.

    The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was passed in 2007, which requires every public pool and spa in the United States to be equipped with anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) followed up with a public awareness campaign in an "effort to reduce child drownings and non-fatal submersions, and entrapments in swimming pools and spas." This law does not, however, apply to residential pools and spas.

    Before you or anyone you love steps into a friend's or neighbor's pool or spa, ask the homeowner if the drain is fitted with an anti-entrapment drain cover. These covers are dome shaped in a way that prevents objects or bodies from completely covering the drain and creating a dangerous suction. When visiting a public pool, be sure to check the drain covers. If they are flat, it might not be the best place for you or your loved ones to swim.



    AquaStar® Super High Flow 8" Anti-Entrapment Suction Outlet Cover



    Check your pool's or spa's drain cover at the start of the season to be sure it isn't broken. Those few extra moments could save a life.


    This post sponsored by PoolGear Plus®.

    416 and Counting



    Don't forget that while we have other giveaways running, we are looking to reach 500 followers. When we do, we'll release these great prizes.

    Thanks for your support!

    Free EBook: Deadly Aim (Angel Delaney Mysteries Book #1) by Patricia H. Rushford



    Patricia Rushford kicks off a thrilling new crime series set in the cozy coastal hamlet of Sunset Cove, Oregon. Featuring determined police officer Angel Delaney, the first episode is sure to have armchair sleuths turning the pages as fast as they can to discover whodunit?When a police shootout results in the death of a 12-year-old boy, Officer Angel Delaney is blamed, convicted, and condemned by the media and the Sunset Cove community before the case even goes to trial. Angel will have her day in court, but before she has the chance to defend herself, the situation spirals out of control. Key evidence is missing, evidence that could have verified her claim of firing only one shot in self-defense. In short order, the body count rises, and suddenly Angel is a suspect in more than one murder investigation. Heartsick about the young boy's death, and questioning her judgment as a police officer, Angel joins forces with Detective Callen Riley to fight the mounting charges against her.



  • File Size: 1109 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800758471
  • Publisher: Revell (February 1, 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00702M3O2
  • PRICE: Currently free

  • PURCHASE HERE!

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Free for All Friday! - Anger Mastery by Kevin Burk



    Today we have a copy of Kevin Burk's Anger Mastery to give away. Be sure to enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

    Good luck!

    Author Kevin B. Burk wants to make you angry. Burk believes that getting angry is the first step to happiness, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy shows you how.

    “Anger is like fire,” says Burk. “When you master it, it’s a powerful source of energy. If you don’t master it, however, it can be dangerous and destructive.” More importantly, Burk asserts, until you master your anger, other people will steal your energy, your power, and your ability to be happy.

    The Anger Mastery Process has three phases. In Phase 1, you learn how to use more of your own energy, which makes it harder for other people to steal it from you. (This involves going to the gym at least five times a week.) You also learn how to leave Victim Consciousness and move into integrity by answering the question, “Whose business is it?”

    Phase 2 of the Anger Mastery process helps you to stay out of Victim Consciousness by learning how to feel Safe. You meet your Safety Needs with a tool called the Present Moment Awareness Safety Meditation, available for free at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.

    By the time you complete Phase 2, you will already notice significant changes in your life. In particular, you will have considerably more energy. Phase 3 shows you how to use that energy to become truly, completely happy.

    Anger Mastery is not your typical book on anger. Not only is Burk’s approach unique, but also the book itself is laugh-out-loud funny. “Humor is a powerful tool to shift consciousness,” said Burk. “Laughter instantly transforms anger. Plus, funny sells more books.”

    Kevin B. Burk has been helping people around the world to improve their lives and relationships since 1996 through his astrological counseling and relationship coaching practice. His humor, wisdom and compassion are always present, in his books (ten so far, including Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart, The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy), his classes and workshops, and his interactions with his clients and students. Kevin’s focus is always on the practical, exploring how we can actually use astrology and spiritual practice on a daily basis to transform our lives.

    In the astrology world, he is best known for making Classical Astrology accessible to everyone, taking complex and abstract concepts and showing how they can be used to create concrete, specific and practical interpretations. Kevin’s website, The Real Astrology with Kevin B. Burk is one of the premiere astrology resources on the Internet. His book, Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart is a textbook used at Kepler University in their Undergraduate Astrology Degree program, and has been translated into Russian, and is currently being translated into Bulgarian. Kevin’s articles have appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, the Australian publication,Well Being Astrology, and in Llewellyn’s Moon Sign books.

    In the non-astrology world, Kevin is best known for his unique approach to understanding and improving all human relationships through The Relationship Handbook and The Relationship Workshops.

    Kevin has released a series of DVDs of his Law of Attraction workshops: the self-contained Prosperity & The Law of Attraction, and Astrology & The Law of Attraction, a series of 7 DVDs recorded live in Houston, TX at a weekend workshop for the Gulf Coast Chapter of NCGR.

    Kevin has developed a revolutionary program for spiritual growth called Archetypal Astrology: The Hero’s Journey. This intensive program guides participants through the process of meeting and moving into Right Relationship with each of the seven Astrological Archetypes (you may know them as the seven personal planets).

    Kevin is currently synthesizing astrology and spirituality into his next series of books: Astrology & The Law of Attraction, Prosperity & The Law of Attraction and Relationships & The Law of Attraction.

    You can visit Kevin’s website at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.

    To get your paperback copy of ANGER MASTERY by Kevin Burk: http://www.amazon.com/Anger-Mastery-Kevin-B-Burk/dp/0975968238

    To purchase a copy of ANGER MASTERY at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anger-mastery-kevin-b-burk/1104012568

    Buy the book directly from the author at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com

    Like Kevin Burk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngerMastery

    DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE PUMP UP YOUR BOOK AND KEVIN BURK NOOK 8GB TABLET GIVEAWAY. DETAILS CAN BE FOUND HERE!

    Celtic Run by Sean Vogel Giveaway Winner!



    Sorry for the delay in announcing this winner. We were on vacation.  Our congratulations goes out to Kathleen K. We've emailed her. She has 72 hours to send along her mailing address before we select a new winner.

    Thanks to all who participated. Look for another giveaway coming tomorrow.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Purchased New Domain Today!

    Well, I finally bit the bullet and bought my new domain today. I'm waiting for some changes to take place, and then we'll see how Blogger likes the new domain.

    Keep your fingers crossed!

    Product Review: Contour Core Sculpting™ System and LIFEPRO™ Cold-Filtered Whey Isolate Protein

    I was contacted by Contour Technology and asked to review their Contour Core Sculpting™ System and LIFEPRO™ Cold-Filtered Whey Isolate Protein products. After the birth of my last child, and considering I am over 40, stubborn belly fat has been an issue. Despite the fact that I am not overweight, I just don't like the way I look these days. I'm not big into exercise, but I want to stay healthy and tone up.

    Within a few weeks of my acceptance, I received a box containing the Contour Core Sculpting System and LIFEPRO Cold-Filtered Whey Isolate Protein in Dutch Chocolate and French Vanilla flavors.


    I wanted to use the Contour Core Sculpting System for at least a month before I provided any type of review. The package I received contained everything I needed to start using the Contour Core Sculpting System.

  • Contour CoreBelt™
  • M2 Electronic Muscle Stimulator
  • 4 AAA Batteries (For Immediate Use)
  • 4 Electrodes (Contour Gel Pads)
  • Use and Care Manual
  • Diet and Exercise Guide
  • Instructional DVD
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Travel/Storage Clutch
  • Contour Fitness Plan

  • After watching the instructional DVD, I found the Contour Core Sculpting System very easy to use. After a quick assemly, you simply secure the belt around your waist, set the program you want to use and let it go to work. I've used Electromuscle Stimulation devices in the past during physical therapy for back injuries, so I was familiar with the technology. At the same time I started using the Contour Core Sculpting System I also began a moderate exercise program three times a week and made modest adjustments to my diet (added more fruits and vegetables and cut out a few sweets).

    This definitely made a difference. I only dropped a couple of pounds over a month's time, but I wasn't going for weight loss--I was looking for toning up my muscles, which did happen. My husband even commented on it. Am I ready to get into a bikini? No, but if I stick with the program, I'm sure I'll be much happier with my overall appearance.

    Once you purchase the Contour Core Sculpting System, the only recurring cost is the Contour Gel Pads. They worked well for me all month long, but the last couple of days the impulses weren't as strong as in the beginning.

    I am seriously considering purchasing the Core Enhancement Back Care Kit to improve my posture and hopefully prevent new injuries.

    My only disappointment was with the Customer Service Department. I contacted them through their website with a question on how the belt was working and no one ever responded.



    It took me some time to try the LIFEPRO Cold-Filtered Whey Isolate Protein. I have tried protein products in the past and have never liked the taste. I added these to my new program about halfway through. I don't use them every day, but at least a couple times a week.

    While I don't think I'll ever be a huge fan of any type of protein product that dissolves in water or a favorite beverage, the LIFEPRO product is okay. I prefer the French Vanilla version to the Dutch Chocolate. Both dissolve well and provide 27 grams of pure protein per serving. The product label states that the filters remove unwanted lactose, fat and cholesterol, making LIFEPRO virtually fat free and sugar free. Each serving contains 40 mg of sodium.

    I'm glad I got a chance to try both the Contour Core Sculpting System and LIFEPRO Cold-Filtered Whey Isolate Protein. They will be part of my plan to help me stay fit and trim.


    I received these products for free in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

    WSJ Wednesdays - Middle-Aged Job Seekers Finding It Tough Out There


    When I decided that I would begin looking for work, I had no idea how hard it would be. That's why this front page article from the Saturday/Sunday June 23 - 24, 2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal caught my eye.

    "For Middle-Aged Job Seekers, A Long Road Back," by Ben Casselman, discusses the obstacles middle-aged Americans are facing in this tight job market. As Casselman points out, much of the focus has been on the jobless rate among young people. For those of us attempting to support our families or those stay-at-home parents looking to re-enter the workforce, the picture isn't very bright. According to the article, 3.5 million Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 were unemployed as of May, and 39% of those have been unemployed for a year or more. This rate is higher than among young workers.

    Instead of building wealth, middle-aged workers are struggling to find full-time employment. Some have stopped looking. I know that I need to find an alternative to what I was doing. I know I have valuable skills to offer, but even when I secure an interview, I don't get the call backs. That seems to fall in line with what is happening around the country. Cassleman's article states a 59-year-old Bridgeport, Connecticut resident spent a year earning his certification as a computer technician, but that hasn't helped him secure employment. His unemployment benefits ran out last year. He has been able to secure some part-time or seasonal work, but nothing more substantial.

    The article also touches upon the typical frustrating moments of job searching--unreturned phone calls, lost applications, and interviews that lead to nowhere (tell me about that one). It also talks about reasons middle-aged people struggle to find work: reluctance to change industries and larger financial commitments. They also tend to work in industries in decline and are less able to move to find work.

    I'm spending today and tomorrow looking into local opportunities, but not sure of what success I'll have. I'm willing to switch industries, but hope to put the skills I already have to work.

    Are you looking for work right now? Is the job market tough where you are? If you're unemployed, how long has it been? Also, what do you think it will take to get this economy going again?


    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Free eBooks Today!

    THE “EXPLOSIVE” FREE EBOOK EVENT

    TWO action-packed ebooks from Twitter’s @ceebee308 and @LukeRomyn for your Kindle for FREE!



    TOP 20 BESTSELLING HORROR ON AMAZON!

    THE DARK PATH sees Vain, an assassin without peer, placed into an impossible situation. Coerced into the protection of a young boy, Vain finds his skills of death and torture useless against a force of evil which threatens the very Earth. The Souls of Sordarrah - a zealous cult fronted by their mysterious leader Empeth and a group known only as The Four - are pitted against him, intent upon sacrificing the boy Sebastian in order to raise their demonic lord Sordarrah from the pits of Hell.


    The Consultant - Book 2 of the Barry/McCall series: The friendly takeover of CSS Inc. leaves computer executive Chris Barry unemployed, very wealthy and pleased with the situation. But the hiatus is short-lived… As a result of his involvement in the recent Vigilante investigation, Barry is approached by Jonathan Addley and invited to join Discreet Activities, a government agency of the clandestine variety. Accepting, he promptly takes on his first assignment under the guise of an IT consultant, to investigate possible links between a local import business and the murder of its MIS director. As he discovers the firm is being used to import narcotics, his cover is blown and things get personal, spurring him to show that murderers, drug lords, biker gangs and kidnappers are no match for… The Consultant. Note: You really should read Vigilante first.




    The Sweetest Touch by Marie Higgins Giveaway at A Family Friendly Blog



    Title: The Sweetest Touch
    Author: Marie Higgins
    Blog: Linda Weaver Clarke’s A Family Friendly Blog
    Genre: Regency Romance
    Giveaway Dates: July 17 - 22
    Open to: International

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    You've Got Mail Mondays


    After two weeks away from home, the table was filled with piles of mail. Some of it made its way quickly into the recycle bin. There were, however, several items of interest.

    An offer to try a free sample issue of Discovery Girls. This magazine helps connect tween girls with other girls and offers tips on how to handle life's ups and downs.  It looks like it might be a good magazine for the girls, so I sent away for the free issue. If we agree to subscribe, we'll get another 6 issues for only $19.95.

    A donation request came in from Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society. I'll pass this along to the hubby. We have gotten our last four cats from Dakin, so we like to support them.

    In an envelope from Suzanne Woods Fisher, I received postcards and bookmarks to help promote her upcoming release. I agreed to do this as part of a contest, but I would have done it anyway. I love her work. Her upcoming book, The Haven, is available for pre-order right now.

    On the book front, I received some books that I had won from blog giveaways and two I agreed to review. I won Homefront Hero by Allie Pleiter and The Exceptionals by Erin Cashman. From the Amazon Vine Program, I requested Personal Branding for Dummies. I'll review that on their website. I'm also reviewing, 5 Easy Steps to Financial Freedom by Duane Harden in August at The Book Connection. We'll be offering a giveaway for this book here on August 17th.

    Several catalogs made their way here too--one of which I haven't seen in a while. Harriet Carter® is a catalog I used to get all the time when I lived in my old apartment. I haven't seen it much since we moved here. They have neat gadgets and gifts. Macy's is having a Home Sale that runs from Wednesday, July 18th - Sunday, July 22nd. The front cover offered an extra 15% Off on select sale and clearance home items, so I might stop in. We could use new curtains for our bedroom. I had bought some to match our old comforter, but when we changed our bedding, the curtains never got updated and they don't match well.

    Gardener's Supply Company is running a Summer Sale with savings up to 81% on more than 215 products. I'll definitely be browsing their site to see what I can find to bring me through the end of the growing season and into next year. Land's End sent two catalogs--one for limited quantity sale items and the other with backpacks, lunch bags and back-to-school clothes. Ugh, hard to think about that time of year when we're enjoying summer. I might be looking for new lunch bags for the girls this year. We bought Packits® last year. They are great, but they are heavy, so the little one doesn't use hers that much. They were perfect, however, for our trip down south and back home. It kept the Lil Diva's (10) and Lil Princess' (8) snacks and drinks cold during the car ride. Just in time for the Lil Diva's birthday, the Oriental Trading® Birthday catalog arrived. I'm not sure which theme she wants this year, but they have tons of party favors.

    Last, but not least, the July/August issue of the AAA Times arrived. I think I've been a AAA member for around 20 years. They help us with roadside assistance and travel information. They coordinated our Disney trip last year. I like that I can get discounts on hotel stays and car rentals when necessary.

    Phew, that's a lot of mail. Now that we're back home, we're trying to catch up on everything we missed. I'll be posting some product reviews soon. I'll also be implementing a new feature in the not so distant future and deciding about domain names.

    Hope you have a great week!

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Christmas in July Giveaway Hop!


    Christmas in July Giveaway Hop is hosted by Matter of Cents, Just Married with Coupons and Sweep Tight. Grand Prize is sponsored by Maggie Bags and is valued at over $600. Maggie Bags takes high-quality recycled material and gives it new life by creating sophisticated handbags that are eco-friendly! Save 25% off the Linear Line with Coupon Code: Christmas-n-July through 9/30. The 2nd Prize is an Ultimate Munchkin Gift Basket, Munchkin offers clever, innovative solutions to help make parenting safer, easier and fun.

    The Book Loving Busy Mom's Daily (formerly Books, Products and More!) is excited to be participating in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop. Here is what we are offering for giveaway items:


    Holy Stable: Celebrate the Miracle restores the tender joys of the season! Discover how sharing the gift of Jesus' love blesses relationships, as you enjoy the magic of children's narration, original music and song. Mary and Joseph's devotion to God and sublime caring for each other will bring you to experience the story of Baby Jesus' birth as never before.
    Exclusively illustrated gift set with mailing envelope also includes: the listening and pageant background CD which makes it easier than ever to celebrate your own Nativity Play with the downloadable bonus script.

    RETAIL VALUE: $17.95


    Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. Can he trust the miracle of Christmas to keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?

    RETAIL VALUE: $9.95



    The result of sixteen years of research in Talmudic, gnostic, cabalistic, apocalyptic, patristic, and legendary texts, the classic reference work on angels is beautifully illustrated and its reissue coincides with the resurgence of belief in angels in America.

    RETAIL VALUE: $12.56

    Also included in this giveaway package is a nautical momento from our recent trip to the Outer Banks that retails for $12.95.

    TOTAL RETAIL VALUE OF THIS GIVEAWAY - $53.41

    Enter our giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck to all who enter.

    Visit more Christmas in July Giveaway Hop participants to win more great prizes.