Friday, August 28, 2015

Celebrate The Small Things: August 29, 2015



Celebrate the Small Things is hosted by Lexa Cain along with wonderful co- hosts Writing Off The Edge and The Cyborg Mom.

This week I am celebrating the joy of a slow move, I am almost done transferring everything out of my old apartment into the condo and while it has been super stressful I haven't been too overly panicked.  (really have way too much stuff though)

I am also celebrating that one Sunday my kids finally come home.  Yay!  Ace has been gone since the middle of July and while not having them underfoot for the move was nice I am starting to forget what they look like. LOL!

What are you celebrating this week?



**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

It's back to school season, which means classroom parties will soon be starting for upcoming holidays and school celebrations. Not to mention, I bet there are a few fall babies with birthday’s right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to stock up on decorations because Birthday Express is offering 25% off no minimumthrough 8/31 with code AFC25BDXP. Don’t miss your chance to shop this amazing offer before it ends.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Currently: August 26, 2015

 Currently....

{I read Jamie Morrow's Currently every week and I always want to hop on board because it seems like such a fun way to keep you guys updated on the stuff going on in my life so here I am.}

Loving...

My new commute, seriously it's a four minute walk to work, if I don't catch the lights.  Eight minutes if I go for coffee.

Reading...

I am still working my way through War and Peace on Audible (is that really reading?) I am at 67% which seems crazy to me as I have listened to so much.  It's a great companion for moving.

Watching...

My wonderful fiance hooked my TV up for me over the weekend so I have Netflix access again. Yay! I have not had the opportunity to watch anything yet though....

Listening To...

Happy music from when I was in high school, there's nothing that makes me feel like working quite like up beat 90's music.



Thinking About...

When I am going to find time to finish off our Fan Expo costumes...there's not a lot of work to do but enough that it's a little worrisome.

Anticipating...

Fan Expo.

Wishing... 

That the unpacking elves would visit my house while I was at work.

Making Me Happy...

Living above ground for the first time in ten years.  Also we bought our wedding cake toppers:


All they need is a little bow tie, top hat and veil.  And for Mike to stop asking "How does a T-Rex even tie a bow tie?"

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Today's List: August 23, 2015

Books I'd Make Everyone Read If I Could:


  • A Ring of Endless Light - Madeleine L'Engle

  • Call of the Wild - Jack London

  • To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

  • Animal Farm - George Orwell

  • Wyrd Sisters - Terry Prachett 

  • The Places You'll Go - Dr. Seuss

There are many more books I think everyone should read, many of which have been mentioned on the blog at other times.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jack Templar And The Lord of The Demons

Lord of the Demons


Jack Templar 5

Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons (The Templar Chronicles #5) by Jeff Gunhus

With two of the Jerusalem Stones in hand, Jack and his friends must race the clock to find the remaining Stones as Ren Lucre's Creach forces gather strength. With two of their group now with Creach blood flowing in their veins, the team will be tested as never before. They must unite together if they have any hope of surviving their journey to the Underworld and their battle with the vicious Lord of the Demons. The fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

Excerpt:

Eva lifted her nose in the air, picking up a scent.

“What is it?” I asked.

But it was T-Rex who answered. “That’s rabbit stew, is what that is.”

I sniffed the air. He was right. I smelled food of some kind. The sweet aroma of carrots mixed with earthy potatoes and root vegetables. I couldn’t tell if it was rabbit stew like T-Rex claimed, but I wouldn’t have bet against him.

“Could be a trap,” Daniel said.

“Okay, let’s drop the act,” I said. “Swords.”

All of us pulled our weapons, some of us slower than others. Xavier and T-Rex both got theirs twisted in their shirts but eventually got them out and went on guard.

“We know you’re there,” I called to the woods around us. “Come out and show us that –”

Ziiiizzz, Thwack

An arrow flew an inch over my head and buried itself into the tree behind me.

“Take cover,” I yelled.

I ran to the trees, pulling Xavier with me. Another arrow slammed into the ground in front of me. I changed direction, but another arrow let loose and again dug into the soil, kicking up dirt and leaves.

I got the point. This wasn’t someone missing. It was someone sending me a very clear message. Stop moving or I’ll shoot you.

A quick glance around showed me the others fared no better. There were arrows sticking from the ground and trees all around us, but none of us were hit.

“Okay,” I called out. “We get it.”

“Weapons down,” came a high-pitched voice in the tree above us.

I looked up and saw a flutter of movement among the leaves, but then it was gone.

“Weapons down, I said,” came the voice again. “Or I’ll put an arrow in the fat one’s tummy.”

“Is he talking about me?” T-Rex asked. “I’ve actually lost a bit of weight, you know.”

I put my sword on the ground in front of me and motioned for everyone to do the same. We all had backup weapons stashed on our bodies – throwing knives, stars, daggers and the like – so I wasn’t too worried about giving up my sword. Daniel caught my eye. He had his hand on the Templar Ring as if he was about to pull it from his finger. I felt a surge of excitement that I could wear it again. But that would also mean we’d have to deal with an out of control werewolf in our midst.

I shook my head. I figured if whoever or whatever was in the trees wanted us dead, then they would have already taken a shot at us.

“Who are you?” came the voice again. “What are you doing here?”

“We’re travelers seeking shelter for the night, maybe a warm meal,” I said, speaking the words every monster hunter knew by heart. It was the way members of the Black Guard identified themselves. “We ask for your hospitality. Have we come to the place where such kindness is freely given?”

There was an excited chattering of voices in the trees, and then a person fell from the sky, hitting the ground with a solid thump. Then another. And another. Finally, I counted an even dozen of them even though I wasn’t sure what they were.

They were half-sized men, the tallest only a little higher than my waist. They all carried bows as big as they were, cradled in rough, thick hands and muscled arms. Their bodies were stout and clad in flexible leather armor studded with small squares of iron in decorative patterns. What made them creepy was that while their bodies looked like they belonged to middle-aged men, their faces bore the smooth features of someone no more than nine or ten years old. While their arms and necks were wrinkled and tanned with time, their faces were pale and their eyes looked too shiny, like they were on the edge of crying. Still, their faces looked blank, so I didn’t think they were emotional about anything. All I knew was that my skin crawled as their moist eyes looked me over.

“So who is it that asks the old question in the old way?” the one nearest us asked. “We’d like to know that very much.”

All twelve of them nodded in unison as they moved closer to us. I fought a sudden impulse to flinch back. I’d suddenly realized what was so odd about them. All of them had the same face.

I didn’t notice at first because some of them wore their hair differently, some wore helmets, and others had scars from some long ago battle. But once I looked for it, there was no mistake. All the faces were the same.

“Just travelers looking for rest,” Eva said. If these strange beings unnerved her, then she was better at hiding it than I was. But the fact that she jumped in to make sure I didn’t tell these strange creatures our names told me she wasn’t comfortable either.

“Can I ask your name, friend?” Daniel asked.

A different one of them stepped forward. “We are the Talib. As for names, you can ask. We can ask. But will the answers and truth be told? Think not, we do.”

“Great, we ran into a herd of Yodas,” Will said under his breath. 

Review:

I really enjoyed this book a great deal.  There's something about Gunhus's writing that really pulls you in.  I sat up many a long night reading my way through this series and it is very high on my recommended YA reading list.

I have recommended these books to more than one person with kids my Ace's age as I think they will enjoy it.  I like to be able to enjoy what my kids are reading and Jack Templar's adventures have done that for me.  I am on pins and needles waiting for the next installment.

Grab Your Copy Now!


add to goodreads

jeff

Author Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Amazon bestselling supernatural thriller, Night Chill, and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book of the series, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. Killer Within is his second novel for adults. As a father of five, he and his wife Nicole spend most of their time chasing kids and taking advantage of living in the great state of Maryland. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel. If you see him there, sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. You just might end up in his next novel.


Jack Templar awards

$25 Blog Tour giveaway



Jack Coins

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway + 3 Templar Coins

$25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash (Open Internationally)

3 Templar Coins (US only)

Ends 8/31/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Force Awakens at BuyCostumes!

Ok, so it's only August, but two highly anticipated events (at least in my household) are just around the corner and I will be ready ... what am I talking about? Halloween and the December 18th release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, of course! I'm already planning on attending our neighborhood party and trick-or-treating festivities dressed up as Boba Fett. Or maybe Darth Vader ... Or maybe a Stormtrooper .... or maybe -- well, whatever. I'll eventually make up my mind.

The point is, I'm already starting to plan. And not just for Halloween, mind you. Oh no. I plan on attending the movie in whatever costume I eventually decide on. It's too big of an event to just go in my regular clothes! 

So, what about you? Have you decided on what you're going to be for Halloween? If not, I highly recommend selecting a Star Wars character. It's not only timeless, it's also timely with the new movie releasing just a month and a half after Halloween. 

So let the force be with you and pick your perfect Star Wars costume today. Plus, you'll get free shipping on orders over $75 now through August 23rd! 

Offer LinkFree Shipping when you spend $75 at BuyCostumes (no code needed)
Coupon Code: No code needed
End Date: 08/23/2015

Here are a few Star Wars costumes that are sure to bring you over to the dark side

Star Wars - Darth Vader Deluxe Adult Costume

Star Wars Boba Fett Female Adult Bodysuit

Star Wars Clone Trooper Deluxe Adult Costume

Browse the full selection of Star Wars costumes at BuyCostumes.com

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Moving and Minions

The worst of the move is over, all of our furniture is in the condo (and it fits) now it's just a matter of moving over a few final boxes, cleaning up the old place and oh my the unpacking.  I think that might be worse than unpacking.

The last few boxes I packed are just a hodgepodge of stuff; papers, wires, books, clothes and even worse they aren't remotely labeled.  One can only guess at what is in each box, it's like playing the lottery.  It just got to the point where I was of a mood to just get things into the truck so that we didn't have to make a second trip.  Didn't work but hey, I tried.

The most important thing I learned from this move is that I didn't need 60% of the stuff that I owned.  Very little of it outside of the books and the craft supplies made me happy or had any real value in my life and the only thing that I have been super eager to unpack is the stuff needed to work on my Fan Expo Cosplays.  Oh and my stationary because my pen pals all need to hear that I survived the move.

The view from my couch.
I will say though, it would have gone a lot smoother with a few minions.  Sadly mine are away for another week.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

In the words of a wise Minion, "I love ordering things online because when they arrive, it's like a present from me to me." Well said, Minion. Well said. This is precisely why I'm ordering our Halloween costumes this year from Costume Express. Not only are they made from quality materials, they are also super fun and well-priced. And their selection is incredible. 

Have a kiddo who is adamant about being Olaf the Snowman from Frozen and another child who demands to be Minion Dave? No problem. You'll find both online at Costume Express.

And even though Halloween is still a few months away, it's actually a great time to get those Halloween costumes because Costume Express is giving you $10 off on orders of $50 or more with code CXSAVE10 now through August 23rd. Take advantage of this great savings and check "Get Halloween Costumes" off your to-do list! 

Here are a few ridiculously cute Minion costumes available at Costume Express:
Minions Movie: Stuart Toddler CostumeMinions Movie: Minion Bob Child Costume Minions Movie: Minion Costume Set For Girls

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Top Costume Themes For 2015

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Get a head start on Halloween with the top costume themes of 2015 from Costume Express! They're also offering15% off when you spend $75! Check out the top costume themes below and don't forget to use coupon code SAVE175 at checkout. This offer expires on September 10th. 

Top Costume Themes for 2015

Avengers Costumes

Minions Costumes

Cinderella Costumes


Inside Out Costumes

Paw Patrol Costumes

Disney Frozen Costumes


Star Wars Costumes

Disney Descendants Costumes

Superhero Costumes

Browse the full selection of all of the hottest costumes for the entire family at CostumeExpress.com 

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Piper Morgan Joins the Circus Cover Reveal



Piper Morgan Joins the Circus


Stephanie Faris






Cover illustration by Lucy Fleming.


Blurb:


When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

And after learning her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus, Piper can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!


But during Piper’s grand debut, her high kicks and pointed toes don't go quite as planned. After causing a dance disaster, she has to prove to everyone--especially queen of the Little Explorers, Lexie--that she belongs in the spotlight. 


Stephanie Faris:






Bio:


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.




Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Links:



Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Friday, August 7, 2015

Celebrate The Small Things: August 7, 2015



Celebrate the Small Things is hosted by Lexa Cain along with wonderful co- hosts Writing Off The Edge and The Cyborg Mom.

This week I am celebrating the fact that I have a job to go to get away from the craziness of moving.  If I didn't I might have gone crazy by now and ended up buried under a pile of all the stuff that didn't seem like quite so much before I tried to pack it.  I really envy the people (like Mike) who can be really brutal and just be like "Yup, don't need this" I am so attached to 90% of the things I own.

Trying to purge books has been stonewalled twice by getting all teary-eyed over some book from high school English class that I will never read again but can't part with.  These are literary classics...one needs to own a copy of Call of The Wild.  People will judge me if I don't.  (well mostly I will judge me but hey) The kids might need it to read in school.  And I REALLY loved that book.

I am also celebrating the fact that I am going to marry someone who understands the fact that books are irreplaceable in some cases and that if I REALLY had to choose I would be a lonely old lady surrounded by books. SO MANY BOOKS.

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Currently: August 5, 2015

 Currently....

{I read Jamie Morrow's Currently every week and I always want to hop on board because it seems like such a fun way to keep you guys updated on the stuff going on in my life so here I am.}

Loving...

Work. Right now work is the break that I get from all the stress of moving.  I am never so happy as I am to walk through the doors of my office and sit down at my desk.

Reading...

War and Peace.  Well, really I have been reading it since the beginning of the year but since all my current review obligations are filled I am sinking my teeth back into it and really, truly loving it.

Watching...

I FINALLY got to see Antman over the weekend.  It was much better than it looked like it was going to be which made me very excited for Civil War.



Listening To...

All the music as I pack box after box.  The best stuff I have found for packing?  Ke$ha.



Thinking About...

How I am going to save all my pennies so that next time I move I can pay someone to pack for me.

Anticipating...

A huge glass of wine tonight when I attack packing my books which I have been putting off because I started and then got all sentimental about it.

Wishing... 

That I could keep all my books.

Making Me Happy...

SpiderCat.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Jack Templar and The Lord Of The Demons Book Blast

Jack Templar 5



Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons (The Templar Chronicles #5).

With two of the Jerusalem Stones in hand, Jack and his friends must race the clock to find the remaining Stones as Ren Lucre's Creach forces gather strength. With two of their group now with Creach blood flowing in their veins, the team will be tested as never before. They must unite together if they have any hope of surviving their journey to the Underworld and their battle with the vicious Lord of the Demons. The fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

Grab Your Copy Now!


add to goodreads
jeffAuthor Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Amazon bestselling supernatural thriller, Night Chill, and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book of the series, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. Killer Within is his second novel for adults. As a father of five, he and his wife Nicole spend most of their time chasing kids and taking advantage of living in the great state of Maryland. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel. If you see him there, sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. You just might end up in his next novel.


Jack Templar awards

50_Amazon_Paypal
$50 Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/28/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 1, 2015

First Birthday Ideas

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

1st birthday party supplies

They're sweet and cute and so much fun, so honor your kiddo with a 1st Birthday party when they turn one! They might not remember the day but you sure will!  Make the day even more special with a 1st birthday party theme from Birthday Express! Here are three particularly adorable 1st Birthday party themes to check out:

Lil Prince 1st Birthday - Give your little prince the royal treatment on his first birthday. All Lil' Prince 1st birthday party supplies are high quality and feature delightful designs and colors. You can even have the birthday boy's picture printed on dinner plates, invitations, centerpieces and favor boxes. Give your little one a celebration like none other with the Lil' Prince 1st birthday personalized party theme.



Look Whoo's 1 (Pink) - This owl-themed d├ęcor is a hoot and a half, with customizable party supplies that are perfect for your child's first birthday. With the Look Whoo's 1 Pink party theme, you can choose from a huge selection of pre-designed packs and tailor the decorations to make your child's party experience one-of-a-kind. Spend less time and energy on party preparation and more time enjoying your little one's special day. 



Dr. Seuss 1st Birthday - Kids of all ages will enjoy these unique party supplies featuring timeless Dr. Seuss characters, such as Cat in the Hat, Horton the elephant, and Fox in Socks. And by adding a special photo and personalized message, you can make sure your little one gets special attention on the big day. Planning a birthday celebration with the Dr. Seuss 1st Birthday party theme is as easy as one fish, two fish! 



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