Hi, my name is Candy in Austin, TX and this my blog to rave (and sometimes rant) about books, movies, products, services or just whatever strikes my fancy. I love when people comment on my blog, so feel free to agree or disagree or maybe I inspired you to try something?

Disclaimer: I do get some of these books/products for free for doing an honest review. Yes, those are affiliate links and I could be compensated if you purchase through them. It\'s always small and it always goes to my kids college funds.

11 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Nutro Company Baked Beefy Bones


Dogs love ’em, but I’m less impressed

I have three dogs and all of them seem to really like these. I’m not as impressed with them, but since they like them so much I hand them out sparingly. These are definitely junk food treats – wheat is the first ingredient and sugar is the third. So, I suppose, OF COURSE the dogs love them :) The exterior “crust” is crunchy and the interior is still a little crunchy but softer. The problem with the exterior is that it flakes off pretty easily. When I opened the bag, I noticed that the coating had cracked off several. Not a huge deal, but if you’re a stickler, (or – like me – have a touch of OCD twitchiness) it will make you crazy.

We have two small chihuahuas and one small/medium terrier/mini-schnauzer mix. The terrier loves them dearly and will do any trick I ask for them. The chihuahuas love them and will grab the whole thing and run off to a corner to munch it down piece by piece.

Bottom line for me? As an occasional treat, yes, we would get them (however, they are other junk food snacks they like more), but as a daily treat, we’ll stick to other things.

Nutro Baked Beefy Bones are made with real bone marrow. Our natural dog bone treats are crunchy on the outside and meaty on the inside. Your dog will find Nutro Baked Beefy Bones irresistibly delicious.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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09 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

CHUCKIT! Ultra Squeaker Ball

chuckitGreat sturdy ball, but don’t expect the squeaker to last if your dog likes to disable them,

First the bad – my dog managed to kill the squeaker in this toy within thirty minutes. But that’s not all that unusual, really.

The odd part is that he still loves playing with it. Usually once he’s killed it, it’s pretty much “dead to him” and he’s done with it. This ball still holds up well, even after your pooch has de-squeaked it. It still makes a funky whoosh-whoosh noise and I think he likes that because he’ll walk around with this in his mouth for hours stopping to “whoosh” it.

It is pretty heavy duty as far as the ball itself. Even with him gnawing on it, he hasn’t managed to get any pieces off of it in the past week that we’ve had it. We do take it away from him after a while.

I went out and bought the ChuckIt stick and I have to tell you that I’m in love with this whole system. Having had two spinal surgeries, bending down repeatedly starts to hurt. Throwing a ball with my dog wasn’t something I was really able to do. Now, I can. It takes a few times to get the hang of picking it up with the stick, but once you do it, it’s super easy and super simple.

But back to this particular ball – we like it. The squeak didn’t last – but really – I have yet to get a squeaker toy that the dog cannot destroy, sadly. The ball still makes a noise and every time we grab it, Anton jumps up and the tail wags and the eyes smile. I’d say that’s as good as it gets.

… now if he’d bring it back on a consistent basis (we’re working on it!) :)

Bottom line, it’s a great ball, but it’s even better if you have the chuck it stick/wand thing. It means I can play fetch with my dog now!

Take the interactive game of fetch to new heights! The Chuckit! Ultra Squeaker Ball is made of durable material with fun textures and a high bounce. Get out the house and have some fun with your pet today.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Book count for 2014: 00

04 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

14k Gold Crystal Heart Chain Necklace, 18″

I absolutely love this little heart necklace. The photo truly does not do this piece justice. I have to admit that when I first noticed Amazon sold jewelry, I was kind of wary. I remember worrying about if it was going to be junky. I don’t know why I worried because the quality of the pieces have all been magnificent! This was no different.

The chain is pretty thin and delicate, absolutely perfect for the design. A heavy chain would take away from it. What I found interesting is that the gold flakes kind of float in there. They don’t move much at all. In fact if I hadn’t tilted it and the little air bubble moved through them to move them around, I wouldn’t have noticed. It must be some sort of thick liquid in there or something. Anyway, now it’s kind of a distraction game when I wear this, I sit there playing with the gold flakes.

Yes, I have found a way to fiddle with nearly everything, I know. I’m a fiddler, I suppose :)

At any rate, the heart is perfect and I couldn’t be happier with it. Totally recommended for those that like pretty things (or like to fiddle)!


The Amazon Curated Collection

Discover the Amazon Curated Collection of fine and fashion jewelry. The expansive selection of high-quality jewelry featured in the Amazon Curated Collection offers everyday values that range from precious gemstone and diamond pieces to the latest fashion designs.

This hand-selected assortment features an array of diamond, gemstone and precious metal designs that receive a quality inspection, including from Amazon’s staff graduate gemologist, to ensure they meet Amazon’s high standards. All diamonds featured in the Amazon Curated Collection are certified by our suppliers to be conflict free, and IGI, GIA, or AGS certifications are provided on white diamonds of .75 carats or larger on all stud earrings, rings, and pendant necklaces.

Pieces from the Amazon Curated Collection come packaged in a custom box, making them wonderful gifts. In addition, we offer free one-day shipping within the continental US on items over $500. International shipping options for friends and family overseas are available for an additional fee.

The Amazon Curated Collection offers a specialized customer service team that is available seven days a week to answer any product questions before, during or after the purchase. If you’re not satisfied for any reason, you will receive a full refund and free return shipping within the US if you return your purchase within 30 days.

Find a special gift for a loved one or a beautiful piece that complements your personal style with jewelry from the Amazon Curated Collection.

Rating: ★★★★★

28 May 2015 ~ 1 Comment

D.E.M. – Deus Ex Machina

Guest post by: Lee Ness

DEM Cover.001My book D.E.M. started out as a short story prompted by a single piece of advice given to me over 20 years ago. When I first started managing people, our old Personnel manager took me to one side and said “Just remember, ‘No good turn goes unpunished.’” I thought it an odd piece of advice at the time. I was a young man of 24, just about to manage a section in a manufacturing plant with a dozen people or so. How right that piece of advice was. That isn’t to say that no-one should do a good turn, just that often these things have unintended consequences. It has stuck with me all these years and I am reminded of it often, when it comes true!

So, when I looked to write a short story, it sprung back to mind. The origins of the story were created as I drove to work and was listening to a sad piece on the radio about a missing boy. I was annoyed. There are lots of videos on YouTube that not only go viral and achieve millions of hits (‘Charlie bit my finger’ and ‘Fenton’ for example), but also have the potential to generate significant sums of money. Why don’t people use this for good intentions? If you were searching for a missing boy, what better way than to activate millions of people in the search? That’s where my story begins, with my protagonist, Rachel, going through the same thought process as I did. Fortunately for her, that’s where she had computer skills that I didn’t have. She manages to get the video viral and is able to post a reward with the advertising fees she gets from it. So far so good, but then the ‘No good turn goes unpunished’ kicks in. The law of unintended consequences as it is often known. What Rachel is aiming for is a groundswell of support, buoyed by a reward so that someone gives information that leads to the boy’s discovery. Instead, a vigilante steps in and Rachel is suddenly a target. That’s where the short story ends. I always like to resolve the main story but leave a cliffhanger to a different one, even if I never intend a follow up. I like to try and leave the reader satisfied but still with questions.

In this case, it was me that had the questions that I needed to answer. I loved the two characters too much to leave it there, so the short story became the first chapter. Cue my next little foible. I always loved the term Deus Ex Machina and what it meant (A god outside the machine – someone external that influences the scene). My vigilante was exactly that, but I wanted them to be an even greater personification of the term. So, all I needed was a theme, and it was handed to me on a plate.

Hacking is a very real threat right now, to business, to individuals and to governments. The US Department of Defence was hacked recently and everyone knows about Sony pictures along with the stories about governments hacking each other in one form or another. Once you start researching, it gets even scarier. I’ve tried to balance the amount of technical information in the book with maintaining reader’s interest. According to reviews, I’ve got it about right, enough to be credible but not too much to be overly technical to the layman. All the information in the book is based on real things though. Email really is easy to crack, people really are the weak link and Line X and Line Y protocols do exist but you’re unlikely to find anything about them on the internet.

I didn’t want to lose everyone in a technical manual though, so I’ve tried to keep the hacking and technical stuff in the background. I learned a lot from reading Matthew Reilly and Elmore Leonard and have tried to reflect their pace and dialogue as much as I can. I wanted to create a story that was relevant to society today and that was credible. It’s a book I’d want to read and I’ve intentionally stayed away from telling you, the reader, every thought, every piece of information about the characters and their history. You wouldn’t get that in real life, you’d work it out from your conversations, from how people talk and how they behave. You’re clever folks and I didn’t want to insult you.

I hope you enjoy it and when you hear in the news about the Cryptolocker virus, or that some country is hacking some other country, you’ll hopefully think of Rachel and her friends!

About the author:

leenessLee Ness writes both fiction and non-fiction books and non-fiction articles. He has an Honours Degree in Electronic Systems Engineering and a Masters Degree in Engineering Management.

He has written a historical fiction series set around the Olympics in Ancient Greece circa 440BC and a technological thriller called D.E.M. – Deus Ex Machina.

His first book The Sports Motivation Master Plan passes on the experience of many years coaching athletes in multiple sports. Lee is a UK Athletics Event Group Coach for and part of the National Coach Development Programme for Speed.

Lee’s articles appear in Athletics Weekly, on speedendurance.com and on stack.com. Lee is head coach at City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club and was Wiltshire Sport Coach of the Year in 2014.

Contest Details:

To win an e-book copy of D.E.M. – Deus Ex Machina answer the following question in the comments below:

Which country is believed to be behind the hacking of Sony?
A) Russia
B) Israel
C) Korea

10 winners will be selected at random. 20 further selections will be sent the e-book of Lee’s historical fiction novel Hoplite – Part 1:Lysander
(Deadline for entries is Thursday, June 4th)

26 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

deepFreak: virtual is the new reality


A magical mystery tour of virtual reality and beyond.  Love, politics, conspiracy, and fluctuating space-time coordinates all come to a head when a huge solar flare disrupts the event horizon between parallel universes.

Living in simulated reality, SIM, is all the rage in the mid twenty-first century.  But just when it seems that illusion has triumphed and Reality has become irrelevant, Reality throws a curve ball.

Audrey is a SIMdesigner and an artPrank hacktivist.  When her friend Dano disappears, Audrey is forced into the gritty world of Real to find him.  People disappear all the time in this dystopian near future.  But then there are Type III disappearances, so when the young Milan also vanishes, but this time right before Audrey’s eyes, the quest for the disappeared takes a whole new turn and Audrey finds herself unwillingly thrust on a bizarre existential odyssey.  Real?  SIM?  Or hallucination?  Nothing is what it seems.

Meanwhile, Milan wakes floating in midair before the floor suddenly comes up and crashes hard into him.  He looks around and at first the room does nothing.  Then it wakes up.  Milan is on the other side, a place where people meet in Astral, not SIM, where luminescent mushrooms grow in the snow, and the weather knows what you are thinking.

Guest interview:

Interviewer: Who is Mars Dumont?

Mars:  Actually, Mars Dumont is not a real person, it’s two people.

Venus:  Hi, I’m Venus Dumont. We think of ourselves as a band. Originally we tried to think of a band name like “Liquid Mars” but it sounded too goofy so we came up with a nome de plume using his first name and my last name. 

Interviewer: So how does writing together work?

Mars:  I’m color, Venus is form.

Venus:  Basically I sketch out the story line and Mars writes. But we switch roles. When it gels we both know it. Until then it can be a real struggle.

Interviewer: Do you argue?

Venus:  Fight? Us? You bet! There’s the whole male-female swing of the book. I work out the romance and Mars focuses on the cyberpunk and the conspiratorial angles. When Mars starts gagging on my love scenes I get really mad. But the general rule is if one of us thinks it’s bad, it is bad.

Mars:  And then there’s the editing. Venus is brutal: if it isn’t absolutely necessary it’s out. Weeks, sometimes months of effort on the cutting room floor. Without so much as an apology. 

Interviewer: How do you keep on the same page, so to speak, how do you keep from working at cross purposes?

Venus:  We have a routine, we write by day and at night we read out loud to one another. When you read out loud whatever isn’t working is glaring. Once the characters are well defined they write themselves.

Mars:  We also keep picture boards. We’re both visual people. We try to collect inspiration for every character, outfit and setting. If we can see it we can convey it. If we aren’t seeing the same thing then we haven’t worked it out well enough. But when we get into a groove it’s like magic. We go to places where neither of us could get to on our own.

Interviewer: Do you both write all the characters or does Venus write certain characters and Mars write the others?

Venus:  There’s a lot of back and forth but once the characters are well defined they write themselves. I never felt like we wrote this book. It’s almost like we were channeling the story. Sometimes I re-read and I just don’t know where it came from.

Mars:  Really? Really??? I read it and I am reminded of three and a half years of some of the most demanding work I’ve ever done.

Venus:  But it was fun!

Mars:  Yeah, it was fun.


21 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Witch’s Cat

Guest post: J.S. Watts

MWitchlight Smallery human, who writes as J.S.Watts (though I just call her Yiaow), is having a busy time writing posts for the blog tour to promote her new novel, “Witchlight”. Yesterday I tried to help by bringing her a delicately chewed mouse. For some reason, she didn’t seem to appreciate the gesture. Today, I’m going to try a different approach and write a blog post for her while she’s out buying carpet cleaner. She’s bound to be grateful.

Before we get much further in to this post, though, I’ve got to say that I don’t think much of the accuracy of its title. Cats have witches. Witches don’t, per se, have cats, in the same way that humans don’t have cats. Though, of course, according to Yiaow’s novel, witches are humans born with the “abracadabra gene”, so it’s all a bit complicated. Oh well, I guess it gives me the opportunity to tell you about the most important character in her new novel, Barny the cat (though I do feel she should have given him a properly respectful feline name).

First, however, and to put important things into context, I need to tell you about me.

I was only a kitten when I chose Yiaow for myself from amongst the supply of human helpers I was proffered at my temporary residence. Even as a youngster I could detect talent. I don’t mean she’s a good writer, I have no idea, but I knew she was right for me and, if she was going to waste time writing, at least she would be writing about appropriate things.

Yiaow proved her worth and my judgement almost immediately by incorporating me into several of her poems. When she picked the one I thought did me most justice, “Cats and Other Mythical Creatures”, to be the almost title poem of her poetry collection, “Cats and Other Myths”, I knew I was in the cat-as-muse stage of my career.

Next, she started on the artwork for the collection’s cover. She wanted a picture of a cat-dragon, but, even with the help of a human friend, she couldn’t capture the image exactly as she wanted it. I just sashayed up to her and pointed out that a photograph of me was what the image needed and everything was concluded most satisfactorily. This was the cover-model stage of my career.

Then she wrote me a walk-on part in her novel, “A Darker Moon”. Technically the role was for a female kitten, but in written fiction anything is possible and the little black and white Evie wrung hearts during her brief scene.

Yiaow, however, was to let me down badly. She wrote a small poetry book called “Songs of Steelyard Sue” and there wasn’t a single cat in it, let alone a part for a fine black and white feline like myself. She justified this most disappointing situation by saying it was a dystopic SF poetry sequence and that the scrap heap the World had become was no place for a cat. She managed to include some rough crows, however, so I was not placated.

When it came to “Witchlight” I put my paw down. I wanted the leading role and told her so. She claims it’s this woman called Holly who, approaching forty, suddenly discovers she’s a witch, but I know (and you will find out) that it’s really Barny, the black and white cat who condescends to live with Holly and who finds out late in his career that he’s a magical familiar.

Barny is a very fine cat, an expert, seasoned hunter and, it turns out, a talented familiar, instantly at home in the uncertain world of witchcraft and magic that Holly unexpectedly finds herself immersed in. Holly rightly adores Barny (well, anyone would) and there is a very satisfying relationship between the two of them. There is also good hunting, a succulent bacon sandwich moment and life and death drama when Barny is dangerously sucked into the magical tensions and dark hints of Old Magic that come to surround Holly. The story is like a huge game of cat and mouse. Superb!

Naturally, you cannot keep a real star down and you will note the black and white cat prominently positioned on the cover of “Witchlight”. Modelled on me, of course. I must remember to send the publisher’s Art Director a small mouse as a token of my appreciation.

In conclusion, being a cat with one’s own writer has its compensations. I expect the next novel to be more clearly titled to reflect my inevitable lead role within it. I shall have to speak to Yiaow about it.

Dickens the cat on behalf of J.S.Watts

About Witchlight: Holly has been mortal all her life. Now at thirty-eight, her fairy godfather arrives to tell her she’s a witch, and suddenly she’s having to come to terms with the uncertainties of an alarmingly magic-fuelled world. Magic is not like it is in the books and films, and Holly starts to doubt whether her fairy godfather, Partridge Mayflower, is the fey, avuncular charmer he appears.

When appearances are magically deceptive, Holly cannot afford to trust those closest to her, including herself. Accidents start to happen, people die, Old Magic is on the hunt, but in the age-old game of cat and mouse, just who is the feline and who is the rodent? 

J.S.Watts - croppedAbout The Author: J.S.Watts is a British writer who lives and writes in the flatlands of East Anglia in the UK. Her poetry, short stories and reviews appear in a diversity of publications in Britain, Canada, Australia and the States. Her poetry collection, “Cats and Other Myths”, and subsequent multi-award nominated poetry pamphlet, “Songs of Steelyard Sue”, are published by Lapwing Publications. Her dark fiction novel, “A Darker Moon”, is published in the UK and the US by Vagabondage Press. Her second novel, “Witchlight”, came out in paperback and e-book formats from Vagabondage this week. You can find her website at  www.jswatts.co.uk



14 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

MIRA Chefs Professional Digital Kitchen Scale, Blue


The perfect kitchen scale with flair!

Why oh why are there not more colorful kitchen products? There are just a few out there that are making bright colors for the room we seem to always congregate in. It seems we’re stuck with black and white or spending some serious money for high end bright products. When I was asked if I want to do a review for this item (in exchange for keeping it free of charge), I jumped on it and requested the orange one. I have to tell you that this thing is a gorgeous orange. It’s not neon burn your eyeballs out bright, but it’s a nice subtle beautiful orange.

BUT this is more than just a pretty scale. The lines are sleek and modern and it work SO well. I love that it zeros itself out by magic and never misses. I also love that the display is bright and large enough that I can read it – even first thing in the morning before my coffee and before I’ve located my glasses.

One of my absolute favorite features of this scale is that the body of it longer than most. For some reason, the scales I see are square, which makes NO sense. This one leaves enough room for whatever items you’re looking to weigh and the display. It’s a flat unit, there’s nothing to snag when you’re moving around and it’s super easy to clean.

This is one of those items that we got in for review, it went into our lives and it’s stayed there. It didn’t find it’s way quietly into the Goodwill bin or home with a friend. Lovin’ it!

Accurate Kitchen Scale, Food Scale, Digital Kitchen Scale, Large Display, Easy to Clean: Weighing food is no longer a boring chore. The MIRA glass digital scale has all the features you ever wanted: an easy-to-read large display, precise measurement, and easy maintenance. Don’t worry about the container weight: Open the box, and start weighing! The MIRA digital kitchen scale arrives with 3 AAA batteries. The MIRA digital kitchen scale has a TARE feature that automatically deducts the weight of your food container or dish to provide the actual grams, ounces, or pounds of the ingredients alone. Sleek, strong & easy to maintain: This MIRA glass digital kitchen scale looks so good that you can use it as part of your kitchen decor. The scale’s tempered glass top is 4X stronger than ordinary glass and is available in a range of gorgeous colors. But, if you do decide to store it, it’s slim design occupies very little storage space. The glass surface is also simple to wipe clean. Accurate & Precise: Within its durable exterior, the MIRA digital kitchen scale houses 4 precision sensors that generate accurate measurements. These measurements are displayed on generous-sized LCD display making it easy to read. Satisfaction Guaranteed: Buy with confidence knowing that MIRA stands behind the superb performance of its accurate and durable glass food scale with a 2 year warranty. Versatile: Use the MIRA scale as you see fit! Portion control, cooking , baking or anything else. Easy-Access “Tap On/Tap Off” Touch Sensitive Buttons Slim shape saves valuable counter space Batteries included Range of tinted glass colors to match your decor.

Rating: ★★★★★

12 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Top Book Fairs & Festivals for Authors for 2015

Guest blog: By Scott Lorenz, Westwind Communications

book fairsBook festivals and fairs are a great way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, authors not only gain great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. One of my author clients was a member of a panel of authors at a Southern Book Festival. I issued a press release about it and added it to her accomplishments on her bio. Not only is she a respected author but she’s now an author admired by her peers. It’s these little things that all add up in the minds of reviewers and the media when they decide who they will write about. If you want to land a panel gig or speaking slot you must plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are usually arranged months in advance.

For more upcoming book events check out C-SPAN2 at:  http://www.BookTV.org and click on the Book Fairs tab.   For more information about book events and book marketing visit   http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2015:

  1. 2015 Dayton Book Expo, April 25, 2015, David H. Ponitz Conference Center, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio http://www.Daytonbookexpo.com
  1. South Carolina Book Festival takes place May 15-17, 2015. Held in the Colombia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC, more than 6,000 book lovers attend http://www.scbookfestival.org/
  1. BookExpo America, May 27-29, 2015, Javits Center, NYC, the ‘Big Daddy’ of all book events. It’s worth a trip just to see what the book business is all about. There are plenty of great seminars to attend, book signings and events. I highly recommend all authors attend. http://www.bookexpoamerica.com
  1. Millbrook Literary Festival, May 30, 2015. Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street presents dozens of thought provoking authors.  http://www.millbrookbookfestival.org/
  1. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 6 & 7, 2015, Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 125,000 book lovers. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/printersrowlitfest/
  1. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 25-30, 2015, San Francisco, CA. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. http://www.alaannual.org/ 
  1. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 28-July1, 2015, Orlando, FL http://www.christianretailshow.com/ Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.  http://www.marketingchristianbooks.com
  1. Harlem Book Festival, July 18, 2015 Harlem, NYC harlembookfair.com  Attended by over 30,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span 
  1. Decatur Book Festival, September 4-6, 2015, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 1000 authors and hundreds of thousands of people have attended this event in downtown Decatur. https://www.decaturbookfestival.com
  1. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin July 31, 2015 and finish August 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2014/rmbpf_2014_GeneralInfo.html
  1. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 14, 2015 and run through September 21, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/
  1. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 12, 2015. http://bookmarksnc.org/events/festival
  1. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood, South Dakota will be held September 24-27, 2015. http://www.sdbookfestival.com/
  1. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 25, 2015 and end September 27, 2015. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com/
  1. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 1, 2015 and end October 4, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org/
  1. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 9, 2015 through October 11, 2015. http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/about-southern-festival-books
  1. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 10-11, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com/
  1. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will run from October 15, 2015 through October 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://vegasvalleybookfestival.org/
  1. The Texas Book Festival will begin October 17, 2015 and end October 18, 2015 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org/
  1. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (39th Annual) will be held November 13, 2015 through November 15, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.bostonbookfair.com
  1. The Miami Book Fair International will kick off in Miami, Florida on November 15, 2015 and wrap up November 22, 2015. http://www.miamibookfair.com

The Bottom Line: Take a little working vacation and hit some book festivals. Make it a priority to visit a book festival in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

scottBook publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

07 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

T.S. Shure Numbers Wooden Magnets 20 Piece MagnaFun Set

magnetsOne of the keys to learning a skill is repetition. This is true whether you are learning to play violin, learning you multiplication tables, or just learning to count! But at least with learning music you get to try different songs. With your multiplication tables you can switch up the order. Learning to count? A lot of the practice comes from having a lot of things to count!

My husband is a teacher and he says these come in really handy because each number has it’s own thing to count. Have a child that can count but doesn’t know the look of the numbers? Have him find the right one, trace it with his finger, and write it on his own. Have children at different skill levels? Split the magnets between them and have them put their group in order.

The colorful images also help keep children’s focus on the magnet and away from other things going on in the room. The size is just big enough to be easy for children to hold, but small enough so the entire set fits in its easy to store and tote container.

These have been used for 30 minutes a day for the the last month and look like they haven’t been out of the box.

Overall: 4 stars. Awesome learning toy.

Get ready for hours of imaginative learning and discovery. This set comes jam-packed with 20 Number MagnaFun Magnets in a wooden carrying case with a sliding lid. Each wooden magnet is laminated with an original illustrated number. MagnaFun Wooden Magnetic Numbers are perfect for creative play on any magnetic surface at home and on the go!

Rating: ★★★★☆

05 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ouddy BBQ Grill Mat

bbqWe love to grill and my favorite way to eat fish is grilled. But we have issues. Either we wrap it in foil or try to do it on the grill itself and half of it falls through the grill slats and feeds the coals. It’s kind of annoying. I honestly never knew these existed until I was contacted and asked for an honest review (in exchange for free product). I was shocked at how well these things work. The fish cooked SO perfectly and the sauce stayed on it. We didn’t have sit there with the little basting brush and keep putting more on there.

The asparagus and brussel sprouts turned out absolutely perfect as well.

I’m not sure I’d use this for burgers, I’d miss the grill marks (I know, it’s a thing, maybe I’ve been in Texas too long!). But for things that you want the sauce to hold on to and things that are a little more delicate (like that delicious grilled salmon we made!), it’s absolutely perfect. This has opened up a whole idea of stuff we can grill this Summer.

☆About the product
– If you are not getting the most out of your BBQ grill because certain foods stick to the grates, fall through the cracks and burn due to flare-ups then the BBQ Shield Grill Mat is perfect for you too!
– Features: Stop food from falling through the cracks!
– Since they are non-stick you can cook with no grease which makes your meals more healthy.
– Will not retain or transfer tastes or odors between uses.
– Can be cut to fit your toaster oven, pans, cake and cookie tins for cooking, roasting, baking and frying.
– Versatile. Works with all types of grills, charcoal, electric or iron. Ideal for chicken, ribs, burgers, steaks, seafood, eggs, fish, vegetables and much more. Also great for use as a baking mat or oven liner!
– Great for indoor and outdoor use.☆ Include
2 sets: 15.75″ x 13″ for each one.☆ Note
– Wash the BBQ Gill Mat before your first use.
– Never heat the mat exceeding 500°F.
– Do NOT place the mat in direct contact with flames.
– Avoid using sharp utensils on the mat.
– Simply wash the mat in warm soapy water or the dishwasher (top rack only).
– Store the mat flat – Dishwasher safe or wipe clean.☆ About Ouddy
Thousands of happy customers enjoy our product because each package is inspected for quality and a product information card is inserted into each box. If You Are Not 100% Satisfied, Get Your Money Back! NOW is the time to act. Click on the yellow “Add to Cart” button in the top right hand corner of the page right now. Supplies are extremely limited so do not wait.

Rating: ★★★★☆