Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Monuments Men

When offered the chance to see the pre-screening of The Monuments Men, I jumped on it. Not only do I absolutely love WWII era movies, but the fact that it is a true story caught my interest, and I am a huge fan of some of the main actors. Putting Matt Damon, George Clooney, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and the talented Cate Blanchett in the same movie is a recipe for a fantastic film.

The overall movie was good.Great acting, good dialogue, with enough wit to keep you chuckling yet still touching your emotions with the somber tale of war.
The only problem I had with the film was the overall idea that was repeatedly pushed -- saving art is worth the life of a human. I understand the sentiment, but I disagree. The only thing worth sacrificing a human life for is another human life. That is all. No piece of art is worth a child's father, a wife's husband, a brother's brother, and mother's son.
Content:

Aside from that, I enjoyed the movie. A favorite aspect of mine was how clean the movie was. With only the S-word said several times, "Hell" scarcely used, and one man's thought "Screw the Germans", the language was very clean for a war-themed movie.
As far as sexuality, it was also very clean. Though several slightly suggestive remarks are made by a woman about "Anything can happen at night in Paris" and telling a man he could stay the night if he wanted, cheers erupted within me when the man walked out shortly after her saying that without so much as a kiss. While it was evident to adults in the film, I imagine her slightly suggestive remarks would fly over children's heads.




Violence was fairly low for a war movie. I was happy to see little blood and gore, with only one scene having it in abundance, and even then it was nothing compared to most war movies. Simply a hospital room of injured soldiers. Lots of blood but nothing graphic.




Overall, it was an enjoyable movie that I found entertaining and at the same time educational on ancient art. It is the perfect educational film for families interested in art and WWII. But while enjoyable, I wouldn't rush to the theater and pay to see it again, and recommend waiting until this one is on DVD before watching.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara and Baby Lips Lib Balm

I was excited to receive a package in the mail full of mascara and lib balm from Maybelline to try and then share my experience with my readers. I'll be brief, but I couldn't help but share these products, as I found them to be wonderful.
First off, the mascara.
I can honestly say that both my mother and I found this to be our favorite mascara and if we ever were to buy mascara, we would look for Great Lash. It is an awesome product that is easy to apply, lasts the day, and volumizes your lashes. I highly recommend this product to everyone who wears mascara -- I absoltuely loved it.

As for the Baby Lips, I also really liked this product. It instantly softens chapped lips and over the weeks will give your lips a perfect, smooth surface. Of the colored variety, I found myself to like the Peach, but really dislike the Pink Punch's hue. I use the Peach often, but the Pink Punch clumped in a bright pink that I didn't like, and didn't spread the color very well. But overall, I liked this product and will definitely be using it.

To conclude, I recommend both of these products to makeup-wearers. You will not be disappointed with Maybelline's new products.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gladiator Costume

Having six younger brothers, I've seen my fair share of costumes and gettups. I've beheld Julian Smith, Batman, Indiana Jones, Pilot, Link, Superman, Obi Wan, "Mr. Muscles", and more -- most of them being made out of random objects around the house, and usually involving a broomstick, a blanket in place of a cape, or/and a belt(I seriously don't think my brothers know what a belt is really for :P). Since we don't celebrate Halloween, we have few costumes. But the costumes we do have -- Batman and Pilot -- are almost always in constant use, which is why many of my brothers were excited to add another costume to their small collection.



The Review:
My Ranking: 8 out of 10
Ages: 7-9


From Costume Discounters' Greek selection comes a fun and cute costume that several of my brothers were escatitc to receive -- The Gladiator costume!
Above I have my 10 year old brother, Gabe, in the costume. While he won't be one of the boys who where it for fun, I thought it would be wise to have pictures of him in it because it's size, Medium, is designed for ages 8-10.
I wouldn't say that this costume had a higher quality than the normal costume, but it was nice and looked really neat. The outer "leather" I worry will rip easily because of how thin it is, but after putting it on and taking it off of three kids it was still intact and had no signs of wear. 
Gabe - 10
One think that was bothersome was the arm bands which were entirely too large for even my ten year old brother. Both of the sets were too big and the ones for the wrists were falling off on each age.
Matthew - 8
The (foam-like)leg guards were also a bit big but fit well enough to where I could make them stay on -- especially on Gabe(10).
Gabe(10)

The under tunic, "armor", and cape were all cute and fit each of the ages I tried it on - 6, 8, and 10 -- but best fit Matthew(8).  The length was much too short for averagely sized Gabe(10) but fit quite well on the younger two.
Matthew(8)
All in all, I know for sure that this costume will be used until it falls apart. And then they'll use whatever is salvageable for their next made up costume. While at the price of $28.99, I, personally, would not spend the money for it, it does make for an adorable costume that just about any boy out there would love. Perfect for halloween or just plain fun, this costume is bound to please children across the country. Also, Costume Discounter will match the price of any costume they have that you found cheaper elsewhere online. So if you are looking for a costume this season, make sure to check out this site!
I received this free product in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Author Interview -- Deanna Nowadnick

Hey guys, long time, no post. But today I bring you an interview with author Deanna Nowadick and her inspiring book Fruit of my Spirit. It was a short yet meaningful book that is sure to be an inspiration to any of it's readers.
 Enjoy!


Hey Deanna! Thanks for joining us.
To start off, when did you first discover writing as one of your passions?

Great first question! I graduated from college with a major in English, but never really enjoyed writing. I think it had more to do with being told what to write, rather than the writing itself. Working on my first book, I finally admitted my love for writing. I recognized the gift I’d been given and the wonderful opportunity God was giving me to share my stories.


That's cool. Why do you write the type of books that you do?
Both my featured book(Fruit of my Spirit) and second book are memoirs of short stories. I am privileged to share messages of hope and inspiration. I have been blessed as a child of God, someone who has known great joy and the frustration of life’s challenges, major and minor. The books are a joyful celebration of mercy and grace.

What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?
More a challenge than an obstacle was my awareness that my books are about God and His love and faithfulness, not Deanna and her mastery over the elements. It’s easy to think that life is all about me, but we all know differently. Trusting God to give me the stories and the words is a walk of faith, especially for someone who prides herself on her ability to micromanage any- and everything!

It's difficult for each of us to remember who is truly in charge in our lives sometimes.
Has writing changed your life in any way?
Ten years ago (or two years ago, for that matter), if you had told me I would one day be responding to an Author Interview, I would have rolled my eyes and then laughed you out of the room. May I just affirm the saying, “God’s not finished with me yet.” He never is, is he?

Nope, He sure isn't!
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I have been most inspired by others who have said, “I have a story to tell, too.” I’ve had both older and younger readers come to me with their own stories. If my antics can encourage others to write, I will be both humbled and delighted.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?
Psalm 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Notice I use the King James Version. I love the beauty of the words and their message. Oh, to have a heart like David! Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular? There are many books that have been truly spectacular for different reasons. Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird gave me the courage to write and to keep writing. Jane Austen warms my heart. Beth Moore feeds my soul and nurtures my faith. Steig Larsson wow’s me. And honorable mention has to go to Carolyn Keene who gave a young girl her first real love of reading. In third grade I really just wanted to grow up and be Nancy Drew.

What a great choice! 
Please tell us about the featured book.
Fruit of My Spirit is part Bible study, part memoir, part confessional. What started as one story for my sons about how I met their father quickly became a much larger story about God’s love and faithfulness. As you’ll read, God has encircled me during joyous, sad, cringe-worthy, heartwarming, forgettable, memorable moments in life. The book is for anyone who’s ever questioned God’s ability to love and forgive, who’s ever wondered about their place in God’s family or God’s place in theirs.

Sounds great! Can you please give us the first page?
I’m a mess. The highlights in my hair hide a pre-gray drab. One hip and one knee have been replaced and another knee should be. I’m overweight and under the illusion that I’m going to wake up one morning to a younger, skinnier self. On good days I whine and complain. On bad days I whine and complain more. I’m impatient whenever life has the audacity to thwart my plans. I get frustrated whenever life presents a detour or a hurdle. At one point I planned to live to 125. When I remembered that the Bible says Moses only lived to 120, I decided on 119. I can’t imagine God needing me around longer than Moses! Life has its challenges. Life is a challenge. I know my existence is about more than this body. I know it’s not about gray hair, failing body parts and excess pounds. I know the important stuff’s on the inside, but honestly, I’m not so sure that the inside stuff’s any prettier. Perhaps I’ve been expecting God to act as my own fairy godmother, ready to pop into the scene any moment now. With a twinkle in His eye and a wand in His hand, I’ve been waiting to be tapped ever so gently on the forehead and magically transformed into a loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled delight in His life, adorned in a nice white ensemble, cute shoes, and fresh nail polish. In thinking that, I’ve not only trivialized God’s love and forgiveness, but I’ve missed the magnitude of His mercy that’s been shared with me over and over again. I’ve overlooked the fruit of His Holy Spirit that’s already a part of my own spirit in all that I do and all that I am. So now what? Filled with His Holy Spirit, do I step back from life as I’ve known it? Do I need to tiptoe around the messiness of each day, avoiding the dirt and grime of my daily existence? If not wearing a white ensemble, something off-white? With His fruit, will I have this new aura about me that parts the seas and calms the storm within?

Where can readers learn more information about you?
I love connecting with readers!
• Website: www.deannanowadnick.com
• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FruitofMySpirit 
• Twitter: @deannanowadnick 

Thanks Deanna!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hanover Falls series by Deborah Raney

Author Deborah Raney:




Deborah Raney's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have since won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. After All, the newest book in her Hanover Falls Novels series releases in May from Howard/Simon & Schuster. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They have four children and four grandchildren, all of whom live much too far away.

Learn more about the author here!
About Almost Forever:

Unearthing a lost memory may cause her to lose everything she holds dear… but could it also set her free? Bryn Hennesey, a volunteer at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter, was there the night the shelter burned to the ground and five heroic firefighters died at the scene. Among them was her husband, Adam. Like the rest of the surviving spouses, Bryn must find a way to begin again. But Bryn must do so living with a horrible secret...
 Garrett Edmonds’s wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. As her husband, it was his job to protect the woman he loved.… How can he go on in the face of such unbearable loss and guilt?

And what started the fire that destroyed the dreams and futures of so many? Investigators are stumped. But someone knows the answer….




Not only are these books name ingeniously clever, but the stories within are equally unique and attention grabbing. I've always thought that firefighters must have the most interesting of lives, and I enjoyed getting to dive into the lives of these characters. These books reminded me of Dee Henderson's O'Malley series, so if you enjoyed those you are likely to find these entertaining as well!

Purchase the first book HERE for only $6!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Melanie Dobson's "Mackinac Island' Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Melanie Dobson brings out the best of overlooked Mackinac Island, Michigan in this charming tale about an adventurous woman trapped within the expectations of her family and a man who's in the same situation, both longing to escape the pressures of society and be themselves. This book was a good, easy read for the historical romance readers out there. Other Love Finds You lovers will be sure to enjoy this book!

Celebrate with Melanie by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!



One grand prize winner will receive:</ span>

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Signed copies of Melanie’s Love Find You books: Love Finds you in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa, Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana.
But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/4/12. The winner will be announced on 8/6/12 at Melanie's blog!

Just click one of the icons below to enter! Tell your friends about Melanie's giveaway on FACEBOOK; or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Litfuse Blog Tour -- Creston Mapes


About the author

A proud native of northeast Ohio, Creston has been writing professionally for almost 30 years.

He earned his degree in Magazine Journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1983. 

After working as a reporter and photographer for newspapers in Florida and Ohio, Creston became a corporate copywriter, then a creative director, before starting his own freelance writing business 20 years ago.

Since then, he has written marketing and magazine copy for fine organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, The Weather Channel, ABC-TV, Oracle Corporation, TNT Sports, BellSouth, Focus on the Family, Hockey News, and Random House.

Creston has edited and ghost-written a growing list of non-fiction books, and has penned three contemporary suspense novels for Waterbrook-Multnomah, a divison of Random House. All three of Creston's novels are available in e-Book format and have been printed in Dutch. He has finished a fourth novel and is working on a fifth. Visit www.crestonmapes.com for more.


Dark Star

Can Fame, Wealth, and Power Buy Happiness? 

Everett Lester and his band, DeathStroke, ride the crest of a wave to superstardom. But the deeper they become immersed in fame, wealth, and power, the more likely they are to be swallowed alive by the drugs, alcohol, and discontentment that have become their only friends. Everett is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return when he's charged with the murder of his personal psychic. The only hope he can cling to comes from Topeka, Kansas , and the letters written by a prayerful young lady who lives there. Consistent and persistent, the notes cut straight to Everett 's empty heart, offering a fulfillment he's never grasped before. But what if he's found guilty of murder? Will he recognize the spiritual battle that's raging for his soul? 

Endora Crystal was my rock... 

As I staggered through the chaos of rock 'n' roll fame-the drugs and alcohol, the selfishness and turmoil-Endora was the gentle voice in my ear telling me I was special. Telling me I was adored. She was my personal psychic, and she said I had a unique purpose, a calling to give my fans happiness. To be their god. 

My band, DeathStroke, dominated the world of rock. Yet strife ruled our inner circle. My family didn't know me. I loved no one but myself. 

And yet Karen Bayliss was praying for me, that I would come to know the love of God and the lordship of Jesus Christ. She was not a fan. Didn't care for my music. Karen just wanted me to know peace. 

Now Endora is dead, and I've been charged with first-degree murder. 

Everett Lester is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return. Will he recognize the spiritual battle that's raging for his soul?
Buy the book: http://ow.ly/bzhHu 

Full Tilt



I ONCE SOWED DESTRUCTION.
Now those I love are reaping pain.
The media hype is fading and my life is no longer that of a glamorous celebrity. I'm Everett Lester, former lead singer of DeathStroke, acquitted last year of first-degree murder, now married, a Christian, and ready to take my story to the masses through music. Problem is, the turmoil of my past didn't end when the reporters left.
My wife Karen and I have received news that has rocked our world. My brother Eddie's gambling is so far out of control that the mob practically owns him. And Eddie's son, Wesley--who blames me for his brother's death--is mixed up with meth, a psychotic named Tony Badino, and a satanic voice that's urging him to take me out.
Will my Living Water tour ever hit the road? Will former fans stop hissing long enough to hear about the transforming power of Christ's love? Satan once used me for evil--only through God's power can I be used for good. The question is: will my loved ones and I be able to survive the aftermath of a rock star's life?
Everett Lester faces enemies both human and supernatural. Satan won't give up his hold on Everett, his family, or his fans without a vicious fight. God's victory is certain in the supernatural realm, but will Everett survive the earthly battle that's threatening to obliterate him?
Nobody
American Christian Fiction Writers: "Book of the Month"
They said, "He's a nobody."
They were dead wrong.
When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.
His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation--and perhaps a chunk of the money--into his own hands?
With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious man in the black Converse high-tops, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.
Buy the book: http://ow.ly/bzhU1 


My Review: 
My Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

I never actually finished any of these books. It wasn't that they were bad or anything, it was just not my type of book. I had a hard time getting into them to begin with, and found myself getting bored after just a chapter or two. Character development hardly existed and after being a little ways into the first book, I still didn't feel like I knew the main character at all. But this was just something that I personally would find annoying, as a lot of what I base my interest in a book on is the character's personalities and lives.
I think a lot of people would love these books a whole lot -- I even think my brothers would enjoy them, but for me they just didn't make the cut. 

But, if you like curious, sometimes suspenseful, modern books than these are right for you!

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