Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scion "Battle of the Builds" For US Military

Okay guys, check it out! I know I said I was gonna be quiet this week, but this is good, and a topic close to my heart. Scion has been doing a competition with the military to see who can create the coolest custom Scion xB for under $15K. So they're doing all this voting through tomorrow. I'm sorry about the late notice, but I just found out about it yesterday. So hey, go support these military members and go vote. :) I've got the poster below, as well as a link for the PR bulletin on it.

For more info, click here!

Vote Here!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another quick update

Okay everyone, I'm so sorry about this!! I had some family stuff come up, so I'm not going to get much done on the review blog this week. I will take my down time to knock out some reading, and get reviews set up and ready to go next week. I'm making sure that the majority of my content isn't memes, but actual reviews of products, places & services. If you have something you'd like to see reviewed, please comment or email me. I'm always looking for new things. I will have a set-up of what's reviewed each day of the week, just to make it easier to organize, and so you know what to to expect. Here's what's coming up. :)

Mondays: I'm participating in the It's Monday Meme and I'll be doing beauty product reviews under a "Make Me Beautiful Monday" feature.
Tuesday: Nail polish/nail product reviews under a "Tip Toe Tuesday" feature.
Wednesday: "Workin' Hard Wednesday" will be products that hopefully enable you to work smarter not harder...appliances, cleaning sprays, etc.
Thursday: "Wordy Thursday" will be books reviews.
"Foodie Friday" Groceries, restaurants, etc. If it deals with food, check it out here. (Did you know that the term foodie, contrary to popular opinion, doesn't necessarily refer to a "food snob" but rather someone who enjoys eating or cooking? The proper term for someone with more refined eating habits would be a gourmet or an epicure.)
Saturday: Saturday will be shopping adventures...who did I shop with recently? How was the experience? What was their customer service like? If it was an online experience, how quickly did they ship?
"Sunday Cinema": Movies! :) And who doesn't like movies???

Want the details? Let's see...I have Avon products, a really cool shade of nail polish, reviews of several Young Adult Books (and hopefully a Christian thriller), a shopping experience with Victoria's Secret. So stay tuned, there's some goodies coming your way. :)

In your court now..what would you like to see reviewed??

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update On this Blog

I'm reconfiguring how I'll be posting. I think I've almost got it figured out. I have a lot of vision for things I want to review, but I had no organization to it. I think I'm going to start reviewing certain things on certain days, so I know what I'm reviewing each day. I think it will streamline the process a little bit, and I should have that all figured out tomorrow or the next day at the latest. Any thoughts or advice on this? The floor is open for discussion.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What Are You Reading Monday? #1

Sheila @ BookJourney runs this fun meme. All you have to do is answer 2 easy questions...what did you read last week, and what will you be reading this week.

Last Week

This Week

Calico Captive, I'm reading for my YA Reading Challenge, plus my husband likes me reading to him, so I'm reading this to him while he's overseas.

The Eden Project was sent to me by the author for review, so I'll need to complete it shortly.

The Shack is a book I've been wanting to read for years, but never got around to it. Now it's time. :)

I Am Mordred, I'm reading for the YA Reading Challenge & the Library Reading Challenge. I love Arthurian legend, so I'm looking forward to it. And if I like, I'll be following it up with I Am Morgan LeFay.

Your turn!! Go visit Sheila and tell her what you'll be reading. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Finds #1

Well this is my first time participating  in {Should Be} Reading's Friday Finds, but I'm looking forward to more. The aim of the game is simple...post what books you've discovered in the last week, whether it be one you read and loved, or one you heard about and are stoked to read!

Let's see I've got.....
I saw this book mentioned in a sidebar, as something fans of Ted Dekker & Frank Peretti would appreciate. That sounded right up my alley, so I emailed the author and expressed my interest in reviewing his book, and I got a copy mailed to me! :) I <3 being a blogger!!!

Then I've also got...
I haven't read it in years, but I have a YA Reading Challenge, where I'm trying to read 75 YA for the year. So I'm revisiting old favorites.

Such as......
I always was a sucker for any kind of historical fiction, as the last pick also demonstrates. I love how they blend the fictional story of Johnny Tremain with real historical figure Paul Revere.

For a more grown-up read..
Everyone I knew was talking about this book when it came out, but I never got around to reading it. Now I'm getting around to reading it!!

Okay this last one is more obscure. In fact, there was no picture available on Amazon. But if you want to check it out, here's the link. It's called "The Improbable Adventures of Marvelous O'Hara Soapstone" and it's another YA from my youth. In fact the copy I used to read, I think was my Moms when she was a girl.

Okay now go put the link to your own Friday Finds in her comment section. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Devil's Arithmetic - Jane Yolen

When I began looking for books for the Jewish Literature Challenge, I thought immediately of Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic. It follows the story of a young Jewish girl named Hannah Stern. Hannah is tired of her Grandpa ranting about the Holocaust, and wishes she could spend Seder with her Gentile friends.

When her family asks her to symbolically open the door to invite the prophet Elijah in, she finds her self in the Poland of 1942. Everyone there thinks she's a young girl named Chaya, who survived the cholera that killed her family. She tries to explain to them that she's from a different time & place, but they think she's still feverish from her illness.

She slowly acclimates to her new surroundings, but during her uncle's wedding, the Nazis come to relocate the entire village to a concentration camp. Hannah tries to warn them of the dangers they face...starvation, gas chambers, hard work...but they don't believe her. After all, how would a young girl know of such things?

This book is a sobering look at just some of the realities of the Holocaust. It was the 1989 winner of the National Jewish Literature Award for children's literature. It's a very fast read, and its skillful writing pulls you into the story line immediately.

Apologies, Recap & Awesome Blogging Community

Hey everyone! I've been really sporadic about my posts on here, and the other 2 blogs. Have no fear, I'm not burning out already, and I haven't been ill. I'm visiting my family, and our church here has been doing a week-long marriage conference.

Now contrary to popular belief, you don't have to have an endangered marriage to attend a conference. And isn't it better to learn how to protect your marriage before there's an issue, rather than after? I took my first step in getting ahead of the game when I read Gary Chapman's 5 Love Languages. When this conference came up, I got excited! For starters, I love our pastor, but I thought it was awesome that a marriage conference was the week before my anniversary.

So to make up for the inconsistent posts, I'll be participating in a 30 Day post that's been making rounds amongst the military spouses. (Who will be credited on the 1st of those posts. :) )

Speaking of military spouses. I ran across an awesome blogging community at Household 6 Diva. She's got it broken down between military spouses, and military supportive. Check her out, she also has a great article on OPSEC & PERSEC.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kindle Giveaway - Check It Out

Okay check it out. If you love romance novels this will up your alley. If you want a Kindle, this will be up your alley. If you don't like either one, sign up anyway and send me the Kindle, lol. You can get all the info right here. Hint: Even if you don't like romance novels, don't worry...this is really easy to enter. You just have to answer a question, and they give you the answer. When you enter, tell Tina that SpitFire sent you. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010


Sorry guys,
I know this isn't friendly, but I figured better a quick ignorable post, than sticking some code at the end of a perfectly good post. Once my blog is accepted, I'll remove this post. :)


The Night Dance: A Retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses

I love fairy tales. I love retellings of fairy tales. And I love Arthurian legend. If you're anything like me, you will absolutely love The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn. It's a re-telling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale The 12 Dancing Princesses, interwoven with tales of the Lady of the Lake.

Years ago a woman vanished into the woods leaving a husband and 12 girls behind. Her husband built a large wall around their home, to prevent the girls from disappearing the same way. Since that time, the girls never entered the woods, until the day the youngest chipped a hole in the wall.

As she begins exploring the woods, the visions begin. Some are of a man she's never met, but feels strangely connected with. The others are of a woman who resembles stories of the mother she doesn't remember. Convinced that her mother is still living, she tells her sisters about the woods and the adventure truly begins.

The retelling is excellently done, and is set shortly after King Arthur is slain in battle. I found the concept brilliant, and as soon as I read the back cover I knew I had to read this. I borrowed this from my sisters personal collection, and read it for the YA Reading Challenge, Speculative Fiction Challenge, and 100+ Challenge.

The Truth-Tellers Tale by Sharon Shinn

“What would you say if I told you there was a time a Safe-Keeper told a secret, a Truth-Teller told a lie, and a Dream-Maker did everything in her power to make sure a wish went astray? Believe what I tell you, for I am a Truth-Teller, and every word I say is true.” Thus the Truth-Tellers Tale by Sharon Shinn begins.

Adele & Eleda are Innkeepers daughters, twins & opposite in nearly every way. Their appearances are mirror images of each other, as well as their names & their personalities. Eleda the Truth-Teller is often used to referee childrens games, or give opinions on outfits, for she can tell no lies. Adele the Safe-Keeper is given all the confidences and secrets of the village's inhabitants. When the 2 are mistaken for each other, it sets off a chain of events that will change their lives, and the lives of their friends.

A mysterious dance instructor and his young apprentice find their way to the Inn, and quickly charm their way into society. Their friend Roellyn's father is determined that she'll marry a prince, but she's fallen for the apprentice. Eleda can't shake the feeling that the instructor is not what he claims to be, but feels a strange attraction to him nonetheless. Adele has fallen for a boy she can't have, but seems maddeningly assured that all will work out though of course she can't say why.
Nearly all little girls love fairy tales. If you're like me, and you never grew out of it, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

Beauty by Robin McKinley, is not your average fairytale. You see, in average fairytales, you read them quite swiftly & there is little time to truly know the characters. You love Beauty, because she is the heroine. You eventually love Beast, because Beauty does.

In this retelling, that is how things work. You cannot breeze through the book, because it's so packed with detail that you have take time to enjoy it properly. Her descriptions are so well written, that you almost feel like you are seeing the dresses Beast sends to Beauty's sisters. You feel like you can see the fateful rose that leads to this odd arrangement. You feel like you can see the sorrow in Beasts eyes, each time Beauty says "no."

The general outline remains true to the original. Beauty's father becomes lost on a journey, finds his way to an enchanted castle, where he's waited on hand & foot. When morning comes & he sets out for home, he sees a rosebush and remembers a promise to bring back rose seeds for Beauty. Thinking that a single rose will have to do, he plucks it, incurring the wrath of Beast. Beast demands that he go home, but return in one month alone or with a daughter. The catch? The daughter must choose to come of her own accord.

The truly beautiful thing about this novel, is that you grow to love Beast as much as Beauty. The time is taken to let the reader understand him better. And as the novel progresses, despite knowing full well how it ends, you find yourself cheering on the relationship, and cringing each time it fails. When the end does come, and it is of course happily ever after, we are happy for all, but sad that the book has ended.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Bad Beginning

Until this morning, the only experience I had with A Series of Unfortunate Events was the movie with Jim Carey. My sister brought me Lemony Snicket's The Bad Beginning, and I'm delighted--a word which here means "absolutely will be reading the rest of the series"--to give this review.

After having read the book, I have a greater respect for Jim Carey's performance as the absolutely wretched Count Olaf. This book is not only a fun story, and a relatively quick read, but it's a great vocabulary enhancer. Words like "blanched", "perished", "nuptial" & "incurring" are not just sprinkled throughout the book, but the characters & narrator define them as well.

The story follows the adventures of the Baudelaire children, following the untimely demise of their parents. They are sent to their new legal guardian, the aforementioned Count Olaf. Count Olaf is a strange and despicable man, bent on getting their fortune by any means necessary. The children each have a special talent, that they put to good use in outsmarting the Count & his theater troupe.

As the narrator promises, the book does not have a happy ending; however it does leave you desiring to learn what will happen in later books.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Letters to Juliet - Movie

Today I went with Brooke to see Letters to Juliet & thoroughly enjoyed it. Amanda Seyfried plays Sophie Hall, a fact checker for The New Yorker who has always wanted to be a writer. Her and fiance Victor (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) go on a "pre-honeymoon" vacation in Italy. While Sophie is looking forward to exploring Verona, she's dismayed to find out that Victors plans are to attend wine auctions, and discover new wines & cheeses for the Italian restaurant he plans to open soon.

They decide upon a "win-win" scenario, where he continues his quest for new flavors, and she will explore Verona alone. She discovers "Casa di Giulietta" where Juliet Capulet is said to have lived. Inside the courtyard where the famous balcony is, she discovers a wall where women have left letters for years. As the evening draws to a close, she sees a woman removing the letters from the wall, and placing them in a basket. Curious, she follows the woman to a small restaurant where a group of women declare themselves to be Juliet's secretaries.

The next day, as she's helping collect letters from the wall, she accidentally dislodges a stone. She discovers a letter from an Englishwoman named Claire, written 50 years ago. Deciding that love has no expiration date, she decides to respond. Within a matter of days, her grandson Charlie arrives to inform her that she made a terrible decision, and his grandmother has come to Italy to relocate her long lost Lorenzo.

Upon discovering that there are 74 Lorenzo Bartolinis in the area, Claire enlists Sophie's skills as a fact checker, much to Charlies dismay. They work their way through a variety of wrong Lorenzo's, from the Speedo wearing Lothario, to the man who curses everything about his first love....including her mustache. Yes I said her mustache.

The movie may seem fairly predictable to those of us who have enjoyed many chick flicks, but the Italian scenery was well worth the price of admission. The actors all did terrific, and for ladies who love sexy accents Chris Egan & Gael Garcia Bernal don't disappoint. Vanessa Redgrave, still lovely at 73, gave a stunning performance as Claire, and Chris Egan played the handsome, sarcastic & secretly charming Charlie brilliantly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Twitter Book

Recently I read a Kindle sample on Amazon for The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly & Sarah Milstein. I wasn't sure if it would really delve beyond how to set up your account, and basic usage, but it went far beyond my expectations. The sample was extremely short, but it still caught my attention. All the sample contained, was an explanation of hashtags. That was all it took! I've had absolutely no idea why the pound sign drifts around Twitter so much. I wanted to know more!

So imagine my pleasant surprise when it came up for review on netGalley, and I got accepted to review it. I downloaded it last night and devoured it over the evening and this morning. I learned how I can use Twitter more effectively, how businesses can use Twitter, even how Shaq uses Twitter. I learned about a few programs that can help me keep an eye on trendy discussions, or even if I'm being discussed. And yes, I learned how use hashtags (and even used one this afternoon). If you're interested in social networking for personal, blog or business use, I highly recommend this book. If you just want to understand the Tweeting hype, I highly recommend this book. And if you want to know how those blasted hashtags come into play, I definitely recommend this book. :)

**I am not employed by netGalley. I was able to obtain the book as a free download, and have received no other compensation by them. I was not obligated to write a positive review, as I was under no obligation to write a review, period. If you have any other questions on how this process works, please see http://netgalley.com/about/faq/#faq2a

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Bride Collector

A woman has been discovered glued to a wall, bled out through drill holes in her heels. The veil on her head marks her as the 4th of the Bride Collector's victims. With this startling beginning, Ted Dekker throws us into headfirst into the action of his latest book, appropriately named The Bride Collector.

As FBI Agent Brad Raines sets out to track down the serial killer, a clue leads him to the talented residents of an asylum catering to the brilliant but crazy. There he meets a girl named Paradise, who took refuge there to struggle with her past.

As Brad & Paradise both face their inner demons, we discover that the line between sane & insane may be more blurred than most realize. As is typical with Ted Dekker, the book is fast-paced, the story is skillfully woven, and I didn't want to put it down until the very last word had been read. I immensely enjoyed my latest library pick, and can't wait to add it to my own personal collection.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Carolee @ Blogging 4 You

This is an awesome woman, who will do a 1 hour consultation of your website (for FREE!). When Carolee first explained her service, I honestly thought one of 2 things would happen. I thought she would either a. Not really be helpful, but give ideas that the most beginner of bloggers would already have accomplished, or b. Give me so many things wrong with my blog, that I would reconsider my latest hobby. Pleasantly, neither of those was true. She looked over my blog, and sent me a nice friendly message detailing what I could do to improve it. All of her ideas were simple, quick, and best of all...free! It boiled down to a simple rearranging of my blog, along with a few suggestions for content & networking purposes. 24 hours after taking her advice, I had gained 3 new followers. I think that speaks for itself.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Cricket In Times Square

While reading books for the Revisit Your Childhood Favorites Reading challenge I chose George Selden's "A Cricket In Times Square." In it we meet Chester the Cricket, who 3 days ago was safely enjoying a picnic lunch in Connecticut, but now finds himself in the strange & wonderful world of New York City. Discovered by Mario, the son of a newsstand owner, he soon befriends Tucker Mouse & Harry Cat. Feeling out of place at first, he soon discovers a hidden talent that brings notoriety to himself as well as Mario's family. Along the way he has several adventures, including a fire, a Chinese dinner, and eating money (quite by mistake!). This trip down memory lane was a quick read, and it's easy to see why this is a Newberry Honor book.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Divided In Death

Well, I attempted to read this for the mystery portion of my reading challenges. However attempt is as far as it got. I wanted to read this, I really did. Futuristic technology colliding full-on with crime solving, sounded right up my alley. However I ran into a hitch, that frustrated me on a personal level. I'm not one to throw a book out at the first sign of a curse word, but I've already run into 1 "female dog", 1 "fatherless child", 1 SOB, 2 references to male genitalia...all within the first 1.5 pages. Okay we get it...the character is P.O.'d, but really? My mental bleep button was exhausted in 35 seconds, and ready to turn to a different, cleaner book.

Monday, April 12, 2010

About Me :)

Welcome to My World.:)
For anyone who doesn't know me from my other blog I'm SpitFire. I'm married to Gunlover, who's currently doing a tour overseas. We have 2 daughters: Jewel who is 5 years old, and Bunny who was born on Easter of this year.

Anyone who does know me, knows that I pretty much have an opinion about everything! I decided to give my opinions a voice...well at least I can pretend they have a voice. Who knows, I may just find someone who agrees with me. :)

Here are the rules of my blog. It's my blog...end of story. If you disagree with one of my opinions, feel free to say so, but don't expect it to shake my world. And if you're rude, condescending or obscene, expect that your comment will be deleted, and promptly forgotten. Since it is my blog, if I review something after a partial examination (for example a book I found too obscene to complete), that's my right. If you think that's not fair...find a new blog. Or write your own review. :P

The exception to my own rule will of course be any product I'm give to review. If a company has requested that I review something, I will utilize it to it's fullest effect, so that they may receive a proper review. However, should this be an item I chose myself, then I will review it as I please. :)

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