Thursday, February 28, 2013

Launch Day: Stepping Into More by Rachel Karu

Today is the official book launch day for Stepping Into More by Rachel Karu! To celebrate the launch, the author is organizing a giveaway with awesome prizes!

Rachel is the founder and owner of RAE Development, a professional and personal development firm committed to helping organizations and individuals achieve success, productivity and fulfillment.

Described by her clients as “a gifted coach and facilitator who is both intuitive and pragmatic,” Rachel brings more than 19 years of Human Resources, training, coaching and speaking support to her clients. Rachel’s clients include Raytheon, Mattel, US Navy, Nestle, Braille Institute, Disney/ABC, and more. She holds an MS in Counseling for Business and is a Certified Coach.

In addition to writing, Rachel is also a soulful singer who enthralls her audiences with songs that evoke Adele, Carole King and Barbara Streisand. Rachel motivates others to maximize their strengths, work through perfectionism, be proactive, and take charge of their lives and careers, in order to live an integrated, fulfilled life. Incorporating singing and music into her programs allows Rachel to creatively deliver these foundational messages in a meaningful way. Rachel is happily married and the proud mother of two amazing children. She enjoys singing, dancing, traveling and spending quality time with her family.

Connect with Rachel: Facebook * Twitter * Linked In * You Tube

Excerpt from Stepping Into More – Lessons from a Recovering Perfectionist

The title of this memoir and guide – Stepping into More, is all about the process of grappling with our various aspects and learning how to make clear choices. Throughout the story you will hear me refer to three aspects of myself “The Three Ps”: the Perfectionist Gremlin, the Performer, and the Professional. Let me expand on these concepts.

Gremlin - is a term that describes the inner voices that hates change and demands the status quo. They are the old tapes we continually play in our heads that attempt to keep us safe or make us small; the truth is that they often keep us from moving forward and getting what we want out of life. One of my strongest Gremlins is my slave driver the Perfectionist. She tells me that I am not enough and provides me with unrealistic expectations I can never achieve.

Professional – is my definition for my personas. Personas are a way for us to shield ourselves. My Professional person is usually polite and diplomatic – sometimes to a fault. When I am in this mode I often hold back my truth. I choose to say what I think will be accepted so that I can “fit in.” When I am wearing this mask, I am trying to fit into someone else’s image of who I “should” be.

Performer – is when I am authentically connected to myself and others. When I am in this wonderful zone, I am loving and accepting myself by following my intuition and instincts. I am leading from my heart versus my head and I am truing that I know what to do in any given moment. I am giving myself the space and freedom to be vulnerable and truly “be.”

I can alternate between these different profiles during a single conversation, and can feel all “three P’s” coming into play when I perform. While preparing for a performance, I experience a conflict between the Performer and the Perfectionist Gremlin My Performer wants to create music from the heart and to trust my instincts about remembering the lyrics and connecting with the audience. My Perfectionist imagines an empty house, worries about presenting a package that will please everyone, is sure I won’t remember the lyrics and doubts my talent.

Just before going onstage, I can feel myself struggling with the fear that I won’t be able to let go and hear my Performer voice, the one that will serve me best throughout the show.

As an adult on stage, I tend to vacillate between all three. I am certainly the Professional as I am speaking to the audience and sharing my “patter” in between songs. I am energetic, polite and polished. I script out what I will say and pretty much stick to what I have planned. I know when my Performer has shown up because that’s when I will improvise or suddenly make a funny remark. I am in tune with what is going on in the moment and I follow my intuition and speak freely. My Performer is also at play when I acknowledge and make light of any mistakes that have occurred during the show. I am in my ultimate Performer zone when I am singing and allowing myself to feel the music. I am breathing deeply and feeling a warm sensation over my heart and in my hands; my body is moving freely and I am at ease. Those are the moments I cherish.

And then suddenly, in the middle of a song, my Perfectionist rears up and whispers that I won’t remember the next lyric or judges the way I have delivered a note. It’s a constant battle.

When I allow my Performer to lead, I am most grounded and can enjoy life. However, my Perfectionist does serve me by keeping me on top of all the details my life requires. And, I must acknowledge my Professional as the one who is best at keeping it together in difficult situations, and at making a nice presentation.

The key to Stepping into More is to give each aspect of ourselves a voice so that we can make a conscious choice in any given situation (a constant juggling act). The goal is to recognize that our Gremlins (sorry to tell you that nearly everyone has several) are merely aspects of who we are. We need to be aware of their existence in order to stop the “knee-jerk reaction” that allows them take the driver’s seat in our lives.

My challenge is to catch myself in the moment, make a deliberate choice about which aspect will serve me best, and then to forgive myself when any one of them goes overboard. These may not be easy tasks but they are all part of my journey as a Recovering Perfectionist.

Grab a copy of the eBook for free* (February 27 - March 1)
or Buy the Paperback

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* Always check eBook pricing at Amazon before purchase

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

5 Reasons I Love Women Bloggers #pursepact


Visit Project Purse Club

This blog post is going to be a bit different today. I'm not talking about books or authors but about blogging. Women in blogging to be exact. Over at Project Purse Club, we talk a lot about supporting each other in blogging, business, motherhood, and life in general. We share our successes and challenges, ask questions and answer them, and hold each other up in the good and the bad. It is a wonderful community to be a part of and I would love for you to join us. (Oh, I almost forgot to mention - there is a purse giveaway every month!)

+Jacqueline Wilson gave us a challenge this week to write about why we love women bloggers. I know there are many more reasons than I have come up with here and I'm sure as I read other posts on the topic I'll have lots of "Oh I should have included that!" moments but here is what I came up with on the fly.

5 Reasons I Love Women Bloggers

1.  Women talk about life, the universe, and everything (to steal a Douglas Adams title). This leads to a huge variety in blogging topics. Women blog about family, health, business, entertainment, social media, blogging, art, cooking, homeschooling, crafts, finances, faith, science... You name the subject and there is probably a woman out there who is blogging about it.

2. Women offer so many opportunities to learn from them. The wide variety of blogging topics leads to the sharing of a great deal of knowledge. I know that if I am looking for the answer to a question or a "how to" do something, I can most likely find it on a blog. I'm always discovering new things on the blogs I read regularly and through interaction with women bloggers in various groups that I'm a part of.

3. Women share their experiences in a way that I can relate to. We all have such different life experiences but by sharing a bit of ourselves we can connect to others that may have similar stories. The Internet has really opened up the world in this way. No longer do we have to search in our little corner of the world for that one person who might be going through the same thing that we are. The entire world is open to us and I think women have really embraced that concept by putting themselves out there so others can relate to their stories.

4. Women are passionate. Women use their blogs to support the causes they believe in. They advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Women share their knowledge and their stories because they believe that they can reach out and help someone. When women channel this passion into positive pursuits, I truly believe that we can change the world.

5. All of the above points can lead to friendships among women bloggers. There are women who I met first through their blogs and who I have never met in person that I consider strong friends. 

What are your favorite things about women bloggers? How can you use your blog to support and encourage women to pursue their dreams?

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Stepping Into More by Rachel Karu

The Kindle version of Stepping Into More by Rachel Karu is Free* on Amazon from today, February 27, through March 1.

Life is meant to be lived with purpose.

Before Rachel Karu could speak, she longed to be a singer and performer. But like all of us, Rachel was born with Gremlins – inner voices that hate change and demand the status quo. These perpetual tapes clung to her mind like shackles threatening to derail her at every turning point. At the lead of Rachel's gang of Gremlins was the toughest of them all: Perfectionism.

In STEPPING INTO MORE: Lessons from a Recovering Perfectionist, Rachel details her personal journey of wrangling and ultimately co-existing with her Gremlins. We are born with strengths and development areas. Our goal is to create a fulfilling life. But we all need some guidance along the way.

Intended as a tool, this guide offers support as you grapple with your own Gremlins and higher self, so that you learn how to make clear, conscious choices that lead to a wonderful expansive life. Rachel’s story and the reflective questions at the end of each chapter are designed to serve as a stepping stone for you to reconnect to and honor your passions, values, and dreams.

Advance Praise

"Rachel writes this books as only a recovering perfectionist can! In an unabashed, tell-it-like-it-is style she draws you into her story and reveals the peaks and valleys of her journey. Through colorful narrative, she brings her story alive and, in so doing, helps you ponder yours. Only read this book if you're not afraid to have your dreams come true!"~ Sharon Jordan-Evans, executive coach & keynote speaker, co-author, Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay and Love It, Don't Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work.

“With candor and humor Karu shares the fears and insecurities experienced by so many women and instills hope that you really can step into more.” ~ Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

“Rachel’s book is a fantastic read for anyone who is struggling from being a perfectionist. As a business coach I often see this personality type and people struggle to satisfy themselves and the lives of others around them. Rachel has brilliantly shared her life long story on how to recover with amazing self improvement questions at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend this book because let’s be honest, nobody is perfect!” ~ Tammy Burnell Business Coach

Grab a free copy of the eBook or Buy the Paperback

* Always double check pricing on eBooks before purchase.

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Seeing Spirits: Souls of Darkness by Eleanor T Beaty


This is the final week for the Discover Your Destiny Tour featuring the books of Eleanor T Beaty. Today she shares her thoughts on spiritualism and seeing spirits. Be sure to keep reading to find out more about the book Souls of Darkness and to enter two giveaways including one for a Kindle Paperwhite.

Seeing Spirits – A Gift?
by Eleanor T Beaty

There will always be the question or doubt whether being able to see, communicate and interact with spirits is a gift. When I began to study spiritualism (and I am still a beginner no matter how much I study) I came across the explanation that we choose to have or not have this gift before we are born and we choose how much it will impact our lives and destiny. For some reason you asked for it, and I’m not meaning this in a bad way, because God is not so unkind to throw such a burden on someone without previous preparation or permission. That is what I learned. I’m sure there will be people who don’t agree and they have a right to their opinion. Truth is we all have the ability to be mediums if we want to develop it through practice and study, but it won’t be as strong as those who come with the gift from birth.

So back to the – you were given a choice- POV. Why would one choose such a gift? One of the reasons would be to help both the living and the dead. For those that don’t believe in past lives this might not make sense, but accepting such a burden is a way of repaying a past debt. There are many different reasons why, but the most common is that, at another time, you may have hurt people through your actions. So think of this not as a burden but as an opportunity to give back and grow, move forward and settle past debts. It is not an easy gift to deal with, as not all spirits that cross your path are easy on the eyes, or good, but there are plenty of tools at hand to teach you how to handle this gift and dominate it so that it doesn’t dominate your life.

I know plenty of people that think that if they ignore it, it will go away. Denial doesn’t work. I have someone close to me who will turn on all the light in the house when alone and sleep with the TV on loud, just so he can’t hear those invisible friends. One day he’ll give in and probably find an amazing fulfillment with helping people, from both sides.

I don’t have that type of gift. I don’t see, nor do I hear. I always wished I’d had it, but I guess that wasn’t part of my life-plan. However, I have always been around people who have, so I’ve seen close up what it’s like to live with such a gift and use it to help others. The person I learned the most from was an assistant I had a long time ago. Her gift began in her early childhood, and as expected, the first time she told her mother, right after her grandfather died, that he had come to say goodbye, she was dragged off to the psychiatrist. A few years later her mother came to understand and accept her gift and gave her full support.

My assistant was what is called an unconscious medium, meaning when she’s incorporated by a spirit she will have no recollection, nor control. During her first years, her gift took over her life and it was hell. She received visitors at all times. She would wake up in the strangest places. Through studies she managed to stop that; she learned to sense their approach and block the spirits from taking over. She came to dominate her gift. Sometimes, while we were in a meeting, she would start looking behind me and I would know there was someone there. It could get weird. She did pay a price for such a gift in her personal life, as in she didn’t have much of one, but she helped so many people her sacrifice was rewarded. She never used it to make money, but what if one does? Is it allowed?

In my opinion, the true spiritualist will never charge because they are only the transmitter and those who are actually doing the work, the spirits, are doing it out of kindness and they don’t get paid. However, there are exceptions, and making a humble living when sacrificing your life to help others is allowed. But if you try to use it to exploit people in their hour of need, or to glorify yourself, there will be a price to pay. I saw an amazing tarot reader go from getting everything right to everything wrong when she began to think she could charge a fortune for a service provided by others. She made the mistake of thinking she was the one who could see the future all on her own. Besides losing her high paying clients, she went through a tough time in her personal life.

Seeing and communicating with spirits is a gift and an opportunity to grow. This gift comes accompanied by friends to guide us, our mentors. Our character and our intentions will determine what kind of friends and mentors will surround us. And just like the gift is given, it can be taken away if misused, or it can even hurt us the same way we used it to hurt others.

About the Book:

Alex's life is turned upside down after his father's sudden death. An old pamphlet found in his father's belongings leads Alex and his mother, Charlotte, to a remote Polynesian island. His mother longs for a place untouched by past memories, and Alex hopes the trip will help her to heal. Their arrival on the island elicits an eerie episode of déjà vu for Alex, and he begins to wonder about the pamphlet and his father's past. Why did he have it? Had he been there before? Alex senses something is off with the island. Progress is unwelcome by the inhabitants. A local girl reveals the history of the island and its dark spirits. She warns him to never be caught outside after dark, but Alex finds it all hard to believe... Until inexplicable and terrifying events begin to unfold. While digging for information, Alex finds his presence on the haunted island is not by chance. Rangur, the most evil of souls, aims to use him to acquire great power. There's only one way Alex can stop him and for that he must uncover his father's past connection to the island.

Buy at Amazon: eBook or Paperback

About the Author:

Eleanor T. Beaty is a Young Adult Paranormal author. A worldly person born in beautiful Brazil and spent much of her childhood in several places (Argentina, Switzerland, and the US to name a few). She holds a BA in English Literature and is published in both Brazil and Turkey.

Eleanor loves spirituality and magic - both have allowed her to gain a strong grip on life and enjoy what it has to offer. She believes that everything has a reason and understanding those reasons help us deal with the difficult moments. Eleanor currently enjoys life with her husband in Brazil.


The Giveaways
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Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Four Paws - Quillective 2013 - Poetry for A Cause

 

Four Paws - Quillective Project 2013

The Quillective Project's mission is to turn the power of the written word into an instrument of compassion, hope, and generosity by putting that power directly in the hands of organizations that share our principles.
The 2013 Quillective Project is Four Paws, a poetry anthology featuring bestselling authors Scott Morgan, Ben Ditmars, Amber Jerome~Norrgard and Robert Zimmermann, with a "fourward" by Russell Blake.
100% of all proceeds from the sale of Four Paws will benefit The Dallas Humane Society's no-kill shelter, Dog & Kitty City. Your purchase of this book makes a difference.
The project collection goes live on February 24th, 2013 on Amazon.com. For buying information check on The Quillective Project website.


The Quillective Project began as an idea as a poetry collaboration between myself and Robert Zimmermann, and not long after, it expanded to include Ben Ditmar, Scott Morgan and Kriss Morton. Originally slated to be released around Christmas, that idea was changed when Ben suggested having all the proceeds go to benefit a charity. And an idea was born. Why not make 100% of the proceeds benefit a worthy cause, not just for this one book, but for future collaborations between Amber and other authors? Why not start something that has nothing to do with anyone in particular but using the combined voices of many and the power of the written word the Quillective Project can benefit those who are not as fortunate.

Even if someone sees this poetry book and doesn’t buy it, if it inspires them to go out and make a positive change in the world, no matter how small, that alone is priceless. And this isn’t just a one time benefit. As long as the organizations that are chosen as beneficiaries for The Quillective Project’s yearly collaborations are in existence, they will benefit. Every time a book is purchased, whether one week, one year, ten years, one hundred years from now? It's still going to benefit each organization.

Please support the project and make a difference in the lives of the animals of Dog and Kitty City.

100% of all proceeds will benefit www.dognkittycity.or

 

MORE WAYS TO HELP: The Ellen Degeneres show highlights Acts of Kindness and paying it forward. Please go to: http://www.ellentv.com/be-on-the-show/682 and tell them about The Quillective Project’s 2013 Anthology, Four Paws. Include the links www.dognkittycity.org and www.quillectiveproject.org.

For more information, please visit the following sites. If you are interested in helping out, signup for more information HERE:

Humane Society of Dallas County - Dog & Kitty City Shelter The Quillective Project - Four Paws 2013

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Quillective Project | Four Paws - The Book | Dog & Kitty City

 

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Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Andrea, the character vs. the inspiration by Eleanor T Beaty (Fallen Ruler)



Today Eleanor T Beaty is talking about the creation of a character. Be sure to continue reading for more about Fallen Ruler and to enter two fantastic giveaways.

Andrea, the character vs. the inspiration.
By Eleanor T Beaty

I based Andrea, Lya’s older sister, on a childhood friend. I did exaggerate a bit of her meanness but not too much. Her role, as a secondary character, was meant to contrast Lya’s kindness. I intended Andrea to be extremely dislikable, but many readers have reacted warmly towards her. Concerned even. An unexpected reaction, but a welcome one. This childhood friend of mine was a year older than me, and I was fascinated by her. For the sake of this blog, I will call her Mary.

Mary was my alter ego. I was shy, she wasn’t. I never lied, she always did and so on… that should be enough to get an idea of how opposite we were. Even physically. I was tall and thin, she was short and curvy. What we did have in common was; complicated parents of foreign origin, the same school and the tendency to get into trouble. We were drawn to each and did practically everything together through our early teens.

However, we did have a few falling-outs. I was somewhat short tempered and Mary was a provoker. Once, when we were at summer school together, we fought and went from best friends to worst enemies. I had a roommate I didn’t like much and Mary knew it. She decided to befriend the so-called roommate to annoy me and would come around to provoke.

It didn’t take much to make me lose it. My roommate and I had split the room in half with tape and I stated Mary could never step on my half. Until that day I had never released my wrath on Mary. She had no reason to think I would. Mary walked in, saw the tape and put her foot on my side. I warned her to remove it. She didn’t. I pounced on her and scratched her from head to toe. She ran out, straight to the infirmary where she was given a tetanus shot. Maybe she didn’t explain that the nails that scratched her were FINGERNAILS. Seriously, who gets a tetanus shot because of fingernails?

Well there went my reputation for the rest of the summer. Mary never challenged me again, physically, but when she could, she would put me down verbally, or go for the guy I had a crush on. Even so I couldn’t help but like her. She was funny and creative, had a great sense of style and got whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, when a teen we don’t see the down side to having our every whim fulfilled. What Mary didn’t have was a family that cared.

I didn’t have much of one either, but somehow it was more than she had. My parents imposed more rules, I didn’t get almost anything I wanted-even though my family was also well-off, and I got shipped off to boarding school for three years. Summer camps filled in the gaps between school terms. Mary went to a boarding school for one year and was allowed back. But not me. I could beg until I was green, my parents didn’t care. I only managed to come home in ninth grade after getting kicked out so many times, my parents ran out of options.

During my years in boarding school, Mary started drinking, not on the weekend or at parties, like the rest of us, but during school. She would take orange juice and vodka with her everyday. By 15 she was an alcoholic. Then going out with Mary to a party became a not-so-fun adventure. Most of the time the night would end with either my sibling or I carrying an almost unconscious Mary back to our house.

In Fallen Ruler, the scene on the stairs where Lya has to get Andrea up to her room was based on Mary. Every time Mary would argue with me all the way up, saying she could do it alone, until one day I got tired of being mistreated and let go. She tumbled down the stairs. I went back down and asked her if she was ready to try again. That was the last time she berated me. In my bedroom I put her down on the mattress, took off her clothes and covered her. She asked me to untie a bead necklace. For the love of God, there was no way I could undo the knot, and she insisted I get it off. I did, with scissors. When she woke up the next morning she saw all the purple marks on her body and her bead necklace strewn across the floor. I told her I had no idea how any of that had happened. If she wasn’t go to remember, why should I, right?

We slowly grew apart as her drinking got worse. So many people tried to help her get off that path of self-destruction but she didn’t want to change. By the age of twenty, she had such a bad reputation no one would take her seriously, nor give her a chance, or even want to be with her. It made me angry and sad at the same time that a person with so much potential would choose to be a drunk. And even though I know alcoholism is a disease, she had so many opportunities, the friends, and money to get the treatment and help she needed, but she chose not to. Mary died in her early fifties, leaving only the memory of a sorry drunk as her legacy. Andrea is a tribute to Mary, and a reminder that children require and need guidance, not things. Not luxury, not freedom but rules, well defined rules, to be able to cope with life.

About the Book:

For sixteen years, Lya, has lived as a normal human, until her father, Walter, gets involved with the wrong people and puts Lya’s life at risk. During a visit to Miami, Lya’s older sister is kidnapped, and Lya and her father are subsequently taken hostage by Walter’s associates and forced to board a plane to India. When the plane lands in Delhi, Lya is rescued by three monks and taken to a Monastery. There her reality is shattered, when she learns the true identity of her rescuers and, even more surprisingly, herself. Lya is now faced with the toughest decision of her life. Can she live up to her ethereal destiny and save her family?

Buy at Amazon: ebook or paperback

About the Author:

Eleanor T. Beaty is a Young Adult Paranormal author. A worldly person born in beautiful Brazil and spent much of her childhood in several places (Argentina, Switzerland, and the US to name a few). She holds a BA in English Literature and is published in both Brazil and Turkey.

Eleanor loves spirituality and magic - both have allowed her to gain a strong grip on life and enjoy what it has to offer. She believes that everything has a reason and understanding those reasons help us deal with the difficult moments. Eleanor currently enjoys life with her husband in Brazil.


The Giveaways

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

OTL: L'Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream #MagicBBCream


I am not a big makeup girl. I tend to prefer a very natural look and I want it to take as little time as possible. So when L'Oreal Paris and SheSpeaks.com offered to send me the Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream to try I was intrigued. The claim is that this one cream will perform 4 different beautifying actions: Prime, Perfects, Hydrates, and Corrects. That sounded perfect for my quick morning routine. I received one tube of the Fair shade to review.

The cream looks white with little grains when first squeezed from the tube. Those grains are the Beautifying Beads, the pigments that actually blend in to your skin tone to add just enough color. I think the fair shade was just right for my skin tone. It was enough color to reduce the redness in my face without leaving me looking like I was wearing a colored mask. The "Flawless Bare Skin Finish: description is very accurate. You aren't going to look like you are wearing foundation with this cream but it gives you a great natural look.

Bare Skin - No Product
With L'Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream
While I like the way the BB Cream took the redness out of my face, I don't really like the way it feels. Although it claims to hydrate for all day moisture, it feels dry to me when I put it on. It also doesn't contain any sunscreen which is an issue on days when I am going to be outside with the kids a lot. I feel like I need to put a moisturizer with sunscreen on first which defeats the purpose of having one cream to do everything. I don't want my skin to feel oily throughout the day but with this my skin felt like it had a dry, almost powdery, finish that I didn't enjoy.

I'm glad that I got to try the L'Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream but for right now I will probably stick with my combination foundation/moisturizer. It gives me more moisture with just a touch more color.

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Teaser Tuesdays: Playing the Genetic Lottery



This is stop number 5 on the Playing the Genetic Lottery excerpt tour. Each stop has just a sentence or two but when you put them all together you can read the entire prologue.

Today's Teaser:
I hear the ticking of the living room clock. I hear the jangle of Rosco's tags as he rolls over on his bed in the corner of our room.
About the Book:

Caitlin Kane knows more about the impact of schizophrenia than most people could imagine. Both her parents were afflicted with the devastating mental illness, a disease that tends to run in families, and Caitlin and her brother grew up trying to navigate the chaos of living with two schizophrenics. Her tumultuous childhood left Caitlin determined to forge a peaceful and serene life for herself. Now 32, she is living her dream. Married to her best friend, she and her husband are raising two bright young children in the suburbs of Seattle. While her unusual upbringing has left Caitlin with emotional scars, she enjoys the love and support of her extended family and her challenging career as a pediatric nurse. But no matter how hard she tries, she can't shake the obsessive fear that the family illness will strike again, robbing her of her mind or stealing away the sanity of one or both of her children.

Buy now at Amason: eBook or Paperback

The eBook will be FREE on February  20, 21, & 22.

About the Author:

Terri Morgan is a book junkie and freelance writer from Soquel California. She reads at least 3 books a week, and gets nervous if she doesn't have new reading material available. When not reading, she is often found writing. Over the past three decades, her work has appeared in hundreds of different magazines, newspapers, newsletters and on websites. The author of 4 non-fiction books for young adults, and the co-author of four additional non-fiction volumes, Terri released her first novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery, as an e-book in late 2011. Now, Playing the Genetic Lottery is also available in paperback.

 Connect with Terri: Website * Facebook * Twitter

Complete Tour Schedule

Visit each blog on this list in order to read the entire prologue to Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan.

Monday Feb. 18
Alli's World
Java John Z's Giveaways and Reviews
Izz "Pingle" Bookish Place
Bubbles. Deux

Tuesday Feb. 19
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Wednesday Feb. 20
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Thursday Feb. 21
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Friday Feb. 22
Alberta Ross
Uttley's Take

Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

How Can A Flat Monkey Help Appalachia? #monkeydo

Have you read the Flat Stanley books with your kids? Or maybe you have even done a Flat Kid project of your own, sending your Flat Kid on an adventure? Wouldn't it be cool if we could use the Flat concept to spread the word about an area in need and raise money to help that area?

That would be cool! Now you can do exactly that with the Flat Monkey Project. Wait, how is a Flat Monkey going to help the people of Appalachia? Simple, your organization or group uses the downloadable forms to create your own Flat Monkey. Don't forget to give him a name and register him on the site. Then you send your Flat Monkey from one person to the next. Each person who receives the Flat Monkey goes to Monkey Do Project and makes a donation that helps the people of Appalachia.

The Flat Monkey Project is a fun way to get kids involved and teach them about helping others. Read the Flat Monkey Story to find out how Monkey got flattened and share information about Appalachia to understand why help is needed in this area.

What are you waiting for? Head over to Start a Flat Monkey to get your monkey going. Once you send your monkey out in to the world you can even track him on the Flat Monkey Map.

The monkeys thank you for your generosity!



Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Dragon Shield by Dianne Lynn Gardner (Guest Post)


Today I have a great guest post for you from Dianne Lynn Gardner. She is currently touring the second book in The Ian's Relm Saga through Jitterbug PR. Make sure you visit the other stops on this tour for more insight into this story.

The Dragon Shield has many of the same characters that we met in the first of the Ian’s Realm Saga, Deception Peak. Of course, we’ve added a few new ones as well. Today I thought it would be fun to talk about one of my favorite fellows, as I’ve never really done a blog post about him.

Ian, as you’ll find out, is very good in graphic design and he loves animation, which is one of the reasons he and his dad started making a game engine in the first place. Before they tapped into the portal, Ian had made the ‘little man’. Magically, Xylon appears in the Realm and comes alive!

In the first book of the series Deception Peak, if you remember, Xylon was the person who first told Ian and Abbi about the dragon…

…protest resounded in his voice. “I’ve been wandering around for a year. It’s not been easy, you know, not having a door to go into. The days get hot and the wind gets chilled, and goodness knows, it’s been tough enough hiding from that dragon, big feet and fire and all: run, run, and run. It seems that’s all I do these days. Look at my clothes.” He dusted his shirt. “All I need is a house door, you know. It’s about time you got here. Your button, sir, is the only thing that can make a door. – Deception Peak

He had a small but important part in that story but you didn’t see him after his initial appearance because we left Alcove Forest and ventured to the mysterious mountain.

I didn’t forget about him. Xylon makes another appearance in The Dragon Shield and his role is a little more significant in this book. He’s not as happy as he once was because the evil in the Realm is taking a toll on all life forms, including the beautiful woods. Because of that, The Little Man makes a rather unusual request of Ian, triggering a whole round of mishaps for our hero.

This forest dweller isn’t very big- maybe three feet tall at the most. In Deception Peak he was known simply as The Little Man, but in The Dragon Shield, the little man actually gets a name. Xylon, or Keeper of the Forest. And that he is! A little more, sometimes, than what Ian would like!

But despite his mistakes, never fear, for he comes again in Rubies and Robbers to redeem himself, and a few other soldiers as well!

I did do some sketches of Xylon, though they aren’t in the books. He was a fun and interesting little person to bring to life and I might just publish his portrait in the final installment of the trilogy, Rubies and Robbers.

I hope you enjoy him.

About the Book:

As a young man, Ian returns to the Realm to help his friends, and to fight against the tyranny that has befallen them. But the Realm is a different place, the forest is dying, the Kaemperns have lost the shield that protected them from the dragon, and Ian has a hard time proving his allegiance when trouble follows him through the portal. His struggle to do right buries him in confusion, and he must fight his own will to prove his integrity.

The Dragon Shield is packed to the rafters with incident and peril. Ian’s resolve is tested like never before, the camaraderie of his supporters and their combined efforts will keep the reader engrossed…There is a constant battle being waged between hope and despair and you are never quite sure how things will develop. By the novels end I felt that things were only just beginning for Ian and I wanted more – a mark of Gardner’s skill as a storyteller.” Review from the Independent Review UK Daniel Cann.

Buy Deception Peak on Amazon: eBook or Paperback
Buy The Dragon Shield on Amazon: eBook or Paperback
Look for Rubies and Robbers later this year.


About the Author:

Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living the Pacific Northwest, Olalla Washington. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written Young Adult Fantasy novels as well as articles for national maga¬zines and newspapers and she is an award-winning artist.

Dianne spent many years living out in the desert wilderness of the American Southwest, lived in a hogan made from adobe and cedar for thirteen years, co-owned 25 horses both pure bred and Native American ponies, traveled horseback and by wagon throughout the Navajo reservation, herded sheep and goat, worked in the forest planting trees and piling, farmed on barren soil and even lived in a teepee for a short while. She spent many long years using survival skills as a way of life. Later she studied pastoral counseling and was a Pastor’s apprentice at a mainline church. She and her husband have been feeding the homeless for over twelve years. Today she shares both her survival experiences and her love for people, especially young people, into her writing as a way to not only to give her readers a firm understanding of her stories’ characters, but a rich appreciation of nature.

Connect with Dianne: Blog * TwitterIan's Relm Facebook * Hydra Publications

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Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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