Friday, May 30, 2014

The Friday 56 - Week 180


Welcome to Week 180!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.


This is from page 56 of a book I'm reading for a review next month. I try never to miss one of Charlotte Hubbard's books.



Oh, but his low tone brought to mind long, slow kisses...lessons only an older man could teach...sweet whispered words that made her feel special. Beautiful. 

Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy by author Jermaine Gadson is a must have resource for believers who want to be well equipped to be victorious against the strategies of the devil. The devil is cunning and deceptive, and he will stop at nothing to keep God's people from reaching their potential in Christ. In this book, Pastor Gadson discusses how the enemy uses temptation, seduction, fear, isolation, guilt, shame, and other such things in order to steal and destroy a person's life. Satan works tirelessly through various means and mechanisms to keep sinners from hearing and being receptive of the Word of God, in order to prevent them from being saved. If you have family or friends who are not born-again, this resource will help you to identify schemes that the enemy may be using to keep your loved ones from being saved. This book is intended to equip the Body of Christ to wage a good warfare against the strategies of the enemy. It is not God's will for His people to be taken advantage of by the enemy because of ignorance. This book exposes who the enemy is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will try to do in the future, as an enemy of God's people. This book is written for the everyday believer to be able to understand and use. However, it is also a helpful tool for Christian leaders to be able to identify specific ways in which the enemy desires to attack them in order to steal their influence, kill their destiny, and destroy their reputation and ministries. In this regard, it is an encouragement to the Body of Christ to guard and protect their spiritual leaders.

Excerpt:

Know Your Enemy
Before engaging in battle of any kind, it is very important to be familiar with the opposition. The more you know about your enemy, the greater you will be equipped to fight against them and be victorious. Knowing your enemy includes being knowledgeable of their strengths, weaknesses, habits, origin, and the like. When you are knowledgeable about your adversary, you become empowered to develop a plan of action or strategy to adequately defend against their opposition, overcome their threats and defensive mechanisms, and ultimately defeat them.

Athletes and those who follow sports are familiar and acquainted with this principle. Coaches and players spend hours upon hours viewing video recordings of not only their own team, but of their upcoming opponents as well. They view recordings to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as revealed by previous games, and they do the same to identify strengths and weaknesses of the next team they have to face.

This principle is certainly pertinent in the area of the military as well. No military general, or top ranking official who has authority over military personnel will in their right mind authorize the use of military force without adequate information concerning the enemy to be attacked. Right decisions require right information. This is especially true if you want to come out victorious and on top.

Now that we can see the importance of this principle from a natural standpoint, it makes sense that this would also apply spiritually in relation to how we are to do battle with our spiritual enemy. As you read this book, I hope that you will be able to see the importance of this material in helping you towards this very end. The reason this book is so important is because the person reading it is like a ballplayer looking at tape of his or her opponent or a military general gathering intelligence on a terrorist organization.

When you know where your enemy came from, what your enemy has done in the past, and what your enemy is presently capable of, you are more readily prepared to wage a good warfare and defeat him in any present or future encounters you may have.

Title: Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy
Author: Jermaine Gadson
Genre: Spiritual
Publisher: Crossbooks – Division of LifeWay (June 2014)
ISBN: 9781462736362—Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781462736355—Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781462736348—eBook

Pre-order at: http://www.amazon.com/PRE-ORDER-Tactics-Trends-Equipping-Believer/dp/1462736351/




Jermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area. While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel.

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe.

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

Pump Up Your Book and Jermaine are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms and Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins May 19 and ends on May 31, 2014.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 2, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Flax Chia Garlic Parmesan Crackers

With the announcement that I suffer from osteopenia, diet changes are in the process--less caffeine and salt, more calcium enriched foods, more green vegetables--as are ways to increase my physical activity. Knowing I was already at risk for osteoporosis because of being a thin, white woman who has used systematic corticosteroids for over twenty years to control asthma, my first bone density scan came as a shock to me--and my physician.

One thing my doctor mentioned was adding flax to my diet. So, on a recent shopping trip I bought Good Grains by Carrington Farms® Flax Chia Blend. Since I was already cooking for the World War I Cooking Contest this weekend, I decided to try the recipe on the back of the bag for Flax Chia Garlic Parmesan Crackers, especially since I had all the ingredients on hand.

Flax Chia Garlic Parmesan Crackers


1 Cup Good Grains Flax Chia Blend
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Heat oven to 400 degrees.



1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Spoon onto a sheet pan which is covered with greased parchment paper.


3. Cover mixture on baking sheet with waxed paper and even out to approximately 1/8". Use a rolling pin.
Make sure thickness is even around the out edges or that part will over cook. Remove wax paper and even out as necessary.
4. Bake 15-18 minutes until center is no longer soft. Once edges begin to brown remove from heat. Let cool.
5. Once it is cool and crisp break into pieces.



I wish I could say I enjoyed these, but I can't. I didn't like the flavor or the texture. Even with a slice of cheddar cheese on top they weren't my favorite--though much better than eating plain.

The company's website offers a variety of recipes, so I am going to try again to see if I can find something I enjoy. If you cook with flax, I would appreciate any pointers you have.

This Day in History - Controversial ballet Le Sacre du printemps performed in Paris


On the night of May 29, 1913, the Ballet Russes performed Igor Stravinsky's ballet Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) at the Theatre de Champs-Elysees in Paris. Originally titled The Victim, Stravinsky's ballet portrayed a pagan celebration in which a virgin sacrifices herself to the god of spring. Press coverage of the ballet was overwhelmingly negative.

History.com provides details on the context of this ballet in light of the anxiety of the French as Germany grew in strength, which eventually led to World War I barely more than a year later. You can read more at http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/controversial-ballet-le-sacre-du-printemps-performed-in-paris

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

World Wars: World War I Cooking Contest Recipe for Army Goulash



To celebrate the airing of the The World Wars™ Three-Night Event on History Channel, our family held a World War I Cooking Contest. We were tasked with making an authentic WWI recipe and sharing it with the group for judging. The final episode of The World Wars airs tonight at 9/8C, so I decided it would be a good idea to share the recipe with you.

Army Goulash 

1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion
2 16 oz. cans pork and beans
6 1/2 oz. can tomato sauce
salt and pepper
chili powder

1. Brown hamburger with onions. 


2. Mix in pork and beans, chili powder, salt, pepper, and tomato sauce.
3. Simmer for about 30 minutes



This definitely isn't the most exact recipe, as you are expected to season to taste. In addition, it didn't say whether to simmer covered or uncovered. I went with uncovered. 

Though it didn't win (kind of hard for my family in Texas to taste test this one), everyone who tried it at my son's birthday party--which is where we were this weekend--loved it. The Lil' Diva really enjoyed this dish. Army Goulash ends up tasting like a less spicy chili because it doesn't contain cumin or jalapeno peppers. If you're having a busy night and looking for a quick, yet filling, meal, this will fit the bill.

Visit the website listed in the credit above for historical information about preparations during WWI. 

"Stay-At-Home Moms" Infographic

Home Birth
Source: NursingsSchoolHub.com

Wordless Wednesdays


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In the News - Swiss Museum Vows to Return Works in Nazi Trove



At the end of March, I reviewed The Monuments Men, which is a movie based upon a book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel. It is the story of an unlikely World War II platoon tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from the Nazis and returning them to their rightful owners.

I absolutely loved this movie, so I read with great interest the article I found in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, May 9, 2014 regarding the Swiss museum, who inherited the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, the late son of one of Hitler's art dealers. Though as of the writing of the article, the museum had not yet accepted the collection, the director of Kunstmuseum Bern, Matthias Frehner, stated the trustees would decide within the next six months whether to accept Mr. Gurlitt's will bequeathing the entire estate to the museum. If it does, the museum would return any looted art or compensate their original owners as per the 1998 agreement knows as the "Washington Principles."

There is a great deal more information on this story in The Wall Street Journal article. You can read it at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB20001424052702304655304579549880169810884

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mailbox Monday - May 26

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

I was a good girl this week and resisted the temptation to purchase more books. The mail carrier did, however, bring me a copy of a book and DVD that I offered to review at my kid's book blog.


Corrie ten Boom and her family are just simple watchmakers in Haarlem, Holland, where they give what little they have to spread God's love and help others. But everything changes when World War II breaks loose and Nazi soldiers take over. As the Nazis force Corrie's Jewish neighbors out of their homes and send them to deadly concentration camps, the Ten Boom family must make a difficult choice. What can Corrie and her family do in the face of so much evil?

Read the amazing true story of Corrie ten Boom, a Torchlighter hero of the faith, and discover how her obedience to God saved lives and continues to inspire others today.


What arrived in your mailbox last week?

The World Wars Three-Night Event Starts Tonight on History Channel



The World Wars™ Three-Night Event begins at 9/8C on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 on History Channel.

Adolf Hitler. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Benito Mussolini. Winston Churchill. Charles de Gaulle. George Patton. Before they were the giants of WWII, they were infantrymen and privates in WWI, the “war to end all wars.” The World Wars™ from HISTORY® and H2® brings you the story of the devastating three decades of 20th-century world war through the eyes of the men whose characters were forged in the trenches before they commanded a world on the brink of disaster. See how, from Ypres and the Somme to the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Normandy, the iconic figures of WWII became synonymous with either battlefield glory or murderous fascism.

May 26 - Episode 1: Trial By Fire

An assassin’s bullet sparks a global conflict that quickly evolves into the deadliest war humanity has ever seen. In the chaos, a new generation of soldier emerges, including a group of men who would become the most infamous leaders of the 20th century. Jeremy Renner narrates.

May 27 - Episode 2: A Rising Threat

The fighting may have stopped, but tensions around the world continue to simmer just beneath the surface.

May 28 - Episode 3: Never Surrender

A new generation of world leaders is called to action as war inevitably breaks out again.

If you visit The World Wars Store, you can pre-order the DVD, which will be released in September.


I have not been paid to promote this series, but my nephew is Vice President of Development for Stephen David Entertainment who was involved in the production of this series for History Channel. 






In Honor of Those Who Gave Their All...


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Healthy Tips for Busy Moms


One of the most challenging things for me as a busy mom is in learning the most effective and efficient ways to take care of myself and my family. Managing a few health conditions (high cholesterol and blood sugar for the hubby and osteopenia for me) makes cooking an even bigger challenge. I find I'm looking for ways to make more of my own foods and depend less on pre-packaged foods and frozen foods.

Here are some links to help busy moms and their families stay healthy:


  1. Nutrition Tips for Busy Moms - Here are more than a dozen healthy eating tips.
  2. 5 Healthy Tips for Busy Moms - How to work in exercise, eat right, and prioritize from Modern Mom.
  3. The Best Health Tips for Moms - Here you can find out how to squeeze exercise into your busy day, learn how to exercise properly, and eat right. 
  4. The Working Mom's Renewable Energy Plan - This plan from Working Mother is said to help you get your mojo back.
  5. 10 Simple Strategies for Busy Moms to Stay Healthy - Sugar-free Mom offers tips about eating clean, daily exercise, date nights, and more.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The History of Autism Infographic

History of Autism
Source: Masters-in-Special-Education.com

The Friday 56 - Week 179


Welcome to Week 179!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.



My first class of the day was Spanish 2, or Espaňol 2. (I learned the true language in the class. Just like in my English class. The languages were soo true to the people of the countries. Minus 15 points for being a smart-ass. Education.) I entered the classroom, and the teacher seemed sane, somewhat down-to-earth, but you can't really get an impression of a teacher from roll call.

Heal the Body...Not the Disease by Judy Marie Trimbur, Author of She Thought She Could She Did


Throughout my life I have faced numerous health challenges and other obstacles along the way. My journey became a miraculous transformation from ‘victim-hood’ to ‘victorious-hood’. Knowing one day, I would be able to graciously “gift back” the pearls of wisdom that have been gifted to me. She Thought She Could She Did is a memoir intended to Divinely inspire others by providing a platform of spiritual self-study to invoke holistic healing.

Heal the Body...Not the Disease
 by Judy Marie Trimbur

Our bodies were created to heal themselves intelligently, given the appropriate modalities. There are phenomenal long-term benefits when we heal the body verses treat the disease. From the day we were born we continually make choices that effect our health, both consciously or unconsciously.

I experienced what it is like to treat health issues from the perspective of curing the disease. However, once the doors of holistic wellness opened up to me, the journey of healing became so alive and abundant. From that point on, I began to appreciate the importance of healing the body as a whole. I no longer viewed a particular “health issue” as a separate entity from my “being.” At first, my pre-programmed brain told me that my health conditions were genetic, But my quest for a greater understanding of the human body brought a shift in my perspective. Over the last thirty years I have reinvented my body.

A proper diagnosis of a health condition gives a person the peace of mind that comes from knowing what the condition is and having a clear starting point for their recovery. Once that is established there are two choices to make about your medicinal direction to take. You can treat the disease or heal the body as a whole.

Healing our body is an incredible opportunity to become more alive. It has been my experience that deficiency and toxicity are on the forefront of causing disease. Disease is a symptom of the body trying to eliminate waste and toxins. It is an alarm that our body sets off warning us that we need healing. Looking at the body as a whole, addresses the root causes of the disease itself.

The only way to really achieve wellness, is to stop doing the things that cause disease and begin doing the things that rebuild the immune system. It takes time to restore and rebuild, but as we continue to create healthier patterns and habits our body WILL REGENERATE ITSELF. No one intentionally sets out to develop illness. The good news is, through knowledge and a determination to make daily changes the healing process will happen.

We only have one body for life and our HEALTH is our greatest WEALTH. You hold all the power to take charge of your health—as I did—and wellness is always your best long term and healthy choice.

The inspiration behind writing She Thought She Could She did truly was a miraculous part of my soul’s destiny from birth. When the day arrived to unleash my memoir, it felt as though the Divine directly carved a portal to my heart. In a short time the stories became powerful messages of hope, help and healing for many. I am a living testimony of a “once little girl” who came from a life of deep dysfunction and unconsciously addicted to being a victim, to becoming a woman embracing a beautiful path of “authentic wellbeing.” I clearly understand the precious steps it takes to gentle restore our broken pieces of life and transform them into our own gorgeous master piece.

For More Information About Judy Marie Trimbur visit – www.miraclesofhealth.com


She Thought She Could She Did - http://www.amazon.com/She-Thought-Could-Did-Miraculous/dp/1938043138/

Thursday, May 22, 2014

This Day in History - Paul Newman Stars in "Winning"



On this day in history, actor Paul Newman starred as Frank Capua, a struggling race car driver who must turn around his fortunes by winning the biggest race of them all--the Indianapolis 500--and avoid losing his wife to his rival Luther Erding, played by Robert Wagner.


Three years later, Newman would launch his own racing career.

To find out more, visit http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/winning-released-stars-paul-newman-as-a-race-car-driver

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In the News - Common Core Opponent Wins Local Election



This is how I spent part of my Saturday morning--standing out holding signs at the polls for a local candidate who was running for School Committee.


Patricia Gordon easily secured a seat on the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee. Gordon, a retired teacher at Minnechaug Regional High School, ran as an Independent candidate for one of two open seats in a three-way race.

While I haven't been heavily involved in local politics since 2003, I felt it important to support a candidate who believes every child is a "unique and different person and and needs to be treated as such in the classroom." Gordon believes in a grass roots approach to education, not in federal standards that concerned citizens--myself included--believe squash creativity in the classroom for teachers and students.

Gordon has called Common Core "a rigid technology laden approach to learning, which dictates spending a lot more money on technology improvements, according to the state’s timeline." We're already seeing some of these changes in the classroom when we visit for events. I've also seen what my daughters bring home for homework these days and I can't believe this is a way to make today's children more successful. Here is an example of a math problem posted on 94.7 WMAS Springfield, MA's Facebook page today. Please tell me how we are helping to prepare our children for a brighter future this way?



As Freedomworks contributor Julie Borowski says in her article titled, "Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Common Core," Common Core is bad for teachers, bad for parents, and bad for students.

Congratulations to Pat Gordon for securing a seat on the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee. I pray this means good things for the children, families, and teachers here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mailbox Monday - May 19

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

My post is going up in the afternoon. Does that tell you what kind of week it is? We spent yesterday with family in Marlboro, so I'm a bit behind today. But we had a lovely day, so that's all that matters.

Other things on tap this week: the Lil' Diva's rehearsals for Peter Pan Jr, the Lil' Princess starts physical therapy for a repetitive motion injury to her ankle, and I'm whittling down the brokerage firms I potentially want to work for soon. I'm also putting together the following virtual book tours. Let me know if you see anything interesting:

Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy by Jermaine Gadson. Click here for more info.
The Stolen Herd by K. Madill (YA fantasy). Click here for more info.
Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible BOOK BLITZ with Dr. Jay Grimstead. Click here.
When Shmack Happens: The Making of a Spiritual Champion by Amber Neben. Amber is a decorated international road cyclist. Click here.

Now, onto my new books. I had one of those weeks where I simply couldn't pass up free Kindle books despite telling myself that I simply shouldn't buy anymore.


Things are going great for Lexy Baker. She's finally opened her dream bakery, gotten rid of her cheating boyfriend and settled into her grandmothers house with her perky dog Sprinkles at her side.

But her blissful life doesn't last long. When her ex boyfriend is found poisoned with cupcakes from her bakery, Lexy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation headed up by her hunky neighbor detective Jack Perillo.

With the help of a gang of iPad toting, would-be detective grandmothers, Lexy decides to take it upon herself to find the real murderer in order to clear her name and get her bakery back in business.

As things heat up on the murder trail, in the kitchen and between Lexy and the hunky detective, it's a race against time to put the real murderer behind bars and get back to baking.

Will Lexy get her man? (Still free right now.)



Avery Lane is driven to discover the fate of the 117 missing colonists of Roanoke. When she encounters a mysterious group called the Descendants, who are determined to keep the colony’s secret hidden, Avery must choose between her obsession for the past and her own survival. Will solving this mystery cost her everything? Is there more to this secret than what is buried at Roanoke? Haunted by visions of the past, she must find answers before the Descendants stop her and forever banish the truth. (Currently $4.99)



NEW ENGLAND WITCH CHRONICLES is the first book in the four-book bestselling young adult series. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were an embarrassing stain on America’s revered past. Innocent people were persecuted at the hands of a few overzealous Puritans, but what if real witches existed during those colonial hunts? What if there are witches in present day New England? That’s what Alexandria Ramsey’s crazy grandmother believes. Grandma Claudia claims Alex descends from a long line of New England witches.

Modern day witches in Hazel Cove, Massachusetts? Unlikely, but strange things are occurring in the weeks preceding Alex’s seventeenth birthday. Alex is haunted by bizarre recurring nightmares of a man chasing her through the Hazel Cove Cemetery. On a few occasions, when her emotions have spiraled out of control, inanimate objects have shattered around her. But that’s just a coincidence, right? Alex isn’t so sure, especially after a local girl, who supposedly dabbled in witchcraft, was killed in the nearby forest.

Alex knows something strange is happening. With the arrival of a new boy in town, James Van Curen, who is causing problems between Alex and her best friend, Peter, Alex feels like her entire world is on the verge of chaos. Could Alex really be a witch? Is it possible Hazel Cove will become a battleground for modern-day witches and witch hunters? (Still free right now.)


This last one I requested for review from the author for his virtual book tour.


Read me...Read me...Read me and be hypnotized by me. Let your intellectual nipple be open and free so I may tickle it. You may ask yourself in reading this, “Where exactly is my intellectual nipple?” Then you may say to yourself, “Well, if I don’t know where my intellectual nipple is then I guess I’m not very intellectual,” and you would be right, you aren’t. But the intellectual nipple is quite elusive and ironic, and it is just that last thought that may help you to discover your intellectual nipple. Cary Smith will take you on a ride down his life and mind (and it won’t be as creepy as it sounds). Along the way you may giggle, you may hate, you may love, and most likely in the amount of time it will take you to read this book, you will fart...this book does not consider itself prestigious or boring enough to deny that fact. Cary Smith will guide you along the way to possibly having your intellectual nipple tickled. Brad Cruise will uninvitingly add stuff to the text and make corrections as a special guest corrector. And most importantly, your intellectual nipple will be tickled, maybe? And according to Brad Cruise, the key to finding out where your intellectual nipple is is to realize that Cary Smith is poop and a writer not worthy of the very worthy literary world which sometimes makes people very sleepy. Once you have this realization your intellectual nipple will bask in tickling pleasure. (That is, if you consider tickling to be pleasurable, because many people don’t, and, in fact, many find it torturous.) Just a warning from this summary: if you do find out where your intellectual nipple is (as everyone’s intellectual nipple is not in the same place), it is recommended that you not tickle it too much unless you’ve had a few cocktails. If you just read this summary and said, “What in the hell?” then you are on your way to a discovery of the elusive intellectual nipple. This summary has exhausted itself and is tired of saying, “The elusive intellectual nipple.” Please enjoy The Book, hate it very, very much, or go somewhere in the middle with your opinion of it.

What was in your mailbox?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Luthier's Apprentice by Mayra Calvani

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another…

When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice. But when her beloved violin teacher disappears… Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms.

But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma's family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini?

Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him. And undo the curse that torments her family—before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier's apprentice…

The Luthier’s Apprentice is book 1 in this new fantasy series, featuring violin student/luthier/amateur sleuth 16-year-old Emma Braun.

Title: The Luthier's Apprentice
Author: Mayra Calvani
Author web site: http://www.MayraCalvani.com
Publisher: Twilight Times Books, http://twilighttimesbooks.com
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Series: Book 1
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; BN.com Nook; Kobo Books; OmniLit, etc
Release date: May 15, 2014 ebook; August 15, 2014 print
Pages: 184

Chapter excerpt:
http://twilighttimesbooks.com/LuthiersApprentice_ch1.html
Purchase links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K93R3OO/
B and N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luthiers-apprentice-mayra-calvani/1119467189



Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium.
 
Connect with the author on the Web:
http://www.MayraCalvani.com
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mayra-Calvanis-Fan-Page/162383023775888
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcalvani
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/272703.Mayra_Calvani

Three Tips on How Christians Can Experience Real Financial Freedom by Pastor Wesley K. Zinn (Giveaway)


We are taught that we find freedom in Christ, and yet many Christians never experience freedom or peace in the area of finances. Unlike books that provide tools for good financial management, “I Got This” offers profound and practical insight into the freedom and flow of God’s economy. Wesley Zinn explores the principle of first fruits, the spirits of poverty and generosity, and the importance of your heart’s posture in giving. Firmly rooted in Scripture, this book is filled with many personal vignettes that illustrate and validate the practical application of the message. “I Got This” will help you experience freedom in finances, encourage you to discover a heart of gratitude for God’s provision, and help you align yourself with God’s heart, releasing a flow of his kingdom’s resources into and through your life.

Three Tips on How Christians Can Experience Real Financial Freedom
 by Pastor Wesley K. Zinn

Freedom in finances does not have to come from having a lot of resources. We can experience freedom when we believe what Jesus suggests. Seek first his kingdom for our Father in heaven knows our needs and is able to provide for our needs (Mt 6:33). His invitation can be understood in one word – trust. Do we believe and trust that our heavenly Father loves us and desires to provide for us?

Here are three tips that will help us experience freedom in finances as we place our trust in God:

1. Keep our eyes on our provider and off our circumstances. Our circumstances may tell us to worry, but our provider is more than capable of accomplishing his desire to provide for his children, whom he loves.

2. Choose to be generous. Generosity is an act of caring for others. This aligns our actions with God's heart which opens a flow of his resources to us and through us.

3. Practice thankfulness. Spend more time thanking the Lord for his faithfulness to you then your prayer requests for what you feel you still need. This will cause you to reflect and appreciate the Lord's faithfulness, as well as help direct your attitude as you continue to ask for his faithful provision.


Following a successful business career, Wesley Zinn joined the pastoral staff of Wellspring Church in Berlin, CT where he presently serves as Lead Pastor. His vision is to equip and release the church and individuals to take hold of the fullness of life and the destiny that God intends. Wesley has taught on the topics of generosity and giving in numerous churches and in many settings both stateside and abroad. He and his wife, Pam, carry a special grace for understanding and living in God’s kingdom economy.

Visit Pastor Zinn online at http://wesleyzinn.com/

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

This Day in History: Gas Rationing During WWII



On this date in 1942, gas rationing began in 17 Eastern states in an attempt to help the World War II war effort. By the end of the year, mandatory gas rationing was in effect in all 50 states.

  • Digital ID: (intermediary roll film) fsa 8b07392 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b07392
  • Reproduction Number: LC-USE6-D-006024 (b&w film nitrate neg.)
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

America entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. Automobile factories began producing planes and tanks. Households were required to limit their consumption of rubber, gasoline, sugar, alcohol and cigarettes. Ration stamps for gasoline were issued by local boards and pasted to the windshield of a family or individual's automobile.The government also passed a mandatory wartime speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

For more information, visit http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/seventeen-states-put-gasoline-rationing-into-effect

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

“Super Mom” Wants to Kill You: Stop Her with Tea by Mario Zeleny


Media headlines abound these days saying, “Tea is trendy...” and we believe it until we read the first chapter of Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life. Entitled, Tea’s Sordid and Holy Exploits, chapter one is a worldwide, whirlwind tour of tea history that leaves the reader knowing once and for all that tea has always been trendy for very good reasons. Next to water, tea is the world’s most popular drink.

Author Mario Zeleny, lifelong tea lover and personal coach, extracts the magic of tea from its history, uses, and benefits but also from its power to change the world. He brings the secrets of tea into modern light, and makes it accessible for contemporary lifestyles.

“We do not have to be a Buddhist monk, or study The Way of Tea for decades to be your own Tea Master,” says Zeleny, “but you must understand its secrets to reap tea’s transformative qualities in your life.”

Ritual Tea boasts over 30 links to free tea products, ten personal rituals to help with everything from anxiety to sleep, and 10 charts that make crafting our own ritual a breeze.

Discover the transformative power of tea hidden in its history, versatility, and essence through simple, timeless and individualized rituals. To help us on the tea path, the author has made a free Ritual Tea e-course available through ArtSpellz.com.

Tea has made a 5000 year trek to inhabit the world and in its wake it has altered not only individual lives but cultures and countries. Ritual Tea asks, “Who will we be in tea’s history?” Will we just make tea, or will we allow tea make us?

“Super Mom” Wants to Kill You: Stop Her with Tea
by Mario Zeleny

Super Mom isn’t the only one who wants to kill you, so do Martha Stewart Manics, Ace Achiever Addicts, and the Superior Over-Schedulers. They want to do you in as well.

What’s their problem?

We have become so comfortable with stress as a lifestyle, that we make our too-busy, too-demanding existence an achievement by racking up our self- appointed gold stars, so it doesn’t ‘feel’ like stress anymore. We have become good at telling ourselves and everyone else how party planning and hosting is fun and rewarding, homeschooling our children is fulfilling, or how much we enjoy “staying active.” Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Except in this case, the lemonade is poisonous. You see, those gold stars and that lemonade are slowly taking moments away from our life.

The antidote to this poison is relaxation.

Relaxation will extend our life by:

• Reducing illness by strengthening immune system
• Improving sleep which reduces illness, helps with weight loss, and increases emotional stability
• Reducing blood pressure- improves cardiovascular system and reduces the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
• Supplying the body with more oxygen creating more energy, clarity and focus
• Balancing hormones- weight loss, avoid weight gain, reduces cardiovascular disease
• Increasing focus and clarity to accomplish goals and become more present in the moment
• Controlling emotions by reducing anxiety and depression
• Decreasing body pain and increasing control of chronic pain
• Increasing spirituality- research has shown that people who practice relaxation experienced the close presence of a higher power more significantly than those who do not practice relaxation
• Increasing life satisfaction

Simplicity, Accessibility and Pleasure

Relaxation occurs when we participate in an activity that triggers a relaxation response. Just because we enjoy an activity doesn’t make it effective at relaxing us. The key aspects for creating a relaxation response and cultivating its benefits are:

• Intentional, focused habit (ritual)
• Regular and consistent practice
• Must be something you enjoy which resonates with you
• 10-20 minutes in length
• Environment and atmosphere must support the practice

What this list is telling us is the relaxation response is created by performing a ritual. That’s easy! No really, it is. We ritualize life; it is what we do as humans. Rituals provide us with meaning, comfort and satisfaction. Rituals reduce anxiety and stress. When rituals are practiced intentionally and consistently, eventually they will create an automatic and instant change in the brain. Over time, this change becomes permanently accessible by just thinking about doing the ritual. Can you image being able to instantly access relaxation by thinking about it?

What stops us from doing an intentional ritual and creating a new habit, has to do with simplicity, and pleasure. If the ritual is too complicated, it is unlikely that we will do it or keep doing it. If we force ourselves to do a ritual and we do not resonate with a ritual, or do not enjoy certain aspects of it, the ritual will not be effective. Eventually, the ritual will become sabotaged. Forcing ourselves to perform a ritual leads to increased anxiety, stress and other unwanted life results.

Drink the Stress Away

Drinking tea has been a health and spiritual ritual for thousands of years, though many look upon tea these days as just something else to drink. Tea is the most consumed beverage next to water, and its health benefits are considerable, too. What is interesting for us here is that tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine that is known to calm, relax and increase mental alertness. Drinking tea is not enough, however. If we make tea drinking a ritual, it creates incredible rewards.

Teas especially known to foster relaxation apart from the amino acid present in tea are: passionflower, ginseng, lavender, chamomile, valerian, and lemon balm. To be honest, some of these flavors are not anything to get excited about. For a tea ritual to be effective, you really do have to enjoy the tea. That is why I recommend blending your own. Tea blending isn’t as complicated as you might image. Design A Tea makes it easy. Design A Tea is a virtual boutique teahouse that allows you to blend your own tea. There is a coupon in my kindle book for tea blending from Design A Tea, as well as an in depth interview with Design A Tea’s owner, Brian Pfeiffer.

Tea by itself can be a ritual; practicing mindfulness while making tea is an ancient and traditional practice. This requires that we be in the moment and there is no rush. The water can take forever to boil. We have lost our attachment to time. We appreciate the water. We notice the cool feeling of our china cup. We wade in the smell of the tea as the canister opens. We have nowhere to go, we have nothing to do but make tea.

We can take our tea ritual to the next level by combining it with other pleasurable, meaningful activities noted also for their ability to relax us and change our brain. Some examples of this are:

• Writing poetry
• Journaling
• Collage
• Reading inspirational materials
• Listening to music
• Prayers
• Meditation
• Mindfulness/Focusing
• Massaging pressure points

Rituals change our underlying psychology. They prepare us for innovation and creativity. Consciously creating rituals decreases anxiety and uncertainty and opens us up to infinite possibilities. Go with a tea ritual to reap big changes in reducing stress levels and fostering relaxation. Live longer with tea!

For more information about tea and how to create effective tea rituals, please read my book, Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life. The book also includes a free virtual class beginning May 10th. My book is available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback. The soft cover is also available at my Art Spellz shop during the month of May for 20% off and includes free tea and a coupon for blending your own tea: Go to http://mariozeleny/shop.


Mario Zeleny – Lover of all things tea. Mario spent 15 years in healthcare and social services in clinical and administrative roles that offered coaching to employees and volunteers. An artist and entrepreneur from an early age, Mario now brings his love of writing, art, spirit, coaching and ritual together online at his creative living site, Sancti Spiritus and also from his transformational art site, Art Spellz. Mario looks forward to completing his education with Mentor Coach and St. Clement Seminary. He currently resides in Sacramento with his husband of 8 years, their children and their domestic sovereign, a pug named Brigit.


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Monday, May 12, 2014

PBS KIDS Launches PBS KIDS Super Vision FREE App for Parents



PBS KIDS® launched a new revolutionary app designed specifically for parents that will give them the “super power” to engage with their kids in the digital medium as never before: PBS KIDS Super Vision. The new, free app is a first-of-its-kind tool that parents can access conveniently from their mobile phones anytime, anywhere, to see what their kids are watching, playing and learning on pbskids.org, and help them make the most of their children’s PBS KIDS screen time.

With the PBS KIDS Super Vision App, now available on iPhone and iPod Touch, parents enter a simple code on their mobile device to start receiving:

• Real-time information on what their child is playing, watching and learning on pbskids.org;
• The ability to remotely set a Play Timer from their mobile device that will put pbskids.org to sleep on their child’s screen, easing the transition from playing online to another activity, such as dinner time or bed time;
• Related activities that they can do with their child off-screen to extend the fun and learning goals of the games or videos their child plays on pbskids.org;
• An Activity Summary to view the top educational skills, shows, videos and games their child used on pbskids.org.


The PBS KIDS Super Vision App will mean peace of mind for parents, while their kids build key skills in the safe and educational environment that pbskids.org provides. The app works anytime, anywhere – the connection doesn’t require physical proximity – making it easy for busy parents to check in on their kids’ online activities while they are on the go.


Mailbox Monday - May 12

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Thankfully it was a slow book week. I haven't had as much reading time as I would like. Between meetings and running the kids back and forth to events, I've been pretty tired lately, so no late night reading sessions in the tub.

This first one came to me directly from the publisher. I think the Lil Diva might enjoy it. She's currently devouring the Percy Jackson Series, but I'll see what she thinks about tackling this one soon.



Maddy, an orphan, is sick of her Irish town, and sick of her cousin Danny, one of the nastiest people you could meet. Mad as hell one evening, she crawls inside the grounds of the castle, the one place she has always been forbidden to go. Once inside, she is chased by a strange feral boy, who she suspects is one of the faerie: cruel, fantastical people who live among humans and exchange local children for their own.

When the boy returns to steal her neighbor Stephen into his world, Maddy and her cousins set off on a terrifying journey into a magical wilderness, determined to bring him back home. To do so, they must face an evil as old as the earth itself.

Che Golden has created a gripping adventure that interweaves Maddy’s modern Irish experience with the vivid fantasy of the region’s ancient folklore. Readers will enjoy the frank and bold heroine of Maddy, and will be dazzled by The Feral Child’s evocative rendering of Irish folklore and richly imagined alternate worlds.



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"Whether you are just getting started or a veteran in the business, "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" is the step-by-step handbook for seeking excellence in your profession and in your life."
--Mark Victor Hansen, cocreator, #1" New York Times" bestselling series "Chicken Soup for the Soul"

"This book presents a new paradigm for real estate and should be required reading for real estate professionals everywhere."
--Robert T. Kiyosaki, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"

"The Millionaire Real Estate Agent "explains: Three concepts that drive production Economic, organizational, and lead generation models that are the foundations of any high-achiever's business How to "Earn a Million," "Net a Million," and "Receive a Million" in annual income.

I received a free copy of this one from a business associate.

What did you find in your mailbox?