Saturday, December 24, 2011


Friday, December 9, 2011




Friday, December 2, 2011

"Every Precious Thing" By Brett Battles Review & Blog Hop Post

While being a second book in The Logan Harper series "Every Precious Thing" is a stand alone read, so readers won't have to be worried about becoming lost if they haven't read the first book (Little Girl Gone). 

In "Every Precious Thing" Logan Harper is asked by a friend to help find Sara Lindley the missing wife of a client. She disappeared during a weekend away with her husband Alan. Though reluctantly, Logan agrees to look into the disappearance of Sara and with the help of his father and various characters they set out to find why she disappeared leaving her husband and child behind. The more they learn the more questions develop as a chilling mystery unfolds.


Brett Battles has created a believable story line with lifelike characters whose interactions are just as enthralling as the storyline itself. At the end of the story I was still wanting more and look forward to reading more books written by Brett Battles. I'd give "Every Precious Thing" a strong 4.5 star rating and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys chilling mysteries and/or suspense novels.   You can find Brett Battles online at

To participate in the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop drawing for this site become a GFC or email follower and leave a comment telling me which also leave a comment telling me which genre is your favorite and why.  Also leave your name and email address so I can contact winner.  Prize $5.00 Amazon Gift Certificate.  Click image to go to linky to continue "Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop" hosted by Kathy from I'm a Reader not a Writer blog and Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


What is your favorite part of the Holiday or what does it mean to you? 

Thanksgiving tends to make me more aware of things in my life that I have to be thankful for.  It is easy throughout the year to focus on the problems in life, but when Thanksgiving rolls around it starts to bring things into focus and makes me realize I have a lot to be thankful for and gets me in the right frame of mind for Christmas and the New Year.   

So this year I'm thankful for the fact that I have a loving Husband and two children that I can be proud of.  Thankful that we have friends that have helped us out when it was needed.  Thankful to those of you online who have become friends and just thankful in general for the life I have and all those in it.  

Friday, November 11, 2011





Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The Litigators. By John Grisham (Received from BzzAgent)

The Office of Finley & Figg based in Chicago consist of senior partner Oscar Finley and junior partner Wally Figg who have been together for 20 years and secretary/office manager Rochelle Gibson.  While they call their firm "a boutique law firm" trying to inspire the image of a small exclusive law firm they are actually a couple of street lawyers whose specialties are ambulance chasing injuries cases and quickie divorces.  They barely meet their overhead while Oscar dreams of divorce and retirement and Wally dreams of a big get rich quick case.

David Zinc is a Harvard graduate that has specialized in international finance at a large law firm who snaps one day on his way into work.  He dives back into the elevator and escapes to a bar around the corner where he spends the day drinking and enjoying his minor breakdown.  When the bartender pores him into a cab David has no idea where he is going and ends up seeing an ad that leads him to the office of Finley & Figg where in his drunken haze he decides he needs to work though he has no idea how to be a street lawyer and absolutely no trial experience.

At the same time that David is joining Finley & Figg Wally has found what he thinks is a goldmine in a case against a Big Pharma company producing what may be a bad drug called Krayoxx.  Wally has visions of catching a ride on the coat tails of one of the big mass tort bars that specialize in drug cases against Big Pharma and drags Oscar and David into the melee with him.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable book to read and while not completely in John Grisham's normal writing style was one of his better works from my point of view.  There were various plot lines running through the main story line that keeps the reader engaged from page one.  The story gives a serious look at the various machinations lawyers and large companies engage in and the effect they can have on a person's life while still weaving humor throughout the story.  The characters are well developed and while not always likable they are always engaging.  I would recommend this story wholeheartedly to everyone who enjoys Legal Suspense and would suggest others to give it a try.

Question for my readers: What is your opinion about the numerous lawsuits that have popped up against the large Pharmaceutical companies or other large businesses in recent years?

Friday, October 14, 2011


Visiting today is Billi Jean author of "The Sisters of the Moon" series published by Noble Romance Publishing which includes "Midnight Star",  "Silver's Chance" and coming in December of 2011 "A Spartan's Kiss"  You can find Billi Jean at  Reading Writing Romance. And now to get to know her a little better...

What is your favorite genre to read and your favorite authors?

I have a wild library depending on my mood. For Scottish romance, hands down I love Moning. She simply cracks me up with her virgins meeting these hunky looking cover model Scottish guys! I also love to read historical romance and when I'm in the mood for that genre it varies. For lighter romance I love Samantha Jefferies, Anne Gracie, some of Lisa Kleypas – I once threw one of her books and then tossed it in the trash because of a 'cheat' by the hero…cough, cough. I have a strict policy on cheating. It can't be redeemed in my book, but that's my 'trigger' as a reader. Let's see, for paranormal I love Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione and some of Christine Feehan's vampire novels. For hot, hot, hot reads? Samantha Kane is a hands down favorite. I even got her autograph at Lori Fosters!! I also love some of Lora Leighs, Maya Banks, and Elizabeth Moore.

What is your favorite thing to do when not working? 

Oh….well, I work full time, and my fun thing is either writing, editing my writing, reading, playing with my children, hiking, or …going out with my friends, and going to the gym when I can squeeze it in.

Which type would you consider yourself - Heels and dress to head out on the town or favorite comfy clothes snuggling on the couch with a movie or a combination of?

Oh, I'm all about balance. If I'm in a relationship, I love to get dressed up in the heels, hose, skirt and sexy top. If I'm having a home night, sure, the couch is nice with a movie or my favorite show, Criminal Minds. 

What was your favorite fantasy/dream when you were a teenager and what is your favorite fantasy/dream now?

Well, as a teenager I escaped from a pretty crappy home life by reading fantasy fiction and writing my own. My life is wonderful now, but I still dream of walking by Barnes and Noble and seeing my books on the shelf.

Who is your greatest inspiration?

My mom. She is actually my step-mom, but wow, her and my dad lived. They enjoyed life and simply lived. She inspires me to reach for my dreams. Even if she calls my books "smut!"

Who is your biggest supporter?

I would say my mom and kids.

How do you write (on schedule, to music, etc..)?

I write to music, but when I edit, it has to be silent or as close as my crazy house can be….My play lists are set up by scenes. For instance, if I'm writing a really intense, emotional scene, I play more ballad, rip your heart out songs. Christina Aguilera's "You Lost Me" was a central song for an entire story. So sad.

Did you always want to write books?

Yes, since I was old enough to realize I wasn't satisfied with the author's stories. lol

What made you choose to write paranormals?

I love fantasy fiction. In fact I've been working on a series – when I am not writing romance – of fantasy stories. I found with paranormal I can tweak my love of fantasy realms into my paranormal romance work. It's a win/win.

Do you enjoy the social network sites and if so which is your favorite?

I like Twitter in small doses. I think Facebook is fun, but on both? I don't spend time on there. If I am on my computer and it's free time, I write. I answer emails in my groups and so on.

What has been the greatest moment since becoming a published writer?

The first contract offer was absolutely amazing. I still feel like it's a mistake. Sometimes I think, geez one time they will realize this story sucks and then I won't be a writer!  I think a lot of authors worry over that. I mean, our stories are personal. What we think is hot, funny, interesting, is very selective. I like it. But do you? So, yeah, seeing my contract, and then of course the book in print. Wow.

What do you like the least about being a published writer?

Mmm…I guess the other side of writing. Meaning the editing, the last minute rush to publication. So on. Not much really, though.

What do you like the most about being a published writer?

Oh, I love writing. So, I write for me, more than for being published. It's my fun time. Writing makes me happy. It's my time to do what I want with my time. That's where I get my balance. Not that writing isn't work, believe me, it is. But, I don't keep at it for the publishing, I keep at it because I want to write stories others will enjoy. That's what I like, creating a good enough story that people want to read it.

What do you have planned for your writing in the future?

I have three contracted works in the process. A Spartan's Kiss and Golden's Rule in my Sisters of the Moon series with Noble Romance have been given tentative release dates of Christmas 2011 and Summer of 2012. I also have a contemporary coming out on March 22 with Totally Ebound, called Running Scared. I'm excited about working with a new editor at Noble and with working with a new publisher over at Ebound. 

Midnight Star Blurb: 

Ranger is a werewolf, a Lykae with a problem. He's found his one true mate, the only female who can complete him. Only trouble is, he's denied his instinct to claim her. Now his mate hates him as much as she believes he hates her. He will have to risk both their lives to finally prove to his stubborn vampire he loves her?

Star is a half-breed vampire with a past of not being accepted because of her mixed blood. Ranger is just one more example of how much she doesn't fit into the immortal world no matter how much she tries to fool herself into believing otherwise. She's a strong female, a fighter, but when it comes to the opinions of others, she has no defenses. Why fight what she knows is true? She is a half breed, less than those around her. She has a home, friends and females she loves like family. Only trouble is, her family is now related to the mangy wolf man who hates her.

To read excerpt please go to Midnight Star Excerpt.

"Hot, Intense and a Great Read"

Silver's Chance Blurb: (having just read "Silver's Chance" I would highly recommend it, it was funny, intense, action packed and hot all rolled into one)

When life throws Samantha a curve ball in the form of an ancient Lykae warlord bent on marking her as his – what's she going to do? Run like hell? Oh, yeah, that so worked the first time around. With Derrick hot after her tail, Samantha discovers being the hunted just might not be as bad as she thought.
Derrick is a warlord hardened by centuries of battle. Now that he's free from years of torment, he discovers his mate. Only his beautiful little half wolf is as determined to deny him, as he is to claim her.
As the battle to keep her safe intensifies, Derrick faces the biggest fight of his life: winning Samantha's heart and keeping alive long enough to claim her. 
Together they just might tame each other.  

To read an excerpt please go to - Silver's Chance Excerpt.

Thank you Billi Jean for stopping by this weekend.  To be entered to win winner's choice of either a copy of "Midnight Star" or "Silver's Chance" please answer the following question and leave your email address to allow Billi Jean to get back to you.

What draws you to reading Paranormal? And if an author that writes your favorite paranormal series comes out with something in another genre, would you auto buy it, or first wait for reviews, others opinions?

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I'll be sending an email to get your mailing address congratulations!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Visiting today is D.B. Moon the fabulous author of "Summerland" published by Noble Romance Publishing and the soon to be released "My Humiliating Valentine" to be published by Rebel Ink Press in their Love Bites Valentine Day Anthology.

Who is D.B. Moon?
My name is Desi Moon. I have been a freelance content writer for four years, but a fiction writer since I could hold a pencil. My first story written at the age of seven was a historical piece ala Little House on the Prairie. My parents deemed it morbid, which set a precedent for pushing the envelope.

I reside in beautiful Boulder, Colorado with my writer/game designer husband, two incredibly energetic children who keep me on my toes, three very entitled cats and one hopelessly neurotic, but none the less lovable Beagler.

Humorous romantic comedy that skirts the cliff of sexual expression, but never takes the plunge, a bit of sweet, a touch of steam and a lot of laughter pretty much sums up my writing “style”. My contemporary romances are not “sweet” but they aren’t “dirty” either.

When not cajoling or arguing with the voices in my head (ie. my characters) I work as a dog trainer, am a vet tech student, am an all around coffee snob and Project Runway junkie. I also love to bake decadent desserts and have recently developed a strong infatuation with kickboxing.

Did you always want to write books?
I have always been a story teller, no one ever told me I could choose it as a career, so while I was in school I was prepping to be a veterinarian.
What was your favorite fantasy/dream when you were a teenager and what is your favorite fantasy/dream now?
As a teenager I was swept up by fate and destiny and unusual circumstances of my beloved soul mate crossing paths with me while I was backpacking through Europe. We would unroll our sleeping bags in a field and sleep under the stars.

As an adult I had been swept away by my “soul mate”; it didn’t last long. I still have yet to make it to Europe, but I no longer feel the urge to haul all my earthly belongings in a backpack. Car or train would be fine, and hotels, hotels are a must!

How would you describe your dream man?
I have always joked that my “Dream man” would have matching
luggage to my emotional baggage. But really my ideal mate makes
me laugh, makes me think, lets me be myself with no judgment,
supports me no matter what, watches cartoons in bed with me,
keeps my feet warm in winter, and always ALWAYS has a hug for
me when I need one. I could go on, but I do believe I am making
him blush-he is so cute when he blushes.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
My kids, I try to see everything through their eyes to gain a new
and fresh perspective. They remind me to slow down and enjoy
the little things in life and show me that childlike wonder is still
obtainable at any age.

Who is your biggest supporter?
My husband, hands down. He is my loudest cheerleader and my
biggest defender. He is big about celebrating everything and
making sure he can do everything in his power to help me be a

How do you write (on schedule, to music, etc..)?
I try to keep a schedule, I blog, and do my promos in the morning
and write/edit in the afternoon. Music helps me set the pace and
keep the mood, but sometimes I find myself writing to Disney
movies in the background. If Phineas and Ferb are on, all bets are
off. There will be no writing while P & F are plotting.

What do you like the least about being a published writer?
Marketing. LoL It is getting easier, but when I first started I was so
incredibly overwhelmed with so many options, I didn’t know
where to turn.
What do you like the most about being a published writer?
I think the highlight (so far) was seeing SUMMERLAND available at
Amazon- LoL- it’s the little things I tell ya!
What do you have planned for your writing in the future?
Well, “My Humiliating Valentine” will be included in the Love
Bites V-Day Anthology to be put out by Rebel Press in February
2012. It is a funny short about a blind date that surpassed hell and
went straight to- well- whatever is beyond hell.
I am finishing the edits for my first romantic murder mystery Accidental Intent

And have blown the dust off a story written back in 2001, A romantic comedy tentatively titled Community of Errors.

Set against the backdrop of glittering Hollywood, the story of SUMMERLAND takes a look behind the tabloid headlines, to show celebrities are just like the rest of us– Well, sort of.

After two years of mourning, Rhiann Taylor, a former paparazzi magnet, has found an appreciation for anonymity during her self-imposed exile. However, she finds it difficult to stay under the radar when launching a high profile, fashion design business. Especially when you add a smitten rock star, a self absorbed international playboy, an assistant who reads minds better than a psychic and a dead boyfriend who won’t leave her alone.

When the tabloid frenzy comes to a fevered pitch, family secrets come out of the closet and friendships are tested beyond everyone’s comfort zone. Rhiann will need to find the brazenness she once possessed, embrace the anger she has suppressed, and meet a vulnerability she has never known, to face the scariest prospect of all, falling in love again.

The rhythmic whirring of the sewing machine soothed Rhiann's frazzled mind. When the last stitch was done, she draped the garment back onto the dress form for final inspection. Her critical look cast about the sparsely furnished room, closely examining the work that had consumed her for the better part of a year. Eight vintage, romantic dresses with subtle modern flairs, two elegant, floor-length gowns, and six chic sports ensembles gave her a reason to get out of bed every morning. Rhiann surprised herself and developed a few pieces for men, as well. Her fingers fiddled with the soft fabric while her stomach protested with hunger. She frowned, trying to remember when she had eaten last, or what she had eaten. Pressing the intercom button, she said, "Keeley? I am starving! What do you want for dinner?"
"Hang on, I am on my way."
She pressed another button. "Ziggy? I'm ordering out, what do you guys want?"
She listened to the two bodyguards' muffled conversation, then Ziggy responded by reading off half a Thai food menu.
"Is that all?" She tried to check her sarcasm.
After another moment of mumbled conversation, Tank added dessert to the order.
"Okay." She laughed. "Think I got it all."
"We'll keep an eye on the front gate, Rhiann."
"Thanks, Ziggy." Rhiann silenced the intercom as Keeley St. James entered the room. Rhiann had seen it time after time. Heads turned whenever Keeley entered a room. Women watched to gauge what she was wearing, and, within days, Keeley's designer ensemble du jour would see a spike in orders. Men watched her glide across the floor. From the cascade of her blonde hair to the delicate sway of her hips, she brought a whirlwind of intensity to any situation.
"So, how goes the war?" She inspected the newest creation. "I think I may need this." She fiddled with the hem. "Tyra has a movie premiere next month. Not only would this look fabulous on her, but it would get you some great exposure."
"Do you really think these are good enough to launch my own line?" Rhiann felt a familiar knot of anguish whenever she stepped out of her comfort zone. "Can't I keep selling to the boutique anonymously?"
"Nope, it is time to let the chicken fly the coop and show people you are more than just some actress."
Rhiann chewed on her bottom lip. "I suppose." Her gaze, ever critical, examined the garments hanging from the makeshift clothes rack. "Although, I am not just some actress."
"Oh, right, the two-time Academy Award-winning actress, blah, blah, blah." Keeley hugged Rhiann. "You know what I mean!"
Rhiann's stomach growled loudly. "Food, I need food! I don't know when I ate last."
"When is Genie coming back? She would make sure you didn't skip meals."
"I'm not sure, in a couple of weeks, maybe?" Rhiann held up the takeout menus. "The boys want Thai. I'm thinking Juno's. What do you want?"
"Juno's, please. An Apollo salad sounds really good."
Rhiann danced her fingers across the phone's keypad. "What kind of dressing?"
"House is fine." Keeley held up a dress in front of the mirror. "I love this one."
"Delivery, please," Rhiann said into the phone as she fondly watched her best friend. "I made it for you."
"Really?" Keeley quickly shed her silk pajamas and slid into the soft chenille. "It is absolutely beautiful."
"Uh huh, with the house dressing, yeah, I'll hold." Rhiann sighed and turned back to Keeley. "The soft green works well with your complexion."
Keeley spun in front of the mirror. "It is so flowy." The skirt flared up and out. "Woo, feel that draft." She giggled.
"Wear underwear with it, please!" Rhiann suddenly remembered the woman on the other end of the line. "Sorry, didn't realize, um, yes, then I want a number one—make it two orders."
"That is a lot of food, Rhi!"
Rhiann covered the mouthpiece "I'm hungry, and I can have the second for breakfast."
She dialed the Thai restaurant next. When she finished ordering, Rhiann handed Keeley a box of CDs. "Would you help me weed out bands for the runway show?"
Rhiann giggled at the steady clack, clack of CD cases hitting the tile floor. "Is there a method to your madness?"
Without looking up, Keeley continued tossing the music over her shoulder. "Cover art. If the cover art sucks, then so does the music."
"Okay! Good to know." Rhiann began to throw discs over her shoulder as well.

From Desi to Readers:  
One lucky commenter will win a pdf copy of SUMMERLAND. Tell me who your favorite designer is- If you don’t have one, that’s OK, just say HI!
The winning commenter will be chosen randomly, contacted by email, and mentioned on my blog

You can also find me on Facebook Desi (D.B.) Moon author page
and on twitter DBMoonbook

Desi Thank you for coming over today.

All followers of "Michelle Tells" blog are entered in monthly drawing.

Friday, September 30, 2011

SodaStream Info/Review

Well we just had Crush A Can day this week and BzzAgent is offering a SodaStream as a Bzz Campaign that I would really like to try so it seemed like a good blog subject.  From what I have found out about the Soda Stream it is an extremely economical, convenient and environmentally friendly product.

Environmentally the SodaStream is an "Active Green" product, meaning that consumers  are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda or sparkling water at home instead of buying it from the store. The more the system is used on a daily basis, the more CO2 footprint the user actively saves. (This differs from "Passive Green" products, which use green-friendly production processes, but their products are not inherently helping the consumers save on their daily footprint.)  One SodaStream carbonator makes 60 or 110 liters, equivalent to 170 or 310 aluminum cans and when empty, the carbonator is refilled and reused resulting in less packaging waste from cans and bottles and less pollution caused by transportation.

With a SodaStream there is none of the hassle of carting cases of soda cans or bottles.  You don't have to find room in the refrigerator to store them.  No empty cans or bottles piling up in the trash or recycle bin. It takes no batteries, no electricity, no plumbing and no clean up.  You can have a fresh soda, sparkling water or energy drink with just the push of a button made exactly to your tastes.

The SodaStream comes in six different styles and a variety of colors.  They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and a two-year manufacturer's warranty on all new soda makers.


The Pure soda maker is easy to clean and takes minimum space on counter tops. Among the Pure features are: automatic access gas release mechanism, customized carbonation level, and metal drip tray.

The Pure soda maker received the Red Dot design award – honorable mention, in 2008.

The Penguin is the first and only soda maker with a dishwasher safe glass carafes.  Among the Penguin features are: customized carbonation level, easy to clean, automatic access gas release mechanism and minimal space usage on counter tops.

Crystal is the latest SodaStream soda maker with a dishwasher safe glass carafes.  Among the Crystal features are: customized carbonation level, easy to clean, automatic access gas release mechanism and minimal space usage on counter tops.

Winner: 2011 Green GOOD DESIGN Award, 2011 Housewares Design "Green House" Award.

The Genesis soda maker is based on modern slim-line design and is a great choice for small kitchens. Among the Genesis features are: automatic access gas release mechanism, an attractive and unique color variety, a clever design ensuring minimum space taken on work top, customized carbonation level, and and easy to clean drip tray.

The Jet soda maker comes in a range of bi-colored machines.  Among the Jet features are: automatic access gas release mechanism, fits extra large carbonators - optional 100 liter aluminum cylinder, minimal space usage, customized carbonation level and easy to clean drip tray.

The Fizz Chip's gas level indicator monitors the amount of C02 left in the carbonator, so you'll know when it's time to exchange your carbonator for a full one. The Fizz Chip also shows the carbonation level in your drink as you press the carbonating button so you'll make your favorite fizzy drinks perfect every time!  Available in four bold new colors: green, blue, red and black.

SodaMix flavors are available in economy sized bottles. Each bottle of concentrated SodaMix contains enough syrup to make about 12 liters or 33 cans of fresh, delicious soda. No high-fructose corn syrup in regular flavors. No aspartame in diet flavors.

Flavors Include: Cherry Cola, Cola, Diet Cola, Diet Caffeine Free Cola, Cola Free (compare to Coke Zero), Cranberry Raspberry, Diet Cranberry Raspberry, Cream Soda, Diet Cream Soda, Dr Pete (compare to Dr. Pepper), Diet Dr. Pete, Fountain Mist (Compare to Mt. Dew), Diet Fountain Mist, Ginger Ale, Diet Ginger Ale, Grape, Green Tea Citrus, Diet Green Tea Citrus, Green Tea Mixed Berry, Diet Green Tea Mixed Berry, Green Tea Pomegranate Peach, Diet Green Tea Pomegranate Peach, Green Tea Strawberry Kiwi, Diet Green Tea Strawberry Kiwi, Lemon Iced Tea, Diet Lemon Iced Tea, Lemon Lime (Compare to Sprite), Lemonade, Diet Lemonade, Orange, Diet Orange, Orange Mango, Peach Iced Tea, Diet Peach Iced Tea, Diet Grapefruit (compare to Fresca) Root Beer, Diet Root Beer, Tonic, Diet Tonic, Energy Drink (compare to Red Bull) and Diet Energy Drink.

New Sparkling Naturals make great-tasting "better for you" sodas.   Made from all-natural ingredients, Sparkling Naturals contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, and do not contain any preservatives. Each 750ml bottle of Sparkling Natural concentrate will make 6 liters (approximately 25 8-oz servings) of all-natural soda.

Flavors Include: Apple Mango, Black Currant Pear, Cola, Naturally Sweetened Cola, Ginger Ale, Green Tea, Lemon Lime, Orange Pineapple, Pink Grapefruit and Root Beer.

MyWater is an unsweetened, all-natural flavor essence for making lightly flavored seltzer or sparkling water. Each 40ml (1.35 fl oz) bottle will make around 20 liters of flavored sparkling water and comes in a cardboard purse containing three bottles.

Flavors Include:  Lemon Lime, Mint, Orange and Raspberry

Carbonators are available in two sizes, to make up to 60 or 130 liters of soda or sparkling water per carbonator. A full, licensed CO2 carbonator is included with the purchase of every SodaStream soda maker kit. When empty, SodaStream takes back the cylinder to be cleaned, inspected, refilled and reused. Carbonators may be exchanged online, or at select SodaStream authorized retailers.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and SodaStream supports research and treatment so  through December 31, 2012, every sale of our Limited Edition Pink Fizz soda maker will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure.  You can go to their website for more information:

Question for My Readers: What about you, do you own or have you tried a home soda maker and if so did you like it?  What was your reason for getting/trying one (environmental, cost, kids or do you just like fountain drinks)?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This is a link to an article about a 14 year old child who committed suicide because of cyber bullying   This article shows how big of a problem online issues are becoming and being a parent of teens makes me all that much more determined to be extra careful with my children's online usage.  There have always been bullies and there always will be but with the technology advances today it makes the possibility of bullying much more wide spread.  Instead of one or two kids in a neighborhood picking on a handful of kids you now have hundreds to thousands of social site users that can focus and tear a child's confidence to shreds and we have thousands of other predators that stalk both children and adults online daily.

Statistical information about children's online activities that were sent to me by True Care Online that point out just how much of a problem this is becoming.

     •    Nearly 30% of children have been contacted by a stranger online (National
          Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
     •    Of those who’ve been contacted by a stranger, 20% don’t tell their parents
          and 10% actually talk with the stranger
     •    35% of teens hide their browsing history from their parents
     •    27% of tweens put a fake age in their online profiles


Talk to your children about technology and in particular about Internet safety.  Agree on a set of rules for using the computer and going on the Internet.  For young children, give them an approved list of web sites. Explain to a child that he/she must never give out personal information such as family e-mail addresses, phone numbers, names, birth dates, home addresses,  family details, photos, etc.  Teach children what to watch for in inappropriate web sites and how to watch out for predators and bullies and to come to you if they encounter anything wrong online.  Help your children understand what suspicious files and links are and how to recognize them.

Make an effort to understand the basics of the technology that your child is using on a daily basis. Know what your child is doing online, what programs he/she is using and what sites he's/she's visiting.  Know who they are communicating with and keep up with it constantly.

Use internet filtering/monitoring softwareYou don't have to check in on what your child is doing every day, but the fact that you can -- and they know you can -- helps set the right tone for responsible behavior.

Talk to other parents and Adults about online safety.  The more people in a community aware of possible problems the less likely they are to become a problem.

I received a subscription to True Care Online Social Network Monitoring service through BzzAgent and have found it to be effective in helping give a heads up on possible problems.  It was easy to set up and I was able to adjust the notifications to suit my children and their friends.  They also provide numerous resources for both parents and children on internet safety.  Below are various links you can use to learn more about internet safety and a link for a 60 day free trial offer. After the 60-day free trial, TrueCare membership will cost just $9.99 a  month,
TrueCare's Internet Safety page  parents and kids can benefit from the videos, tips and other resources
Follow TrueCare on Twitter
Go to to watch the informative video
Go to TrueCare's blog  to subscribe to the blog updates

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do You Play?

The DailyBzz Campaign for BzzAgents today is a game called Bananagrams which I would really like the chance for our family to try and review since board games and card games are enjoyed pretty much daily in our household.  Having this campaign come up brought back a lot of memories and has me thinking about all the differences there are between activities available for families now compared to what was available when I was growing up.

When I was growing up in our household board games and card games were how we spent the most time together.  We would gather around the kitchen table or the coffee table in the living room and  play which ever game had been chosen for that night.  If we went to other family members homes or had visitors over, out came the games.  Even after video games started becoming popular and we had Atari and Nintendo consoles in the house we still turned to the board games or cards when a group of us got together.

Now with children of my own I find that we do the same.  We have numerous video game systems which we all play individually and together and multiple computers but every night when we sit down for dinner out comes a game or the deck of cards.  Both of my children are teens now so sitting and playing games gives us a chance to spend time with them and hear how their days have gone.  While playing the games there are none of the teenage attitudes involved or the teenage wanting to go do, we just get a chance to enjoy each other and have a good time at something we all love.  When my children have company over they might hit the video games and computer for a short time and then they are digging through the game closet and pulling something out.  They will gather around the games with their friends, grab snacks and spend hours having a good time together.

So even with all the different forms of electronic entertainment available today when it comes time to do something together in our household we tend to go the old fashioned route and pull out the games or cards much more frequently than anything else.

How about your household do you play and enjoy board games and cards, do you gather around the various video systems or take it outside for yard games and sports?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Josi S. Kilpack's Pumkin Roll and iPad2 Giveaway

About Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009.  Her most recent book, Pumpkin Roll is the sixth book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, four children, one dog, and varying number of chickens.

Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series:

iPad2 Contest

In conjunction with the release of Pumpkin Roll the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for a new iPad. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog before November 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified November 3rd 2011.
For additional ways to enter, go to  You can also download copies of all recipes from her website.

Friday, September 16, 2011

John Grisham's The Confession

The Confession: By John Grisham  (Received from BzzAgent for Review)

In 1998 Travis Boyette abducts, rapes and murders a high school cheerleader then buries the body so it will never be found.  Donte Drumm a local football star is convicted and sentenced to Death Row for the crime while Travis moves on to committ other crimes.  Nine years after the murder Travis is released from prison for a different crime and visits a church with Reverend Schroeder preaching.  After listening to a sermon given by Reverend Schroeder Travis pays a visit to the Reverend telling the Reverend he has an inoperable brain tumor that is terminal and then tells the Reverend about Donte who is on Death Row for a crime he didn't committ.  But Travis leaves from the first visit without actually confessing.  The rest of the story tells how the Reverend Schroeder works to get Travis to confess to try to save Donte and the trials of getting a legal system that has already convicted someone of a crime to listen in time to try to save Donte.

REVIEW: As with all John Grisham books that I have read this one is extremely well written and holds a readers attention from page one and is still offering surprises on the last page.  Grisham like many good writers uses his writting to give voice to his personal view points on the death penalty and what he sees as flaws in our legal system, causing a reader to think and question the status quo.  Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dramatic legal suspense stories. 

For Authors : Do you use your writing to promote view points and try to bring attention to things that you think need it or do you write completely seperate from your real life?

For Readers : Do you enjoy books that touch on subjects that can be debated or do you prefer reads that let you escape or both and why?

John Grisham's Next book "The Litigator" available for preorder -

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I can't say I had given the matter of ebook piracy a whole lot of thought other than knowing passing ebooks on was both wrong and illegal until an author on one of the yahoo groups posted about someone who was selling pirated copies of ebooks. So out of curiosity I did a google search on the subject and was shocked at what I found. The books are passed through torrents almost as frequently as music, game and video files, but I found numerous posts through out the web saying ebook piracy wasn't a big deal. I even found posts saying the authors should look at it as free publicity. Free publicity???? The music industry, gaming industry and the movie industry neither one views piracy as free publicity or as a minor inconvenience and both industries have gotten support to cut down on piracy and the persons caught are penalized (shut down, heavy fines and jail time). So I am wondering why so many view pirating ebooks as no big deal and from what I found there has not been anyone caught pirating ebooks that has really been punished for doing it.

Why do you think most view ebook piracy as a minor inconvenience at most and what is it going to take to make more view it as the crime that it is?

Also if anyone knows where I should send information on sites that have copy righted materials available please let me know as I ran across a few sites while doing this search. Thank You.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


As many today remember a tragic day in our history I would like to offer my prayers to the families of the 3,000+ who lost their lives and a moment of silence in their memory.  The brave acts of the people at ground zero will be viewed with both pride and bitter sorrow for years to come.  That day 10 years ago effected all of us and changed how many see the world and themselves.  Bless all of you.

Friday, September 9, 2011


In todays world you almost can't go a day without hearing someone say Facebook, Twitter or some other social networking site.  Having children makes this a cause of concern for me.  There are so many different ways for social networking to be a danger, but at the same time social networking offers people an easier way to keep in contact and ways to find and make friends that they may never have connected with otherwise.  So what do you do?  Limit what your children can do online, install parental control programs, use monitoring programs like the one I show below or is it not a concern you have?  Leave a comment on whether cyber abuse  on online predators is a concern for you and what your opinion is on all the social networking being done today.

I received a trial subscription of TrueCare through a program called BzzAgent.  I found that TrueCare was simple to use and could be a benefit to parents concerned with their childrens social networking.  When you enroll you either set the program up using your children's Facebook, Twitter etc.. information or you send an email to your children and they activate the program.  Once activated the program will send you email notifications when key phrases and words trigger the program. One tip though edit the word list to fit what you know your children and their friends use when speaking or you can get numerous notifications on harmless behaviour.  Below is an email I received about TrueCare about signs showing cyber abuse and links to use for a trial subscription and TrueCare Facebook and Twitter links.   

TrueCare has compiled a list of warning signs that your child might be a victim of cyber abuse. What’s cyber abuse? It’s rumors, threats, gossip or humiliation that happen through email, websites, blogs, chat rooms, text and instant messaging, or videos. Read over the list, share it with other parents and pay close attention to your child’s behavior.

10 signs your child might be a victim of cyber abuse:
     1.    Your child becomes secretive about what they are doing online
     2.    Uses computers outside of home, such as at homes of friends, Internet
            cafes, or libraries
     3.    Has a sudden decline in homework or grades
     4.    Doesn’t feel well, headaches, stomach aches, nervousness
     5.    Is restless, has difficulty sleeping
     6.    Shows changes in behavior or has mood swings
     7.    Becomes withdrawn or displays low self-esteem
     8.    Does not want to go to school or socialize
     9.    Avoids telling you who their online friends are
   10.    No longer wants to use the computer or cell phone

TrueCare on TV
Let us introduce you to Mike Muir from the National Middle School Association and Alison Rhodes, an authority on safety, wellness and healthy living who’s also known as “The Safety Mom.” These two appeared on Lifetime Television’s morning talk show “The Balancing Act” to discuss cyber bullies, sexting, predators and other online dangers and how TrueCare can help parents deal with these dangers.  If you missed it, click here or tune in on August 23rd at 7am (EST) to view the segment.

Join TrueCare
Click the link, and you'll get a 60-day free trial. If you decide to continue their TrueCare membership, it’ll cost just $9.99 a month

Connect with TrueCare
Get the latest in online safety news and updates by liking TrueCare on Facebook and following them on Twitter . Feel free to invite your friends to connect with TrueCare as well.