Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cover Reveal: "Polaris," a Middle-Grade Novel by Beth Bowland with Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card

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Welcome to the cover reveal for
Polaris by Beth Bowland
presented by Tantrum Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Be on the look out for this fun upcoming MG title from Tantrum Books!

Polaris_1800x2700
Bixie, Montana is in the middle of nowhere, not connected to any place, and not needed to get to any destination. But one snowy evening, a lone visitor walking down an old country road changes thirteen-year-old Aaron Martin’s life forever. Aaron thinks he’s being a Good Samaritan by inviting the nearly frozen visitor into his home, but he’s unwittingly initiated “The Game.” 
A group of Elders, known as the Council of the Legend, come together from time to time to enjoy a rousing event they playfully call “The Game.” Now, Aaron’s town is the playing board, and he and his fellow townspeople are the players.

The rules are simple. Win. Because if Aaron loses, he won’t just lose his family. He’ll lose his very identity.
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Polaris by Beth Bowland
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Available for Pre-Order:
Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks
About-the-Author2
Beth Bowland

Beth Bowland, a native Ohioan, has always enjoyed reading and creating stories of her own. As a child she devoured every book she could get her hands on and spent numerous hours at the library each week. She loves writing stories for tweens and young teens, and her characters are often described as quirky and fun, but always relatable. When she’s not writing, she loves watching HGTV. She has one daughter and resides in Arlington, Texas with her husband, Phillip.

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter from "The Secret Life of Pets" ~ in Theaters July 8th!

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – In Theaters July 8
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | Tumblr | #TheSecretLifeOfPets

For their fifth fully-animated, feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Enjoy this Easter video from The Secret Life of Pets!



Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks
Directed by: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney
Writers: Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Produced by: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy

The Wild Life ~ Coming to Theaters in September ~ Watch the Trailer!

Introducing a new movie arriving in theaters this fall, The Wild Life. Judging by the trailer below, it's going to be fun for the whole family!


THE WILD LIFE - COMING TO THEATERS SEPTEMBER 9, 2016!

From the over-exuberant parrot Tuesday to the snack-obsessed tapir Rosie, from the persnickety echidna Epi to the acrobatic pangolin Pango, from the ditzy goat Scrubby to the commonsensical kingfisher Kiki and the always-cool chameleon Carmello, things are larger-than-life on a tropical isle that is pure wild animal paradise. Then Robinson Crusoe, a marooned human, arrives in the midst of a furious storm, and their lives are forever changed by this bewildering new “creature.” No matter their differences, castaway human and quirky animals embark on a hilarious new adventure, building the island’s first treehouse and surviving together. But when two conniving members of the animal kingdom -- the savage cats Mal & May -- pounce into a battle for control of the island, Crusoe and his animal posse must uncover the true power of friendship against all odds (even savage cats).

Watch the first trailer!


Enjoy these scenes from the movie!


FOLLOW THE WILD LIFE ONLINE
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #TheWildLife

Stay tuned for more information about this exciting movie!


Friday, March 25, 2016

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (March 26, 2016)

Bunny from Teddy Bears Personalized
Welcome to this week's Super Saturday Giveaway Linky. For those who celebrate Easter, have a "hoppy" day filled with blessings! If you love to enter giveaways, be sure to "hop" around to those listed in the linky below, as well as on my right sidebar. Come back daily to see what's new. And if you're hosting a giveaway on your blog, feel free to share it in the linky and give this page a shout-out to your social media friends and fans. Happy Easter!







Children's Book Review and Signed Book Giveaway: "Babies of Two," by Kim Gosselin (3 Winners)


About the Book:
Babies of Two is written from the perspective of adorable baby twins shortly before birth. Mollie and Maddie's secret is out! What do they see? What do they do? So much fun for me and you! Take a peek inside their magical "Bubble of Blue" to witness a space of warm and wonder, where mischief coincides with the miracle of life. Join the twins' journey as they slip and slide into a brand-new world where Mama and Daddy wait to greet them with loving arms and beating hearts.

My Thoughts:
I am the mother of twin boys, so it was fun to take a peek inside the womb once again to imagine the crowded world of twins! This book is unique because it's told from the perspective of the babies who are about to be born and finally arrive in their parents' arms at the end of the story. Reading Babies of Two would be a wonderful way to share the upcoming birth of twin siblings with an older brother or sister. It shows what the experience must be like for the babies, as well as for the mother who must go to the hospital when it's time for their delivery. With its charming illustrations by Alisa Belzil and joyful text, Babies of Two will delight both children and their parents.

Watch the Trailer:


About the Author:
Kim Gosselin takes delight in bringing the magic of her imagination to the wonder of words. Babies of Two is her 17th picture book, inspired upon learning she was going to become the grandmother of twins. She has five grandchildren, four under the ages of two, including twins.

Kim is a proud member of The Author’s Guild, Inc., and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Visit Kim at:



GIVEAWAY

Three lucky winners will receive an autographed copy of Babies of Two by Kim Gosselin! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, April 8, 2016.

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary PDF copy of this book to facilitate my review. The author is generously donating print copies for the giveaway. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

TV Series Review: "Freaks and Geeks" ~ Now Available as a Blu-Ray Collector's Edition from Shout! Factory

When I heard that Freaks and Geeks was coming out as a Blu-Ray Collector's Edition, I knew that I had to see it. So many people had told me they loved this short-lived series, but somehow I had missed it the first time around. The show consists of 18 episodes that were shown from 1999-2000, but it is actually set in 1980 in a fictional high school in Detroit, Michigan. Since I also attended high school in Michigan during that time, I knew I would really relate to the pop culture that's shown during the show, from the clothing and cars, to the hairstyles and clothing, as well as the music. Before I continue, here's a brief description of the series:

"Set in 1980 at the fictional McKinley High in Detroit, Freaks and Geeks focused on two groups of outsiders: the stoners, tough kids and bad girls; and the brains, nerds and squares. Although this Emmy award-winning series ran for only one season, it has remained a cult favorite and a benchmark of quality television. A funny and authentic portrait of high-school life with all of its horrors and triumphs, Freaks and Geeks resonates with anybody who has ever felt like they don't quite fit in."

I was amazed at all of the cast members who are now big stars, such as James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. Linda Cardellini is perfectly cast as the main character of the show, Lindsay, who can't quite figure out which group she fits into. Her younger brother, also played perfectly by John Francis Daley, is an undersized freshman at the same school who is frequently bullied due to his size, intelligence and innocence. I've currently viewed about half of the shows, and I absolutely love them. I will definitely finish up the series, as well as take a look at the special features on this Blu-ray Collector's Edition, which include:
  • All 18 episodes in both original aspect ratio (1.33:1) and widescreen (1.78:1).
  • A special features disc, complete with extras and audio commentaries from both The Complete Series DVD set (2004) and The Yearbook Edition set (2008), such as: Museum of Television & Radio Panel Discussion; Complete Script for a Never-Shot Episode; Three Full-Episode Table Reads; Deleted Scenes; Original Cast Audition Footage; Raw Footage; Mr. Rosso Live in Concert; Sober Students Improv Players; Tales of the Secret Service; NBC Promos and EPK; Behind the Scenes; Seven Minutes in Heaven; Graduation; Thanks, Goodbye.
  • New booklet packed with a letter and Q&A from creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, essays, and memorabilia.
Honestly, I don't normally take the time to check out the special features on Blu-rays, but I am going to make an exception this time because I can't get enough of these characters. They're all so quirky and yet recognizable if you've been to high school. You can really see these kids' struggles with typical teenage worries, such as puberty, parents, friends, popularity, their future, teachers, and more.

As a parent, I should caution that there are some mature themes, and I wouldn't recommend this series for children under age 12. One of my sons, in middle school, has been watching many of the episodes, and they have introduced several topics that we've discussed together, especially when it comes to making smart choices (which these characters, like most teenagers, don't always do). But despite their actions, we know that these are all essentially "good kids" who get lost sometimes, and we root for them to find their way and "survive" high school.

I could go on and on about how much I love this show, but I hope I've convinced you to pick up this series and discover it for yourself or relive it if you saw it many years ago. Freaks and Geeks is definitely worth another trip through adolescence with plenty of moments that will make you laugh, shed a tear and hit the replay button.




Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample of this product to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (March 19, 2016)

Welcome to the Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! If you like to enter giveaways, you've come to the right place! Hop around to the blogs listed in the linky below, as well as to the giveaways listed on my right sidebar. Come back daily to see what new contests have been added. And if you're hosting a giveaway on your blog, feel free to share it with us in the linky. Don't forget to share this page with your social media fans and friends. Good luck!







Enjoy This Special Offer from Shutterfly: 25% Off Regular Priced Graduation Announcements

Disclosure: This post contains my affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission when you purchase through my link.

Shutterfly 376x150
Promo Code: 25OFFCARDS

When my two oldest sons graduated from high school and college, I ordered their graduation announcements from Shutterfly! They were much less expensive than the competition, and I loved all of the designs that I could customize with my own text and photos. They were beautiful and definitely within my budget. If you have a graduate in the family this year, whether it's from kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college, I hope you'll check out Shutterfly's current sale giving you 25% off your order! Just click on the banner above to start shopping and use promo code 25OFFCARDS when you check out.

Offer expires June 30, 2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for 25% off one qualifying regular priced order of square trim, signature cardstock cards through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Promo can only be redeemed once per account and/or billing address. This offer code can only be entered once. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Other trim, paper and envelope options will incur extra fees. Not valid on calling cards, other products, prepaid plans, cards sent using mailing services, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and orders made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with select offers or credits. Not valid for resale. We reserve the right to modify or replace any part of these terms and conditions without notice.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

At Your Door Subscription Service Giveaway Hop: Enter to Win a Chef Club Classic Box from Cook Time with Remmi ~ a $36 Value!

Welcome to the At Your Door Subscription Service Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island. Every blogger participating in this hop is giving away something that is delivered to your door! After entering my giveaway below, be sure to hop around to the blogs in the linky for the chance to win more fun prizes!


My awesome sponsor for this hop is Cook Time with Remmi. Four years ago, Remmi (now a teenager) and her mom created a company to help families learn how to cook and eat healthier, more nutritious foods. One of the products they came up with is the Chef Club Box, a premium snack delivery subscription providing healthy snacks for families. Each box contains:

• 10+ Healthy Snacks
• Kid Surprise in Each Box
• Interactive Kids and Family Activities
• Monthly Contests with Prizes
• Recipes and Healthy Lifestyle Ideas

Our family received a sample Chef Club Box, and we loved all of the fantastic items packed inside. Take a look!


When you subscribe, you can choose between the Chef Club Classic Box or the Chef Club Big Apple Box. You can also decide whether you want a monthly, 6-month, or 12-month subscription. The longer you subscribe, the more benefits you receive, but you can always cancel at any time. Visit http://chefclubbox.com/ to learn more and subscribe!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive their very own Chef Club Classic Box, valued at $35.99! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on March 31, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now hop around to the other blogs participating in this hop for the chance to win more great prizes!









Disclosure: I received complimentary product samples to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. Hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors or that do not fulfill prize obligations.

Cover Reveal: "Artifacts," a Middle-Grade Novel by Pete Catalano with Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

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Welcome to the cover reveal for
Artifacts by Pete Catalano
presented by Tantrum Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Be on the look out for this fun, upcoming middle-grade title from Tantrum Books!

ARTIFACTS eBook

After a friend fails English, thirteen-year-old Jax and his friends’ plans for summer at Camp Runamuck go out the window. But, miraculously, the teacher offers a chance to earn extra credit. They must find several fake artifacts for a display on fairy tales at the local library. 
But finding junk isn’t as easy as it sounds. And when Jax and friends discover the teacher has cut the same deal with over fifty kids, it’s a race to the finish in an effort to save their summer vacation. 
When the search through junk uncovers the truth -- that one of the artifacts they’re searching for is real and can be used to rewrite the endings of fairy tales -- things get real pretty quickly! 
To secure the artifact, the friends will fight fairy-tale villains and compete against heroes and kids from class to see who can get their hand, hook, claw or fin on it first. 
On the plus side, they’ve seen Home Alone like a thousand times.
add to goodreads
Artifacts by Pete Catalano
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books

About-the-Author2
Pete-Catalona-281x300

Pete Catalano's books are written for kids of all ages -- and adults who secretly never grew up. He lives in Charlotte, NC, with his adorably funny wife and two neurotic dogs. Pete was a theatre major in college and tries to keep the 'suspension of disbelief' in his life as much as he can.

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It’s Tax Time! Tips for Getting Organized Throughout the Year #LSSS

Whether you look forward to tax time and the refund that’s coming your way or you dread tax time because you’ll be handing over more money, we all need to get our financial records together so we can file our taxes. The key to making the process as painless as possible is to stay organized throughout the year so you’re not scrambling to make sense and order out of the documents you’ve accumulated over the previous 12 months. Following are a few tips:

Have a filing system. At the beginning of the year, designate a file folder for all important tax papers as you receive them, such as your W-2s, charity contribution letters, donation receipts, health bills, etc. Most importantly, store these documents in a trusted, safe place.  and keep them in a secure lock box until it’s tax time. One storage option is the reliable, fire- and water-resistant SentrySafe Large Digital Fire Safe, which provides ample storage for important and irreplaceable documents, such as legal forms, birth certificates, passports, social security cards, CDs, digital files, photos, and other valuables. Master Lock’s Keyed Locking File Box is another storage solution that has additional organizational features, including a filing system to keep important documents organized and secure.

Store your documents online. If you prefer to store your documents online (or want a backup of your physical files), use the Master Lock Vault. Instead of shuffling through piles of paperwork when filing your taxes, store personal expenses and documentation in the secure, easy-to-use Master Lock Vault app. The app eliminates the worry of lost or stolen paper documents that contain confidential information and provides reliable, convenient 24/7 access so you can easily pull up information whenever and wherever you are. Beyond tax season, you can use the system year-round, via the website or by installing one of the free mobile apps on either of your Apple®, Android®, Kindle® or Nook® devices.

Don’t procrastinate. As soon as you’ve received all of the documents you need to prepare your taxes (from your employer, bank, daycare provider, health insurance company, etc.), start filling out your forms (if you do them yourself) or line up a tax preparer. You don’t want to be working on your taxes the night before they’re due and discover that you’re missing an important document or you have a question that you can’t resolve on your own.

Check the laws on life events. Many major life events, such as marriage or divorce, birth of a child, buying a first home, or death of a spouse can affect how much you pay in taxes and the forms you need to file. Be sure to investigate the laws or consult with a certified tax preparer if you’ve experienced any significant changes in your lifestyle in the past year.

These are just a few of the ways in which you can be prepared to file your taxes. If you’re struggling this year to make sense of your records and locate important documents, it’s not too late to get a great start in being organized for next year!




Disclosure: As a blogger on Master Lock’s Live Secure Safety Squad, I receive compensation and product samples to facilitate my reviews and posts. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (March 12, 2016)

Welcome to a brand-new Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! If you're looking for links to great blogs and giveaways, you've come to the right place! Come back daily to visit the contests in the linky below, as well as those listed on my right sidebar. If you're hosting a giveaway on your blog, please share it with us in the linky and let your social media friends and fans know all about it. Have a great week!







Yummy Easter Basket Idea: Bauli Croissants (Giveaway)


Typically, the Easter Bunny brings candy for kids to enjoy, but I have another idea that they’ll love, too: Bauli Croissants! My family has been enjoying these soft, ready-to-eat pastries filled with Chocolate Cream, Cherry Jelly or Vanilla Custard. And they come individually wrapped, so they’re perfect for dropping into Easter baskets and enjoying for breakfast or any time of the day.

Naturally, I wondered how the croissants stay so moist and fresh in the package, and here’s what Bauli has to say: “Bauli croissants are made using a ‘mother dough.’ Water and flour are progressively added to this nucleus to create a croissant dough with natural yeast instead of chemical additives, allowing it to rise naturally. After 18 hours of natural leavening, the croissants are soft and flavorful with a delicious aroma. They also stay fresh for much longer than most bread or cakes, without any added preservatives.”

I’ve always been a huge fan of croissants, and Bauli Croissants taste like I just got them at the bakery! They’re soft and flavorful -- a perfect treat for every member of the family. I hope you’ll look for Bauli Croissants at your local store and let the Easter Bunny know about them, too! Learn more and see Bauli's other products at www.bauliusa.com.



GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive samples of all three flavors of Bauli Croissants! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, March 25, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: I received complimentary product samples to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.