Author Archives: Carrie

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Zoe & Zak Adventures by Lars Guignard

BOOK SALE: You can grab a copy of Book 1, “Ghost Leopard” for 99 cents from Amazon between December 18 and 24, 2014. PURCHASE NOW!

Zoe and Zak Collage

About the Books

Move over Percy Jackson. Find out what everybody is talking about!

Have you ever gotten hopelessly lost in a strange land?
Talked to an elephant?
Ridden a magic carpet?
Been jailed by an angry parrot?
And discovered that you have the power to change the world?

Zoe & Zak hadn’t either. But that was before their lives were turned upside down by a mysterious creature called the Ghost Leopard. Now, they find themselves attending a strange school high in the Himalayan foothills, where nothing is what it seems and anything is possible.

The Zoe & Zak Adventures contains the first three full books of the middle grade fantasy adventure series, where two semi-normal kids begin to live absolutely extraordinary lives.

In Book One, The Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak take their first trip to India where they learn that they’ve been chosen to protect a mythical creature from a terrible fate.

In Book Two, The Yogi’s Curse, Zoe & Zak are back in India, this time to attend Moonstock Academy, a strange and sometimes frightening boarding school where weird events seem to occur on a regular basis.

And in Book Three, The Tiger Temple, Zoe & Zak take on their second semester at Moonstock and their most terrifying challenge yet.

If you love to laugh out loud, if you like adventure, and if you’re dying to go on the wildest ride on this side of the Himalayas, pick up the Zoe & Zak Adventures today.

Now Available as a Compendium: The three book collection contains the complete text of first three books in the Zoe & Zak series. Together, these books are guaranteed to bring you to a magical world unlike any you’ve experienced before. Find out what everybody is talking about.


Book 1: Zoe and Zak and The Ghost Leopard

Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard

The Buzz

Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard BLOG TOUR

“Love Love Love! This book had me from the first chapter. This book overflows with top-notch character development, culture, adventure, and FUN!” ~ Sunshine, Bubbles and Books

This is adventure with a capital ‘A’ and the kind that middle grade readers will love.~ Word Magic: All About Books

“Once Zoe and Zak are off on their adventure, the pace never lets up. There are constant dangers lurking all around them and they are pretty much constantly fighting for their lives. Throw in some really interesting mystical creatures and you have a recipe for a great MG novel!!” ~ Best Kids’ Reads

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)


Book 2: Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse

Yogi's Curse by Lars Guignard

The Buzz

Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse BLOG TOUR

“Lars Guignard keeps up the pace with this second installment in the Zoe and Zak Adventure series. I recommend this series to tweens and teens who love a great adventure steeped with magic and mysticism. Ages 8+.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“Fantasy, action, adventure, wonderful characters and some fun mysteries has me hooked… 5 Stars!” ~ Brooke Blogs

I loved the faster pace of this second book. Zoe & Zak’s adventures kept me turning pages to see what was happening next.
~ Carpinello’s Writing Pages

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)


Book 3: Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple

Tiger Temple by Lars Guignard

The Buzz

Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple BLOG TOUR

“Zoe and Zak’s adventure in the Tiger’s Temple nerve-wracking and enjoyable all at the same time! Magic flies high in this story. Guignard continues not only to entertain his young readers but also to educate them on the exotic culture of India. Readers learn about everything from food to mythology. I love all the magic and mystery in his books, and you can’t help but love Zoe and Zak with their self-destructive behavior.” ~ Jump Into a Book

“The great thing about this book, besides the fun adventure, is the exposure kids will get to different cultures, mythologies, and ways of life.” ~ Nik’s Picks

“Lars Guignard’s writing is easy to read and the story flows well and he has a great sense of humor. Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple is another must read for readers of all ages. I can’t wait for more books in the Zoe & Zak series! ” ~ Bound 4 Escape

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)


Purchase all Three!

The Heroes of the Himalayas Book Set by Lars Guignard

PURCHASE: Amazon (Kindle)


About The Author: Lars Guignard

Lars Guignard

Lars Guignard

Prior to writing novels, Lars Guignard wrote for film and television. As a teenager he attended boarding school in the Indian Himalayas and his experiences there provided the inspiration for the “Heroes of the Himalayas” series which now include: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, and Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he dodges bears and cougars while hiking & skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range.

For news about new releases, please join his email list by contacting the author: Zoe&

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest closes: January 1, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Lars Guignard and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.


MDBR Book Promotion Services


Month9Books Holiday Gift Blitz & Giveaway!

Welcome to Month9Books’ gift blitz for our amazing winter titles: CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil, PRAEFATIO by Georgia McBride, ENDLESS by Amanda Gray, A MURDER OF MAGPIES by Sarah Bromley, DEAD JED (1 & 2) by Scott Craven, and TRACY TAM by Krystalyn Drown! Are you looking for the perfect winter/holiday read? Then these are the titles for you! Oh and as a thank you to our readers we have an amazing giveaway for you!

Crown of Ice by Vicki
L. Weavil
Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but
if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday
she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.
Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes
to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps
local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical
minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away
she needs all the help she can steal.
A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing
mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable
obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands,
outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet
her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a
wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of
Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.
CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian
Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who
discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.
Purchase Links
Praefatio by Georgia
Seventeen-year-old Grace Ann Miller is no ordinary runaway.
After having been missing for weeks, Grace is found on the estate of
international rock star Gavin Vault, half-dressed and yelling for help. Over
the course of twenty-four hours Grace holds an entire police force captive with
incredulous tales of angels, demons, and war; intent on saving Gavin from
lockup and her family from worry over her safety. Authorities believe that
Grace is ill, suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, the victim of assault and a severely
fractured mind. Undeterred, Grace reveals the secret existence of dark angels
on earth, an ancient prophecy and a wretched curse steeped in Biblical myth.
Grace’s claims set into motion an ages-old war, resulting in blood, death and
the loss of everything that matters. But are these the delusions of an
immensely sick girl, or could Grace’s story actually be true? Praefatio is
Grace’s account of weeks on the run, falling in love and losing everything but
her faith. When it’s sister against brother, light versus darkness, corrupt
police officers, eager doctors and accusing journalists, against one girl with
nothing but her word as proof: who do you believe?
Purchase Links
Endless by Amanda
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not
everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben
Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble onto an old music box with instructions
for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than
they thought—like a past life! Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and
Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to
believe they have been there together before. But Nikolai, the mysterious young
man Jenny has been seeing in her dreams who has now appeared next door, was
there, too. Jenny is forced to acknowledge that Nikolai has traveled through
time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and
the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct
time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny, and Nikolai race
against the clock—and the Order—Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins
them in life and beyond death.
Purchase Links
A Murder of Magpies
by Sarah Bromley
Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and
sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of
the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin
brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s
murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.
No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion
becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she
causes. But it’s not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The
truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vadya and her family at
Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.
Unwanted. That’s all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To
cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind.
Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can’t explain the hold she has on
him–inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily,
except he doesn’t know what her powers can do. Yet.
Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn’t
so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has
murder in mind.
Purchase Links
Dead Jed: Adventures
of a Middle School Zombie by Scott Craven
The first part of seventh grade was rough on Jed, but things
are looking up now that Christmas is almost here. As with past Christmases, Jed
asks for the one thing he’s always wanted–a dog–and again, his parents tell
him they’re not ready. But fate has a different plan when Jed sees a dog get
run over by a car. Then, it happens. Jed suddenly has a pet, Tread, a zombie
dog bearing his namesake–a tire tread down his back. Jed may have gained a
dog, but he loses his best friend Luke, who fears the way Jed created his
undead pet. When Jed returns to school, he finds a mysterious group called the
No Zombies Now Network spreading rumors of the dangers the undead pose to
normal people. Forced to disprove Hollywood stereotypes, Jed has his work cut
out for him as stories of a zombie dog begin to circulate. Jed could be
expelled if he can’t expose the NZN Network as a fraud. Jed needs help from his
kind of girlfriend Anna, especially after he discovers Luke has joined the
shadowy group. Once again navigating the treacherous waters of middle school,
Jed does his best to stay in one piece. Only this time he’ll need even more
duct tape and staples than usual.
Purchase Links
Dawn of the Jed (Dead
Jed #2) by Scott Craven
As the fall semester ends and kids head home for winter break,
Jed and his parents gather for the annual exchanging of gift lists. Once again,
Jed asks for a dog, leading to a heated argument and a firm “no.” But
when Jed spots a stray, he chases it until the dog darts into the street where
it is struck and killed by a car. Grief stricken by what he’s done, Jed cradles
the dead dog in his arms. Soon, ooze from the dog mixes with teardrops from
Jed, creating Tread the zombie dog. Finally getting his wish, Jed must convince
his parents to let him keep the undead dog. But a zombie dog turns out to be
the least of Jed’s issues. It seems some parents don’t want Jed attending
school with their kids. Enter the mysterious NZN Network. They’ve been
distributing anti-zombie propaganda in an effort to get Jed expelled. But Jed
wonders if the creation of Tread has caused his relationship with Luke to sour.
And why, just as he seems to need them the most, have his best friends
abandoned him? Could they have bought in to the anti-zombie way of thinking?
Was creating Tread a mistake Jed will live to regret?
When Tread goes missing,
and with his very existence at stake, Jed must rely on his instincts, team up
with an old nemesis, and fight for his right to have just as miserable a middle
school existence as any other student—undead or alive.
Purchase Links
Tracy Tam: Santa
Command by Krystalyn Drown
Tracy Tam doesn’t really believe in Santa Claus, at least
not like the rest of us do. She also doesn’t believe that Santa can possibly
deliver all of those presents in one night, to children around the world,
without a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet
engines, after all, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of
altered DNA. How else could he know what every little girl and boy wants for
Christmas and who has been naughty or nice? In order to test her theories,
Tracy sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh then ends up at Santa Command, where a team of
(gasp!) humans monitor Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into
their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus into the system. As a
result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world
(oops!). Santa won’t be able to deliver all the presents in time! Now, Tracy
must fix time and help Santa, but she has no idea how. How can a girl who
doesn’t believe help Santa and save Christmas before it’s too late? With a
little Christmas magic, of course!
Purchase Links
Giveaway Details:
1 Winner will receive A Taste of Christmas Gift Basket US
3 Winners will receive eBook bundles of 5 Month9Books.



BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT: Again Series by Theresa Paolo


(Never) Again & (Once) Again by Theresa


Just when she had finally moved on…

…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex’s
voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does
what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls’ bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s
everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother.
It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a
happy face and pretend he didn’t leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of
emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only
person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When
Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used
to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it





Josh will have to reconcile his past…

In order to make Kat his future.
After surviving a real-life nightmare, Josh Wagner is sent home from his dream
college on crutches. Bedridden and tormented by flashbacks, he’s just seen his world
shattered and his baseball scholarship go up in smoke. Josh’s family hires a health
aide to help take care of him, but when he opens the door, the last person he expects
to see is his biggest regret…
Katherine Singleton is the only girl Josh has ever loved. Now, even though she’s only
taking care of him because it’s her job, Josh is determined to win her back. But Kat had to move on after their breakup two years ago, and despite her feelings for Josh,
a lot has happened since he left…
When Kat’s past comes back to haunt her, Josh decides it’s his turn to take care of
her. But protecting her—and redeeming himself—will put Josh in the line of fire
again. Will he survive this time?



(Never) Again

I tried to hold my head up and give him a dirty look, but it felt like it weighed nine hundred pounds and I wasn’t strong enough.
Zach’s hand cupped my face, holding it up so I looked into those dark, beautiful eyes of his. Warmth spread across my cheeks, seeping into the rest of my body. He pushed my hair out of my face, tucking it behind my ears. I wanted to be mad, but I didn’t have the energy to care.
“You’re a mess.” His lips turned into the smirk I dreamed about for months after he stopped calling. “What happened to my Lizzie?”
“You left her,” I managed to get out before my eyelids became too heavy and I drifted off to sleep.

(Once) Again

“You scared me,” she whispered, hot against my ear.
“I scared me too. I’m sorry.”
She pulled back, running a hand through my hair. “Don’t be. But maybe it’s time you see someone.
Just to talk. You need to talk.”
Talking scared me more. But her cold hands on my neck, the curves of her body pressed against
me, her scent, Kat . . . that didn’t scare me at all.
“The only thing I need is you.”
As selfish as it was to hold on to her, I couldn’t let her go. In that moment I truly believed my
words. But my problems were bigger than us. I just didn’t know it yet.


Theresa Paolo lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her
long time boyfriend and their fish. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance,
released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin). (ONCE) AGAIN will release this
summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND
series, under her pen name Tessa Marie. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s
thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put
her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or
can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Dead Jed by Scott Craven

Dead Jed/Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed

by Scott Craven

Middle Grade Supernatural/Humor

Book Description

Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.
From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead!

Book Description

The first part of seventh grade was rough on Jed, but things are looking up now that Christmas is almost here. As with past Christmases, Jed asks for the one thing he’s always wanted–a dog–and again, his parents tell him they’re not ready. But fate has a different plan when Jed sees a dog get run over by a car. Then, it happens. Jed suddenly has a pet, Tread, a zombie dog bearing his namesake–a tire tread down his back. Jed may have gained a dog, but he loses his best friend Luke, who fears the way Jed created his undead pet.

When Jed returns to school, he finds a mysterious group called the No Zombies Now Network spreading rumors of the dangers the undead pose to normal people. Forced to disprove Hollywood stereotypes, Jed has his work cut out for him as stories of a zombie dog begin to circulate. Jed could be expelled if he can’t expose the NZN Network as a fraud. Jed needs help from his kind of girlfriend Anna, especially after he discovers Luke has joined the shadowy group.

Once again navigating the treacherous waters of middle school, Jed does his best to stay in one piece. Only this time he’ll need even more duct tape and staples than usual.


NOTE: My thoughts are for both books in the series!


4 out of 5 fleurs de lis

Dead Jed was a pretty fun addition to the zombie genre! In this series, our main character Jed is a 12 year old boy who was born as a zombie.  In this world, zombieism is considered a disease not unlike albinism…very rare but something that is generally accepted in society.  Of course there are those who fear what they don’t understand, and as a result Jed’s seventh grade days are sometimes very difficult indeed.

Although Jed has a condition that means he regularly loses body parts and leaks Ooze, he mostly has a positive attitude about it.  Like any 12 year old, he does have his mood swings though.  I liked that he didn’t let his zombie status define him or keep him down; in fact, when he needs to, he uses it to his advantage!

I have to say, for a middle grade novel sometimes the language and situations are a bit abrasive.  I’d almost recommend this for ninth grade and above.  There is a scene where Jed is teased and called gay, among a few other awkward situations.

The addition of a dog to the second book made Jed a different person! The zombie dog does some hilarious things.  Though he’s no longer tormented by overgrown bully Robbie, there is a new faction that’s out to get zombiekind.  Jed much once again use his cunning to dispel all those old zombie myths!

I think the author has created a fun world and a fantastically spirited main character who readers of all ages will love.


About the Author

Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter 

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | IndieBound


Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed by Scott Craven (INT)



Chapter by Chapter

REVIEW: Splash Math Apps #FreeMathApp #MomBuzz

Join the 8 million+ users!
Download Splash Math on iTunes!

Get SplashMath for Grades 1-5
Get SplashMath for Pre-K

Or check them out on Google Play!

Preschool & Kindergarten Splash Math

My thoughts:

My kindergartener loved this app! He’s just getting into addition and subtraction, so this app was great for him to review things the class was already learning.  Both he and I love the idea of being “rewarded” with different animals when finishing tasks.  I can see that this version will be good for him to review what he is already currently learning, but we will also play with the first grade version for a challenge.

Splash Math – Grades 1 to 5

My thoughts:

I downloaded this app for my six year old, for when he is ready to start working on more challenging math problems.  I have to say, the aquarium is so fun! My son wants me to help him with more and more sections so we can add more fish.  It’s really a great enticement to learn math.  I like that this app can grow with your child, and it’s something they will enjoy playing because there will always be a new challenge.

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$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
Write a short review of any Splash Math app on the iTunes App Store. If you have already reviewed Splash Math app, simply update your review.
Send an email to with your iTunes nickname and the app you reviewed.

DISCLAIMER: This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media and StudyPad Inc. All opinions expressed are my own.

REVIEW: Makeup by One Direction Kit #makeupby1D



I may be pushing 30, but I have to admit I am a One Direction fan! I went to their tour in New Orleans and had a great time.  I may not be their target audience for this product, but I was happy to review the new Limited Edition Makeup by One Direction kit, out just in time for the holiday season!

Created for—and inspired by—fans of the world’s biggest band, this limited-edition beauty collection is fun, bold and a tad mischievous, just like ONE DIRECTION.



You can get the tins decorated with each of the five guys on it! Zayn is my fave, so I’m glad I received this one :)


The inside of the tin is fun and funky.  It even shows you a little about what eye shades to apply where.


Here is the makeup itself.  You’re not going to find any bold or crazy colors here, but that’s great because teen girls need to have an understated look, in my opinion.

Something cute about this set is that each makeup item and color is named after a One Direction song the fans will easily recognize!

Starting with the eye shades at the top, here are swatches:


From left to right:

Nobody Compares- Metallic silver
Tell Me A Lie- Metallic nude pink
Same Mistakes- Metallic mint

First, let me say, the brushes for eye shadow and lip color that come with this kit are not good at all.  If you have any brushes that are part of a bigger makeup brush set, please use those when applying instead.  But, for the sake of simplicity, I used the ones included.

I love Nobody Compares, and I think it will be a nice shade to wear to holiday parties with shimmery dresses.

The matte, darker shades:


I Would- Smokey brown shimmer
Summer Love- Smokey purple haze
Everything About You- Smokey black shimmer

Summer Love is my fave out of this set.  I would combine it with the dark eyeliner to make a smoky eye.

The nail polishes:


Top to bottom:

Stole My Heart- Magenta pink shimmer
Alive- Multi-coloured glitter flakes

I really like Stole My Heart and could see myself wearing it year round.  Alive is probably not something that you’d want to wear alone, but the chunky round glitter will add a nice pop to neutral solid colors.

The lip top coat and eyeliner:


Lip Gloss Top Coat:
Over Again- Silver glitter sparkle

Eye Pencil:
I Want- True matte black

The lip top coat has a lot of silver glitter in it, but I had a hard time getting it to show up in a photo.  It’s not as glossy as I hoped it would be as a topcoat.

The eyeliner is a basic black color, really.  I think it would be easy to smudge, but I don’t think you’re going to get a very fine line from it.

The lip colors:


From left to right:

Loved You First- Bubble gum pink
One Thing- Frosted pink ice
Irresistible- Shimmered pearl
Heart Attack- Creamy rose shine

Once again, super vibrant colors here.  I liked Irresistible.  Here is a photo of me wearing Irresistible with the Over Again top coat:


The boys seemed to have had a hand in making this kit, and no doubt it will be flying off the shelves for tons of teen girls this Christmas!  As an older makeup wearer, some of the colors are just not pigmented enough for me, but I will wear a few. I do, however, think it’s a perfect starter set for girls who are just starting to get into makeup, and older teens who want a little variety in one kit.

These new sets are available in stores November 15th at:
Sears USA
Walmart Canada

This post sponsored & powered by BrandBacker.

INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: Catch Us if You Can by Marc Feinstein

Catch us if You Can

by Marc Feinstein

YA Coming of Age

Book Description

A small town, a family, a tragedy and the saving power of Rock & Roll…
It is 1967. Gene Gennaro is sailing through his freshman year in Oldbrook, blown along by the steady prevailing innocent winds of the time—sports, girls and Rock & Roll. On the Ides of March, a tragedy thrusts him into a new world forever rocked by that fateful day.

The next three frenetic years of high school are a lifeline for Gene as unbreakable as the fidelity of his friendships with five basketball teammates; most of all Reuben, his best friend since before kindergarten, whose lifeline at times turns into the rope for a tug-of-war between fate and will, testing their classically loyal friendship.
CATCH US IF YOU CAN is a coming-of-age tale of small town but urban youth growing up in the late 1960’s trying to untangle the answer to life’s tragedies as well as answer Bruce Springsteen’s haunting question: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse?



1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Okay, just a peek, but it’s an inner glimpse that I don’t often share. Took the steady, expected path of the more staid strivers (college, law degree, career, wife and 2 boys). Mysteriously to most (and some would say, foolishly), I abruptly shifted direction into this writing project while always trying to stay true to myself. Aware that writing legal thrillers or suspense would likely gain me easier admission into the traditional publishing industry, and cognizant of those questioning why I would leave a rewarding legal career to write fiction, I couldn’t help but do and write what I wanted to rather than what “they” wanted me to.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

Not an easy one to describe—maybe it will come out in some future piece. I’ve always respected storytelling that resonates and sticks with you in a meaningful way—whether it be through songs, poems, or stories. Lacking the musical chops for song-writing, it was the writing of novels or screenplays that I knew I would one day try to tackle.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

Following up on my prior response, anything that stays with you in a meaningful way. My wife. My sons. Some movies and well-written dramatic television. Great books. My imagination.

4.  Tell us about Catch Us if You Can.

My book is a lot of things—different things to different people. And it was designed to be that. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to synthesize it for agents, publishers and marketers—not an easy task. Everyone seems to want a pitch or tagline that encapsulates what took more than 400 pages to write. If it was that easy to do, trust me, I wouldn’t have put in the years.

So, I’ll steal some of what’s already been created to talk about the novel: As a coming-of-age tale, it is about loss—of life, of innocence, of dreams. Set in the late Sixties, it is an homage to a unique time—historically and culturally. Portraying the ardors of youth, it sends out a high school basketball team as a search party to answer Springsteen’s haunting question: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse? The rest can be gotten from the book synopsis on the cover, at the booksellers, and on my website:

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I hate to be modest or sound trite, but I don’t yet consider myself a writer. I don’t know why, but I have trouble saying it when asked what I do. I’ve written my first novel and learned a great deal from the experience—about the craft and about myself. The writing and the learning was enjoyable. But I don’t think I will call myself a writer until I’ve reached my audience. So, to me, the difficult part is getting the book out there. Far and away, the hardest part is the business end of things.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Nothing superstitious or even comforting out of habit. Mostly what I need is the environment and resources to transport me into the world I am writing about. In the instance of Catch Us If You Can, music from the era had an uncanny ability to take me back and feel—not just remember or imagine, but truly feel—what it felt like. Of course, as with anything to do with the brain, your mind sometimes plays tricks on you, so that it is difficult to separate real from imaginary when you start to inhabit the world you’re writing about.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

Perhaps stemming from my competitive side, I’ve always made lists for fun (sometimes just mentally, other times committed to writing) of top 10’s—music, movies, TV shows, even vacations. Curiously, I’ve never done it for books. But I can say, without reservation, that there are lots of novels that have, for myriad reasons, stayed with me (among them, but in no particular order):
Samaritan—Richard Price
American Pastoral—Philip Roth
A Prayer for Owen Meany—John Irving
A Separate Peace—John Knowles
Brewster—Mark Slouka

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

To the extent that I know myself (or have learned things about myself in the writing process), all my characters have some part of me in them. Of course, some more so than others. From a physical feature standpoint, even character traits or personalities, it is of obvious benefit to see what you’re trying to describe; so, it’s easy to pattern someone’s looks and quirks off of someone you know, or a mix of people you know, so you can visualize.

I am sure this happens to authors of fiction all the time—a guessing game of who in real life is portrayed fictionally in the novel. There is a veritable secondary marketplace for literary criticism and even books devoted to such conjecture, so much so that I am sure there is an element of intentional guile on the part of some authors. Since, for Catch Us If You Can, I chose a subject matter (a high school basketball team in the late 1960’s) that in some ways paralleled my own high school experience, the natural tendency for those who grew up with me will understandably be such a guessing game. But let me go on record as saying I am not yet that crafty.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I have already started work on 2 novels, yet unsure which one will take off first. One is a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a wife in an otherwise enviously happy family, whose teen children have to reconcile what happens when their father is the prime suspect in her murder. The other, a saga of a man permanently scarred by a lost high school romance, whose unmoored life through five decades and across the country, shockingly takes root when an unknown daughter shows up.

10.  Why do you love writing?

It’s a question that, astonishingly, I have yet to have been asked; and now that I have, I think I have to admit that it’s not the writing that I love, as much as it is the storytelling. Writing is a craft that I believe is always being honed, that is solitary and lonely and takes a lot of discipline and work and a thick skin—not necessarily something to fall in love with. The ideal of a writing life, of inhabiting an imagined world that you create for whatever period of time it takes to complete, and that takes you—the author—along for the ride, and that hopefully connects you with an appreciative audience, well, that’s what my Italian friends call amore.

About the Author

Born in the Bronx and raised in Ridgefield, New Jersey, Marc Feinstein is a child of the 60’s unbound with stories to tell.
Feinstein is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor’s in Economics. He went on to law school at the Mc George School of Law at University of the Pacific and then began long career in law as a Litigation Attorney and Mediator.
He spent over 30 years of his life in Orange County, California with his wife and two children and now retired resides in Maui with his wife.
He is an avid basketball enthusiast –from playing it, to coaching it, to the study of its history and evolution as a game.
Feinstein is having the time of his life writing and creating stories that connect and resonate with a broad audience and hopes to one day crossover his books to film.

Visit him on his website at
Like him on Facebook at
Follow him on Goodreads


Barnes & Noble

Understand your cycles to get pregnant

Unfortunately, not everyone has spectacular luck when trying to get pregnant.  I have several friends who have had trouble trying to conceive, and I’m sharing some information today that is helpful for those in the same boat.

Understanding your monthly menstrual period is very important in trying to conceive. Ovulation is a process by which a mature egg is released from the ovary, then pushed down the fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized. If a woman knows their ovulation cycle, then it would not be hard for the couple to try for a baby at the right time. You can also get ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) to monitor your ovulation and be aware of your most fertile days to improve your chance of getting pregnant. According to, having sex at the right time of your ovulation will increase your chance of having a baby. With this, it will save you time in trying to conceive and will lessen the contribution of stress that can affect your effort in getting pregnant. Most women nowadays are trying to understand their ovulation using ovulation predictor kits to get pregnant easily. It might be confusing at first, but oh so important in your efforts in trying to get pregnant.

REVIEW: Children’s Dimetapp Cold & Cough #ChildrensDimetapp


In the cusp between fall and winter, it never fails that my child will get a nagging cough that plagues him for a week or so.  It’s usually not a worry enough that I have to bring him to the doctor, but the coughing makes him miserable and just sounds so terrible.  This year, I got the chance to combat his cough with Children’s Dimetapp.


The Dimetapp has the great classic grape flavor that generations have grown up loving, but my 6 year old balked at it.  I suppose over the years he has grown accustomed to RED medications, as he so haughtily let me know! Nevertheless, he came to like the grape taste after a couple of days.

One dose of the Daytime Cold & Cough was enough to get him through his full day of school with less coughing, though he definitely needed another dose by 3 PM.

In my opinion, the Night Time medication was the more effective of the two! One dose before bedtime worked to stop coughing throughout the night and get him to sleep, and as an added bonus the boy did not wake up groggy in the morning.

We only had to take the medication for about three days before his symptoms cleared up, so that was amazing.

I’ve been made a believer in Children’s Dimetapp, and I think it will be great for your household too!


Click here for more information about Children’s Dimetapp Cold & Cough:

CLICK HERE FOR A $1 off coupon

For complete drug facts, warnings, dosing chart and active ingredients, click here:

COVER REVEAL: Ring of Ice by Kailin Gow

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Check out where the Frost series began with Bitter Frost!

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All her life, Breena had always dreamed about fairies as though she lived among them…beautiful fairies living among mortals and living in Feyland.

In her dreams, he was always there the breathtakingly handsome but dangerous Winter Prince, Kian, who is her intended. When Breena turns sixteen, she begins seeing fairies and other creatures mortals don’t see. Her best friend Logan suddenly acts very protective.

Then she sees Kian, who seems intent on finding her and carrying her off to Feyland. That’s fine and all, but for the fact that humans rarely survive a trip to Feyland, a kiss from a fairy generally means death to the human unless that human has fairy blood in them or is very strong, and although Kian seemed to be her intended, he seems to hate her and wants her dead.

About Kailin Gow

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Kailin Gow’s life is sometimes more fascinating and stranger than fiction, which is being chronicled in a feature film based on a treatment optioned and in development for a release date of 2018. ( – The Colorful Worlds of Kailin Gow 2018). Her true life experiences as a world traveler where she has traveled to over 25 countries, logging hundreds of thousands of miles, absorbing the cultures and collecting stories relating to places and the romance of the land, and incidents in her personal life, has inspired her to write and publish over 170 books with over 30 series.

She is noted as an indie pioneer, as one of the first to publish in 2001. Breaking stereotypes, her books has crossed traditional and indie lines, gaining recognition in schools and libraries, as well as the indie community. Her action adventure young adult fantasy series, The Frost Series, an ALA YALSA Reader’s Choice Nominated book series – had been optioned by an international film company and is currently in development as a game and a film at Five of her fantasy/action adventure series have been optioned to be made into worldwide games.

Kailin Gow has been known in The World Journal, an international newspaper, to be a phenomenon. She was profiled on the homepage of as an Author Success Story who overcame personal obstacles to become a bestselling author, appeared as one of Amazon’s top authors for the Kindle Fire launch release, and is one of the earliest indie authors who have sold over a million books. She writes for Fast Company as a publishing expert, had appeared on a major network Television News as a bestselling author who writes fiction and non-fiction with a social conscious, and has made speeches and appearances across the U.S. and on top 15 national radio regarding self-esteem and issues relating to women.

Kailin Gow was an invited speaker and signing author at Book Expo America (BEA)2014.

Having experienced bullying firsthand and slander as a woman, Kailin Gow is an active advocate against bullying in the workplace and in schools. She has written Shy Girls Social Club Handbook Against Bullying and has helped launch Stories for Amanda where all proceeds go towards the Amanda Todd Foundation against bullying. She has written several books with the theme of abuse towards women and children, especially the steamy international bestselling The Protégé Series, which launched a book club initiative in battered women’s shelters and won The Indie Excellence Awards at NIEA for Erotica in 2014.

She holds a Masters Degree in Communications Management from The University of Southern California, and degrees in Drama and Social Ecology.

She resides in the American West with her husband and daughter, but had lived for a decade in Texas, and briefly in England. Besides being a full-time author, she volunteers for many organizations, is active in church helping build homes for the homeless and visit orphanages. A voracious reader, when she is not writing, she loves reading an entire series in one sitting! She spends way too much time on Facebook than she is supposed to at, but loves meeting new people from all walks of life.

She has over 30 Series, written under Kailin Gow, and more under her middle grade, women’s fiction, and mystery pen names:

***For 16 and up***

The Frost Series – COMPLETED. Bitter Frost Series Consists of 8 full-length novels.
The Wolf Fey Series – COMPLETED. Consists of 2 full-length novels and one novella.
Fairy Rose Chronicles – age 13 and up.
The PULSE Series – Next Book – Blood Ring (PULSE #9), releasing due to readers’ demand to continue the series. Consists of 9 full-length novels and one novella.
FADE Series – COMPLETED. ALL Full-length novels.
DESIRE Series – All Full-length novels. Last Book, FRENZY – 2015.
Fire Wars Series – All Full-length novels.
Alchemists Academy – All Full-length novels.
Wordwick Games – All Full-length novels.
Wicked Woods Series – COMPLETED. Consists of 5 full-length novels.
Steampunk Scarlett – All Full-length novels.
The Phantom Diaries – All Full-length novels. Last Book, DARK VICTORY – 2015.
Stoker Sisters – All Full-length novels. Last Book, SISTER OF THE STRIGOIS – 2015.

Beyond Crystal River – 2015 NEW SERIES.

SHADES – 2015 NEW SERIES. This is a high concept psychological thriller.

***For 18 and up (New Adult/Coming of Age)***

Loving Summer – All full-length novels.
The Donovan Brothers – All full-length novels.
Saving You Saving Me (You & Me Trilogy)- COMPLETED. Consists of 3 Full-length novels.
Never Knights – COMPLETED. Consists of 3 Full-length novels.
Rock Hard Love Hard – 1st book, Rock Hard Love Hard is now Available.

Sawyer House Chronicles (Spin-off of You & Me Trilogy) – Coming in 2015
Canvas – Coming in 2015

***For 18 and up (Adult/Steamy Romance)***

The Protege – COMPLETED. 3 Full-length novels.
Master Chefs – COMPLETED. Consists of 3 Full-length novels.
The Blue Room (Spin-off of Never Knights Trilogy) – Romantic Suspense.
Barely Legal (Spin-off of The Protégé) – Romantic Suspense.
The Oyster House – Artistic Romantic Thriller set in Hong Kong and England.
– Coming in 2015.

For information on the series, new series and new book releases, contests, appearances, KG-Convergences, and more, sign up at


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