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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Taxing Soda Pop? Don't Let Even More Of Your Freedoms Get Taken Away From You

So now I hear on the news that a state is trying to tax soda pop. Their reasoning? That it will "help" to fight obesity.

Does this sound familiar?

The same thing was said about cigarettes... But do you really think the government cares about your health? It was just another way to garner public support and another freedom taken away... Not to mention, another excuse to further tax Americans. 

We've also seen this with the health insurance. We've heard repeatedly that obese people are the cause of the increase in health insurance premiums? Really? The last time I saw an outrageous medical bill, it didn't have an extra charge because of weight. And if weight is the root of all evil, why do slender people still have diabetes, heart problems, and asthma?

Again, it was just another excuse to get more money. Medical costs are outrageous... And there is the problem. Surgeries, doctor visits, and lab tests are way too expensive. Instead of increasing the cost of health insurance for the American people and making it impossible to get the medical care they need because of high premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, there should have been a cap placed on what hospitals and doctors could charge. Lower the costs instead of raising them. That benefits people. 

Don't let another freedom be taken away from you. Maybe you don't care about pop or cigarettes, but at this rate, they will eventually try to restrict/raise the costs of something you do care about. At the end of the day, we are supposed to have the freedom to eat or drink what we want. That doesn't mean we all have to like it. That means we respect another person's freedom. Anything else is just a control issue.

See this article here, then contact your local state government and make your opinions about this heard. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Wolf Cowboy (Wolf Town Guardians #3) BBW Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Feature & Book Review

My Wolf Cowboy (Wolf Town Guardians #3) BBW Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Feature & Book Review


Fans of werewolf romance authors like Patricia Briggs and Kresley Cole will absolutely love this book! 
 
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Series: Wolf Town Guardians, Book 3
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance, Werewolf Romance, and BBW Romance

Blurb: 

Wolf Town Guardians – Born to walk this world as both wolf and human, these men take their role as protectors very seriously. Enjoying sensual pleasures as they please, this group of alpha werewolves are the finest when it comes to protecting their hidden settlement.
Guardians are the masters of self-control, taking pride in their authority and hard, muscled bodies. That all changes at the first scent of their mates. Their control snaps. The mating heat begins.
This is their stories.

To claim his mate, Connor will have to break all of the rules…
It’s a good thing rules were made to be broken.
Connor Bouchard is a werewolf with a huge secret. He’s mated, but he’s done everything he could to avoid claiming her. But the wolf that lives within him has had enough. And even if it means war, this alpha cowboy will have his mate.
Natalie Miller spent her entire life living on the Amish settlement in Missouri. Her world was safe… Until the night everything exploded in her face. She learns that nothing about her life was what it seemed… Even her. In a fiery blaze of horror, secrets are revealed… As an enemy of old comes back into play.
Forced to accept Connor’s protection, Natalie refuses to indulge in the attraction that lies between them. She didn’t count on the heat, though. It burns within her as she craves a satisfaction that she never needed before.  Natalie finds herself wanted by two men, both of them willing to fight to the death to have her. Only one of them is destined by fate to have her, though.
Connor has to seduce her, the sooner the better.  The full moon is quickly approaching, his opponent determined to possess his mate. Can Connor tame this wild  filly before it’s too late?

Excerpt:

He stopped in front of a stall. A horse watched them warily, her body locked in place. She was a gleaming shade of dark chestnut with a white star on her forehead. There was something almost vulnerable about the horse, something that touched Natalie deeply. “She’s beautiful, Connor. What’s her name?”
“Her name is Star,” he replied, staring at Natalie. “And she’s yours.”
“What do you mean?” She gasped out, staring between him and the horse. “This is my surprise?”
“Indeed it is.” Connor looked at the horse with a frown. “She’s a rescued horse. Her previous owners treated her horribly. It’s a wonder that she even survived, but she did. Star is resilient, but she’s not able to trust anyone. When I heard about her, I knew she needed you.” He stopped to look down at her, his expression unreadable. “Even more, I think you need her.”
“Thank you, Connor,” Natalie said, her voice trembling. She was touched by his gift, more so than words could say. Overcome by it all, she surprised them both when she hugged him.
His arms wrapped around her quickly, holding her tight. A long moment passed, and then another. In her mind, she fit perfectly within the shelter of his arms. She wondered if Connor felt the same.
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” a male’s voice interrupted them, his tone loud and incredulous. “Connor, even in the barn? Really?” He sounded disgusted as he added, “This man ought to be neutered. It’s not safe to let him roam the streets, woods, or even barns. Once he was even caught messing with one of Alexander’s maids, and you want to know what’s worse? He was wearing red lipstick.”
Natalie jerked away from Connor. She was mortified by the other man’s words. Peeking past Connor’s large frame, she saw a large Native American male standing about twenty feet back. He was with a pretty blonde female who looked extremely exasperated. He had to be another guardian, his size and demeanor left no doubts in her mind to his identity.
Connor rolled his eyes and smirked before turning around to greet him. “Oh, hell,” he drawled out in a mocking tone of voice. “So Marrok is back and looking just as grouchy as he always did. What’s the matter, old boy? Did you piss your mate off on the honeymoon and get your sorry ass thrown out in the doghouse?”

Buy Links:


My Review:
 
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.... But the real truth is I've been anxiously awaiting its release! I've read every single one of the books in the Wolf Town Guardians series, and I love them! 
 
My Wolf Cowboy was no exception. Natalie was born and raised in a small Amish settlement in Missouri. Her biggest problem was the Bishop expecting her to remarry to a man she didn't love. Her life suddenly changes when the settlement is attacked, by a group of people that don't look anything human. 
 
Connor is a werewolf that knew that Natalie was his mate, but he refused to claim her because he was worried she wouldn't be able to adapt to the werewolf way of life. His body isn't going to let him get away with it, though. He ends up heeding the call of nature... Just in time. 
 
My Wolf Cowboy is a full-size novel, and I enjoyed every page of it. It's unique, flows well, and you never quite know what to expect. And Rose Wynters always manages to add some funny to the paranormal, at just the right moments. I laughed till I cried over Ryker, Orlando, and the pink Pinto. You'll see what I mean when you get to it.
 
For those of you that love books like Night Forgotten by Patricia Briggs, or the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, you're in for a special treat! My Wolf Cowboy is sexy, funny, edgy, and it features a plus-size heroine. Happy reading! 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Women's Fiction Spotlight: Twelve Houses by Olga Soaje #Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/womens-fiction-book-tour-twelve-houses-by-olga-soaje-31014-32414/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 3/10/14 - 3/24/14

Genres: Women's Fiction





Blurb:



Took My Breath Away-Powerful Reading!
Every once in a while a book comes along that takes your breath away with its powerful message and magnetic words. Twelve Houses by Olga Soaje has rocked me back on my heels.”
Olga Soaje has created a masterpiece of words that flow through each page, rich with detail and emotion”
Twelve Houses is an amazing piece of art that comes alive in your hands and your heart.” – Dii (Tome Tender Book Blog)

Can anything good follow the best thing that ever happened to you?
Amelia Weiss loved her husband of thirty-five years very much, but now he’s left her a widow. Without him, she is unable to work in her sculpture studio without crying. She no longer has a bridge to her estranged daughter. And she can’t seem to keep her mind in the present.
But when her daughter reaches out asking for her help and her agent threatens a lawsuit if Amelia doesn’t deliver for an upcoming exhibit, she’s forced to make a choice. Will she reengage with her life and the people in it—allowing room for things to be different than they were before? Or, will she remain stuck in the past, choosing her memories over real-life relationships?
Thrust fully into the present, Amelia stumbles into a surprising journey of self-discovery.

Excerpt:
One
Since You’ve Been Gone
Stay with me.
Don’t fall asleep too soon.
The angels can wait for a moment.
—Westlife, “Written in the Stars”
You promised you would never leave me. Thirty-five years ago, I looked you directly in the eye and heard, “I will never leave you,” as we stood next to the ocean. And now, like a thief in the night, you go. No last words, no promises, no tears.
As I look back at that moment, I can still feel your hand intertwined with mine, each finger between mine, like an oyster shut tight against the sea, protecting the treasure it carries inside. But the treasure was in my belly, full of love and expectations.
We walked like tourists along Pier 59, a place we came to think of as home. Wind in our faces and a carefree spirit in our hearts. Gently you stopped and pulled my hand so I would follow suit as you turned; I could see your eyes full of love and complete devotion. I felt I could stay in that moment forever. It was this feeling, this sublime happiness, that I did not want changed or challenged. That’s when I turned to you and looked into those blue eyes as I said aloud, “I don’t want this to change.”
Your face distorted into a concerned expression as you tried to reassure me. “It will be different when the baby arrives; it will be even better.”
“It’s not that. I’m excited about meeting the baby and having it with us.”
So you poked at the subject with concern on your face, as you asked, “Then what is it? What don’t you want to change?”
“Us,” I answered blithely, taking in a large whiff of air through my nose as a source of strength for what I was about to request of you. As I looked out to the sea right in front of us, I said, “I don’t want to forget this feeling. I want to always feel this love and peace between us.”
You gave me that dimply smile. “We will always have it. And when we don’t, we will have the direction in which we want to go.”
As a sea gull passed close to us, landing in the water with a tiny splash, I looked at you and finally said what had been on my mind, the deep seed of this conversation. “I don’t want to lose you.” Once again, your easy laugh, followed by an enveloping hug, while you gave me the grin I’d come to realize meant, You’re hormonal. “I’m serious. Just promise me…”

Buy Links:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble 

About the Author:







In my novel Twelve Houses, I tell the story of a widow who discovers that her life story is far from over. Amelia is a brave woman who struggles to find her true place in the world and at the same time to create a life that holds spiritual meaning and purpose. Though my first book, Borrowing My Mother’s Saints, was a comedy set in New York, I think both books describe a similar spiritual journey. I always consider the spiritual aspects of a character’s story as I write.
I love to hear from my readers in Amazon reviews and Facebook.

Connect With The Author:

Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Kirkus
Pinterest Under Olga Soaje 

Giveaway:

The author is giving away three ebook copies of Twelve Houses. To enter, please leave a comment with a valid email address! Winners will be randomly selected at the end of the tour by the author. Follow the tour and enter at each stop to increase your chances of winning. Enter 3/10/14 – 3/24/14.



Friday, March 21, 2014

What A Girl Wants By Jennifer Snow - Sweet Romance Book Tour and Giveaway

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/sweet-contemporary-romance-tour-giveaway-what-a-girl-wants-by-jennifer-snow-31214-32614/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 3/12/14 - 3/26/14



Genres: Sweet, Contemporary, Romance







Series: A Brookhollow Story


Friendship is overrated, if you ask her 
She's always just been one of the guys…until she falls in love with one of the guys. Except Bailey Sheppard has carried a torch for firefighter Ethan Bishop since high school. And now that his long-term girlfriend has left him brokenhearted, she's free to go after what she's always wanted. 
Not that Ethan sees Bailey as anything but a friend. A best friend maybe, but still not a woman he'd be interested in. Pining for his ex has made him blind to the possibility of happiness with anyone else…. But can Ethan resist a woman who knows what she wants?

Excerpt:


Ethan snatched the phone away before Jim could answer the text, which he knew he was aching to do, and slid it into his shirt pocket. He pulled the truck to the side of the highway behind an old, rusted red Volkswagen Jetta and jumped down onto the gravel. He positioned two traffic cones in the inside lane, forcing the oncoming traffic to take the outside lane, as Bailey’s tow truck pulled in front of the Jetta and she climbed out, clipboard in hand.

I’ll be here if you need me,” Jim called from inside the truck, reclining the seat and shutting his eyes.

You’re not even going to get out of the truck?”

It’s a simple backup call. I only came along to get out of clinic duty.”

Ethan shook his head as he closed the truck door. It amazed him how their work ethic differed so drastically. Jim was four years older, yet he’d never shown any interest in advancing his rank at the fire hall. Ethan had worked hard, proving himself to his senior coworkers and landing the position of captain by the time he was twenty-four.

He approached Bailey at the front of the vehicle where she spoke to a short, frazzled-looking bald man. “I’ll just need your driver’s license and your credit card…and I’ll have you hooked up and ready to go in just a few minutes. Feel free to sit in the truck to wait. The air-conditioning is on and it’s much cooler in there.”

The man disappeared inside the cab of the tow truck and Ethan waited until he was out of earshot before saying, “This car has to be at least thirty years old.” He leaned against the bumper to watch her work and the metal frame creaked in protest.

That thing looks about to fall off,” she warned as she put the tow dolly’s coupler in open position by lowering the locking lever all the way down and inserting the locking pin to secure it in place.

Good point, he thought as he stood. “So, before I forget, we’re holding Luke’s bachelor party at the fire hall tonight—poker, darts, beer, the baseball game.… If you’re not doing anything, stop by.” Bailey was a regular at their weekly poker games, much to the dismay of the other guys, whose wallets she emptied.

Stop by? To Luke’s bachelor party—the ultimate boys night?” She sounded incredulous as she inserted the electrical plug from the dolly into the switch on the back of the tow truck. That way the brake lights and turning signals on the dolly would work while en route to the shop.

Yeah, why not?” He knew Luke wouldn’t mind. Bailey had always been like a third, less-annoying sister to the groom to be, and she kept his ancient, rusted-out truck on the road.

I have Victoria’s bachelorette party tonight. A wine and cheese in the backyard of the Brookhollow Inn.” She crisscrossed the chains and connected them to the eyelets on the bumper of the car.

That sounds awful.”

You’re telling me.”

Buy Links:
(Available On All Major Retailers)
Harlequin
Amazon
Barnes & Noble 

 About the Author:



Jennifer Snow is an Edmonton based author writing sweet contemporary romance fiction through Harlequin Heartwarming, The Wild Rose Press and Secret Cravings Publishing. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Romance Writers of America, the Canadian Author Association, and SheWrites.org. More information can be found on her website www.jennifersnowauthor.com

Connect With The Author:

Website
Blog
Twitter 

Giveaway:

Author Jennifer Snow is giving away an ebook copy of What A Girl Wants, The Trouble With Mistletoe, and Mistletoe Fever at each tour stop. She’s also giving away five print copies of What A Girl Wants – tour wide! Open internationally. To enter, simply leave a comment with a valid email address. Follow the tour and enter at each stop for more chances to win! Winners will be randomly selected by the author after the tour is over. Enter 3/12/14 – 3/26/14 . 
 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fantasy Book Tour & Giveaway: The Fallen By Lee French and Erik Kort

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/fantasy-book-tour-giveaway-the-fallen-the-greatest-sin-by-lee-french-and-erik-kort-tour-dates-22414-32414/

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/24/14 - 3/24/14

Genre: Fantasy





Blurb:
For hundreds of years, the Blaukenev clan has wandered across Tilzam, from one end to the other and back. Each wagon carries history, love, laughter, pain, sorrow, and secrets. Their greatest secret of all may be Chavali, the clan Seer.

Spirits claim/use/save/damn her.



With her gift/curse, nothing surprises her anymore, no one keeps secrets from her. She, on the other hand, has more than enough secrets to keep. Secrets of her own, secrets of her clan, secrets of the world, secrets she even keeps from herself.



There are always people who want secrets.
Some will do anything to get what they want.



The Fallen is the first story of The Greatest Sin, of a world adrift from its God that desperately wants Her back. Chavali's comfortable, predictable life will be ripped apart and burnt to ashes as she's forced into the middle of that struggle. Change, she hates it passionately. It hates her right back.

Buy Link: 
Amazon  

Excerpt:
“Come in.” They did not speak the clan tongue in front of Outsiders, not without dire need, lest someone overhear enough to translate it and learn it. Instead, they spoke Shappan, the dominant language of Tilzam. Nearly everyone knew it, regardless of country or native tongue. Along with the words, spoken in the light accent of the clan, she lifted a hand to gesture to the stool opposite herself. “You are welcome here.”



He was timid as a mouse and small like one, too. Keino could probably lift this man over his head with one hand, or break him in half over his knee. Chavali watched him take small steps and dart his eyes all around. “Um, you’re the Seer?” His Shappan was obviously better than her own, she could tell even with so few words spoken.



“Yes. No one can see into the tent, it is safe, you are safe here. Sit, be calm.” Coaxing a scared little man onto the seat was not her preferred way to spend her time, and she stifled a sigh and a roll of her eyes. “If you do not sit, I cannot help, yes?”



“Oh, right. Of course.” He moved quickly, practically jumped onto the stool while shooting terrified looks all around the tent. “I’ve just never done anything like this before, and, um, I’m worried about…”



Holding out her hand, she kept her tone calm and patient. “Give me your hand. I cannot help if I have no connection to you.”



His audible gulp made her want to roll her eyes again, but he tentatively offered her his hand. As she seized it, the spirits rushed him, eager as always for new people to interact with.
DearCreatorIhopeyoucanhelpmeI’mdoomedthisissocrazy


“Calm,” she told him, shutting her eyes to make it easier to focus on this pile of crap. “If you do not calm down, I see nothing, just a bouncing jumble of nervous. Deep breath in through your mouth, out through your nose. Come, do this a few times.”



His thoughts began to settle as he followed her orders. It became less a rushed mush and more actual coherent ideas. Amy is going to kill me for this. I shouldn’t be doubting her, but I am, and I need to fix that. She’s a sweet girl, this is all my fault.



“I see a name. A-something, Anna? No, Amy. Does this name mean something to you?”



As expected, he gasped a little. How does she know that? Is this the real thing? If she knows that, she must know if she’s seeing Marcus or not. “Yes, that’s my wife.”



“You worry about her, you think she is meeting someone else?”



“Yes!” His mind flooded with images of Amy, who he loved, deeply, but also with images of a man much more virile than himself. That other man wore armor and used a blade for his work. A city guard, perhaps, or a soldier.



“There is another name, with a…’c’. But not at the front, maybe in the end? No, no, the middle. Arcu, Marcus. Yes, Marcus. He wields authority.”



“Yes, he’s in the Order of the Strong Arm, one of their knights. I need to know.” He already knew, of course. That was the beauty of what Chavali did. All the answers were in his mind already, he just needed someone else to say it out loud because he couldn’t, the poor fool. People really were the same no matter where she went.



Still, it wasn’t good to just say things like this aloud with no feeling or props, or anything to give her an air of more authority than just pulling things out of the air. Her free hand dipped into the pouch tied to the thin belt around her waist (it also held a small blade in a sheath at the small of her back), pulled out five objects at random and tossed them on the table. Keeping hold of his hand, she peered down at the bones, finding it amusing that all five were actually bones. The pouch also had crystals, stones, and even bits of shell and wood, all minimally shaped and etched with ink-stained runes by her own hand.



It wasn’t that the bones were only props - they had meaning for Chavali. It was that they weren’t tools for divining. In this context, she used them as prompts, as ideas for how to word things. “Mmm.” Starting with the one closest to him, because she didn’t like having them out of her control for any longer than necessary, she picked up a chicken wing bone, displayed it, then deposited it back into her pouch. “Pain of the soul, for you.” The next was a finger bone, from Seer Marika’s dead body. “Betrayal. Face down, the betrayer is a woman.” A bone from the paw of a dog was next. She liked that dog enough to preserve a part of him. “Love, but face down, so actually just lust.”



This was all so stupid and predictable. His mind raced as her words confirmed everything he feared. The next, a horse’s tooth, was an amusing addition. “Secrets. Many secrets.” The last one almost always turned up when she did this. It was a chunk of unidentified bone, picked up some time ago just because of its odd shape. “Fear. There is much fear through all of this.”



She needed nothing more from this man to make her pronouncement, and she didn’t care in the slightest if it turned out to be true or not. They would be gone tomorrow morning, and likely wouldn’t return for several years, if ever. Letting go of his hand, she gave him a mildly sympathetic look. “The bones have spoken. She has betrayed you, and you must deal with that in your own way. The bones, I think, suggest you confront it head-on, but this Marcus may not be wise to cross.”



He nodded, resigned. “Thank you.”



“It is not a thing I wish to be thanked for. Good fortune to you.” She watched him get up and leave, and snorted at him as soon as the tent flap was shut again. Idiot. He was, of course, the first of today’s parade of idiots and twits, each of them with a story as uninteresting as the next, a story Chavali had heard dozens of times before.

About the Authors:
This book has two authors, Lee French and Erik Kort.

Lee French lives in Worcester, MA with two kids, two mice, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom. In addition to spending much time there, she also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don't get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.


Erik Kort abides in the glorious Pacific Northwest, otherwise known as Mirkwood-Without-The-Giant-Spiders. Though the spiders often grow too numerous for his comfort. He is defended from all eight-legged threats by his brave and overly tolerant wife, and is mocked by his obligatory writer's cat. When not writing, Erik comforts the elderly, guides youths through vast wildernesses, and smuggles more books into his library of increasingly alarming size


Giveaway:

The authors are giving away five print copies of The Fallen – autographed by both authors! Enter at Goodreads! Entry will be open the length of the tour. Enter now by clicking here.


The Orange County BBW Beach Bash - September 12 - 14, 2014


Make your arrangements now to attend the Orange County BBW Beach Bash - Happening September 12-14, 2014!

ITINERARY:
Friday September 12th, 2014
12:00pm to 10:00pm – Beach Bonfire @ Huntington Beach State Beach
Saturday September 13th, 2014
12:00pm – 5:00pm – Food + Pool Party @ the La Quinta Inns & Suites
9:00pm – 2am – Club Night @ the Tiki Bar – 1700 Placentia Ave Costa Mesa, CA 92627


La Quinta Inn & Suites Orange County – Santa Ana
2721 Hotel Terrace, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Room rate : $80/night for 1 bed, $89/night for 2 beds.
Reservation # (714) 540-1111
That includes :

Complimentary Breakfast
Complimentary Wifi


Register now at:
http://xlencebbw.com/orange-county-beach-bash/

You can also get more information at:
http://xlencebbw.com/

Lara's BBW Bash @ Caligula NY Friday, June 20, 2014


CALIGULA NY PRESENTS: BBW Bash!!! W/ Lara & the NJPPG Girls!!! Cum Worship all your favorite Goddesses @ Caligula,
June 20th, 2014
BBW & Admirers ~ All Are Welcum to Join In!!!!

Doors Open @ 10pm and the party goes until 4am
Door Costs: Couples $45 Before 11:30pm $65 After 11:30pm Single Ladies $25  Single Men $100 All Night Long
***Make sure you let the door man (Jimmy) know that you are with NJPPG or the prices could be higher.

 This Is A B.Y.O.B club
Live D.J. - Larry Love
Nightly Free Sodas & Mixers Free Light Buffet & Snacks Security Provided

See all the details by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mystery/Suspense Spotlight: God On Trial by Author Sabri Bebawi

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/suspense-book-tour-god-on-trial-by-sabri-bebawi-book-tour-dates-2414-3414/


Virtual Book Tour Dates:2/4/14 - 3/4/14
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction, Philosophy




Blurb:



Convinced that God is a negative force, tormenting the helpless human race, an ailing English professor becomes determined to put the deity on trial. But when he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, he soon succumbs to the damning madness and brutally stabs and kills his wife. And in the deadly manhunt that ensues, he is ultimately shot dead by the police. This prompts his grieving sister to follow through his life’s mission to bring God to justice.

Excerpt:

He’s now back home in California. It is another night. That tantalizing sensation overtakes his natural senses again. Growing up, he always felt a sense of discomfort that was unrelated to his illnesses, and he still feels it now. He never has been able to identify the source of his severe and unusual discomfort. He wonders whether it was his family, religion in general, or society, with its unscrupulous culture.
He thinks of his parents. “Sadly, They were at odds,” he hears himself utter. “And rightfully so.”
His mother was at home, taking care of five kids, and his father was either working or endlessly playing. His mother had a tender soul. She was simple, affectionate, and caring, and loved her children dearly. The child in him sees her before him as a pretty young woman with fair skin, brown hair, and large brown eyes. She stands by his bed; she is neither too tall nor too short and neither too slim nor too heavy, but she is mysterious. Though his mother probably never knew it, she has had an immense impact on his life that continues with him until this moment of certain hallucination.
He becomes fully awake. It is 2:25 a.m. He gets up and decides to make a cup of espresso forte. After breaking a couple of coffee cups, spilling coffee all over his kitchen counter and floor, and mumbling a few expletives, he cleans up. Now he is calm; now he will taste the fruit of his coffee-making adventure; he places the cup on his desk and starts to write.

I’m not sure my parents’ odd relationship had any effect on me. I was a happy child tormented by religion and religious people’s hallucinations. I was tormented by Egyptian hypocrisy. I’ve seen a great deal of hypocrisy, child abuse, infidelity, abuse of women, and abuse by the government, churches, and mosques.

He hears the voice of his mother; during his childhood she always read to him in bed before he went to sleep. Now she reads from the Bible. In both her wisdom and lack of awareness, she reads from the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelations. This exposure to apocalyptic writing at a very young age has had a profound effect on him.
Being imaginative, and in this phantasmagoric state, he now experiences the same fright he experienced as a child. He returns to bed and suddenly falls asleep but is soon awoken by one of his many epileptic seizures. His body shakes uncontrollably, and his tremors seem to have a mind of their own.
As his attack gradually dissipates, he thinks of the savagery of God and questions why a peaceful God would be so cruel and nasty. These thoughts make him feel even more terrified. Since childhood he has been petrified of that entity referred to as “God.”
At age seven or eight, he developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He’d repeat the phrase “God forgive me” to himself all day until he went to bed. He kept this a secret because he had no idea how his mother, siblings, or Zakia would react. He remembers that he often went to Zakia, who was a Muslim, and asked her to hold him. She would oblige, and he would feel protected, even from that savage God.
He gets out of bed. It is 3:42 a.m. He makes another cup of espresso forte and sits at his desk, thinking. Again he writes.

This phase simply shaped my feelings about whether God does indeed exist. I often thought I’d be better than him or her or it, for I would not be as cruel, brutal, or malicious. Today I am an agnostic, and I can’t get myself to understand why anyone would believe in such a God as depicted in the holy books, including the Bible.
In addition to the Bible, there were other sources of great damage. Egypt is an Islamic country. I was exposed to and forced to learn about Islam and its holy book, the Quran, which is like the Bible in its catastrophic content. I was forced to learn about the Islamic laws, Sharia, even though I was a Coptic. I did so in schools, and I did so in everyday affairs. I was even forced to memorize and recite verses from the Quran, which also had a negative impact on me.
The daily prayers announced over loudspeakers, and coming from all directions, were a frightening experience for me. Everywhere in Egypt, between each mosque there is a mosque, and even that wasn’t enough. The radio broadcasted Quran readings repeatedly. Even today the memory of these sounds brings a deep downheartedness to my soul.
I remember Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who’s in a North Carolina prison now for conspiring to commit terrorism. His mosque was right behind our house. I remember Abdel-Rahman’s Friday sermons. He’d curse the Christians, Jews, and Americans (I don’t know why he cursed Americans) publically over a loudspeaker that echoed miles away. The sheikh would scream in a screeching, deafening voice, “May God burn them and displace their children, and may God burn their houses.” The congregation would repeat, “Amen.” And the pattern would continue.
This persisted for a long time. We were so used to it, however, that it didn’t bother us much. The amazing thing is that Sheikh Abdel-Rahman was a friend of my father’s. He often visited my father at his law firm and spent hours talking with him. My father considered him a harmless, kind man.
Well, for once my father was wrong. The sheikh always has been a terrorist, and he put his evil spirit into action. Fortunately he’s in prison now. I hope he never gets out.
He stops writing for a minute and wonders how the United States allowed that savage man to enter this country. Where was American intelligence? Didn’t they know how radical Abdel-Rahman was? This was simply bizarre. But the United States government overlooks such things so often that he wonders whether the word intelligence is fitting at all.
His mind is racing, and he grows exhausted with the burden of thoughts. Hoping for a few minutes of sleep, he goes back to bed. His hope materializes, or perhaps he thinks so; at the very least, he is semi-asleep.

Buy Link:


About Dr. Sabri Bebawi


The middle of five children, Sabri Bebawi was born in 1956 in the town of Fayoum, Egypt, where he attended law school at Cairo University. He then left Egypt for the United Kingdom. He was invited by Oxford University, where he spent some time, and never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took refuge in the country he loved most, the United States.
In California he studied communications at California State University, Fullerton, then obtained a master’s degree there in English education. Later he worked at many colleges and universities teaching English as a second language, freshman English, journalism, and educational technology. He did further graduate work at UCLA and obtained a PhD in education and distance learning from Capella University.
Although English is his third language, he has published many works in English on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels, and this is his first attempt. As English is a foreign language to him, the task of writing a novel has been challenging.
As a child, Bebawi struggled to make sense of religions and their contradictions; in fact he grew up terrified of the word God. As he grew older and studied law, as well as all the holy books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the word became just that—a word.


Connect with the Author:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Money Tree Book Tour & Giveaway


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/20/14 - 2/17/14
Genre: Children

Blurb:

Follow Tyler on his adventure to get enough money for a cool new toy, without the help of his parents. A witty and fun story with upbeat text for your young child with a valuable lesson about working hard and saving money to get something they really want! The clear text and playful illustrations aim to simplify financial concepts like earning, saving, interest, the difference between needs and wants, and the joy of running one’s own business. To make the otherwise boring topic interesting, the concepts have been explained through small anecdotes accompanied with colorful illustrations to stimulate children and ignite a love of saving.









About the Author:


LaDonna N. Smith is a certified financial educator whose goal is to educate youth from all walks of life on how to find their path to financial empowerment. LaDonna draws inspiration for her book ideas from several typical parenting routines; watching her children play or argue, overhearing them sing or talk, and listening to all the amazing ideas, concerns, & request that they come up with. The Money Tree, is the first, but her children have inspired many more literary surprises already in the works! LaDonna and her husband reside in New York and have four wonderful children, all with intriguing and different personalities, like the characters she creates in her storybooks.

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a print copy of The Money Tree by LaDonna N. Smith!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Money Tree by Ladonna N Smith

The Money Tree

by Ladonna N Smith

Giveaway ends February 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Valentine's Day: One Last Shot (Through The Heart) 2/15/14 BBW Event London


London England BBW and Admirers - Check out this Valentine's BBW Event on 2/15/14 at:

The Fine Line, 1 Bow Churchyard, London, EC4M 9DQ

This looks like such a blast! See the full event details by clicking here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES PRE-RELEASE SWAG SWEEPSTAKES: Blog Buzz Tour

Blurb:

LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES
A contemporary romantic comedy from Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star by Victoria Van Tiem
In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic, Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style–when her gorgeous ex presents a big screen challenge to win back her heart. What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder…should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?

Main retail links:





About Victoria Van Tiem:

Author repped by  Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.  An artist, black belt, mom of two, wife of one, and resident caretaker of the family zoo—including our beloved, pot-bellied pig, Pobby.

Connect With Victoria Van Tiem:

Rafflecopter–Facebook contest tab for all users: http://tinyurl.com/mcfqcqr


LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES PRE-RELEASE SWAG SWEEPSTAKES
 
*CONTEST STARTS Jan 23rd and runs to Feb 24th

To Celebrate LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES release on February 24th we’ve collected all things movies for an ultimate MOVIE SWAG SWEEPSTAKES!





1 GRAND PRIZE worth over $150
Free eBook of LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES and a popcorn gift basket with all ten ROM-COM DVD movies from LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES! We’ll even throw in the movie snacks!
DVD’s included:
Sleepless In Seattle - Pretty Woman – Bridget Jones Diary – 27 Dresses
Dirty Dancing – Sixteen Candles – Love Actually – Say Anything
You’ve Got Mail – My Best Friend’s Wedding




Free eBook of LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES and a $25 iTunes gift card to download Rom-Com’s of your choice!

http://tinyurl.com/mcfqcqr


No purchase necessary. Enter the Rafflecopter on Facebook by clicking here!

SWEEPSTAKES RULES LINK: http://vvantiem.wordpress.com/

See all of the stops on this buzz tour at: Fire and Ice Book Tours!

BBW Cruise: 2/9/14

 It might be too late to book this, depending on whether they have spots, and whether or not you have a passport, but you might want to join for upcoming events!

Join Club Ample, Columbus Ohio BBW, Club Catalina BBW Night Club, Club Fulfilled, Club Plus Tampa & San Jose Jiggles Plus Size Club, Club Attitude, Plush Cat Club, Cruise4U and several other BBW Event promoters from around the USA & Canada on a cruise to the Western Caribbean in 2014
Call Phil to book Tel 908-783-4431 - It's only $25 Deposit!

Be sure to mention the Club Ample when booking!

This is a great chance to mingle with people in the BBW Community from all over!

Join the Cruise Group on facebook for more details and booking information.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/plussizecruise/
RSVP on the Cruise Event page on facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/events/147269288757635/
Itinerary is as follows. The cruise sets sail from port of Miami, FL on Sunday, February 9, 2014 on the Carnival Conquest.

Day Port of Call Arrival Time & Depart Time:
• Sun - Miami, FL 4:00PM
• Mon - Fun Day At Sea
• Tue - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 07:00AM - 4:00PM
• Wed - Cozumel, Mexico 10:00AM - 6:00PM
• Thu - Belize 08:00AM - 05:00PM
• Fri - Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan 8:00AM - 3:00PM
• Sat - Fun Day At Sea
• Sun - Miami, FL 8:00AM

Flights to Miami would be better purchased on your own because Carnival charges are high for air.

Rates for cruise are as follows:
• Interior 4b $678.00
• Interior 4c $688.00
• Interior 4e $703.00
• Ocean view 6b $768.00
• Ocean view 6c $778.00
• Balcony 8b $938.00

Price includes Port Charges and all taxes. Gratuities are not included. These prices subject to change due to availability and date booked. As of now these prices are good until Feb 16 2013. If categories fill up i will try to add more staterooms of that category but prices may be higher. Please book as soon as possible. First deposits are only $25.00 per person. Of course you can put more down if you like. Other payment guidelines are you must have $250.00 total in by Sept 12 2013 and final payment by Nov 16 2013. If you are traveling by yourself find who you would like to share your stateroom with so we can double you up with them. If you decide to travel by yourself and do not want to share a stateroom with anybody you must pay 200% of the cruise fare so we advise single people to see who to bunk up with. Not included are on board spending, Shore excursions, Casino play, and beverages.

There are several beverage plans that I will post in a different post.

These prices include room travel from Miami to destinations and back to Miami. Meals on board (not including some specialty restaurants) I will post all the dining options in the future. I will try to seat dining together by groups. Activities and nightlife on board except for some group activities. But we will let you know once we negotiate activities with Carnival after initial deposits are closed and we know how big this group will be.

Cancellation guidelines are as follows:
Date 11/27/2013 12/17/2013 1/12/2014 1/27/2014

Amount $250.00/Person 50.0%/Person 75.0%/Person Full Penalty

There are discounts on shore excursions if booked through the group prior to sailing and the booking agent will be working on our group excursions at a later date.

A passport from your country of residence is not required for travel however it is HIGHLY recommended.
CRUISE TRAVEL: U.S. Citizens Carnival highly recommends all guests travel with a passport valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel. Although a passport is not required for U.S. Citizens taking cruises that begin & end in the same U.S. port, traveling with a passport enhances their disembarkation experience, as delays may be expected upon their return to the U.S. if they do not have one. Additionally, passports make it easier for them to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port should they miss theirs scheduled port of embarkation, or need to fly back to the U.S. for emergency reasons.

We also suggest travel insurance that our group agent will book through an independent agency. The reason we advise insurance is once you are out of the USA the insurance that you have now will not cover you And we have seen people pay up to $75,000 to be flown off a ship or island in medical necessity.

All other info will be available in additional posts. So come along and join us for a fun and relaxing party at sea.