Saturday, August 19, 2017

Best. Night. Ever. - Book Blog Tour

Best. Night. Ever
By Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nall, and Dee Romito


We're on the last leg of a blog tour which celebrates the release of Best. Night. Ever., from 7 fantastic authors listed below.  Who remembers their middle school?

Love Actually meets Adventures in Babysitting in this hilarious novel written by seven authors about seven classmates who are preparing for a crazy night at their middle school dance.

Lynnfield Middle School is prepped and ready for a dance to remember, including an awesome performance from Heart Grenade, the all-girl band who recently won a Battle of the Bands contest. Seven classmates—Carmen, Genevieve, Tess, Ryan, Ellie, Ashlyn, and Jade—intend to make the most of the night…or at least the five of them who are able to attend do. The other two would sacrifice almost anything to be there.

One thing’s for sure—this entire crew is in for one epic night! Gail Nall, Dee Romito, Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, and Jen Malone have created a charming, hilarious, and relatable novel that’s perfect for anyone who can’t wait to dance the night away.

Buy Links:



Meet these Awesome Authors

One of Rachele Alpine’s first jobs was at a library, but it didn’t last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she’s a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit. Rachele is a high school English teacher by day, a wife and mother by night, and a writer during any time she can find in between.  She lives in Cleveland, Ohio where she writes middle grade and young adult novels. Visit her at RacheleAlpine.com.


Ronni Arno Blaisdell is the author of Ruby Reinvented. She has written for several magazines, blogs, and websites. In a previous life she worked as a publicist in Hollywood, and eventually built a home in Maine. She is a keen SCBWI member and contributor to the KidLiterati.com blog. Visit her online at ronniarno.com.


Alison Cherry is the author of the YA novels RedFor Real and Look Both Ways, and the middle grade novels Willows vs. Wolverines and The Classy Crooks Club. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, dance, and opera productions. This whole “writing books” thing is just a cover for the international crime ring she runs out of her Brooklyn apartment. (Shhh, don’t tell.) Visit her online at AlisonCherryBooks.com.


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing. When she isn’t crafting fiction, Stephanie is indulging her gadget geek side by writing for online technology sites. Her work is regularly featured on the small business blogs for Intuit and Go Payment and she is a featured columnist for SmallBizTechnology.com. She lives in Nashville with her husband. Visit her online at StephanieFaris.com.

Jen Malone is a former Hollywood publicist who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. Jen is also the author of the middle grade novels At Your Service and The Art of the Swap, coauthor of the You’re Invited series, and wrote the YA novels Map to the Stars and Wanderlost. You can visit her online at
JenMaloneWrites.com.

Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family, and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. Gail is the author of the middle grade novel Breaking the Ice, the coauthor of You’re Invited and You’re Invited Too, and the author of the young adult novel Exit Stage Left. You can find her online at GailNall.com and on Twitter as @GaileCN. Visit her online at
GailNall.com.

Dee Romito lives in her hometown of Buffalo, New York, where she and her family are steadily checking items off their own bucket list of adventures. You’re likely to find her at the local ice cream shop, writing at a cafĂ©, or curled up on the couch with her cats. And while she does her best to be a grown-up most of the time, giggling with her BFFs is still one of her all-time favorite things. To join the fun and create your own bucket list, visit
TheBFFBucketList.com.


Another addictive game that will keep you tied to your phone is called Snoopy Pop.  Players burst bubbles and release these little Woodstocks, and before you know it - you're hooked!  the App is FREE and FUN!  

Snoopy Pop 

According to Motel 6, 25 million people have never seen the ocean, and 1 in 4 people have  never been to a landmark or national park. Wow!

ANGEL FOOD CAKE W/TROPICAL FRUIT & RASPBERRY SAUCE & A MINI RANT

If you've been watching this blog, you already know that I could care less about calories when I'm posting recipes - but I probably should be. This culinary delight is not only super simple to prepare, but has only a tiny 128 calories per slice.  Say what?  Anywho, this summer has been all about fruit and more fruit.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
1 Medium Mango, diced (1 cup)
1 Medium Orange, segmented (reserve juice)
2 Pints Fresh Strawberries, divided
1 Tsp Freshly Grated Ginger
2 Tbsp Cold Water
1 Tbsp Seedless Raspberry Jam (low sugar)
1/2-1 Tsp Coconut Extract
1 8 Oz Store Bought Angel Food Cake, cut into 8 slices
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut (toasted)

DIRECTIONS
1.  Combine Mango, Orange and its juices , 1 Pint Raspberries and Ginger in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine the second Pint of Raspberries, water, Jam and Coconut extract, then puree until smooth.

3.  Arrange the cake on  serving plates, with the fruit on the side.  Drizzle the cake and fruit with the raspberry sauce, and sprinkle with coconut flakes.

VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Did you know that there's an International Virtual Assistant Association?  You can become a member for a fee, or use their large directory to find the person you need for your business. Check out www.ivaa.org for more information.  Also, Power to Fly, (love that business name) which launched in 2014, is another place to find jobs as a freelancer.

If either of these don't work, https://www.zirtual.com/ is a great resource, too.
SERVICE DOGS
Those with disabilities such as PTSD, Blindness, Anxiety, Cerebral Palsy, or in a wheelchair, etc., are eligible to have a service dog. Good training for these animals normally takes about 18 months to 2 years.  
You may have noticed that these wonderful animals are well socialized and quite friendly, so they don't mind being petted. 
However, before doing so, it's important to get permission from the owner of that pet.  Someone suffering from a disability may panic or feel uncomfortable having strangers in their space.  I actually experienced this situation with a retired marine who had a neurological disorder.  When I touched his dog, he became jittery, causing the dog to go into protective mode, and I gulped in a little bit of fear.  Once *James calmed down, along with the help of his mom, they explained what had happened.


MINI RANT - The Mayweather vs McGregor fight will be on PPV on 8/26/2017.  If you want to see it in HD, it will set you back $99 to watch it in the comfort of your living room, and cry later when you get your cable bill.  Experts expect the purse for this event will be over $390 million.  A confidentiality agreement was signed by both fighters so we don't know how much they'll earn, but we can safely assume it will in the millions.

Everyone knows I'm no fan of Mayweather for 2 reasons.  I'm suspicious of his Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation. He's received thousands in donations, and as recently as August 5, he allegedly gave students "a chance to win a laptop" some school supplies, raffled prizes (more money!)during his Back to School Giveaway. The gallery pictures focus  more on facepainting than school supplies in my opinion.  I'm not even sure how current those pics really are.

 He's had multiple convictions for domestic violence.  In one instance his own son saw his mother being beaten by his dad and had to give an eyewitness report to the police. No child should ever have to do that.   Even if those two things weren't on the drawing board, I have a huge problem with people who punch each other for a living earning more than teachers.

For the upcoming school year 2017/2018, teachers in NC may earn about $40,000.  New York teachers have a base pay of about $54,000, and Georgia has a base rate of $32,000 annually.  I think you see where I am going with this, and wonder how in the world the men and women who teach our children to read and write are so grossly underpaid in comparison to a boxer?!  Something is very wrong with that picture.

Also, if boxers can make that type of money, we should never have to ever worry about 1 in 6 kids being hungry or people not having a place to call home.




Thursday, August 17, 2017

TACO TOPPINGS AND TIPS

Don't you just love tacos?  There are so many ways to prepare them, but you can top them off with these tasty new flavors.

PINEAPPLE & ROMAINE SLAW
In a bowl, toss 1/4 small pineapple (cut into tiny pieces) and 2 thinly sliced green onions with 1 Tbsp each lime juice and onion, and olive oil and 1/4 Tsp each of pepper & salt.  Add cayenne or red pepper flakes if you like some heat. Toss with 1/2 heart romaine lettuce that has been finely shredded, ( about 1 1/2 cup) and 1/4 Cup Cilantro (chopped)

QUICK PICKLED ONIONS
In a bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Tsp Honey, 1/4 Tsp Salt & a pinch of pepper.  Add 1 medium red onion(sliced), and let it stand, tossing occasionally, at least 15 minutes before serving.


CITRUSY RADISHES
In a bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp each of orange juice and lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp each of ground cumin, salt & pepper.  Add 6 radishes, very thinly sliced, and 1/4 small red onion(thinly sliced); toss to combine.  Stir in 1/4 Cup Cilantro before serving.

CABBAGE  & CORN SLAW
In a bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp each sour cream and lime juice, 1/4 Tsp Cayenne and 1/4 Tsp Salt.  Toss with 2 Cups shredded green or red cabbage and 1/4 cup corn kernels from 1 ear).  Let stand, tossing often for 10 minutes.  Stir in 1 sliced green onion and 2 Tbsp chopped Cilantro.




GET THE BEST TRAVEL DEALS
If you're thinking about taking a trip for the upcoming holidays, use the website www.momondo.com.   It will search for the cheapest flights, even if it's last minute, and ultimately save you plenty of time and money.

If you decide to go out on your own instead, The Airline Reporting Corporation says the best time to purchase airline tickets is the weekend EXCEPT Friday.  That's the day it will cost the most!



STOP GIVING AWAY MONEY TO AMAZON
Amazon boasts about lots of deals if you purchase their Prime Package for $99, but that's a high price to pay per year for free shipping options.  If you're an on-line shopper and don't mind getting all your Christmas gifts from one place, you can purchase a 30 day membership for just $10. 99, AND you'll also get that 2 day unlimited FREE shipping.  Just don't forget to cancel your subscription once you've completed your shopping splurge.


PET PERKS

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, there's a new food truck just for your dogs!  The Seattle Barkery offers up homemade treats like bagels, cupcakes and bones.  If Fido is having a birthday, order the special Hound Dog Cake made with bacon and special donuts that's presented on a Frisbee. For more info, visit www.theseattlebarkery.com.

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming is another spot to spoil your pooch, in 2 locations right here in NC.  The store provides baked goodies, toys, grooming and more, and can be found in Cary and Cameron Village. Find out more by visiting www.wgbnc.com. 

Also, you can take your pet on vacation with you these days.  Best Western has over 1600 locations that are pet friendly, and Loews provides guests with a tag, bowl, treats and special room service for dogs and cats!

The Mount Rushmore Memorial is 60 feet high, and took 400 sculptors 14 years to complete.  It's free to get in, and you just have to pay for parking.

FUN TREATS FOR YOUR GUESTS
Remember those popsicles you forgot about in the freezer?  Grab a bottle of Prosecco or Champagne and some fancy wine glasses, add a popsicle, and let the fun begin.  The popsicles will melt and change the color and taste of those drinks making for interesting conversation and new tastes for their palate.

Don't care about the extra sugar rush for your kids? Use Ginger Ale, Sprite or Mountain Dew instead. The flavor combinations are endless.



Want some healthy versions instead,? Drop kiwi, pineapple chunks, cherries or watermelon at the bottom of the glass instead.



TV/MOVIE NEWS 
I'm thrilled that Will and Grace will be back on NBC at 9pm on September 28, but the kids they had at the end of the show are mysteriously missing.  Also, it's 10 years later and Will and Grace are still living together?

I'm also looking forward to seeing how in the world John Goodman, who died of a fatal heart attack when the show ended last, is now back, alive and well.  Was it all a dream?


What do I want to see from the movie world before 2017 is over??

American Assassin - 9/15/2017
Blade Runner - 10/6/2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi -  (sadly Carrie Fisher's final movie)
A Bad Moms Christmas - 11/3
Thor:  Ragnarok 11/3
Justice League - 11/7
Daddy's Home 2 - 11/10
1974 Version

2017 Version
Murder on the Orient Express - 11/10  (Can't wait to see the remake of this classic!)
Deathwish -  11/22 (remember Charles Bronson?  My boyfriend Bruce Willis is starring in this remake)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart)


Do you love your feet?  Today is your day to celebrate!