Carly Rae Jepsen + U.S. Olympics


Okay, so forget what the song says - this is crazy, I've posted three times today! That is unusual for me but... I decided to get in on all the Olympic posts with this video.

What does new pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen and the U.S. Olympic swim team have in common? Well, during their downtime, they are the latest to cover the hit song in this fun (slightly crazy *wink*) video! Check it out - it is really cute. Congrats to Ryan and Dana for already winning gold medals!
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Reminder: The Giveaway


Hey, all! Just wanted to remind you that the giveaway ends today! There will be three winners who will each win one of 3 prizes listed below. If you want your chance to win a copy of Downton Abbey or The Hunger Games (pre-order), or maybe you want to read Glamorous Illusions, then enter today! 

The Prizes:
  1. DVD of your choice
  • Downton Abbey (season one or two) 
                                     OR
  • Great Expectations (2011)
                                    OR
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood
                            OR
  • The Hunger Games (DVD) 
     2.  $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
     3.  Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

To everyone who has entered, thank you and best of luck - winners will be announced tomorrow. 
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Charlie St. Cloud (2010)



Ever watched something where your feelings on it are totally in a jumble at its close? No doubt we each have that one movie that is only described as such. My thoughts on this drama – praised for its emerging leading man but thought mediocre story-wise, were exactly those…
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Spider-Man 2 (2004)


Spider-Man 2

Since he discovered he had the power to protect the defenseless, Peter Parker’s life has become one big scheduling conflict. Between his 9-5 job as a pizza delivery guy, college classes and keeping the streets of New York safer, Peter (Tobey Maguire) has no time for a personal life… including seeing his childhood crush, the pretty red-head, MJ (Kirsten Dunst). Struggling to keep up on his rent in a crummy apartment, Peter must also dodge his landlord – a problem compounded by losing his job. The recent success of MJ as a Broadway actress makes Peter proud but his best-laid plans to finally see her perform after re-connecting are foiled when he is again pulled into helping police and then not allowed admittance. Dejected over disappointing the girl of his dreams yet again, Peter watches from the sidelines as she puts her faith elsewhere.
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Touching the Sky by Tracie Peterson



About the Book:
Author: Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Land of the Lone Star - Book 2 
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Book two in Peterson’s ‘Lone Star’ series tells an unrelated story with new names from book one (though Will is briefly in ‘Sky’), and characters from the third and final novel, Taming the Wind play an important role. Set in a post civil war era, this weaves together the lives of the affluent Marquardt family and the challenges they face in the aftermath of their support of the Union in a state that either considers itself for the south or not yet a part of the U.S. It isn’t until youngest daughter, Carissa marries a known supporter of the south and eldest, Laura meets the handsome captain, Brandon Reid that their lives change. There is something interesting driving Peterson’s latest series – but I am not entirely sure that I can pin down what it is.
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Link Love


Happy Friday! Things have been quiet around here lately - if anyone is wondering where all the new reviews around here are, well, there hasn't been anything "good" on the new release shelf lately. That is usually how it goes though; for a period of time, there will be oodles of new titles, then it will dwindle. I expect there will be some new reviews coming in the next few weeks, until then, I hope you find something that intrigues you from the "oldie" archives that are going up. Also, thanks to everyone who has entered the giveaway - it has been such fun! If you haven't yet entered, don't wait! You only have a couple more days to do so...

This post shares some favorite things from this week; I've actually done this a couple of times prior but since I am not posting much beyond reviews, I thought I'd put this together as something different, so here are some of the things I am loving - in links!
  • My new hair color
  • The fact that I have a love/hate relationship with this "type" of jeans is something I've not figured out
  • Just saw this live on stage - in an outdoor theater! (It made me want to see the movie again) 
  • How unbelievable was this third season finale?? Absolutely loved it. 
  • Reading some spoilers on the up-coming third series of this show - one of my very favorites
  • This cover of the popular song, "Call me Maybe" - I just love it plus I always enjoy these ladies songs and covers 
  • All of the new Christmas movies from this production company coming to DVD this fall - gotta' love some holiday fluff
  • These pre-order listings on Amazon: SWATH, Season 7 and "Lucky"
  • Love this organic body care company
  • Lovin' this cool summer treat
  • After seeing Footloose live on stage, I discovered how much I love this song - this version in particular is now on my iPod
                                 
What did you find fun this week?
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Revenge of the Bridesmaids (2010)



When being an ideal bridesmaid for your friend’s wedding is just too much to ask, of course the next best thing is shredding her dress; ruining her cake and the ice sculptures, and with it her ideas of the most beautiful wedding ever.
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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2010)



Costume dramas are uncommon in the U.S. market. There are the always superb BBC dramas, but for those of us in the states who love the genre (really, could there ever be too many!?), we are asked to wait all the longer before being given opportunity to experience their latest masterpiece. In one of my Internet browsing sessions, I ran across Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day prior to its release, and needless to say I was curious. It isn’t a traditional costume film but is loads of fun and a “day” that will leave you smiling long after the closing credits.
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Review: Me and Orson Welles (2009)


Beginning with the “roaring 20’s,” America not only endured two world wars in the course of twenty-some  years but also entered an era that is thought “scandalous” in comparison to the quiet, proper beauty of the gilded and Victorian ages. The music had a lively beat, the dancing had step to it and dress hems were shortened, raising some eyebrows in the process but perhaps what makes it most interesting is the progress entertainment made.
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In Plain Sight, Season One (2008)


Instead of backing off on how many television shows I keep up with¸ I seem to be adding to my queue of favorites. This one I decided to give a chance quite on a whim and though it isn’t the best I’ve seen, its premise is unique to most shows and it is good.
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In Plain Sight, Season Two (2009)



Following the traumatic events that landed Mary (Mary McCormack) in a situation she had no control over has left her shaken. Unable to officially work until she is cleared is making her go stir-crazy – even a mere 24 hours after being rescued. Her sister (Nichole Hiltz) was somehow entangled in the mess that landed Mary kidnapped along with Brandi’s loser drug-dealing boyfriend who didn’t make it through the ordeal. Drugs are involved and though Brandi is accused of stealing them, Mary refuses to help Brandi on the grounds that she could lose her career. Mary soon has bigger issues to deal with when she learns from her boss Stan (Paul Ben-Victor) that one of her witnesses was just found lying dead in her bedroom – seemingly as a result of suicide. Usually not a woman who likes to follow orders, Mary seems fine to “tag along” with her partner Marshal (Frederick Weller) considering she is not officially cleared to work. Even the presence of a new office administrator (Holly Maples) doesn’t damper Mary’s uncharacteristic attitude… until she learns that her witness may have been murdered, and then all bets are off.
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The Jerk Theory (2009)



Even if you do not read a synopsis, some movies seem to suggest that they will be crude without further study. This happens either by way of their title or the impression it leaves via its cover art. This was one of those movies. I figured having the word “jerk” in its title didn’t bode well but with exception to a handful of slip-ups, The Jerk Theory has something good to communicate.
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Spider-Man (2002)


Spider Man Upside Down Kiss

By his own admission, Marvel creator Stan Lee claims Spider-Man as his “favorite.” He has built an empire with his comic book production company – one that is perhaps more popular today than at its conception. This ten-year old film tells the story of Peter Parker and his quest to live up to the great responsibility that comes with his powers.
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Wallis and Edward (2005)


 
Said to be extensively researched and the first production to tell the story from Wallis’ perspective, I’d eyed this for a few years on Amazon, watching for price fluctuations and such. Finally was my curiosity overcome, especially when I realized its connection to Colin Firth's The King’s Speech who was the brother of Edward and the man who succeeded him to the throne. After that, it seemed an appropriate time to finally see this.
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Love Finds you in Mackinac Island, Michigan by Melanie Dobson



About the Book:
Author: Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Summerside Press
Publication Date: 2012
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

The StoryAs the Gilded Age comes to a close, Elena Bissette's once-wealthy family has nearly lost its fortune. The Bissettes still own a home on fashionable Mackinac Island, where they will spend one last summer in the hope of introducing Elena to a wealthy suitor. But Elena is repulsed by the idea of marrying for money.

Quickly tiring of the extravagant balls, Elena spends most evenings escaping back into Mackinac's rugged forest. There she meets Chase, a handsome laborer who shares her love for the night sky. The two begin to meet in secret at an abandoned lighthouse, where they work together to solve a mystery buried in the pages of a tattered diary.

As Elena falls in love with Chase, her mother relentlessly contrives to introduce her to Chester Darrington, the island's most eligible bachelor. Marriage to the elusive millionaire would solve the Bissettes' financial woes, and Elena is torn between duty and love.
via the publisher

Review: Elena’s story, one of a young woman whose wealthy family must learn to adapt after a bad rap from a business partner sees their fortune gone, is not a new one. It begins with she along with her parents arriving to the island to summer at their home for possibly their last year. Unsure what she wants from it, the one thing Elena is certain of is that in order to save her family she will have to marry but first she wants to enjoy every moment that her mother doesn’t dictate – the times when she is “free” to be whomever she wants, without the constraints of proper dress or the disapproving frowns of society. Back-dropped on a lovely island in a time when expectations of women was to marry well, this novel may not have been my favorite but it is a pleasurable read.
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The Selection by Kiera Cass - A Romantic YA Dystopian



About the Book:
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 2012
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Series: The Selection, Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Teen/YA, Fantasy, Dystopian
Rating: 4 out of 5
Reading young adult or teen fiction is really not where my interest in books is – or so I thought. Recent years have found my bookshelf filling with more secular fiction, and among that, the subgenre of teen fiction has overtaken (with permission) my precious shelf space. I don’t think I can say what drew me to read this one save for the cover art was probably what caught my eye (isn’t it captivating?). Then the story sounded intriguing. Touted as being another version of The Hunger Games, this revolves around a strong-willed female protagonist who lives by a set of rules in a world that separates the social classes.

American Singer works to help provide for her “Five” family but her one mistake may be falling in love with a “Six.” And, then she receives the royal invitation to take part in The Selection. Her mother is delighted, America isn’t. Fighting off the idea of becoming one of “them,” she rebels against being carted off to the palace Is it logical to accept… or will an acceptance break hearts?
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The Characters of Summer


Since it has been a while since I did a random, out-of-the-blue post (I am hoping to have some book reviews from different genres up in the coming weeks), I thought I'd share with you the awesome promotional key art for some of the summer-time shows from the network of, you guessed it, USA. Though the current seasons airing now are the ones I won't see until next summer, I am already inclined to be mad at USA. It would seem they suddenly decided this is the year for being cruel and killing-off-characters. Something quite out of character for them Out of the six featured here, at least three have been quoted as killing off a "key character" and one show has plans for more than one! *sigh* Is it okay if I am a little bit mad about this!? It won't stop me from reading my spoiler articles and relying on fans of the shows to keep me up to date.

Click below to check out the key poster art of the shows!
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Review: Neverland (2011)


The wonderful world of children’s books and the legends that accompany them is often something viewers take great pleasure in re-visiting. Perhaps it is because it’s a small piece of our childhood that we can re-capture for a few hours in becoming lost in a dream world on film or maybe it is nothing more than the love of a good film adaptation. Following up their immensely entertaining miniseries about a girl who didn’t know her own story could be found in bits and pieces of a dream, and an iconic yellow brick road, SyFy took on the world of Peter Pan in this, a nearly three hour miniseries that shows us the legend like we’ve never experienced before.
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My Sassy Girl (2008)


I didn’t really know much about this movie when I decided to rent it. What I did know was that Elisha Cuthbert (24) starred and it sounded like it wouldn’t be a total waste of the evening, plus I was so ready for something different. What I came away with was mixed emotions about this little gem.
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Source Code (2011)



Movies that explore inhabiting another’s mind or any type of story that relies on “mind control” as its basis aren’t usually something I watch. This particular take isn’t the easiest story to relate to because its concept is foreign to the average person – at best it is emotionally engaging and at worst, it writers expects us to know too much before things are properly explained.
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Burn Notice, Season Five (2011)


Summer-time means a lot of things. It brings more than one thing to mind and is often the start of new beginnings or family vacations, time at the pool or gardening. For me, one of the simple joys the season brings is the return of (one of) my favorite shows, Burn Notice. In its five - almost six years on television, it has become so much more than it started out as being. And that is a good thing.
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Missing, Season One (2012)



Some television shows have an excellent plot but don’t make it. Others seem to squander their potential for longevity – working with limited resources to begin with. This one was in the latter category. Though having seen it, I can say that it was actually not the worst thing to have air time.
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A Good Woman (2004)



I do not really remember how my seeing this came to pass, but it would seem accurate that it was an “on a whim” rental. Recently I found it at a going-out-of-business sale and decided to nab it at a low cost.
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Let Freedom Ring!


Happy fourth, bloggers!

Today I just wanted to drop by to wish you all a wonderful holiday. Make it a day full of memories - a day spent with friends and family. In-between all the family get-togethers, cook-outs (a.k.a overeating on potato salad and burgers *wink*) and fireworks (my favorite!), let us all remember the reasons that we have the freedoms we do today - the very principles on which our country was founded! Thank you to all the men and women in the armed forces who are keeping it that way - and upholding the principles on which our country was founded.

Wishing you all a wonderful Independence Day, friends.
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Submerged by Dani Pettrey


About the Book:
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Alaskan Courage - Book 1
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 5 out of 5

The Story: Following the sudden death of her aunt – the woman who took her in when her mother left her behind, Bailey Craig reluctantly returns to her hometown of Yancey Alaska. It was the one place she never wanted to see again – her self-destructive past is far too painful to relive and she doesn’t think she has it in her to come face to face with the people who know every detail of that sordid past. Most specifically one man…

Cole McKenna is a deep sea diver. As the captain of his crew, he is responsible for seeing that everyone makes it out safe which is why he feels so horrible that he wasn’t able to save Agnes when the small aircraft she was travelling on crashed into the water. The only thing good to come from this is seeing Bailey again. The girl who broke his young heart, Cole is surprised by the emotions that rise to the surface when he sees her again but Bailey is clear: She isn’t staying and she doesn't want even the most innocent gesture to resemble the past indiscretions of her life. Nothing can resemble her prior life. She has changed.

Suddenly things change when it is ruled that the accident was no accident, and Bailey and Cole will have to work together to find out who murdered her aunt – and the two divers who no one seems to know. - publisher synopsis
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Iron Man 2 (2010)


Tony Stark’s alter-ego Iron Man is back in a triumphant – or perhaps a not-so-triumphant – return, again seeking to do right by those who have stood by him.

Life has turned into one big party for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Always a bit of a playboy, to those who know him best, it would seem he has now lost total control – he is actually becoming a danger to himself let alone the American people he is protecting. Most recently, his irrational activities include a showy, overblown entrance into his company’s annual expo and signing over his company to his loyal secretary Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). His inventions win the attention of a senate panel who want his Iron Man suits and all his blue prints confiscated, concerned that someone else may someday get a hold of what could become a dangerous weapon. His friend Lt. Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle) testifies but Tony refuses to give it up and in fact shows up Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), the man who now supplies the U.S. military with weaponry. Turns out, Tony’s behavior isn’t without reason. The very device that is keeping him alive is also destroying his body; the lithium is slowly – and painfully killing him. Tony finds he has bigger things to worry about when yet another display of his rash behavior at a European speedway leads to his coming up against a new foe.
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Necessary Roughness, Season One (2011)



I am not a sports fan. It doesn’t matter what sport it is, it just isn’t for me. Any show that bears the USA name is one I am willing to try and in fact, there isn’t one that has disappointed me yet. This was a new addition to their all-star 2011 line-up (couldn’t resist) and it could very possibly be their breeziest yet – it may not have the highest ratings but as per usual, it is darn entertaining.
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