Category Archives: Reviews

The Ultimate Green Store Bracelet

The Ultimate Green Store Review

Being friendly to our environment is quite important these days, so many companies and people trying to re-purpose and re-cycle things.  Combine that with the most teen craved product- bracelets – and self expression and you’ve got the ultimate gift for any teen!  I greatly love that the bracelet is so easily customized!  It seems self expression is and always will be a top priority for people and this bracelet allows a good bit of that!

A few months ago I asked Monkey (18) what the cool thing for the teens was at the moment.  Being an amazingly verbal teenager, she replied with the most unique answer ever, “I dunno.”  Oh, how I love that little pain in my neck.  LOL.  Later on, she came back and told me that bracelets where one could change the words to whatever they wanted was the ‘in’ thing.  Problem is, most bracelets like that you have to buy the letters individually, costing a lot of money if you’d like to change the words!  Most people tend to get a few then leave them for the duration, til they get tired of the letters and throw them out.  With this bracelet, one can change the words every day if they wanted to!  It comes with 75 letters, 10 numbers and 15 little icon buttons and the font is totally fun and perfect!  The pieces are super easy to pop on and off of the bracelet and you don’t have to worry about them stretching out and not fitting again, as the plastic immediately takes it’s original shape again after you put on or take off a piece.  😀  You can even get different color bracelets so that here is plenty of self expression!  LOL

From The Ultimate Green Store

Kit Includes:

  • One Bracelet
  • 100 element charms

Got something to say?

This cool completely customizable bracelet, made of 100% recycled scrap materials, gives you the letters and symbols to say it! Make a statement about the planet, your true love or whatever happens to be on your mind. Adjustable bracelet easily fits most wrist and ankle sizes. Let your creativity run wild with sets which give you duplicates of the most popular letters plus cool icons so you can say just about anything.

Shains are recycled accessories that encourage and empower people to make their own statements and change them whenever they want! Shainsware, the company, is dedicated to producing eco-friendly products that are useful and empowering. They donate a percentage of net profits to environmental organizations. Shains products are made of recycled and recyclable parts and everything Shains produces is certified lead free. Shains packaging is also recycled and recyclable.

Starter Kits are the best way to get started with Shains.  This Kit is equipped with a Recycled Bracelet and 100 Elements including 75 letters, 10 numbers, and 15 cool icons making it easier than ever to wear your message right on your wrist.

Key Earth-Friendly Facts:

  • Shainsware products are made of recycled materials
  • Bracelets & Cuffs are made of recycled TRE (Thermoplastic Elastomer, a rubber)
  • Elements are made of recycled ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
  • Packaging is made of recycled papers and bards are polypropylene  (the least harmful plastic to the environment)
  • Shains are recyclable when you are ready to go and get new ones.

Colors: Black, Sky, Concrete, Sun, Earth, Grass, Orchid, Poppy, Vanilla, Lake, Strawberry, and Pink.

S.H.A.I.N.S. (State How Action Is a Necessary Solution): ‘say it wear it mean it’.

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About The Ultimate Green Store

As the ultimate web-based destination for eco-conscious shoppers, The Ultimate Green Store provides a collection of many of the finest environmentally friendly products for you, your home, office, kids and even your pets! We also have an incredible collection of gifts for any occasion and you may personalize your shopping experience by creating a wishlist or custom gift registry for your special event!

We carry products from many of the world’s leading manufacturers and designers of sustainable, natural, organic, recycled, eco-friendly goods- products that are made with your health and the health of our planet in mind. Many of these companies are amongst the most socially responsible companies around. We also carry some green products made by companies that did not start out with environmental concerns in mind, but now realize the importance of sustainable practices and production in launching green lines within their category. We hope that in supporting these manufacturers, they will continue to move in this positive direction.

At the Ultimate Green Store, you will find that shopping green is hardly a sacrifice. Quite to the contrary, you will find beautiful, cool, hip, colorful, fun, effective, beautifully smelling, quality products that stand on their own. And, if you want to learn more, we have provided you with information about each manufacturer and their lines so that you can better understand the benefits to you and our planet of all the different products we offer.

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Originally posted 2013-12-06 09:11:37.

The First Christmas Night

first christmas
What a special story, that will be told forever!  I love the way this book was written, seems like it brings God back into a poem.  Nothing like making a story lyrical to remember it!  I don’t think that this story could ever be told too many times, and I love hearing the different ways from such creative authors!
About
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.  The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town

not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.

The moon shining bright in the heavens so high

gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.

The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places

with looks of contentment on each of their faces.

About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith is on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
 
About the Illustrator 

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal’s Children’s Books. Christine’s recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Who is it for?
Kids ages 4-8 – The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read
Family story time during the holidays
Children’s Ministers and Sunday school teachers
Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!

 

The First Christmas Night 

Written by: Keith Christopher

Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki

Publisher: Ideals Books

Hardcover: 32 pages
$16.99

Originally posted 2013-12-05 09:12:22.

King Beany: Great For Anyone!!!

King Beany

At the Zoo, I’m not sure which is better: super comfort or that our guests are loving this chair!  I can’t say enough good things about them!   Whether we are laying down vegged out or have the chair sitting up to read, it is always comfortable!

Here’s Why You Have to Have One

10 Year Warranty

Versatile Seating Options

Over 100 Design Choices

Super Comfortable!

Kids & Adults Love them!

Way Better Than a Couch

Can Double as a Bed

Discount Code

Smart enough to know that even if you win, one isn’t enough, that’s my kind of thinking!  Use this discount code and save 10%.

BEANBAG2

Since adding the bean bag to our family room, we have gotten tons of compliments and it is a daily ‘call the chair’ race.  We really love it!  We’ve slept on it (Thanksgiving our house was packed), we’ve watched movies on it and it has been broke in by all three of our dogs, who participate in the fighting for the chairs event!  It is now the most beloved piece of furniture in our house, and I assure you it is furniture!  The cover is washable so you don’t have to worry about it getting dirty and with the amazing warranty, you don’t have to worry about it falling apart (not anytime this decade anyway!)  So, enter below to win and you might as well get your order in now, because you will want another!

disclosure

 

Originally posted 2013-12-03 00:01:30.

Stump Cooler: Great Gift for the Outdoorsman

IMG_4597The Stump Cooler is probably one of the most unique coolers I’ve every laid eyes on! Designed to look like a tree stump, it blends in well perfectly for sitting in the woods while hunting! It will hold a dozen 12 ounce cans and is super light when empty, so you can take it anywhere! With the strap, it’s easy to carry along with whatever else you have to have out in the woods! In addition, they boast that it can keep cans cold for up to 5 days!

Not a hunter? How about fishing? Not only can the cooler be used to hold drinks, it can also be used as a minnow bucket! AND you can sit on it! No more sitting on the ground or carrying a chair, the Stump Cooler can be used to sit on too! One less thing to carry to that perfect spot!

The Stump Cooler is made of polyurothane so it is pretty light, adding in the cans or minnows doesn’t make it very heavy. The only thing I didn’t love was that the polyeurothane could be easily chipped with rough treatment. Though I’m certain with the tree stump design, a little spray paint will camo it back out with little effort!

I’m not a hunter or fisherman, but I did stick mine out by the koi pond and enjoyed having it there! Looks way better than the traditional cooler for when we have outdoor gatherings. If you know someone who loves being outside or even just having gatherings outside, they’ll love this unique little cooler!

IMG_4595

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

– Holds twelve, 12oz. cans plus ice
– 8x more insulating than other foam coolers
– 5x stronger than other foam coolers
– Great seating height- approximately 19″
– Sturdy enough to support a 250lbs adult
– Lightweight – less than 4lbs when empty
– Easily converts to a bait saver
– Over the shoulder strap for easy transport
– Measures 18 3/4″ x 10″ x 11″

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Wisconsin Products, Inc.® is a custom manufacturer of – Made in America – outdoor products. We envision our products to blend into nature instead of a portable plastic refrigerator looking product. Our initial product, The Stump Cooler®, has a wood bark color and texture. The material used is a lightweight PU that is 5x stronger than like products and 8x more insulating than like products. Why get boring products that are made in other countries and an eyesore when enjoying the outdoors. Be one with nature and purchase one of the most unique products on the market all while supporting an American made product and company.

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Originally posted 2013-12-02 09:07:23.

Litter Free Lunch Box

litter-free-lunch

A Review By Monkey

The  ‘Litter Free Lunch Box Kit is an amazing lunch box for a high school student. I took it to school and i got a few comments on the bag. They either said it was ‘cute’ or ‘colorful’.  I was really excited when i got to take it to school and use it for my lunch.(except for the part where i had to write this review:)  It kept my lunch nice and cold (without an ice pack) till lunch time. The bag itself was very easy to
carry around, and on the inside was very neat.   The containers that came with the bag were very helpful with keeping my food separated.
The water bottle was a problem solver, because I didn’t have to carry a separate item to my lunch. I enjoyed carrying around the individual bag. I will love to use it again and get some more compliments. Over all today was a good day to use the ‘litter free lunch box’.
Using the Litter Free Lunch Box for a second time, we decided to change it up a bit.  I put an ice pack in it and it did even better in keeping my food cold.  I suggest to put one in the box itself so you would keep the food inside cold. The little containers helped with the smaller sides (obviously). But if you had a salad planned for lunch you could put some dressing in one and the other one you could put tomatoes in it. For the medium sized container i would put fruit and some walnuts in it too. But hey, that’s just me! I also want to say that the lunch box is big enough to put other things in it. I put a half of a bag of Doritos in it and it still zipped up! Oh my goodness, I just love this bag!  You just can’t tell what I will have next!   Altogether the ‘Litter Free Lunch Box’  was a great product and I love having it to take lunch in.

lunch

The Zoo Keeper’s Thoughts

Let me just say that Monkey has officially made her writing debut!  *Proud Mom moment!*  Okay, now to the lunch box!  Each of the containers inside the lunch box are both microwave and dishwasher safe.  The container itself can be washed in the washing machine!  There is extra room inside even with all of the containers and the water bottle.  Plenty of space for other packaged goodies and such.  There is also a pocket on the inside to place things such as condiment packets or silverware so it won’t get banged around everywhere.

Monkey has been taking her lunch to school for the last 3 1/2 years and I have never seen her more excited to pack and take it!  She told me that the bus driver and her friends complimented it and she was quite proud to have it.  Preparing her lunch in the containers and taking it in the box seems to be something she loves to do now, which is always great!

I used the lunchbox when I went on a take out run to keep the food warm and it did well.  The food stayed hot and we didn’t have to eat lukewarm takeout.  I love that it is so roomy without taking up a lot of space!  No worries about it leaking or the food temperature changing too much.  Fabulous!  Plus, it’s great for the environment to use these types of products!  All in all, it’s a win!  Definitely a must have for anyone who takes their lunch anywhere!

Product Info From the Company

With great colors and fun designs, everyone in your family will want to carry their lunch in our Litter Free Lunch Kit! This kit has an insulated shell, four BpA-free airtight food containers (2 small, 1 medium and 1 large) and a 15oz BpA-free bottle – everything you need to pack a fresh, healthy lunch.

Bottles are dishwasher safe. Bag can be washed in a washing machine.

2 small containers: 3.75” x 2.25” x 1-3/8” deep

Medium container: 5.25” x 3.75” x 1-3/8” deep

Large container: 5.25” x 3.75” x 2.75” deep

Bottle: 2.25” x 2.25” x 6.5”

Find ‘Em Here

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Originally posted 2013-11-23 00:01:23.

Coming Home For Christmas

viewerI am just going to start this review by confessing: I am a Christmas junkie.  I love it, all of it, the Christmas specials, the feelings they bring, holiday gatherings, decorating, all of it!  The thought of having a perfect Christmas drives me all year long!  This year I have had the privilege of reviewing Christmas stuff- I’m in way up to  my ears with happiness over this one!!!

Now, on to my thoughts!  The movie has a great story!  Having seen probably a hundred Christmas movies, I can honestly say that I haven’t seen this story before!  I loved the story and the message behind it!  The set designers did a great job of making it a believable little town and homes!  The actors could use some work, but then perhaps the fact that they aren’t household names is what makes this special.  The film makes you feel good and even amidst mediocre acting you want to watch, to hear the story, to see it unfold.

Overall, I can’t turn down any holiday movie, good or bad.  This one has a great story, an actual unique one which is a rarity.  While this probably won’t be your new holiday favorite, it is one you will feel good watching.  Personally, I enjoyed it.  I am a sucker for a good Holiday story!

About The Movie

After their parents separate, two estranged sisters who haven’t been on speaking terms reunite in hopes that having a family Christmas all together for the first time in years will bring their Mom and Dad close again. They plan to do this in their old family home… the only problem is someone else lives there now.

The DVD includes a limited edition Norman Rockwell print!

Who is Norman Rockwell?  Rockwell was famous for his famous American culture illustrations and artwork. He was born in the late 1800’s and died in the mid 1900’s.

Director: Vanessa Parise
Cast: George Canyon (Christmas Miracle, Dawn Rider, Man of Steel), Aaron Pritchett, Britt McKillip (Dead Like Me), Carly McKillip (Hot Rod)
$14.99
Available at Walmart
Soundtrack also available featuring holiday songs performed by George Canyon
disclosure

Originally posted 2013-11-22 00:01:07.

Warmze Review: Awesome Bottle Warmer!

bottlewarmerWarmze’s are perfect for on the go Mommys!  In just 30 minutes, a frozen bottle of breast milk can be ready to go or a mixed bottle can be perfectly heated.  Given that the majority of our family lives at least 3 hours away, I can see this coming in handy for trips!  Or even just to keep in case a doctor’s appointment runs longer than planned!  The wrap will even stay warm for up to 10 hours, which is really great for long road trips.  The only downside is that the heat wraps aren’t reusable, but a set of 4 (for small bottles) will only run about $13, so that’s not too bad given that it’s not something that is needed regularly.  Plus, the warmer packs are eco friendly, so you don’t have to worry about that.  😀

From The Company

One self-heating warmer will conveniently heat several different bottles throughout a day-no boiling water, no metal disk to click, no running to car for car charger, no electricity, no batteries or microwave. In just 30 minutes you will have a perfect tepid bottle (90-104 degrees) the temperature recommended by Pediatricians. It works for breastfeeding moms that pump (thaws frozen milk) as well as those that have to use formula.
The non-toxic, biodegradable warming wraps are air-activated and last for up to 10 hours or 3-5 bottles per one warmer wrap. The bottlesoc is re-usable and helps keep baby dry by preventing leaks and allowing the large cotton ruffle to wipe dribbles.

Check out the video, it tells you just about everything you need to know about it! I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Originally posted 2013-11-20 20:36:23.

The Sparkle Box

IMG_4950A

Let me start this review with a confession: I had heard of this book before.  Last year, somewhere around Christmas, I heard an interview with the author on Focus on The Family.  It really touched my heart and I’ve literally thought about it all year long.  The author’s goal seemed to truly be the lesson the book teaches: to give to others.

It is not often that I am inspired by a children’s book.  I read the book in order to do the review and had to force myself to come in and write.  Not because the task is so daunting, but because the book has me so inspired I don’t want to sit down and write.  I want to do something.  Anything.  Make bread for the shelters, donate, something!  Not simply to fill a box, but to make a difference in someone’s life.  One of my favorite scriptures, and one my husband and I remind each other of constantly is this:  “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Matthew 25:40 KJV. 

This book will not only teach your children the joy of helping others, but it will make you want to go out and help someone else, anyone else.  My family has taught me throughout the years to help others.  Even my little brother who seems to be on a poor attempt at running from God has reminded me through his actions to do whatever I can to help others.  When we were kids we went through a period where our Mom couldn’t afford to pay the bills, much less provide for Christmas.  That year, a man we had never heard of, came to our home with a basket of fruit and a gift for my brother and I.  I don’t remember what my brother got, but I got a curling iron gift set.  I’ve never been a girly girl, don’t even know if I ever actually used that set, but what I do know is that I hold that as one of my fondest memories.  It was a great lesson and has been a constant inspiration for me to help others throughout my life.  Granted, I don’t wish that upon anyone, but the lesson could never be the same.  The closest I’ve seen to something teaching this lesson is this book.

About The Sparkle Box 

A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. Sam’s mom explains that the things that they’ve been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Author Bio

Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday.  The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace.  Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.

Illustrator Bio

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life.  After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Find It!

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Buy It

Book Trailer

Author Video

Facebook

#TheSparkleBox

Giveaway

Must leave a physical address.  However, if you are a military family and have an APO, I will personally ship it to you if you win, so go ahead and enter!

Originally posted 2013-11-19 10:07:11.

Sanctuary Blog Tour

sanctuary tour banner

Tour Schedule

 

sanctuarySanctuary by Pauline Creeden

“Left Behind for the Hunger Games Generation”
In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

 

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Praise for Sanctuary
“Pauline Creeden managed to mix more genres into one book than I could possibly imagine. The overall concept, aliens attacking the earth, is straight out of Science Fiction, but then you throw in a few zombies and post-apocalyptic fiction with how the dead/sick humans are acting. Overall, the entire story was charged with the adrenaline and thrills of a suspense/thriller novel, but the mood was terrifyingly eerie like a Horror story. There was almost too much sensory information for my primitive human brain to handle. Still, all of these genres combined made for one unique and fascinating story. This kind of book is of the same flavor as The Hunger Games with its originality, which I really appreciated.” – Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite

“Sanctuary is a fast-paced Christian fantasy thriller that is original and quite entertaining. The story revolves around Jennie and her family, Pastor Billy and his wife, and two brothers who are polar opposites of each other. Each chapter is presented in the point of view of Jennie, Brad or Hugh (the brothers), which gives Pauline Creeden’s Sanctuary, a multidimensional feel. The three different story-lines merge into a full-fledged fantasy/horror novel that never sags or lets up on the action. While there are Christian themes present in Sanctuary, and Jennie’s faith is an important part of who she is, I, a non-Christian, did not feel I was being preached to or proselytized. I recommend Pauline Creeden’s Sanctuary — it’s well-written and a lot of fun to read.” – Jack Magnus for Readers Favorite

 

Book Trailer

 


PaulineAuthor Pauline Creeden

In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary has already been nominated for two awards in YA Science Fiction.

One of Pauline’s short stories has won the CCW Short Story contest. Other short stories have been published in Fear & Trembling Magazine, Obsidian River and Avenir Eclectia. An urban fantasy short will appear in The Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves from Port Yonder Press, and a vampire short will appear in Monsters! from Diminished Media Group.

 

Website * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest * Facebook

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 11/30/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

Why on earth did I write a Christian novel that has both aliens and zombies in it?

When I was a teen/young adult and my faith was wavering at best, there were several movies out with the likely design to shake faith even more. End of the world movies were in their hay day. Alien invasion was another big one. And I couldn’t help but wonder. If something like this actually happened, would anyone be able to maintain their faith?

And now today, Zombies are on the rise.

Could aliens be reconciled with the Bible? Zombies? This is the purpose of Sanctuary.

Because of its poetic nature, the book of Revelation lends itself to a plethora of interpretation. I am not saying that my book is the only true possibility, but it could be one. Could not demons be misinterpreted as alien life forms? Might not Satan use this mirage to his advantage to explain the bitter water or the blotting out of the sun, moon, and stars? And then there’s Revelation 9:6 – “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

Zombies?

If anyone reading this book at least opens themselves up to the fact that yes, a biblical interpretation could resolve the problems between faith and an apocalyptic reality, then Sanctuary has completed its purpose.

EXCERPT:

When Jennie reached the back door, she saw them. Four large dog-like creatures with pinched faces like bulldogs and lion-like manes. They snarled, and one of them leapt at the window on the top half of the door when it saw her. Jennie jumped back and fell hard on the cold tile floor. The bottle of painkiller bounced across the kitchen tiles. The creature slammed against the window a second time, cracking it. She blinked hard. Her heart sunk, and the hairs on her arms stood on end. A horrendous gargling howl rent the air, causing a shiver down her spine. She held her breath and waited for the creature to slam into the door again.

“What on earth?” she whispered to herself.

When the third attempt never came, she scrambled toward the door. Blinking hard, she used the door knob to help herself stand. Out the cracked window, her mother was still out of sight, but the last of the dogs headed across the field behind her backyard.

“MOM?” Jennie called out.

The rumbling faded, and the vibrations in her chest receded with the dogs. She pulled open the door and rushed onto their back deck. “Mom, where are you?”

When she reached the banister, she looked over the side. Her mom lay sprawled with one hand on the lattice. Blood gushed from Mom’s leg and her opposite arm. Jennie’s ears rang and flooded with every beat of her heart.

Jennie didn’t know how she got to the second floor of her house, but she found herself shaking her sleeping father. How had he slept through the rumbling? “Outside, it’s Mom…”

Her father leapt from the bed. Mickey, her little brother, lay asleep and undisturbed. Dad ran down the stairs and outside in his flannel pajama bottoms and white t-shirt. He scooped Mom up to his chest and carried her inside. Blood stained his shirt in crimson.

“Jennie, call 911!” Her father had said it at least three times before it finally registered in her brain.

She pulled the cell phone from her pocket, but it refused to connect. With a groan, she grabbed the cordless from the wall receiver, glad her heart stopped pounding in her head so she could hear.

“All operators are busy at this time,” a mechanical voice deadpanned, “Please stay on the line, and the next available operator will take your call.”

“They have me on hold, Dad. Should I hang up and try again?” She held the phone in both hands away from her face.

“No, just stay on the line.” Her father lifted the shredded jeans from Mom’s leg. “It looks like a shark bite. What on earth happened?”

Jennie took in the damage through tear-filled eyes. A huge chunk was taken from her mother’s calf, exposing the fibrous tendons that covered the bone in her leg. A bloodstain grew on the beige couch. Was she going to die? Panic rose up.

“What happened, Jennie?”

“I…I…They looked like lions, or dogs, or something. The rumbling shook the whole house…I tried to go outside to get Mom, but—” A sob blocked her throat.

Her father grabbed a throw pillow and held it against the leg. Mom’s exposed forearm laid across her chest in much the same condition as her calf.

“Grab me the duct tape.”

Jennie suddenly remembered the phone, put it back to her ear, and headed to the hall closet. She reached for the shelf above the jackets and grabbed the junk basket next to the toolbox.

“Please stay on the line. An operator will be with you shortly.”

She shoved the phone in the crook of her neck and fished through the box. Half the contents dropped around her feet. Who cares? When her fingers wrapped around the silver duct tape, a short-lived relief sent prickles down her arms. But the urgency gripped her chest in less than a heart beat, and she threw the junk basket on the ground with the rest of the items.

“Hurry, Jennie!” her father called from the living room. “And turn on the TV. Maybe they’ll have something about what’s going on.”

She handed her father the tape and turned toward the TV. The mechanical voice on the phone came through again, followed by more easy listening.

When she clicked on the TV, the shouting and wailing began before the picture warmed up on the screen. A sideways picture of New York City broke through, with the shaky voice of the newscaster voicing over.

“What we are watching now – I can’t believe it – is live footage of Times Square,” the newscaster’s voice paused for a deep breath. “We’ve lost our man on the scene and his camera man to what appears to be some kind of new alien creature. Just a short half-hour ago, the doors to the ship that hovered above Central Park opened and these dog-like creatures flooded out.”

Jennie couldn’t pull her eyes from the screen. She straightened and dropped the phone on the hardwood. The battery popped out and skidded across the floor.

Originally posted 2013-11-19 00:01:47.

1 Girl Nation CD Review

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About 1 Girl Nation

Landing in the space where One Direction meets TobyMac, 1 Girl Nation is an exciting blend of upbeat pop music, with lyrics that are totally focused on living life for God, even while you’re young. 1GN, as they’ve already been dubbed, stars Carmen, Kayli, Kelsey, Lauryn Taylor and Lindsey, five girls with a passion for telling their fans about Christ through their music. Their first single, “While We’re Young,” can be heard on radio stations across the country and their self-titled debut album is available now!

img3.2My Thoughts

Even after reading the description above, I expected to hear something that I really couldn’t enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised.  1 Girl Nation has a sound that reminds me of a mixture of 80’s girl bands, modern day secular music, and a hint of contemporary Christian wrapped up in a praise and worship band.  As their pictures suggest, their music is fun and joyful.  With their primary target audience being pre-teen, teens, and young adults I think 1 Girl Nation should be on their way to the top!  I don’t think it will be long before they are being blasted all over Christian radio stations.  They sing songs that make you feel good but aren’t like the typical music you hear.  It wasn’t far into the CD before I was bobbing my head and enjoying the music.

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Originally posted 2013-11-16 06:23:20.