Saturday, January 30, 2010

IMM 3


In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.


This week I got two books for review:

Split by Stefan Petrucha
The Returners by Gemma Malley

Bought/swapped/mooched/borrowed: none.

What did you get?

-Alicia

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hire Me, Entertainment Weekly: CoCo Vs. Jay Jay


Hire Me, Entertainment Weekly!

If you know me, it should be obvious by now that one of my all-time favorite magazines is Entertainment Weekly. It feels like a print blog to be honest. They have movies, TV, music, books!!, and even plays sometimes. This is everything that I love and it would be a dream come true to work for them at some point in the future.

Anyway, this new feature is going to be a variety of posts filled with things that I think would work in an issue of Entertainment Weekly. That could mean a play review, an article about the entertainment world, or any other host of things. I would love to do something every week, since EW is a weekly magazine, but we’ll see how this goes. I hope you all enjoy!

Coco vs. Jay Jay

By now it should be old news that Conan O’Brien is no longer a late-night talk show host for NBC and Jay Leno is back in his old position. Just this week Oprah gave us all the inside scoop on just what Jay was thinking during all this and it does give me a broader perspective. Who is to blame though? I think that’s simple…NBC. As for Jay though, it’s not as simple as “he’s the bad guy” or “you can’t blame him for anything.”

I’m not going to go into details about what exactly went down. I’d rather assume you know what I’m talking about so that I can simply state my opinions on the whole affair. I do not believe it was fair to tell Leno he had to give up his job so that O’Brien would stay at NBC. I understand that they wanted to make O’Brien happy, but the Tonight Show was doing okay…why change? However, they did and Jay agreed to give up his spot in 2009. Enter O’Brien as the new host and Jimmy Fallon taking over the Late Show. The problem? Leno wasn’t gone. He was given a new show at 10 P.M. leaving O’Brien to still struggle in the wake of Leno. That’s not fair. Beyond that, it’s definitely not fair to suggest that O’Brien move his show back to give Leno a shorter version of his new show at 11:35. O’Brien didn’t want the Tonight Show’s time to change. It was a legacy. I agree with this and think it’s great that O’Brien was strong enough to say “no.” He would not change the way the show has been, even if just a time, for Leno.

Personally, I’m a bigger fan of Conan O’Brien. I wish he was still at NBC for my own selfish reasons, but seeing him back out because of his beliefs is a big deal. It shows a lot about the kind of character he has. I’m not saying that Jay Leno is a bad person for agreeing to go back to the Tonight Show, but I do believe that he should have said no himself and allowed O’Brien to continue on with the job he was promised.

Maybe you all say that pushing the time back is nothing and O’Brien should have agreed. Have Leno and then O’Brien If you don’t care about the Tonight Show’s traditional time, then what about newcomer Jimmy Fallon? His show would have been pushed back to around 1 in the morning. It’s safe to bet that most people wouldn’t stay up long enough to watch even half of his show. I know, in most cases, I wouldn’t be able to and I think that would be wrong. Fallon is doing a good job and it’s not right to throw away his dreams either.

To put this in other terms, imagine if Leno and O’Brien were Bush and Obama. Obama moves his family from one state to another (which O’Brien did when taking the reins of the Tonight Show) to do a job he’s been promised. After only a few months, Bush is back! The government (or NBC) are all “Obama, look, you’re great, but Bush had higher ratings and we just think we should bring him back…we’ll push you back a few years and then you’ll get your shot! Okay?” I don’t think Obama would go for that, so it’s no surprise that O’Brien didn’t go for NBC’s idea either.

Basically…

O’Brien: 100

Leno: 0

NBC: -100

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review: Holy Cow, Holey Donuts are Good!

Image Source

Holey Donuts Review by Lauren

Product sent by/Website:
http://www.holeydonuts.net/

I was sent donuts to try and review but this, in no way, will affect my true opinion.

Information from Site:

Did you know the average donut has 15-20 grams of fat and as much as 480 calories?

Our patented cooking process avoids deep frying, creating a light, fluffy donut with as little as 3-4 grams of fat and 150-250 calories. You'd actually have to eat 4 of our full-sized, delicious donuts to get the amount of fat in just one traditional donut. What's more amazing is that we do not use any artificial sweeteners or fat substitutes to make our great tasting donuts. Unlike other "lite" or low fat foods, nothing about these donuts tastes low fat.

Our donuts are hand-made, flash frozen and delivered via express mail to arrive at your door, picture perfect and delicious! Keep in your freezer for a great low fat and low calorie treat anytime!


My Review:

These donuts really are great. For the most part, I thought they tasted wonderful. I really can't believe that these are good for you! I'm a donut lover myself but it just makes you feel a little bad when you eat a whole one. It's like your stuffing yourself wiht so much BAD STUFF, but it just tastes SO GOOD. This is definitely a good alternative if you know something is coming up and you'll want donuts or a fun breakfast food even...if not, you can always freeze these. I'm actually a bit late on this review but I was able to see that if you tape the box shut every time you open it for a donut, and then put it back in the freezer, the donuts stay fresh. You just take them out and warm it up for a bit and there you go!! Very handy.

Holey Donuts has low fat cinnamon buns that are amazing. I felt like I was eating a regular one. It was still just as yummy and great like always, but a much healthier alternative. I'd definitely buy these again to have on hand...especially for a weekend!

One thing that I LOVED though and am craving even right now for (meaning I'd totally buy more) are the Classica Vanilla Frosted. OMG! Seriously, these were amazing. It's shocking it's not that bad for you!! You can see them in the picture above...it's the ones with the pink sprinkles. I didn't try these, but the Pink Velvet Strawberry Frosted look amazing too. Mmmmmm. Both definitely look fitting for a girl's night, don't you think?

What do you all think though? Willing to try them out? Valentine's Day is coming up! Treat yourself, and don't feel so guilty!!!

Help A Blog Help Haiti: Auctions Going On Now!

MSF Logo Pictures, Images and Photos
Photo Source

A fairly new blogger, Karen, was such a great asset to Leave a Mark this past year and we love her for that but NOW, we love her even more because she's doing her own auctions to help out something that she believes in. These are some urban fantasy/paranormal books autographed by their authors and up for bidding...it's a lot like Leave a Mark if you ever checked those out...and the highest bidder wins. Where does the money go? Glad you asked! It will all go to Doctors Without Borders who is a big charity helping with the horrific events of Haiti.

To find out more please see Karen's post: http://forwhatitsworth-kea.blogspot.com/2010/01/charity-book-auction.html

Bookmark her site or follow it to be sure you don't miss any auctions. The first is up now! As for me, I reallyyy want Angie Fox's books so I'm definitely checking this out. Oh, and I know for a fact that Jeri Smith-Ready is amazing so look out for her too. Go go!!


Here's the schedule:

It will begin Sunday (ALREADY STARTED) with Kelly Armstrong. Three signed books from her Woman Of The Otherworld series will be up for bidding. “Industrial Magic”, “Personal Demon”, & “No Humans Involved”. (the winning bid will be for all three books)

On Monday February 1st – February 7th will be Ilona Andrews -“Magic Bites” and “On The Edge” will go up.

February 8th – 14th is Angie Fox – “The Accidental Demon Slayer”, “The Dangerous Book Of Demon Slayers”, the just released “A Tale Of Two Demon Slayers”, and “My Zombie Valentine”

I haven’t finalized the remaining dates/groupings for the other authors/books, but here is a list of those involved.

-Cynthia Eden – “Eternal Hunter”

-Jeaniene Frost – all 4 books from her Night Huntress series (plus deleted scenes never before published from the series), and “First Drop Of Crimson” (releases 2/9)

-Jeri Smith-Ready - “Wicked Games” and “Bad To The Bone”

-Gena Showalter -

Saturday, January 23, 2010

IMM 2


In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

I was going to do a vlog this week, but I didn't feel like being on camera, so I didn't. Sorry if the picture is kind of blurry. Anyways, I got some absolutely amazing books:
For Review:

before i fall- Lauren Oliver ((started reading and it is fab!))
Hourglass (Evernight #3)- Claudia Gray ((already read, and wow!))
The Thirteenth Princess- Diane Zahler ((looks really good even though its mg and i usually don't read mgs))
A Golden Web- Barbara Quick ((also looks good))
Spells- Aprilynne Pike ((que excited screaming!))
Mistwood- Leah Cypess ((another screaming one!))
Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely #4)- Melissa Marr ((just about passed out w/ this one))
Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto- Eric Luper ((one of my fav covers ever and looks to be awesome!))
Early to Death, Early to Rise- Kim Harrison ((must finish the first one))
Fat Vampire- Adam Rex ((looks good, i mean really? a fat vampire? so there!))
Betrayal- Gillian Shields ((have to still read the first, which I have))
*not pictured: Gorgeous- Rachel Vail
Bought/swapped/borrowed: none.
Let me know what you think, and leave links to yours!
-Alicia

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Find: Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion



Paul is Undead-
The British Zombie Invasion
by Alan Goldsher
06/22/10

-----------------------
"It’s October 9, 1940, and an undead man haunts the underground sewers of Liverpool, England. Starving and covered with filth, the lone zombie slithers out of a loo located on the ground floor of Liverpool Maternity Hospital. Shuffling from room to room, the hungry being tracks down his prey: a wailing infant whose ripe, fresh brain will fill the raging emptiness in his belly and soul.

That infant’s name? John Lennon.

Fast forward fifteen years, when zombie Lennon, now a burgeoning musician, meets, kills, and reanimates fellow Liverpudlian wannabe-rocker Paul McCartney, creating an unstoppable partnership, and moving one step closer to realizing his dream of global domination. After welcoming newly zombie’d guitarist George Harrison and drummer/Seventh Level Ninja Lord Ringo Starr into the fold, Lennon and McCartney’s band cuts a swath of bloody good music and bloody violent mayhem across Europe, stealing the hearts, minds, ears, and brains of their adoring audiences.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to really meet the Beatles. In Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion, Alan Goldsher’s horror/comedy/rock ‘n’ roll mash-up, we find out the whens, whats, and whys of how the zombified Fab Four took over the world.

After conquering the charts, the Liverpudlian quartet conquers America, all while managing to escape eternal death at the hands of zombie hunter Mick Jagger, an assassination attempt by the most potent Ninja hate group in the United States, and the violent affections of New York City’s most smitten undead girls. The band returns to Europe, where, after some unsuccessful drug experimentation—who knew that LSD caused zombie leprosy?—and the speedy dismemberment of spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Eighth Level Ninja Lord Yoko Ono enters the fray, and the band spins out of control.

Yes, the Beatles still want to take over the world, but can the lovable, horrifying moptops sublimate their own zombie nature, remain atop the charts, and stay together for all eternity? Nah: they go through a brutal break up, almost destroying Abbey Road Studios in the process. But is this breakup permanent? After all, three of the Fab Four are zombies, and zombies live forever…

Cited as “hilarious” by comedian Michael Ian Black, and “a post-modern gothic classic” by bestselling rock writer Mick Wall, Alan Goldsher’s Paul is Undead answers the question that has plagued Beatles fans and zombie aficionados for decades: How the heck could George Harrison have pulled off that solo on the bridge of “Nowhere Man” when his fingers kept falling off?"


--Taken from here !!!

I don't normally do Friday Finds but I figured since it IS Friday and I DID just find this today, it was fitting. I think this sounds amazing. I do like the Beatles and zombies are way interesting so how cool that they put them together? Sometimes I think these trends go a bit too far and it's just not that interesting but I really do want to read this. It sounds hilarious and very interesting so count me in. If only June wasn't so far away...at least it's not a WHOLE year at least.

Psych is Epic!


USA Network has partnered with Ustream to produce a live webcast for fans on Monday, Jan 25th leveraging two of their most popular shows: Psych & WWE Monday Night Raw. Psych stars James Roday and Dule Hill will join WWE Superstar John Cena for a live webchat at 3pm with fans prior to hosting Monday Night Raw at 9pm. John Cena will guest star on the winter premiere, Wednesday, Jan 27th at 10pm.


Premiere Episode Description:

Shawn tangles with the Army when he claims that a Private's suicide was actually murder, and suspects that Juliet's former military/current mercenary brother is involved. John Cena, Robert Patrick and Rachael Leigh Cook guest-star in "You Can't handle This Episode"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Want-It Wednesday: 11,002 Things to be Miserable About



Photo Source


11,002 Things to be Miserable About by Lia and Nick Romeo

Out: NOW!


Summary:

11,002 Things to Be Miserable About is a list of all the reasons NOT to wake up in the morning. Ironically enough, when you put all of them under one cover, it’s actually very funny. This decidedly absurd inventory of misery is perfect for sardonic and disaffected youth, for people seeking gifts for Traumatic Event Birthdays (like 21, 25, 30, 40, and, well, anything after 40), and for anyone else with an offbeat sense of humor. Enjoy.

Some of the entries are pretty basic, like imitation crabmeat, student loans, and David Hasselhoff, but other entries actually include educational things, like: Dust mites, which make up one-third of the weight of a six-year-old pillow. See, you can laugh and learn.


Thoughts:

How hilarious does this seem? I'm sure it's pretty informative too so that's always a plus. I definitely have an offbeat sense of humor so this sounds perfect for me. What do you all think though?

Remember:

I'd love to get your thoughts for this post:

http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-need-everyones-thoughts-also-to-help.html

Pleaseee let me know? I'll love you for life!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interview: White Collar's Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay


Interview with: Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay
Question from Shooting Stars by: Lauren (mine is in blue)

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19 at 10pm: White Collar

Neal must infiltrate a company of corrupt Wall Street brokers to preserve his deal with the FBI. When Peter is forced to go undercover alongside him, a discovery is made that could change their partnership forever. Don't miss the premiere of Hard Sell when White Collar moves to its brand-new night: Tuesdays at 10/9c!



Our first question’s from Courtney Golden from SmallScreenScoop.com; please go ahead.

C. Golden: This question is for both of you. It seems that both Neal and Peter seem to toe the line between right and wrong on the show, especially after seeing the cliffhanger in your fall finale. My question is what types of real life shenanigans have you gotten yourselves into that you can draw inspiration from?

M. Bomer: Tim, do you want to go?

T. DeKay: I know we only have a little under an hour so I won’t be able to go through all of my real-life shenanigans. That’s a good question.

M. Bomer: I snuck my brother’s car out of the driveway in the middle of the night and was trying to run over trash cans with it. I was 16 and I got a flat tire and literally tried to go to the gas station to put air back into it. It was nothing but shredded rubber and the rim. I came home and by the time I got home the rubber from the tire was literally slapping on the concrete so loud the entire neighborhood – my dad was waiting for me at the door and my license was revoked for quite some time. I wouldn’t say that I have the same kind of criminal savvy that Neal does.

T. DeKay: Is that a shenanigan?

M. Bomer: If that’s not a shenanigan I don’t know what is.

C. Golden: That definitely qualifies for me, thank you.

T. DeKay: That’s an excellent shenanigan; I can’t top that one.

Moderator Our next question comes from Joshua Maloni; please go ahead.

J. Maloni: Tim, the show obviously took a large step, something that you don’t always see in a mid-season finale. What did you like about that last scene and what can you tell us about the ramifications as we move into the second half of the first season here?

T. DeKay: Jeff Eastin approached me with that last scene a couple weeks before he was going to put it on the script. I said, “You’re the writer; this sounds exciting, let’s go for it.” I love the scene and I love the continuation of the scene as well. I think it’s some great writing and some great storytelling and very exciting and it’s a perfect cliffhanger. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

Moderator Our next question comes from Rosa Cordero with AccidentalSexiness.com; please go ahead.

R. Cordero: Thanks for taking the call, I really love the show. Everyone wanted me to ask. Natalie Morales and Jeff Eastin are both currently on Twitter. In order to get more followers, Jeff was putting out topless pictures of Matt and even offering naked pictures of Matt to get more followers. Are either of you planning to get on the Twitter wagon and, Matt, we want to see more topless pictures of you.

M. Bomer: If you want to see more topless pictures you can tune into the season finale, as weird as that response was. But no, I will not be joining Twitter any time soon. I just don’t think that the day-to-day ramblings of my life would be interesting enough to hold an audience. Tim?

T. DeKay: I’ve got quite a few pictures of Matt shirtless. No, I don’t have any. But if there is some Web site like, I don’t know, Hippie Shirtless or Shirtless Hippie or something like that I was told about as well. I don’t Twitter; I don’t think most people want to know about my daughter’s dance class or Little League baseball. I don’t think people would want to hear about where I’m headed or up to.

Moderator Next question is from Suzanne Lanoue; please go ahead.

S. Lanoue: Hello, I love the show and some other friends of mine were wondering, that last scene in the aired episode I don’t know if you can tell us this or not. Was it a coincidence or was it just a red herring or is there a reason, if you can tell us, that the actress that plays Kate looks an awful lot like with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen?

T. DeKay: This is Tim. I’ve been asked that and I never realized that they look alike. Now that it was brought to my attention I do see the similarity, two beautiful women. I think it was, I don’t know, maybe the writers have something up their sleeves that I don’t know.

S. Lanoue: As far as you know it’s coincidence?

T. DeKay: I believe so, yes.

Moderator Our next question comes from Travis Tidmore with The Cinemaniac. Please go ahead.

T. Tidmore: Thanks for joining us today. The season finale, like everyone’s been saying, they had one hell of a twist that I really don’t think many people saw coming, if anyone saw it coming. How has this suspicion between the two characters changed the series, as it’s been the first half of the season to the last half of the season?

M. Bomer: I think it actually comes to resolution pretty quickly. It’s not something that is as dire as it might seem; it’s something that resolves itself relatively quickly in the second half of the season. Ultimately it’s one of those things that ends up, I think, really bringing the two characters closer.

T. DeKay: I couldn’t have said that better myself; I concur.

Moderator Our next question’s from Sheldon Wiebe with Eclipse Magazine; please go ahead.

S. Wiebe: I kind of have a thing for both of you, a little bit of background. Over the first half of the season, Neal seems to have been developing a kind of trust in Peter and Peter has become kind of protective of Neal. With that last twist and having seen the second half premiere, it seems like, as you said, things do resolve. Could you speak to the development of each character in regards to the growth of trust and that sense of protectiveness?

M. Bomer: In terms of trust I think that Peter is the first person in Neal’s life that he’s really been able to have that with, but I also think it’s an interesting dynamic that’s always kind of liquid between the two of them given their history and given the fact that Neal’s not really ready to jump over to the other side of the moral spectrum immediately. It’s something that he’s struggling with and it’s kind of his journey on the second half of the first season to figure out if I’m going to buckle down and be with the FBI or am I going to do whatever I have to do, legal or not, to find Kate. I think the trust thing is sort of everything in the relationship, but as opposed to normal relationships where it can be a little bit more black and white, in this particular relationship, it can be more liquid. He has more trust for Peter than he’s ever had for anybody else.

T. DeKay: As far as the protection that Peter has for Neal, I like that observation a lot. At first, Peter’s protection of Neal was a bit self-centered. He’s protecting himself because he made that decision to take this guy out. But as time has gone on he’s gotten to know Neal in a different way and is now protecting him because he sees a great potential in this guy. He’s protecting him on more than just a professional level.

Moderator Our next question is from Troy Rogers, Deadbolt; please go ahead.

T. Rogers: Matt, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far in the world of con men?

M. Bomer: I think the most interesting thing I’ve learned is how much of it is about just like a good actor does his research on a role and does all the homework he needs to do to know a character inside and out, the amount of work that goes into a skilled con artist’s game, the amount of research, the knowledge of the mark and the amount of confidence it takes to pull it off are all really fascinating to me. The similarities to the craft of acting are actually fascinating as well.

Moderator Our next question is from Stevie Wilson, L. A. Story; please go ahead.

S. Wilson: Huge White Collar fan here. I’ve been writing about it for a while. You tend to have very distinct fashion styles. I know this sounds like a really wild question to ask especially because it’s guys and you’re not usually in charge of your wardrobe. Tim, as an FBI agent, you seem to be pretty black suit kind of person, FBI kind of guy. How does the fashion style suit what you actually dress in real life?

T. DeKay: I think that Stephanie Maslansky, who’s the costume designer, and the rest of the wardrobe team do a great job. They put me in mostly Brooks Brothers suits, a couple Burberry suits. For the most part they certainly can’t be too flashy. We keep pushing the envelope with ties. That’s what Stephanie keeps saying. Every time we get too flashy of a tie we get a note from USA Network.

My immediate reaction to this question is the fact that I love wearing a suit because I hardly ever wear a suit in real life. And every time I put on a suit I think I should wear this more often. I like wearing a suit. It heightens wherever I’m headed to. That’s why I love putting on a suit for Peter because it puts me in a different world than my own. I used to dress up; my dad teases me. He says this show’s haunting me because when I was five years old and I wanted to buy a suit and a fedora and there’s a picture of me somewhere like that, I’m leaning up against the coffee table, but kind of in a cool way with my legs crossed and I’ve got the fedora on. I’m about ready to walk up the street and ask Julie Buchanan if she wanted to take a walk around the block. This all just came back to me right now. That’s where it all began, enjoying wearing a suit. Even then I was kind of playing this guy who was certainly not me at five. I don’t know if that answers your question.

S. Wilson: Matt, can you talk about it?

M. Bomer: I’m definitely more of a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy. For me, I’ve learned a lot from Neal’s wardrobe. The fun part for me is just that it helps me get into the character. When you dress a certain way especially something as specific as Neal’s fascination with the Rat Pack, sort of the Marcello Mastroianni nicely cut suits with the thin ties and stuff like that. It just helps me feel like I’m kind of slipping into the skin of the character and forms the way he moves and things like that.

I always like to try to make an effort if I have to dress up nice, but I’ve definitely learned that you get treated a little bit differently when you’re wearing a suit. I’m definitely trying to make the effort to dress up a little bit more.

T. DeKay: You are trying to do that?

M. Bomer: I’m trying. On any given day I’m probably in a T-shirt and jeans, but --.

T. DeKay: I’m trying to do that, too. I think part of it is because when you’re in New York and the weather is a factor, you can kind of layer. Maybe I’ll wear this certain kind of overcoat or sweater. In L.A. it’s just what T-shirt, long sleeve or short sleeve.

S. Wilson: Coming from L.A. I got that part.

T. DeKay: The other thing that I’ve noticed with the wardrobe that they give Matt is just, I’ll be the first to say it, they’re going to trap themselves because he can only wear a certain kind of suit because it comes from June’s closet. I was so wrong with that. It’s unbelievable the variations of suits and ties and outfits that they’ve given Matt to wear.

M. Bomer: I think it’s so cool.

Moderator Our next question is from Amy and Nancy Harrington of PopCulture Passionistas. Please go ahead.

A. Harrington: You have such great chemistry onscreen we were wondering what your off screen relationship is like and if you spend a lot of time hanging out together.

M. Bomer: We always have fun and I can’t remember a day we have not been laughing and having a good time. I’m going to go out on a limb and speak for both of us and say that we both have been in the business long enough to appreciate what we’ve got going on this show and the fact that we like to work with each other so much and the fact that we have a network behind us. Thankfully so far people have been watching so I think we realize; we’re grateful for every day we get to work together. That’s certainly how I feel. It’s just been easy and fun from day one for me. Tim is just a great guy, the kind of actor you feel really safe working with because he just sort of says yes to whatever you bring to the table and then goes with it.

T. DeKay: That’s the way I feel about Matt, to be honest with you. I really do. It is true, but even more importantly, Matt told me that I’m a good singer. I haven’t heard that in a long time. Matt complimented me; he said that I can hold onto the melody while he harmonizes, which I never knew was a difficult thing to do. Now I feel like I’ve got that in my back pocket.

M. Bomer: It’s true.

T. DeKay: Here’s the thing. You can ask; I’ll speak for both of us on this one as well, which echoes what Matt is saying. In order to be able to work with somebody in acting, it’s going to sound judgmental and I hope it doesn’t, but you’ve first got to think that person’s a good actor before you can enjoy working with them. I guess that goes with the trust. I like this person, the way they work; I think they’re a good actor. Great, that is done now we can just go from there and see what happens and listen and play together.

M. Bomer: Agreed.

Moderator Our next question Lauren Becker, Shooting Stars Magazine; please go ahead.

L. Becker: My question has to do with the character of Neal. He’s definitely so far a likable bad guy kind of person. I was wondering what you thought personally about the character of Neal, what you didn’t like and what you do like about him.

M. Bomer: I think you always have to be your character’s defense attorney. As an actor you have to find what’s likable about them and you have to empathize with them enough that you understand why they do what they do. I never really judge anything he did, but what I like about the character was that he wasn’t a goody-two-shoes and he didn’t just jump over to the other side of the law and become a good guy. I like the fact that he struggles with it and that he’s human and that he has real Achilles’ heel in terms of his sloppy romantic life. That’s where he makes bad decisions. For me those are the really fun parts of the character to get to play.

T. DeKay: I’ve always liked Neal. I think Peter has always liked Neal. I’m looking through Peter’s glasses as well. I’m sometimes jealous of Neal. Peter can get jealous of that kind of life and sometimes doesn’t understand it. Not jealous that he breaks the law, but jealous that he has that carefree attitude that he can walk in a place with his hat on and be free about that. There’s something that Peter can’t quite, that’s just not in him. He wishes he had it. Peter likes Neal a lot and I think that’s a big part of what keeps Peter rooting for Neal when maybe he shouldn’t on the surface.


Moderator Our next question is from Icess Fernandez of Writing to Insanity Blog. Please go ahead.

I. Fernandez: My question’s more on the writing side, wanting to pick your brain as actors. As actors, when you go through the process of trying to determine what your character is like and trying to get the back story, could you explain a little bit about how script can inspire your performance?

M. Bomer: I think your text is everything; it’s what informs you; it’s what gives you the given circumstances. Then you take that and you add your own creativity and your own spin on things and you make it personal. That’s what makes that character and that text unique to you, when you personalize it. I think that’s where your job as an actor comes in. The text is everything especially in TV, which is really a writer’s medium.

T. DeKay: I agree. The text and the words simply have to inspire you. If they don’t it’s an awful, awful battle that is not fun. If they inspire you it’s great, you fly. If they don’t you spend much of your time justifying what has been written for you. Fortunately that’s not the case here. The words are great; we get to fly off of them.

I. Fernandez: Sounds like you’re super lucky.

M. Bomer: We are.

T. DeKay: I feel we are.

Moderator Our next question is from Bethanne Henderson, NiceGirlsTV.com; please go ahead.

B. Henderson: I’ve seen the screener for the episode coming up and I just wanted to know what we can expect out of the rest of the season. Can you tell us?

M. Bomer: Even more car accidents, lots of violence.

T. DeKay: A lot of death scenes. I think the Martians come back.

M. Bomer: They do. I think the intelligent procedurals continue, what I like to think of as intelligent procedurals as well as a lot of character development. In terms of my character, a lot of the stuff is coming to fruition that happened in the cliffhanger gets ironed out between me and Peter. Then my character really starts having to make the decision, is he going to operate for the law or is he going to do whatever it takes, against the law, operating outside of the legal system, to find Kate. That’s his struggle in the second half. He starts to push those boundaries a little bit more.

Moderator: Allison Ruppino, PopCultureMadness.com; please go ahead.

A. Ruppino: I think you all for sharing that … story because I ran to the fire hydrant. I appreciate one other --. I wanted to know because now the show’s airing on a different day and time. I’m so curious about actors, how they feel when a show switches a day and time, if there was a particular reason in this case why it did. Even if there wasn’t, if it were due to programming differences, how does that have an effect on you? Does it become nerve-wracking? Do you get nervous to see how the show’s going to do in a different time slot?

T. DeKay: It doesn’t become nerve wracking. A lot of that business stuff and the decisions that come from that certainly come into your brain. You don’t want to hear about it because you know, I know my job is to be an actor and to be in the show and to play the role. I have to say it’s nice when your boss at the network continues to say they’re behind you and they feel that they’ll get more viewers if they move to Tuesday night instead of Friday. When moves like that are made you feel that they have great confidence in you. Whenever somebody else has confidence in you, the person who hired you, you feel they have confidence in you, it does give you more confidence as well.

M. Bomer: I agree and would just say in the hands of another network it might be worrisome, but I think USA does a really incredible at marketing their shows and making sure their audience knows that there’s a time change coming. As an actor it’s important to understand what you’re in control of, as Tim was saying. That’s our work and showing up and doing the best we can when the cameras are rolling. The rest of that stuff we have to trust and leave to the professionals. I trust that they know what they’re doing.

Moderator: The next question is from Alix Sternberg, TVChick.com; please go ahead.

A. Sternberg: We watched the mid-season finale … on a big cliffhanger and then …. I want to know if you have a favorite moment from shooting the episodes that are upcoming that you could share with us.

T. DeKay: There are so many favorite moments. The scene that I did with Kate was exciting because it just was very different for Peter. I think there are some really fun, on the set and with the writers, we call them Peter/Neal moments where it’s just the two of them. Those are the ones I enjoy greatly. You’ll see Peter go undercover a couple times, a few times, I think, in the second half of the season. He’s good at it; not as good as Neal.

A. Sternberg: I look forward to it very much. Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question is from Kenya Jones, Aced Magazine; please go ahead.

K. Jones: I’m sorry I missed Matt, but that is cool. The show’s doing awesome because it’s an awesome show on an awesome network and I’m really happy for you and proud. You do have time to do other things and I wanted to ask you about an upcoming project, I believe called Political Disasters, if you’re able to talk about that or if you wanted to talk about that at all.

T. DeKay: It’s a movie that I shot a good year ago. It’s an independent film; I’m not quite sure what the release on it will be. I know that they just finished it up in post. It’s by a very promising young writer and director. I’m trying to get you some information on that, but I don’t want to say too much because that will be coming out soon. It’s part of a trilogy that I think is quite good, actually. Political disasters, natural disasters and I think the other one is plane disasters; I’m not quite sure.

I’m also producing a film with my brother that my brother wrote. It’s called The Bride of San Lorenzo. It’s actually a bilingual piece in Spanish and English that is going to be done. We’re going to be doing it in Mexico. We’re going to try and start that sometime in the next month or two. We’re working with a production company right now. I’m working with that.

Political Disasters by Zak Horton should be coming out soon so be looking for it.

Moderator: Kelly Christianson, MattBomerFan.com; please go ahead.

K. Christianson: Can you give us a typical day on the set of White Collar, what you do and everything that goes on.

T. DeKay: The typical day starts very early. You get there and you get your breakfast and then we shoot about anywhere from seven to ten pages a day. We try to, depending on where we are. Sometimes we’re on location; sometimes we’re on the set. For the stages we have the FBI offices, Neal’s apartment, Peter’s apartment, Peter’s home. Sometimes they’ll build something else as well then everything else is on location. So half the day we may be on the stages and then the other half we have to go to some location. Then you’re dealing with these New Yorkers who want to be part of the movie or some cabbie’s mad at you because you’re taking up his street that he’s supposed to be driving down and we’re not supposed to be shooting. It’s a good, exciting 12 to 14-hour day.

It’s gorgeous. It’s amazing how many wonderful locations we’ve been to and how many homes. Every time I walk into one of these homes I just think really, somebody lives here in what looks like a museum? It’s astounding how many gorgeous, six-story homes are right in Manhattan, just astounding.

Moderator: The next question comes from Concepcion Allen, Blast Magazine; please go ahead.

C. Allen: I just want to say first of all, as a fan of both White Collar and your former show, Carnivale, it’s really nice to see you back on network television. I think it’s really interesting what you said about protectiveness. Your character, Jones, in Carnivale, who coincidentally is very protective of his group, the relationship is kind of similar with Peter’s role with Neal.

Having said that, I think that would, with the cliffhanger that it has, is there going to be any sort of disruption with the supporting cast as far as their reaction to what happened, like Mozzie or Elizabeth? Will they be caught up in --?

T. DeKay: That’s a good question. They will become part of that. They will become part of, let me say, not to get any spoilers out there, but they’ll become part of answering that cliffhanger, yes. That’s a good question. Everybody gets involved. It becomes a big family affair.

C. Allen: That’s great because I think one of the things about the show that makes it good is that connection he has with the people in his life; he’s not just contained in his work. I that it’s interesting how he has kind of a darker side, would you say?

T. DeKay: Yes. You’ll see, but to that I think all four characters - Neal, Peter, Mozzie and Elizabeth – as the season progresses you see all four of them mingling together in a certain way. It’s great. I think it’s one of the reasons why the show’s so special; it’s about the characters. The writers always write some very smart procedural, but really, it’s about how these characters are going to solve that crime. Not so much about you want to see the crime solved; you want to see how they’re going to solve it.

Moderator: Lena Lamoray, LenaLamoray.com; please go ahead.

L. Lamoray: How do you think the series would change if roles were reversed, if Matt played the agent and you played the con man?

T. DeKay: How do I think it would fare?

L. Lamoray: Yes.

T. DeKay: I don’t know. We’ve never had that question, I don’t think. When we shot the pilot friends of mine would ask me what I was doing. I would say I’m shooting a pilot about this con artist who helps out this FBI agent solve crimes. Most of my friends would say, “You’re playing the con artist, right?” It would be interesting. That would be fun. You just may have given us an idea for an episode where Neal has to play the FBI agent and Peter has to wear the fedora and be the cool ex con artist. Who knows.

What do I think would happen? Honestly I think parts of the show would be very much the same. It would still be Matt and me working together. You have stumped me on that one. That’s a good one; I’ll have to think more about that. One of the reasons I couldn’t imagine that is because I feel that the two of us, the roles fit us, I believe. We certainly enjoy playing these roles. I’m speechless on that one; I’ll have to think about that and get back to you.

Moderator: Next question is from Stephanie, the Morning Call; please go ahead.

S. Sigafoos: There’s a scene in Tuesday’s episode where you’re actually out trap shooting. I wanted to ask Matt how long he practiced that because we didn’t get to really see you do it. Is there anything coming up at the tail end of the season, anything that sort of takes you out of your element that Peter attempts to do for the first time? We’ve seen Neal have a lot of that kind of fun, but not so much Peter.

T. DeKay: Peter has to go undercover as a massage therapist, chiropractor. That was fun. There’s a bit more action in the second half of the season, but I’ve always enjoyed doing action. I wanted to do skeet shooting. I’d just done it for the first time in Maine this past summer. I was all ready to show the boys how to do it.

S. Sigafoos: Did Matt really take those shots?

T. DeKay: No he didn’t. I’ll say yes; yes he was amazing.

S. Sigafoos: You ratted him out.

T. DeKay: No I didn’t. Matt’s an athlete; he’s a good athlete. I think he used to skeet shoot in Texas. I guarantee you he would have been able to hit them.


W: I’m really glad I had a question specifically for you. Your resume is really impressive and you have worked with a lot of really talented people throughout the span of your career. I was wondering if there is anyone that stands out to you that you thought would be a good guest star for White Collar or maybe what role you could see them potentially filling.

T. DeKay: That’s a great question. That is fantastic and I feel that if I gave you ten people I’d hang up the phone and say oh, my gosh I didn’t mention this person. This person would have been great, let alone all the people that I did theater with. Let me answer this. I go back to actors on Carnivale --.

W: … play favorites. It’s okay; I won’t tell anyone.

T. DeKay: … you won’t tell anyone; you’ll write it though. It won’t come out of your mouth; it’ll come out of your fingertips onto your computer.

W: Details, details.

T. DeKay: I’m on to you. I play an FBI agent; I know these things. You can’t get that by me.

W: Fair enough; I tried.

T. DeKay: You did try. There could be scores of people. That would be a dream of mine to have all these different people that I’ve worked with come and guest star. That would be a dream.

W: Fair enough, I’ll accept that answer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Review + Song: The Body Scoop for Girls


The Body Scoop for Girls: A Straight-Talk Guide to a Healthy, Beautiful You by Jennifer Ashton M.D. OB-GYN

Review by: Lauren

Book Sent For: TLC Book Tours

Summary:

The Body Scoop for Girls is a wonderful guide for young girls who are just starting puberty all the way until they become sexually active. It's a great resource that shows just what happens your body as you get older, the risks of having sex too young, just how you can get STDs and the most common ones, and much more.

Review:

As a doctor, Jennifer Ashton is definitely qualified to write this book and I'm very glad she did. She writes in a matter-0f-fact way that is easy to understand, yet doesn't make you uncomfortable. She makes sure you know that your gynecologist is just there for you and never be embarrased by any questions you have. One of the things that I loved about the book was that she included stories from some of her patients (mixing them together and changing their names though of course) that gives you a look into some of the things she deals with and just how common certain questions/problems are.

The book starts out more for younger girls who want to know what is happening to their changing body and why, but it has information for older girls as well. They deal with birth control, STDs, mental health, eating disorders, and more. This book is more than just a "You're Body is Changing" type of book. It's a guide for all girls to read to see that they are not that different from any other women and what they are going through (no matter what that is) is important and they should recieve help and advice if they need it.

I found myself going "I didn't know that" during various parts of this book, so it's great for older readers as well...especially if you have daughters and are looking for something to help you have some serious conversations with them. This book would definitely fit that so be sure to check it out if this sounds at all interesting to you. Like I said though, it's great for all girls in their teens and I know a lot of the people who read my blog are teen girls so pick this up if you like!

The Body Scoop for Girls is not an embarrasing read. It's simply informative and done so in an often interesting or entertaining way.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to read and review this book. Being part of the tour did not, in any way, affect my review.

Song for the Book: Don't You Know You're Beautiful by Kellie Pickler


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Burn Notice Prize Pack Giveaway: Worth $100


Get ready to get BURNED! The #1 show on cable returns with all new episodes. Don’t miss Tyne Daly & Clayne Crawford guest-starring in the Burn Notice winter premiere – "A Dark Road" – airing Thursday, January 21 at 10/9C. Become a Fan on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, and visit the Official Site to play Covert Ops: Vegas Heist (beginning 1/21) for a chance to win an all-new Hyundai Genesis Coupe!


Enter to win a Burn Notice tote filled with:

– Season 1 & Season 2 DVDs

– Burn Notice Branded Flashlight

– Burn Notice Book: The End Game

– Burn Notice T-Shirt


Guidelines:

-Open to U.S. Residents only

-Entrants must be at least 18 yrs of age

-This prize pack is valued at $100 and is provided by USA Network.

Enter: What about this show do you like (or someone you know) like the most?

Ends: Feb. 10, 2010

Extra:

+1 if you follow (leave a NEW comment)

+1 if you post this somewhere else (leave a NEW comment)

+1 for every giveaway you enter on my blog (leave a NEW comment for each one)

White Collar Prize Pack Giveaway: Worth $250



USA Network’s new hit series is back with all new episodes on an all new night. Don’t miss the return on Tuesday, January 19 at 10pm/9c! The season premiere picks up after December’s cliffhanger as Neal must infiltrate a company of corrupt Wall Street brokers to preserve his deal with the FBI. When Peter is forced to go undercover alongside him, a discovery is made that could change their partnership forever. Become a fan on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Visit The Official Website for your chance to WIN a new Taurus (beginning 1/19).

Enter to win a White Collar Gift Bag containing:

– Cashmere Scarf

– Links of London Leather Credit Card Case

– Thomas Pink Custom Collar Stays

– Stainless Steel Flask

– White Collar T-Shirt



Guidelines:

-Open to U.S. Residents only

-Entrants must be at least 18 yrs of age

-This prize pack is valued at $250 and is provided by USA Network.

To Enter: What do you like about the show White Collar or why do you want to watch if you missed the first half of the season this past Fall? (remember, you must live in the U.S. and be at least 18...or have a parent or someone older enter on your behalf. Sorry, not my rules!)

Ends: February 10th, 2010

Extra:

+1 if you follow (leave a NEW comment)

+1 post this somewhere else (leave a NEW comment)

+1 for every single giveaway you enter on my blog (leave a NEW comment for each one)

Public Service Announcement!

First off, isn't that the CUTEST picture you've ever seen? Okay, maybe not the CUTEST, but it's got to be pretty damn cute. Awwww! Alright, I'm finished with that.

This is my: Listen Up post or Public Service Announcement post!

Year's Worth of Books Giveaway: Winner will be picked soon. It might not get posted but you'll know if you won very soon. Sorry for the wait. I'm so bad at finding winners.

New Contests: Two should be up tomorrow...based around a couple awesome USA shows so make sure you are looking for those.

Comments from me: I used to write everyone back on my posts if they left a comment. That stopped for awhile but I'm trying to either write you back ON the post or go to your own blog and leave you a note on one of your own reviews or whatnot. HOWEVER, blogger is being stupid lately and if you need a captcha filled out for someone to leave a comment, you might not get one from me. You see, I can put the write captcha in and it will tell me I'm wrong. I do this over and over and sometimes it'll work soon but other times it keeps saying it's an error and won't let me. I don't know what's up but basically, if you do NOT have a captcha...you are my best friend right now. I really hope it stops soon but that's what's up if you never seem to hear from me but comment on my blog. I do love you and want to pay ya back. So thanks!!

Leave a Mark: Remember, we are looking for authors you want to see help out with Leave a Mark this fall when we're back for round three or even in the future. I've written some already (so check your emails author and see if you were one...and if not, we love you and would LOVE to have you on board) but not a lot of confirmation, and not always YOUR ideas. Chelsea and I know authors but we won't think of everyone so let us know. Please. And if you are seeing an author in person, get in touch. We will be emailing some letters to people about Leave a Mark for them to hand to authors at events so they are more able to read what we are about and see if they want to get involved.

I think that's about it. Check back tomorrow for some giveaways and maybe another new post. We'll see. I don't want to bombard you all at once. :)


"Warning" by Green Day

I really do love this song. However, that's not the ONLY reason I'm posting. If you listen to the beginning...you'll understand. Think back to what I CALLED this post. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?


Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? by Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei

Review by: Lauren

Reviewed for TLC Book Tours (they sent me a copy to review)

Summary (from the site):

People might tell you you're glowing, but you just feel like you're growing, and perhaps you're not liking—or even recognizing—the changing image you see in the mirror. If you're like most expectant women, you're worried about what pregnancy and motherhood will do to your body, your sexuality, and your self-esteem (even if you don't want to admit it out loud for fear of the Bad Mommy Police). While the journey to motherhood is truly miraculous and brings forth life, it can also bring forth a myriad of legitimate concerns.

Enter beauty activists Claire Mysko and Magali Amadeï, who reveal a much-needed forewarning on what to expect from your changing body, as well as a reality check for each stage of your pregnancy, exposing the myths, challenges, and insecurities you'll face throughout pregnancy and beyond—and what to do about them. From candid interviews with more than 400 women and men, as well as their own experiences, Claire and Magali help you discover:


• How you can learn to trust your changing body, appreciate it, and yes…even work it!

• Why you should be wary of the Hollywood "bump watch" and post-baby weight loss stories—and how to take the focus off the scale

• How to deal with your raging hormones

• The truth and lies about sagging skin, acne, and stretch marks

• How to recognize when your body issues get extreme—and how to get help

With startling confessions of women's unspoken fears and advice on how to remedy them, this essential compendium of girl-friendly advice will help champion any woman to feel her best about her body, herself, and her role as a mom.


Review:

No, I am not pregnant nor have I ever been. However, this book isn't just for moms. Sure, it's great for new moms, older moms, and even expecting moms, but even if you are just thinking about having kids in the future...you could use this! It's a great source for women to show that it's not all about the weight and the way magazines make celebrities look while pregnant. You have to be happy with your own experience, whether that one was amazing or not. And more than anything, you have to be okay with the way you look.

Girls are known to have problems with their looks and how much they weigh and it doesn't always go away with pregnancy or maybe it does, and then comes back full force after your child is born. I loved that this book said that their is no "going back to your before baby body." You had the baby, you can't go back, so work with and love the person you are now.

I think this book is full of inspiring and informative information for women who are reaching the age where they might plan on getting engaged, getting married, and even having children of their own.

One of my absolute favorite parts of this book was the testimonials from women of all ages (even including those that don't have kids yet) and some select guys as well. They give their thoughts on all types of issues such as baby weight, whether to breastfeed or not, and much more. It's great to get into the head of all these ladies and see the various points of views and experiences. I think it could be very helpful and comforting to other women.

This is definitely a fast read and worth checking out if you think you are in the stages where it could be useful. After all, the main point is that is you love yourself...stretch marks and all.

SF Author Events

Hey guys! As you might know I live in the Bay Area. San Fransisco is a major city, so we get a lot of amazing author events. So I thought I would post a list of upcoming author events. So here are the ones for February and March. Not sure if any others will be popping up during these months.

February:

JUST ADDED EVENT:
Rebecca Stead
Feb 3, 6:30 p.m.
Books Inc, Laurel Village, SF

JUST ADDED EVENT:
Ally Carter*
Thursday, Feb 4, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Borders, San Jose
356 Santana Row
*Heist Society copies may be avaliable there early because it doesn't come out until the 9th.

Not Your Mother's Book Club Valentines Bash with
Carrie Jones & Alyxandra Harvey:
Feb 11, 7pm
Books Inc. Opera Plaza SF

Youth Event: Carrie Jones and Alyx Harvey 'Meet and Greet'
Friday, February 12, 5:30 p.m.
Keplers, Menlo Park

((yes, they are on the same day, at the same place. One right before the other!))

Youth Event: Heather Brewer
Friday, February 12, 7:00 p.m.
Keplers, Menlo Park

Lauren Conrad
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 7:00 pm
Copperfield's Books Petaluma

Yvonne Prinz
Thursday, February 18, 7:30 p.m.
BOOKSMITH
1644 Haight ST San Francisco, CA 94117

Not Your Mother's Book Club presents a couple of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Feb 25, 7pm,
Books Inc. Palo Alto

March:

Lauren Oliver
Wednesday, March 10 ((no time yet))
COPPERFIELD'S BOOKS
140 Kentucky ST Petaluma, CA 94952

Launch party for debut author Jandy Nelson's
magnificent novel THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE
March 13, 6:30pm,
Books Inc. Opera Plaza

JUST ADDED EVENT:
Not Your Mother's Book Club
Carrie Ryan does the Zombie
3/24 at 7pm:
Books Inc. Opera Plaza

Youth Event: Carrie Ryan
Friday, March 26, 7:00 p.m.
Keplers, Menlo Park

Those are the only ones I could find for now. If there are others, I'll add them later.

If you live around here you should try to come to one of these! I'll most likely be at all of the. The best way to see if I'm going is on my twitter. And if you go, there's a good chance you can meet these authors: Heidi R Kling (SEA, June 10), Daisy Whitney (The Mockingbirds, Fall 2010)--there are others, but these 2 are at almost every event; and these bloggers: Nancy (Tales of a Ravenous Reader), Zoe (Zoe's Book Reviews)--although, she doesn't really come to SF ones as they are quite a drive for her, or maybe the very elusive Jessica (Chick Lit Teens) who I have never met because the events are a bit too far for her.

Hope you can make it!

Alicia

Review: Diaper Bag Diva



Review for The Diaper Bag Diva

By: Lauren

Site and Photo Source: http://thediaperbagdiva.com/

Diaper Bag Diva sent the various items to review. This in no way affected my review however!

Boy Wash-Cloths: I was sent five of these. They were blue, white, and brown. Very cute and each one had their own seperate design. The actual washcloth is on the non-pattern side (meaning, this is the side you would use!)

I found that a few of the cloths were a bit rough on the pattern side but since that's not the part you are using to wash your little one, it wasn't a big deal. It's simply the way it was made.

My favorite was the white with blue dots. It was a lot softer and felt like a pair of pajamas!!

Hooded Towel: This was blue with brown dots. It was soft and cute. I felt it would be perfect for any size baby...maybe a bit big on smaller ones, but nothing wrong with that. I believe it should fit your child at least their whole first year which makes it a handy item to have. You don't want them growing out of everything too fast and they do grow fast!!

Overall, I really liked both items. I think I'd buy the hooded towel as a gift for sure and it's something I'd love to have for my own children. It's cute and handy and easier to use than a regular towel since it molds to their little body and even covers their head!!

As for the site in general, I love it. It's very handy to use and has all sorts of items. As you can see by my review, it's not just for diaper bags so that's awesome. I do love their bags though. I'd want to use half of these just as a regular purse, that's how cute they look! Definitely give this shop a try if you have littles ones, are expecting, or know someone who is. It's a nice place to start. The link to the site is at the top of this review and I believe it's in the left hand sidebar as well.

Review/Giveaway: Binkie Bungee


Binkie Bungee Review

By: Lauren

Site and Photo Source: http://zdaisy.com/boutique/

I was sent one binkie bungee to review and one to giveaway from zdaisy.

The binkie bungee is a really cute idea and I'm definitely glad it was made. Who doesn't know that babies like to drop and/or spit out their binkies? It just happens. But with this bungee, you can attach the binkie and then clip the bungee onto your baby's clothes. This way, when it falls, it will simply hang from the bungee and not get all messed up on the floor. And it definitely won't get lost in the pile of baby stuff you might have around the house!!

I gave the item I had for review to my friend who had a baby...he's now just over three months old. Sadly, he doesn't seem to really use binkies, which I know some babies don't. However, they normally do and I'd love to have one of these just in case I'm babysitting a child that does or when I (eventually!!!) have my own kids. It's a great baby shower or extra gift after the child is born. It's cute and thoughtful and really will help you! I love the designs they come in...perfect for boys and girls...and you can always pick some that you think would fit both just in case.

The picture at the top is actually the one I have right now to give away. The binkie is not included, just the bungee.

It's easy to use, super cute, and very soft. I love the fabric. It won't hurt your baby and they might just love the feel of it against their hands. It's definitely a handy item to have especially if your child goes to daycare or you are riding in the car. You don't want to lose those binkies quite so easily! Now you don't have too!!!

Contest!

Prize: One winner will get the binkie bungee pictured above!
Open To: US only I'm afraid!
Enter: What do you like about the bungee?
Ends: January 31, 2010

Extra:
+1 you follow (leave a NEW comment)
+1 you post this somewhere (leave a NEW comment)
+1 comment here: http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2010/01/review-diaper-bag-diva.html (leave a NEW comment on THIS post when you do)

Happy Birthday to Me WINNER!

Sorry for taking so long to announce the winner. 163 people entered the contest!! I am amazed by the amount of people that entered. And I also wanted to say thank you to the people who wished me a happy birthday, whether it was in a comment or on the spreadsheet. Thanks so much for taking the time to do it!! Truthfully, I didn't think anyone did, but you guys made my day! Without further delay, the winner is:

#45 aka: Caitie F

Congrats! I already emailed her and she has 48 hours to reply, and if she doesn't then I pick a new winner.

Thanks again for entering everyone!

-Alicia

(p.s.-the next contest is going to be *sparkley*)((Intrigued? Check back next month!))

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review/Facts: Sherlock Holmes Vs. House MD

Image Source

Image Source


Sherlock Holmes: Movie Review

First off, I want to talk about the movie starring Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) and Jude Law (Watson). The overall story was fun and entertaining. I enjoyed the mystery and found myself wondering how it was all happening the entire film...after all, magic can't be real, though some of the characters in the film want you to believe so.

There really isn't a ton of romance in the film which I felt was fine. After all, I feel the main relationship is the one between Holmes and Watson anyway. However, Rachel McAdams does star as a previous love of Holmes, though she's caught up in some tricky business that doesn't allow them to really be together...unless they are getting out of some sticky situations.

The humor in the film was great. I'm a big fan of comedy, whether it's added to an action/romance film or is supposed to be a comedic film. The dialogue between Holmes and Watson is fantastic and allows you to see just how close they are, as well as what Watson will put up with being Holmes' friend.

Overall, I really enjoyed the film and would definitely pay to see it in theatres again...which does say something about a film's worth to me.

Sherlock Holmes vs. House

Now, I don't mean "versus" in a competitive nature. This is simply to show you just why Holmes and House are so similar...not that it wasn't done on purpose of course. But if you didn't know, House was loosely based off of the detective Sherlock Holmes. Here's how:

Holmes

Can deduce a great deal from just looking at a person.

House

Can deduce and diagnose a great deal just from looking at a person.

Holmes

Holmes' creator based the character on a doctor.

House

Greg House is a doctor

Holmes


His name sounds like "Homes"

House

His name is another word for "Home"

Holmes


Sherlock Holmes fought deadly criminals

House

Fights deadly germs, diseases and other medical problems.

Holmes


Used cocaine to escape boredom

House

Uses Vicodin for pain in his leg, and also for boredom and the pain of dealing with "stupid" people.

Holmes


Holmes calls even his best friend by his last name

House

House calls all his associates by their last names

Holmes

Arrogant. Said humility would be a lie

House

Greg House is extremely arrogant.

Holmes


Read the agony columns in the paper

House

Watches soaps, plays video games, etc.

Holmes

Languid and lazy when not on a case.

House

Lazy until he is forced to look into something that intrigues him.

Holmes


His closest friend had problems with a wound in his leg (although initially, the wound was in his shoulder)

House

Has a medical problem in his leg.

Holmes


Music is very important to Holmes and he plays the violin.

House

Music is very important to House and he plays the piano.

Holmes


Aloof, although less so with his only friend and roommate.

House

Keeps everyone except Wilson at a distance.

Holmes

Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker St.

House

In #207 "Hunting" we discover House lives at 221B — we see the number as House and Wilson leave in the morning (but we don't know the street). See a screen caption of the address clearly visible behind Wilson as he leaves House's home.

All of the above facts came from: http://www.housemd-guide.com/holmesian.php

If you check out the site, you can see some interview quotes about the show House and and even quotes from Sherlock Holmes that the site feel relate to House and his world.

Another thing I noticed that was similar that wasn't on the list is the fact that Holmes' best friend is John Watson and House' best friend is James Wilson.

I hope you enjoyed the information presented. Let me know what you think of the review/info in the comments. Did you know all this already? What did you think of the film?

News: Giveaways + First Book = FUN


First Book has posted about Leave a Mark's second year on their official blog. How cool!

If you love the auctions, please go over there and leave a comment. It would be mucho appreciated.

Secondly, I have a new blog to tell you about. The site Teens Read Too has come over to blogger as a way to provide you with some fun interviews, giveaways, and news. But hurry...a lot of these giveaways attached to the interview are only up for a day. Right now they have Eileen Cook (Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood)

Go on, check them out!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Review/GLBT Challenge: Bait by Alex Sanchez


Bait by Alex Sanchez

Review by: Lauren

ARC Source/Also Reviewed for: http://www.teensreadtoo.com/

Summary-

Diego has an anger inside of him that he can't release. That changes the day he punches Fabio, a kid in his class who flirts with him. Now he's stuck in court and has to visit Mr. Vidas to talk it out. They want to let him go with a fee but he asks to be on probation and they agree, allowing him more time to learn to trust Vidas and perhaps reveal what is really bothering him deep down. Memories rise up and Diego isn't sure he can handle it all without lashing out at the people around and that's the last thing he wants. He wants his best friend Kenny to be there, he wants his little brother to look up to him, and he really wants a girl named Ariel to give him a chance.

Review-

Though Diego is plagued by his demons, he desperately wants to find relief from it all so he can move on with his life. It's a dream that you root for him to achieve and he's honestly a likeable character. He says and does the wrong things sometimes (though we all do) and that leads him into trouble but he wants to be a better guy. He really is a good person. His anger just gets the best of him and he can't properly control it. Through all of that though you want him to be the man you know he is and to get past the life he's been dealt.

The summary doesn't give things away so I don't want to either, but this is an intense book that deals with big issues. It was definitely interesting and I'm very glad I was given the chance to read this book. Diego hates the idea of being called gay, but why? Is it a mere prejudice or something more? This book delves into the "something more" side that leaves you horrified. It's a realistic novel that will hopefully help some and inform others.

More than anything, I think this book brings up the topic of being honest with those you love. You have to trust them and hope they will be there for you. If they aren't, that's not your problem. It's just good to know you tried and that you can find help if you need it. It might be from unsuspecting people but it might be from someone in your own house. You just don't know.

Bait is the fourth novel I've read by Alex Sanchez and it was very different from the others but not in a bad way. It digs deeper into the psyche of human emotion and experiences and I found that highly interesting, if not always enjoyable, to read.


GLBT Challenge: This book is not GLBT, but the author is so this is another edition to the challenge. Be sure to check it out if you are interested. There is a photo/link in the top left hand sidebar on this blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Amazing Contest: Do NOT Pass This Up!


The “Don’t Let Your Dream Fade Vlog” Sweepstakes

Are you dreaming big like Janie? Prove it!
Lisa McMann and Simon & Schuster want to hear from you:

How are your dreams and goals like Janie’s?

Answer this question via vlog in less than two minutes and visit LisaMcMann.com to learn how to enter your vlog in the
“Don’t let your dreams Fade” vlog contest!

Lisa McMann will choose a winner, who will receive $1000 toward furthering
his or her life goals!

No purchase necessary. Starts on 1/5/10 at 12:01 a.m. EST. Ends on 3/8/10 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Open to legal residents of the fifty United States or the District of Columbia who are between
the ages of 14-18 as of date of entry. Contest may only be entered in or from the 50 United
States and the District of Columbia, and entries originating from any other jurisdiction are
not eligible for entry.





Lauren Says: Seriously, if you are the right age and live in the United States you have to enter this. I'm afraid I can't...being 19...but it's an amazing opportunity. I know a lot of you bloggers out there fall into the age category AND vlog about books so why not do this? You could win money to pursue your dreams!! Why wouldn't you want to try? After all, they always say "You Can't Win, if you Don't Enter" so ENTER already. Lisa would love you if you did and it would allow Simon and Schuster to KEEP doing this great contest if people enter every year and it's a success.


We all have dreams. So talk about it. You can find the official rules as well as HOW to enter right here:


Enter Now. Go ahead.

I'd love to know if you are going too or if you already did...so fill me in. Leave a comment. Spread the word too! Don't be greedy with this!!!

Oh, and please read my message below about author events. I got a lot of random spam so I'm afraid it looks like more people commented than they did. I know you all have events out there, so pleaseee let me know!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Idea/Discussion: 2010 Author Events


With the new year, it's time to start getting excited about author signings, events, and what-have-you. Sadly, not that many authors come near me. Thanks to Lisa McMann, I at least have ONE signing to look forward too this coming March. For now, that's it, but since I love Lisa and her books, it's good enough.

This post isn't about our love for author events (though I do love them) but more to see who is going to see which author and when. Why do you ask? I have a mission if you choose to accept. Leave a Mark will be back in August of 2010 and I hope it's bigger and better than ever. However, sometimes it's hard to get through to authors online and I figured, wouldn't it be cool if we could ask them in person?

That's where you all come in! I will be writing up a letter that describes what Chelsea and I do wiith Leave a Mark and how authors can get involved. It will be a general note so that it fits everyone (whether they know about LAM or not). Since I don't have a lot of events coming up, I can't really bring these letters anywhere but if you ARE and would like those author (s) to know about Leave a Mark, then let me know in an email (lauren51990 AT aol DOT com) or in the comments and leave YOUR email so I know where to send the letter too.

When your event takes place, just print off however many copies of the letter you need and bring them with you. If you get a shot to meet the author (such as when they sign your book) hand them letter (if you can give them stuff, and most of the time you can!). This way they can read all about the charity auctions in their own time in an easy access way.

I hope this makes sense to everyone. So now, let me know what events you are planning on going too in the next few months. I'd say nothing later than May so people have time, but they can always get involved in the future if they don't mark it up in time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Review: By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead


By the Time you Read This, I'll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Review by: Lauren
Source: Publisher sent for Review

Official Summary:

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers"- www.through-the-light .com.

While she's on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she's not on the Web, Daelyn's at her private school, where she's known as the freak who doesn't talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won't give up. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life.isn't it?


Review:

Having read two other books from Peters, I must say her books just seem to get better and better. Her latest deals with the horrible act of bullying and what that does to a person over time. I've never really been bullied. Sure, I've been called names before but thankfully I had my friends and everyone else just kind of ignored me. I have seen other people get it a bit worse though.

Daelyn, on the other hand, is one of those cases that exceed what people think they know about bullying. All of it is wrong. All of it can hurt. But when it gets to the point where you believe what they say, when it gets to the point where you will keep trying to kill yourself just to get away from it, then it's definitely gone way too far.

Daelyn was a relatable character in the fact that she's just a young girl who wants to be happy. She wants friends, to be able to enjoy school on some level, to find a boyfriend even. She just wants to be able to be herself and not feel bad for that. It's something most people understand. However, the fact that she wants to die and is so intent on doing so is heartbreaking. She believes she's weak and powerless, that all people who commit suicide are, because they can't find a way to get out of it.

This book is just another example of why people need to really focus on bullying. It's changing as time goes on (a lot more is done online these days) but it hasn't gone away and people need to work on changing that. If not, you'll have more people like Daelyn; those that can't find any other way to move on from it all than hurting themselves.

I loved the character of Santana. Where Daelyn is stuck in her own thoughts most of the time (with an inability to talk from her last suicide attempt) Santana bonds with her through often one-sided conversations. He's an adorable, yet geeky kid, who seems to understand Daelyn more than she thinks anyone could. He has a rough past of his own that he's willing to share, allowing Daelyn to see it's okay to share too.

By the Time you Read This, I'll be Dead is an emotional, intense read. I'd definitely recommend it for those that are interested. It's sure to go by fast, but will leave a lasting impact.

Song for the Book


"Don't Laugh at Me" by Mark Wills (lyrics in video): I believe that parts of this relate to Daelyn and Santana, especially the chorus.



GLBT Challenge: Written by a GLBT author, the book does not fall under the category. However, there are mentions of being gay and how that affects your life.