#BookReview and #Giveaway: McDaniel’s Beautiful Debut by An Author Beyond her Years

As a book blogger and an author myself looking for representation, I find it hard to say no to any book request I get. Even if I later find out I was not interested in the book because the material didn’t spike my heart rate the same way four turbo shots in my Dunkin Donuts coffee might, but with Tiffany McDaniel’s debut, I found myself taken on a rejected Disney ride that ended up being the funnest ride they have yet to offer.

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel was a big, cool glass of water in the desert even though I didn’t even realize I had journeyed that far. It was something I didn’t know I needed to read but nevertheless, now that I read it, I’m still attempting to make sense of what it all meant.

With a writing style that mimics Flannery O’ Connor, her prose swept me away in a sea of hot enticing madness, almost like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day or coffee after yet another sleepless night.

The book follows Fielding Bliss during the summer of 1984. A symbolic year of sorts. Synopsis from the back of the book follows:
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

I’m happy I was asked to review this book by the author herself who happens to look like a Drew Barrymore look-alike, and also happens to be one of the nicest artists I’ve ever met.

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For more information about the author, you can visit her site and her book trailer for this book.

Now as a reward for reading this review, I invite all U.S. entrants to enter The Summer That Melted Everything giveaway. The author herself is sending two personally signed copies of the book to the winners. How freaking sweet, right?!

 

 

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#MusicReview: Waiting For Sunday is on to something with ‘The Windsor Effect’

I’m still trying to figure out the mystery behind the Windsor Effect, new album from Canadian rock quartet, Waiting For Sunday. Affiliates

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A jazz-trained bassist, classic rock lead guitarist, industrial rock
drummer, and indie-rock vocalist and you have Waiting For Sunday – a
unique blend of musical sensibilities with widespread appeal. Comprised
of producer and drummer Colin Everall, singer Dan Hudson, bassist Mircea
Tracke and lead guitarist Matt Gauld, Vancouver, Canada-based Waiting
For Sunday has recently released The Windsor Effect, a 12-track
multi-faceted album of diverse themes and styles. This new album is the
follow-up to their 2011 debut, “The Courage, The Strength, The Wisdom &
Doubt”.

You can follow along with my song by song review by listening here.

Song by Song Review

“Pebbles Become Stone”: This a bit of a let down in terms of an album opener. I expected more from this track but found myself feeling all-around disappointed. Maybe there is something about this track that I am missing. The only great part is the guitar solo during the breakdown.

“Last Call For Safety”: I like this track from the beginning with the dramatic guitar chords that bring the track to life (almost gives life to me after the first track), it reminds me a little of a Cute is What We Aim For track without the extra bells and whistles. My favorite lyric: “We have run the river dry.”

“The Love is Gone”: 

This track is a bit of a conundrum to me lyrically but I like the haunting musicality it gives off.

“Tell Me That You’re Mine”: With soft guitar chords that remind me of a mix of a Taylor Swift love song and a Secondhand Serenade song, this track has to be my favorite because of it’s romantic feel.

“Long Live The Strong”: With a classic rock feel, this is another one of my favorites. My favorite lyric, “Nice to meet you but where the hell did we go wrong?”

“Wanted”:”Well there’s truth to the matter, with love comes sacrifice.” I really like the story this track is telling. One of love, rejection, and betrayal, all with music.

“Borderline”: The piano is a surprising solace for this track’s beginning. This track almost communicates a sense of yearning for whatever it is talking about.

“Chasing Youth”: The electric guitar really gives this an old-school rock feel, and reminds me something I would hear in a biker bar. My favorite lyric: “So I wonder why, the grass is always greener on the other side.” This track overall is another favorite of mine.

“Seasons Are Dire” The soft guitar chords along with the ballad like vocals, this song reminds me a little of a new spin of Death Cab For Cutie’s Follow Me Into The Dark.

“Details” Minor dramatic guitar chords and a heartbeat drum backing the vocals of what appears to be a track about a love that fell apart.

“Oh, The Night”: Probably my favorite track on the entire album because it has the makings of being a radio single that blows up fasts on the charts. I await big things from this track all by itself.

“Scripture”: Not really sure if I like this track at all and once again, I feel a bit let down by the overall musicality and lyrics. Then again, you be the judge as everyone has different tastes when it comes to music.

If this album spoke to you, and you want to know all of Waiting For Sunday’s whereabouts please make sure to check out their site, follow them on Twitter, and Like them on Facebook.

#ICYMI: New music from Greer

As most of you all know, I love finding new music. It’s like the same feeling as when the coffee from my Starbucks espresso kicks in. It gets my adrenaline pumping and boosts my mood. The feeling intensifies when the music is really good, and I become obsessed with the song or songs. For example, right now I’m obsessed with the song Just Like Fire by Pink. It’s melodic, punk enough to not be candy coated, and it’s written and performed by Pink, whose music has helped me through many trying times in my life. Once again, this song hits a high note.

In the same way, independent pop artist Greer has released two new songs recently that are equally as mood-boosting. Affiliates

“Love Me Less”: a club anthem with the message of being who you are despite the pressures someone you love puts on you.

“Deal With The Devil”: Not really for me as a born-again Christian as I’m not looking to make a deal with the devil in any way but thanks Greer for suggesting this. The beat on this track is sick, though.

#MooreJacks: LumberJacks Need To Eat

Today I want to get right of the heart of the matter by  saying thank you to Hormel Foods Dinty Moore® brand for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try Dinty Moore® beef stew!

Before I get to why I decided to try the stew, let’s talk about lumberjacks. Much like everyone else, lumberjacks need to eat, constantly, to overcome their rigorous training. Dinty Moore beef stew is a quick and hearty option for aspiring lumberjacks.

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Starting on July 15th in Chicago, there is a nationwide competition for lumberjacks and the winning ingredient behind every star athlete is the food or fuel they intake daily. That’s why I highly recommend Hormel Foods Dinty Moore brand beef stew.

 

When DINTY MOORE® beef stew was introduced in a big blue-and-white can no one could have predicted the product popularity that would follow.

Today, from cupboard to table in minutes, DINTY MOORE® products are great tasting, well-balanced meals that will satisfy the whole family. Tender beef, fresh potatoes and carrots all simmered in a delicious beef gravy make DINTY MOORE® beef stew the number one selling stew in the nation.

Varieties:
Canned Products
DINTY MOORE HEARTY MEALS®

• Beef Stew
• Chicken and Dumplings
Microwavable
DINTY MOORE® Microwave Trays

• Beef Stew

DINTY MOORE® Microwave Cups

• Beef Stew
• Chicken and Dumplings
• Noodles and Chicken
• Rice with Chicken
• Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

DINTY MOORE® Big Bowls

• Big Bowls Beef Stew
• Big Bowls Chicken and Dumplings
• Big Bowls Hearty Burger
• Big Bowls Chicken Pot Pie Stew
• Big Bowls Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

• The suggested retail price for DINTY MOORE® canned products is $1.79 for the 15-ounce can, $2.69 for the 24-ounce can and $4.59 for the 40-ounce can.

• The suggested retail price for DINTY MOORE® microwavable products is $1.39 for the 7.5-ounce cup, $2.59 for the 10-ounce tray and $2.49 for the 15-ounce cup.

For example, I bought my can for $1.98 at Walmart. I found it to be a hearty lunch before a good writing session and was surprised by how good it tasted.

DINTY MOORE® canned and microwavable products are available nationwide at major grocery stores.

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I’m not to familiar with the training regime for a lumberjack who is looking to compete nationally that’s why I’m so glad Adrian Floygt is here to save the day and show every lumberjack how to be a lumbersexual.

• Introduced in 1935, Dinty Moore® beef stew is an American classic and remains the No. 1 selling canned stew in the nation

• Today, from cupboard to table in minutes, Dinty Moore® canned and microwavable products are great tasting, well-balanced meals that will satisfy the whole family

• The lumberjack lifestyle has been a part of American culture for over a century

• The lumberjacks many people think of today are not the typical axe throwing, wood chopping or crosscut sawing burly men of the logging world, rather, they are now typically spotted in a fitted flannel and trendy lace-up boots with freshly trimmed beards to match: the lumbersexuals

• As part of the Dinty Moore® brand campaign to bring back the true lumberjack, Hormel Foods went to the depths of Minnesota in search of a team of lumbersexuals to transform into real lumberjacks and, ultimately, compete in a professional lumberjack competition this summer

• The brand is partnering with STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® and professional lumberjack Adrian Flygt to train the lumbersexuals in core areas of logging and forestry, giving them the necessary skills to walk, talk and compete like a lumberjack

• The lumberjack spirit has been a part of our brand from the beginning, starting with our animated character that appeared on our product labels and in our ads, so it seemed fitting to become a part of this great competition and salute our heritage

• With the official lumberjack training completed this spring, the lumbersexual team—Lumber Michael, Lumber Jamin, Lumber Ben, and Lumber Ian—will now move on to compete at the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series U.S. Pro and Collegiate Championships on July 15 in Chicago Southland, sponsored by the makers of Dinty Moore® beef stew

• For more information about the journey to becoming a true lumberjack with the makers of Dinty Moore® beef stew, visit MooreJ and join in the #MooreJacks conversation on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

• Hormel Foods will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2016

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Make sure to take the Buzzfeed Quiz to find out more about what kind of lumberjack you are, and check out all the hyperlinked images above to get fully engaged with all the ingredients to a lumberjack victory.