Friday, March 30, 2012

One of my Freelance Best - Luring the Big Fish: Writing Effective Link Bait

As a sometimes-writer, I like to pick up freelance blogging opportunities here and there. It doesn't pay the bills, but I do get some extra writing exposure and it helps me to hone my writing skills. :)

I wrote an extremely excellent post this week, and though I'm not allowed to post it here, I can share the link:

Please if you get a chance go check it out and tell me what you think! It's not often that I write something that doesn't directly relate to books (though if you read it, you'll notice that I tie in books anyway lol).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Booksy - In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

The weather this season has be unusually nice (seriously, this was probably the easiest winter I've seen, and I live in Nebraska which is notorious for having some nasty winters), so I don't think we've really experienced the usual "in like a lion, out like a lamb" phenomenon.

But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate it, Booksy-style! :)

When talking about lions in literature, you can't avoid the wonderfully lovable character of The Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. I think he is perfectly captured in this embroidered wall art.

Another famous lion in literature is the mighty Aslan, one of the central figures in The Chronicles of Narnia series. I love this deliciously-scented Chocolate Milk soap, and think that this abstract art depiction of Aslan is truly breathtaking!

Finally, there's been a more recent addition to the lion scene, indirectly - a lion is the mascot for Gryffindor in Harry Potter. And though she wasn't a true Gryffindor, Luna Lovegood is famous for wearing an incredible Lion hat, which I think might look similar to this fantastic crocheted hat or perhaps the depiction in this unique watercolor. I'm also pretty sure that she would have approved of this amazing lion scarf!

Finding lambs in literature proves to be a bit more tricky. We can start with the perennial favorite, Mary had a little lamb, with these incredible lasercut acrylic rings. Her lamb might have looked something like this soft plush toy.

There was also a children's book about Woolly the Lamb, and this cute pillow is just as snuggley!

Finally, who could forget the memorable line in Twilight about the lion and the lamb? I love this vinyl wall quote.

First Reads Flop - Leela's Book by Alice Albinia

Leela's BookLeela's Book by Alice Albinia

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I tried, but I just couldn't get into this book. Perhaps it was too wide of a cultural barrier, but nothing really grabbed me and made me want to continue reading it. When it switched to the point of view of the god, it just got too weird and confusing for me to continue any further. Not my style, but perhaps if you like Hindu literature you might understand it better and therefore be able to enjoy it.

View all my reviews

Recommended Read - Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Don't Breathe a WordDon't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel starts off a little confusing and mysterious and leaves the reader wondering what exactly is going on. However, it develops nicely after a few chapters and creates a well-woven picture of life on the streets and what drives teens to leave a home for a life without one. The characters are realistic and three-dimensional, and I liked that they weren't just caricatures. Overall, this is a solid read and worth checking out!

View all my reviews

Recommended Read - Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Working Stiff (Revivalist, #1)Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The romance in this novel is predictable, but the rest of the story is decidedly fresh in the world of the undead! No more stereotyped cliches about vampires or weres, no more magical glittering. Just real, gritty, scientifically-interesting death and re-animation in a fast-paced thriller that will keep you reading! I loved the characters, and how the world of working in a mortuary suddenly becomes more real and interesting. This is a great read, and I would absolutely continue to read this series!

View all my reviews

Like Legos? Check out this gig on Kickstarter!

As I can personally attest to, Legos aren't just for kids! ;) But if you want to build something really big, it can be difficult because the current bases on the market are thin and flimsy.

That is, until now! If this gig gets funded, they will be creating a base that fits with Lego pieces and is nice and solid. It's really cool - and not only that, but it can be helpful when using Legos to create robotics.

To find out more, just click the gig below. I gave $1 - will you match me?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's Up Wednesday - Bookish Things (other than book reviews)

My "spare time" life revolves around all things bookish - reading books, writing books (that I have yet to finish), writing poetry, reviewing books, reading book reviews, etc. In my trip around the blogosphere this week, I decided to highlight some great posts that have something to do with bookish things without being my usual sharing of book reviews, etc.

First, a lot of bookish people are also crafters or crafty. Therikrakstudio is hosting a special event just for you called "The 2012 Handmade Olympics." There's some great prizes/recognition to be won, so get out there and showcase your favorite bookish art (I think I'll be nominating some of my fave Booksy artists!).

Fromsandtoglass had some great advice for writers about what I like to term "word diarrhea." It's especially hard for someone like me who already suffers from general babbling when I'm talking which then translates even worse into my writing.

If you like sneak peeks, you should definitely swing by Fallintobooks, who has a sneak peek of the upcoming novel "The Calling." And if you're like me and haven't even read the first book of that trilogy, she has a link where you can get it. ;)

Athreewaytie brought up the idea of what age is a good age to read books with more adult content. As someone whose philosophy as a child was "find the thickest book I can to read", I encountered some pretty brutal stuff at a point where I wished I hadn't, frankly (in fact, one book was The Clan of the Cave Bear, which I won't even go near as an adult because it scarred me as a child!). I'm not sure how I feel about censoring, because there are some mature kids out there.... but how do you draw the line? Join in the discussion over on her blog if you're interested.

Normally I'm a big proponent of "don't judge a book by it's cover," but I have to admit that it still often factors into my decision of whether or not a book is going to end up being worthwhile (I've been surprised sometimes, but sadly less often than I'd like). Existential Ennui actually examines the work of a cover artist named Val Biro and shows how much work can go into creating the perfect cover.

Tabithasbookblog participated in a fun little meme titled "Top ten books I'd play hooky with," which I thought was really clever and fun. And then I thought some more about how I could probably NEVER narrow myself down to 10 books. NEVER. I think she cheated a little by using entire series to count as one book a few times, but I'd have to do that too.

For poetry lovers with younger children, I found out via Featheredquillbookreviews that PBS Kids will be celebrating a week of poetry in April on the shows "Martha Speaks" and "Arthur." So awesome!

Finally, the great eBook author Amanda Hocking tells about her experiences writing college papers even though she never finished a degree. I can relate to her wishing she could find one of her better papers - I wrote a brilliant piece of work for a Parapsychology course during my undergrad degree about Spontaneous Human Combustion, but it has since been lost to either the trash or the trash via old floppy disks that I can't really use anyway...

Do you think of theater as business?

I had to write a paper this week examining whether musical theater can be seen as a viable business option... and I thought it was interesting enough of a topic to share!

3.1a     Answer the questions posed in “The Business of Mamma Mia!” discussion section at the end of the case study.  Are there special conditions or conflicts of interest for performing arts as a business?  Post your response to the 3.1a assignment space in the Week Three folder.
- Are plays, musicals, and productions merely another avenue through which to make money, or are other metrics such as creative expression the true return-on-investment?
In my opinion, theater has two main purposes: 1) to make money and 2) to entertain. The only way that #2 can truly be attained in the long run is to meet #1 first! So it is both a way to make money, and a way to entertain and provide the audience with a view of what the theater thinks is worthwhile in entertainment.
- Are these types of ventures managed like “traditional businesses,” with a projected profit motive, or is performance quality emphasized above all else?
In order for a theater to maintain a level of success, it MUST be managed properly with a focus on profit first. If a theater doesn’t focus on profit, it can find itself in financial ruin quickly and will no longer be able to bring entertainment to local audiences (Barron, 2005).
- Where does “Mamma Mia!” stand when compared with Broadway classics like “Les Miserables,” “Miss Saigon,” and “Cats”?
Hisrich, Peters & Shepherd (2010) stated in the text that Mamma Mia was a new type of musical theater that had not been done before. As an avid musical attendee myself, I happen to know that it has spawned several similarly-based musicals such as All Shook up (Elvis music), Moving Out (Billy Joel music) and Rock of Ages (80’s hair bands), so in that respect I would say that it holds its own in the theater world as being a solid piece of entertainment.
- Can those who come up with something new in theater be considered entrepreneurs? What about people like Craymer, who simply bring existing material into a new arena? Is she an entrepreneur?
Absolutely! As I mentioned above, Craymer created something that hadn’t been done in live theater musicals before – she used existing popular music that audiences already loved and then added a story to it that endears the songs to the audience even more. I would liken it to the use of Elton John to help create music for the popular Disney movie The Lion King – it was the first time a well-loved popular musician was used to write music for a Disney film, and became sort-of a standard for future films.
- Is the success of “Mamma Mia!” attributable to skill and business acumen, or was it a “fluke”?
The success of the musical really does come down to using the proper amount of business skill to decide how to release it and where/when. By starting with a smaller scale and moving up to a larger scale, Mamma Mia’s staff created a solid show that appealed to a broad audience. It wasn’t a fast process, and thus would have required skill to pull off.
- In the end, does it really matter to Craymer, her critics, and the many fans?
I love musical theater, and though I tend to try to see the “business” in everything, I overlooked the obvious connection between theater and business. I think most fans will feel that way – as long as it’s entertaining, we really aren’t going to take the time to stop and think about the business side of it and how it got to be where it is.
- Are there special conditions or conflicts of interest for performing arts as a business?
At first glance, it could be seen that there would be a conflict of interest between the theater wanting to make money while entertaining, and what the audience demands. For example, maybe the audience wants Spamalot to come to Omaha again, while the theater thinks it would make more money off Cats. However, thinking about it further, that is just the same in every business – there’s always give and take between what the market wants and what the business is willing to provide. Additionally, theater has up and down seasons just like any other business, and its how each theater responds that can drive the numbers (Jacobs, 2004). So I would say that theater is just as much a business as a retail store or restaurant.
Barron, F. (2005). THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS. Baylor Business Review, 22(2), 34-35.
Hisrich, R., Peters, M. & Shepherd, D. (2010). Entrepreneurship. McGraw-Hill: New York.
Jacobs, L. (2004). Theatre Continues to Weather Storms. Back Stage, 45(1), 4.
What's YOUR take on the issue? Is theater a true business, or is it more about performance and less about profit?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Recommended eBook of the Week - Jill in a Box

In an attempt to lighten things up around here (because the last few books I've read, while they've been good, have been very dark), the eBook I chose as my book of the week (or weeks, as they tend to be) is a lighter look at dealing with death called Jill in a Box. Here's the description:
"A young girl deals with the loss of her grandmother by retreating into a refrigerator box. With the help of her friend and confidant, William the Ox, she comes to realize that the ones we love live on in us through our memories. A tender and joyful story for young and old that have experience the loss of a loved one."
To find out more, just click here or the link on the left side of my blog. Thanks! 

Shameless Stuff #9: Expose something dirty or messy you'd usually hide.

Everyone has their little quirks, but mine tend to be slightly more... mental... than the general population. At least, my husband and the rest of my family and I think so! ;) But one thing that I have never admitted to anyone outside of my closest family/friends is my complete disgust at cleaning the bathroom - so I don't.
My husband thought it was funny at first, how I freaked out about germs and refused to touch the toilet seat with my bare hands if he didn't remember to put it back down, or how I always found a way to bargain my way out of scrubbing down the shower walls. But I'm pretty sure that now that we are approaching 7 years of marriage he's had enough of it, because he has now for at least the last several months refused to clean the bathroom in the hopes that eventually it will get bad enough that I will break down and clean it.
Sadly, that's not how my brand of crazy works.... and now I find myself with a smelly, disgusting bathroom that I hope to goodness no one uses when they come over to our house! This includes a floor that hasn't been swept in ages and has accumulated a nice amount of my hair and the animal's fur (three cats and a dog roaming around leaves a lot of fur everywhere); a sink that has a layer of grime in it; and worst of all, an ever-growing pile of "hair vomit" that clogs the drain stopper in the shower, all neatly piled up in the corner of the shower despite the fact that the bathroom trash can is right outside of the shower curtain (though honestly, it's often full - that is one area that I do eventually break down and take out, and then spend the next 15 minutes or so obsessively scrubbing my hands).
You would think with germ issues that I'd be a neat freak, but for some reason it just fills me with fear to clean certain places, like the bathroom.
Please don't judge me!  Or, if you'd like, judge me, but don't let me know.  ;)

First Reads Flop - The Tribe of Tsulib by Helen Quinn

The Tribe of TsulibThe Tribe of Tsulib by Helen Quinn

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This story strives to portray the endless cycle of senseless violence that seems to plague humanity. While the concept is there, some of the writing isn't. The first portion is almost like reading the minutes from a board meeting - a bit too dry and not terribly interesting. The middle and end gets a little better but still has a haltingly unfamiliar style that hinders the flow of the story. It was weird how it switched back and forth from a third person to a first person present tense, and there were also a few grammatical errors. This book was only ok - decent concept, poor presentation.

View all my reviews

Recommended Read - The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - with BONUS review of movie!

As I mentioned during my last Booksy, I recently finished reading all three books of The Hunger Games trilogy and was practically panting to go see the movie!! The books are amazing, and written in a way that they can be enjoyed by just about anyone, including my husband who is notoriously anti-reading!

Before I talk about the movie, here's the reviews for the books:
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a future dystopian world where the outlook for local provinces is bleak, the reader finds believable characters that show a sense of survival and vigor. I loved the premise of the book, and couldn't put it down! It wowed me from beginning to end, and I developed closed bonds with each character. Wow. Just plain wow!

View all my reviews
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The surviving characters from the first book find themselves once again battling against the odds to survive. The action is great, but I find myself frustrated that the heroine is so dull and slow to catch on to things. It's as if the author doesn't want to show her as smart, but instead wants her to appear slightly ditzy. Perhaps it's supposed to be naivety, but it still bothers me. However, the action and a new cast of characters still kept me riveted throughout.

View all my reviews
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The final chapter of this interesting trilogy leads to the moment the first two books have been setting up - the revolution. True to life, the scenes are often devastating and grisly, and the loss of some key characters will leave readers reeling for a few days! The action keeps the readers' attention, and the quality of the story is the same as the other two books in the trilogy. However, I felt that the ending was too abrupt and rushed, as if the author reached a certain word count or page count and thus just threw together an ending. I would have liked to have seen an ending that was a little more open-ended and interesting, instead of your basic character followup. Overall, still a fitting end to an excellent series.

View all my reviews

Needless to say, I highly recommend the books! However, I really can't say the same about the movie. Perhaps I had too high of expectations, or perhaps it was my bias that no movie can ever capture a book's true essence, but I found myself disappointed after viewing The Hunger Games in theaters. I felt that too many important and relevant aspects were skipped over in order to add in some parts that were not in the books - the added in parts were nice, but I would willingly sacrifice them in order to get into more of the meat of the books!! I think they took something that was purposefully dark and sinister - a games where teens have to fight to the death - and made it into a lackluster film at best. I will give them credit in the casting - almost everyone fit the way I viewed them, with the MAJOR mistake of having Peeta being played by a guy with brown eyes (hey, it's a major theme throughout that he has blue eyes), and with the marginally minor casting misfit for Haymitch, who I always viewed in my head as a fat, sloppy bald guy in his late 40's.

Regardless of my thoughts on the film, the books are worth reading, and if you want to see the film definitely wait until after you've read the books.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interested in your family tree? Help someone and get help with your family tree!!

Always wanted to know more about your family tree, but don't know where to start? How about starting with Ashley. Ashley has been mostly blind in her right eye for most of her life, and then began having problems with her left as well. She has now had to have several surgeries and is desperately in need of money to help cover her medical costs!

You can help her AND get a family tree started/finished at the same time! :) It's a win-win for both of you.

To start, you can always order her gig on Fiverr for only $5 (that's kinda the whole purpose of Fiverr). That will allow you to go back 4 generations.
If you'd like to help out a little more and still want the same amount of information, you can back her on IndieGoGo for $25.
For a $100 donation on IndieGoGo, you receive all of the above plus copies of the official documents.
Finally, for a $500 donation on IndieGoGo, you will get a family history in a family history book,  complete with documents and graphs and even family photos!

I know personally how hard it can be to cover medical costs - last year I had to close down my tshirt printing business and sell the equipment to cover my unexpected surgery costs - so I hope that some of you will support Ashley in her time of need right now. Even if you can only give $1 and receive nothing in return like I did, every little bit helps!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Booksy - The Hunger Games

Oh yes - I have been hit with The Hunger Games fever! :) My HUSBAND (a man who I've never seen read an entire book in the 13 years I've known him) was the one who told me I should check them out, and so obviously I had to - and I read through all three books in under a week!

If you haven't checked them out yet, you really really should - and you should read them BEFORE you go see the movie, since I have a feeling that the movie will mess some things up (they always do).

Anyway, since the movie is coming out this week, here are some great book nerd gifts for anyone in your life that likes The Hunger Games! If you're a fan, these need no further description:

- Mellark Bakery Towel

- Mockingjay Necklace

- A Fake Nail Set (if I could pull them off, I'd totally wear them!)

- Bow with Peeta Pearl Bracelet

- Paper Bead Bracelet

- Fan Art on Shoes

- Everdeen Family Book of Herbs

- Pencil Set

- Duct Tape iPad Sleeve

- Refrigerator Magnet Set

- An AMAZING Book Sculpture (It's totally calling to me, someone better buy it!!)

- Katniss' Interview Dress (If I only I wore that size...)

- Resin Graphic Bangle

- Catching Fire Red Lip Balm

- Set of 5 Nesting Dolls (so cool!)

- Effie Trinket Yarn (this one only works if your bookie loves yarn crafts as well... you  now, someone like me...)

- Cuddly Peeta Mellark Pillow (adorkable!)

You know you want to buy some of these... ;) I will have my Hunger Games reviews up later this week - and I'll let you know how the movie compares to the first book!

Recommended Read - Eyr Apparent by Michael Horton

Eyr Apparent (Eyr, #2)Eyr Apparent by Michael Horton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good second book, but one where you definitely need to have read the first book in order to understand what is going on. Even with having read the first book, some of this story felt a little rushed and disjointed. The ending left me a little confused and I think it could have been explained a little better. However, there were still fantastic adventures and colorful lands that make Michael Horton worth reading.

View all my reviews

Recommended Read AND Bonus Article by the Authors!!

Making GoodMaking Good by Billy Parish

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really connected to everything discussed in this book - I'm a late-20-something who wants to do something meaningful but has only run into roadblocks and frustration. I loved the quote on p.39: "Your vocation is where your greatest passion meets the world's greatest need." The reader really embarks on a journey of self-exploration in these pages, and this is a good read for any aspiring social entrepreneur. It's also a great reference, and one that I personally will refer back to again!

View all my reviews

Not only is this book a real winner, but the authors have published several great articles, including this one (originally published here):

Find Your Next Billion-Dollar Business Opportunity

There is an unprecedented opportunity today to make money while doing good for the world. Here's how to find a place to break in.

Welcome to a whole new business ecosystem. More venture capital dollars are being directed today toward creating clean energy systems than to harvesting fossil fuels. Organics are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. food market. Seventy percent of college graduates across North America are now looking for jobs with companies that have a good reputation in corporate social responsibility.
Business as usual isn't good enough anymore. This is the dawn of a new wave of "constructive capitalism" that is smarter, more sustainable, and Internet-enabled. And it will change our world.

There is an unprecedented opportunity today to make money while doing good for the world. When we say, "doing good," we don't mean giving hand-outs. Instead, we mean running a business that makes money by rebuilding the industries that simply don't work anymore. We spent the last three years researching and writing Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money & Community in a Changing World (which is coming out this week) to map out where these opportunities are—and show people how to capitalize on them. We're excited to begin this column with and hope to begin a dialogue with the community of entrepreneurs here.

The following four steps are a simplified process for developing the idea for a billion dollar business—a way to look at the world and zero in on a game-changing solution. You may not initially get the insane traffic an online scrapbooking service like Pinterest has gotten, but you'll build a business that has lasting value in every sense of the word.

Step 1: Pick an Industry
It may be something you have spent your life getting to know or it may be something you have been interested in following from the sidelines. It doesn't matter. There are opportunities everywhere. Once you have your industry ask yourself what fundamental need does this industry meet?  Does the industry help us travel great distances quickly or does it answer the question of what we do with our trash? Today there is an opportunity to rebuild every industry in a way that does good for the world. The first step is to pick the industry you want to work in and write the core problem it solves in our society.

Step 2: Figure Out What's Broken
Does the industry rely on cheap labor from the developing world or does their business model rely on doing harm to the environment?  Sometimes the answer to what is broken is found in conversations with people that have been in the industry for years and other times it is commonly understood by almost everyone. Know what is wrong with the industry, what the community says, what the industry insiders say and you will begin to understand the opportunity to make good. How could the industry's needs be met in a better more sustainable way? How could smarter processes, software innovations, new materials change the game? Where are the opportunities for reinvention?

Step 3: Find the Rebuilders
Once you begin to look, you will find people that are already working on these core questions, rethinking industries from the ground-up. They are one of your greatest assets. They may be answering the question in a different way than you envision answering it, but like you they are just beginning to figure it out—improvising, experimenting, piloting new untested methods, and answering similar questions. Get to know what they are doing, what questions they are asking, and how they are funding themselves. They will not only be a source of new ideas but also begin connecting you with a movement of others working towards the same thing.

Step 4: Figure Out Who Wins
Understanding who profits as a result of your industry's improved redesign will help you immediately recognize who will fund your work or who will eventually acquire the company you start. Who currently "wins" as a result of this industry being fixed?  You can guarantee that the companies that are already firmly entrenched in answering this question are looking for the ways to recreate, and rebuild in response to our changing environment. The people who stand to profit from your redesign are the people to look to in order to pay your bills and to help you launch the next big company that makes money and changes the world.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Like Alice in Chains, Godsmack, or other metal bands? Check out Digital Summer on Kickstarter!

If you like metal music - the kind of stuff where you can bang your head - then you'd love the band Digital Summer! They have a gig up on Kickstarter right now trying to raise money to help them to release a new album, and YOU could help that become a reality!

Digital Summer has been around for a little while, and has even had a #1 song for 7 weeks on air with 4 songs that have had major radio exposure! For you ladies, they aren't bad to look at, either (though I doubt any of them are single). ;)

It's not easy or cheap to release an album, especially now that music has hit a turning point and cd's are no longer as big of a medium as they used to be due to digital downloads. That's why they need YOUR help! Just click on the gig below to learn more about it. I donated - can you help out too?

Friday, March 16, 2012

We have a Lucky Winner!

I promise I didn't forget that I needed to draw a winner for my Get Lucky Giveaway - I honestly just had one of those weeks where I wasn't able to get to my computer much, what with it being the first week of a term again and having my sister ready to have a baby any day now and my grandpa moved to hospice... it's just been crazy!!

Anyway, congrats to Lawrence, who wins a Protocol Bendy Booklight and a book of my choosing! :) Hope you all have a lovely St. Pat's day and thanks from the bottom of my heart for entering!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sorta Recommended Read - Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs by Susan L. Preston

Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs: Early-Stage Funding for Long-Term SuccessAngel Financing for Entrepreneurs: Early-Stage Funding for Long-Term Success by Susan L. Preston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this book did provide a realistic look into the minds of Angel investors, it was very dry to read and often incredibly pessimistic. I didn't learn anything from this book that I couldn't have picked up from a more interesting business textbook. Some of the information also felt dated, but that could be because I was reading the 2007 edition and I noticed that there is a 2011 edition now. Overall, this was only ok but I think there are some better business books out there that touch on the same subject.

View all my reviews

Recommended Read - How to Get Financing for your New Small Business by Sharon Fullen

How to Get the Financing for Your New Small Business: Innovative Solutions from the Experts Who Do It Every DayHow to Get the Financing for Your New Small Business: Innovative Solutions from the Experts Who Do It Every Day by Sharon Fullen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read a whole lot of business books, having previously been a small business owner and having worked on a Masters degree with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship, and out of all the books I've read this makes the top 5 best books on this subject!! Getting financing for a business is one of the toughest aspects of small business, especially in this economy, and this book provides realistic ideas to create and earn financing. This book was readable for all business owners, not just those with advanced degrees, and it uses everyday language that makes it easy and enjoyable to read. I recommend this to anyone looking to obtain financing for starting up or growing their small business!

View all my reviews

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Extreme Clothing Line Gig on IndieGoGo

As someone who formerly owned and operated a t-shirt printing business, I know how tough it can be to be starting out in the apparel business. In fact, having a lack of income was one of the deciding factors in my business shutting down! So when I saw this gig on IndieGoGo, I knew I had to become a backer.

Paradigm Threads currently has a few designs made for extreme sport addicts, and uses high quality fabrics to create their products. They are located in the UK, but that doesn't mean you can't contact them to get a product here in the US. :)

Anyway, I really feel like it's something worth checking out - I donated $1, who wants to match or beat my donation?

Just a reminder, I'm doing a "Get Lucky Giveaway" where you can win a FREE Bendy Book Light and a surprise book from my collection!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Trip Around Thursday - Hot topics and Giveaways

Today on my trip around the blogosphere, I wanted to focus on two things: hot topics, and giveaways. The blogs I follow did not disappoint!

First, there was a lot of activity surrounding Joseph Kony. If you haven't heard about this yet, please check out the following blogs: Amanda Hocking or 366 Random Acts of Kindness .
It's also International Women's Day, which The Phantom Paragrapher celebrated by attempting knitting. You go girl! Since I already crochet, I see no reason to learn to knit, but those knitting books make me want to reconsider... 
Next, AJ Arndt shared an incredible Groupon for Stieg Larsson's books (aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series)!! Say what?!? Yep, I totally bought one. You should, too!! If you go through the link above, I totally get a referral bonus, just saying. ;)
As someone who's always looking for tips on actually finishing up one of my many started novels/stories/poems/etc., I loved the post on All-On Writing today. It talked about the snowflake method. Sounds a little complicated, but I could see how it could work for some people. Penelope Fletcher also talked about the writing process, but this time shares how she has revised one of her book series (of which I have read the first two books and loved them!) and even retitled them!
Whenever I need a laugh A Beer for the Shower never lets me down! He tackles a serious issue today - getting a second job ... lol ok who am I kidding, he even makes THAT funny!!
And now for the giveaways!! A Bookish Libreria is giving away a large prize pack that includes a Kindle Fire ; Phat Fiber is once again giving away some amazing fiber that just would look soooo nice spun up into a chunky yarn; A Three Way Tie is giving away a great book; Reading for Sanity is working on giving away a Hunger Games Gear pack that you'll want to check back on once they work through the whole "wait until the movie comes out" stuff; Linkies has a contest to win a trip for two to Orlando to see Tom Petty in concert; and Blog Giveaways has a whole list of giveaways for today!

Also, don't forget to checkout my great giveaway, where you can win a Bendy Booklight and a "surprise" book from my vast collection! :) Enjoy your Thursday everyone!

Epic MMARRPG on Kickstarter!!

Gamers, get ready to have your socks blown off - there is a company with a gig on Kickstarter that is creating a real-time, location-based MMARRPG with ZOMBIES!! What's an MMARRPG? It's kinda like an MMORPG, except like I said above it goes WITH you via your smartphone! For nongamers, here's the definition from the gig:
"MMARRPG: (mar-peg) Massively Multiplayer Alternate Reality Role Playing Game."
It sounds seriously sweet, I won't lie. I generally only do RPG's on the xBox (and even that is only occasional, since I"m usually buried in the pages of a good book), but I would totally use a game like this on my Smartphone to rid myself of the boredom in places where I usually find myself wishing I had brought a book, like waiting at the dr's office or standing in a looonnnnggg line for the ladies room (seriously, why don't places start making two ladies rooms to every one mens room? It would make a lot more sense!!).
So if any of you bookies are also gamers (and don't lie, I know that some of you are lol!!) you really should check this gig out and donate! I donated $1 to support it - I dare you to match me or better!!
Just click here to donate and to find out more.

Also, don't forget to enter to win my giveaway - it's free and easy to enter and runs until March 13th!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Get Lucky Giveaway!!

I feel like it's time to reward my readers again, so since it's lucky March I think a "Get Lucky Giveaway" is in order!! :) The prize for this giveaway is a Protocol Bendy Booklight and Bookmark ($20 value) in yellow/orange and a surprise book that I will select from my vast collection and include for you to read!

The entries are easy, and the contest will run until March 13th. Good luck!

Booksy - Rockin' Out

This week I will be doing something I've wanted to do ever since it first hit Broadway - I'll be going to see Rock of Ages! Sure, it will be here in Nebraska rather than out on the "real" Broadway, but that doesn't mean it won't ROCK!! ;)

If you have a book lover in your life who also loves to rock n' roll, this edition of Booksy will provide some great gift suggestions! Just a word of warning - the pictures aren't always in order because Blogger can get a bit glitchy. Sorry about that!

Looking for a great vintage read? Nothing reads better than Michael Jackson in the 80's! Or if you're looking for a little more rock and a little less pop, Nobody Told Me has some big names including Steven Tyler and Aerosmith!

To tote around your books, you need a stylin' bag like this eco-friendly tote bag or this fantastic vinyl record purse.

You can dress the part of an 80's rock queen while reading your fave flashback novel - just slip on this punky fishnet bangle bracelet and  a fishnet hoodie and you're ready to rock and roll! You could also see about getting your prescription put into this sweet pair of faux-Ed Hardy frames. Are you a rock god instead of goddess? You might like these leather snap-on bracelets and this tattoo-inspired rock shirt. Your book can be decked out too, with this bottlecap bookmark or copper guitar bookmark.

Track your reading time with a far-out  The Who record clock, which can hang next to your glitter art Billy Idol poster and your Styx record cut to look like a guitar. You can take notes in some great rock albums notebooks.

Thinking of hosting an 80's themed book club party? If you're not, you might change your mind when you see these hot items! You could provide each guest with a glitter microphone soap party favor, then huddle around the rockin' record chip bowls lit by a cassette tape light! Next to them you can serve up some delicious rock cookies. Your invites could be this big hair card or hair band card, and you could stamp them up with some 80's praises.

Finally, save up your book fund (all book-a-holics have one, don't deny it!) with this rockstar piggy bank!

Rock on, book geeks, rock on! :)