Monday, September 1, 2014

The Only Book You Should Be Reading Right Now - Miracle Man by William R. Liebowitz

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~I received a copy of Miracle Man by William R. Liebowitz for review. Opinions and stories are my own.~

I had put off reading Miracle Man until I got Tot into school because I had a feeling it was going to entrap me. There was something about the way the eyes on the cover kept staring at me that I knew there was no way I was going to put the book down. I was right, it was spell-binding from the very first sentence. Miracle Man began with a horrifying jolt that sent you on a page turning thrill ride that not even the ending could release you from.

Miracle Man William R. Liebowitz

Before the main character could even utter his first word, he was a victim of a horrifying crime. A child of superhuman intelligence, Robert James Austin rises as the greatest genius in human history, formed by desperation and self-destruction. His ability to weave the sciences together through the linked language of mathematics is beyond anything anyone has ever seen (or could understand). His devotion to finding cures for diseases brings agents of greed and anti-western radicals against him, all while he finds himself carefully holding onto the precipice of sanity.

William R. Liebowitz is a mastermind storyteller and his character becomes so alive on the pages. The aching realness of him is what sets this book apart from other stories with superheroes or anti-heroes. His feelings of inadequacy, abandonment and betrayal are all to real to those of us who understand those feelings. And for some of us, what it feels like to get lost in the madness of our own mind and the inescapable nightmares we find waiting in the dark.

Eventually, Bobby fell asleep. It didn't take long for the nightmares to kick-in with full force and now there was new material with which he could be terrorized. It was as if he were there at his own birth watching it all unfold, his newborn cries echoing eerily through an abandoned factory building in which his mother, a teenage drug addict, lay on a blood stained blanket on the cold concrete floor. His cries seemed so small, so inconsequential, so pitiful as they reverberated through the decrepit cavernous structure. There was no welcome for him. No teary eyed parents, filled with gratitude and wonderment. No doctors and nursing staff officiously performing their duties. No incubator to warm its new occupant. There was only silence punctuated by the urgent cries of a tiny human being thrust into a world that didn't want or need him.

The only part that I felt was redundant or unimportant in the book that it could have had less of, is the overcompensation for how beautiful the main character and his lover were. I get that there is this a point: the concept of the anti-celebrity and beauty-does-not-negate-intelligence, but it is a little overdone. The nice thing about Robert (aka Bobby) is that he is a real person and overcompensating his attractiveness (and that of his lover) to ethereal status kind of dilutes the ability to relate to them.

Over the next few months, Bobby immersed himself in researching various diseases and the progress that had been made in science’s efforts to find cures. He was dismayed. Tens of billions of dollars had been spent on research and where were the cures? No major disease had been cured in decades. Research seemed to be fragmented, unfocused and uncoordinated, with much duplication of effort, and researchers going off on their own tangents, distracted by forays into matters of general academic interest. Cure research appeared to be a self-perpetuating industry of its own with no sense of urgency but lots of people making a living from it. And more often than not, the thrust was not to find a cure, but to create a treatment—a product that could be sold. Ongoing treatments with drugs rather than cures seemed to be the focal point. Keep selling those pills day after day rather than eradicate the need for them. Was that cynicism or reality? Bobby didn't know.

Outside of that minor detail, the book is incredible. It could have ended cheesy, it could have ended overdone or a hundred different things... but William R. Liebowitz ended it spectacularly. I was very pleasantly surprised and excited, so much so that I still haven't been able to get the story out of my head.

Get this book. On amazon, at the store, or on your phone - wherever. You will not be disappointed.

Make sure to take a moment and "Like" Miracle Man on Facebook and @MiracleManBook on Twitter. You can find excerpts of the book on both social media pages.

Birds Eye Vegetable Veggin' in LA Sweepstakes & Coupon Giveaway

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I received samples for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.
My son is a fruit addict. I don't have to ask, he'll scoop up anything sweet and healthy. But vegetables are a whole other story. There are a few true and tried ones he loves, but I wish he'd expand his palate! Did you know that 9 out of 10 Americans are not getting their recommended daily intake of veggies, and I have to say, I probably do not each day myself. We love fresh vegetables and I often get picky about frozen ones, but, Birds Eye, as the leader in the frozen vegetable  category, has some of the best tasting, as close to fresh flavor as I've found!

Now through September 24th, Birds Eye vegetables and Walt Disney Company have launched the Veggin' In LA With Laura Marano Sweepstakes! The grand prize is a trip to Los Angeles to "veg out" with Laura, star of Disney Channel's Austin and Ally and also enjoy a private dinner party with a Birds Eye chef! With the help of the sweepstakes, you can convince your kid's try new veggies or use the new Recipe Ready precut and measured vegetables to kick up a meal. Our store was out of all flavors but the Beef Stew, but I'm really looking forward to trying all the varieties to kick up our hamburger recipe and more! My little guy loves his mac and cheese and Birds Eye has a Steamfresh bag with broccoli and carrots. He ate it all together, no complaints, only the compliant that it was delicious!

Enter the sweepstakes below and then enter our own giveaway on the blog for Birds Eye coupons and some amazing swag!

Visit the Veggin' in LA with Laura Marano Sweepstakes page for all rules and details

How would you like to win your own Bird Eyes coupons and sweepstakes swag bag from Birds Eye and Disney Channel? I have one to giveaway to one lucky reader! Follow the directions below. If you do not follow the rules, you cannot win. Good luck!

This Is Where I Leave You Trailer

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I will receive a gift card to view this movie in exchange for my post

This Is Where I Leave You hits theaters on September 19th. The movie is about four grown siblings who have to live under the same roof for a week after their father passes away. Crammed in with their over sharing mother, spouses, exes, and 'might-have-beens', the four have to confront their personal histories and frayed state of relationships while reconnecting amongst humor, heartache, and redemption amongst family. Check out the trailer below:

Starring an all-star studded cast with Jane Fonda (The Butler), Tiny Fey (30 Rock), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Adam Driver (Star Wars: Ep VII), and Connie Britton (Nashville) this movie is sure to hit close to home with its portrayal of family!
The movie is based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Tropper and each Wednesday, the Facebook page has a discussion on the film! You can join in using #TIWILY for a chance to win a signed movie poster and a trip to the premiere in Hollywood! It pays to read kids!
Check back in September 15th here on the blog, I might just have an awesome giveaway scheduled for the movie! And let me know in the comments below if you're excited to see the movie!

DIY Upcycled Back to School Supply Caddy

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School is back in session which means we've stocked up on school supplies for both at school and at home. When my son is in school, his desire to color and do crafts at home increases because he's used to doing them 3 days a week at school. We've always kept his art supplies in a basket, but we've broken so many crayons and ended up with dried out markers because the lids would come off. I started thinking of better ways to store his supplies and instead of buying a plastic caddy from the store, I decided to make one myself. 

This is so simple to make and only needs a few supplies:
-Empty plastic container cut down to about 2" tall (I used a wipe container)
-Toilet paper roll
-Washi tape
-Hot glue

After cutting down your plastic container to size, you can start covering it and the toilet paper roll in Washi tape. I really wanted some animals on the Washi tape, but my Nugget insisted on the rainbow print one.

Put hot glue around the edge of one side of the toilet paper roll.

Stick it down into the center of the larger plastic container and hold it down for a minute to ensure it stays put.

That's it! Add your supplies and the caddy is finished. This honestly took almost no time to make and it's such a cute way to store school or art supplies.

Happy Back to School!