Friday, November 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

“Winning here is a conscious decision. Make up your mind whether you want to pass — or choose to fail. Whatever you have to do — just find an excuse to win.”

 ~ Lone Survivor

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

~ Walt Disney

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

~ Dr. Seuss 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Visitors by Katy Newton Naas - Blitz & Giveaway


Book & Author Details:

The Visitors by Katy Newton Naas
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Sometimes soul mates find each other in unlikely places. But is love worth it if it risks your life?
Seventeen-year-old Noah is startled when he awakes one day to find that dangerous, irrational, self-serving, and destructive visitors called “humans” are coming to visit his beautiful, perfect society. All citizens are ordered to have limited contact and share minimal information with these visitors.
Sixteen-year-old Jady is thrilled to accompany her father and his crew on a trip to a recently-discovered planet, Verdant. The United States’ crew is hopeful that they can learn from this ad-vanced yet similar species.
Despite their greatest efforts to fight it, it doesn’t take long for Jady and Noah to fall in love and begin a secret affair. But when their relationship is revealed, danger is created for everyone in-volved…


Katy Newton Naas wears many hats: wife; mother to her young son, Aven, and her four-legged sons, Shakespeare and Poe; teacher of middle school reading and high school English; children’s church teacher; and now – her lifelong dream realized – author. Her debut novel, THE VISITORS, was released September 16, 2014. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor’s degree in English Education and a master’s degree in Reading and Language Studies. She resides and teaches in a small town in southern Illinois.

From a young age, Katy was always an avid reader and writer with a big imagination. She spent much of her childhood searching for ghosts and UFOs to no avail – but she hasn’t given up her hunt just yet. Though she continues to grow older, her true literature love is and has always been young adult fiction. She loves creating both futuristic and realistic stories about teenagers, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.

Author links:
Comment below for a chance to win one (1) ebook copy of the Visitors. Winners will be announced December 9th.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Art & History Feature - Isabella d'Este

Isabella d'Este, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, possibly made for a painting
The Italian Renaissance brought us not only great men - artists and sculptors, like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, notorious and powerful princes like Cesare Borgia and men who wrote about them, like Michaevelli - but also great women who became a force in their own right.

One such woman was Isabella D'Este, Duke of Ferrara Ercole I D'Este and Eleanor of Naples. Isabella was influential in the political and cultural landscape of the Italian Renaissance, a major patron of arts and an inexhaustible letter-writer, which allows us a glimpse into the society of her time.

Young Isabella d'Este (anonymous painter)
Born in May of 1474 in Ferrara in northern Italy, Isabella was educated in the best classical manner. She was well versed in classical literature and history, could read, write and translate from Greek and Latin and easily held intellectual conversations with the brightest writers and scholars in the court, as well as ambassadors and heads of states. She was the oldest of the Duke's children, and her siblings included Beatrice D'Este, another influential woman of the Renaissance, and brothers Alfonso, Ippolito, Ferrante and Sigismondo. Alfonso would become the third husband of Lucrezia Borgia.

Although she was at first betrothed to, Gianfrancesco, the heir to the Marquis of Mantua, she married his successor ten years later, Francesco Gonzaga. The two deeply admired and respected each other and those feelings eventually grew into real love. Since her husband was often away in Venice as the Captain General of the Venetian armies, Isabella often ruled as his regent.

Isabella's husband, Franceso Gonzaga

She also developed a very close friendship with her sister-in-law, Elisabetta Gonzaga, and the two would go on to be lifelong friends, as their many letters to each other attest to. Four years after her wedding, Isabella gave birth to her first daughter. In total, she and Francesco would have eight children.

When her brother Alfonso married the notorious Lucrezia Borgia, Isabella hosted the festivities but soon turned cold towards her new sister-in-law. She had a reason - jealousy. Lucrezia went on to have a torrid and passionate affair with Isabella's husband, Francesco, which lasted quite a while and only ended at the time of his death from syphillis. During the years of the affair, however, Isabella continued to bear her husband children.

Isabella often demonstrated courage and astute mind and competency in political affairs, to the point where some considered her a better and more competent ruler than her husband. When Francesco became a hostage in Venice in 1509, Isabella didn't hesitate to take control of Mantua's military and was able to hold off the invaders until  her husband was released in 1512. She continued to be an important and competent regent during other times her husband was absent, as well as as a regent to her son, Federico. She played a major roles in promoting Mantua to a Duchy and was a wise diplomat in her dealings with our states, and even negotiated with Cesare Borgia.

Besides her political and diplomatic acumen, Isabella was a great patron of the arts and literature, as well as a leader in fashion.  She loved music and played musical instruments herself. Among the great artists she sponsored were Titian, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Bellini. Through her letters we know that she repeatedly asked Leonardo da Vinci to paint her portrait. While there is a knowing drawing of her by Leonardo, the complete painting was not discovered until much later.

Isabella in her 60s, by Titian
A writer Matteo Bandello described her as "supreme among women", while diplomat Niccolo da Correggio called her "The First Lady of the world."

After becoming a widow, Isabella continued to participate in the politics of Mantua and was well loved and respected by her people. In her later years, she turned Mantua into the center of arts and culture, creating a museum and even opening a school for girls. She also collected antiquities.

She died on February 13th, 1539 in Mantua, leaving a great legacy behind her.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Loving Angel Book Blitz and Giveaway


Book & Author Details:

Loving Angel by J.L. Weil
(Divisa #4)
Publication date: October 2nd 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Loving Angel isn’t easy. Actually, it’s downright exhausting, but somehow she weaseled her way into my life. She has become my everything—my reason for existing—my reason for breathing. I love the ever-loving crap out of Angel Eyes. There is nothing I wouldn’t endure for her—even college.

College. Ugh.

I hope the frat boys, the jocks, and the nerds are prepared for what is about to embark on their school this fall. Half-demons. Hunters. And um, the Keystone? Yeah, that is going to take getting used to.

We aren’t exactly your average freshman. And somehow I find myself stuck with a bunch of troublesome females to look after. Angel. Emma. Lexi. Pretty sure I got the raw end of the stick.

But that isn’t the worst of it. There is someone lurking in the shadows—spying and stalking my girlfriend. He is a dead man. How many people am I going to have to kill for this girl? A better question would be how many people wouldn’t I kill for her?

As many as it took.

Angel is about to experience betrayal of the worst kind. And this time, it’s not entirely my fault—shocker.

Don't miss Saving Angel, book one in J.L. Weil’s The Divisa Series!


Award-winning and Bestselling author J.L. Weil writes Teen & New Adult Paranormal Romances about spunky, smart mouth girls who always wind up in dire situations. For every sassy girl, there is an equally mouthwatering, overprotective guy. Of course there is lots of kissing. And stuff.

Most of her books are for ages 16+. They usually have what she considers the good stuff - sexual content (oh yeah) and swearing. You have been warned ;)

An admitted addict to Love Pink clothes, raspberry mochas from Starbucks, (yum!) and Jensen Ackles (double yum!). She loves gushing about books and Supernatural with her readers.

Author links:
Comment below for a chance to win one (1) ebook copy of Angel Loving. The winners will be chosen randomly on December 2nd.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quote of the Day


“I don’t think I could love you so much if you had nothing to complain of and nothing to regret. I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and of little value. Life hasn’t revealed it’s beauty to them."

~ Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
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