Book Review: Live From New York

liveNYLive From New York is The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests.  And when they say it is complete – they’re not lying! The book comes in at over 700 pages and covers the show from 1975 to present day.  The story of the show is told through a series of interviews and quotes, which I thought was an interesting approach – but there’s really no better way to learn about the show than hear about it from the horses mouth. There’s interviews with Lorne Michaels, the writers, musical directors, cast, hosts, etc.

The book is broken down in to 9 chapters :

1. Exordium: 1975-1976
2. Heyday: 1976-1980
3. The Stars Come Out: 1980-1985
4. Behemiel Rising: 1985-1990
5. Overpopulartion: 1990-1995
6. Still Crazy After All These Years: 1995-2002
7. Politica: 2002-2008
8. One Man’s Family: 2008-2014
9. Lorne

I was obviously most interested in reading about the more current casts, since these are the shows that I have watched and the cast that I remember the best.  They even chat with Betty White during this part of the book – and really – who doesn’t love Betty White? (and yes, they talk to Justin Timberlake too! You know he was who I was looking for in this chapter for sure!)

The book ends with a bunch of photos from various seasons as well as the cast list for each of the seasons.

This was a really fun, inside look to the show and a really well put together compilation for the show. If you have any interest at all in the show, you should check this book out.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Just in time for the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, a rollickingly updated edition of LIVE FROM NEW YORK with nearly 100 new pages covering the past decade.

When first published to celebrate the 30th anniversary ofSaturday Night Live, LIVE FROM NEW YORK was immediately proclaimed the best book ever produced on the landmark and legendary late-night show. In their own words, unfiltered and uncensored, a dazzling galaxy of trail-blazing talents recalled three turbulent decades of on-camera antics and off-camera escapades. Now a fourth decade has passed—and bestselling authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales have returned to Studio 8H. Over more than 100 pages of new material, they raucously and revealingly take the SNL story up to the present, adding a constellation of iconic new stars, surprises, and controversies.

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Book Review: Amy, My Daughter

amyAmy, My Daughter is a biography about the late Amy Winehouse written by her father, Mitch Winehouse.  As such, there are a lot of personal stories in here about her life from the perspective of her father.  He says that she was always quite mischievous.  Throughout the book there are also photos of some of the birthday cards that Amy had sent Mitch over the years.  He also notes that him saying “I think she’s fine” did come up during a conversation about her going to rehab – and it made it in the song.  With the exception of Rehab – all the songs on Back to Black were about Blake.  This was the person that turned Amy on to drugs and it was around when they got together that her Dad started keeping a diary – which is probably why he can remember the stories recalled in the book so well.  It is quite a tragic tale – Amy truly was trying to get better and seemed to only have alcohol as her vice, but unfortunately she could not overcome it.  Such a talent, gone too soon!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

As an artist, she had few peers. Her lyrical prowess and timeless contralto vocals made her an instant revelation when her debut album Frank was released in 2003. And as her star continued to rise it became evident that this seemingly delicate girl from north London was much more than just a precocious talent.

Genius, inspiration, icon; there are many ways to describe Amy Winehouse, but it was her wit, charm and lust for life that cemented her place in the hearts of her fans.

Here, using exclusive extracts from his own personal diaries, Amy’s father and confidant Mitch celebrates what influenced his daughter. Documenting her early years from Sylvia Young to the Brit School, and the darker side of her life as she struggled to cope with her addictions under the glare of the media spotlight, he gives new insights.

With never before seen photos, notes and drawings, this book brings together the many layers of Amy’s life – the personal, the private and the public – to create an honest and intensely moving account of the life of the most talented recording artist of her generation.

 

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Book Review: Three Nights with a Rock Star

threenightsThree Nights with a Rock Star is about good girl church sunday school teacher Hailey. When her sister returns from time on tour as the merch girl for a band knocked up, she decides she is going to find out who it was that got her pregnant.  She meets the bands lead singer, Lock, who has her sign a contract – she can ask around on the crew but he gets her for 3 nights.

Things get hot and heavy and Hailey thinks she may have a lead – but Lock pulls her away from the roadie she was talking to since she is “his”.  The three nights seems to be going on for much longer than that – but just as things are about to end a sex tape between Hailey and Lock gets out to the press.

Hailey ends up running home – not sure if she’d even still have her job at the church.  Lock is left to let her go or follow after her.

I feel like my recap was really half-assed here but I don’t want to give away major plot points and I think I would if I truly recapped it how I wanted.  I really liked these 2 characters together – they seem very much different – rock star and sunday school teacher – but it seemed like they brought out the best in each other and when they got together things were always HOT!  This was a rather quick read and a lot of fun!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

 

About the Book

Description

When Hailey crashes a Half-Life after party, she expects to find the bastard who knocked up her little sister. Instead she meets the sexy front-man who agrees to give her access to his crew if she gives him access to her body.

All Lock demands in return is three days of complete control over the Sunday School teacher. With a contract, because he’s been burned before. One misstep could send the band—and his tenuous sobriety—up in flames.

Hailey and Lock push each other’s limits… Against the penthouse window. Backstage. In the limo and on the elevator. But as the contract counts down, neither are ready for the party to end.

Author Bio:

Amber Lin writes edgy romance with damaged hearts, redemptive love, and a steamy ever after. Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” Since then, she has gone on to write erotic, contemporary, and historical romances.

To stay up to date with upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter.

Shari Slade is a snarky optimist. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn’t toiling away in the non-profit sector, she’s writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust). Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus.

Sign up for her newsletter to stay up-to-date on all the latest releases, happenings, and events.

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Book Review: Ignited

ignotedIgnited is book #3 in the Most Wanted Book series. (I have previously read Wanted and Heated) This book focuses on the 3rd of the Knights – Cole.  His love interest is Kat – who is also a con woman.  Cole has decided that he doesn’t date, but Kat is determined to change this and have her be the one that he dates.  She wants to show him that even though both of them are broken, together they can make each other whole.  The subplot of the book is about Kat’s Dad, who is also a con man and has gotten himself in pretty deep.  She asks for Cole’s help in keeping her Dad safe, but she doesn’t like it when she is kept out of the loop of what is going on with him.  Kat finds out that Cole has killed before and isn’t sure if he would kill again – though it seems like he may like to try if she can’t get to him in time.  There is also a little bit of blackmail going on when Cole and Kat are being spied on by someone.

I would have to say of the three books this was probably not my favorite, but it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read either.  I guess I just liked the other two Knights a bit better.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

For fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, Bared to You, and Release Mecomes an all-new erotic series of three enigmatic and powerful men, and the striking women who can bring them to their knees.
 
He promised to take me as far as I could go—and I wanted to go to the edge.
 
My whole life has been a cover, a con, a lie. I was born into the grift, raised on the thrill of playing someone I’m not. As a rule, I never let anyone get too close—until Cole August makes it impossible for me to stay away.

Cole is tough, sexy, and intensely loyal, yet his secrets are dark and his scars run deep. Not many women can handle his past, or the truth behind his fierce demands. But something about him beckons me—and our desire is a game I must play.

I know he’s dangerous, that even his touch is trouble, but what is passion without a little risk?
 
Ignited is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

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Throwback Thursday – Disney!

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With Cinderella’s mice Suzy and Perla.  And showing off my Daisy Duck hat. (I apparently owned lots of Minnie Mouse shirts that I wore to Disney and continued the tradition this year too lol)

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CD Review: Neil Diamond Melody Road

Melody Road
First Time
Seongha and Jimmy
Something Blue
Nothing But a Heartache
In Better Days
Ooo Do I Wanna Be Yours
Alone at the Ball
Sunny Disposition
Marry Me Now
The Art of Love
Melody Road (Reprise)

Order the album at:

Melody Road is Neil Diamond’s first studio release in 6 years and his first release since he has signed with Capitol Records. Throughout his career he has had 37 Top 40 singles and 16 Top 10 albums in the U.S. 2008’s release Home Before Dark debuted at #1 in the U.S and in the UK on the Billboard Top Albums chart.  The album is to be released on October 21st and was co-produced by Don Was and Jacknife Lee.

The album kicks off with the title track – Melody Road.  I wasn’t sure I would like this CD, but I have to say that this song has such great music that it completely captured my attention and drew me in.  First Time reminds me of the Sesame Street theme song. I’m not really sure why.  The music, I guess!  The whole CD is pretty catchy and I caught myself humming quite a few of the songs to myself after listening.

I have to say that I think that my favorite songs are Nothing But a Heartache and Alone At The Ball.

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Disney Trip: EPCOT Day 1 Part 2

For the first Hanson show, we didn’t bother getting in line and hoped we would have a handicapped spot waiting for us.  We did.  There are what I like to call 4 “prime” handicapped viewing spots and we were 2 to the side from one of the four.  I knew I would have to stand to see because everyone in front of me stood – but the ECV was pretty cool and between the controls in front of me and the seat behind me I felt pretty secure!

The setlist for the first show was

Fired Up
Ive Got Soul
Where’s the Love
And I Waited
Minute Without You
MMMBop
Get The Girl Back
Waiting For This

There was a medical emergency during this show – I believe that a girl had a seizure and had to be taken away. (I hope everything turned out ok there!) and you could tell that the guys were concerned. Taylor mentioned her after a couple of songs and stopped after a song to talk to security to see what was going on as well. But the show must go on and they pushed through their set.

The second set we pretty much did the same approach and got the exact same spot haha  For this show t he setlist was

Scream and Be Free
Thinking Bout Somethin
Runaway Run
This Time Around
Tragic Symphony
Give a Little
Minute Without You
Lost Without Each Other

We left before the last song and got back in line – only to be cut by a couple more wheelchairs and scooters so we were 1 off from the “prime” spot – until I spotted a friend next to one of the 4 prime spots.  She called us over and I had a pretty much amazing unobstructed view for the 3rd show. (Thanks Jillian!)

The setlist for the 3rd show was

Fired Up
Ive Got Soul
Where’s The Love
You Can’t Stop Us
Thinking of You
Penny and Me
MMMBop
Get The Girl Back
It’s a Long Way To The Top

 

We didn’t hang around for Illumiations even though we had wristbands because we needed to be up early for the Hanson Beer Seminar the next morning. We thought maybe we would catch it the next night…

 

 

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Product Review: Expandable Hose

Recently I was given the chance to try out an Expandable Hose. The hose is pretty neat as it is really compact and came in such a tiny box! The hose also expands to up to 75 feet which is awesome because our water spigot is in the garage so we need to stretch it out of the garage and then to wherever else we may want to use it. It also takes up a lot less space in the garage than our traditional hose (see photos for details!)

The hose starts out at 25 feet and expands to 75 feet with water pressure. Release the pressure and the hose returns to 25 feet! This is the strongest hose available at 100-PSI working pressure and 300-PSI burst pressure. This hose is super light weight and will not tangle, twist or kink!

Check it out on Amazon where it has a 100% Money Back Guarantee for a Risk Free Buying Experience!

A great gift for that gardener in your life or maybe one who likes to take the time to wash their own car!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Try It Tuesday: Make Your Own Disney Autograph Books

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Today I share how I made us custom autograph books for our trip! These are custom with our names on them (and favorite characters) and also much cheaper than the ones they sell in the park!

 

Supplies needed:

Book you want to convert into the autograph book
(I used this 4×6 sketch book from Joann.com)
“Sticker Paper” to print your cover on
Extra scrapbook paper or card stock
Hole punch
Ruler
Xacto Knife
Printer
Sticker maker

 

First I pulled off the cover from the spiral very carefully. Using extra (white) scrapbook paper, I cut down a piece that would fit on the cover.  Since the covers are black and the sticker paper is clear, it wasn’t going to show my design very well.  I have to say cutting the paper to fit was the hardest part and I went through 3 pages in my attempts.  OOPS!  (Measure twice, cut once!)

I already had my design figured out in Photoshop – but if you don’t have Photoshop there are plenty of other free image programs. There are also TONS of Disney fonts out there to use – I used Disney Park.  I printed it out on a plain sheet of paper first that way I could make sure I had the dimensions right before printing it out on the sticker paper.

Warning! It is best not to touch the sticker paper immediately after it comes out of the printer.  Let it sit to dry for a couple of minutes.  (Learned this one the hard way too)

I had also made a “If found return to” sticker for the inside of the book – rumor has it if you lose your book and Disney finds it they’ll mail it back.  I put if found before 9/29 (our last day) return to our resort.  If not, return to with our address and stuck it in the inside of the back page.  This was also good practice for lining up the sticker paper.

I trimmed the cover images down on the sticker paper and carefully stuck them to my white scrapbook paper.  I tried to center them as best I could, but left a little bit more room at the top since the spiral binding would be there.

I then ran that through my XYron sticker maker and carefully stuck it to the removed book cover starting in one corner and trying to line things up as best I could.  (Xacto knife came in handy to trim any excess.)

The holes on these books are squares, but the only hole punch I have is round so I used that rather than try to Xacto out all the little squares.

Then I carefully put the cover back on the book just as I had taken it off, and squeezed the binding to itself just to make sure it wasn’t too open and it would fall apart.

And that’s it!

Probably the easiest of the projects I have done for Disney and a great result!

 

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Category: Crafts  Leave a Comment

CD Review: Mary Lambert Heart On My Sleeve

Secrets
So Far Away
Rib Cage
Dear One
When You Sleep
Chasing the Moon
Jessie’s Girl
Monochromatic
Heart on My Sleeve
Wounded Animal
Sum Of Our Parts

Heart On My Sleeve is the full-length debut album from Mary Lambert.  You may know her from Macklemore’s “Same Love” or maybe you’ve heard her single “Secrets” on the radio lately. (I know I have, and I love it!)  After Mary found that she had a platform with her success from working with Macklemore, getting nominated for 2 Grammys and releasing an EP – she created a set of goals for herself for the full-length album.  They were: 1. Have Fun. 2. Create something catchy.  3. Create something that positively impacts the world (how great is this?) 4. Stay true to yourself 5. Make Money.

The album starts off with the super catchy tune “Secrets” which I often end up with stuck in my head when I hear it on the radio.  The rest of the album is a bit slower and not quite as catchy, but still a great listen.  I love a lot of these songs, as many of them I can relate to – not thinking that you fit in, etc.  And Mary has a beautiful voice.  Oh, and if you were wondering, yes Jessie’s Girl IS the cover that you are thinking of!

 

You can buy the album on the following sites:

 iTunes 
Amazon

Find out more about Mary at her official site: www.marylambertsings.com

I participated in the Mary Lambert Heart On My Sleeve album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

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