SK6ers at Infinity Hall

Wednesday I went to my 3rd show in as many days.¬† Except that the scheduling for the blog got a little screwy because the first 2 shows were last minute additions. So you’ll hear about those next week ūüėȬ† Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers (SK6ers) performed at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT.¬† To be honest, if I hadn’t already bought a ticket I probably would have skipped out on going to this show because I was so tired and it is just over an hour for me to get there.¬† I had been keeping an eye on how many tickets were sold since the show went on sale, and it was kind of sad how few tickets were sold. The venue has 2 sections of the floor, so the first 3 rows had people and then there were some empty rows until the seats were in the cheaper area.¬† Stephen commented a few times about how we were all spread out.

Opening for the evening was Chris Koza a songer songwriter from Minnesota. I didn’t keep track of what he sang – I know he did¬†a song called Centralia about a ghost town in PA and he said that we should look it up on wikipedia and that is where he got the lyrics from.¬† He also did a mashup of 26 songs into a medley – but it was just the “na na nas” and “heys” and “hey yas” from songs throughout the years. His intro of it did it no justice – it was incredibly entertaining and fun to try and figure out which songs were which. He did a song called Dark, Delirious Morning and also the song Geese in the Fly Away which he had Stephen Kellogg join him on. He also did a Bob Dylan cover.¬† (And I am sure there are many more I am missing.)

Due to being so tired at this show everything is kind of meshing in to one thing so if I mention things that happened before/after/during songs please keep in mind that it might not be exactly accurate.¬† SK6ers tour is the “stripped down and fully clothed” tour – which basically means it is acoustic (and that they aren’t naked).¬† They started the set with a stripped down version of Shadey Eseperanto and the Young Hearts. It is always interesting to see/hear how a song changes when it goes from electric to acoustic.¬† Before Keep Your Thoughts Stephen had mentioned that the song is their most downloaded song in their catalog, they don’t play it often, ¬†but yet it rarely gets requested. It doesn’t get shouted for, no one emails him about it so he thinks that maybe Rihanna has a song with a similar title or somthing.

Before Start the Day Early Stephen mentioned that he likes to throw parties where he throws groups of people together so that it will be awkward and that he’d be doing it on stage tonight.¬† He said he would be bringing out Tim of The Alternate Routes (who were playing Infinity Hall the next night – would love to have seen them but that drive 2 nights in a row was definitely not happening.) and Chris Koza who had just met that day to sing their duet during the song.¬† To make things even more awkward, they were forced to share a stool on stage as well.

Stephen talked a bit about how there were songs out there that he had wished he had written – either for the monetary aspect or because the lyrics meant something to him. He said how he wished he had written “party rockers in the house tonight” and then went on to sing Too Old Now To Die Young, a Will Hoge song.

One of the songs, I can’t remember which, (My favoritre place maybe?) he sang in “Norwich” instead of “Norfolk” after the song people started shouting at him that he was in Norfolk and he thought he had just misprounounced it.¬† He said usually that line being changed to the city they were in got a response but we didn’t have one.¬† Then he realized he said the completely wrong city and teased that maybe the other 200 people to fill the venue were actually in Norwich instead of Norfolk.¬† He also was talking about how there was an era when the band drank a lot and someone screamed out asking what he was drinking and he said milk. Eventually he ended knocking over the milk that he had one the table next to him and then someone screamed out to not cry over spilled milk.

The guys will be back out on tour in the fall – but he mentioned that they were coming to NYC in November, so it appears that the dates won’t have Connecticut on them this next tour – which is a bummer.¬† I am pretty much all NYC-ed out… but maybe they’ll add something in, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Book Review: Fearless

Adam Brown has always been fearless.¬† Eric Blehm’s book recounts Adam’s life growing up – where he was constantly challenging himself and doing crazy things.¬† Jumping in trees, jumping from cars into the water in Hot Springs, Arkansas.¬† But beyond that – Adam Brown had a good heart.¬† He was polite, never put himself first and appeared to be an all around great guy from the stories told by his friends in family in Fearless.

But then he lost his way. He got on the wrong path, got mixed up with drugs and the wrong people.  He struggled to get clean.  The motivation he needed to stay clean was joining the Navy SEALs.  He tried hard to do his best in all the training and ended up being a member of SEAL TEAM SIX, the team that would eventually go on to bring down Osama bin Laden.

Adam seemed to help everyone around him, whether he knew it or not. His faith helped others become religious. His kind acts showed others how to care.  In 2010 he ended up losing his life in combat.  His team did everything they could to save him and they knew that losing him was losing a big part of themselves. They went on to avenge his death Рthey went on to get Osama bin Laden.

Although Adam had several injuries that would lead some people to quit, it all just led him to push himself that much harder.¬† Adam’s story is a truly inspiring one.¬† (Although I wouldn’t recommend reading the end of the book at work like I did.¬† You might get odd looks from coworkers when you start crying. Even though you know what is coming.) Although Adam would never admit it – he truly was¬†a hero.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

Sneak peak at Chapter 1:


Waterbrook is now setting aside free copies of various titles to be given away to blog readers each month.  To be entered, all you need to do is read and rank my review and you will automatically be entered to win a free copy of that book. Winners will be notified by Waterbrook if they are chosen as a winner and will mail the book out to the winner.


About The Book Read More

Book Review: Prize of my Heart

Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato tells the tell of Brogan, a sea captain whose wife left him, taking their son Benjamin with her. ¬†Brogan has been looking for him for years and finally finds him living with the Huntley family, his “sister” Lorena taking care of him. ¬†He is now known as Drew, called that as short for Andrew because it had the same D sound as David – a bible character that Drew can relate to.

As a child, Benjamin (now Drew) was given a doll named Captain Briggs, created in his father’s likeness. ¬†Drew still carries this doll around even year later because he believes that his father was killed at sea and he now has a new family with the Huntleys. ¬†Brogan spends some time with Lorena and Drew before revealing who he is to them and begins falling in love with Lorena and proposing.

Brogan then reveals who he really is to the two of them, and they do believe him right away. ¬†However, time with Lorena’s father tells more of the story of Brogan’s wife Abigail, Benjamin’s father, and how Benjamin ended up living with the Huntleys.

This was a great historical novel, short, coming in at only 20 chapters and under 300 pages. ¬†You could easily read it in an evening or two. I thought that the authors descriptions of everything were really great ¬†and I could easily picture this 1815 New England town and the ships that were involved as well. ¬†I loved the twists and turns in the story – and of course the ending – which I’ve tried to avoid mentioning so that you can find out for yourself when you read Prize of my Heart!

I received a free copy of this book from BethanyHouse in return for writing this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Three years ago, Captain Brogan Talvis’s late wife abandoned their son, leaving no clue as to the boy’s whereabouts. ¬†After searching relentlessly, Brogan discovers his son was adopted by a New England shipbuilder. And the main’s daughter, Lorena Huntley, acts as a loving guardian to the child.

Lorena, who hides a dark truth, finds herself falling for the handsome captain and ex-privateer who’s come to secure ownership of one of her father’s ships. She’s unaware of Brogan’s own secret when another’s deceit has her sailing toward Europe against her will.

Haunted by the thoughts of Lorena in peril, Brogran is compelled to choose between the boy he longs for and the woman who has captured his heart.

Massachusetts, 1815.

Will His Love Endure Once He Learns Her Secret?

Book Review: Colors Like Memories

Colors like Memories by Meradeth Houston is about Julia, a child who died before her first breath and that became a Sary, sent to keep an eye on Marcy a suicidal girl dealing with the loss of her mother and her alcoholic father.  Julia is distraught by the loss of her boyfriend/companion Derek, and believes that he died at her hand and can not stop thinking about him.

Julia believes she is making progress with Marcy – she got her to dump her abusive boyfriend John, but now John believes Julia is out to get in between him and Marcy and swears he will get his revenge on her.

Meanwhile Julia meets Edison and finds out that he is also a Sary that she met once years before – and that he knew Derek and had a message from him for her.

She gets distracted with the job at hand (keep Marcy safe) due to her own inner dealings with thoughts about Derek and now Edison.¬† Marcy finds an old picture from years past and swears that it is Julia in the photo.¬† They have the same name, the same necklace (given to her by Derek) and even the same mole on her hand.¬† Marcy is not convinced that she is delusional and wants answers.¬† If Julia being a Sary comes out, Julia will lose her assignment and lose her ability to be a Sary, or so she thinks.¬† She told Derek she would never lose her position in the Sary and so she isn’t sure what to do.¬† Edison tries to guide her in the right direction but Julia has an idea of her own about what she should do.

While Julia is off telling everyone that she has been found out РMarcy is once again attempting to take her life.  Will Julia be removed from the Sary? Will she be able to complete her assignment and rescue Marcy?  Will John get his revenge on Julia like he says he will?  Why did Edison appear?

All this and more – explained in Colors Like Memories!

While the idea of this book is far fetched (or is it? hmm) I really enjoyed the books and the characters.¬† I was convinced for a while that Edison saying he used to know Julia meant that he was actually Derek back in another person’s body but I guess that was a bit too far fetched even for this story ūüėȬ†¬† While Julia had her own struggles to work through and didn’t think that she would be a good role model for Marcy – I think the two of them dealing with their grief helped each other more than they actually realized.¬† They both had to stay strong for each other.

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


About The Book

Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident‚ÄĒsort of.

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this ‘breath of life’ she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It’s a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend‚Äôs life‚ÄĒan accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren’t enough, she’s now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia’s not exactly the best role model for. If she can’t figure out a way to help her, Julia’s going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.!/MeradethHouston

Book Review: Ukulele Heroes

While I don’t know that I would consider myself a “uke enthusiast”, I certainly thought that reading about Ukulele Heroes and the history of this instrument would be interesting.¬† And it was!¬† Ukulele Heroes has a layout like many of my favorite books that is almost like a scrapbook.¬† In addition to the great stories about the history of the ukulele and some of the famous players – there are a ton of photos to go along with each of the stories which is always what continues to capture my attention.

Of course one of the artists mentioned was Tiny Tim – I actually picked up some post cards of him at a shop and they have become insanely popular on postcrossing – the site I use to share post cards and I couldn’t help but laugh when one of the photos that was included in the book is a larger version of the photo that is on the postcard!

I never realized there were enough “heroes” of the Uke out there to warrant an entire book but I have to say that I am glad that Ian Whitcomb wrote this as it was quite interesting and now I have a bit more knowledge about some great artists and a great instrument as well.

I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Although the ukulele has always been popular-even when cast to the grass-skirt ghetto of luaus and limbo contests-the current craze for this instrument has put the four-string cousin of the guitar into the hands of veteran musicians and young hipsters alike. And while there are a handful of books feeding the current uke exposion, this is the first to detail the stage, screen, and recording stars who pioneered the uke-those who predated and made possible its current resurgence.

The book begins with how the uke came to the mainland United States from Hawaii, and the Hawaiian song craze of 1916-17, fueled by Tim Pan Alley. Profiled stars include Ukulele Ike, Johnny Marvin, Wendell Hall, “Wizard of the Strings” Roy Smeck, George Formby, Arthur Godfrey, Tessie O’Shea who was a guest along with the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, and Tiny Tim. Author Ian Whitcomb also describes how, when a British teen idol coming off a Top Ten hit, he took out his secondhand Martin uke and recorded his version of a 1916 novelty called “Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night?” scoring another hit that led him to appearances on Shindig!, Dick Clark’s Where the Action Is, and The Pat Boone Show.

Ukulele Heroes: The Golden Age is essential for any uke enthusiast, and features a detailed discography and filmography, essential for any student of the art.

Music Monday: Tyler Hilton Forget the Storm


1. Kicking My Heels
2. Prince of Nothing Charming
3. Loaded Gun
4. Jenny (feat. Elizabeth Huett)
6. Can’t Stop Now
7. Ain’t No Fooling Me
8. Leave Him
9. I Belong
10. Hey Jesus

Tyler Hilton released “Forget the Storm”, the much anticipated followup to his debut album on April 3, 2012.¬† This album was a long time coming due to some issues with the record label that Tyler was originally on and he released Forget the Storm independently.¬† The album was produced by David Hodges and the first single is “Prince of Nothing Charming”.¬†¬† The title Forget the Storm is because the album he was working on with the record label was slated to be called The Storms We Share.¬† My favorite song on the album is Loaded Gun, but the album is filled with a ton of great songs, none of which I feel the need to skip over.

You can find out more about Tyler, his album, and where to purchase it at his official website:

Book Review: Big Blue

I picked this book to review because the story was hitting a little bit too close to home. ¬†I am all too familiar with the story of the “bird” who chooses to cut corners and eat and sleep instead of helping the rest of the flock work. ¬†I was interested in seeing how this story turned out for Blue and hope I could figure out how to make my true life story turn out the same way (provided it ended with Blue helping the flock out again!)

This book is a kids book – and is written in all rhyme! I was tempted to make my review rhyme too but then I remembered that whenever I had a poetry assignment in high school or college I had one of my poet friends help me out and I was never very good at it, so I will spare you all from that ūüôā

Blue is one of the flock in the beginning of the book, singing beautifully working on nests, doing everything you’d expect a bird to do. ¬†Then one day Blue slept all day and realized that hey, that was pretty nice of a lifestyle too. ¬†Then he stopped helping out with the nest building and headed straight to lunch. ¬†Slowly he was not singing as well as he used to and slowly he was getting fatter! He barely fit in his nest and when the time came to fly south – he couldn’t!

While he was stuck up north in the snow in the winter he realized the error of his ways. He had to work hard to find food all winter long and find a way to stay warm.  By the time the flock came back, he was back in shape and regretted being lazy.  The next year he had no problem flying south!

The moral of the story is that even though sleeping and eating all day CAN be fun – it is not good for you and you need to balance your day with work AND fun, not all one way or the other!

It’s a really cute book and I am tempted to slip a copy to the couple of people I know who are the ones sleeping and eating and not working… The illustrations are also great – the birds are all so cute. They remind me of the cartoon birds I draw – well, at least what I want them to look like in my head, not exactly what they end up looking like on paper!

I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Big Blue is a cautionary tale for all of us, but especially children who may not realize that their actions can have unexpected consequences. Big Blue is a happy bird, and member of a large family that spends their winters in the warm south. Big Blue gets lazy though and instead of working, he lies about eating and sleeping. Soon, the flock leaves – but Blue is too fat and heavy to go, so he spends the winter cold, but working hard just to survive on his own. He soon learns that hard work has its rewards because he is now strong, fit and the leader of the flock.

Book Review: Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls

Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls is a book on How to turn up the heat and add sex appeal to everyday situations.  It is by Dimitri James, the head of the Skinn cosmetic line. (And while he says he is not trying to sell you his line Рevery illustration in the book of makeup has Skinn written on it.)

I went in to this book figuring I would give it a chance. ¬†I don’t wear makeup, I hate to wear dresses and skirts. I’m probably considered a Nice Girl moreso than a Naughty Girl. ¬†Maybe it would give me a few tips on how to change things up a bit. ¬† It kind of did, but at the same time, I found the book to be a bit ridiculous as well. (He suggests wearing mascara to bed? If you have a significant other that needs to see you made up 24/7 then maybe they are not the person for you. I mean, you’ve got to have SOME down time, no?)

The book is broken down in to 10 chapters:

Getting Started
Naughty At Work
Naughty First Date
Naughty Online
Naughty Cougar
Naught in the Hood
Naughty At Home
Naughty Traveler
Naughty at Church
Yummy Mommy

Fortunately the Church chapter was not as offensive as I was expecting it to be (he did say to try and stick more towards the Nice Girl side of things) but he mentioned not to wear a lot of jewelry because a guy might think that you have a boyfriend buying it for you. ¬†So a woman who likes to buy herself jewelry because she has a good job and makes good money can not show these items off because they might turn off a potential man? Again… ridiculous and that would NOT be the guy for me…

Some of the things I liked in the book was the area that told you based on your figure what types of clothing you should wear to accentuate your figure and what you should avoid. ¬†I do think that I already wear the right types of clothing (most of the time) but it was nice to have it in writing just in case I need a refresher and as proof that I might be doing something right with my look ūüėČ ¬† ¬†It was also nice to see the images of the “trashy girls” and to know that I am definitely NOT one of those!

While there may be a few tips in this book I will consider trying out, I’m not yet convinced I should change my ways. And maybe that means I will be single forever. ¬†But at least I will be comfortably single in sneakers and jeans! ¬†I think I might have been more interested in this book if he kind of eased in to things and showed you how to slowly transform yourself into a naughty girl. If I show up at work on Monday with a completely done up face in makeup.. aren’t people going to think I’m having a quarter life crisis? How can you go from never wearing makeup to trying it out?

Think that you might be a bit more open minded about Dimitri’s tips on becoming a “Naughty Girl”? I have 1 copy to give away to a reader. ¬†Contest ends July 9, 2012 at 12:01AM EST.

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About the Book

Naughty is the new Nice..

Every time a Nice Girl shows me a Facebook photo of the woman who got the guy, the new job or the promotion, it is invariably of a Naughty Girl who looks sexy and put together. The Naughty Girl has the know-how and the self-confidence to turn heads and use her appeal to captivate and capture what and whom she wants.

I have always loved Nice Girls. I was tired of seeing them overlooked again and again both in the work place and by men in social situations because they lack the instincts of their Naughty Girl sisters. And since I have devoted my career to showing women of every age and shape how to repackage themselves, I decided to do something about it.

Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls is loaded with makeup and fashion advice to empower a Nice Girl to transform herself into a spicy but classy woman in every situation. So, go ahead and channel your inner naughty. Instead of fading into the background, become a star in your own life!

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

Book Review: Listening to Africa

Listening to Africa is a book of poems by Diana M. Raab about her and her family’s trip to Africa. ¬†Since visiting Africa for a safari is high on my bucket list, I knew that I had to read this book. ¬†(I also was familiar with Diana having read and reviewed her book Healing with Words back in October.)

I had never read a book that told a story completely through poems before, and while I wasn’t quite sure how that would work at first – I have to admit I now know it worked quite well. ¬†I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any part of the story that Diana was trying to tell and it is definitely a unique approach to storytelling, but one that I really enjoyed.

As I mentioned earlier, there is pretty much nothing I would like to do more than to take a trip to Africa and go on a safari.  When I finished this book Рit just solidified it that much more.  With this book I truly felt like I was on the trip with Diana and her family, things were so perfectly described in the poems.

While I was a bit “scared” (for lack of a better term) to read this book because it was all poems, I am definitely going to be much more open to books of this kind in the future. I just can not say enough wonderful things about this book!

I received a free copy of this book in order to participate in this blog tour.

About the Book

Poet Diana M. Raab travels to the heart of Africa with her family to experience the beauty and fascination of another world. During her safari, she observes the distress, the delight, and the dignity of the humans and animals who live there and parallels them with her own quest for health.

Price: $16.00
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9781936482184
Publisher: Antrim House
Release: April 18, 2012

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Book Review: Here’s Lily

Here’s Lily is another book by Nancy Rue.¬† Lily is an aspiring model, who soon will be competing in a model search fashion show.¬† She is in middle school and therefore facing all those struggles with self esteem and loving yourself for who you are.¬† It is through the modeling work that Lily is doing that she finds her true beauty and realizes that God loves everyone and it is the beauty inside that counts and not how you look on the outside.¬† This is a great book to teach lessons to young girls who are religious and would enjoy reading stories that they can relate to that also relate to the Bible and God.

It is a quick read – 116 pages and under 20 chapters, but it tells a great story and lesson for Lily and her friends. As I think I mentioned this before – I really wish that books like this were available when I was younger and dealing with peer pressure and “awkward” stages.¬† It is nice to see that others, even if they are book characters, are going through these same struggles and are able to overcome them.

About the Book

Grow with the spirited, sometimes awkward, but always charming Lily as she learns what real beauty is.

In this fun, entertaining story, readers meet awkward sixth grader Lily Robbins who, after receiving a compliment about her looks from a woman in the modeling business, becomes obsessed with her appearance and with becoming a model. As she sets her sights on winning the model search fashion show, she exchanges her rock and feather collection for lip gloss, fashion magazines, and a private ‚Äúclub‚ÄĚ with her closest friends. But when the unthinkable happens the night before the fashion show, Lily learns a valuable lesson about real beauty.

This best-selling, Biblically based fiction series for girls‚ÄĒwith a fresh new look and updated content‚ÄĒaddresses social issues and coming-of-age topics, all with the spunk and humor of Lily Robbins as she fumbles her way through unfamiliar territory. As readers come to love Lily and her stories, they‚Äôll also benefit from the companion nonfiction books that will help them through their own growing pains.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze¬ģ.com <http://BookSneeze¬ģ.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission‚Äôs 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : ‚ÄúGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.‚ÄĚ

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