“She took my heart and held it safe. She promised to wait for me, with words that echo in my mind and tender touches that I can still feel on my skin”– Corey from ‘Before I Let Go”.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book by New York Times Bestselling Author Marieke Nijkamp. You may recognize Marlene’s name due to the popularity of her 2016 debut book ‘This Is Where It Ends’, as well as the editor of the anthology Unbroken: 13 Stories Starting Disabled Teens which will be released in the fall of 2018. Today we have the privilege of reviewing her latest book ‘Before I Let Go’, which was released on January 2, 2018 and was provided for review by Sourcebooks Fire. This will be a spoiler free review however I will discuss how the ending affected my opinion of the book. So now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Before I Let Go’ is a Young Adult suspense novel surrounding the suicide of a bi-polar young teenage girl name Kyra in the small town of Lost, Alaska. When Kyra’s best friend Corey returns to Lost after moving away for several months, she begins to realize that the town is very different than she remembered. Corey is shocked to find that she is now treated like an outsider by people who have known her for her entire life, and feels that there is an aura of secrecy surrounding the town. However the thing that Corey finds the most shocking is the fact that everyone in town speaks very highly and lovingly of Kyra, despite the fact that Corey always saw that everyone in town mercilessly tease and abused Kyra her entire life. Corey begins to suspect that there is more to Kyra’s death than what she has been lead to believe, so she decides to investigate the story herself. Throughout the story Corey finds out dark secrets about the town and herself that she had never considered before. Corey also finds that she has enemies and allies in the town that will play an important role in uncovering the truth.
So now we’ve reached the point in the review where I tell y’all if you should buy this book or not. Honestly, this book is a little difficult to recommend because it was a solid 5 star read until I reached the ending of the book. Now this book does have some problems throughout, such as the fact that Corey is not a very likeable protagonist because of the way she treated Kyra after she moved (which is made even worst by how mentally ill Kyra is, and the fact that Corey knows this but still treats her this way). The book also contains several pages where the writing suddenly changes to a script style (like a play would have) which was really jarring and completely unnecessary to the story because it didn’t tie in with anything. However a positive point of this book is that we do get to see a lot of diversity with the inclusion of asexual, pansexual, and homosexual characters, as well as a very detailed accounting of Kyra’s mental illness that helps us really understand and fall in love with her character. The author truly does an amazing job of pulling you into the mystery of Lost and keeping you engaged throughout every twist & turn that comes our way. Unfortunately this is all ruined by the ending of the book. As soon as Corey solves the mystery we reach the climax of the book and then the story just ends. It does not resolve, it just ends. After all of the build up and great storytelling that the author does, this ending is just so disappointing that it honestly ruined the whole experience of the book for me. Because of this, I have to give this book a solid 2.5 smiley faces out of 5, which truly saddens me to do because this story deserved so much more.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss an amazing new documentary I was recently given the opportunity to screen about a man who died and went to Heaven. If you loved films such as ‘Heaven is for Real’ and ’90 minutes in Heaven’ then prepare for a documentary that will lift your spirit and make you question just where the line between life and death is drawn and what exactly happens to us when we die. Through the use of beautiful cinematography as well as captivating storytelling, director Stephen Gray is able to demonstrate just why this film has won best documentary awards at: Festigious IFF Los Angeles, New York Film Awards, Los Angeles Film Awards, and selected as a Daily Pick on Film Shortage. So if you’re ready to hear an incredible story that will truly inspire you then please read on! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
On July 18th, 1969 at 19 years old, Capt. Dale Black became the sole survivor of a non-survivable plane crash in Burbank, California. In ‘Discovering Heaven’ Capt. Black describes his vast 40 years of experience as a pilot, flight instructor, standards captain, aviation safety counselor, and FAA designated examiner, which was though to be impossible after the extensive bodily damage he suffered as a result of the crash. In the documentary Capt. Black explains the horrific experience of crashing 5 feet from the top of a 7 story tall concrete dome called ‘The Portal of The Folded Wings’ (which was made to honor fallen pilots) at 135 miles per hour. Prior to the crash the plane of deemed suitable for flight and appeared to be in perfect operational order. In a split second Capt. Black’s life would forever change. After the crash occurred Capt. Black describes viewing his own body, as well as the bodies of his two co-pilots, after the three individuals fell 70 feet from the air. He then traveled to Heaven with two angelic beings, before returning to his body in the hospital. Capt. Black described his experience as feeling alert but without fear or pain. Upon waking up in the hospital Captain Dale had to undergo a vast amount of physical therapy due to his bodily injuries which included his back being broken in multiple places, and well as pieces of debris having to be removed from his body, among other injuries.
Capt. Black goes on to describe how this experience truly changed him due to his family’s background as logical indivduals who believed that there was a scientific explaination for everything. I truly do believe that Capt. Dale’s story is an increbile account of a miracle that few of us are given the opportunity to experience. However I think Capt. Black says it best in ‘Discovering heaven when he states that his advice is to, “Get a good bible and read everything Jesus said and keep your mind alert but open your heart, and then make your own decision. It’s your life, it’s your eternal life, so do with it whatever you want to do”.
Check out the trailer for ‘Discovering Heaven’ below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6HDysj6u3c
If you’d like to stay up to date with Captain Dale and At First Sight Films (which produced ‘Discovering Heaven’ please check out the links below. Also, if you would like to donate in order to help At First Sight Films produce more stories like Captain Dale’s and turn ‘Discovering Heaven from a 10 minute documentary into a full length film please considering checking out their website below:
Discovering Heaven Links:
Donate Here Please!: http://discoveringheaven.com/donate/
Captain Dale Black’s Links:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s `Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING subscription box that y`all should all check out this holiday season! If you like trying exotic new dishes (or just want to impress your friends by how fancy you are) then the RawSpiceBar subscription service is for you. As you know, I never promote any band, artist, book, or product that I do not 100% believe in. I tried RawSpiceBar for the 1st time last year & I absolutely loved their service. Because of this experience I`m so happy to say that I have once again partnered with RawSpiceBar to bring you guys all the information you need to spice up your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special event you have planned for this holiday season. Now let’s get to the review! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
I received the October kit which had an Oktoberfest themes inspired by German spices! This kit included the following spices & accompanying recipes: Horseradish & Mustard Seed (which included a recipe for Horseradish & Mustard Cabbage), Caraway, Fennel & Anise Bread (which included a recipe for Caraway Cheese Soft Pretzels), and lastly Schnitzel Spices (which included a recipe for German Chicken Schnitzel). The Horseradish & Mustard Seed spice had a very earthy, fresh taste that really gave the Horseradish & Mustard Seed Cabbage a unique taste that made me want to add it as a usual dinner item. The Caraway, Fennel & Anise Bread was definitely my favorite of the spices because the Caraway Cheese Soft Pretzels were super delicious. If you want mall level pretzels then you have to give this recipe a try. Lastly (but DEFINITELY not least) we have the Schnitzel Spices for the super yummy German Chicken Schnitzel. This dish was a little spicy, but the crunchy exterior and juicy interior really made the dish standout among common chicken dishes.
I bet you’re hungry now right? Well have no fear people of the internet because I have your solution! First I have a question for you. What’s better than awesome food? Give up? Awesome food at a discount! So here’s what you do. Go to www.rawspicebar.com, create your flavor profile (where you can describe your dietary needs RawSpiceBar can pick the right recipes & flavors for you), customize your fav recipes & flavors, then decide if you want a 6 month subscription (only $7 a kit) or a 12 month subscription (only $6 a kit). To make this deal even more awesome the box ship for free & you can $5 off your first month by using the code FLAVOR6! Amazing right? So whether you get your RawSpiceBar subscription for you or as a gift for the special chief in your life, you can’t go wrong with this AMAZING offer!
Subscribe to RawSpiceBar here:
Become a fan of RawSpiceBar here:
• All photos and information used in this blog belong Raw Spice Bar, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended., and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have the honor of sharing an interview I recently did with two-time Grammy nominee Lisa Loeb! You may know Lisa from her platinum-selling hit #1 single ‘Stay (I Missed You), her various voice-over roles in shows such as ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., her eyewear line, or the various other projects that Lisa has had over the past two decades. In this interview we discuss Lisa’s music, eyewear line, her charitable foundation ‘Camp Lisa’, her musical influences, and so much more! Also please keep an eye out for Lisa’s singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’, and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’, which will be released on vinyl via Blacktop Records on July 8th, 2016. You can also pick up the records at any of Lisa’s upcoming shows:
June 21 – Wolf Trap Theater-in-the-Woods, Virginia
June 22 – Sundown Music Series, Haddon Heights, NJ
July 10 – Oakville Children’s Festival, Ontario
July 11 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario (SOLD OUT)
July 12 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario
July 13 – Adelaide Hall – Toronto, Ontario
So now let’s get to the interview! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Celinda: First of all I would like to thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. Personally I am such a huge fan of your music, and I know that my readers are excited to hear about all of your new projects. Since we are on the topic of music, what/who would you say originally sparked your interest in music? Also, which bands/artists have influenced your music that would surprise your fans?
Lisa: That’s such a huge question. There are so many musicians and performers who inspired me. My family, the music around me growing up, my friends’ taste in music, the music I was played at school and the music we sang and played at school, music I learned in piano and later guitar lessons, music on the radio. Wow, so much music all around me. I usually think of The Police as the band that made me want to play guitar in a band and write music. I also loved David Bowie’s dramatic singing, writing, storytelling, and all-around aura. I’m hugely influenced by Led Zeppelin, Olivia Newton John, The Cure, and soft pop from the 1970’s like Bread.
Celinda: I can definitely hear all of those influences in your music. So, how does it feel that Stay (I Missed You) is still such a recognizable and beloved song 22 years after its’ initial release?
Lisa: I love it. I think it’s incredible that people connect with me and my song so many years later. People really have sweet nostalgia as well as a current identification with the song. I think that’s why it’s still so powerful so many years later.
Celinda: Now let’s move on to the live action acting you’ve done on television and for films. Did you always want to foray into acting or was it something that you grew to love later in life?
Lisa: I always wanted to be actor, maybe even before I wanted to be a musician. I like the idea of being able to try on different characters and jobs and personalities. (That just sounded crazy.) I think it’s amazing to put yourself in another person’s shoes. I loved doing theater in school and college and always studied theater during the summers. I still use my acting training a lot during live performances and interpreting my own songs night after night. I still hope to spend more time training and doing more acting soon!
Celinda: That’s so exciting, I know I speak for all of your fans when I say we’re excited to see which acting projects you might take on in the future! Along with your live action acting, you’ve also voiced numerous characters on various videos games and television shows such as: ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., do you feel that your experience as a recording artist has helped you become more comfortable and confident as a voice actress?
Lisa: My acting experience coupled with recording music in the studio has really come together for voice acting. It’s a place I feel really comfortable and love the collaboration of working with producers, writers, directors, and engineers to come up with the right sound for the animated shows, commercials, and other voice work I do.
Celinda: I would like to take a moment to mention that I love your eyewear line; all of the pieces are gorgeous and very fashionable. Is there a story behind the creation of your eyewear line, or is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Lisa: The eyewear line is a dream come true. I’m a huge fan of glasses and finding the perfect pair for myself! I think glasses can add so much to a person’s face and can help express how a person sees life and how they relate to others. I love that my eyewear line can help women look beautiful, stylish, flirty, classic, and confident. People look to me for that and now I can finally help people. Literally, fans and people who like my glasses and my look stop me on the street to talk about glasses. I thought it was time for me to get more involved. We have lots of tortoiseshell, pops of color, shapes and sizes for different faces and skin tones. I love when people tell me that they wear their glasses because I wear my glasses.
Celinda: All of the pieces are amazing; you definitely have a great eye for fashion. Moving on, I would like to firstly congratulate you for all of the accomplishments that your organization ‘The Camp Lisa Foundation’ has achieved; it is truly inspiring to see artists give back. What would you say has been the most rewarding part of ‘Camp Lisa’, and what do you hope the foundation will accomplish in the future?
Lisa: It’s amazingly rewarding knowing that kids are going to have a summer camp experience, helping them build their confidence and character as well as connecting them to summer fun. I hope the foundation can continue to send more kids to summer camp! Buying my Camp Lisa record, my “Wake Up!” Blend coffee from https://www.coffeefool.com/collections/charity-coffees and making direct donations to me through The Camp Lisa Foundation through www.LisaLoeb.com are great ways that you can help!
Celinda: Your foundation’s mission is truly beautiful and will definitely continue making a positive impact on numerous children. So I read on your website that you earned a degree in comparative literature from Brown University; did you always aspire to become an author? Also, what inspired you to write children’s books?
Lisa: I really should have studied theater, music, psychology- all areas that interested me the most, but at the time I felt I needed a liberal arts major, and that was it. I’ve always enjoyed interpretation, and meta-thinking, and overthinking, so it seemed like a good major. I think it’s important to spend quiet connected time with kids, away from the TV and the computers and phones. These illustrated books help a parent/caregiver/teacher do just that. These books are fun to explore and read and re-read. I made two kids’ books of lyrics, activities, and recipes for kids ‘Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs’ and ‘Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ & Shakin’: The Air Band Song and Other Toe-tapping Tunes’ and I think a lot of those songs would make really great board books one song at a time. I have a children’s book up my sleeve now too!
Celinda: That’s so interesting! I know we’re all super excited to read and hear this new book! Moving back to the topic of music for a second, your singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’ and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’ will be released on 7inch vinyl on July 8th, 2016 in Canada via Blacktop Records. Personally I love the throwback feel of vinyl that you just can’t get with digital or even cd releases, but what inspired you to release these singles on vinyl?
Lisa: “3,2,1 Let Go!” is the kind of song you want to hear on vinyl, and since there’s only one song on each side, you really can focus on listening over and over to each song, since once you hear the songs, you’ll want to listen over and over. ; ) “The Disappointing Pancake” is one of my most popular songs, taken from both the ‘Camp Lisa’ record and the ‘Silly Sing-Along’ book, so I thought I’d highlight it here on this special release. Plus, even though it was originally written for kids, I think grownups enjoy hearing it- a story that’s different from your lost love song.
Celinda: Thank you again Lisa for taking the time to speak with me today, it was truly an honor. Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans who are reading this interview?
Lisa: I can’t wait to come to Canada! It’s been really too long since I’ve been there. Yay! Yay for us. I can’t wait to see you!
Keep up with everything Lisa is doing:
Eyewear Line: http://www.lisaloebeyewear.com/
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about a topic that has sent the internet into a frenzy this past week. If you loved the ‘Harry Potter’ books then get your wands ready because we’re going back to the wizarding world. Now for most of us ‘Harry Potter’ mania has never fully gone away, and has continued to live on in the form of theme parks, fanfiction/fanart, and so much more. In October of 2015 we were told that the ‘Harry Potter’ universe would continue in the form of a stage play which would open at the Palace Theater in London, England on July 30th, 2016. Now needless to say, a lot of fans were upset because unfortunately not all of us can travel to London just to see a Harry Potter play (no matter how awesome that would be!). Luckily on February 10th of this year, it was announced that the play’s script would be available in book form on July 31st, 2016 (aka Harry Potter’s birthday) in both print and digital download. So now I know y’all are all super excited right? Right! So let’s jump into the plot of the play. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
So far we know that this story will take place during the time of the epilogue of the final book/movie (or 19 years after the final battle when Harry, Hermione, and Ron are 17). In this play we will see Harry as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, who has to deal with the effects his past has on his new life. We have been told that we will also get to learn more about Harry’s parents, “an untold piece of Harry’s story” (which I’m guessing is either his life before the 1st book, or in between where the 8th book ends and this story begins). The story will also revolve around Harry’s son Albus, who is beginning his 1st year at Hogwarts, and will have to deal with the weight and expectations that come with his family’s legacy. Needless to say this book has already reached the #1 spot for pre-ordered books on Amazon, and will definitely do very well when it’s released. So what do you think people of the internet? Are you excited to learn more about Harry and his friend’s/family’s lives? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
•All photos and information used in this blog belong to Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Arthur A. Levine Books, Little, Brown Book Group, Universal Parks & Resorts, Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films, 1492 Pictures, Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, David Yates, David Heyman, Mark Radcliffe, David Barron, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, theinquistir.com, and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended