Sunday, October 20, 2019

Halloween Fun and History

1910s Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Halloween is fast approaching. When did our traditions of Halloween happen?  Over 2,000 years ago Halloween started in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and northwestern France from an ancient pagan festival celebrated by Celtic people. It marked the beginning of the winter season.  The Christain church started the All Saint's Day which was called All Hallows' Eve later warping into the word Halloween.

Trick or Treating was an adult event. People would leave food out on a table as a treat for spirits. In some areas of the United Kingdom and Ireland, people went mumming (parading in masks).  They would go door to door asking for food and drink in return for a performance or song. On November 5, Guy Fawkes Day, people dressed in costume and asking for food or money.

The Celts wore animal skin costumes to hide in plain sight in hopes of protecting themselves from the potential evil spirits that may appear during Samhain. If they look like a fellow spirit, they believe, it would be safe to go outside.
Souling emerged in Scotland, in which children dressed up and asked neighbors for food or money in exchange for a song or poem.

The night before Halloween, also known as Devil's Night, is when young people play tricks on their neighbors, such as decorating trees with tissue paper or soaping windows. As time progressed people didn't do harmless distruction instead they did lots of bad destruction causing many communities to discourage Devil's Night.

Halloween costumes were popularized in the United States by adults in the late 1800s. By the early 1900s, Halloween costumes were mainly worn by children and not so many adults.  In Wales, biys dressed as girls and girls dressed as boys to go house-to-house singing Halloween rhymes.

I find it fascinating about the traditions countries have for Halloween. For example, in Wales, each person puts a white stone near the Halloween fire at night and then checked in the morning to see whether the stone was still there. If it was, the person would live another year.

Early American settlers brought various beliefs about ghosts and witches. German immigrants brought a vivid witchcraft lore. Haitian and African people brought their voodoo beliefs. By the end of the 1800s, the United States had a variety of Halloween customs.

By the 1900s, Halloween was a celebration for the children than adults. Communities started hosting Haloween celebrations, parades and parties.

Store-bought costumes became more affordable in the 60s. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
After the end of the sugar rationing during World War II, candy companies started seeing a huge money-making holiday.  By the 1940s and 1950s, trick-or-treating became a widespread tradition for children. Around the 1950s, some children started asking for money for the United Nations Children's Fund. This helps aid children throughout the world.  In the 1970s fears of people poisoning the children through homemade or unwrapped sweets. Companies started individually wrapping snackable treats.

When was candy corn created? George Renniger in Philadelphia created and sold them in 1898. It was meant to look like corn kernels for chicken feed. It was never initially marketed for Halloween.

The famous Jack-o-Lanterns are said they protect from evil spirits. The name came from the legend of a boy named Jack paraded through the town with a pumpkin in which he'd trapped the devil. The devil curses Jack upon his release and condemns him to spend forever in hell. When the gates open on Halloween, Jack would escape hell to wreak havoc upon the town. The Jack-o-Lanterns were supposed to trick Jack into thinking it held the devil, scaring him off.

Apples are a symbol of fertility that features in many fortune-telling activities. Bobbing for apples says whoever can grab the apple with their teeth will marry first; other versions have the apple's marketing with initials, indicating a successful bobbers' future mate. The apple tradition has some roots in the Roman harvest festival.

 1920s ADOC Photos/Corbis/ Getty Images
Black cats are at risk during the month of October. It is said Satanists and self-proclaimed witches gather adopt black cats for sacrifice rituals. Some say this is a rumor and others say it isn't.   

What countries celebrate Halloween? 
China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Phillippines, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada,  Dominican Republic, Mexico, and United States. 

Save 25% site wide on ALL Halloween Costumes and Accessories at Halloween Express. NO minimum order!

The 1920s - Teenage prankster were known to wreak havoc on Halloween night, starting around the Great Depression, adults started organizing neighborhood activities like trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and costume parties to keep kids out of trouble. Felix Koch/Cincinnati Museum Center/GettyImages

1930s- people made their own costumes Angus B. McVocar/Wisconsin Historical Society/ Getty Images

1930s - A person wears his homemade mummy costume. Imagno/Getty Images

1930s H, Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/GettyImages

1940s These fifth-and sixth graders preparing for Halloween by creating paper mache masks. Orin Sealy?The Denver Post/Getty Images

1950s- mass-produced box costumes more affortable. Lambert/Getty Images

1950s started to take inspiration from current events, such as the launch of Sputnik and Soviet Officer on October 31, 1957. Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images


1960s - Halloween masks became more elaborate. H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty image

Makeup becomes key costume element in the 1970s. The boy is KISS fan. Harvey L. Silver/Corbis/Getty Images

Movie base costumes became popular in the 1970s. John Blanding/The Boston Globe/ Getty Images

Political costumes became popular in the 70s. Richard Nixon shown here in 1978 Kenn Bisio/The Denver Post/ Getty Image

Sexy outfits started becoming popular in the 1970s. Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images

The Thing and Batman at an annual New York City Halloween Parade from the late 1970s to 1980s Anthony Barboza/ Getty Images

1980s Vice President George H. W. Bush mask and Lourdes Lopez wears a Gov. Michael Dukakis mask as they ready for the upcoming Halloween season at their Greenwich Village in New York, 1988. Joe Conunale/AP Photo

1995 the year of the O.J. Simpson trial sold hundreds of masks of both Simpson and the presiding Judge Clark Jones/AP Photo

Sunday, October 13, 2019

No Turning Back by Katie Vorreiter book review and giveaway

Chronic panic attacks have stolen Livvy Fischer’s classically trained soprano voice and derailed her life. Due partly to a mix-up, partly to her crush on Pastor Lucas, Livvy joins a worship team bound for the chapel at San Quentin. But when a full-scale riot breaks out, she is separated from Lucas and the rest of her group. Survival becomes this song bird’s sole focus.
Snatched from the chapel by an inmate, Livvy doesn’t know who to trust. Tobin says he’s protecting her, but she’s been blindsided before. She struggles to put her trust in God, while all too aware that free will can wreak horrible consequences. Tobin wants her to hide and ride out the prison storm, but Livvy becomes the obsession of another inmate who is a serial killer. Will God protect her? Will Tobin?
It’s one thing if Tobin is turning his life around behind bars. It’s quite another to fall for him.
Book: No Turning Back   Author: Katie Vorreiter
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December, 2016
Click here to grab your copy.
No Turning Back is one fast-paced page-turner thriller. 
Livvy, a classical singer, dealt with setbacks in her career after a severe case of smoke inhalation.  She is dealing with past trauma. While working in the coffee shop, Cuppa Joe, she meets Lucas. Lucas is a regular guest. He invites her to his church.  Livvy decides to go check it out. She finds Lucas is the Pastor. We see they have feelings for each other, but just don't know how to go about it.  A member of the church, Joan, talks Livvy into joining the gospel choir. She does. They go to a prison to sing and inspire them. One of the inmates, Grant, a bad guy wants Livvy and will do anything to get her. Tobin, an inmate, grabs her to protect her from Grant. Lucas is terrified that something has happened to her. While trying to get her Grant hurt Lucas when trying to save Livvy. Is Livvy okay?  You will have to grab this book because it would be no fun if I told you everything. 
Katie Vorrelter did a great job of describing the characters and locations. I felt like it was my memories while reading the book. It touches on so many topics: forgiveness, love, faith, hate, passion, life struggles. I felt for every character in the book.  I recommend getting this book. 
Katie Vorreiter is an award-winning writer and copyeditor. She makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two children rapidly morphing into young adults, and a ridiculously adorable cockapoo. No Turning Back is her debut novel.
I’m often asked where on earth I came up with the premise of No Turning Back. My good friend and pastor had me spellbound with his stories of taking softball teams into San Quentin, the maximum-security prison for men. What a ministry! He had a few funny tales, but what stood out to me were the cautions the team was given upon entry: they had to sign a form acknowledging that in the event they were taken hostage, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would not negotiate for their release.
Say what?
That got me thinking about what it would be like for a woman in such a situation. There are female corrections officers, certainly, as well as woman food service workers and volunteers in a range of capacities. But I wanted a true fish-out-of-water character, and thus Livvy was born. Because of a terrible event in her past, she’s hypervigilant about her personal security. She’s also tiny and, of all things, an opera soprano.
Once I had my Livvy, I threw her into a full-scale riot at a men’s correctional facility. Poor thing. But, of course, she’s got God on her side, and he tends to tip the scales. Yet, as all Christ followers are aware, prayer, even unto the God of the universe, is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Pun intended. We know—all too painfully sometimes—that Jesus was right when he said we’ll have troubles here on earth. God is with us through the storm and works all things together for good, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll remove the storm and it’s often hard to see the good when we’re in the middle of not-so-good.
What role, then, does prayer have in the face of the free will of a person intent on evil? If you want to know the answer, read the book. Just kidding. The story is a fast, fun ride and delves into some deep areas, but I don’t pretend to answer the questions of the ages. If you like chewing on these kinds of issues—on your own or with friends­—check out the No Turning Back discussion questions on my website.
Don’t worry: the story isn’t all dark. In most situations, I can’t stay serious for long, so you’ll find some humor, as well as not one but two hunky romantic options. I really hope you like it. If you want to chat, drop me a note on Facebook or on my website.


To celebrate her tour, Katie is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!


Betti Mace, October 5
Remembrancy, October 6
Quiet Workings, October 8
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 10
Emily Yager, October 11
Godly Book Reviews, October 12
amandainpa, October 13
Bigreadersite, October 13
Pause for Tales, October 14
Older & Smarter?, October 16
Texas Book-aholic, October 17
janicesbookreviews, October 17
A Reader’s Brain, October 18

Friday, October 11, 2019

Oliver the Kitten Scares us Grinding Teeth

Oliver, our 6-month-old kitten who has been diagnosed with FIP, gave my mom and me a heart attack around 12:00 am. It was time to give him a huge regime of medications and supplements.  We have been having a harder time getting him to take the pill. We stick it in one of those squeezable treats for cats. Eventually, he caught on to us putting a pill in the squeezable and will spit it out.

I thought let's try putting the antibiotic and the pill together. We bought a pill crusher thinking it would be easier for him to get it down and easier to hide it into his treats too. Well, it didn't work. I usually give Oliver the pill first and then do the antibiotic, but this is the first time trying to do both together. Nope, it didn't work. The next thing I knew he was acting like he was choking. There is no way there was anything he could choke on.  When he allowed me to look in his mouth I didn't see anything.

I called our local ER Vet.
Vet Tech: Is he looking like he can't breath?
Me: No
Vet Tech: IS he pawing at his mouth?
Me: Yes
Vet Tech: Is it all the time or certain things he is doing?
Me: No not doing it all the time just when he eats.
Vet Tech: I don't feel there is any concern at this time, but to get him to the Vet tomorrow. If things get worse come on in.

I have no clue what to do at that moment. I felt bad because my mom would have to go by herself because I wasn't feeling well at all and I had to work the next day. Going to the ER Vet will cause a lot of stress on Oliver and stress is not good. It would be great news to find out its just the taste of the medication that caused it, but upsetting because I added stress to him he really didn't need.  Plus it would be a waste of money that I could be putting towards figuring out what is going on. I would spend anything for my cats when it comes to their health.
But then I worry about him dying while we are sleeping.  It such a helpless feeling. Plus every time he made the sound of gridding teeth sounds it made me cringe and increased my worries.

Another reason why I felt like I should take him into the ER Vet is when we gave Faith Bubble Gum Kids' Benadryl which made her froth at the mouth from the taste. She sounded like she has a dry mouth and is trying to get spit to develop in your mouth.

After watching him for a good hour we decided not to bring him in. My mom promised me she would keep a good eye on him during the rest of the night because once I take my medications I am out. He was eating and not making the teeth grinding sounds anymore.

This was terrifying.

Please send prayers for Oliver.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Summer Flash Burn by Erin Unger | Book Review and Giveaway


Worthington Investigations is on another grisly case in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
When P.I. Shauna Pratley heads up the investigation for Christopher Newen, a rural firefighter, she only wants to solve his father’s murder not fall in love. She’s struggling to decide if God’s directing her to leave the team and re-enlist in the Army.
Christopher Newen may be used to the blazes of fire but not the heat ricocheting between him and Shauna. He needs the team’s help but has no intention of letting flames ignite between him and Shauna…yet her protective nature and fun-loving personality draw him in more than he wants to admit.
How will they work together to find a killer without letting love get in the way? Will they have to admit maybe God has used the horrors of evil to bring them together for good?
Book: Summer Flash Burn.     Author: Erin Unger
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense.   Release Date: October 4, 2019

Summer Flash Burn is book #2 in the series called Worthing Investigation series. I didn't read the first book in the series, but I was able to follow along really well and didn't have a problem getting into the story. Book #2 focuses on Shauna, an ex-military who ends up going into being an investigator that later turns into being a bodyguard. Her client, Christopher Newen hires Shauna and her team to help figure out who murdered his father. 
Erin Unger did a great job writing a women empowerment book. Shauna's investigation team consists of only women. She also has a Native American investigation team/tribe helping as well. 
The characters well thought out and developed. Their personalities pop out the pages. We see Shauna's personality as a no-nonsense woman. 
The pacing is just right and easy to follow. Its a page-turner with twists and turns. I recommend this series. I would love to see this made into a Hallmark mystery series. I look forward to reading more books in this series. 


Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids.

Her website
Twitter: @erinungerwrites
More from Erin
If you like spicy, you’re gonna love Shauna Pratley. She has the muscles and weaponry knowledge to protect her team—along with a very tough attitude. And she knows better than most what it is to serve and protect after a stint in the Army. But now life is a little upside down to her. Should she re-enlist or solidify her career with Worthington Investigations? Of course, her military background will never wear off even if she doesn’t return. She won’t leave her camo uniforms in the dust, either, no matter how hard her P.I. buddies try to put a little variety in her wardrobe.
But under it all, Shauna couldn’t be a better partner to work with. Her loyalty and protectiveness would make you all wish she was your work buddy and best friend too.
Just take a look in Summer Flash Burn for all the spice and thrills—and love—you could want between the pages of a great romantic suspense novel.

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. 


mpbooks , October 8
Emily Yager, October 9
Melissa Henderson, October 10
Pause for Tales, October 11
Texas Book-aholic, October 13
Betti Mace, October 14
janicesbookreviews, October 15
A Reader’s Brain, October 16

Monday, October 7, 2019

Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner Nerd Blast Book Giveaway



What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?

My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike that took her from me.

And it’s all my fault.

Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.

I was wrong.

But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago. Back when I would sing the snakes calm ...  

Praise for SPEAK NO EVIL
Recommended for the INDIE NEXT LIST

"... suspense and intrigue ... Melody's story is grim, but hope is weaved in throughout ... highly emotional." ―School Library Journal
"Gardner tackles difficult topics, including bullying and abuse of all types, in a way that is both artistic, respectful ... [and] masterfully written." ―BookTrib

"... a touching tribute to the power of love, faith and steadfast, patient kindness to heal the damage done by human cruelty and thoughtlessness." ―IndieReader Approved

"... a very powerful novel that depicts the cruelty and injustice of the world while also highlighting the ever-present beauty that few see when struggling with dark issues. The book displays the power that love and music have even in the darkest of times. Gardner does an excellent job of portraying a teenage worldview while focusing on adult concepts." ―US Review of Books

"There are too many Melody Fisher's in our homes and schools who lock themselves away in a world where they are both desperate to be heard and afraid to speak up ... Speak No Evil is their story. A brilliant and novel approach to addressing important social issues." ―Viga Boland, Author of No Tears for my Father

"WOW! Just WOW! Gardner is a great author telling a story of death, sorrow, and so much more. You will fall in love with Melody ... You will feel her sorrow ... You will feel her shame ... you will feel everything with this character. A MUST read that will make you sit and think well after you turned the last page." ―Bookworm Tri-Cities, Bookstore

"... alternately beautiful and troubling--and a totally compelling read ... Gardner's characters are finely drawn and credible, and her plot is so relevant considering the thousands of children lost in the foster care system and at the mercy of those charged to care for them." ―Jack Magnus, Readers' Favorite

"... Melody's silence signifies the way some women feel about sharing their stories with other people, and how difficult it is to overcome the desire to retreat. I urge others to read it; the story of Melody and her bravery will speak to you and stay with you for quite some time." ―Tracy Young, Bulgarian Review

"Any victim of abuse, or those who blame themselves for events out of their control, needs to read this novel ... This book should be in every school library and youth centre. I cannot recommend it highly enough." ~Lesley Jones, UK authorbly with Noah’s grief, and readers will appreciate his return to the field.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books  


Liana Gardner is the award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution and the Misfit McCabeseries. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.

She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.

Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people “think globally and earn locally.”  

TWITTER: @lkgg


Rafflecopter Link (Needs to be added on your post)
--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- 1 Winner will receive a Limited Edition Speak No Evil Box by Liana Gardner.
- Winner will receive a $25 Dollar PayPal/Amazon Gift Card.

ENDS: October 28, 2019

Direct LInk: Click Here
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Halloween Fun and History

1910s Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images Halloween is fast approaching. When did our traditions of Halloween happen?  Over 2,000 ye...