Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Music Video: “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin ft. Pat Barrett


“We all have a picture of who we think God is. When we get down to the foundation of what we believe, the truth is that God is exactly who He says He is – a good, good Father.”


 

Click thru below to download at iTunes.

“Good Good Father”

(Written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown)

iTunes


 

Win a trip to see Chris Tomlin at Worship Night in America!

Click on the photo below for details!

Win a Flyaway to see Chris Tomlin at Worship Night In America


See Chris and Pat share the story behind the song.


More about Chris Tomlin

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More about Pat Barrett

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Kids Corner: Read a Chapter, Save a Tree with T. A. Barron

May 5th marks the release of the second installment in the Atlantis Saga by T. A. Barron, best-selling author of The Merlin Saga.

T. A. Barron is a staunch conservationist. Atlantis in Peril, like many of his works, has a thematic focus on nature preservation. Celebrate Earth Day with T. A. Barron! Barron is working with PlantABillion.org to help restore the world’s forest ecosystems.  For each free download of the first chapter of Atlantis in Peril, they will plant a tree! So, do your part to help Mother Earth — and help yourself to a good read!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CHAPTER ONE AND PLANT A TREE! 

If you like to start at the beginning, that’s okay, there is also a free prequel to the series available on T. A. Barron’s website called Never Again: The Origin of Grukarr. To download the prequel, which examines the history of the villain of Atlantis Rising (Book 1), all you need to do is visit the above link and share the news with your friends on social media. For those who prefer print to e-books: Never Again: The Origin of Grukarr is included in the back of the paperback release of Atlantis Rising.

So there you have it! Lots of options for good reading! And, more importantly, an opportunity to help plant a tree with the click of a mouse!

Atlantis Plant a Tree


Winnie the Pooh Banned? Oh, Bother!

Banned Books Week (September 21 – 27th)

Established by the American Library Association, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. Go here to read more and see the list of the 10 most challenged titles of 2013.

While we never approve of censorship and book banning, because an individual should always have the right to choose his/her own reading material, oftentimes we can glance at the list of challenged books and at least see what some may find objectionable.

Tonight, I am flummoxed. In fact, I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Let me rephrase: “There’s a rumbly in my tumbly,” and it’s not because I’m hungry! That’s right, that willy, nilly, silly ol’ bear, Winnie the Pooh, is on the list of most challenged classics! What in the name of the Hundred Acre Wood? Have you lost your mind?

To find out why this loveable treasure has been challenged, go to the Reading Rainbow blog.

— Dawn Teresa

Kids Corner: Get Ready for T.A. Barron’s Atlantis Saga With a Free Prequel

Never Again - Barron cover

I’m reading Atlantis Rising, the first in a new series by T.A. Barron, best-selling author of The Merlin Saga. To celebrate the upcoming release of Atlantis Rising in paperback, T. A. Barron has made available on his website a free prequel short story called Never Again: The Origin of Grukarr. To download the prequel, which examines the history of the novel’s villain, all you need to do is visit the link above and share the news with your friends on social media.

Check out the video playlist below for a book trailer and three other short video clips with the author. At just over 4 minutes, this brief playlist  will spark your interest in trying this new series. As I mentioned, I’ve already started Atlantis Rising. I was hooked by the first chapter, and these videos make me even more excited to continue my reading! But I’m going to wait to read the prequel until I’ve finished Atlantis Rising.

Some good news for those who prefer print to e-books: Never Again: The Origin of Grukarr is included in the back of the paperback release of Atlantis Rising.


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Eating My Own Words: It’s Not “About Me”

I’m doing this for me.

Yep. Once upon a time, that’s what I said about my blog. When starting out, faced with “serious doubts about there being an audience who would care to read my blog,” I resolved to make an effort. Despite misgivings, in spite of myself, I was going to do this thing. For me. I was “going to enjoy writing about books for the sake of nurturing my own love of the written word.” 

I’ve learned a lot in the process of writing this blog. And though it may have taken some time to open my eyes to its purpose, I’m not too proud to admit that I was wrong. So here I am, eating my own words. It’s not about me. It was never about me.

I hear you. Yes, you. You’re giving me the what for. “Sure, woman,” you scoff. “Sure it’s not about you! I’ve seen all your tweets and Facebook posts. Your Pinterest pins, your Amazon and Goodreads reviews. Don’t tell me it’s not about you! If you think that’s not self-promotion, you’ve got another think coming….”

You’re right. I’m trying my darndest to draw traffic to the site. I want people to read my reviews. I want to promote my blog. I want hits. I want people to listen to me. But it’s not for me that I want these things. When I read a special book that brings me joy, I want other readers to know that joy. When a book brings me to tears, I want others to sniffle, dab at their eyes, and rub their noses with the backs of their hands. Heck, I want folks to sob and cry on the very pages in the very places where I did. I want them to laugh at the jokes I thought were funny. I want people to feel and experience what I did. But if not to validate myself, then why?

Spotlight with BookThe answer is simple. I want to say thank you. I want to give back. Another human being poured herself into the book. Gave of himself to make me happy. To allow me to dream or to explore. To help me to feel and to give words to my unspoken feelings. To remind me that heroes still exist. That love never dies. That truth is not a lie.

Yes. Books do all these things and more. And when I read a good one, I benefit from the experience in so many ways. Books have given me so much. Sometimes when I’m broken, they put me back together by keeping me in touch with my own humanity. And though I may be a glutton, I’m not a monster. So after sampling — devouring — a book, I’ll not merely lick my lips, wipe my chin, and look for the next tasty tidbit.

Grateful creatures give thanks. Recognize blessings. Repay debts. It’s only right that I give back in the best way I know how. That’s what this blog is about. So, dear reader, whenever you hear me calling out, “Look at me! Look at me!”, I’m really saying, “Thank you, dear Author, for the beauty I just received. Please accept my sincere gratitude!”

— Dawn Teresa

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Gratitude Begets Gratitude: Count Your Book Blessings

This post is inspired by Dove Promises. Not only are these things yummy, but they come wrapped in little messages. Sometimes they make me smile and other times give me pause, but somehow, I always manage to get one that speaks to me. For instance, I might be feeling burnt out at work when I happen upon one that says, “You have permission to do nothing.” (I quickly showed that one to the boss!)

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Today I unwrapped a philosophical gem about gratitude:

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

Gratitude begets gratitude.

Count your blessings and you’ll be rewarded with even more favor.

So simple. And yet, so under-practiced. We are quick to list our gripes and complaints. We indulge in our own private — or sometimes very public — gripe fest in a misguided belief that this kind of venting does our souls good. I’ve found, though, that hate breeds more hate and anger more anger, till I”m consumed by an ever-growing darkness that burns my heart like a ball of fire. Rather than fan the flames that lash our hurting hearts, we should snuff out the sooty candle of ungratefulness. For we’ll only find our way out of the darkness of despair if we grab hold of a light that shines clean and bright: Thankfulness. 

I can hear you asking, “How is she going to tie this in to ReadLove ?”

I’m going to count my book blessings:

FrancesI’m Grateful For:

The loveable little badger who helped spark my love of reading.

Green Eggs and Ham

 

 

 

Authors like Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein who taught me that poetry could be fun.

 

ACPL

Libraries and summer reading programs. And my librarian mother who made my annual participation obligatory.

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 

The first time I realized a movie was based on a book. And not only was the book enjoyable, it had a SEQUEL.

 

 

Bard

 

 

The Bard and his Prince of Denmark for knocking my socks off. And for giving voice to existential questions in a measure still unequaled.

 

 

Charon Dore

 

Dante Alighieri and Gustave Doré for their unrivaled, uncompromising depiction of the wages of sin.

 

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Brontë for braving a literary world dominated by men and proving that women could produce good art. And Jane Eyre for proving that life imitates art by bringing my very own Rochester into my life.


What are you thankful for? Share your thoughts in the comments!

*Please note I have not been paid or contacted by Dove Chocolates to advertise their product with this post. My love for these chocolates is genuine.

Read Your Way to Relaxation: Reading as Stress Relief

Girl-Reading-Charles-Edward-Perugini

Charles Edward Perugini – Girl Reading


Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

When I’m frazzled and beaten down, when I’m exhausted from overwork, or when I’m angry at the world, where do I find relief? In the pages of a book!

Books really are a girl’s best friend, and thanks to a 2009 study conducted at the University of Sussex, there are numbers to prove that reading can help reduce stress. When compared to other methods of stress relief like music, tea or coffee, walking, and video games, reading came out on top, causing stess levels to drop as much as 68%.

Don’t have time to fit in a lot of reading? No problem. As little as six minutes spent reading quietly is all it takes to lessen muscle tension and decrease heart rate.

Reading can be the ultimate distraction. In a good sense. The act of concentrating on the written word transports you to another place. When you lose yourself in a work of fiction, you replace your stressful thoughts with new ones. You’re reprogramming your mind and wiping the slate clean. Take that, meditation!

I try to read for relaxation every day at work. I eat lunch at my desk while I’m working so that for a full hour I can hole myself away to read. I brown bag my lunch, and I’ve tried to go to the lunch room to read. Invariably, someone sitting across the table will engage me in conversation. I thought an open book was as good as a “Do Not Disturb” sign on my forehead. Nope! Not to mention the television! Argh…talk about increasing stress! Faced with this quandary, I mentioned my experiences to our Human Resources staff, and they designated an unused office space as a “Quiet Room” where staff can go to make a private phone call or spend their break. I’m not sure how many use the space, but for me, it’s my own little personal haven.

I hope I have convinced you to make time in your day for a little R and R — READING and relaxation.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear a book calling my name….

Go [read] in peace!

— Dawn Teresa

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Leopold Loeffler – Girl With a Book


Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


Do you turn to reading as a method of relaxation?

What kinds of books do you find best relieve stress?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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