Thursday, July 31, 2014

Before They Sparkled: In Defense of Horror Classics - Guest post by Steve Carlin.

I saw this meme last week on Facebook:

And it made me think that Twilight – The One Saga To Ruin Them All – was part of a deeper, darker problem, more in tune with the horror genre than fantasy.  And that problem was the removal of the stigma of being a “monster.”

Who wouldn’t want to be a vampire or werewolf in today’s world?  Live forever, eat what you want, no restrictions on when you can be out and about, strong and young and vital for all eternity?  Sign me up!

There’s just one, teensy, weensy, little problem.

These “monsters” aren’t scary.

Today’s writers find themselves with an open forum for their creatures.  The deterioration of organized religion and the age of political correctness have defanged modern monsters.  In their place is the new romance, vampires who live without restrictions, drink blood when convenient, and whom everyone wants to be like.  Werewolves change from human to wolf form in the blink of an eye, without all that messy and agonizing reshaping of bones and musculature.  Frankenstein?  Hell, give him 100,000 Facebook likes and some cosmetic surgeon will turn him into Clooney 2.0 free of charge.

Other than Stephen King, who of today’s writers has what it takes to make you wish your night-light was a little bit brighter?  And to be quite honest, most of his recent work leaves me sleeping like a baby.  The genre has become too accepting of writers who wish to take their subjects off the range and re-write the rules of the supernatural world.  And don’t even get me started on writers who romanticize creatures whose job it is to use humanity as a herd of cattle.  Read the scenes in Dracula where his brides attack Jonathan Harker, or when Dracula himself forces Mina to drink his blood.  Romantic?  Hardly!

In fact, before you read any vampire novel written after 1960 (excepting, of course, Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot; “The King” did that one right) force yourself to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Okay, I admit, the writing and vocabulary are – challenging – to say the least.  The book is dated.  It should be; it’s 117 years old.  Get over it.  But it’s important to understand that for vampires – and by extension writers writing about vampires – this book is-and-should-be the bible.  Yes, Stoker borrowed slightly from John Polidori’s The Vampyre and more notably from Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, but neither of those short stories truly delved the depths of vampire lore.  Stoker took what had been previously written, investigated it, looked into the regional and religious beliefs around it, and ultimately codified it by defining the curse (remember this word, I’ll get back to it) and the ramifications to its victims (word #2 to remember).  To put a ribbon on it, he even tied it to an actual historical figure.  Dracula is, simply put, a masterpiece.  Think of the effort behind it.  In today’s world of “lol”, “OMG,” and 140 character limitations, who can even think about writing from seven or eight different points of view, injecting news clippings and correspondences and keeping it both coherent and chronologically sound?  Forget writing, try to outline it.  I dare you.

Werewolves have had a harder go at it from a literary standpoint.  Other than Stephen King’s (who else?) Cycle of the Werewolf, name me a great werewolf novel.  There isn’t one.  Lacking the bedrock novel – like Dracula is for vampires – werewolves have always been relegated to the random whims of authors.  And there is a reason for the lack of a great novel.  The subject is too big.  I mean, it’s freaking massive.  Literally every civilization and culture on the face of the earth has some kind of folklore of a beast living inside each man or woman.  Whether it’s the Native America skin walkers, the French loup-garou, the Chinese Lang Ren, the African ilimu or the Mexican nahaul, legends of humans taking different animal forms by different means and for different reasons proliferate around the globe.  In some cases the change is at will, while in others it is the result of a curse.  The change can be initiated via magic, environmental changes (i.e., the full moon) or some kind of potion or chemical.  In some cultures the creature is a wolf, others a big cat, a bird of prey or some other large, aggressive animal.  In some legends the creature is a monster, in others a protector (the Irish and Scottish selkie are were-seals that are said to watch over fishermen), while in some others it’s an avenger (the South American kanima is said to prey primarily on murderers).  With so many different sources, creatures, causes and motivations, having a unified or unifying novel seems to be nearly impossible.

So for the moment, let us deal with motion pictures and popular horror’s most common werewolf, the archetypal forced-to-transform-under-the-full-moon werewolf.  This poor individual is cursed (there’s that word again) and as a result loses control of himself and his faculties under the full moon.  His hunger is insatiable, and his rage is uncontrollable.  In some cases, it is possible that the victim (remember, word #2) of the curse may not even know he is a monster.   And just how, pray tell, does a man transform into a wolf?  For that, I refer you to the body-cast and pneumatic driven transformation in the underrated movie, “An American Werewolf in London.”  David Naughton provides his finest performance (okay, granted, not a great challenge, but still) portraying the agony and terror as his body is twisted and changed into its new form.  In contrast, though Lon Chaney Jr.’s  transformation in “The Wolf-man” was seemingly painless (he merely became a wolf in human form), special effects of the time required him to stand perfectly still as stop-action photography shot his face, frame by frame, while make-up artists glued on yak-hair.  It’s tough to act when you can’t move.

The fear these creatures – Stoker’s vampire and movie’s werewolves – inspire is shown in both the randomness of the victim-ology and the inherent likelihood of inheriting the curse.  Catch a vampire’s eye and you become his midnight snack.  Literally.  Die at night after being infected by the vampire, and you become a vampire, regardless of the passage of time.  You’ll be subject to the pain of your body’s physical death, and then forced to endure unbearable thirst and the destruction of your very soul.  Your movements are hampered (try entering a house without being invited or crossing over moving water), you show visible signs of the curse (check your palms) and just try working on your tan (bring a big bottle of SPF 10,000,000).

Or, try to survive a bite from a werewolf, which in most cases involves surviving a complete evisceration.  Come the next full moon you’ll feel your bones twist and reshape themselves, feel your muscles tear and pull, and you’ll emerge as an injured, angry animal, hungry and savage and ready to attack whatever it can find.  If you live in the woods it shouldn’t be a problem, at least not until you wake up surrounded by real wolves, feral animals that are likely to quickly realize that you’re not one of them.  But, if you live in the city, well, be prepared to make a lot of headlines.  And enemies, like police, cars, buses . . . .  Either way, you’re not likely to live long.

And that is what the real fear is about.  These creatures are cursed.  Their lives are unnatural; the vampire and the werewolf are both as much a victim as a monster.  Dracula was once as human as you or I.  The cost of his curse was his humanity as the monster he became destroyed his soul.  Werewolves have an even worse survival rate, as their drive to preserve their humanity is often what kills them.
In the end, writers write, readers read, and the marketplace chooses what sells.  But writers cannot simply ignore the rules of the supernatural and the occult.  I live in fear of the day an exorcist joins hands with a possessed soul in an effort to “experience the moment” and allow the victim to “release the bad karma.”  Unfortunately, that day may not be too far away.

Steven M. Carlin lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Kathy, twin sons Michael and Andrew, daughter Emily, and two very spoiled dogs. A history teacher, his passions are his family, history, reading, writing, SCUBA diving, comic books and Halloween. He dreams of someday completing a novel he deems is worth submitting for publication. He is currently 0-for-3.

Monday, July 28, 2014

New York Ramblings - Wet Specimens.

Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
What: Wet Specimen class.

I've seen wet specimens at a few Halloween Conventions and not only do they appeal to my taste in the unusual and slightly wicked, but also I just think they're cool.  Maybe a bit too macabre for most of the population, I find a wet specimen gives an interesting view from anything to plant life to medical specimens. 

I travelled via car, train and subway on a hot day, but the all black building on the corner of Third and Seventh was an escape from the mundane.  It houses a coffeeshop, giftshop with lots of interesting books plus some novels that fit right in, as well as a museum (which I didn't get to visit on this trip), plus the large classroom space downstairs.

Our instructor Mark, started out with an informative presentation into the history of wet specimens focusing on   Dutch Scientist Frederik Ruysch, who presented his specimens as an artform, blending science and the beauty he found in the subject.  The art style of Vanitas and Memento Mori, which focus on the fleeting nature of life was also discussed. "For as long as people have been thinking, they've been thinking about death." Mark told us.  Although in today's society this topic is not readily discussed and then unsually only in the most despairing of terms (myself included), this is cultural.  Other cultures and (I believe) in past eras, the population had a different, and some would argue, healthier and more positive outlook towards death.  I took a Native American class on death and dying and I learned that in their native tradition, someone who has passed is simply on a different wheel of existence, different from what we know, but not necessarily gone or to be mourned. 

Anyway, back to the class...We went over tools to use in preparing wet specimens, the proper way to use and store wet these tools, options on how to display a wet specimen and how to actually handle a wet specimen.  Then we dove in.

We had a choice between frogs and gophers.  I chose a frog because that is more in keeping with my interest in Halloween and Witchcraft folklore.  And before you get too squeamish, no, these creatures were not gathered in Central Park or the sewer.  They were obtained from scientific and legal sources.  

The creativity of the other students was very inspiring.  The gentleman next to me, created a Frog Prince theme and another student made a beautiful display with her frog using a pomegranite.  Gophers were displayed with everything from what they eat to eggs. 

The class went above and beyond exposing me not only to the (art) of wet specimens, which I could see getting a bit addictive, but the history and theory behind the subject as well as other related art forms to explore. 

If you're ever in the neighborhood, check out Morbid Anatomy.  You never know what you might find.

Mark with his prize winning Gopher wet specimen.

Seahorse wet specimen by Mark.

Gopher being prepared for specimen display.

Gopher wet specimen.  Check out those teeth!

Frog with pomegranite.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If I Stay.

Title/Author: If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Genre: YA.

Publisher: Penguin Group.

Source: Purchased.

SynopsisOn a day that started like any other, Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Midnyte Musings:  Warning:  This review contains some spoilers! 

Wow.  Just wow.  And all the other cliches, like squee, OMG and add some emo gifs too.  I've had this book for years and yes, I've heard how amazing it was and how wonderful and how OMG it was.  But you know, contemporary is not truly my thing so there it sat on my TBR shelf.  Until I saw the trailer for the movie.  One scene in particular moved me, when the grandfather told her that she still had family.  Aw geez, kill me now. 

I read this book in two days.  Two.  Me.  Yes, me.  The one who takes so long to read.  Once I picked it up, it was very hard to put down.  Yeah, it is heartbreaking yet so worth reading.

This story is told by Mia in first person and her voice has a wonderful, easy flow.  The reader gets to know her through a series of flashbacks and we meet her family, her best friend and her boyfriend.  She is basically an open book without a lot of angst.  I loved that Mia had such supportive parents.  Parents that are cool and hip and that she gets along with.  I love that she has a younger brother she adores and that she is really a happy, well adjusted teen.  Her boyfriend Adam is an up and coming musician in the punk rock scene and I can see why he is so many people's book boyfriend.  Charming and smart and pretty much irresistable.  I love how Mia and Adam go through their rocky phases and their tiffs because of their different interests and personalities.  It's not all soda pop and roses, which makes them and their relationship all the more real.

Mia is caught in a kind of limbo where she is not dead, yet she is not in her comatose body either.  She is now relegated to observing those around her and their reactions to her accident.  She learns she loses her parents and then she loses her younger brother.  She is devastated and wonders how she will be able to deal with the grief if she does wake up.  One nurse told her family members that the decision is up to her, not the doctors and not modern medicine.  One thing though that Mia has issues with is the feeling of her belonging and now that her her immediate family is gone, those fears are prominent.  She doesn't know how she can go on without them and she doesn't want to be "the girl who survived."  How will she cope?  She realizes with the help of a very smart nurse, that whether she decides to fight and come out of her coma or whether she releases herself and passes on, is her choice.  The choice is not obvious, at least not to her.  What would you do in such a situation?

The writing is just gorgeous.  And not only that, it is smart and insightful.  The two observations I absolutely love are "Seventeen is an inconvenient time to be in love, along with the idea that a person is everything they have, even what they have lost.   I'm not one to read everything that everyone else has read, but I found If I Stay to be touching and captivating.

Starstruck Over:  This is pretty much a perfect book. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

BB Buzz Tour - Parajunkee & her Book Blogger Survival Guide!

For today's Book Blogger Buzz Tour stop, I am honored to have the unstoppable Rachel from Parajunkee on my blog today.  Rachel has not only helped me personally with her features and advice,  I would say she has helped the entire Book Blogging Community. Today she gives tips on how to navigate the sometimes murky waters of staying sane in the blogging world.

Are you creative or just depressed?  A mental survival guide for bloggers. 

A Book Blogger Survival Guide from Parajunkee

  1. Stay organized. Among the top things that I recommend to any blogger is to keep on top of organization. This is the main reason we stress out. Forgetting posts, forgetting to read a book in time for a release date, flaking on a blog tour. If you stay on top of your calendars, this is a good way to keep the stress level down and keep your mental state nice and happy.
  2. Read for you. Pick your own ratio, but I would say for every 5 review books, read 1 book for you. Make it an event, like you go to the library every three weeks and pick 1 book just for you. The reason I say one book, is that more books will lead to stress.
  3. Be honest. No matter what, write honest reviews. Don't EVER worry about what other people (author, publisher, fans) will think.
  4. Keep a journal. Write in a journal, long-hand and write out just fun things, or jot down notes about the books you are reading.
  5. Pros & Cons If you are feeling the pressure, make a pros and cons list. If your cons are outweighing your pros, maybe take a blogging hiatus. It doesn't have to be a forever hiatus - just maybe a week.
  6. Keep "real life" hobbies. Make sure you have other hobbies that are not online. I like to garden, make really crappy crafts, paint and sketch. It gets me away front the computer. And destresses me after a day online.
  7. Keep your priorities straight. Never put your blogging above your personal relationships. Unless your personal relationships really suck. Then you might want to reevaluate them. :D
  8. Ignore the stupids. Every now and again a negative trollish comment comes through, or someone sends you a crappy email that just ruins your day. The best thing to do is ignore it, mock it or laugh it off. Hard to do, but it saves mental anguish.
  9. Stop criticizing yourself You are your worst enemy. Stop basing yourself if you don't meet your blogging goals, don't like a book you really wanted to like or get negative feedback from a publisher or author because of a review. Don't blame yourself and don't let it get you down.
  10. Try something new. If you are feeling rather repetitive. Switch up your review style or try a non-book related post. Keeping things fresh can sometimes change everything!
  11. Own it. It is your blog. Do whatever you want with it. Don't let anyone tell you to blog, or how to post, or what to have on your sidebars. You can use tips and tricks as a guideline, if you want, but basically do what you feel works for you!
  12. Chug along. Move at your own pace. You do not have to blog every day. You don't have to read every day. If you can't read a book an hour, like some reviewers claim - who cares. I couldn't imagine having to write a review for all those books! Be happy you can't read that fast.
  13. Support Staff. Make friends with other bloggers. If you are feeling a little bit off, maybe discuss it with another blogger. Don't be afraid to bring up a controversial topic, especially if it is in confidence. Take to emailing back and forth, or chatting in a private message, instead of twitter convos.
  14. Keep your nose clean. If something is going on, especially drama - the best thing to do is stay out of it. Stay away from the RANT posts, or the opinionated posts if you are not prepared to to deal with the repercussions. Because there is a 50/50 chance that those repercussions might be negative. Unless you have a really good reason to post about a hot-button issue, maybe keeping your nose out of it is for the best.
  15. Delegate. If blogging chores become too involved, think about taking on a co-blogger or part-time reviewer. You might be surprised at how much of a help they can be.
About the Author:
Rachel, whom you might know as Parajunkee, is the blog owner of and the design blog Rachel has been blogging for over five years, designing / web programming for over twelve, but her real love, reading, has been her favorite hobby since childhood. Rachel has won numerous awards for her writing, the blogs she has created and her design work. You can find Parajunkee on her blog or Twitter.

July Buzz Tour Schedule:

  • 07/01/14 Mama Kitty Reviews appearing on Me & Reading.
    Topic: Reading for Enjoyment vs. Reading for Reviewing - the difference in reading for enjoyment and the toll that reading review copies has done to our hobby. 
  • 07/10/14 Second Run Reviews appearing on Bibliognome.
  • Topic: Books you feel need more attention. A top ten list. Tell why you think they need to be read by everyone.
  • 07/14/14 Bibliognome appearing on Chapter Break.
  • Topic: You've been asked to write a short story starring a gnome character, what would the gnome be named and how would the story go?
  • 07/17/14 Reading Black & White appearing on My Midnight Fantasies.
  • Topic: What are those wonderful things you see in other blogger's reviews and think are wonderful? Or what do you like to see in other blogger's reviews?
  • 07/21/14 Parajunkee appearing on Midnyte Reader.
  • Topic: Are you creative or just depressed? A mental survival guide for bloggers.
  • 07/24/14 Janelle Reads appearing on Parajunkee.
  • Topic: What trends do you want to see next in book blogging? 
  • 07/31/14 Harlequin Junkie appearing on Janelle Reads.
    Topic: Dealing with your first negative review from an author you've enjoyed connecting with on social networks.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Script Magic - Guest Post by Erica Nunes.

There are many ways to go about writing, as many ways as there are genres to write about.  A common ailment of writers is the dreaded writers block. How does one get over it, move past and get down and dirty with the words?  I found a way.  Maybe it will work for you.

When I was in 6th grade my family and I briefly moved to a tiny town in Michigan called Walled Lake. Having grown up in South Eastern Massachusetts it was a bit of culture shock, pop was not music but something you drank, suckers were lollipops, and when I asked for jimmies on my ice cream I was told he no longer worked there, things were strange. The largest shock for me however, was due to the differences in grade structure. Although at home I had already been in middle school for a year in Michigan, I was dragged back to elementary school, to the uncool world of cartoon lunch boxes and sweatsuits. Oh, the horror! So to my classmates, I was the cool kid with my suede boots, vest  and with my mile high bangs (showing my age).

To keep up this facade I decided my best course of action would be to be a bit of a trouble maker, but keeping true to my good girl character talking out of turn, a lot, was the only bad girl behavior I was comfortable with. This resulted in punishment. My teacher, Mr. Doorlag's favorite punishment was indoor recess during which you were required to write, the amount of how many words required were in direct correlation to how tightly wound his bow tie was that day, no doubt. Little did I know this punishment was one of the best things to happen to me in regards to my love of writing.

In a hilariously, ironic twist, this article 
was written on my i-pad.
The words weren't profound, the stories weren't elaborate,  the grammar was no doubt atrocious (honestly still haven't mastered that particular skill), but the physical act of writing the words in my handwriting was what sparked my love of the written word.

Flash forward lots of years and I found myself in college for the second time around. There were many essays to write, many research and reflection papers, each time I sat down at the computer to write I found myself surfing the web or refreshing my news feed for the umpteenth time and daydreaming of my next tv show streaming marathon. I was drowning in technology every time. Did I really have writers block? Was that really a thing? Then I remembered my 6th grade self and papers of idle chatter whose words flowed out of my number two, and it hit me...

Write. Actual physical writing. Putting pen to paper and connecting to my words was like magic. Somehow this visceral act ignited my inner Shakespeare, well okay not Shakespeare but Meyer maybe?  It allowed me to stay away from the computer and it's beeping distractions and focus on the ideas in my mind. A secondary benefit of writing through this method comes during the editing phase. You have to transfer your beautiful chicken scratch to a digital format eventually right? During this process re-reading your work and typing it word for word is an easy way to come at it with fresh eyes, make adjustments, add, edit and in my case, fix the menagerie of grammatical errors.

So the next time you find yourselves staring down the pixels, pick up a blank notebook and your writing utensil of choice take a deep breath and get in touch with the ancient art of script.

Erica Nunes is a young housewife and mom of three living in South Eastern Massachusetts. Her passion for all things creative is manifested primarily in her makeup artistry, fine arts, and writing, with aspirations of becoming impossibly rich as a result of any or all of the aforementioned talents, or those not yet discovered, while remaining entirely gracious and humble.

Copyright: anyka / 123RF Stock Photo 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Bone Season.

Title/Author: The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon.

Narrators: Alana Kerr.

Genre: Fantasy.

Publisher: Audible for Bloomsbury.

Source: Library.

Synopsis: It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

Midnyte Musings:  I really didn't know what to expect from The Bone Season.  I picked it up at the library without ever hearing about it or the hype that went with it.  I can understand the excitement over it.  It is a unique, creative and lovely story. The world building is dynamic as Shannon tackles a re-written history starting from the early 20th Century which includes supernatural abilities and a Dystopian society.  However, not all is at it seems. 

Main character Paige Mahoney starts off by working for an underground criminal citadel utilizing her own unique talent, dreamwalking, which means she can infiltrate other people's dreamscape.  She is useful and important to her crime lord and is just trying to keep her head low and avoid trouble.  One day, she gets kidnapped and taken to a community long since believed to be defunct where she is basically a slave to an alien race of humanlike beings with more power than she can imagine.  She is forced to make difficult decisions.  She can succumb to her new life or she can die.  But perhaps there is another choice.  With the subtle help of her Warden, Octorus the alien who takes her into his home and trains her for work, she realizes that maybe there is another choice.  Fight back. 

Paige is an amazing character.  We get to know her by her actions, her memories and her choices.  She is street smart and brave.  Sometimes more reckless than is good for her.  As an Irish girl growing up in England, life was difficult for her until she found her niche in the underground crime syndicate. I also loved Nick, who Paige is in love with and misses terribly.  He is so kind and it is obvious that he cares about Paige, but I do not want to spoil any of the love story so that is all I will reveal.  Warden, the alien who "claimed" Paige is a very interesting character.  It is hard to know his true intentions and even Paige can't always figure them out.  In time, Paige and Warden build a trust in a world where it is hard to trust anyone.  The villainess,  Nashira is quite horrific and relentless in her quest to get what she wants and ruthless when she is crossed.

There is a lot of information in The Bone Season, names, slang, terms.  But it wasn't difficult for me to follow as it flowed within the context of the story.  I also found the writing lovely with snatches of gorgeous descriptions such as "...a smirk of a moon in the sky."

The only issue I had was sometimes I found myself hard pressed to imagine the details of the world and exactly where the characters were in the story. 

Narration:  Alana Kerr has the most beautiful voice I've ever heard in my entire life.  Period. Not only that, the way she performed this book was perfection.  Utilizing a melancholy tone that seemed to fit Paige, she brought the character to life with a slight Irish brogue, with heartfelt prose and realistic dialogue.  I felt Paige's turmoil, her sadness and despair.  I also felt her defiance.  It wasn't just Paige's voice Kerr did well, it was the whole book of characters done to perfection, in all accents and both genders.

Starstruck Over: I was charmed from the beginning by the lovely writing and narration.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Halfway to Horror Giveaway.

June is over and that means the 2014 Horror Reading Challenge is halfway over! Unfortunately, although it is my favorite genre, I only read one book.  Reader Fail!  But let's see how well the other participants did!

I Heart Reading - 13 Reviews.
The Writerly Reader - 6 Reviews.
Little Queen Rules - 6 Reviews.
Bride of the Book God - 4 Reviews.
Back to Books - 3 Reviews.
Cornerfold - 3 Reviews.
Betwixt Book Reviews - 1 Review.
Know it Not so Much - 1 Review.
Midnyte Reader - 1 Review.

Please check out all the Horror Reviews.

~Win a $25.00 gift card from Amazon. 
~You don't have to be signed up for my 2014 Horror Reading Challenge to enter, however, those that have posted reviews will get that many extra entries that I will enter. (Example: If you have posted 3 reviews, you will get 3 extra entries.  But don't worry, everyone can still Tweet once a day for extra entries as well.)  

~Leave your name (use what I can announce on the blog if you win) and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form. 
~That's it! No need to follow or Tweet unless you want extra entries.

~Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter.
~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~This contest ends on July 9, 2014 at 12:15 am.
~If winner does not contact me within 72 hours (3 days) of my first e-mail, unfortunately another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and thanks for visiting my blog!

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