Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trouble with Comment box

Just a very quick post here...I have been told that there has been some trouble getting comments to post in the box. I just tried to post a reply and was unable myself. I've also had the same problem at other Blogger pages. Not sure if I've done something wrong here, on my computer or if it is a glitch through Blogger. I am going to investigate this further tomorrow, so please bear with me. It will get fixed, I have faith!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

GONE is better than good!

I don’t remember how I stumbled onto Michael Grant’s book Gone I was probably cruising the YA aisles in Borders looking for something new and the cover caught with the large white letters caught my attention. I am so glad I selected the book. From the first page, the reader is plunged into a world where everything has gone topsy-turvy.

On an ordinary November morning an extraordinary event occurs. Everyone over the age of 14 disappeared from Perdido Beach, California. Poofed. Gone. No more parents, teachers, cops or authority figures. Left alone, the children must survive without phones, internet or any way to communicate to the outside world.

It’s a new, dangerous world. Nicknamed the FAYZ for the Fall-Out Youth Zone, the kids must learn to work together for survival. Bullies, mutating animals and a power-hungry sociopathic teen are only the start of the troubles that will plague the already scared kids. In addition, the "littles" need round-the-clock care and there is a small problem with kids beginning to develop strange powers. A war between good and evil is unavoidable.

Although Gone features multiple characters, keeping track of each is not difficult. The shifts in action are fluid. Author Grant easily maintains the balance between action and exposition. He builds the tension in the book effortlessly.

The reader becomes acquainted with Sam Temple, Astrid Ellison, her autistic brother Little Pete and Perdido Beach newcomer Edilio Escobar. We can’t overlook Sam’s best friend and surfing buddy Quinn Gaither either. Is he friend or foe?  Other older children step up in the FAYZ to help keep things organized but when school bully Orc and his sidekick Howard get out of hand, keeping order will fall to Sam.

Sam can handle bullies, bossy Astrid and even manage his own developing powers, but can he handle the arrival of the Coates Academy newcomers? Do the boarding school students want to join forces with the town kids or is there something more sinister afoot? Caine, Diana, Drake and Computer Jack seem sincere but Astrid suspects a hidden agenda.

Gone's dialogue is believable teen dialogue. The conversations could have been plucked easily from any middle school. The banter between characters in enjoyable and Grant develops their relationships quickly, building on each throughout the book.

Gone by Michael Grant was originally released in 2008. There are currently three additional books available in this series:  Hunger, Lies and Plague. Book number 5 is to be released in 2012 and is titled Fear. The concluding book will be titled Light. You can check out author Michael Grant on GoodReads or at Harper Teen

Gone is a recommended read. This is now one of my favorite YA series and I am really looking forward to the release of Fear next year.  



Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's a Fit Frappe Friday

I signed up for Klout and have been enjoying the experience. It is mildly amusing to watch my "influence" numbers dip and climb. I have found several interesting people to follow on Twitter through Klout that I otherwise might have missed, so that is a perk. The other perk of Klout is, well the Perks.

It all started when someone in my stream tweeted they had just received free (yes, FREE) Secret deodorant and was sharing with Twitter friends. A couple of clicks later, I was the happy recipient of free deodorant as well. I began checking in the Perks section of Klout and a couple of weeks ago found myself eligible for a Fit Frappe giveaway from Big Train. I wasn't sure what the Fit Frappe was or how it would taste, but I'm always up to try a new product. Click, click and click and I was registered to receive the Perk.

My Fit Frappe arrived this week and Woo-Double-Hoo!!!!!!!!!! First of all, I love getting packages and second, upon opening not only were there 5 sample servings of different flavors. These included mocha, espresso, vanilla, vanilla latte and chocolate. I would have posted a picture but we've already enjoyed 3 of the 5! The generous folks at Big Train also sent a 36.3-ounce, that's 2.26 llbs or 1,026 grams of protein drink mix. Wowsers!

So what exactly is Fit Frappe? Fit Frappe is a meal replacement drink that contains 21 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat and 130 calories per 16 fluid ounce serving. It does not contain cholesterol or trans fat and has only 300 mgs of sodium per 16 fluid ounce serving. These are the nutritional stats for the mocha flavor as it was the flavor I requested.

The powered mix can be blended with ice in a blender (or Magic Bullet), mixed in a shaker and served over ice or served hot. The canister has an easy-to-hold handle indentation and twist off lid. It came with a measuring scoop. The mixing directions are clearly presented on the side and very easy to follow. Today I made myself a blended mocha for lunch along with a banana. And it was goooooood!!!

The chocolate-y aroma from the powder was very enticing as I measured two scoopfuls into the blender where I had already added about a cup and a half of ice. Six ounces of cold water went in next and then it was blending time. In about two minutes I had a frothy, icy mocha creation! The mocha flavor was lush, sweet but not cloying. The coffee flavor was present and balanced nicely with the chocolate. In one word, it was...


I frequent a local coffee shop which offers some pretty darn good coffee and their frappes are delicious. My standard order is their sugar free mocha blended, made with skim milk. It is refreshing and consistently good. However, after experiencing the Fit Frappe, made at home in my own blender, well....I have to honestly say that I like the Fit Frappe better. It had more body and better flavor. I also didn't have to get in my car and drive six miles to get it!

My 15 year-old son has now had both the vanilla latte and the vanilla flavors and he loved them both! Not a blended drink fan, I made his in a shaker and then served it over ice. He drained the vanilla latte flavor quicker than he does a glass of chocolate milk. The plain vanilla was also equally enjoyed. I did taste both flavors and had to agree that they were very tasty, the vanilla strong but not overpowering and the drink's sweetness nicely balanced.

The final verdict in our house is that Big Train's Fit Frappe drink mixes are a WINNER!

If you'd like to find out more about this new drink mix, check them out on Facebook at or at Twitter at @bigtrain.