Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada (With Giveaway) @ChickenSoupSoul

Chicken soup for the soul - Christmas in Canada
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada
101 Stories About the Joy and Wonder of the Holidays
  • A Short Story Compilation by Amy Newmark and Janet Matthews
  • Released by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing (10/14/14)
  • Introduction by Janet Matthews - Writer and Ontario Resident
  • English Language - Paperback Binding- 404 Pages
  • Electronic Reader Versions are Also Available
  • Pick Up a Copy at Leading Booksellers Including Amazon and Barnes and Noble
  • Publisher's Suggested Price - $14.95 (Will Vary)
  • Find Chicken Soup For the Soul's website  at www.chickensoup.com
  • Chicken Soup is Also on Facebook, and Twitter (@ChickenSoupSoul)
  • Sign up for Chicken Soup for the Soul Email Newsletters and Encouragement
I absolutely love Canada.  I live in New York and used to love to take long weekend trips to Montreal, or go with friends on road trips to see hockey games in Toronto or Ottawa.  I do have some Quebecois heritage on my mother's side which also helps me to feel a sense of belonging when I am north of our US border.

While Christmas is not that much different  in Canada than it is in the United States, these stories of traditions, charity, homecomings, and happiness will help put you in the Christmas spirit for sure!

As is the usual format, there are 101 short stories divided into ten chapters.  The Introduction by Janet Matthews describes Canadian living and foreshadows some of her favorite selections.

Here are the ten chapter titles.
  1. The Spirit of Christmas
  2. Holiday Celebrations and Traditions
  3. Holiday Memories
  4. O Christmas Tree!
  5. The Santa Files
  6. A Winter Wonderland
  7. Taking Care of Each Other
  8. Angels in Our Midst
  9. The True Meaning of Christmas
  10. The Spirit of Giving
The closing pages have some short blurbs about the contributors and there are author pages as well.  A few pages from the publisher, including information about how to submit your own stories or contact the company close the book.

As always, I do have a copy to give away.  Since I have been having problems with Rafflecopter, I am going to try Giveaway Tools for the first time.  Feel free to tell me if you like it or dislike it in your comments!
Good Luck!
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

#TeenyFreaks - Fun Collectibles That Make a Great Stocking Stuffer! (Includes a Giveaway)

TeenyFreaks 1
Teeny Freaks - A New Collectible Item From Party Animal Toys
  • Sold in Blind Foil Packs
  • Two One Inch Figures, Two Puzzle Pieces and a Collector's Sheet in Each Package 
  • Available at Target  (With Impulse Buy Items)
  • Series One Includes Twelve Figures + Four Rares
  • Suggested Price is $4.00 Per Pack
  • Small Pieces - For Ages 4 and Older
  • TeenyFreaks are on the web at www.teenyfreaks.com
  • These Teenies also have their own Facebook Page
You have probably seen my reviews for Lil'Teammates and Lil' Troops as well as the cute TeenyMates Sports collectibles.  Now there is a new line of Teenies for your to collect!

TeenyFreaks are one inch PVC figures with an amazing amount of detail.  They are ordinary citizens on one side, and scary "freaks" on the other.

The figures come in a blind foil pack which contains two figures, two double sided puzzle pieces, and a full color collector sheet.

There are twelve basic figures, as you can see in the photo below - and four premium rare figures that are not shown here.

TeenyFreaks 2
There are a total of 35 pieces that will make a full color double sided puzzle that features a play area on one side and the collector mini-poster featured above on the other.

Lucky buyers might find the rare figures which include a Glowing Cosmic Calamity,(1 in 48) the Graveyard Shifter, (1 in 96) a Blazing Fire Frighter, (1 in 148) and Goldi Roxx. (1 in 275)

I was sent two packs for review and pulled these four figures:

TeenyFreaksBlindPacks.jpg
Going clockwise from the top left you see FireFrighter who turns from fire fighter to skeleton. (The middle photo is the "normal" side, and the bottom photo is the "freaky" side)  Then there is the CosmicCalamity who is an Astronaut/Alien.  OfficerRotten is a Police Officer and a Frankenstein, and SpeedDemon is a Jogger/Devil.

Here is a chance to start your own TeenyFreaks collection.  I have been given permission to offer two foil packs for giveaway.  These would also make a great stocking stufffer or grab bag gift!  Just use the form below to enter.

If your have trouble getting links to work, use the right click and "open in new page or tab function. The new Rafflecopter form is still working out some issues.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!
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The Magical Tale of Santa Dust - Create a #Christmas Eve Tradition! (With Giveaway)

MagicalTaleOfSantaDust.jpg
The Magical Tale of Santa Dust
  • Written by Patricia Cardello 
  • Illustrations by Manuela Soriani
  • Hardcover Children's Book
  • Released by N & J Publishing, September 1, 2011
  • English Language - 32 Pages
  • Learn More and Buy Your Copy at www.magicdusts.com
  • Also Available in Hallmark Stores, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble
  • Visit the Santa Dust Facebook Page or Follow Author @PACardello on Twitter
When Christmas came a little bit too close to a time that the family had moved to a new home, author Patricia Cardello's children worried that Santa might not know how to find them.  To soothe their anxieties Patricia told her little ones a story about Magical dist that helped Santa to find children.  She then created a sparkly "magic dust" for them to sprinkle and a tradition was born!

In 2011, Ms. Cardello shared her family tradition by way of a children's book.  Each year it has gained in popularity and it is now widely available.  You can even see the Magical Santa dust featured at Six Flags Theme Parks as the basis for their new Holiday in The Park steam train ride this year!

The book is a nice sized hardcover volume and it comes shrink wrapped with a bag of magic dust..

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As you can guess, the story addresses the fear that Santa might not make it to a child's house for some reason.  In this case, the family lives far out in a wooded area.  They are poor and do not have enough wood to keep a fire going that would attract Santa's attention.  The siblings go to bed with tears in their eyes and heavy hearts.

During the night the family dog hears something outside, and when the children investigate, they find a bag with something special inside.  Although the plan they hatch does not exactly work out, they do make a bit of a mess with the bag's contents.  The mess is a sparkly tail of dust that catches Santa's eye as his sleigh flies overhead.

It all ends well when Saint Nick stops and leaves gifts - along with a special note for the children.

After reading the story to your little ones, you can pull out your own magic dust and leave a path to your front door.  (It is very pretty and non-toxic.)

The bag is a beautiful red velvety pouch tied with a lovely cord.  After the children spread the dust they can hang it on the tree as an ornament.

Magic dust
Here is a close up look at the dust.  You can see that it does sparkle and shine.  The light catches it and it looks beautiful.  There are refill bags available from the website bookstore, too.

magic dust
The story is sweet and the book is easy to read.  It is best suited for kids aged about 3 to 8.  There are a few grammatical errors, but since the book is meant as a cuddle and read aloud, this is not a major problem.

I had the chance to meet the author at the New York Toy Fair earlier this year, and we had a lovely visit.  Her warm and inviting personality won me over immediately.  She was kind enough to provide a review copy for me, and encouraged me to host a giveaway for a copy as well.

Here is your chance to win a The Magical Tale of Santa Dust.  Just complete the tasks below and earn entries.  The winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.

FYI - Rafflecopter has recently changed its format a bit, so there have been some off and on glitches. If  hyperlinks are not working, simply right click and choose "open in new tab" or "open in new window" and it will get you where you need to go.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!
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