Laughing in the face of evil – time to tell

Good versus Evil

Stories about good and evil come in all shapes and sizes. David and Goliath from the Bible, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Circle Series by Ted Dekker, and now Shadows’ Sorrow by Galadriel Pittman. Shadow’s sorrow, never heard of the book you say? Well, now you are in for a treat. As quoted from the blurb “A disillusioned guardian, a four-footed philosopher, an honorable thief, Trouble, and an unexpected inheritance against the end of the world? Bring it on.” Yes indeed, bring it on. It may not be as intense as the others, but it has loads going for it….

Shadows sorrows fb banner copy

My Penny’s Worth

Oh, come on you can’t be serious?

You’ve read The Wizard of Oz and Dorothy’s unlikely companions that she meets on her travels, well, Shadows’ Sorrow goes one better in my opinion. Donkey from Shrek had me rolling around the aisles with his “Are we there yet” so having a four-footed animal with telepathy doesn’t stretch the imagination too far. And why not, we know animals are intelligent, some more so than humans!

Couple this with the princess in Disney’s Enchanted and you have the makings of an entertaining read.

No, it’s not a fairy tale

Shadows’ Sorrow is not whimsical. It portrays evil as it is, destroying good to fulfill its need to conquer. There is only one passing reference to God, but the underlying battle for good is prevalent. Just like in the books, I mentioned earlier, apart from David and Goliath.

Raven stared at her suspiciously before shaking his head. “Why am I always the one that’s given a hard time? Is there a rule in the universe that says, ‘Pick on Raven?’ What have I done to deserve it?”

Tara shot him an amused look. “Be careful. Someone out there might hear you! It is never wise to give God ideas like that. He might decide to implement them.”

What I liked

I liked the banter that goes on back and forth between the characters. It helps to balance the dark side of the novel. It makes you wonder how these different people will manage to work together to fulfill their quest – that of overcoming evil. The story is well balanced, easy to read and leaves you wanting more. It didn’t leave me hiding behind the sofa like Lord of the Rings did. There are no Orcs, but the evil presence is intimidating like the creatures from The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

As they forded the shallows of the river, the cold chilled their bodies, matching the chill of fear in their hearts.

We all need to learn

One theme that runs through this book is gaining independence. Walking away from dependence on others, and becoming independent to be whom we are meant to be. So that we can fully partake in the journey, we are called to walk.

Both sun and fog have their places. We go through times of both; try not to dwell solely in one.

When life seems too hard, and we don’t want to carry on as the journey seems impossible the words of Raven comes to mind.

We are still alive. We have hope. I will fight the Rakon (the evil – my words) until the last breath leaves my body.

What I didn’t like

There is one word that some might find offensive. Yes, it is in context, and the sentence needed a strong word. It just niggled a bit as the rest of the book is clean.

What sentence made me smile

It is the princess image from Enchanted, but the person to whom it is spoken to isn’t a princess!

You move with inherent grace, you’re charming, and when you sing… well, I think you could capture those stars.

All I can hear is the “lar la lar la lar” of Princess Giselle as she sings to the birds in the New York apartment!

Who would like this book?

If you like fantasy, great banter, and humour, mixed in with a good versus evil plotline, then give Shadows’ Shadow a go. It is the first book in the series which I think will prove to be a winner.

I will leave you with one last thought, another quote from the book.

Enjoy the day. Treasure the time. Tomorrow is never promised.

I hope you have enjoyed my review. Please leave a comment if you did.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Enjoy the day. Treasure the time. Tomorrow is never promised. Shadows' Sorrow @galadrielpittman #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway #amreading Click To Tweet
Click here to purchase your copy!

This interview was brought to you today by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

About the Book


Book Title: Shadows’ Sorrow

Author: Galadriel Pittman

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: May 18, 2018

“I will become these shadows’ sorrow. I swear.”

A disillusioned guardian, a four-footed philosopher, an honorable thief, Trouble, and an unexpected inheritance against the end of the world? Bring it on.

An ancient evil has recently reawakened. Raven, a young Deinya warrior disillusioned with his people, has accepted a quest from his one-time master for old time’s sake. But when he catches a thief, Tara, his life hurls down an unforeseen path. With the help of others they meet along the way, they race to find the secret to the Rakon’s downfall before the nations again succumb to darkness.

About the Author

author SSphotoI am Galadriel Pittman, a mother of two, wife to a supportive amazing husband, daughter, sister, friend, worship singer, school cafe manager…the list goes on. I am blessed with many roles to fill. And now, finally, author. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents reading to me–Chronicles of Narnia, Xanth series, Lord of the Rings…but they never read them fast enough for my liking.

So, I learned to read. As a voracious reader from the age of three, my goal as a child was to read every book in the world! Sadly, reality dictated that there were more books than what my town library held, and new ones entered all the time! Perhaps taking a sideways step in that dream to become one who created those new entries is not surprising.

As a child, I enjoyed telling my younger siblings stories, and as a teen, I created my world with a friend. Over the years, I added to that tale. Recently, I decided I wanted to find out what happens next— so here we go!

For more information and updates on books, go to or find me on Facebook at Galadriel Pittman.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, October 20

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Midnight Bookaholic, October 22

Two Points of Interest, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

Margaret Kazmierczak, October 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 25

Multifarious, October 26

proud to be an autism mom, October 27

Bigreadersite, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 28

Janices book reviews, October 29

Carpe Diem, October 30

A Baker’s Perspective, October 31

A Reader’s Brain, November 1

Pause for Tales, November 2


This Giveaway is now finished.


A Kingdom of ruins what secrets is it hiding?

When I was a kid, I had my own imaginary Kingdom, where battles decided who would be king and if his army might find the secrets hidden within.  The garden sported potholes in many places as I dug tirelessly to excavate the Kingdom’s precious artefacts. The trouble usually started when I trudged the mud indoors, and the queen of the house despaired at my discoveries. I loved the worm which turned into a snake-like sword – I’m not sure the worm took kindly to my imagination.

Discarding the dirty treasures, I decided to opt for more personal items. A train ticket, a ribbon, a colourful pencil, you get the drift. These I stored in a cardboard box and labelled “Private, keep out Margaret’s precious hoard. Anyone caught stealing will be executed!” Even though I collected everyday objects to me the items were otherworldly, they could turn into whatever I wanted.

I read somewhere that this type of imagination is called “thinking outside the box.” Well, Kingdom of Ruins by D.C. Marino is a prime example of this form of vivid of creativity.

Check out my review below and read why this book deserves to be on your TBR list, that is if you enjoy the world of fantasy. And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Kingdom of Ruins by D C Marino

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Penny’s Worth

Having read D.C. Marino’s Points Worth – A Kingdom of Ruins Novelette the prequel to Kingdom of Ruins, I knew the story would be refreshing in its originality. The saga is built up carefully like an archaeological dig, with each piece meticulously brushed to its original form so that the reader can see its exquisite outline. The cracks of old age crafted by words to complete the ornate discovery.

Each find tells a broader tale and points to clues that later reveal the missing pieces in the jigsaw.

Trees that talk?

Talk about turning things upside down, with trees communicating, soil passing messages and all contributing to a cacophony of sounds. Everything in nature appears animated as the Kingdom prepares for war.

I love the fact that the main character Lori, an archaeologist has a phobia of ruins. Such a handicap tickled my odd sense of humour.

A reader’s delight, well at least for me!

There are some writing gems such as “His team had uncovered an Anglo-Saxon church in Yorkshire. Its muddy walls were half-exposed and gulped the fresh air. After eleven hundred years they were raised. She pressed her ears to one of the crumbled walls to see if she could hear a heartbeat. She blew on it because maybe it needed to remember how to breathe.”  I wanted to hear the wall breathe too.

What I loved

I love the way Lori talks to inanimate objects; this is so me! “She (Lori) could feel their silent judgement, (in this case she is looking at two black banners heralding her Grandfather’s exhibition), so she asked them, very politely, to please shut up.” The book is full of these conversations, exchanges that bring to life, life that does not exist in such objects. However, they do “Once the glass was removed, Lori picked up the potsherd. It slipped into her palm, blood-warm and with a pulse. No. She curled her fingers around the potsherd. No, I don’t feel a pulse. But there it was: a rapid thump-thump against her fingertips, the heartbeat of someone nervous or scared.” What wonderful writing. Again this book like Points Worth had me hooked.

A Kingdom of hidden secrets

If I said this book is about something hidden from the past that needs restoring in the present,  to protect an unsuspecting community who knows nothing of their history, then the seed is only just being planted in your mind. This is the kernel of the story.  A fantastic web of threads weaving in and out, drawing you in and refusing to let go until you reach the final page. But hang it all you might not like fantasy, if not think of classics like Lord of the Rings or Narnia. Did you enjoy them? If so take a peek at this novel.

What would I award it?

4.5 stars because I have to wait for the next book!!

Thank you D.C. for writing a cracker of a novel.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Click here to purchase your copy!

#amreading Kingdom of Ruins @DCMarinoAuthor #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Kingdom of Ruins by D.C. Marino

Title: Kingdom of Ruins

Author: D.C. Marino

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: July 27, 2018

In the Lands Within, history does not rest. Each archaeological layer communicates with the living generation, choosing its friends and enemies—and its kings. But an alliance has been struck no one could have anticipated, and an ancient evil is soaking into the soil. History is being erased, purchased and re-written at a terrible price. And a kingdom that shouldn’t have been forgotten is fading from memory.

In the Lands Without, archaeologist Lori Brickland has found a pottery shard with a heartbeat. The pulse might be a trick of the mind, or it might be the first sign of life in a world of ruin. An exiled traveler will say she shouldn’t search for the truth, a calculating ruler will say she’s the one he’s looking for. And the kingdom? The kingdom will need her before the end. It’s time to accept what she’s always known…

This isn’t archaeology.

This is war.

About the Author

Dcmarino autho picD.C. Marino is a dedicated reader of history books and fantasy novels, both of which occupy an equal amount of space on her bookshelves. But it wasn’t until she realized how one breathed life into the other that she became addicted to finding the intersections of the real world and the fairy story. Still more: what those intersections about us as a creative, curious people. Kingdom of Ruins is her debut novel.

Guest Post from D.C. Marino

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share Kingdom of Ruins with you! This story has been on my heart and mind for over ten years now, so this feels a bit surreal. I’d love to tell you a bit about why I wrote this book. But in order to do that, I need to tell you why I almost didn’t.

Fantasy. It isn’t real. Why should I spend time writing a story that doesn’t grapple with the actual issues of the day? Why not speak plainly, instead of inventing another world to explore the real one? These were the questions I asked myself every night before I fell asleep. I adored fiction that transported me to factual events or introduced me to historical figures, but every time I picked up a pen, the fantastical wiggled out of it.

I was afraid I was writing the wrong story.

This story oddly (or not so oddly) enough began with Lori, an atephobic archaeologist. Meaning she had a passion for archaeology, but a phobic fear of ruins. Why would she shrink back from the work she loved? Because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make whole the broken. Life ends in dust, and that’s all there is to it. I felt the same way. Not only was I writing something I wasn’t sure would be relevant, but could it mend anything? Make a difference? Or was it futile, like trying to resurrect the past?

What I found was exactly what Lori begins to find in Kingdom of Ruins. That even though things seem unfixable, it isn’t the end. The world Lori enters is full of darkness and peril, but it also holds a chance for her to heal from more than just her fear. While I wrote, and especially as I neared the last chapter, I realized she and I had both overcome a great challenge. Of course, I won’t tell you her conclusion, but I will tell you mine:

I wrote the right story.

I hope you enjoy every bit of the journey as I did, dear reader.

D.C. Marino

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 31

Remembrancy, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Fiction Aficionado, August 2

Multifarious, August 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 3

Connect in Fiction, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Bibliophile Reviews, August 5

A Reader’s Brain, August 6

Just the Write Escape, August 7

Margaret Kazmierczak, August 8

Aryn the Libraryan, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, August 10

proud to be an autism mom, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12

Janices book reviews, August 12

A Baker’s Perspective, August 13



Warning – A fresh new fantasy that will intrigue you

Do you ever find yourself in the realms of fantasy? I know I do. At times I think my life is one big fantasy (she laughs at the crazy idea of a normal life!).

When I attended school, my teachers thought my daydreaming affected my learning. But they knew nothing of the adventures I went on gazing out of the classroom window! The contours of clouds called me to other worlds, promising thrills beyond the blackboard. (Yes I am that old!) I used to be asked to grace the class with my attention, but the call of my creative imagination lured me away time after time.

Points Worth has just had that same effect on me. The decorating I am supposed to be doing faded away as soon as I picked up D. C. Marino’s novelette. Its introduction to the Kingdom of Ruins Series has me…. Ok, you nearly got me there! To read further scroll down to My Penny’s Worth, where all will be revealed.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Points Worth by D. C. Marino

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Penny’s worth


Sometimes fantasy can seem too improbable and distant for the reader to make a connection. However, Points Worth catches your breath from the moment you begin reading. It is different, fresh and new and had me journeying to this small port town in a rush.

“The ocean was known to hold back a day of tides when differences of opinion needed to be settled.” What a sentence to draw you in. How could an ocean hold back a day of tides? What differences of opinion could an ocean have? “The water spoke in a low, distrustful tone.” Say what? Tell me more…

The language

I loved the flow of this novelette, the descriptive language especially and what is a “nautical linguist?” My mind said dolphins, but D. C. Marino is a linguist earthquake when it comes to describing her fantasy world. As a writer, she explodes on the pages delving out line after line of action. “And what was the final script from the Caletain Sea?” Mystified? So was I, and I got to read the answer! Oh, the joy. I want more than this novelette.

Coming soon

Fortunately, there is more, (phew, I wipe my brow in relief) you can’t leave me like this. No, really there is a longer book, this is just a taster. The riddle has just begun, and I can’t wait to continue the adventure.

The sea talks? You have to be kidding me; it does in this book! Keep talking I want to know more.

Would I recommend this novelette?

I did not like this… No, I loved it. Would I recommend it, I totally would, especially if you like fantasy and something completely different. Its thirty-one pages packed with pieces of a wider jigsaw will make you want to know more, well IMO anyway.

For me, Points Worth deserves ***** stars.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Now I have had my say, don’t forget the GIVEAWAY from D.C. Marino which is at the bottom of my page.

#amreading Points Worth @DCMarinoAuthor ‏#book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

Points Worth coverTitle: Points Worth

Author: D.C. Marino

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: March 30

For centuries the small port town of Points Worth has been able to communicate with the ocean in its own language. But the water has just gone silent and its last word has shaken those able to translate it. A knowledge of sea-script won’t be enough to mend the broken relationship between man and the deep. Gil, a young nautical linguist, will have to break rules and search the past to discover why the ocean ceased its tides—or had them stolen.

Points Worth is a novelette set in the world of Kingdom of Ruins, and is a prequel to the first book in the series.

About the Author

Dcmarino autho picD.C. Marino is a dedicated reader of history books and fantasy novels, both of which occupy an equal amount of space on her bookshelves. But it wasn’t until she realized how one breathed life into the other that she became addicted to finding the intersections of the real world and the fairy story. Still more: what those intersections about us as a creative, curious people. Kingdom of Ruins is her debut novel.

Guest post from D.C. Marino

Hi Everyone!

I’m so excited to celebrate the release of Points Worth with you! To start, I’ll share a funny secret: this little novelette was never in the plan. The idea came at the last moment, at the suggestion of my publisher. I had never intended to write a prequel to the Kingdom of Ruins series, but when I began fleshing out this small story, it took on a personality I couldn’t ignore. Not only did I fall in love with the sea-salt setting and gutsy characters, but Points Worth is now planned to continue as a mini-series of novellas, each one to be released between the full-length novels!

Who is Gil?

Gil, the main character and hero, is who I blame for the speed of my commitment to this storyline. He inspires me. Calamity has befallen his small port town and fear is driving even the wisest of the townsfolk to make dangerous decisions. Instead of swallowing the easiest explanation for the disaster, Gil goes in search of the truth against one of the most powerful men in the town. He’s scrappy, inventive and knows his history. Though born in the hills, he’s a natural seafarer. I wanted to keep following him right off the page. And so, his story has only just begun to sail the unknown ocean.

The Kingdom of Ruins Series, where does Gil fit in?

On the flip side, the Kingdom of Ruins series takes place on land. But this isn’t a default setting. The land is a character in itself and interacts with those that live upon its soil. It even takes sides in war. This same concept was extended to the sea in Points Worth. Which is appropriate, as they are part of the same world. In fact, the town of Points Worth is only a few days’ ride away from where the main novel takes place. Which leads me to the last thing I wanted to share with you. Gil will show up as a supporting character in one of the main novels. I love this because, though the reader will know Gil very well, the main characters in Kingdom of Ruins will not. You’ll suddenly see Gil from another’s perspective, which should be interesting and sometimes comical.

I will say no more. Land and sea must tell the rest of the story.

Thank you for coming! I hope you enjoy the ocean-air and the adventure it inspires!

D.C. Marino

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, June 14

Multifarious, June 15

A Baker’s Perspective, June 15

Fiction Aficionado, June 16

Remebrancy, June 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 18

RebekahsQuill, June 19

Mommynificent, June 20

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 20

proud to be an autism mom, June 21

Bigreadersite, June 21

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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 23

Janices book reviews, June 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, June 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 26

Carpe Diem, June 27



Indifference is no excuse when people suffer abuse

Do we act when we see abuse?

What is your response when you hear or see abuse? Recently I watched a TV programme about hospital staff who are abused, verbally, physically and sexually. It is a horrifying fact that these vital members of our society in England are treated in such an offensive way. They risk their lives helping others.

Ambulance crews are often the first on the scene administering first-aid and compassion to victims involved in accidents or emergencies. They have no option about attending the incident as that is their job. They are not at liberty to say, that they don’t want to get involved, because the victim is a drunk or in someone else’s opinion doesn’t deserve to be helped. The bravery of these men and women who work in hospitals or in frontline services deserve better. We should not be indifferent to the needs of our own Healthcare Professionals, as we all deserve to live and work in safety.

Where am I going with this?

So what has this to do with the book I have just read called Plunge into Darkness by Kristin N. Spencer? The answer is that as a society we need to be active when people suffer abuse. Plunge into Darkness is a fantasy book that portrays a village’s indifference to a young girl’s plight. No one wants to be involved in a seedy affair, so they ignore the signs and live their own lives by turning a blind eye. The book makes for interesting reading, fiction or not, there are lessons to be learned from it.

Abuse can we ignore it? Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Plunge into Darkness by Kristin N Spencer

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Penny’s Worth

Plunge into Darkness is by no means your run of the mill story. There are only 119 pages in the Kindle edition. However, I didn’t feel cheated as the story sucked me in right from the beginning. Ever Morena, the empathetic main character, reaches out in friendship to Dawn. Ever knows that Dawn’s life is far from easy, but she does not expect her friend to disappear overnight leaving a massive hole in Ever’s heart. After her father shows Ever hope, the story develops into an intriguing adventure and follows the lines of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. Compassion now fills Ever’s heart, and her desire to heal others plays an essential role in the story. But first Ever has to learn the depths of a  wounded heart to be able to help those in need.

What I liked

There were various characters whom I warmed to that added to the plot. But I enjoyed the concept of having an elderly man, called Old Justice and Keeper of the book, telling little fables to the younger members of the village. These little snippets were like nuggets of gold.

Sensitive writing

Ms Spencer writes with the reader in mind when portraying difficult scenes; she indicates in a few words the details, describing events sensitively. I am grateful for this approach but warn readers that this book does deal with the matter of abuse. If this puts you off, then I can say that not reading this book would be a shame as the wisdom of how this subject is tackled once the facts are known are worthy to be read. And a question, Who is responsible, is one that deserves rumination. Can we live and not get involved?

Like an onion there are layers

The book, therefore, has several layers. Each important, underpinning morals as well as society’s reaction to humanity’s cruelty to one another. I think this story would be an exciting choice for discussion among our young folk of today.

I am looking forward to book two in this series to see how Ever continues on her journey. Indeed who and what next comes to mind.  The seeds have been sown in book one, and  I hope you will pick up this story and enter into Ever’s interesting world.

Thank you, Kristin, for writing this book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Don’t forget Kristin’s GIVEAWAY at the end of this book review.

#amreading Plunge into Darkness @KristinNSpencer on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

Plunge into DarknessTitle: Plunge into Darkness

Author: Kristin N. Spencer

Release Date: February 27, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Two girls.
A village with a dark secret.
Their only hope is a mythical figure Ever Morena has only read about in her father’s lone book.
Ten years ago Ever’s best friend disappeared without a trace. Though the loss of her friend only came close to killing her then, the truth of what happened might finish the job now—just when her future as the village healer is looking bright.
Ever must risk everything she loves in order to plunge into darkness on an impossible journey in the middle of the Concealed Forest.
Never before has redemption been so costly.
Please note: This book contains subject matter which some may find troubling as it spotlights helping those who have experienced abuse. I tried to handle this topic as delicately as I could, keeping the reader’s experience in mind.

About the Author

Abuse can we ignore it? Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Plunge into Darkness by Kristin N SpencerKristin N. Spencer spends part of each day imagining up new worlds and beings when she isn’t busy taking care of her three children and writing partner husband T. E. Spencer. When she’s not writing you can find her working in full time ministry, sewing cosplay costumes, or watching geekesque movies. She writes whatever genre she wants including but not limited to Non-Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Sci-Fi, Space Fantasy, and traditional Fantasy. Kristin studied Comparative World Literature at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelors, which she fondly calls a degree in reading. Her favorite movie is Sabrina (the Julia Ormond version) and her favorite person is Jesus.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, June 5

Rebekah’s Quill, June 6

Blogging With Carol, June 7

Multifarious, June 8

Bigreadersite, June 8

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 9

Two Points of Interest, June 10

Reading is my Super Power, June 10 (Interview)

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 11

Janices book reviews, June 11

proud to be an autism mom, June 12

Texas Book-aholic, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 13

Carpe Diem, June 14

Pause for Tales, June 15

Margaret Kazmierczak, June 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 17

For The Love of Books, June 18



To celebrate her tour, Kristin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card, ‘Plunge Into Darkness’ Paperback, Minimalism Art Classic Notebook Journal, and Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set (10 Pack)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!