Mark Your Calendar: Vegas Baby

From Academy Award® Nominated Director Amanda Micheli
and Executive Produced by Morgan Spurlock

Examines the Emotional and Financial Gamble of Infertility

National Television Broadcast Premiere
June 27, 2017
8 p.m.
on PBS World Channel's AMERICA REFRAMED 



While exposing private pain online to win a contest is a brutal proposition, IVF is rarely covered by insurance, so many infertile couples consider this a gamble worth taking. Within the exploding world of reproductive medicine, the US is the most expensive and least regulated country in the world. VEGAS BABY navigates the complexities of America's burgeoning fertility industry and paints an intimate portrait of the diverse individuals from a devoutly Catholic Latino couple in Texas to a lesbian Lady Gaga Impersonator in New York determined to have a baby against all odds. 

Despite the fact that 1 in 6 couples worldwide struggle with infertility, for fear of judgment or heartache or both, would-be parents tend to keep their infertility stories secret. VEGAS BABY breaks the silence around this often misunderstood medical and social issue, and through her intimate lens, Micheli explores universal themes of desire and loss. 

Visit for more info 

VC Andrew's Bittersweet Dreams Giveaway + Prequel's E-Novellas Reviews

 The four Girls of Spindrift e-novellas together form a prequel for Bittersweet Dreams—available now!

V.C. Andrews®, the legendary New York Times bestselling author of Flowers in the Attic and My Sweet Audrina, delights readers Book One of theGirls of Spindrift, CORLISS (Pocket Star EBook; June 12, 2017; $1.99). Here begins a haunting new series featuring highly intelligent teenage girls who struggle to survive a specialized high school and find their place in a world that doesn’t understand them. Such is the burden of being brilliant.


Corliss is not like the other girls at her Los Angeles high school. Incredibly intelligent, shy, and a loner, she has difficultly in fitting in. What’s worse, a clique of girls is out to get her because she’s not down with their games.

On the night of a school party, her refusal to take drugs with the girls leads them to take matters into their own hands—spiking her drink. Quickly, Corliss’s entire life is turned upside down and no one—not even the handsome valedictorian who had agreed to go out with her—looks at her the same way. Just when she’s wondering if she’ll be able to return to her high school, someone mentions a new place: Spindrift. Could that be her way out?

About DONNA:

The second book in The Girls of Spindrift series is DONNA (Pocket Star EBook; August 14, 2017; $1.99). Being gifted is not something Donna ever wanted. It’s difficult enough to have a Latino father and Irish mother, and her genius only separates her even more from the other girls. They don’t say it, but they blame her for everything that goes wrong, just because she’s different.
And on the precise day she tries her hardest to fit in, everything turns out a disaster. A fight breaks out, and somehow Donna ends up in the middle. It’s not her fault, but it’s her word against theirs, and this time, the other girls aren’t going to stay quiet. The only solution might be to escape to the mysterious school her counselor is telling her about: Spindrift.

The 411:

These two novellas are perfect. Just enough to give you a taste so you are ready for Bittersweet Dreams that brings together the girls of Spindrift. 

Corliss is a smart girl. She is smarter than anyone else and it causes her grief. There were great parts of the book like her she deals with the people in her life and the bullying that follows her. I loved her revenge plot and how it really didn't hurt anyone. I didn't like how at times things felt rushed (it is only 80 pages) and for a smart girl I felt she didn't protect herself which left her vulnerable to pathetic bulllies!

Donna is also a "gifted girl" and is kept apart from the other students at her school taking class in a completely separate area from the rest.  She finally finds some normalcy when she is asked out by Greg. Unfortunately for them, their first date ends up in a hospital stay and a permanent disability for Greg.  Donna is also given the opportunity to attend Spindrift where she meets Coraliss. LOVED this.  

I am excited to see what is really going on at Spindrift. I feel that there is some set up and these very "gifted" young woman will be used for evil. I am excited to read Bittersweet Dreams and hope to start it this weekend. One lucky reader will win a copy of V.C. Andrew's Bittersweet Dreams.

In Bittersweet Dreams: 

Mayfair Cummings is young, beautiful, and brilliant. But her intelligence makes her the outcast of both the private school she attends and the broken family she hopes to salvage. When she catches the eye of both a popular senior and her handsome English teacher, not even her brilliant mind can help her navigate the explosive new relationships she is forming, or a scandal that is brewing…


One lucky reader will win a copy of Bittersweet Dreams
The giveaway is open US Only, ages 18+
The giveaway ends 7/7

About the author:
V.C. Andrews® has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of her classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began her renowned Dollanganger family saga, which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than seventy novels in V.C. Andrews’s bestselling series. V.C. Andrews’s novels have sold more than 106 million copies.

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered or received.  I did receive books for my honest opinion.  All opinions are my own.

Paw Pods Make It Easier to Say Goodbye to a Beloved Pet

Paw Pods are bio-degradable pods allowing owners to bury their pets at home with a dignified, beautiful memorial. The pods can be decorated with paints, markers or stickers giving children and adults a way to express their grief in an expressive and therapeutic form. A seeded leaf of perennial flowers is included with every pod. Its annual blooms create a living memorial to a treasured friend.

Paw Pods recognizes that beyond the unconditional, pure loyal love and joy pets give us, their carbon footprint on our planet is next to none, so their afterlife should follow suit. All pods and urns are eco-friendly and made of bamboo powder, rice husk, and corn starch, designed to respectively degrade in 3-5 years after being introduced to the environment.  Additionally, pet owners sometimes mistakenly flush what they believe is a dead fish down the toilet, when it’s in fact, very much alive. Those fish often wind up in lakes and rivers where they can introduce diseases to native fish and water sources. Paw Pods’ Fish Pod offers a safer way to lay pet fish to rest.

Paw Pods are extremely affordable, ranging in price from $9.99 to $149.99, a fraction of what traditional pet caskets cost.

Paw Pods Come in a Variety of Sizes:
Fish Pod – The loss of a fish may be a child’s first experience with death. These small fish shaped pods can help them avoid the trauma of seeing a pet flushed down the toilet. This also may serve as an important teaching tool for parents, death can be very difficult to explain, let alone comprehend for young children, make them a part of the process.


Medium-Sized Pod – Accommodates medium-sized pets including rabbits, cats and smaller dogs. This size pod is the most commonly used.
Additional Sizes - They love all animals, from a tiny hermit crab to a majestic Great Dane,  Paw Pods offers sizes for almost all pets.

Heart Shaped Urn – When burial space is limited or cremation is preferred, the heart shaped urn is a lovely option and can also be used as a display. 

Anyone that has ever owned a pet, sought out on that adventure for companionship, to expand their homes and to open their hearts, find solace in knowing you are reciprocating that unequivocal love and friendship.  

A bit about Paw Pods – Paw Pods is a company of pet owners and pet lovers dedicated to helping other pet owners navigate the painful experience of losing a treasured animal friend. It was started as a way to help its founder deal with his own grief after losing two of his cherished dogs and being severely disappointed in the way in which they were returned to him.  

You may not need them right now; but they want to be there when you do. Visit for more information

4 Overlooked Tips To Keep People Reading Your Mom Blog

Totally being myself today

Starting a mom blog is one thing, but sustaining reader interest in that blog and growing your name recognition is something else entirely.

Maybe you’ve already started a mom blog and have been rather successful at it, but aren’t yet quite at the heights that you had envisioned for yourself. Fortunately, there are many tips and strategies you can utilize to keep people reading your blog and even gain new readers, and we’re going to discuss the most overlooked of this tips in this article.

Here are top four overlooked tips to keep people reading your mom blog:

1. Be Yourself

The number one overlooked tip when it comes to blogging is to just be yourself. To stand out from your competition, you have to be a unique voice, and the only way you can accomplish this is if you write just like how you would speak in a conversation. Not only will people enjoy your posts more, but they’ll be able to identify you just by reading your content.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk About Serious Subjects

While your blog is meant to be fun, you also shouldn’t shy away from serious or even controversial subjects such as financial hardships, taking care of children with special needs, or kicking addictions. You can talk about the major brands of smoking products such as Marlboro or Vape Wild and discuss tips moms can use to ensure their children don’t use those products until they are old enough to make their own choices.

3. Get To Know Your Readers

Just as your readers will get to know you through your unique voice, so should you try and get to know them. Don’t treat your readers as a demographic or an audience. Treat them as actual people.

The good news is there are a variety of ways you can get to know your readers, such as responding to questions and compliments on the comments section of your posts, hosting live stream Q&A’s and directly answering questions, or sending personalized messages to your email subscribers.

4. Stay Organized and Focused

Something that every successful blogger in the world shares in common, regardless of the niche they are in, is they are organized and discipline themselves to write posts regularly.

At the beginning of each month, pull out a calendar and write down the topics of posts you will write on the day you plan to write it. Rather than choose random days, set a specific schedule, such as writing a new post every week, every Monday and Friday, or whatever suits you. This will not only make you more organized in your blogging efforts, it will make you more focused as well.

Running A Successful Mom Blog

Running a successful mom blog requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s perfectly possible to sustain a high level of reader interest in your blog over the long term by utilizing each of the tips we have just gone over.

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Dear Readers: At this time all giveaways on Maria's Space are for the United States unless otherwise noted.