Songs of the Season (2012) - A sci-fi Nativity story

Hi! A warm welcome to the Songs of the Season music hop, and thanks for dropping by. There are so many beautiful songs for this season, and we love them all, including this one - a quirky, sunny song that's a little bit seasonal, and a little bit sci-fi. 

Song: A Spaceman Came Travelling
Artist: Celtic Woman
Visit this artist: Celtic Woman
Find this song: A Spaceman Came Travelling
Songwriter: Chris de Burgh

Lyrics: A spaceman came travelling on his ship from afar
'Twas light years of time since his mission did start
And over a village he halted his craft
And it hung in the sky like a star, just like a star

He followed a light and came down to a shed
Where a mother and child were lying there on a bed
A bright light of silver shone round his head
And he had the face of an angel, and they were afraid

Then the stranger spoke, he said, 'Do not fear,
I come from a planet a long way from here,
And I bring a message for mankind to hear.'
And suddenly the sweetest music filled the air...
More lyrics for this song

About (via Wikipedia): Songwriter Chris De Burgh, who'd just signed his first recording contract with A&M Records, was broke and staying at a friend's flat when he read Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past by Erich von Däniken. 

The book made him think, 'what if the star of Bethlehem was a space craft and what if there is a benevolent being or entity in the universe keeping an eye on the world and our foolish things that we do to each other?'

He imagined 'the nativity scene, the thing hovering over and I could see the shepherds in the fields and this weird, ethereal music was drifting into the air and they were, "What the heck is that?"' But he 'had no ideas about trying to write a hit record.' The song failed to chart when it was first released as a single, but later gained in popularity as other artists recorded the song.

More places to visit: SCHEDULE

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About: Songs of the Season organized by @RandomMagicTour.

Songs of the Season (2012) - A frivolous mystery

Hi! A warm welcome to the Songs of the Season music hop, and thanks for dropping by. There are so many beautiful songs for this season, and we love them all. Just for fun, we've picked a song that's not a traditional carol; it's modern, but it's also a bit lighthearted and silly.

Song: Who Spiked the Eggnog?
Artist: Straight No Chaser
Visit this artist: Straight No Chaser

Lyrics: It was Christmas Eve
My friends were all in town
We were singing Christmas carols
As the snow was falling down

And I don't know for certain
how it happened, or who's to blame
But someone at that party
Ought to be ashamed

Tell me who, who spiked the eggnog?
I know the culprit's here.
Who, who brought the booze?
To the Christmas party this year...

Okay, folks - who spiked the eggnog?

Shown above: What's eggnog? Here's a traditional version from Cooking with Jack.
Please note that this version contains alcohol. See also: Food handling - Eggs.

More places to visit: SCHEDULE

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About: Songs of the Season organized by @RandomMagicTour.

Book Nooks (43)

Book Nooks 
*Every weekend* 
Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic
Show us something pretty!

This is the last post for this feature, which is scheduled to wrap in December 2012. 

Feel free to browse the archived picks, if you like, and thanks for joining us!

Commentary: Sometimes you just need a little bit of red around. Maybe for speed-reading. Zoom!

Location: Private residence, Lake Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Photographer: David Bader
Designer: José Carlino
Source: GMToday

Book Nooks (42)

Book Nooks 
*Every weekend* 
Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic
Show us something pretty!

Commentary: Well, this combination of colors will certainly wake you up enough to pay attention for a morning read. Zing!

Location: Not specified
Photographer: Not specified
Designer: Not specified
Source: Smoke and Ochre, original feature from Elle Deco Spain

[Contest has ended] Prize bundle, Video Week: RM (Dec.15-24)

Hi! Thanks for dropping by to enter to win the nice prize bundle for Video Week: Random Magic (Dec. 15-24, 2012).

UPDATE: Dec. 31, 2012 - Contest has wrapped, winner has been selected and notified. Thanks to everyone for playing, it was a fun tour!


Each vlogger will share their personal answer to a specific question, somewhere in their vlog(s). Just watch the tour vlogs, comment on the vlog, then collect each vlogger's pick. 

The question: If you could give or keep a gift of ONE thing from the world of Random Magic, what would it be?


Watch any video from this tour. Listen for each vlogger's answer on which gift they'd give or keep, from the world or Random Magic - they'll tell you about it somewhere in their video.

Leave a comment below his/her video.

Then just click over from their video page to enter the answer into the Rafflecopter. The Rafflecopter is shown below. It's totally okay to paraphrase the answer in your own words.

The Video Week: Random Magic prize bundle offer is international, and offer is good through December 31, 2012, midnight EST. Good luck to all!


Dec. 15 - TheeBookMonster 
Review | Mystery feature

Dec. 17 - BooksWithDylan 
Review | Mystery feature

Dec. 18 - AliciaReads
Review | Mystery feature

Dec. 20 - BibliophileSisters (Mallory)
Review | Mystery feature (N/A)

Dec. 21 - BooksForeverAfter
Review | Mystery feature (N/A)

Dec. 22 - OhYeahTavia
Review | Mystery feature (N/A)

Dec. 23 - GDCLA
Review | Mystery feature 

Dec. 24 - ReaderOfTheAwesome
Review | Mystery feature 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do I get if I win?: Everything! There won't be multiple prize packs, one winner takes all. If you'd like to know what the prize bundle is before you enter, feel free to browse below to see what you'd be receiving.

How do I do this?: Just visit the vloggers on this tour and keep a lookout for their Random Magic answers, which they'll share with you. Comment on their vlog, then come here to enter his or her answer about which gift they'd bring away from the world of Random Magic. Collect a few different answers and you might be the one who'll be receiving this nice prize bundle for book lovers.

How do I use Rafflecopter? What info do I need? Is it a hassle?: Nope, Rafflecopter is really easy to use. It's easy to enter all of your info into the Rafflecopter, you'll just need your name or nickname and an email address where you can be contacted, if you win. 

Someone has helpfully uploaded a quick walk-through about entering using Rafflecopter, and you're welcome to check that out below. To protect the individuals who are playing the game fair and square, we will verify each entry before the final draw is made. Invalid entries will be deleted. 

The contest is open to *all, international, and the offer is good through December 31, 2012, midnight, EST. Good luck to all! 
*Ineligible: Bloggers found to have 'no indies' review policy in effect at their blogs.

Prize bundle for Video Week: Random Magic

First edition copy of Random Magic, by Sasha Soren

About: When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes.

Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan.

Such as it is.

Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Strüths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse, to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.

Shown above: Book trailer for Random Magic

Shown above: Best Bits! (Summer tour). This video features a more in-depth look at the book, and includes dramatic readings, comedy skits, an online game, and other delightful things.

Shown above: Best Bits! (Autumn tour). This video also features a more in-depth look at the book, and includes comedy skits, original music, and other cool things.

Collectible plushie - Patchwork cat 

About: Gone, the imperious cat with, literally, nine lives, is an amusing character who winds his way through the story of Random Magic, vanishing and reappearing in the oddest places. 

Here we have a cute plushie that could very well be Gone having a little stretch and a peek into our world, for all we know. This little plushie is a collectible item - he's also ridiculously cute. 

Details: Beanie Baby, official name Kaleidoscope the Cat, retired March 20016.5 inches (16.51 centimeters) tall.

Shown above: Film trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass

DVD -  Alice Through the Looking Glass

About: Of course, Random Magic begins when absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

There've been many movie versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and a few of the sequel to that original adventure, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). 

This film version featuring actor Kate Beckinsale is one of the trippiest, most vivid and artistic versions of that story you'll ever see - and visually, it's a perfect match for the colorful and outlandish world of Random Magic.

Note: DVD only available for Region 1 (NTSC), although it should be playable on a region-free DVD player. Check your region

Plushie - Alice, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

About: Cute little plushie version of Alice, the main character from Lewis Carroll's classic upside-down tale, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Details: Alice thought she'd found just the place she was looking for, when she fell into Wonderland, but ended up wanting something a little less...mad. This enchanting Alice plush stands approximately seven inches  (17.78 centimeters) tall, and features the blond heroine in a signature blue and white dress. - Manufacturer description

Schedule: Video Week: 'Random Magic' (Dec. 15-24)

You are cordially invited to join us for an entertaining week of cool reviews and creative features from vloggers around the world. We're featuring the book Random Magic, by Sasha Soren. 

Schedule for Video Week: Random Magic
 Dec. 15-24, 2012

Dec. 15 - TheeBookMonster (Twitter: @LiddyParkinson)

Review, Random Magic
Vlogger: TheeBookMonster

Mystery feature
Vlogger: TheeBookMonster

Dec. 17 - BooksWithDylan (Twitter: @BooksWithDylan)

Review, Random Magic
Vlogger: BooksWithDylan

Mystery feature
Vlogger: BooksWithDylan

Dec. 18 - AliciaReads (Twitter: @AliciaReads)

Review, Random Magic
Vlogger: AliciaReads

Mystery feature
Vlogger: Alicia Reads

Dec. 19 - CharrAndTheBookshelf (Twitter: @CharrFrears)
Review | Mystery feature

Dec. 20 - BibliophileSisters - Mallory (Twitter: @MallxryFace)

Review, Random Magic
Vlogger: BibliophileSisters - Mallory

 Mystery feature

Dec. 21 - BooksForeverAfter (Twitter: @CraigMarsden2)

Review, Random Magic
 Vlogger: BooksForeverAfter
Mystery feature - N/A

Dec. 22 - OhYeahTavia (Twitter: @OhYeahTavia)

Review, Random Magic
Vlogger: OhYeahTavia

Mystery feature

Dec. 23 - GDCLA (Twitter: N/A)

Review, Random Magic
Vlogger: GDCLA

Mystery feature

Dec. 24 - ReaderOfTheAwesome (Twitter: @ReaderOfAwesome)
Review | Mystery feature

Shown above: Patchwork cat, part of prize bundle for this tour

Book Nooks (41)

Book Nooks 
*Every weekend* 
Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic
Show us something pretty!

Commentary: Quirky and subtly colorful sort of reading spot; it almost looks like a theater set or backstage lounge area, but quite welcoming for a reader, as well. The low-lying table can hold books, tray of tea or fruit, stacks of papers and notes. The divan looks comfortable, and the entire spot has sort of a sequestered feeling to it, as if it's a nice place to pass an hour or two browsing a new book.

Location: Private home, Pilsen, Chicago (U.S.)
Photographer: Not specified
Designer: Not specified

Book Nooks (40)

Book Nooks 
*Every weekend* 
Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic
Show us something pretty!

Commentary: Clearly a bookish cocoon for a leisurely rainy day, when the primary objective is to sprawl comfortably and just read for hours. The stacks of hardcovers serve almost like makeshift tables, the couch looks sturdy but comfy, with plenty of pillows in soft materials. A bit boho, cluttered and casual. The forecast calls for rain? Well, then!

Location: Not specified
Photographer: Not specified
Designer: Not specified

Songs of the Season (Dec. 10-25) - 2012

Songs of the Season
Event production by
Random Magic Tour
Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Dec. 10-25, 2012

Join us for a virtual round of caroling, with Songs of the Season, a fun and quirky music hop. Discover new and wonderful songs each day of the hop, handpicked by great bloggers and vloggers - plus lots of other cool things to browse.

Dec. 10

Dec. 11

Dec. 14

Book Nooks (39)

Book Nooks 
*Every weekend* 
Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic
Show us something pretty!

Commentary: What's nice about this is that either way, a book lover is covered - there's either the comfy couch or the divan close by, for reading at night, then there's a cute little set of chairs on the balcony for some morning browsing. 

Lots of light, colorful and cheery, not too cluttered, and even that rug looks comfy for a lazy reader who can't be bothered to choose from between three great choices, but decides instead to just sprawl on the floor, flipping through a huge coffee table book.

Location: Not specified
Photographer: Mark Bolton

A Rather Lovely Soirée for Talk like Jane Austen Day (Oct. 30) - Jane Austen for gamers

A Rather Lovely Soirée
Talk like Jane Austen Day
Event production by
Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Oct. 30, 2012

Welcome, dear guests! You've arrived at a rather lovely soirée in honor of Talk like Jane Austen Day. Talk like Jane Austen Day is an annual event, marking the anniversary of the first printing of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Austen's first published novel. 

In honor of the day, we've assembled a delightful collection of interesting features on all things Jane Austen and her times. Feel free to stop in at any blog below to enjoy something interesting, and to leave your calling card (link to your blog) in the comments section of any blog, if you've particularly enjoyed your visit.

Just browse below for a delightful Austen-related tidbit offered to you by the co-hosts of A Rather Lovely Soirée for Talk like Jane Austen Day. Here is Random Magic Tour's Austen-related treat for you - a free-to-play online game featuring Jane Austen characters, providing you with an hour or so of pleasant diversion.

Shown above: Preview trailer for Rogues and Romance, a hidden objects game set in the world of Austen. Commissioned and provided gratis for online play by BBC Worldwide, and developed by Legacy Games. 

Game description (via Legacy Games): Join the original social networker, Jane Austen, and her beloved characters, in this free-to-play Facebook game set in Regency England. Explore scenes from Jane Austen's novels to find clues and hidden objects, entertain your guests and potential suitors, and decorate your manor in any way you please.  

Alternate treat: As a courtesy, the following alternate treat is provided for visitors who are not on Facebook.

Shown above: Enjoy a quick video welcome to the Jane Austen's House Museum. For a virtual tour, feel free to click here.

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Bookie Brunch: Trick or Treat! (Oct. 23-31) - 'Dracula'

Welcome to Bookie Brunch: Trick or Treat!
The revels have begun...
Oct. 23-31

Welcome to Bookie Brunch: Trick or Treat! The first blog hop was a Bookie Brunch special event for Halloween, and it was a lot of fun, so we're just continuing the tradition.

On each blog stop from now through Halloween, a blogger or vlogger will have a handpicked Halloween treat to share with you - it might be a video clip, or a feature about great spooky films, a playlist of great, creepy songs, a recipe for treats, or a gallery of witches.

It might be anything! But it's sure to be something fun, so feel free to drop by each day from October 23-31, to pick up some cute treats to put you in the Halloween mood. All the treats will be added into the linky at the end of this post, so feel free to browse.

Just click on any of badges at the end of the post, to find a new treat! There'll be some fun new things to enjoy every day, all week (Oct. 23-31).

Here's a treat from Random Magic Tour - The Coven

The treat: Dim the lights and turn up the speakers as you enjoy a theatrical reading of that spookiest of creepy tales, Dracula.

Notes (via Librivox): Bram Stoker did not invent the vampire story, but he popularized it with his classic 1897 novel. In form, Dracula is an epistolary novel, told through a series of journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and telegrams. 

It begins with lawyer Jonathan Harker's perilous journey to Castle Dracula in Transylvania, and chronicles the vampire's invasion of England, where he preys upon the lovely Lucy Westenra. Summary by Elizabeth Klett, artwork shown above courtesy of TheCount68. Technical details: 18:02:32, MP3 format, free download, streamable. Alternate audio book version is available here.


About Bookie Brunch: Bookie Brunch was a weekly book discussion founded by Sasha Soren, the author of Random Magic. Browse archive

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A Fanciful Twist's Halloween party 2012 (Oct. 27)

Hi! Thanks for stopping by for Random Magic Tour's treat for A Fanciful Twist's Halloween party. For this stop, we're sharing a classic movie treat. So, dim the lights and pull out some popcorn, and treat yourself to a romantic, scary movie - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Shown above: Preview the trailer for this film

About (Via IMDB): When Victor Frankenstein rejects the artificial man he just created, the monster escapes and later swears bitter revenge on his creator.

Shown above: Mary Shelley, circa 1840. Artist was Richard Rothwell.

The novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, was written by novelist Mary Shelley. The first edition of her novel was published anonymously in London, England, in 1818, and the story of Frankenstein and his pitiable creature have since been adapted into dozens of movie versions.

As a Halloween treat, we present the 1994 film version of this Gothic classic, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, courtesy of broadcaster Crackle. This film is recommended for mature audiences only. Running time: 2:03:12, rated R, age verification will be requested before streaming begins.

Crackle's summary of the film: In the most famous horror story of all time, young Victor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh, who also directed) leaves Geneva for the university, leaving behind his adopted sister Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), with whom he is wildly in love.

Inspired by the sinister Professor Waldman (John Cleese), Victor becomes obsessed and reclusive as he experiments with the possibilities of man-made creation. But one night, as his creature (Robert De Niro) struggles to life, Victor realizes too late the full horror of what he has done, and vainly tries to destroy his abominable creation.

Believing the creature has perished of cholera, Victor returns home and makes plans for his marriage. Alone, despised and driven by a rage born of emotional agony, the creature sets off to find his maker, and so begins the nightmare that will engulf Victor Frankenstein and all those he loves. In this suspenseful horror tale, film legend Robert DeNiro brings a frightening realism to his portrayal of the tragic creature created, then abandoned, by Victor Frankenstein. 

If you can't get enough Halloween events to suit you, or you're just on the lookout for more interesting events this month, you might also enjoy...

CLICK to find some treats

CLICK to find some Austenian treats

CLICK for the schedule and goodies info

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Offer valid from Oct. 21 through Nov. 21, 2012)

Shown above: Oscar Wilde action figure, part of cute prize bundle listed above. Feel free to click above to browse and enter if this tickles your fancy, and have fun...

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Halloween!