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

Virtual Advent (2012) - Joyful sounds of the season


Thanks for stopping by for the Virtual Advent tour (Dec. 1-24, 2012). Music is a big part of the season, so we thought it could be fun to feature some songs you might be familiar with, but in a way you might not have heard them.

So, the songs below are ones without an orchestral backing; they're sung without music, or a cappella, by people either harmonizing with their fellow singers, or singing all the parts themselves and using technology to blend the mix together.

We hope you enjoy hearing some familiar songs in a slightly different way, and hopefully some of these songs even inspire you to find the voice inside you.

Song: Petit Papa Noël
Artist: Julien Neel (solo performer, digital a cappella)
Visit this artist: Julien Neel a.k.a. Trudbol
Twitter: @Trudbol

Lyrics: C'est la belle nuit de Noël
La neige étend son manteau blanc
Et les yeux levés vers le ciel...

It's a beautiful Christmas night
Snow spreads its white coat
And eyes lift toward the sky...

About (via Wikipedia): Petit Papa Noël is a 1946 song recorded by French singer Tino Rossi. Written by Raymond Vincy and Henri Martinet, this Christmas song was originally performed by Rossi in Richard Pottier's film Destins.

Song: Do You Hear What I Hear?
Artist: Eclipse
Visit this artist: Eclipse
Twitter: @EclipseSingers

Lyrics: Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light...

About (via Wikipedia): Noël Regney wrote the lyrics for the song, while Gloria Shayne composed the music in October 1962. This was an unusual arrangement for the two writers. Usually it was Shayne who wrote the lyrics for their songs while Regney composed the music.

Regney was inspired to write the lyrics, 'Said the night wind to the little lamb, "Do you see what I see?"' and 'Pray for peace, people everywhere,' after watching babies being pushed in strollers on the sidewalks of New York City.

Shayne stated in an interview years later that neither could personally perform the entire song at the time they wrote it because of the emotions surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis, saying, 'Our little song broke us up. You must realize there was a threat of nuclear war at the time.'

Song: Carol of the Bells
Artist: Pentatonix
Visit this artist: Pentatonix
Twitter: @PTXofficial

Lyrics: Hark how the bells / Sweet silver bells
All seem to say / Throw cares away
Christmas is here / Bringing good cheer
To young and old / Meek and the bold...

On, on they send  / On without end
Their joyful tone to every home
Hark! Hark! Hark!

About (via Wikipedia): Carol of the Bells is a popular carol, composed by Mykola Leontovych, with lyrics created Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on a folk chant known in Ukrainian as 'Shchedryk.' Wilhousky's lyrics and the English name are copyrighted, although the original musical composition is not.

If you find a favorite in the song picks, feel free to let us know in the comments, why a particular song particularly appealed to you. And if you happen to know of any interesting renditions of songs that we might not have included, do feel free to also leave a link or title along with your comment, so that we can all check it out.

Anyone visiting from the Virtual Advent tour is most welcome to leave their souvenir badge in the linky below. 

Thanks for stopping by, and have fun visiting all the interesting posts assembled for the event, thanks to hard work and dedication of the organizers, Kelly and Marg. Always fun, guys, thanks for putting together a bang-up event every year, one of the highlights of the winter season.


About: Eclipse is making their a cappella version of O Holy Night available for free download from December 1- 25, 2012. Just click here to go to the download page. 


Shown above: Feel free to join us for a virtual round of caroling, as bloggers around the world share their favorite songs of the season. Organized by Random Magic Tour. Have fun!

Listen to some music: SCHEDULE

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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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