Free or Low Cost TV Options: Video Streaming

Want to cut the cable? Part 2 of Free or Low Cost TV Options. Today, I'm talking about Video Streaming options.

There are a great many streaming options and websites that offer free television viewing. You can find them by doing a search with your favorite search engine. Google is my fave.

Just be cautious about the sites. If you have a good malware and/or bad site blocker on your computer, like Vipre which I use, it will stop you from entering a website that is dangerous. If you find a site listing, and you wonder if it's okay to venture onto it, just enter this in Google or another search engine: Is NAME OF SITE a bad site or dangerous site? Or something similar that will give you the information you're looking for.

Streaming Video Resources


Wow. I love YouTube. They have some amazingly good amateur videos and those that may be amateur but they're professional in their content.

YouTube offers videos uploaded by registered users. My channel is JoanReevesAuthor. Even some of my videos have been named "Must See Book Trailers" by USAToday.

You'll find amazing video content like webcasts from my friend Tom Townsend whose Military Motor Pool is a great show. Whatever you're interested in, you'll find a video that covers it.

YouTube also offers movies and other long content. How to find it? In the YouTube search box, enter free full-length movies or something similar. When you find a Channel you especially like, subscribe to that channel to receive notices of new uploads.

YouTube polices the uploaded content vigorously for copyright infringement so if a video makes it onto YouTube, it's legit.

Amazon Prime



Internet TV Webcasts

The Internet is the future of TV broadcasting. Even Comcast, the cable giant, knows this. They're offering a bundled TV package via Internet on 7 college campuses. they know that young people are more apt to watch broadcasts on their tablets and cell phones so they're grooming that market early.

There is much that falls into this category. Broadcast shows on the Internet are called webcasts. Well-known actors are producing their own work and broadcasting it via the Internet. Surely you've heard of Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. (You'll also find well-known actors in YouTube videos they've made and uploaded. I'm talking Oscar winners here.)

Here's a sampling of resources to get you started.

Streema offers radio and TV all over the world. Browse by country, genre, and scroll through the offerings. Click to watch the video you find.

wwiTV, that's World Wide Internet TV, an independent guide to streaming media available on the web. The link I provided is to the webscasts in the U.S. Scroll down the list and you'll find Christian, foreign language webcasts, and C-Span for those who have cable and are addicted to that network.

World Wide Internet TV doesn't provide the streaming content. They just list the webcasts available to enable users of personal computers and other consumer electronic devices to easily find and access the media content over the Internet.

Crackle is a user friendly webpage with excellent information and instructions.

TV Web 360 offers varied programming. Their menu is in the left sidebar. Browse by subject matter.

Free TV offers webcasts from all over the world. Mouse over AMERICA then click United States that appears below that. Scroll through the offerings.

How To Get Started

1. Go to the website and take a quick look around to see if they have content that interests you and also a page that shows what supported devices can be used for the content. If you like what you see, take the next step.

2. On the signup page, you should be able to click to read the Terms of Service. Do this so you know how they will use the information you register. In most cases, they will embed a cookie of course, use your information to make sure you don't get content that may be denied by your country of residence, send you notices of new content, and use your info however they can to monetize their site. That's pretty standard, but read the TofS to make sure you're not allowing them something else. Also, in the TofS, the way to opt-out of targeted ads to you is usually spelled out in there. If that's okay, then proceed.

3. Register your free account. Make a note of your registration details so you'll remember them.

4. If you need to download any app for a mobile device or register your Smart TV, go back to the supported devices page and follow the instructions. That's it.

Takeaway Truth

If you're so inclined, cut the cable and join the youth of the world who watch TV via the Internet.

Labor Day Quotes: Profound, Serious, Whimsical, Funny

In honor Labor Day, I have 3 quotes for you today.

Profound & Serious

"Labor was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased." ~ Adam Smith

Profound & Whimsical

"Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow." ~ Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You


"If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend." ~ Doug Larson

Takeaway Truth

Happy Labor Day, all you who labor.

What Makes You Happy?

In 1938, Harvard began a research study that followed 268 male undergraduate students. This study became the longest-running longitudinal study of human development in history.

George Vaillant, MD, who headed the study for more than 30 years, published the study's findings in his book Triumphs of Experience, The Men of the Harvard Grant Study

If you don't wish to read the book, you can read more about the study at this Huff Post. The results can all be summed up very simply: Happiness is love.

After 75 years and 20 million dollars, the study found that love was the answer for men. I think it's safe to say that love is also the answer for women. We're all on this planet looking for love, trying to connect in an elemental way with one special person.

No wonder Romance Novels are so popular. Yes, men read them too, but they may not admit it.

Takeaway Truth

Viva la romance!

Review: I Know That Voice

If you've ever watched an animated program in your life, you must see I Know That Voice. (The link takes you to the webpage where you can rent it, buy it, or just video stream it.)

This documentary was one of many videos I watched with Amazon Prime Video Streaming while recovering from my little bit of surgery. I Know That Voice was absolutely delightful.

Although I was a big audiobook fan, I never really thought about the skill and talent required for voice over work until my novels started being produced as audiobooks.

I've worked with some amazing voice talents like Holly Adams, Nicole Colburn, Felicia Greenfield, Leah Frederick, Christine Padovan, and Robin Kohn Glazer. (You can find my audibooks on and iTunes. Just do a search for my name.)

With my consciousness raised, I was particularly interested in watching I Know That Voice. I wasn't disappointed.

Starring A Cast of 1,000 Voices

John DiMaggio, the voice of Futurama, served as Executive Producer with Director Lawrence Shapiro and Producer Tommy Reid. They introduce you to the people behind the well-known voices and guide you through the fascinating world of voice acting.

The documentary is entertaining to the max when you see these ordinary looking people speaking in the voices we've come to know and love in cartoons, animated movies, and video games. Also interviewed are voice agents, casting directors, and producers. All the voice actors featured seem to be one big family with all of them knowing, liking, and admiring each other.

When these actors attend Comic Con's , they're treated like the amazing talents they are. Watching this made me more determined than ever to find the time to attend a Comic Con which has been on my goal list for a few years now.

I want to list some of these amazing actors in I Know That Voice and give a few of their credits that will probably be known by most readers even if you're not into video games, anime, or current cartoon shows. There are so many awesome actors in this documentary that I'm afraid I may leave some out even though I tried to take notes as I watched.

Hank Azaria (multiple Simpson voices)

Diedrich Bader (Tank, Batman, KungFu Panda, Green Lantern)

Gregg Berger (Garfield, Transformers, and more)

Noel Blanc (Mel Blanc's son who now voices Bugs and the other characters)

Steve Blum (lots of video game roles and English dubs of anime, Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop, Marvel's Wolverine, and Starscream in Transformers: Prime)

Clancy Brown (Green Lantern, Transformers, Superman, Sponge Bob)

Corey Burton (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, various Disney and Cartoon Network productions)

Nancy Cartwright (best known for the smart ass voice of Bart Simpson)

Kevin Conroy (best know for the voice of Batman for 20 years)

Jim Cummings (Animaniacs, Winnie the Pooh, the Lion King, etc.)

Grey DeLisle (Fairly Odd Parents, Scooby-Doo)

Bill Farmer (the voice of Goofy since 1986)

June Foray (Granny and Witch Hazel on Looney Tunes, Rocky as well as Natasha on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. June is in her 90's and still working. She won her first Emmy at 95.)

Mark Hamill (the original Luke Skywalker is a veteran voice actor. He is The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, as well as the spin-offs, The Hobgoblin in Spiderman: The Animated Series, Solomon Grundy and the Trickster from Justice League, Firelord Ozai on Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Skeleton King on Super Robot Monkey, and more)

Tom Kane (Powerpuff Girls, Monkey Fist from Kim Possible, Yoda from The Clone Wars, X-Men, Takeo in Call of Duty: World at War and Black Ops)

David Kaye (Megatron, Optimus Prime, and others)

Josh Keaton (Spiderman in Spectacular Spider-man series, Jack Darby in Transformers: Prime, Green Lantern: The Animated Series)

Tom Kenny (Spyro, Adventure Time Super Robot Monkey, and more)

Maurice LaMarche (Chief Quimby from Inspector Gadget, Egon Spengler from The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters, The Brain from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, Calculon on Futurama)

Phil LaMarr (Green Lantern, Samurai Jack, Vamp in Metal Gear Solid 2, Hermes Conrad on Futurama, Ollie Williams and various on Family Guy and more)

Rachael MacFarlane (Hayley Smith on American Dad and various other characters on Family Guy)

Jason Marsden (Tino on The Weekenders, Gear on Static Shock, Red Star and Billy Numerous on Teen Titans and Chase Young on Xiaolin Showdown among others)

Laraine Newman (of the original SNL cast has voiced many characters for many shows such as Rugrats, The Flintstones, Avatar: The Last Airbender, WALL-E, Battle for Terra, Cars, Up!, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Barnyard, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Happily N'Ever After, Horton Hears a Who!, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, and Wreck-It Ralph, and more)

Daran Norris (Vincent Volaju in Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Fairly OddParents, The Chief on T.U.F.F. Puppy)

Nolan North (Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series)

Colleen O'Shaughnessey (Sora Takenouchi in Digimon, Wasp in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes)

Gary Owens (of Laugh-In fame also voiced Roger Ramjet, Space Ghost, Powdered Toast Man in Ren and Stimpy, and Blue Falcon in Dynomutt, Dog Wonder)

Rob Paulsen (Raphael from the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Antoine from the 1993 Sonic the Hedgehog, Yakko from Animaniacs, Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, Carl in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius)

Marian Ross, (veteran actress who is now Sponge Bob's grandmother)

Tara Strong (Hello Kitty, Ghostbusters, Dil Pickles from Rugrats, Timmy Turner and Poof from The Fairly OddParents, Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as Twilight Sparkle)

Billy West (the original voice of Stimpy, later was Ren of Ren and Stimpy, Philip J. Fry and others from Futurama, current voice of several Looney Tunes characters and Woody Woodpecker)

Takeaway Truth

I highly recommend this documentary for its entertainment value as well as the education you'll received from it. It's a part of pop culture that we all need to recognize and respect.

Thursday3Some: For the Love of Parvati by Susan Oleksiw

Please welcome Susan Oleksiw, author of the Anita Ray Mystery series, which is set in South India. So far, the series includes 3 novels and over a dozen short stories. It's exciting to find a mystery series set in exotic locales.

Susan also writes the Mellingham Series featuring Chief of Police Joe Silva, set in a small coastal town in New England. 

Find Susan Oleksiw Online

Amazon Author Page:

About For the Love of Parvati

Anita and her Auntie Meena travel to a family estate in central Kerala during the monsoon to visit relatives. When they arrive they find the family in disarray, and a new maidservant who is clearly frightened of something. In addition, an old family servant has disappeared after telling the family he was going on pilgrimage, and during a break in the rains, Anita finds a body swept down the river with unusual wounds.

When did you write For the Love of Parvati?

I started working on this formally in January 2011, but I began thinking about the book much earlier, probably one or two years before I started roughing out the idea. I'm a slow writer, so even though I expect to create a draft in three or four months, I know it will be several months after that before I have something good enough to show an editor. Once I begin writing a novel, however, I stick with it, writing every day no matter what. I may be working on other things, such as a blog post, book review, or short story, but I work on the novel daily until I have a complete draft.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

I visit India every year, partly because I love the country and partly to visit friends. Several years ago I was chatting with a fellow writer who is quite well known in Kerala, and writes novels in Malayalam, the local language. She has written stories in English and had one novel translated into English (Children of God, by Sarah Thomas). She prefers themes of social significance, and she was talking about her newest idea, a woman who escapes the civil war in Sri Lanka and makes her way to Kerala, where she finds work as a maidservant. She had spoken with the woman by phone, and the story had started to take shape. But about then her husband died, and she put aside her.

The idea stayed with me, and I was looking forward to seeing what she did with it. We talked a year or so later, and she said she wasn't going to write the story. She was painting now, and not writing. I asked if she'd mind if I took the story idea, so I have used it as the basis for the series of crimes in For the Love of Parvati. This is one of the very few times when I've taken on an idea I got from someone else.

I think the idea appealed to me because the Sri Lanka woman was an illegal alien with all the fears of her position that we find with the same group in the US. India is home to several communities of refugees, and they face the same fears as our immigrants face here.

Why do readers buy For the Love of Parvati?

If you want to get away from your own life and world, and immerse yourself in a different culture, the Anita Ray series will take you there. A lot more people know about India, have traveled there, or have friends from that country. The interest in other Asian countries is growing, and one of the best ways to explore another country is through stories.

I am told also that people love the relationship between Anita and her Auntie Meena. Anita is a very independent young woman photographer who has struck out on her own, to the dismay of her traditional extended family. Auntie Meena, Anita's mother's younger sister, is determined to bring her back into the fold by finding a suitable husband for her. Anita will have none of this, but that doesn't stop Meena.

Buy Links

For The Love Of Parvati (Hardcover from Amazon)

For the Love of Parvati (Kindle Edition)

Last Call for Justice (A Mellingham Mystery Book 6) Kindle Edition

Takeaway Truth

A little vacation can always be found between the covers of a book. Buy one today.

Meet Author & Photographer Mickie Sherwood

Mickie Sherwood, author and a novice photographer, dropped by SlingWords this morning.

Meet Mickie Sherwood

Mickie, author of Cherished Moments, uses her backyard as the backdrop for her inspiration, Mickie loves taking pictures of nature. Her love of photography incites her creativity for writing. Spending time with her family and cruise vacations, also stokes her imagination. With all of her interests combined, fascinating characters and intriguing circumstances can develop.

Mickie also enjoys a good laugh. Revel in the humorous stories she shares about life, at her blog, Mickie's Mutterings.

Find Mickie Sherwood Online

Blog, Mickie's Mutterings:
Blog, Blurbs in Bloom:

Mickie Sherwood and the Dirty Dozen
In which genre do you write and why that particular genre?

My chosen genre is mainstream contemporary romance. I love this genre because I love sappy romantic stories.

What's your most recent book and what's it about?

My newest novel is a sweet romantic suspense entitled Cherished Moments. Senator Jordan Dupré is reluctant to revisit her past. That thought crumbles at the sight of Deacon Burke. His commanding presence and charming smile transports her back to her youth. Back then, she kissed, loved, lied, and left him—taking a life-changing secret with her.

Scorned by Jordan’s dishonesty, Deke swears he never wants to see her lying face again. However, his heart knows better, and he never stops thinking of her. When Jordan’s husband is killed, Deke is summoned to the Senator’s aid, by an unlikely source—Unfortunately, he brings a secret of his own.

Will secrets from their past reignite their cherished moments?

As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?

Readers can expect characters with flair. My characters are compassionate people who aren't afraid to show a vulnerable side during challenging circumstances. However, love for each other and the strength of their convictions help them overcome the obstacles in their way.

How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book."

Exactly, Joan. An avid reader, the characters in novels I select have to appeal to me. I love a touchy-feely romance. Throw in life's chaos and you have the right mix. After enjoying many novels like that, I decided, in 2009, to create my own.

What's the best thing about being an author?

The best thing about being a author is when that idea strikes and my creative juices flow.

What's the worst thing about being an author?

The worst thing about being a writer is when, you probably guessed, an idea strikes but my creative juices seem dried up. What a dilemma.

Do you have editions of your books available other than ebook editions?

Yes, I do. Cutie and the Cowboy Trucker is also available in print.

Do you listen to audio books? If so, what device do you use?

Although that is on my list, I haven't listened to an audio book, yet.

What device do you use to read ebooks?

I prefer my laptop with the 17-inch screen.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

It's okay to emulate your favorite authors. But, strive to find your own writing voice.

If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?

Here's what I would tell readers. If you're like me and love touchy-feely, sweet-to-sensual mainstream romances, then you'll love my novels.

What is your big dream (or goal) as a writer?

I have decided that one of my goals is to get the "Colbert Bump". Are you listening, Stephen Colbert?

Buy Cherished Moments by Mickie Sherwood

All Romance eBooks

Amazon Kindle Edition

Nook Edition

Topaz Publishing

Takeaway Truth

Thanks for the showcase today, Joan. It was a pleasure visiting with you, Mickie. Readers, have you bought your book for the weekend yet? Click a link and grab a book.

Make 5 Promise Rules

Do you remember the golden oldie, Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep? I think that is good advice.

What's your policy on promises? Mine is exactly the same as the song title. I don't make promises I can't keep. That's how I live my life.

If I say I'm going to do something, then I try my very best to do it. This helps me sleep well at night, but sometimes it also makes me really, really tired. Why? Because I often over-commit when it comes to friends, family, and career.

Dealing With Promise Breakers

Often it seems that others I interact with don't understand that simple principle. I've been doing a lot of grumbling to darling hubby because of all those who blow off commitments. Sure would make life easier sometimes if I just blew them off the next time they ask me for a favor.

If you find yourself failing to meet your commitments, here are 5 rules you might want to incorporate into your life.

5 Promise Rules

1. Don't make a promise if you can't, won't, or don't intend to keep it.

2. Learn to say no. That's a biggie. If you blithely agree to everything asked of you, knowing you don't plan to follow through, stop it. That drives people crazy. So just say no instead.

3. When you make a commitment, also make a plan to keep it. Write it down so you won't forget. Then mark a date at least 2 weeks ahead of time so you have plenty of time to follow through. Make a day planner your best tool.

4. Treat all commitments as contracts. If you create deadlines or contracts in business, follow through or renegotiate. An agreement to guest blog should be treated with as much respect as a contract to publish a book. It also applies to showing up for meetings on time and everything else under the sun that in which you interact with others.

5. If you can't keep your promise, contact the person you promised immediately. Let them know you can't do it. If it's something you really want to do then ask for a future time slot. We all have to renegotiate occasionally. Only you know your life and your specific time demands. It's okay to renegotiate if you find you can't keep your original promise. Just be sure to do it in advance of the deadline.

Takeaway Truth

Why keep promises? Other than it's important for business trust, it's crucial to personal integrity. It's also a way of teaching integrity and honesty to your children.