5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, K, Maggie O'Dell, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Review Book, SERIES

2012.21 REVIEW – Fireproof by Alex Kava


by Alex Kava

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 307
Rating: 5/5
Read: Aug. 13-21, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012
Yearly Count: 21
Format: Print
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewer

Blurb: When an abandoned warehouse in Washington, D.C., bursts into flames on a cold winter night, the first investigators on the scene instantly spot similarities to a string of recent fires in the area. There is one difference, however: This one has a human casualty. The local team insists the murder is an isolated incident, concluding that the culprit must be a bored young man suffering from an uncontrollable impulse to act out anger and sexual aggression. But when Special Agent Maggie O’Dell is called in, everything she sees indicates that this is the work if a far more dangerous and calculating criminal.

Jeffery Cole, a reporter looking for his big break, is also at the scene of the crime and decides to make Maggie part of his news piece, putting the spotlight on her and digging up aspects of her past she would rather forget. Maggie’s half brother, Patrick, is back in D.C. too, working for a private fire-fighting company, and he is frequently called in as these fires continue to light up around the city.

As the acts of arson become more brazen and bodies keep turning up, Maggie’s professional and personal worlds begin to collide dangerously. She starts to fear for Patrick’s safety as he is sent into the flames set by this madman again and again, and Jeffery is becoming a very unwelcome distraction. Meanwhile, the arsonist-murderer may be much closer than Maggie imagines.

Review: I received this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.

This is the 10th book in the Maggie O’Dell series. After being a little disappointed in the previous two installments, I was a little unsure about this book. I still wanted to read it, but I went into it not knowing if it would live up to the expectations I so badly wanted out of it.

Luckily this book was as good as I wanted it to be. Maggie is back and better than ever, in my opinion.

The  identity of the arsonist is not really all that shocking, and easily detected quite early. But that didn’t really bother me. I was a lot more interested in seeing a possible love interest for Patrick and the possibility of a serial killer. I am assuming that this will be the direction that the next book goes in.

But what I really appreciated about this book was that Maggie was back front and center. My complaint about the two previous books was that Maggie felt more like a supporting character rather than the main character. That was not the case in this book. And that was definitely a much needed move for this series.

While this book is the 10th in the series, I felt as if it had enough background to stand somewhat on its own. However, I think it would most definitely make you want to read the previous books.

Overall, I’m glad I got the opportunity to read this book and I would highly recommend it to others.

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Aug. 21, 2012

Wow, I haven’t participated in this in almost a year. But today’s topic really spoke to me and I knew I had to put something together for today.

I’ve been blogging since January 1, 2008. My categories show that I have posted 322 book reviews. I did come up with 10 books for today, quite easily actually. The first book listed is my absolute favorite book ever, the rest of the books on this list will be alphabetical.

Top Ten Favorite Books You’ve Read During The Lifespan Of Your Blog

  1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Without a doubt, the BEST book I’ve ever read. Period.
  2. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  3. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
  4. The BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker
  5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
  6. The Confession by John Grisham
  7. 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
  8. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
  9. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
  10. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

There you have it. There’s my list of the best of the best books I’ve read since I began blogging in 2008. Have you read any of these? Would they make YOUR top 10 list?


RECIPE: Blackened Chicken and Beans



Blackened Chicken and Beans (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup chunky salsa


  1. Combine the chili powder, salt and pepper; Rub over both sides of chicken. In a large, nonstick skillet, cook chicken in oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170. Remove and keep warm.
  2. Add the beans, corn and salsa to the pan; heat through. Serve with chicken.

Recipe source: Taste of Home

Personal Review: I’ve been trying to try new recipes at least 1-2 times a week. This is a new one that I made last week. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture for this post. I was surprised at how moist the chicken was. And the amount of spice was just perfect in my opinion. Actually I almost added a little more chili powder just because we like spicy things. I didn’t use chicken breast halves, I used hi chicken breasts so it took longer for me to get the chicken cooked through. I think next time I will cut the chicken breasts in half just for ease of cooking. The bean mixture was very easy and quite good. Beans aren’t my normal thing, but I did eat a little bit of it. I served this dish with steamed Brussels sprouts. Definitely an easy meal to make and scrumptious too! Highly recommended.

Baby Book Addict

Garrett update


So I haven’t updated you on Garrett lately. Wednesday he will be 11 weeks old.

First ….. We are sleeping through the night!!! Hooray! We are sleeping from 10:30-6 every night and have been for 2 weeks now.

We did change his reflux medicine. I can tell a big improvement. This new stuff is a lot more expensive, but if it soothes him then I am happy.

However, one thing I am starting to notice now is that he’s beginning to have tummy aches after bottles. I originally thought it was gas, so I started adding gas drops to every bottle. That hasn’t helped a whole lot. My grandmother thinks its his formula. I’m wondering if we shouldn’t switch it to a sensitive formula. He has never really seemed to be 100% content after feedings, whether it be from his reflux or his belly issues. I had brought up the issue of potentially changing his formula with the pediatrician, but she shot that idea down without me even fully explaining what was going on. But I’m starting to really get the “mom knows best” feeling on this subject and am contemplating changing him anyway. What can it do? Hurt him more than the one he’s on now already does? If that was to be the case we’d just go back to what he’s been on. It breaks my heart to see him in pain. It’s terrible.

He’s really starting to “talk” to us now! It’s the cutest thing ever in my opinion! I love it. I’m just purely amazed at how much he grows and changes and learns in just a matter of days. It’s truly miraculous.

He is soooo close to rolling over. He can get on his side but can’t figure out how to bring those legs all the way over. I’m anxious for him to reach this milestone!

This upcoming weekend we will be taking him on his first official overnight trip! I’m anxious about it, but seeing as how we seem to always be on the go, I want to get him in the habit from a very early age. We aren’t going far from home, just down to Nashville. And my parents are going with us, so we will have lots of help.

I guess that’s really all I’ve got for now. Until next time 🙂

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Scot Harvath, SERIES, T

2012.20 REVIEW – Blowback by Brad Thor

by Brad Thor

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 568
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 30 – Aug. 11, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly Count: 20
Format: Print
Source: Personal copy

Blurb: Scott Harvath’s counterterrorism career has just crashed and burned – thanks in part to a ruthless senator with her sights set on the White House. But when the war on terror takes a chilling turn, the president has no choice but to secretly bring Harvath back inside. Deep beneath an Alpine glacier, an ancient weapon designed to decimate the Roman Empire has been unearthed – and a shadowy organization intends to use it for America’s downfall. Racing across Europe, Harvath must secure the ultimate instrument of destruction before it brings the United States and the rest of the world to its knees.

Review: This is the fourth in the Scot Harvath series. I read the first three last year and then took a big break. These books are not easy reading. But I have enjoyed all four books in this series.

I’m still trying to figure out what to say about this book. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But as I stated above, Mr. Thor’s books are not easy to read. They definitely take a lot more concentration to get through. So with everything going on in my life, I am pleasantly surprised that I was able to get through this book as quickly as I did. I say this because I actually tried to read this book earlier this year and actually had to set it aside because I simply didn’t have the concentration for it (pregnancy brain at it’s finest!) However, I am very glad that I decided to pick this book back up when I did. Because I found it to be a very exciting read.

I sometimes struggle with books that have terrorist aspects. There’s no particular reason for this, other than it’s outside my comfort zone. But in this book, it didn’t phase me at all. There were a few times throughout the book that I struggled to understand what was going on, but that was always when they were discussing the weapon that is at the heart of the plot.

As I stated earlier, this is the fourth book in the series. While I always prefer to read books in order, I do not think that it would be a requirement for this book. I felt as if it could have read as a stand-alone just as well.

I like Scot’s character. Mr. Thor has managed to make him quite appealing in my opinion. First he’s married to his job. But he’s also not a womanizer. And it was in this particular installment that the reader really gets to see that Scot may be regretting not being settled down. I am definitely anxious to see where Scot’s romantic life takes him in subsequent books. There’s just something about his character that fits perfectly in my opinion. It’s hard for me to put into words what I feel about this.

Another thing that I like about these books is that Mr. Thor always seems to have a very strong female secondary character. This complements Scot quite well. And it also fits my tastes perfectly. I hate the whole damsel in distress thing, so I enjoy seeing Scot interact with women who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

Overall, while these books may not be for everyone, I enjoy them quite a lot and would definitely recommend them.


Book Blogger Hop – Aug. 10


Book Blogger Hop

Who is your go-to author when you are in a reading rut?

Easy … James Patterson. I can always count on James Patterson to pull me out of a reading rut. His books can be very mindless, but sometimes that’s exactly what I need. I know a lot of people don’t like his books, but I thoroughly enjoy them.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I’ve been lucky!

Wow, have I been lucky here lately. I’ve managed to snag two free copies of books that have sounded really great to me. Plus I got approved for another book on Netgalley that has me SUPER excited!

So I bet I’ve got you curious now.

First I snagged a copy of “Fireproof” by Alex Kava from LibraryThing.

Then I got approved For “The Lincoln Conspiracy” by Timothy O’Brien on NetGalley.

And this morning I got notification that I had won a copy of  “The Secrets of the FBI” by Ronald Kessler through Goodreads!

PLUS I’m #2 in line on my library wish list for “Gone Girl”.

I’m a lucky gal who is going to have some exciting reading ahead of me! Hooray!


First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros #1


So here’s a new-to-me meme. Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts it I’ve seen this one before but for whatever reason never joined up. But this week I’m reading a book that really sucked me in on the first page.


Donald Ellyson tried to scream, but nothing happened. He had done a lot of reprehensible things in his fifty-five years, but this was not how he had expected to die – his throat sliced and hot blood running down the front of his parka. This was supposed to be the discovery of his life, the one that would legitimize him and land him at the top of the academic heap. But the moment of his greatest triumph had suddenly become the last moment he would ever know. And for what? Did his benefactors actually think he was going to stiff them?


RECIPE: Spiral Stromboli

In an effort to expand my blogging, I am going to start sharing some great recipes that I find and try. Cooking is something I enjoy immensely. And it’s also something that I am doing more of now that Garrett is here. We are trying to save as much money as possible and eating out was one area where we made a cut. Plus I don’t want to be one of “those people” – you know, the parents who has a child screaming bloody murder in a restaurant driving everyone around them insane whereas they somehow ignore it. Sorry if you are one of “those people,” I just don’t want to have attention drawn to me.

So here’s a recipe I made recently:

Spiral Stromboli (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 tube refrigerated French bread
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4lb thinly sliced deli ham
  • 1/4lb thinly sliced deli salami
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers or 1 jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Unroll the dough and pat into a 14″ X 12″ rectangle. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheese to within 1/2″ of edges; top with meat and red peppers. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; seal seam and tuck ends under.
  2. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Brush with butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Slice with a serrated knife.

Recipe Source: Taste of Home


Personal Review: I had trouble with the dough unrolling into the rectangle. I think next time I make this recipe I will use refrigerated pizza dough just for more ease. I’m also considering adding some pizza sauce, but it doesn’t need it at all. I also omitted the red peppers or pimientos and instead substituted pepperoni. Another thing that I experienced was the bread being doughy in the middle, completely uncooked actually. (You can even see it in the picture if you look close enough). I baked it for 25 minutes and it was quite thick, so increasing the baking time will probably fix that issue.

Overall, this was an extremely easy and quick meal to prepare. It was also yummy. This will be making its way into our recipe rotation quite often in the future.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I did it!!

After a good year of contemplating it I finally did it. I have my own domain!! Hooray! I went the easy route and remained with WordPress.com so I don’t have to change anything. I can use everything the same way as I did before, I just have a spiffier looking website name!

WordPress is *supposed* to make sure that all my links get forwarded to where they’re supposed to be. As far as everything I’m reading seems to be indicating, all I had to do was give them $18 a year to make my new address http://talesofabookaddict.com. Hopefully it worked right! Oh on a side note to anyone thinking of making the change, for another $8 you can make your registration private. I chose to do this because they ask for your address and your phone number. And I don’t want everyone to have access to that info.

Please let me know if you have any trouble with my site not loading or my links not forwarding correctly.

In the very hear future I will Be setting up a new email address that is also hooked into my domain.

I think this makes me look a lot more “professional”. Even though I’m only doing this for fun, it definitely makes me feel more established. I’m thrilled with my decision to make the switch 🙂

Now hopefully everything works correctly because I have no idea how to fix anything. Haha

Oh and definitely look for a new site design too. I’ve got the itch to switch things up 🙂