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Woo-Hoo, today is the day. Bloggiesta begins 🙂

To quickly recap, here’s what I hope to accomplish (or at least try to since my weekend plans changed abruptly yesterday and I won’t be home nearly as much this weekend)

  • New layout – HOORAY! I finally found one I liked – please let me know what you think about it 🙂
  • Work on my review index
  • Schedule some posts
  • Clean out my Google Reader
  • Work on a blog calendar
  • Whip up a few more recipe posts
  • Find better social media buttons – I got a two for one – I was able to find a new layout that included some social media buttons!
  • And anything else I can think of

I’ve already got a head start on a blog calendar, but I’m still putting a few finishing touches on it before I will be ready to showcase what I’ve got 🙂 Plus Trish at Love, Laughter, Insanity has this as a mini-challenge and I want to read through her ideas before I finish it anyway 🙂

My goal is to have recipes scheduled every Thursday for the rest of the year – I already have the next 3 ready to go! Hooray!

Now I’m off to take care of baby Garrett —- uhhh, work on my blog, haha! (This is going to be a very hard weekend for me to participate as much as I had hoped to, but I’m determined to make do with what I’ve got)


RECIPE: Pizza Casserole

Squeee! I did it – I finally made a Pinterest recipe 🙂 … Pizza Casserole …. Woo-hoo! And it ended up being absolutely DELICIOUS!

For mamas is the original poster of this recipe and deserves amazing credit for such a great recipe! We LOVED it!

Pizza Casserole

  • 1 bag of Egg Noodles
  • 1 extra large can of Ragu sauce {or any sauce you prefer}
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese {or more depending on how much you ♥ cheese!}
  • 1 1/2 lbs hamburger meat
  • 1 package pepperonis


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Boil the noodles per package instruction. Brown and drain the meat.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ pan. Add half of the noodles. Layer half of the meat. Half of the sauce. The remaining noodles. Half of the cheese. The remaining meat. The remaining sauce. And the remaining cheese.
  3. Add pepperonis to the top.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Then let stand for 10-15 minutes.

Recipe Source: For mamas

Personal Review: Oh my goodness, I cannot say enough good things about this recipe. It was so delicious and easy to make. Here’s a few tweaks I made to it: first while I was browning the meat I added some garlic powder and red pepper flakes. I considered putting in some fresh garlic, but my garlic press was dirty and so I just went with the powder. Diced onions would probably be good to add as well. You definitely need to add some spice to the meat so it has a little bit of a pop of flavor 🙂 To ease things, definitely start the noodles and don’t start browning the meat until you first put the noodles in – it will be timed better that way. Also definitely let it sit for 10-15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. It was kind of like a lasagna, and it needed to sit so that it doesn’t all fall apart when you eat it.

Highly recommended 🙂

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Giveaway, Book Review, Empty Coffin, Fiction, O, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Review Book, SERIES

2012.24 REVIEW – Betrayal by Gregg Olsen ((Giveaway!))

by Gregg Olsen

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 267
Rating: 5/5
Read: Sept. 19-23, 2012
Challenge: Eclectic Reader Challenge; Mystery & Suspense 2012
Yearly count: 24
Format: Print
Source: Review copy for The Readiacs’ blog tour

Blurb: When foreign exchange student Olivia Grant is stabbed to death at a party, the accusations fly through Port Gamble faster than Twitter trending. Fingers point at frenemy Brianna and her dim-witted boyfriend, Drew. But loner and host-roommate Beth Lee may also have an ax to grind, which sends her best friends Hayley and Taylor Ryan down a twisted path to clear her name – only to discover a tangled web of shocking secrets about all of them.

Review: After reading Envy last year, I was eagerly anticipating the 2012 release of Betrayal! So I was more than thrilled when I got the opportunity to participate in a blog tour for this book 🙂

This particular installment in the Empty Coffin series felt a lot different from Envy did. This was more than just Hayley and Taylor’s story – there were other characters that had a big impact in the storyline. With the storyline revolving around a murder, the reader gets a lot of perspective from the local police department, including Chief Annie Garnett –  a character that I personally liked.

But that’s not to say that Hayley and Taylor weren’t the main characters, because they definitely were. I find it amazing what kind of trouble Hayley and Taylor can get themselves into. They sure got themselves into some precarious situations in this book. And it’s not because they’re stupid either – most of the time they knew better, but they are stubborn and determined young women.  also can’t help but wonder what else can happen in little Port Gamble, Washington. That town is full of some dandy people – not just the teenagers! Plus we got to learn a little more about the twins’ “secret.” What  we learn at the end of the book definitely makes me look forward to the next book in the Empty Coffin series – Guilty.

One thing that really resonates with me when I read this series is that Gregg Olsen really seems to get teenagers. There’s been a few times when I’ve read YA books and the author just doesn’t seem to understand teenagers and the way they thing/talk/act. Gregg Olsen does. And while I may not be a teenager anymore (and haven’t been for 8 years) and while I don’t necessarily understand the current generation of teenagers myself, I can still remember what it was like to be in high school. As I said, some authors don’t seem to be able to get the teenager feeling onto the pages, but Gregg Olsen does a great job with that in my opinion. And may I just say that I definitely had a Brianna in my graduating class 😉

There was “Truth in Fiction” section at the end of the book where Mr. Olsen discusses how a recent case in Italy (Amanda Knox) lended itself somewhat to this book. Personally, I only know the very bare bones of the Amanda Knox case, so I can’t say much about the similarities. But this seems to be a theme with the Empty Coffin series since Envy revolved around cyber-bullying and referenced the Megan Meier case out of Missouri. I know a lot of authors get their original inspiration for novels from actual headlines around our country. I actually like that Mr. Olsen includes a little information at the end of both books about what (I’m assuming here) prompted the original inspiration for the particular novel.

Overall I would highly recommend this book. I think that it will definitely appeal to a very wide audience – not just the YA crowd. While this book can stand as a standalone, I definitely recommend reading Envy first so you can understand the characters better.

—–> GIVEAWAY!! <—–


I am thrilled to announce that I am hosting a giveaway of my ARC of Betrayal AND a finished paperback copy of Envy!

US entrants, only.

As always, your information will never be shared and the form will be deleted upon the end of the giveaway.

Giveaway begins 9/25 and will end 10/2 at 5pm central time. Winner will be selected using and will be announced here on the blog. (And the winner will also get a confirmation email)

Be sure to check out the other tour stops on the Betrayal blog tour:

Monday, September 24thThe Reading Date
Tuesday, September 25thTales of a Book Addict
Wednesday, September 26thReading Lark
Thursday, September 27th A Dream within a Dream
Friday, September 28thEvie Bookish

Monday, October 1stYA Between the Lines
Tuesday, October 2ndI Am a Reader, Not a Writer
Wednesday, October 3rdNerd Alien
Thursday, October 4thHopeless Bibliophile
Friday, October 5th – Book Hi (I’m sorry, but I couldn’t find this blog when I googled it – if you know this blog please let me know so I can add the link)



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Well, finally! I’m actually going to get to participate in Bloggiesta! The last few times it’s been going on I haven’t been able to participate for one reason or another. But this time I will get to. Although probably not as much as I would like to – since I have Garrett and that’s my dad’s birthday weekend and we will have to go up to my parents house for his party one day. Either way, I will get to participate and I have a lot of things I want (READ: NEED!) to accomplish!

So here’s my list of things that I want to accomplish:

  • New layout – yeah, I’ve about gotten sick of the design that I have right now. It’s time to get something new in here.
  • Work on my review index – I went crazy a long time ago and deleted the entire thing – without making a back up. (STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!) I wanted to change the format of it. But now I have managed to put the list back together, however I still have to link all my reviews back on it now.
  • Schedule some posts – Things like Top Ten Tuesdays already have the topics listed for future dates. I want to browse through those and see if there’s anything I can schedule. Plus I have some review books that I need to go ahead and get the post formatted so I can be ready to just start typing the review portion rather than the whole thing.
  • I need to clean out my Google Reader – I know this technically is not part of my actual blog itself, but I haven’t done this in ages, and I know I have a lot of subscriptions that are no longer active – need to get those out of there and get some new subscriptions in there instead 🙂
  • I want to work on a calendar of sorts to keep around the house so that I can see what I have coming up on the blog as well as what I need to get to – just something to help me become a little more organized and hopefully help me post some stuff.
  • Whip up a few more recipe posts – I have quite a few recipes that I have recently tried and I want to be able to post one new recipe a week … so if I could get some of those posts scheduled it would be a help.
  • I desperately need to figure out how to get some buttons – you know, like the “Find Me On” type of stuff – Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Paperbackswap, ETC. I know that WordPress has a particular theme that has that already built in but I have stumbled across another book blogger who has the same exact theme and I really don’t want to “copy” her theme just so I can have those particular buttons, lol.
  • And anything else I can think of – I’m not good at making lists. I tend to forget things that need to make the list. So whatever else comes up, I hope to accomplish 🙂

This is probably a bit much for me to tackle, considering I have a 3.5 month old baby (who will be celebrating turning 4 months on Sept. 30th!) and a birthday party that weekend. But that’s okay – whatever I get done will be fine for me 🙂

Definitely looking forward to participating!!


RECIPE: Creole Shrimp Pasta

Time for me to share another recipe with you guys. It’s been a while since I had really made a new recipe, and this one technically isn’t “new” to us – I’ve made it a few times now. But it’s one I definitely enjoy.

Creole Shrimp Pasta (Makes 6 servings)

  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter and oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Sprinkle shrimp with seafood seasoning; add to pan.
  2.    Stir in the cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce and pepper. Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Stir reserved cooking liquid into pan. Cook and stir for 6-8 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Add pasta and toss to coat.

Recipe Source: Taste of Home Simple & Delicious Magazine

Personal Review: Okay, so by the picture this probably doesn’t look like much. But for some reason I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s easy to cook – but you definitely need to watch the timing of everything for this to go as smoothly as possible. Since shrimp doesn’t take that long to cook, I recommend putting the water on to boil before you chop up the onions just so that you aren’t standing around waiting for the pasta to finish cooking (like I was the first time I made this!). Also another thing that I found out the hard way – if you do not like a lot of spice do not under any circumstances use Habanero hot sauce! Yes, I did this the first time I made this (on accident – Nathan has a huge selection of hot sauces and I picked up the wrong one by mistake), and yes, I completely 100% regretted it – I think my mouth was on fire for two days. The next time I made this I used regular hot sauce and it came out much milder 🙂 I think our only complaint about this meal is that it doesn’t seem very filling. Of course I wasn’t all that prepared and didn’t have a salad or a side dish to go with this, so I think that if you served it with a salad and garlic bread it would make a much better meal.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this recipe. If you are afraid of the spice level, for sure play around with the amount of spice/hot sauce you use. It’s also very easy to make and comes together quickly for a weeknight meal.

Baby Book Addict, Life

Random Mommy Ramblings…..

This post is going to be long and have absolutely nothing to do with books, just a heads up 🙂

Breaking up is hard to do ….. breaking up with your pediatrician, in this case. I have had it with my pediatrician and her office. I originally loved our pediatrician, she was so nice and attentive when we were in the hospital. She answered all my (silly, first time mom) questions with ease and enjoyment. I was glad I had a good recommendation for her, it made me feel good that he was going to be well taken care of. Then came his two-week appointment – she was out of the office that week and I would have to see one of the other doctors. Okay, I can deal with that – it was just one appointment after all. I went with my list of (still silly, first time mom) questions, Garrett and my mother in tow. And I felt absolutely dismissed by the doctor we saw. It was like she wanted nothing to do with me or Garrett, she just wanted to get in and out of there as quickly as she could. Because of this I let Garrett’s reflux go way too long (she did tell me that it was “completely normal” – how was I supposed to know any different??). Everything seemed to be going smoothly until about a month ago we noticed that Garrett was starting to have more trouble with his reflux again. We tried to make an appointment – we were told it would be a week before we could get in to see our doctor (but we could get in immediately to see the abovementioned doctor we saw at the 2 week appointment, um – no, thank you!). I was beyond irritated. A WEEK before you could get in to see your doctor? I could understand if she was the only one in the office – and this wasn’t necessarily a sick baby appointment anyway. We almost switched doctors, we argued back and forth about it. In the end we ended up not taking him to the doctor, but did switch his formula on our own and, while he still has reflux, things are much better – I’m almost completely positive that he was allergic to Similac or something along those lines.

So what does all this have to do with finally deciding to break up with our pediatrician? Well this week Garrett has developed a cough. I’m not really surprised, I had a cold two weeks ago and did everything I could to make sure I didn’t pass it to him. Plus the weather is turning – it’s just starting to become cold season. I didn’t think much about it until yesterday when he really started coughing. I definitely started to take notice at it a lot more closely. Then this morning he woke up terribly stopped up. I told Nathan we would have to have a doctor’s appointment today. So I called in to work and waited around for my doctor’s office to open (8:30am). I finally get through to make the appointment and I start in with my spiel about who I am and why I’m calling and immediately the woman who takes appointments transfers me over to the nurse desk (no, I did not ask to talk to the nurse, if she had let me finish what I was saying she would have realized I wanted to make an appointment to see the doctor). I start in on my spiel again and immediately the nurse asks me if he has a fever – no, he does not. She then proceeds to tell me that I should keep him elevated, get a humidifier, and a saline nose solution for him and not to call back unless he produces a fever … and she hangs up. That is not what I wanted. I wanted an appointment with my doctor. I don’t care if I spend the $200 to see my doctor for her to tell me the exact same thing – it’s what she’s there for and by golly I want to see her.

So I called Nathan and told him exactly what happened. He, like I am, was immediately ticked off. This is not the first time that this office has ignored our concerns. But it sure is going to be the last one. He calmed me down and said he would call me back, he had a meeting or something to go into. When he called me back he informed me that he had spoken to his co-workers (he works around 3 or 4 women who are mommies themselves and who know that we’ve had disagreements with our doctor in the past) and they all said the same thing – SWITCH DOCTORS. So that’s what we are doing. We are going to see another pediatrician today, we have an appointment at 3:30. They didn’t question him wanting to see a doctor when he called the other doctor’s office – they just made the appointment. Which is exactly what the other office should have done. But I am at the end of my rope with the doctor’s office we’ve been going to. And as much as I hate switching doctors, I just can’t deal with this anymore. I need a doctor who will listen to my concerns, answer all my (silly, first time mom) questions, and put me at ease. Plus I’m paranoid about colds – when I was 16 I let a cold go from bad to worse and ended up with pneumonia – so I know what colds can turn into if not taken care of. Hopefully we will be a lot better off in the long run. And I’m sure this cough is nothing but the common cold, but he’s only 3.5 months old and I want to know that he is okay – not to ignore something because I’ve written it off as “just a cold.”

Switching gears – I have determined that I have absolutely, 100% lost my entire mind. I have baby fever. WTH!? How can I have baby fever when my baby is still a baby? LOL!? Never in a million years did I ever think that I would want another child. I thought Garrett would be it for us. We would be a family of three. But the last few days I’ve realized how quickly Garrett is growing up and that my family doesn’t feel complete yet. Obviously I don’t want another baby right now. My goodness, if I was to get pregnant tomorrow they would only be 13 months apart! That’s insane. But I think it will happen before I originally intended for it to happen. I had originally said that I wanted to get Garrett out of diapers before I started thinking about another one. Now I’m thinking that I will try again after his 1st birthday. Nathan and his brother are 21 months apart, my dad and uncle are 25 months apart and my mom and aunt are 29 months apart. I’m honestly beginning to think that it would be the ideal time to start trying again. Everytime I think of this the first thing that runs through my head is “you’ve lost your f’in mind, Tara!” but I can’t help myself. I’ve even already got names circulating in my head – and yes, I think I will be one of those cheesy parents whose children’s first names all start with the same letter! Please, someone tell me how insane I am, lol! I don’t want to even think about how hard keeping track of two children will be … one is hard enough and he’s not even moving yet! But I think part of my problem is that I am slowly inching toward that next big age milestone – 30 – and I always said I didn’t want to be pregnant in my 30s (I don’t have a particular reason as to why, I just don’t want to be). Either way, it’s definitely something that I’ve been thinking about 🙂 And Nathan is so funny. We recently booked a trip to Hawaii in December. Just the two of us, my parents are going to watch Garrett. When I started talking about having another baby he looked at me and said “isn’t that why you wanted to go to Hawaii?” Haha. No, that’s not why – but it could be fun 😉

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, O, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Review Book

2012.23 REVIEW – The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O’Brien

The Lincoln Conspiracy
by Timothy L. O’Brien

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 296
Read: Sept. 10-18, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012
Yearly count: 23
Format: E-Book
Source: Review copy through NetGalley

Blurb: A nation shattered by its president’s murder
Two diaries that reveal the true scope of an American conspiracy
A detective determined to bring the truth to light, no matter what it costs him

From award-winning journalist Timothy L. O’Brien comes a gripping historical thriller that poses a provocative question: What if the plot to assassinate President Lincoln was wider and more sinister than we ever imagined?

In late spring of 1865, as America mourns the death of its leader, Washington, D.C., police detective Temple McFadden makes a startling discovery. Strapped to the body of a dead man at the B&O Railroad station are two diaries, two documents that together reveal the true depth of the Lincoln conspiracy. Securing the diaries will put Temple’s life in jeopardy-and will endanger the fragile peace of a nation still torn by war.

Temple’s quest to bring the conspirators to justice takes him on a perilous journey through the gaslit streets of the Civil War-era capital, into bawdy houses and back alleys where ruthless enemies await him in every shadowed corner. Aided by an underground network of friends-and by his wife, Fiona, a nurse who possesses a formidable arsenal of medicinal potions-Temple must stay one step ahead of Lafayette Baker, head of the Union Army’s spy service. Along the way, he’ll run from or rely on Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s fearsome secretary of war; the legendary Scottish spymaster Allan Pinkerton; abolitionist Sojourner Truth; the photographer Alexander Gardner; and many others.

Bristling with twists and building to a climax that will leave readers gasping,The Lincoln Conspiracy offers a riveting new account of what truly motivated the assassination of one of America’s most beloved presidents-and who participated in the plot to derail the train of liberty that Lincoln set in motion.

Review: I originally saw this book on LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program a couple of months back. I was immediately intrigued – pretty much anything with the name “Lincoln” will get my attention. I was incredibly sad when I didn’t snag a copy. I checked to see if my local library had a copy on order – they didn’t. Then I decided to see if maybe it was available on NetGalley (a service that I rarely use because I really do not like reading e-books). I was encouraged when I found that it was listed – and was even more thrilled when I got accepted for a copy! I got my Nook Color out, dusted it off, charged it up (because I honestly don’t think I had turned it on in over a year) and loaded the book onto it. Then I let it sit. For weeks. Finally I realized that if I wanted this review to get done around the release date, I would have to get on it.

My feelings on this book overall are mixed. I need to start out by saying that, for me, this book started out extremely slow. Like to the point where if it hadn’t been a review copy, I probably never would have finished it just because the beginning was that tough to get through. But I carried on … and I can honestly say that I am very glad that I stuck with it. It was about 75-100 pages in when it started to really get interesting.

While reading this book it didn’t really feel that much like a historical novel. Obviously it was, seeing as how it was set in 1865, but there was something about the language that didn’t make it seem historical. The context was there, but the language was not, I suppose it the best way for me to describe it. Personally, I liked that. I tend to shy away from anything that has flowery descriptions of things or that has wording that is harder for me to understand because of the differences in the wording we use today versus what was used in the past. This book didn’t have that feel to it (which might have some historical fiction fans upset). I’m not 100% sure, but I think part of the reason why I get that vibe from this book is simply because it was written by a man. All the historical fiction that I have read (and trust me, my experience with the genre is limited) has been authored by women. Either way, it doesn’t really matter because I enjoyed the book.

I liked the characters. Temple and Fiona are a good couple, they definitely compliment each other perfectly. Poor Temple, he was always ruining his boots – much to the chagrin of Fiona!! I liked Augustus as well. Having a black man play such an important role in a white couple’s life during the 1860s was quite interesting. They truly considered him a friend and I liked that, particularly since it was set in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. I don’t think that made much sense, it’s really hard to find the wording for my feelings on this.

The “mystery” of this book was interesting. It obviously revolves around the diaries that are mentioned in the blurb above. It was neat seeing the cipher be broken bit by bit throughout the book. And there sure were a lot of people in D.C. that wanted those diaries covered up! It definitely made for some exciting moments. My only complaint is that I would have liked to have had more information on what was in Mrs. Lincoln’s diary than what the reader sees.

The ending of the book …. oh, how do I explain this without giving too much away. Let me start with this – the ending frustrated me! I guess I wanted more closure than I felt like I got. We never know who Maestro really is. I have a pretty good guess just by the clues that are given about him, but I have no concrete evidence as to if my suspicion is correct. And that irritated me! However, having said that, I suppose it adds to the suspense of the overall story.

Overall I would highly recommend this book. I’m glad that I persevered through that slow beginning and finished the book. It might technically be a historical fiction book, but I really think it will appeal to the thriller/suspense crowd as well.


Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Sept. 18, 2012

This week’s question asks:

Top ten bookish people you want to meet. 

I don’t know if I will be able to get to 10 with this question, but I have a good blend of bloggers and authors. In no particular order:

  1. Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity – because she seems to be such a cool person and her daughter is gorgeous! Plus she has the greatest post ideas, ever! I only wish I could come up with half the cool ideas she does.  I love how she has been able to combine cooking, reading, vacationing, family and whatever else kind of post she can come up with and make it work 100%. If you don’t “know” Trish you are sooooo missing out!
  2. Samantha at Booked on a Feeling – because she’s awesome. She’s been a follower/commenter of mine since I can remember and she has always had great things to say. Oh and we like pretty much the same type of books 🙂
  3. Jackie over at House Wife Blues and Chihuahua Stories – Jackie stumbled across my blog a year or two ago and I have enjoyed getting to know her. She’s had a rough couple of years in her personal life and I respect her for everything she has been through. She’s just a very nice person and while we don’t read the same type of books, I think it would be a lot of fun to sit down over coffee in a bookstore and chat with her.
  4. Wendy of  Caribousmom – I first “met” Wendy in a Yahoo reading group that we both belong to. I soon found out that she has a beyond awesome blog. And in my opinion, she is one of the biggest names out there in the book blogosphere. Yet she’s so down to earth and nice. I have found a lot of awesome books through her blog and if you don’t know her blog, definitely check it out.
  5. Mary Higgins Clark – I want to know how this woman does it time and time again. Her books are amazing. I would love to be able to pick her brain a little bit. She seems to timeless. Her books are awesome!
  6. Stephen King – I will admit I haven’t been such a big fan of his recent stuff. But his older books, oh my goodness. Creepy doesn’t even catch it! This guy must have the most messed up dreams on the planet and I would love to be able to chat with him.
  7. Brad Meltzer – I will admit, I actually haven’t read many of his books. However, I follow him on Twitter and am a huge fan of his show Decoded (Please, History Channel – I would love a 3rd season!). But seriously, this guy seems to be one of the funniest guys out there. He’s got one of those perfectly sarcastic senses of humor and I would love to meet and talk with him
  8. James Patterson – I have so many questions for this guy. Number one being – why do you feel the need to put so many frickin’ books out in a year? Don’t get me wrong, I like his books, but seriously … I would think his prolificness would put pressure on other authors to produce like he does – and lets all be honest here, I bet he only writes one book a year himself, I’m a firm believer that his co-authors do all the work on the other books.

Well that’s all I’ve got. I had fun this week and am already looking forward to next week’s topic 🙂

Happy reading!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday – September 17, 2012

September’s Mailbox Monday stop is at BookNAround

Another Monday … another week of good books hitting my mailbox 🙂

Review Book … Part of Partners in Crime Tours … My review is scheduled for November 🙂
Saw a review of this on Caribousmom’s blog months ago and put it on my Paperbackswap wish list immediately. Finally got a copy 🙂
Review book from The Readiacs …. watch for my review on Sept. 25th 🙂



Book Giveaway

Giveaway Time

Here it is … my big book giveaway. After pondering how I would handle this, here’s what I came up with:

All of this will obviously depend on how many entries I receive. However, my plan is ideally to have one book per winner. When you fill out the Google form, you will be given the option to list the books in the order of your personal preference. By this I mean that I am giving you the option to tell me what book you would ultimately prefer. Obviously this is not entirely ideal for the people who get chosen 7th or 8th, but it still could possibly work out for you anyway since everyone has different tastes. I’m trying to do my best making sure that you get the book you want, but as I said, it is flawed and I can make no promises.

If this giveaway flops and I don’t have 8 entries, I will divvy up the books between however many entrants I do have.

Fine Print: Giveaway closes September 30, 2012 at 5pm central time. I will announce the winners here on the blog. Open only to US residents (sorry to my international readers – I just don’t have the funds to send internationally right now). Although pimping this giveaway out to your readers/twitter followers will be nice, you will receive no additional entries for doing so. You do not have to have a blog to enter – all I need is for you to fill out the Google form that I created and you’re entered. Thank you and good look!!

Now on to the books that I have available. Most of them are ARCs, but I do have two available finished copies.

DiSemblance by Shanae Branham (Finished copy – paperback)
A computer prodigy, Jason has spent his life with limited social contact due to his father’s secretive work on a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason is targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door.


Shelter by Harlan Coben (ARC)
After tragic events tear him away from his parents, fifteen-year-old Mickey Bolitar is sent to live with his estranged uncle Myron. For a while, it seems his train wreck of a life is finally improving – until his girlfriend, Ashley, goes missing without a trace. Unwilling to let another person he cares about walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley’s trait into a seedy underworld, revealing a conspiracy so shocking it will leave him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.


Fireproof by Alex Kava (Finished copy – hardcover)
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.


Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews (ARC)
It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kenedy.

It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). When Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election – an election that Adolf Hitler intends for Roosevelt to lose.


Sly Fox by Judge Jeanine Pirro (ARC)
In Westchester, New York, young assistant district attorney Dani Fox is investigating a series of brutal crimes against women and children, cases that male prosecutors don’t care about. It’s a man’s world in 1978, and as the only female prosecutor in the office, she’s shunned by her peers, dismissed by judges, and ignored by detectives. Using her legal acumen and razor-sharp wit, she outmaneuvers her critics both in and out of the courtroom.

Fox stumbles upon one of her most challenging cases when she goes after a successful businessman who has been secretly molesting his beautiful young daughter for years. While handling this politically tricky prosecution, she learns that the accused is hiding an even more sinister crime: the murder of his second wife. Her death was ruled a suicide at the time, but Fox uncovers evidence that suggests otherwise. Proving his guilt is tougher than she imagined, as even murderers have friends in unexpected places, and there are times when the legal system – her fellow prosecutors, judges, and the police – may not be on her side….


Conflicts with Interest by Michael Ruddy (ARC)
Sometimes, life can be a poker game with a fortunate stroke of serendipity. Sometimes, it’s nothing but incessant bad luck. T.R. Morgan is playing such a game with his most feared situation as a builder: Defect Litigation. It isn’t enough that he is still mourning the loss of his beloved wife. Now, he finds himself caught in a nasty lawsuit against Steve Sanderson, a ruthless Bay Area lawyer.

The problem – it seems, is when will T.R. lose his company and home over this lawsuit and how many times-over? Or will his own gambling habit be his downfall? Can the insurance companies out-play him? And is his new girlfriend, Catherine, actually who she seems? T.R.’s story comes to an explosive climatx that one could have foreseen – least of all T.R. himself.


Stolen Prey by John Sandford (ARC)
Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the Minnesota town of Wayzata, an entire family has been killed – husband, wife, two kids, dogs. One the wall, in blood: “Were coming.” No apostrophe.

There’s something about the scene that tugs at Lucas’s cop instincts – it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen from Mexican drug gangs. But this is a seriously upscale town, the husband ran a modest software company, the wife dabbled in local politics. None of it seems to fit.

Until it does. And that’s when everybody starts coming to town: the DEA, the Mexican federales, and some independent operators who are decidedly less welcome.

Where it all leads … will take Lucas into the darkest nightmare of his life.


Racing the Devil by Jaden Terrell (ARC)
Nashville private investigator Jared McKean has a son with Down’s syndrome, a best friend with AIDS, an ex-wife he can’t seem to fall out of love with, and a weakness for women in jeopardy – until one frames him for murder.

His DNA and fingerprints are found at the murder scene. His voice is on the victim’s answering machine, and the victim was killed with a bullet from his gun. To make matters worse, his teenaged nephew comes out of the closet and runs away to join a dangerous fringe of the Goth subculture.

Now Jared must find a way to clear his name, hold his family together, and solve a case that could cost him his life.