Jaime Loves Stuff : September 2009

Doing the walk of shame....

Sorry guys, I just realized I forgot to input something VERY important on two of my giveaways, Beat The Reaper and Lucan. I JUST caught that I didn't put this in:

I JUST caught that I didn't put in the restrictions, sorry to anybody this will affect :(
5 winners, US & Canada Only, no PO Boxes

It's been added and changed, I am VERY VERY sorry to anybody that is affected by this change. I truly am :( I can't believe I didn't catch this sooner. I feel really bad about this but would have felt even worse if I had chosen a winner that was disqualified.

I promise I won't make an error like that again, or at least TRY not to or if I do, catch it MUCH sooner.

"Precious" Movie Trailer

I was listening to NPR on my way to class this morning and was listening to an interview with Oprah (the media Goddess) about this movie, Precious, which apparently blew up at the Sundance Film Festival. "Precious" is based on the book, Push, by Sapphire. I have no words to type, except watch and listen. Looks very powerful.

Amazon.com Review
Claireece Precious Jones endures unimaginable hardships in her young life. Abused by her mother, raped by her father, she grows up poor, angry, illiterate, fat, unloved and generally unnoticed. So what better way to learn about her than through her own, halting dialect. That is the device deployed in the first novel by poet and singer Sapphire. "Sometimes I wish I was not alive," Precious says. "But I don't know how to die. Ain' no plug to pull out. 'N no matter how bad I feel my heart don't stop beating and my eyes open in the morning." An intense story of adversity and the mechanisms to cope with it. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Yep, the book is in my shopping cart on Amazon.com waiting for my Swagbucks GC.. I want to read it.

Many of the negative reviews on this book are because it's "implausible" and "depressing". First about the implausible, give me a break. Seriously? What kind of fantasy land do you live in that children are NOT severely abused, raped, etc? In regards to depressing, what the heck do you expect from a book about a young girl who is repeatedly RAPED by her father and bears him two children, her mother abuses her and I can't go on. Seriously, if you can not handle a tear jerker that is gritty and raw, and written in a language that an illiterate girl would.. then don't. I haven't read it but I am not so naive as to not understand what the book is about.


Swagbucks... Search to Earn

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Have you heard of swagbucks? If not, you need to! I use Swagbucks as my primary search engine (they combine the best of Google and Ask all in to one search engine) and earn! You won't earn EVERY time you search but you will randomly earn Swagbucks!


44 Random Questions

I saw these on Ryan http://wordsmithonia.blogspot.com's page and thought, what the heck... I should be studying for a test on Buddhism and Judaism but what's a good studying hour without internet caused procrastination and taking photos of myself???? Yeah, exactly

1. Do you like blue cheese? Blue Cheese dressing for hot wings :D

2. Have you ever been drunk? It's been a long long time.

3. Do you own a gun? Never

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? I love me some Kool Aid. I love Black Cherry.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No, not really

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Chicago style (mustard, relish, tomato, cucumber, sport peppers, and celery salt)

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Rudolph, Frosty, A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Carol (actually, our local theatre puts on a FANTASTIC musical of A Christmas Carol) and I know there are more.. just brain freezing. Besides it's not Christmas yet.. lol.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water and Coffee.

9. Can you do push ups? Yes, diamond style :)

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I can't stand wearing jewelry.

11. Favorite hobby? In the brutal heat of Arizona, reading. When it's nice and cool, hiking, rock climbing, cooking, grilling with friends, movie nights, game board nights, visiting zoos, museums, and going to the park with my daughter.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? Sometimes if I am stressed, lol.

13. What’s your favorite shoe? Well, since I am unemployed I really love flip flops, ballet flats and my new balance trail running shoes.

14. Middle name? Nicole

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? 4 Noble Truths, The 8 fold path, Circumcision, the 1st Diaspora of the Jews, the persecution of the Jews.. yes, procrastinating actually helps :)

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water and Coffee. Sometimes a Dr. Pepper. I am trying to quit the coffee and soda. I am going to visit my family and friends in March and am going to get in tip top shape first. LOL. That's worse then getting ready for a class reunion.

17. Current worry? That my daughter doesn't catch the flu (No, I don't feed in to paranoia, I am actually a person who doesn't freak out over health issues but she has disabilities that make the flu worse for her then it does other people and since she just had neurosurgery, well you understand) Oh and speaking of surgery, she has developed a gap in her skull and we are hoping it's just her skull settling and nothing serious. So of course, I have to watch to make sure it isn't getting larger and not pulsing, because then that means serious trouble for her. Possible shunt malfunction, brain infection, etc.

18. Current hate right now? I don't really hate anything, but what's annoying are people who spam information which I consider hate mongering and untruths.

19. Dum da dum dummmm what is that? Dum?

20. How did you bring in the new year? Sleeping

21. Where would you like to go? Asian, UK, Dubrovnik Croatia, Casablanca Morocco, The Virgin Islands, and many, many more

22. Name three people who will complete this? Anyone who wants to.

23. Do you own slippers? Nope.

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? white tank top

25. Do you like sleeping on Satin sheets? Sure, but I actually prefer high thread count egyptian cotton sheets- feels like HEAVEN :)

26. Can you whistle? Nope!

27. Favorite color? I am a girly girl and love pink buuttt, right now I am into the bright jewel colors (Indian style) aquas, purples, burgundies, reds, etc

28. Would you be a pirate? Arrrrrr me matey, No.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? That stupid Miley Cyrus song, Party in The USA is stuck in my head and I sang it in the shower this morning.

30. Favorite Girl’s Name? Emma (of course!)

31. Favorite boy’s name? Elijah.

32. What’s in your pocket right now? No pockets.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? The girl in my math class who farted and then was pretending it was her shoes.. uh, it's a carpeted floor my dear and YOU need to lay off the dairy!

34. Best bed sheets as a child? I was poor, I can't remember, I am sure they were plain.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had as a child? I have never really been injured,I did however, have a neighbor kid smash my cheek with a broom handle (on accident) and it busted my cheek open. Looked like I had an extra eyeball. Should have had stitches but my mom just closed me up with butterfly bandages. Still have a scar there.

36. Do you love where you live? I hate Arizona.

37. Revenge of the Nerds or Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Both

38. Who is your loudest friend? Ummm, I really don't know

39. How many dogs do you have? None but would love a Husky.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? No idea....

42. What is your favorite candy? I really don't like candy.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Rock Chalk Jayhawks (didn't say it had to be pro)

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? Celebration by Kool and the Gang. I am not kidding.......


In My Mailbox 6 (It's been awhile!)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Go ahead and join in on the fun. I know I love to see what arrives in everybody's mailboxes, don't you?

Ok, it has been a few weeks since I have done an In My Mailbox, needless to say, it's a big one! I am sure I am going to forget one or two, I hope I don't but you know how that goes! When I say there is a ton, I am not kidding!

The first I am going to post are my purchases from Amazon.com. Have you heard of swagbucks yet? Well, I set swagbucks as my primary search engine and by searching, you can earn random swagbucks! You can exchange those swagbucks for many items, I used mine to get Amazon.com giftcards!

Click on the box and sign up!
Search & Win

So from Amazon.com:

Yep, I am on a huge Urban Fantasty/Paranormal Romance kick. Not like I really needed to add any more books to my TBR, but I wouldn't be a true book nerd without an enormous pile of books that I need to read, right? I did begin "Moon Called" the first book of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series. AWESOME book!

From my favorite thrift store, I bought these books at their 2/ .50 sale!

There is a box in my car of the books I bought but haven't brought them in, these are just the ones I brought in. I spent $10 and that was 40 books! I am not kidding you.... who knows when I will EVER be able to read them.. but that's what retirement is for, right? *Correction, I just realized I posted the "Gathering Storm" by Robert Jordan, that is the incorrect title, it should have been "The Great Hunt". I posted the wrong code. I can't tell which one it is in that mess of codes, so just know I DON'T have "The Gathering Storm"

From the wonderful Danielle at Sourcebooks for review:

From Hatchette Book Group to review:
I am going to be part of the blog tour for Nine Dragons on October 13th. Michael Connelly will be in Scottsdale, AZ at the Poisoned Pen for a signing on that date and I am going to go and getting my copy signed and will post photos, I hope! This one will be my first author signing! Yay!

Via Reviewthebook.com:

The really cool part about this book, the author was still in high school when she wrote it. I am only a couple of chapters in, but let me say just from what I have read, Meg Christian has quite a career ahead of her if she continues to write. Also, according to the back of the book, proceeds from the sale go to help the homeless,

Via the authors:

Via the publisher:

Contest Winnings:

I won this from a giveaway at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. This is a GREAT blog for fantasy fans. Also, is going to hurt your pocket book (ahem... see all those books above.. Pat's fault. Seriously! LOL)

I won "The Apple" from Bibliofreakblog. Another great blog to visit! A great variety of books.

I *think* this should be it. I hope. Speaking of contests.. did you see all the excellent giveaways I am hosting this month? Take a peak over at my sidebar to see! Just click on the image and you will taken right to the giveaway page! Good luck!


Review: Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell

Wild Blue Under

From www.judifennell.com:

Rod Tritone is all set to take over the Mer kingdom when his father retires, until the ruling council tells him he has to marry first. The council gives him legs for the duration of his mission, as well as his future queen's address and phone number.

She's Valerie Dumere, the daughter of a Mer father and a human mother who raised her in landlocked Kansas. When devastatingly handsome Rod Tritone shows up and tries to tell her about the kingdom under the sea, not only does she think he's crazy, she's determined that's the last place she'd ever want to go.

Then a vicious squad of seagulls tries to stop the Mer Prince from inheriting his throne and Val finds out about her true nature. Now she has to make the choice of a lifetime—stay on land, or follow Rod to his underwater world..

"Wild Blue Under" is the second book of author, Judi Fennell's Mer Trilogy, and the first of hers I have read and definitely won't be the last, either! I will definitely going back and buying book #1 "In Over Her Head" which is about Reel, Rod's brother. However, "Wild Blue Under" didn't suffer at all as a stand alone.

I will say first and foremost, I totally giggled at the Tritone's names, dad's name is Fisher, sons Rod and Reel. I have to throw that out first. I love it! Imagine a world with Atlantis still being under sea, thriving and being ruled by the Mers, well Judi Fennell was able to create this world and mixing in the concerns current today about the environment, and an elite military style group of birds and dolphins. On top of that, throw in the unbelievably sexy Rod and the gorgeous Valerie and some hot, steamy scenes which are hot enough to raise the oceanic temperature and make me wish I had my own real life princely Mer Rod Tritone.

"Wild Blue Under" had action, political coup attempts, jealousy, love and be still my beating heart, Kansas. Judi Fennell included Kansas in her book. Why do I care? I am a Kansas girl, myself and am a little partial to Kansas and will always be a Kansas girl. I just wish, though, she would have added a little more locale detail but even without it, this book was A+ in my world.

Once again, this book was such a fun, delightful read. I love the talking birds, Maybelle and Adele, those two added something special as they thwarted the cowbirds with their feminine charms. Like I always say.... girl power :)


Giveaway! The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

From Hatchette Book Group: (This is NOT my review, but the info from Hatchette, thanks!)

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe - in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.

"Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment." ---New York Magazine

"Impossible to resist. . . . Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil." ---Miami Herald

"A richly told story about family and the dark side of human nature. . . . This cry of the heart will appeal to readers beyond those who are drawn by a fascaination with the legend of Dracula." ---Chicago Tribune

"Genuinely terrifying." ---Boston Globe

"Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine. . . . It won't take you long to get to the end." ---Houston Chronicle

Would you like to win a copy of this critically acclaimed book?

I have the amazing opportunity thanks to Valerie at Hatchette Book Group to give away 5 copies. In order to enter, you must be a resident of the US or Canada and no PO Boxes.

To enter, leave me a comment!

It is not required that you be a follower of this blog, but it is highly recommended. I will NOT contact the winners, the winners will be posted on my blog and it will be the winner's responsibility to contact me within 48 hours of the posting. If a winner or winners do not contact me within that time frame, the prize will be forfeited and I will give it away in Twitter Giveaway. It is highly recommended you also follow me on Twitter (see the Follow Me on Twitter button in the sidebar).

Giveaway ends on October 15th!

Winners will be chosen by Random.org

Thank you and GOOD LUCK!!!


Alec Thrace and The Lost Medallion Review!

Alec Thrace and the Lost Medallion (Atlantais: The Hidden Kingdom Series Book 1)

From www.alecthrace.com:

ALEC THRACE and the Lost Medallion
Atlantis: The Hidden Kingdom Series - Book 1

2000 BC


The civilization was old, ancient even by Egyptian standards. Great buildings and scientific knowledge would astound even the people of the 21st century, leaving those of Greece, Egypt and the land of Mesopotamia looking as if they were nothing more than children playing with blocks.
Atlantis, a magical, peaceful island far out to sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules, was a civilization that was once a warrior society bent on conquering and manipulating all other civilizations. They felt all others owed their very existence to them and should revere the Atlanteans as god-like. Though Atlanteans taught the Greeks, Egyptians, and several other societies the arts of building and science, they were harsh taskmasters and demanded tribute in the form of gold and other precious jewels from all the other cities and kingdoms around the Mediterranean. With tribute pouring in from those who lived in the region, the Atlanteans had more time to study science and philosophy, thus ensuring their position as overlords of the world. The Atlanteans learned of a rare crystal in their homeland whose properties were unexplainable to normal man or even an Atlantean. In conjunction with the magnetic forces deep within the earth and the thermal heat of their volcanic land, scientists were able to discover ways of travel other than horseback or chariot. The Atlanteans feared that this newfound knowledge would cause an uprising from the other inhabitants throughout the Mediterranean. They knew that even with their superior abilities, they could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people surrounding the great sea to the east.
As the years and centuries passed, the Atlanteans grew more and more arrogant and even crueler to the lesser kingdoms until their worst fears came to pass.
The great Festival of Poseidon approached, and the people of Atlantis, as they did every year, flocked to his great temple and statue on the north shores of their great land to revel in and worship their god. The great day arrived and they gathered by the thousands at the feet of Poseidon and the mountain range behind him, Poseidon’s Trident. They were taken completely by surprise when they were attacked by tens of thousands of warriors, united under one banner.
As it would later be called, the Great Cataclysm was now upon them, but something happened that would forever change the ways of the Atlantean people and save them from what they had brought upon themselves. Poseidon’s Trident suddenly and unexplainably rumbled to life, spewing poisonous gas and hot, rolling lava upon the invading forces that had amassed on the northern shores of Atlantis.
The Atlanteans knew that they were being protected by the god, Poseidon, and his wife, the goddess Cleito. Though the Atlanteans lost many, all of the invading forces had been destroyed as had most of the northern part of their land with portions of it sinking into the sea to be reclaimed by their god. The land was temporarily unlivable and forever sacred to the Atlantean people reminding them of the point in time when they learned their most valuable lesson.
From that day on, the Atlanteans worked for the betterment of others, though they discovered a way to hide their beautiful paradise from prying eyes. They devoted their resources to the sciences of living in peace and protecting those who were weak, sometimes offering them shelter on Atlantis.
This is a story of a family who, through the generations, led their people to this path of life, though they were derived from a fierce warrior clan of the Atlantean hierarchy. This is the story of the House of Thrace; the legendary house that helped lead their people out of the darkness and into the light. A journey, where a young man learns not only of life and the outside world, but of the value of true friends and family. Alec Thrace discovers that his road is a road full of twists and turns, of excitement, of loss and of great joy and the discoveries that lie before him and for those that follow.

Just the synopsis is beyond exciting, right?

I love when an author can take myths, legends, history and adventure and intertwine all of it into a book that is exciting and full of great escapism. Alec Thrace is a character that can be likable and annoying at the same time. He is a born leader but his perfection can be a bit annoying, just like in real life to us lesser humans. :) Alec Thrace and his two friends, Amazonian Alexia and fellow Atlantean Jasen head off in search of finding Alexander the Great's body and finding out what happened to Alec's father and to fulfill Alec's destiny. Personally, I cheered Alexia on. Girl power! I love the lore of the Amazons. It was easy to build a connection with the main character, Alec, and the others.

The author has built a fantastic and realistic Atlantis hidden and protected from the rest of the world with abilities and science beyond the rest of the world's capabilities. At a time during the Roman invasions, Atlantis was thriving.

M.D. Griffith writes with such vivid description that I couldn't help but be able to vision what the characters looked like. There have been times that I have read books that were OVERLY descriptive and this was not the case. Just enough to create extra visualizations in yourimagination. The weaving of major historical characters (Phillip of Macedonia, Ptolemy, etc) worked beautifully, the dialog was excellent and the action was spot on.

I also really liked that instead of each chapter being by number, for example, Chapter 1, instead this book's chapter 1 is "Return of The Medallion. Summer of 323 BC). This is throughout the book!

If you want to read some a fun journey packed with history, action, and mythology, "Alec Thrace and The Lost Medallion" will do the trick! This is the first book of "The Hidden Kingdom Series" and I can't wait for more!

Please watch here for an interview with M.D. Griffith and a surprise!!!


Lucan Author Susan Kearney Guest Post and Giveaway!

I am so stoked to bring to you today, here at Revenge of the Nerds, author Susan Kearney. She has an exciting new trilogy called, The Pendragon Legacy, and her first book, Lucan, I was given a fantastic opportunity to read and review (My review is here http://booknerdextraordinaire.blogspot.com/2009/09/review-lucan-by-susan-kearney.html . I LOVED Lucan, and I am sure you will too!

Please welcome Susan Kearney!!!!

According to legend the Holy Grail could cure sickness of those who drank from it—but no one knows if it ever really existed. And that’s perfect material for a writer. Because we have so little factual evidence about it, that leaves room for my fertile imagination to make things up.
I got to play “what if?” What if the Holy Grail could really make someone immortal? It would be the ultimate prize throughout the galaxy. What if the Holy Grail didn’t come from Earth? But suppose we found a star map that led us to it? Wouldn’t it be fun to hunt for the Grail? And what would happen if we found it? Or if our worst enemy found it?

The possibilities are infinite. And that’s just the kind of legend I like—one I can manipulate to fit the kinds of books I write. Science fiction romances or futuristic romance.

I’ve always loved stories about treasures, stories about brave men and women who were willing to risk their lives to help their worlds. And in LUCAN, I got the chance to create a character determined to find the Grail—even if he had to cross the galaxy to do it. Of course my sexy archeologist was shocked to find a world called Pendragon, and an edifice called Avalon, where the natives believed the ancient ones had hidden the Holy Grail.

After all it made sense to protect the most valuable object in the galaxy behind the walls of an impregnable edifice. Only when Lucan teams up with the sexy High Priestess of Avalon does he stand a chance of finding his prize. Only he doesn’t count on her being a dragon shaper and that she wants the Grail for her own people.
Oh, yes, searching for the Grail isn’t easy—especially with Earth’s greatest enemy after the prize as well. You can read an except and watch the video at www.susankearney.com

Also thanks to Hatchette Book Group, I have the wonderful opportunity to give away FIVE copies of Lucan to five lucky readers!!! Aren't you excited? I know I am!

To enter:

Just leave me a comment saying you want to enter! That's it! Simple, huh?

I JUST caught that I didn't put in the restrictions, sorry to anybody this will affect :(
5 winners, US & Canada Only, no PO Boxes

I do not require you to follow my blog, however, I will NOT contact the winner. Winner will be notified right here on my blog and it will be up to the winner to contact ME within 48 hours of my posting the winner. This contest ends on October 15th. Winner will be chosen randomly by Random.org.

What are you reading Mondays 8

Vist J-Kaye's blog for more information on the What Are You Reading Mondays and to join. What did you finish last week? What are you reading now and what will you finish? Great fun and great reading!

I haven't participated in a few weeks. Things are extremely busy here but here I am today! YAY!! LOL.

I just finished an AWESOME fantasy adventure book by MD Griffith called Alec Thrace and The Lost Medallion. I really enjoyed this book. I will have my review and a special prize for you in the next couple of days!
Alec Thrace and the Lost Medallion (Atlantais: The Hidden Kingdom Series Book 1)

I am nearly finished with Judi Fennell's newest addition to her Mer Trilogy, "Wild Blue Under". This is another fun, enjoyable read! I will have my review and a surprise very soon, too!
Wild Blue Under

I also finished reading and reviewing "Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms" and am also hosting a giveaway (see my side bar for the link to both the review AND giveaway!

Can't wait to see what you all have been up to in the reading world!


"Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms" review and Giveaway!


I was given a wonderful opportunity to read and review Jane Doiron's new cookbook, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms. I have only reviewed one other cookbook and have found these so much fun to review! I try out a recipe or two and salivate over the rest! haha! I definitely have a ton of recipes out of this cookbook to try but for now, I made two main dishes today that one I froze all but one serving and the other, my daughter and I ate and froze the rest!

From Jane's Website Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms (Psst, be sure to sign up for her newsletter, once a month she gives away a Reynolds Handivac Sealer and bags and I won one this month! I have had so much fun using it. What a great idea to have with the concept of her cookbook!) Also, if you click the adorable little button above you can also visit her blog!

Your busy mom lifestyle dictates quick get-on-the table meals, but how do you prepare and cook a delicious meal at the end of your busy day when you are simply out of time and energy?

It’s simple! Here's how: Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook. This is Jane Doiron’s cookbook of savory, family-favorite recipes that were individually home-tested and selected. Make Ahead Meals are:

• Simple to prepare.
• Simple to assemble ahead of schedule.
• Simple to freeze ahead.
• Simple for the whole family to enjoy.

Jane Doiron helps you, a very busy mom like herself, to put a fabulous dinner on the table every night for friends, or just for the family, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of flavor.

Jane's goal was to seek out main dish, family-favorite recipes that could be make ahead meals without sacrificing the food’s taste and texture by freezing. After years of home-testing recipes, Jane has compiled this must-have cookbook with specific make-ahead directions. In addition, Jane includes her best recipes for clever side dishes, flavorful appetizers and luscious desserts. Imagine opening your freezer to pick out a family-favorite appetizer, main dish, or dessert, and all you have to do is thaw and heat it!

Make-ahead meals are a healthy and economical alternative to take-out and preservative filled, pre-packaged foods. With make ahead meal planning, you are making fewer trips to the grocery store, and saving money otherwise spent on unhealthy, take-out and fast foods. It’s simple. Give yourself a break during the hectic weeknights with Jane’s make-ahead meal recipes. Spend the time that you save outside of the kitchen doing something that you enjoy.

First off, one thing I appreciate in a good cookbook is the font. The font size is excellent! Not too small and not too big either. Her introduction and helpful tips section were excellent. She gives many fantastic tips, such as purchasing powdered buttermilk instead of liquid. Maybe I am behind on things, lol, but I had no clue there was powdered buttermilk! I never make recipes that call for buttermilk because #1., I don't want to buy one container just for one recipe and #2., I have tried all the substitution tricks (adding lemon or vinegar to milk) and they never work for me and just doesn't taste the same!

The recipes are listed as: Appetizers, Breakfast and Brunch, Desserts, Main Dishes, Side Dishes and Soup. Following Soups, there is a section for measurement equivalents, and then the index. The total pages are 211 but it doesn't feel nor look like it. The recipes are written simply enough and makes them easy to follow. She gives step by step instructions on what to prepare ahead of time (maybe a day) and what to prepare on the day of making the dish. She also let's the reader know if freezing is a good option for the recipe and if so, what the steps are to insure optimal results.

I prepared her recipe for BBQ Country Ribs/Pulled Pork. This is an easy 7 ingredient crockpot recipe and it came out fabulous! My daughter and I each ate two pulled pork sandwiches (Emma is ridiculously picky and pigged out!) and we just had fresh fruit for the side dish. I portioned the remaining into Reynold's Handivac freezer bags, vacuum sealed them (cooled down first, of course!), and now have two meals awaiting for us in the freezer to thaw and reheat. Her recipes include how long you should thaw the meal before finishing the cooking process.


The other meal we prepared was Chicken Cannelloni. This definitely looks daunting due to the ingredients list, but it was so simple to make! I have never made any kind of stuffed manicotti and was a little worried I would destroy all the shells (hint, buy good quality manicotti shells, not the generics. I bought the Kroger store brand shells and they just tore! Then I had to go back and buy more and purchased Barilla's brand and they came out much better. They aren't the best quality of pasta but the Italian market was already closed or I would have gone to them for advice! haha). At Jane's note about freezing, the cream sauce will seperate when frozen so what I decided to do was hold off on making the sauce until I defrosted and baked the cannelloni. I wrapped them in saran wrap and then in freezer bags. Also, what I loved, Jane Doiron also notes that this will freeze well for 2 months! That helps me since I am so weird about food safety (I had food poisoning once that I nearly ended up being hospitalized so... yeah, little paranoid! haha)

As many of you know, I am a single mom, I go to school full time, and with Emma's disabilities and multiple doctor's appointments, therapies and such, I am busy. I know many of you are too! Regardless of whether you have families or not, making meals ahead of time in our busy lives makes things so simplified. Maybe spend one weekend a month just making these meals and you are set! Instead of ordering take out, just defrost and go!

If you would love the opportunity to make some of these meals, guess what? Jane sent me an extra copy just for one of you lucky readers!

Here's the deal to enter:

Very simple. Just answer this question in a comment:

What do you do to simplify your life, whether it be cooking, cleaning, laundry, studying, whatever!

Please note, this is for ONE copy.
I do not require you to follow my blog, however, I will NOT contact the winner. Winner will be notified right here on my blog and it will be up to the winner to contact ME within 48 hours of my posting the winner. This contest ends on October 15th. Winner will be chosen randomly by Random.org.

With that said, good luck!

CODE YELLOW!!! Beat The Reaper Giveaway!

Beware of the "The killing season - period around August in which freshly minted doctors (houseplants) take employment."

From Hatchettebookgroup.com:

Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan's worst hospital, with a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he'd prefer to keep hidden. Whether it's a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwna is a hitman for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Relocation Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he's the last person you want to see in your hospital room.

Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is Dr. Brown's new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might-just might-be the same person ...

Now, with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours-and somehow beat the reaper.

Spattered in adrenaline-fueled action and bone-saw-sharp dialogue, BEAT THE REAPER is a debut thriller so utterly original you won't be able to guess what happens next, and so shockingly entertaining you won't be able to put it down.

Would you love a chance to read this awesome new medical thriller? Great! Thanks to Valerie at Hatchette Book Group, you have the opportunity to win one of 5 copies of Beat The Reaper by a medical resident himself, Josh Bazell.

To enter, very simple:

Leave a comment saying you want to enter

It's not required to be a follower to enter but it's highly recommended as I WILL NOT contact winners. Winners will be posted on my blog and it will be up to YOU to contact me. Winners are chosen randomly by using random.org. The contest will end on October 15th.

I JUST caught that I didn't put in the restrictions, sorry to anybody this will affect :(
5 winners, US & Canada Only, no PO Boxes

With that said.. GOOD LUCK!


Winners!!! Cleopatra's Daughter and The Smart One and The Pretty One!

Yay!! My favorite part of contests.. announcing winners!!!!

All winners are chosen using Random.org!

For the SIGNED Cleopatra's Daughter Giveaway the winner is........

Nonna from Cheli's Shelves

Now for "The Smart One and The Pretty One" Giveaway, the 5 winners are:

Alexa from Hooked on YA Books


BreadwinnerWife from A Breadwinner Wife

Froggy from Froggaritaville's Bookcase

Jezebelsk from Walking on Sunshine

Congratulations to all the winners! Winners, please email me booknerdextraordinaire@yahoo.com within 48 hours with your mailing address. If a prize is not claimed within that 48 hours, I will post the available copy(ies) on Twitter for a quick giveaway! So, make sure you follow me on twitter @historyslover

To all of you who entered, a HUGE thank you for joining in! I have other giveaways going on right now and by the end of this weekend, I will be posting another one! Throughout the rest of this month I will be hosting some GREAT giveaways!

**** There were three winners who didn't respond to this posting within the 48 hour time frame. I did extend it to another 24 hours. Those books were given away in a Twitter contest*****


Swagbucks.. search to earn!

Search & Win

Have you heard of swagbucks? If not, you need to! I use Swagbucks as my primary search engine (they combine the best of Google and Ask all in to one search engine) and earn! You won't earn EVERY time you search but you will randomly earn Swagbucks! For instance, today is MegaBucks day. I earned $3 swags for searching for Georgette Heyer. I am building up to get another Amazon.com gift card. Why not earn for what you already do.. search online!


PR Friendly Blog

I am currently working on updating my PR, Review and Sponsored Posts policies. 

I certainly look forward to working with you now and in the future! Please don't hesitate to contact me with any comments, questions or concerns!


My review of "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coehlo

The Alchemist The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

From Amazon.com: Amazon.com Review
Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sniff a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.

Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
This inspirational fable by Brazilian author and translator Coelho has been a runaway bestseller throughout Latin America and seems poised to achieve the same prominence here. The charming tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who dreams of seeing the world, is compelling in its own right, but gains resonance through the many lessons Santiago learns during his adventures. He journeys from Spain to Morocco in search of worldly success, and eventually to Egypt, where a fateful encounter with an alchemist brings him at last to self-understanding and spiritual enlightenment. The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it's full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams. The cumulative effect is like hearing a wonderful bedtime story from an inspirational psychiatrist. Comparisons to The Little Prince are appropriate; this is a sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Maybe I was hoping for some great, philosophical "Aha" moment when I read "The Alchemist" but I didn't. It nearly lulled me to sleep. Maybe I had too high of expectations or not, either ways, "The Alchemist" did have the "WOW" factor for me. I was initially going to give this only one star but I decided to bump it up because the concept was there but the writing wasn't.

I am a little irritated that I lost 2 1/2 hours of my life that I can not get back.

View all my reviews >>


Review: Lucan by Susan Kearney

From Hatchette Book Group's Website:


Healer and high priestess of her people, Lady Cael is fated to life without a mate. But a mysterious explorer named Lucan Rourke doesn't know her secrets, and his touch makes her crave a future that her extraordinary birthright has forbidden her. . .


Lucan has just one mission on Pendragon: to find the mythical Holy Grail, Earth's only hope for survival. His powerful attraction to Cael is a distraction he can't afford, unless he convinces her to join forces with him. Yet working so closely together only heightens their passion . . . even when the terrifying truth of Cael's heritage threatens to shatter Lucan's every belief-and the galaxy itself.

My review:

First and foremost, King Arthur, Knights of the Round Table, Avalon, The Holy Grail, Dragons, shapeshifters, Space travel, future, hot, steamy love scenes, paranormal romance.. all in one book? In "Lucan" it's all there! Susan Kearney has woven an exciting, action packed, thrill ride and love into "Lucan". I loved the Arthurian Legend being mixed in with Science Fiction and Fantasy. This book was 325 pages of pure excitement. I loved that there wasn't any huge lulls or any word padding. I could visualize Cael's dragon form, the pounding of her multiple hearts, and the telepathic connection between Cael and Lucan. Admittedly, I developed a fangirlish crush on Rion. I seriously could not put this book down and am hoping that she is planning to give us more of Lucan, Cael, Rion, and the future of Earth. I think I have found another new author to add to my list of must reads!

Edit: As I went on to Susan Kearney's website, I am beyond excited to read that YES, there are 2 more books. Yay! A Pendragon Legacy TRILOGY!!! Whoo! Book #2 is RION, and book #3 is JORDAN. I am all over those two at release!

If you would like to read an excerpt click here and you can also find out more about the author and her other works.

Also, stayed tuned as I will have special surprise for you on September 22 :)
Here is the list of bloggers involved in the blog tour for Susan Kearney and "Lucan"

http://justanothernewblog.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 9 giveaway
http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 9 review, giveaway, and Q&A.
http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 9 review and guest post
http://fallingofftheshelf.blogspot.com - Sept. 10 review, giveaway, guest post
http://reesspace.blogspot.com - Sept. 10 review and giveaway
http://seductivemusings.blogspot.com/ - Q&A
http://ajourneyofbooks.blogspot.com - Sept. 11review, giveaway, and Q&A
http://www.mgpblog.com/ - Sept. 12 review
http://yankeeromancereviewers.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 14 review, giveaway, and Q&A
http://jmomfinds.amoores.com/ - Sept. 14 review and giveaway
http://www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 15 giveaway
www.libslibrary.blogspot.com - Sept. 16 Guest blog and giveaway.
http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com - Sept. 17 review, giveaway, and Q&A
www.mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com - Sept. 17 review, giveaway, and Q&A
http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 17 review and giveaway
http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/ - Sept. 18 review, giveaway, guest post
http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 18 review and giveaway
http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 19 giveaway and guest post
http://annavivian.blogspot.com - Sept. 20 review and giveaway
http://nightdweller20.wordpress.com - Sept. 20 review and giveaway
http://patricias-vampire-notes.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 21 giveaway
http://aparkavenueprincess.blogspot.com/ - Sept. 21 giveaway
http://booknerdextraordinaire.blogspot.com - Sept. 22 giveaway and guest post
http://bridget3420.blogspot.com - review, giveaway, Q&A



Interview with Sharon Lathan and Giveaway!

I am so excited to present to you an amazing author of a fantastic Pride & Prejudice sequel, "Loving Mr. Darcy", and her name is Sharon Lathan. I am so honored to be graced with her presense and have enjoyed getting to know her. So, ladies and gentleman, without further adieu- introducing Sharon Lathan!!!!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

This is an interesting question because I came at the whole "writing thing" in such a surprising way. The full story can be read on my website, but I often jest that I was rather like Mr. Darcy and his love for Elizabeth in that I was smack in the middle of it before I realized what I was happening to me.

I began writing as a hobby. For 25 years my profession has been nursing and I never searched for a different occupation. The occasional stories I fabricated in my mind were for my own entertainment and, as silly as it probably sounds, I never considered writing them down! What began as short stories relating the after-marriage honeymoon life for the Darcys, posted on various Jane Austen fan-fiction websites for like-minded readers, gradually morphed into one long story over several months. Initially I was writing just for fun out of my mutual love for Pride and Prejudice and history. For a long while I was perfectly content to freely share my chapters with satisfied readers, knowing I was creating a well-written and researched story, but not precisely thinking of myself as a "writer" in the full definition of the word. Even after I began to seriously pursue publishing, it was strange to think of myself as an author. The turning point for me, when I finally recognized and admitted that I was in fact a writer, was when the first rejections came back! It was then, with over three novels under my belt, that I KNEW I could not give up no matter what anyone said. The desire to see my words in book-form and to continue telling the stories that incessantly swirled in my brain was uncontainable. I have never been one to take no for an answer and I have tremendous self-confidence. The negativity and rejection only strengthened my resolve to prove that I WAS a writer. And here I am!

How often do you write?

It varies. Once upon a time I managed to write nearly every day. Of course, those were my before-publishing days! As all published authors learn, the demands of editing, marketing, maintaining a website, etc. take a great deal of time. And then there is the “real” job and the responsibilities of family life, so fitting in writing new material does get waylaid. Plus, I am the type of person who must focus on the task at hand. When I have edits to complete or guest blogs to write, I have to devote my energy and get it done before I can clear my mind to write. I am gradually learning to compartmentalize my time and organize more efficiently, but no matter how perfectly I plan, there are only 24 hours in a day! When I do clear the schedule and focus, I can write for hours on end.

Are you working on any books right now?

I have 3 WIPs going! The first is a novella that is part of a Christmas-themed anthology that will be published next November. I am very excited about this for many reasons, not the least of which is that I will be published in a book alongside Amanda Grange. The fifth novel in the Darcy Saga series - as yet untitled - is more than 2/3 complete. It is under contract for a tentative release in spring or summer of 2011. I also have a companion novel to the series focusing on Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy's sister, in the works. It is nearly complete, but I had to put it aside to work on the novella. So far it isn't under contract, but my editor is very interested, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Do any members of your family read your books?

My sister is one of my biggest fans, and this is a huge compliment because I know how discriminating a reader my sister is! We have been avid readers for as long as we can remember, sharing our passion for reading fantasy and historical novels especially. Frankly I did not think she would care for my novels since they have a strong romantic element mixed in with the history, but she loves them! I think we have both learned to appreciate the romance genre as it has evolved over these past decades. Her husband will literally read anything if it is well written, and he enjoyed my books, his stamp of approval also cherished. My 21-year-old daughter, who is a voracious reader of romance, refuses to read my books because - and I quote: "It is too icky to read a sex scene written by my mother." Understood! My mother loves my books, but admits that she skips over the sensual moments for the same reason. LOL! My husband has read portions, but romance is definitely not his cup-o-tea.

What is your favorite film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice?

Without a doubt it is Joe Wright's excellent adaptation from 2005. It is the first P&P rendering I saw and I absolutely loved it. Everything about that movie is perfect to me: the actors, the cinematography, the music, the costumes, and how the story was told. I truly believe it is brilliant both in its own right as a great movie and as an adaptation of the source material. Since then, as my love for all things Austen has grown, I have seen the BBC miniseries as well as the entertaining, loosely based movies like Lost in Austen and all the other Austen novel-to-film versions. I love all of them for their unique ways of bringing Austen's timeless tales to life. But the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen will always be my favorite. I unapologetically am inspired by the film as I carry on the life of the Darcys and their family in my Saga.

If you could be any one dessert- what would it be?

Oh my! I have never gotten this question before! Kudos. Let me see... I am not very good at analogies, but I suppose I would be a thick cake with one layer angel cake smeared with sweet vanilla custard and the other a rich, dark chocolate slathered with gooey fudge, topped with tart berries. I'll let you figure out the symbolism.

That was so fun! Thank you, Jamie, for hosting me today. I appreciate the chance to share a bit about my novels and myself. Hopefully I have intrigued your readers enough to dash out to the nearest bookstore! Or at least to click over to my website and learn more about my romantic, historical series of happily-ever-after for Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy: www.darcysaga.net

About the Author

Sharon Lathan is a native Californian currently residing amid corn, cotton, and cows in the sunny city of Hanford. She divides her time as homemaker nurturing a husband and two children, plus the cat, dog, and fish; while also working as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. Somewhere in there she finds time to write! Sharon Lathan can be found on her website/blog at: www.darcysaga.net, on Facebook as “Sharon Lathan, “ on Twitter as “@SharonLathan,” and on the Casablanca Authors’ blog at: http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/

I hope you all have enjoyed reading Sharon Lathan's questions as much as I have! What another wonderful author we get to meet, nothing makes my day (ok besides curling up with a good book on a rainy day) then getting to "meet" these creative minds behind the books we love so much! I was given the fantastic opportunity to read and review "Loving Mr. Darcy" *cough* review is coming *cough* I promise *cough cough cough* Anyways, I LOVED it! I know you will too! You will get to know another side of Mr. Darcy's and Elizabeth's relationship *giggles devilishly*

An enormous thank you to Sharon Lathan and how can we forget the lovely lady who made this possible, Danielle at Sourcebooks? Thank you ladies!!!

Courtesy of Danielle, I am able to host a giveaway for a set of Mrs Lathan's first book, "Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy" AND "Loving Mr. Darcy".

1 winner, U.S. & Canada only!

To enter:

Leave me a comment answering this question: If you could be any ONE character from a Jane Austen novel, who would it be and why?


If you have never read a Jane Austen book but want to, what hero/heroine from any book would you want to be and why?

Following is not required but it is recommended as I will NOT contact the winner, the winner will be announced here on this blog and it will be the winner's responsibility to contact me within 48 hours of the win being announced.

Giveaway ends on September 30, 2009 at midnight, PST. Winner will be chosen independantly via random.org

Thanks again and GOOD LUCK!!!!!!


Of Ghosts and Magic by Alfred M. Albers Review

Of Ghosts and Magic Of Ghosts and Magic by Alfred M. Albers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Of Ghosts and Magic" is a strong story of finding the ghosts of the past. It takes a magician to find this "ghost". John Michaels' 30th class reunion is ahead of him and at the request of his former classmate, he agrees to take his magical show out of retirement. When he learns that his high school friend, Alex Holloman, has yet to be located and has disappeared since 1974, John decides he is going to look for his friend and if he finds him, he will incorporate him in the reunion's magic show.

I really enjoyed this book. I felt John Michaels was a very strong and likeable character. The dialogue was fantastic and felt myself really wanting him to succeed. In real life, Mr. Albers is a part time professional magician and it shows through his descriptions of the magical acts and tricks. I really felt a bonding with Alex and could understand his pain and how the events of his life snow balled in to him disappearing in to "thin air" after coming home from two years in Vietnam and his parents being killed six months after his return to civilian life. The descriptions of New York City's subway system, neighborhoods, eateries and hotels was very realistic! The ending certainly gave me tears- of happiness of course!

I felt, though, there were some inconsistencies, for example, on page 179. Alex is taken back to 1964 during the British invasion and it's talking about music of the time and his desire to learn to play the guitar. Then in paragraphs 3 and 4, he is in Walter's Music store there is description of CDs, which weren't around then. I am not sure if it should have maybe been LPs? Then the next page jumps to 1984 and his teaching beginning guitar lessons. That is the only issue is the mention of CDs. It's very well possible I misread it but other then that, this book was a fantastic read. I really enjoyed John Michaels' respectful tone towards others he is dealing with in various scenes.

Thumbs up to Mr Albers for "Of Ghosts and Magic"

View all my reviews >>

Edit: I just received an email from Mr. Albers in which he thanked me for the review and clarified the CD mention in the story and this is the email:

Hello, Jaime:

Thanks for the great review; I appreciate it. By the way, you're only the second person to have mentioned to me about the use of CDs in the story. I took some "creative liberties" as a writer in using CDs in the story (they first came out in 1982; however, the selection was extremely limited). If I had a crystal ball, I'd have invested in this new technology as it was only a matter of time before they concept took off like a high flying kite. Oh well.

Again ... I'm glad you liked the story and I thank you for the kind words.



My reply:
Ahh ok! See, I wasn't sure if when the CDs were mentioned in the story, what time it was relating to! I knew it was sometime between 1964-84. Now that you mentioned that part, it makes perfect sense since Alex was a music collector! Being as his record collection was so vast and worth so much! Ok, I wish I could edit this in to my reviewthebook review but I can't, however, I will add our convo into the other reviews I posted! Thanks for telling me this!

I really want to share this because it makes PERFECT sense! I normally wouldn't share an author's email but this definitely clarifies the one part that mystified me and now the "Aha" moment shines!


Bookcase Review from CSN Furniture

Yay!! I am doing a geeky, running man, cabbage patch style dance over my new absolutely adorable bookcase thanks to Jason at CSN Office Furniture!

Dealing with CSN has been a delight, they were friendly, courteous and the shipping was lightening fast via FEDEX.


The bookcase itself was so simple to put together, I am not kidding you, it took me all of 5 minutes to assemble.


I wanted something that would sit in a corner next to my reading chair and this particular 3 tiered, wicker corner shelf fit the bill beyond expectations! I put my ipod speakers on the bottom shelf, a decorative plant and photo on the top and in the middle, the books I need read and reviewed by the end of this month! I am so in love with this bookcase and am so excited to feature CSN Office Furniture here on my blog. An ENORMOUS thanks to Jason at CSN Furniture and J Kaye for her referral!

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