Romance at Random Hockey Hop Giveaway

April 24, 2013

hockey hopYes, another giveaway from Romance at Random.  Click on the link below to enter.  This time they are giving away 5 ebook sets of the Assassins Hockey Series by Toni Aleo, 10 NetGalley preview sets, and one $20 Starbucks gift card.  Books in the series include: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, and Empty Nets, and they are all on sale now.  

Enter for a chance to win.


(And don’t forget the Claim Me Giveaway is still going on too.  Scroll down the page a bit to find the link.)


The Unofficial Guide to Nutella by Michelle Fabiola

February 7, 2012

Yesterday, besides being SuperBowl Sunday, was also World Nutella Day. While I learned this from Amazon in an advertisement for this book, I was actually looking for a dessert idea to bring along to a SuperBowl party so I bought it. There really isn’t much to this book other than the recipes, but I found it worth the 99 cents it cost me for my Kindle. It is a cute look at what type of Nutella fan you are, how people eat Nutella and what you can put Nutella on, along with some really yummy sounding recipes. If you are a Nutella fan, get this book.

And in case you were wondering what I brought to the party, I brought a tray with mini Nilla wafers, pretzels sticks, strawberries and raspberries, with Nutella for the dip. It was a huge hit!

2011 Books Read but not Reviewed

January 3, 2012

Well here it is 2012 and there are so many books that I read in 2011 that I never reviewed. Am I going to go back and review them all? No, but there are a few that I do need to write reviews for on Amazon or for NetGalley – those I plan to do. My new year’s resolution is to always try to write at least a short review as soon as I finish reading a book.

Here is a list of many, though probably not all, of the books from 2011, along with a short comment or two for some of them:

The Best of Times by Penny Vincenzi – a selection from my book club. A fast-paced novel told in a journalistic style which starts with a multi-car accident on a London highway and follows the ramifications of it through many of the characters’ lives. A pretty good book.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson – another book club selection. Though this book seems to be very popular with book clubs, I didn’t enjoy it at all. About a stiff English ex-soldier and his evolving relationship with a local Pakistani store clerk. I didn’t appreciate the characters and didn’t really care about their relationship or their families’ problems. Not my type of book.

Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen – also a book club book. A charming whimsical southern story. I found it enchanting.

Ape House by Sara Gruen – book club book. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book which has gotten decidedly mixed reviews, but I ended up enjoying it. An unusual story for those looking for something different.

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff – a book club selection we never got to discuss and that I just couldn’t force myself to finish. I am not a big reader of non-fiction, and this book definitely doesn’t make me a convert. If it had just been about Cleopatra and her life it might have been somewhat enjoyable but I couldn’t have cared less about her father’s political and military strategies or about how much a priest made per year. Not my cup of tea at all!

At work at the Park Ridge Public Library we do a monthly genre study. This winter we are concentrating on mystery genres, but books I read last year for other genre studies include Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins (odd, forced myself to finish it to see if she was really being stalked), short story collections by Margaret Atwood (I am not a short story person), books in the Iron Fey series (paranormal romance, one of my favorite genres), and Friendship Bread: A Novel by Darien Gee (also known as Mia King, a favorite author of mine).

I, of course, read books in some of my favorite series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, J D Robb, J R Ward, Janet Evanovich, James Patterson, and Lynsay Sands. I also discovered some new series that I like: Meg Cabot’s Insatiable and Overbite, Michael Thomas Ford’s Jane Goes Batty and Jane Bites Back, Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, and Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series. I still love my series books!

Other books I read last year include: Breathless, Key West, and Glass Houses by Stella Cameron (I like her books), Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher, The Secret Life of Damien Spinelli by Carolyn Hennesy, All My Life by Susan Lucci, The Help by Kathryn Stockett (really enjoyed it but I think my expectations for it were a little too high with all the hype it got), Fodor’s Oahu and Oahu Revealed (we went to Oahu as a family to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary), Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (seems he was a genius but not a very nice person), A Kindle Fan’s Report From the Front Row by Len Edgerly (about the press conference announcing the new Kindles. I love my Kindle, even more so now that I can read library books on it, and now I love my Kindle Fire too), Gena Showalter’s Playing with Fire and Twice as Hot (liked them both and from there went on to her Lords of the Underworld series), The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn, Vampire for Christmas by Felicity Heaton, and Christmas in Time by Peggy Webb.

There are also a few books that I got free through Book Rooster and Net Galley that I will be writing separate reviews for so I won’t list them here.

Happy reading in 2012!

Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

June 22, 2010

I spent the evening reviewing Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman, and I have a desire to go into my kitchen and start baking even though it’s nearly midnight here in the midwest.  I kind-of glossed over the “cake keeper” part of the title until I read the introduction where the author describes receiving a beautiful antique cake keeper from her family that she now keeps filled at all times with cake.  The book goes on to describe the basics of cake making from the equipment to the terminology.  The recipes are divided by the type of cake you want to make with chapters on snack cakes, bundt cakes and others.   There are traditional cakes and cakes with a modern twist, but you won’t need to be a professional baker to achieve results similar to those pictured in the gorgeous illustrations.  Most of the recipes are family-friendly and the results will be too.  While not all of the recipes are illustrated, the photos of the cakes that are make it very understandable why the author has many friends dropping by to see what the daily offering is under her cake keeper.

Hello world!

June 21, 2010

Hello.  This is my first blog posting.  Check back soon for reviews of books for children, young adults and adults.  I am currently reading The Billionaire’s Curse by Richard Newsome and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  I also have started Out of Sight by Stella Cameron and Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani.  And as soon as I receive Winter’s Passage by Julie Kagawa from on my Kindle, I will begin reading that and review it too.  Yes, I am one of those people who can read multiple books at once (and owning a Kindle has made that even worse!)