Sunday, December 26, 2010

Daily Dose #3

Participating in the weekly meme by Good Golly Miss Holly called the Daily Dose.

Pictures that are inspiring me this week:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!

Havin some good laughs!

Tryin out the new bike.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Review: Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball: A NovellaBook Description from WaterBrook Multnomah

Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas? 
In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.
Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together. 
This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?

Download chapter one of Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball now!

My Thoughts

From the very first sentences, this book caught my attention! It's a really fun, magical, Christmas-y book! The whole time I was reading it, the word sparkly came to mind. I had never heard of Donita K. Paul prior to receiving this book to review. She has a new fan!

I knew there was a mystical, magical element to this novella prior to reading the book. I don't typically read books with that element. But it was totally believable even though I know the things that occurred in the book would never happen in the real world. I actually found myself wishing the real life were more like the magical world found on Sage Street. I want to walk down an old-fashioned, yet modern street where life seems to slow down and what you are thinking about appears right before your eyes. I would love to go into quaint bookstores and fun costume shops with sweet old ladies that already know what you need and visit colorful candy shops. Seems like the perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.

If you are one of those people who automatically cringes because of the words "mystical" and "magical", I suggest you venture outside the box a bit and read this book. I think Donita has a very interesting perspective on the magical element.

Overall, a fun, Christmas read that is quick and "sparkly." Pick up your copy here: Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball: A Novella

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sushi Review: Thai Thai House (West Melbourne, FL)

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my cousin was in town and she and I with my parents had a nice dinner at the Thai Thai House in West Melbourne on Palm Bay Rd. I've been to this restaurant a few times and it has never disappointed me. For the four of us, we ordered five different sushi rolls and shared them.

Here's what you can expect when you visit Thai Thai House in West Melbourne...enjoyable atmosphere, friendly wait staff, quick service, reasonable prices and yummy sushi!

The classic Rainbow Roll.

The Dragon Roll.

The J.B. Roll (one of my favs - sorry the photo quality is poor).

The Orlando Roll (i think)

And my absolute FAVORITE - The Volcano Roll!

Oh, and don't forget a glass of Plum wine!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Ornaments...

Years ago, I went into a Christmas store and saw all these themed Christmas trees....all Santa ornaments or all Snowmen ornaments. At that moment, I decided i wanted an all Snowman and Snowflake Christmas tree when I grew up. I bought my first ornament for my dreamed-about tree.

Once my Aunt Lori heard about what I dreamed about, she started buying me Snowman and Snowflake ornaments and decorations. I have enough to decorate my entire place now! Here are some of my favorites...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Daily Dose #2

Participating in the weekly meme by Good Golly Miss Holly called the Daily Dose.

Pictures that are inspiring me this week:

My niece, Sadie, and her the laughs!

Cute, little boots for winter weather. 
My niece, Anika, walking through a field of wildflowers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In my mailbox....

This week I received these books in my mailbox...

I look forward to reading them and telling you what I think about them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Review: Naked Heat by Richard Castle (Audiobook)

Naked Heat Unabridged CD By Richard Castle(A) [Audiobook]
Naked Heat
(Description from

Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook are together again in Richard Castle's thrilling follow-up to his New York Times bestseller, Heat Wave.

When New York's most vicious gossip columnist, Cassidy Towne, is found dead, Heat uncovers a gallery of high profile suspects, all with compelling motives for killing the most feared muckraker in Manhattan.

Heat's murder investigation is complicated by her surprise reunion with superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook. In the wake of their recent breakup, Nikki would rather not deal with their raw emotional baggage. But the handsome, wise-cracking Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's personal involvement in the case forces her to team up with Rook anyway. The residue of their unresolved romantic conflict and crackling sexual tension fills the air as Heat and Rook embark on a search for a killer among celebrities and mobsters, singers and hookers, pro athletes and shamed politicians.

This new, explosive case brings on the heat in the glittery world of secrets, cover-ups, and scandals.

My Thoughts:

As I have mentioned before, I commute somewhat of a distance for work each day. Since I love to read, I decided to invest in some audiobooks to listen to on the way. The other day I started Richard Castle's second book, Naked Heat.

I haven't finished the book and look forward to discovering along with Nikki Heat who is the killer. Just like the first book, Heat Wave, a whole cast of possible suspects are being introduced, yet, it's still a mystery as to which one will be the culprit in the end. Definitely keeps the suspense going right until the end.

The biggest thing that has stood out to me in this second book is how much more similar the characters are to their counterparts in the hit ABC Primetime show, Castle. It has to be one of two things, either the writer has become more familiar with the TV show actors' characteristics and quirks and manner of speech OR the narrator has more thoroughly studied Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic and all the other main characters on the show. During the first book, I felt like I was "reading" an actual Castle episode. This second book is even more like that.

Can't wait to see how it turns out and I am hoping there is a third book in the works!

UPDATE: I have finished the story! LOVED IT!!! And I loved it even more than the first one. It just kept getting better and better all the way until the end. One thing I remember thinking throughout the book is that the author introduced a bunch of possible suspects and even characters that were originally questioned about a portion of the investigation and then not really heard of again for a while. What I like about the Richard Castle books is that the actual killer is usually an unlikely suspect.

One more observation I would like to add that I enjoy when I read Castle's books. As the story is coming to a conclusion, the author creates more suspense. Questions are beginning to have answers, but not complete answers. And it isn't until right at the conclusion that the whole story is discovered.

I promise you, a Richard Castle book will keep you intrigued from start to finish.

Note: This book does contain adult situations. So far at least.

Oh, and one more thing...Richard Castle mentioned me in a tweet!!!

Richard Castle
@ I shoot for engrossing. Happy Naked Heat hit the bullseye for you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

And the WINNER is...

Who is the lucky winner of an autographed copy of Rachel Hauck's newest book, Dining With Joy?????

First, before I make the announcement, here are a few pictures I took recently at Rachel's book signing earlier this month. This is where I picked up the autographed copy just for YOU! Oh, wait! Who are you? Oh, you'll just have to wait a little bit longer and take a look at these pictures....

Look how much fun it is to meet Rachel Hauck!!!!

Ok, now for the winner.....


Jenny, I will be emailing you for your address. Congratulations on winning this book! I know you are sure to enjoy reading this one.

And for everyone else, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I wish I could send a copy to everyone because I love Rachel's books and know you all will enjoy this one!

**NOTE: If you have twitter...come follow the newly started OFFICIAL twitter for Rachel Hauck Fans @RachelHauckFans. Keep up-to-date with all the latest Rachel happenings and news and events and also look for prizes and giveaways!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In my mailbox....

This week I received two books in my mailbox....

Looking forward to reading both books and telling you about them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Daily Dose #1

Participating in the weekly meme by Good Golly Miss Holly called the Daily Dose.

Pictures that are inspiring me this week:

I've really been having a hankering to purchase a nice digital SLR camera and start taking photographs!
I am always dreaming of going to Venice, Italy. I keep saying I want to go before it sinks!
All the men and women who served and are now serving our country and fighting for our FREEDOM!
NOTE: All photographs were found on

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Naked Heat (Nikki Heat)Heat WaveSo, today on my way to work, I finished listening to Heat Wave by Richard Castle on my app on my DroidX. WOW! What a total surprise ending!!! I never saw it coming and usually I am good at figuring out mysteries. I mean, I hope I am cause that's kinda my job description. LOL! Anyway...I downloaded the second Richard Castle book, Naked Heat, to start listening to tomorrow on my commute to work. Can't wait!!!

Dining with Joy (A Lowcountry Romance)And don't forget...I have a giveaway going on right now for Rachel Hauck's newest book, Dining With Joy! Did I mention this is an autographed copy??? Oh yes it is!!! So, click here to go to my giveaway post and leave a comment. There is still time to get your name in the pot!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck

Dining with Joy
Book Description from Rachel Hauck. Advanced reader copy received from the author. All thoughts about this book come from my own head! 

Joy Ballard has a secret: she's a cooking show host who can't really cook.

When her South Carolina-based cooking show, Dining With Joy, is picked up by a major network, Joy Ballard's world heats up like a low country boil.

Joy needs help. Then she meets chef Luke Davis who moved to Beaufort after losing his Manhattan restaurant. A cook at the Frogmore Cafe, he's paying debts and longing to regain his reputation in the elite foodie world.

Luke and Joy mix like oil and water...until Joy is exposed on national television. With her career and his reputation both under fire, they'll have to work together to fix the mess. Is it possible that they can learn to feast on God's love and dine with joy?

My Thoughts:

Dining With Joy is the third in Rachel's Low Country series. The first two being, Sweet Caroline and Love Starts With Elle. First of all, I have to comment on the covers of all three of these books. They are very attractive and creative! I love them! I have older cover versions of the first two and may have to go get the newer versions just so I have all three matching books, :-) 

Ok, enough about the cover, you want to know about the insides! It's kinda like a Boston Creme Donut...yummy looking on the outside and totally delicious on the inside. 

The blurb "cooking show host who can't cook" should draw anybody to want to read this book. Who doesn't love a great dilemma like that?! Imagine if Rachel Ray didn't actually know how to cook but nobody knew her little secret??? Man, that would be intense and hilarious!

And then there is the dynamic relationship between Joy and Luke. It's kinda like watching a cat and mouse game. Except the cat and mouse have to try and work together because they are both stuck in the maze together.

And then as we all know, secrets always come out some way, some how. And Joy's secret is exposed! What will she do??? Does she throw in the towel? Pick up a copy of Dining With Joy and find out!!! Dining with Joy (A Lowcountry Romance)

I will be giving a new, autographed copy of Dining With Joy to one lucky winner who leaves a comment on this post. Don't forget to leave an email addy so I can contact you if you win! The giveaway ends November 19. I would love to have this book mailed out to the winner just in time for Thanksgiving. What a great way to relax Thanksgiving weekend but to have a great book to read! And I assure you, this is a great book! 

Rachel just posted a video promo for her book on her facebook fan page. Check out Rachel's story behind her next best-selling book here!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rachel Hauck Book Signing!

Your favorite author, Rachel Hauck, will be hosting a book signing TONIGHT!!!

The book signing will be at Barnes and Noble in Melbourne, FL from 5-7pm. Come on out and support Rachel with the release of her latest book, Dining with Joy. There will be other authors in attendance, but at the moment, I don't have access to who those authors are at this time. I will update this if I get that information before the event.

I will be posting a review of Rachel's book, Dining with Joy in the near future...but don't wait for that...just buy the book! You will not be disappointed! The book is about a cooking show host who can't cook! Now that makes for some good reading!

Dining with Joy (A Lowcountry Romance)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Review: Heat Wave by Richard Castle (Audiobook)

byRichard Castle Heat Wave (Nikki Heat)

Description from
The title character from ABC's hit television series Castle kicks off his new series of books featuring tough and sexy New York police detective Nikki Heat with a bang.

My Thoughts:
If you watch the ABC Hit TV Show, Castle, and are any type of fan...this book is a must read! It reads just like an episode of Castle. Each character you love in the TV series can be found in the book...just the names have been changed. And if you haven't seen a Castle episode on ABC, first, watch it! and second, I know you will still thoroughly enjoy the book.

I have started a new job in which I have to commute 45 minutes each day. So, I decided a great way to utilize that time was to catch up on my "reading" via audiobooks! I love it! Only problem is I get so wrapped up in this book, I almost miss my turns! The narrator of the audiobook even sounds like an good ol boy from the NYPD. Makes you feel like you are there!

I don't want to give away too much of this story other than, if you like Castle, get it! There is at least one murder and a mystery behind it! The characters are funny and fun! Take note, it is not PG, meaning there is adult content in the book. I am looking forward to reading the next Richard Castle book, Naked Heat, in the near future.

You can purchase the book at Amazon. Heat Wave I purchased the audiobook through and listen via my DroidX which works really well.
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