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.
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