Friday, June 28, 2013

Flame in the Mist Giveaway, more info!

Did you see my post yet?  I'm giving away a book and some signed goodies!

Want to know what it's all about?  Check it out here and enter the Rafflecopter to win!

Want to see the spooky book trailer?  (Did you know they make trailers for books?!  Neat!)

The trailer kind of reminds me of a game I used to play on my mom's computer growing up. Did you ever play The Seventh Guest?  Creeeepy puzzle game, but lots of fun!

The book didn't seem that scary to me...but in some ways it was very creepy. Instead of getting scared, I mostly got angry. But maybe that's because I was reading it not as a young teenager (the target audience) but as a mother.  It's interesting how reading a book after certain life events can change your perspective.

For example, the Hunger Games were almost two completely different books to me before pregnancy and after.  I should go re-read Harry Potter when I get the chance.  However, right now I'm busy with my Summer Reading List. :)

So....what else could you win?  Besides winning the book, you will also get a poster signed by the author and some book plates.  And a book mark ...and some really cool ancient looking parchment.
This is really perfect for a teacher to share with a class or a middle-schooler who wants some cool stuff.

Or a book geek like myself who thinks it's so COOL to get stuff from the author!!

I almost forgot these in the first picture...PINS!

Hmmm..I might have to do TWO prize packs!

So I won this stuff...what am I keeping?  The personalized book plate, the bookmark and a lovely handwritten note from the author.  COOL stuff. :)  So go enter the raffle, you know you want to!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another Giveaway: Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff

Hey everyone!

It's my second giveaway!  A while back I won a giveaway and I was so excited about it the only thing I could think was that I wanted to share the love.

I won this giveaway, on Jessica Spotswood's blog:

When I received my swag, the author was so generous...I decided to share what I have won.
What will YOU win?  Keep reading...

First, let me tell you about the book, Flame in the Mist:
Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman’s THE GOLDEN COMPASS. Features  Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia.
Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma’s past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia.

Like most books...I had a hard time putting this one down.  I was a little uncomfortable with the age of our main character at certain points, but she was brave and fierce, loyal and kind. She is a great role model for young people today.  One thing that made me very's a stand alone book. You won't need to worry about waiting for the sequel to come out.  Unless there's going to be one?  (Kit? Any sequels planned?)

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a prize pack that will include the book and other goodies like pins, posters and even some autographed items from the author!  (I do love to share!) Go for it, you know you need new books to read this summer!

And for extra bonus points...go follow (my other blog...please? I need more readers..and questions!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Reading List

Remember back in school when we had a summer reading list?

That was one of my FAVORITE things about summer. I didn't have school work to do, but I had that summer reading list to get through. For me there is nothing better than curling up with a good book (or movie!).  That is my ultimate way of relaxing.  My hobbies and interests come and go...but good books are my one constant.

My new health counselor is encouraging me to find something to do for myself. Something that doesn't please anyone else. Something completely selfish.  Even if it's just 15 minutes a day.

My first thought was that I would just lock myself in a room and be by myself for 15 minutes. You ever have those days when you want to run away from everyone and everything and just be by yourself on a beach somewhere?  I have that fantasy a lot lately...

So what did I decide to really do?  I can't exactly run away. :)

I decided to re-create my childhood this summer with a summer reading list.  I have a large pile of books to go through. To make it fair, I got recommendations for books that I wouldn't normally read and mixed it in with a few that I DO want to read.  This way I'll be exposed to new material and it will be true to that "summer reading list" feel...where you have to read some books even if you don't want to.

So what's on my list?  Here is a picture:

There are 18 books on this list...

Will I be able to finish them all? If you look closely at this picture you can see a baby monitor which tells you a toddler will take up a lot of my time. On the other side is a mostly empty container of cheese you know I have a husband who would rather I talk to him than stick my nose in a book.  (I would say the cheese balls were mine...but I can't stand them...and Anthony and Zoe love them.)

So this may be a challenge. Lucky for me, I do read fast...and I am DETERMINED to accomplish this before the end of summer.  Which technically isn't until the third week of September, but I might go for a Labor Day due date.  This list is a mix of books I really really really want to read (Like Time Between Us, which I saved for last because there is a sequel coming soon and I would rather read it closer to when the second one comes out) and books that were recommended to me by the local librarians (like the Jodi Picoult books).

I'll be blogging about my progress...and giving you all my reviews.  Want to follow along?  Here is my list and in the order I will be reading them:

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer
Croak by Gina Damico
Scorch by Gina Damico
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Unwholly by Neal Shusterman
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Renegade by J.A. Souders
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

I do realize that some of these I have read before. I like to re-read the other books in the series before reading a sequel so that I can become familiar with the characters and plot once again. A few of these may even have sequels that get released this summer or I'll be looking that information up and I may change the order a bit at the end.  For now you can stick with the first few.

Okay, ready to read with me?  I should warn you...I read fast...and I started last I'm already done the first two and I'm reading the third.  More on those books later this week! :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Country Living

If you haven't heard already...I finally moved into the new house.
It's been under construction for a very long time and I was living with my sister for a while.

But this past weekend, even with construction not done, we moved in.

And it feels really good to have my own space.  Even if there is no TV.  Even if I don't know where I'm going to put stuff. But I do need to set up my computer, I just feel lost without it.

Now I don't live out in the boonies...but I'm definitely further away from things than I am used to. For example, this past Saturday I went to get some milk and other items at the grocery store. I thought it might be nice to get some ice cream.

Then I wondered if I could make it home with that ice cream before it melted...

Anyway..if you need my new address, let me know!  I'll be sending out something to my close friends and family members to make sure they have it.  Later this week I'm going to discuss a project for myself for this summer.  (Not the whole losing weight project...that's in FOREVER)

This will be more fun.  And just for me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chili's - It's Electric!

Most of my friends and family know that I have a thing for Chilis. This is the restaurant chain that has that awesome food that is really not good for you.  Zoe likes Chili's too. She loves eating the chips and the oranges that come with the kids meals.

Unfortunately for me and Zoe...Anthony hates this restaurant. We never go. Zoe and I have to go alone or with someone else who likes it.

Story Time!

This past weekend we were driving to meet our new nephew who was born on Saturday (Happy Birthday little guy! Welcome to the world!). We had a late start to our day and by the time we left the hospital we needed to feed Zoe. And I had a really bad headache. It felt like it was going to turn into a migraine. I wasn't sure what to do.

Anthony said he found a place for us to go eat.  He's driving around this shopping area ....and he pulls into a Chilis. I gave him this look of pure shock. He HATES chain restaurants. He looked back at me and said "you'll see why I picked this place in a minute."

At first I'm thinking he's trying to be nice to me...picking my favorite restaurant etc. But then we pull around back and I see a sign "Free for Chilis Customers".  It was an electric car charging station!
And we just so happened to have an Electric Car.

Long story short...I was happy. Zoe was happy and the car was happy (so Anthony was too).

This story sounded better in my head before I wrote it.  Sorry about that. haha.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A few things.

Hey folks, just a few random thoughts and updates.

Congrats to the winner of my first ever giveaway!  I was surprised the winner wasn't my mom or my sister...I'm pretty sure they read my blog the most. :)  (the winner was someone I don't know! COOL!)

Are you bummed you didn't win? Go check out Jessica Spotswood's blog for more contests and chances to win stuff. I've been tweeting all about it if you want to follow me there as well.

Stay tuned for another giveaway this month...the second one comes with a book...and free stuff direct from the author herself. HOW COOL IS THAT?

Remember my story about how my daughter caught me trying to trick her with having two of her favorite blankets? You can read about it here:
Just to update that story, she realizes there are two of these now. And it's still just as exciting if she manages to get ahold of them both at the same time. BUT...she is happy having just one at a time (phew!).

I've been very busy lately, but I promise, those thank you notes from Zoe are coming soon. (These were promised to those who contributed to my CF fund raising). It was a lot harder than I thought to get a two year old to color. Not surprisingly, she's more apt to color on the iPad rather than regular paper and crayons. She likes both, but her art on the iPad is a little bit better.  (She's destined to be a computer nerd.)

I'm going to be posting again soon at so keep an eye out for that and sign up for that email list if you haven't already. I'm hoping to have a techy giveaway over there sometime this summer.....and stay tuned for more posts this week. :)

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Winner!

Happy Saturday everyone!

It's a busy weekend for me but I wanted to take the time to announce my raffle winner...

Tamara A is our winner!  Out of 80 entries (if you were on my mailing list you automatically were entered) it was entry #13!  Who says 13 is unlucky?

I have contacted Tamara so she can claim her prize.

Didn't win?  Check out your local library... or if you know me personally, I would be happy to loan you a copy of the book.  :)  Happy reading!  I can't wait for Star Cursed!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood...what's that about?

Yesterday you got to read about Born Wicked, the first book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles.  Today here is a snippet about Star Cursed (the second book in the trilogy) which comes out on June 18th...and I'm just a tiny bit excited!

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

Sound good?  I CAN NOT WAIT.  :)

Want to win a copy? Sign up for my email list or use the Rafflecopter from this post:

You have until tonight, Friday June 7th, at midnight to enter! :)

Want to have some more fun?  And enter to win some cool prizes?  There is a blog tour featuring all sorts of sneak peeks about Star Cursed. Want more information?  Follow the link to Jessica Spotswood's blog:

Stay tuned week I'll announce our winner and chat about some more books I'm going to read this summer. And an update on my life in general. And that whole weight loss thing.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood...what's it about?

It occurred to me after I posted the other day (my first giveaway, go check it out!) that maybe I should tell you what the book is about?

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Sound interesting?  It's even better than the synopsis here!
You can find out more information at the author's website here:

Want to win a copy?  Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway!  Be sure to verify your email address when signing up to receive my blog updates. (You will receive an email asking you to verify that you are you and you want me emails (yes please!).)

My sister pointed out that I didn't exclude family members from this contest, which is true!  And I believe that my family are the main readers of this go ahead and enter!  Rafflecopter will be picking the winner, so there will be no favoritism.  (Sorry cousins!) you use an e-reader?  Yes?  I'll get you an e-reader version of the book if you prefer.  Did you know that the author can autograph your e-versions?  Check it out:

Actually...I need to get my own copy autographed.  Though I really want a REAL copy autographed. I need to work on that. :)  Contest ends tomorrow, tell your friends and family to sign up for my email list (link on the right, submit your email, verify, voila!) because my real goal of this giveaway is to try and increase my readers.  More readers = more giveaways. :)  Good for you and good for me.

Enter the contest!!! 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Here it is folks!  My first giveaway! interview with the author!
You may remember a while back when I blogged about this great new book I read. No? Which book? (I do blog about a few...) You can read about it here:
And here:
And here:

That last link has another link to the first chapter of Star Cursed…which is why I am writing today. Book 2 in the Cahill Witch Chronicles (Star Cursed) comes out in TWO WEEKS! YAY!!!
As you can see...I'm a little excited about these books and this author. Lucky for me, she understands I'm not too crazy and she allowed me to do a little email interview for my blog. There is a launch party for this event (I wish I could go!), so check out her website for everything you need to know, including sneak peeks at some of her chapters.
Without further ado, here is my interview...and stay tuned for my giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Jessica Spotswood grew up in a tiny one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing the clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or - most often - with her nose in a book. She's been writing since fourth grade but studied theatre in college and grad school. Now she lives in Washington, DC with her brilliant playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. BORN WICKED, Book 1 in The Cahill Witch Chronicles, is her first novel. Book 2, STAR CURSED, will be out June 18, 2013.

Jessica's website:

1. What kind of character/person is your favorite to write?
The best characters have very specific things they want and don't want. I think it's just as important to know your characters' worst fears (so you can force her to confront them) as her deepest desires. Maura has been really fun to write because she's so strong-willed.

2. In the Cahill Witch Chronicles, which character is:
a. Most like you?
 Tess or Rilla (you'll meet her in STAR CURSED)
b. Most likely to be your best friend?
c. Most likely to be your enemy?
Brother Ishida

3. I know it's difficult for your readers to wait for the next book, what is it like for you waiting for it to be released?
It's difficult for me, too! I finished copyedits back in November, and I can't wait for everyone to read it! I'm super-impatient now that reviews and reader reactions to the ARC are starting to come in. 

4. How hard is it to not accidentally give out a spoiler? For example you just finished the third book...we will probably be waiting about a year before it's actually finished and published. Is it difficult to not discuss it?
Ag, I really wanted to talk about book 3 as I was writing it, but I definitely don't want to spoil any of the twists and turns of book 2! I'm very grateful to my critique partners and my husband, who read early drafts and let me brainstorm with them freely.

5. Have you ever let a spoiler slip out by accident?
I don't think so? I try to be really really careful!

6. If you could have dinner with the following people...who would it be:
a. Famous person, alive or passed away?
L.M. Montgomery (I love her books!)
b. Fictional Character?
Anne of Green Gables (or if I'm being shallow, Po from GRACELING, who's my book boyfriend)
c. Someone from your past?
my grandmother
d. Someone from your future?
my hypothetical future child

7. What is your favorite color?

8. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
cardamom gelato

9. What is the one book you just can't wait to read this coming year?

10. If someone was to open your bag or purse....what would the items inside say about you? 
I've almost always got a book or my ereader with me, so they'd know I'm a reader. I also carry a stack of Cahill Witch Chronicles bookmarks and a ton of pens and a notebook, which would indicate that I'm a writer too. And I tend to have a bunch of lipsticks and eyeshadows and moisturizers jumbled up in there, which probably says I like makeup - but tend to do it very last-minute in the car!

Thank you Jessica for taking the time to answer my questions! And now...for readers.  Would you like to win a copy of the first book in this series, Born Wicked?  YES you would.
I will pick one lucky winner this weekend to receive a copy of this book.  You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link below or you can simply subscribe to my email list on the right. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway