Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play, just make sure you follow the rules:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
He searched the ground floor and found only shadows and stillness, which should have reassured him but didn't.  It was the wrong kind of stillness, the shocked stillness that follows the bang of a cherry bomb.
~page 28, Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill   

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Homemaker Monday 8/30/10

I am posting all my Monday memes tonight (Sunday) since I have a staff meeting all morning and then have to set up my classroom in the afternoon and I have no idea when I'll be home!  So, they are a little early....that's a being early for anything!  Enjoy and happy Monday!

The weather in my neck of the woods:

It is currently overcast and chilly (61 degrees) and suppose to stay in the 60s and possibly rain this week.
Things that make me happy:
My kids going back to school and being told they are advanced learners! 
Book I'm reading:
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
What I'm enjoying on TV:
Currently, The Flintstones is on!  Otherwise,

The Bachelor Pad (my guilty the drama) (ABC)
Intervention (A&E)
Hoarders (A&E)
Melissa & Joey (ABC Family)
On the menu for dinner:
Beef Stroganoff
On my To Do List:
Get my classroom set up
Get my lesson plans ready
Make kids' lunches and snacks for the first day of school tomorrow!

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Not sure

In the craft basket:
Landon's 1st year Scrapbook (he's 2 1/2 now)

Looking forward to this week:
School starting

Tips and Tricks:
To get melted wax out of carpet, set iron to lowest heat, put brown paper bag over wax and iron.  The wax will come right up!
My favorite blog post this week:


Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):
My Dad and my first born son (his first grandchild)

Lesson learned the past few days:

People can still surprise me!

On my mind:
How my little girl is going to do in Kindergarten.  I am sure it will be harder on me than it is on her!

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

Finally, all of you. live in harmony with one another;  be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate adn humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

1 Peter 3:8-10

Blood Ties by Kay Hooper

With all the hoopla of school starting for my kids this Tuesday, last minutes shopping trips, classroom orientations and trying to get my own classroom and lesson plans ready, it took me a little longer to finish this book but here it is! 

In the small town of Serenade, TN, a young track start stumbles over the body of a man who was brutally murdered.  Because the town is so small, the local sheriff calls in the FBI, who in turn sends the SCU (Special Crimes Unit).  The members that make up the SCU all have very unique characteristics in that they all have some sort of psychic power or powers.  As the SCU investigates what kind of monster commits these crimes, they realize that they, themselves, are the target. 

I have read all of the Noah Bishop/Special Crimes books from Kay Hooper and I was not too disappointed in this one.  There are something like 13 books in this series so it got a little confusing in parts as Hooper would refer to a previous case/book a lot and each character from the SCU that was brought in was from a different book.  She tried to make it easier to follow by adding footnotes when she talked about each case, letting you know what book it was from but I was still slightly lost while reading it as it has been several years since I've read most of the books from this series. 

The book was a little slow at the beginning but quickly picked up.  It kept my interest all the way through and was suspenseful but it wasn't a book that I could not put down (obviously).  I liked all the characters as most of them were familiar too me but referring back to all the past cases did throw me off a bit.  However, if you like paranormal mysteries and you have read Kay Hooper's previous books (the Shadow, Evil, Fear and Blood series) then it's a must read. 


Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Beginnings on Fridays

This is a fun meme hosted by Becky over at Page Turners.  Anyone can participate.  All you have to do is share the opening sentence of the book you are currently reading.  Make sure you include the title and author of the book as well.  You can share why you do or do not like the opening sentence as well so head on over and sign up!
Blood Ties by Kay Hooper


Yes, that is it!  The opening sentence to the current book I am reading.  Yet, the ominous way it is portrayed in the book caught me right up and I have barely been able to put the book down since.  I love a good paranormal thriller!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blog Hop Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  It is that time hopping time!  Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy-for-Books.  If you want to participate and find some fabulous blogs, click on the link and sign up!

Question of the Week:

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

Yep, I use the standard old five star rating.  I use it to give people a general idea of how great (or horrible) I thought the book was.  People rate everything from pain to happiness on a scale so it is a pretty universal way for me to let someone know how I felt about the book.  I wanted to go with something a little more unique than the stars but just haven't had the time to make something up yet so there it is....

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list

Follow our Featured Bloggers -

Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.

Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments

Follow Follow Follow as many as you can

If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers

If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga will love this story of Bree Tanner, who we first met in Eclipse.  The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner tells us about life in a coven of newborn vampires.  Bree tries to stay out of the spotlight and quiet.  She meets Diego one night while hunting and together they figure out all the lies that their coven leader has told them.  Together Bree and Diego try to find out what is really going on and at the same time, they are being trained to fight the Cullens. 

I wasn't sure if I would like this book after reading the Twilight books but I loved it!  All of us Twilight fans know how this book ends for Bree but I think it is so worth reading anyways.  It gives you an insight to the newborn vampires that we never got to see in the Twilight Saga, even when Bella turned.  It was a very short and fast read and I read it in one night. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Friendly Wednesday

Head on over to Feeding Four if you are interested in participating. Here is how to participate (from her site):

How to Participate:

Follow the hostess - Feeding Four. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog.
Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar.

Enter your information into the linkup below.
Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!
Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!

One Lovely Blog Award

Wow!  This is my first award and I'm pretty excited!  A BIG thank you goes out to Heather at Buried in Books for awarding me with it!  So I now get to send it on to 15 blogs that are new to me!

Here are the rules if you receive this award:

If you get this lovely award please thank the person that gave it to you and link back to them then send it on to 15 new to you lovely bloggers!
So 15 new bloggers that have beautiful blogs? Finding them is never a problem. Contacting them is!

Okay, so these are in no particular order but here are my picks:

1.  The Serpentine Library
Bloggin' 'bout Books
3.  Larissa's life
4.  Missy Reads Reviews
5. YA Bookie Monster

6. Martha-Wannabe

7.  Chick Lit Central

8.  Lori's Reading Corner

9. That's What She Read

10.  Bewitched Bookworms

11.  Amused By Books

12.  Nor Cal Book Blog

13.  Book Infinity

14.  YA Addict

15.  Sometimes Nonsense

Waiting on Wednesdays: Clockwork Angel

This is a fun meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.  It's a great way to let others know what books you can't wait to be released and to learn of new book releases that you haven't heard of yet.  So, head over to Breaking the Spine and sign up!

Clockwork Angel
By: Cassandra Clare
Released: August 31, 2010

From Goodreads:
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa.

As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

I absolutely LOVE Cassandra Clare's Immortal Instrument books and cannot wait to get this on my Kindle next week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From Dusk Till Dawn

The From Dusk Till Dawn challenge is starting August 25 to August 29 from the hours of 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM (make sure to get a couple hours of sleep though)!  It's hosted by Book Crazy and YA Addict.  Go to Book Crazy to sign up (at the above link) and leave a list of what books you are going to be reading!

My List:

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
Blood Ties by Kay Hooper
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Gilmore Girl Reading Challenge

I found this challenge on Reading Through Life and seeing as how I loved the Gilmore Girls, I thought I would participate!  As you fellow Gilmore Girl fans know, Rory and Lorelai read A LOT!  Below is a list of all the books that were mentioned during the shows. 

There are three levels of participation:

Emily:  Read 5 books in at least two different categories

Lorelai:  Read  10 books in at least three different categories

Rory:  Read 20 books in at least four different categories

Due to the fact that this challenge ends on Dec. 31, 2010, I am going with Lorelai.

Okay:  here are the lists (brace yourselves):

Austen Jane Northanger Abbey
Austen Jane Emma
Austen Jane Pride & Prejudice
Bronte Emily Wuthering Heights
Bronte Charlotte Jane Eyre
Browning Elizabeth Barrett Sonnets From The Portuguese
Don Quixote
Chaucer Geoffrey Canterbury Tales, The
Dante Inferno
Dante Divine Comedy, The
Dickens Charles David Cooperfield
Dickens Charles Little Dorrit
Dickens Charles Great Expectations
Dickens Charles A Tale of Two Cities
Dickens Charles Our Mutual Friend
Dickens Charles A Christmas Carol
Dickens Charles Oliver Twist
Dickinson Emily New Poems of Emily Dickinson
Flaubert Gustave Madame Bovary
Heaney Seamus Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
Homer Iliad, The
Hugo Victor Hunchback of Notre Dame, The
Lawrence D. H. Lady Chatterley's Lover
Melville Herman Moby Dick
Poe Edgar Allen Raven, The
Shakespeare William Othello
Shakespeare William Henry IV, Part 2
Shakespeare William Julius Caesar
Shakespeare William Romeo And Juliet
Shakespeare William Hamlet
Shakespeare William Henry V
Shakespeare William Merry Wives of Windsor, The
Shakespeare William A Comedy of Errors
Shakespeare William Richard III

Shakespeare William The Sonnets
Shakespeare William Macbeth
Shelley Mary Frankenstein
Stowe Harriet Beecher Uncle Tom's Cabin
Thoreau Henry David Walden
Tolstoy Leo War And Peace
Tolstoy Leo Anna Karenina
Twain Mark The Jumping Frog of Calavares County
Twain Mark Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Wharton Edith Roman Holiday
Whitman Walt Leaves of Grass

Childrens/Young Adult
Anderson Hans Christian Little Match Girl, The
Baum L. Frank Wizard of Oz, The
Baum L. Frank Scarecrow of Oz, The
Blume Judy Deenie
Brothers Grimm Rapunzel
Carroll Lewis Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Chbosky Stephen Perks of Being A Wallflower, The
Collodi Carol Pinocchio
Granowsky Alvin Goldilocks & The Three Bears
Grimm Brothers Snow White and Rose Red
Hinton S. E. Outsiders, The
Keene Carolyn The Nancy Drew Series
King-Smith Dick Babe
Lofting Hugh Doctor Doolittle
Rawlings Marjorie Kinnan Yearling, The
Rodgers Mary Freaky Friday
Rowling J. K. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
Rowling J. K. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone: Book 1
Salten Felix Walt Disney's Bambi (based on Original Story by Felix Salten)
Seuss Dr. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Sobol Donald Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective
Thompson Kay Eloise
White E. B. Stuart Little
White E. B. Charlotte's Web
Wiggin Kate Douglas Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Modern Classics
Albee Edward Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Beckett Samuel Waiting for Godot
Burgess Anthony A Clockwork Orange
Dostoevsky Fyodor Demons (translated by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky)
Du Maurier Daphne Rebecca
Faulkner William Sanctuary
Faulkner William As I Lay Dying
Faulkner William Sound and The Fury, The
Fitzgerald F. Scott Tender is the Night
Fitzgerald F. Scott Great Gatsby, The
Forster E. M. A Room With A View
Ginsburg Allen Howl
Heller Joseph Catch-22
Hellman Lillian Children's Hour, The
Hemingway Ernest Snows of Killimanjaro
Hemingway Ernest Sun Also Rises, The
Hemingway Ernest A Moveable Feast
Hemingway Ernest To Have And Have Not
James Henry Daisy Miller
James Henry Art of Fiction, The
Joyce James Finnegan's Wake
Joyce James Ulysses
Kafka Franz Trial, The
Kafka Franz Metamorphosis
Lawrence & Lee Jerome & Robert Edwin Inherit The Wind
Lee Harper To Kill A Mockingbird
Mailer Norman Naked & The Dead, The
Mencken H. R. Mencken's Chresthonomy
Mencken H. R. My Life As Author & Editor
Miller Henry Sexus
Miller Arthur Crucible, The
Mitchell Margaret Gone With The Wind
Nordhoff & Hall Charles & James Norman Mutiny On The Bounty
Orwell George Nineteen Eighty-four
Parker Dorothy Portable Dorothy Parker, The
Plath Sylvia Bell Jar, The
Proust Marcel Swann's Way
Rand Ayn Fountainhead, The
Salinger J. D. Franny And Zooey
Salinger J. D. Catcher In The Rye, The
Shaefer Jack Shane
Steinbeck John Grapes of Wrath, The
Tolkien J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Rings: Lord of the Ring Book 1
Tolkien J. R. R. The Return of The King: Lord of the Ring Book 3
Vonnegut Kurt Slaughterhouse Five
Welty Eudora Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, The
Williams Tennessee A Streetcar Named Desire
Woolf Virginia A Room of One's Own
Woolf Virginia Mrs. Dalloway
Albaret Celeste Monsieur Proust
Albom Mitch Tuesdays With Morrie
Assorted Authors
Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism
Binyon T. J. Pushkin: A Biography
Bolles Richard Nelson What Color Is Your Parachute? 2005
Bourdain Anthony Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Bugliosi & Gentry Vincent & Curt Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders
Butler Judith Gender Trouble
Capote Truman In Cold Blood
Clinton Hilary Rodham Living History

Clinton Hilary Rodham It Takes A Village
Collett Anne Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals
Cook Blanche Wiesen Eleanor Roosevelt
De Beauvoir Simone Second Sex, The
De Beauvoir Simone Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
Denison Isak Out of Africa
Des Barres Pamela I'm With The Band
Didion Joan Year of Magical Thinking, The
Eggers Dave A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Ehrenreich Barbara Nickel And Dimed
Faludi Susan Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
Fodor Eugene Selected Hotels of Europe
Ford Ford Madox Good Soldier, The
Franken Al Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Friedman Milton A Monetary History of the United States
Gibbon Edward History of the Decline & Fall of The Roman Empire, The
Gibson William Miracle Worker, The
Harvard Joe Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground & Nico (33 1/3 Series)
Hersh Seymour M. My Lai 4: A Report On The Massacre And Its Aftermath
Huffington Arianna Pigs At The Trough
Irvin Jim Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion, The
Johnson Spencer Who Moved My Cheese?
Kagan Donald Outbreak of the Peoponnesian War, The
Kagan Donald Peace of Nicias & The Sicilian Expedition, The
Kagan Donald Archidamian War
Kerouac Jack On The Road
The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
Lipton Lawrence Holy Barbarians, The
Macaulay David New Way Things Work, The
McCarthy Mary A Bolt From The Blue & Other Essays
McCarthy Mary Group, The
McNeill & McCain Legs and Gillian Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
Meyers Phillip Vanishing Newspaper, The
Milford Nancy Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Moore Barrington Social Origins of Dictatorship & Democracy: Lord & Peasant in the Making of the Modern World
Moore Michael Fahrenheit 9/11
Nietzche Fredrich Portable Nietzche, The
Pagels Elaine Gnostic Gospels
Plath Sylvia Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, The
Rubin M.D. Theodore Issac David and Lisa
Sherman Wiliam Tecumseh Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman
Sinker Daniel We Owe You Nothing - Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews (Edited)
Spinoza Baruch Ethics
Steves Rick Europe Through The Back Door, 2003
Suskind Ron The Price of Loyalty: George W Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill
Taylor Hobart Chatfield Moliere: A Biography
Thompson Hunter S. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
Thompson Hunter S. Fear & Loathing: On The Campaign Trail '72
Thurman Judith Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette
Tzu Sun Art of War, The
Vidal Gore The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000
Waldo Myra Myra Waldo's Travel & Motoring Guide To Europe
Weisberg Jacob George W Bushisms: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit & Wisdom of Our 43rd President

Woolf Thomas Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The
Wurtzel Elizabeth Bitch In Praise of Difficult Women
Rough Guide To Europe, The 2003 Edition
Compact Oxford English Dictionary, The
several biographies of Winston Churchill

Allende Isabel House of the Spirits, The
Allende Isabel Eva Luna
Bloom Judy Gospel According To Judy Bloom, The
Brown Dan DaVinci Code, The
Bukowski Charles Notes of a Dirty Old Man
Davies Robertson Manticore, The
Dubus III Andre House of Sand And Fog, The
Ellis Bret Easton Less Than Zero
Erdrich Louise Love Medicine
Eugenides Jeffrey Virgin Suicides, The
Faber Michel Crimson Petal and the White, The
Farrell Henry What Happened To Baby Jane?

Foer Jonathon Safran Everything Is Illuminated
Gogol Nikolai Vasilevich Dead Souls
Goldman William Marathon Man
Grafton Sue R is For Richocet
Grafton Sue S is For Silence
Hathaway Katharine Butler Little Locksmith, The
Hornsby Nick High Fidelity
Kaysen Susanna Girl, Interrupted
Kennedy William J. Ironweed
King Stephen Cujo
King Stephen Shining, The
King Stephen Carrie
King Stephen Christine
King Stephen Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
Kohner Frederick Gidget
Lerner Alan Jay Brigadoon
Levin Ira Rosemary's Baby
Marquez Gabriel Garcia One Hundred Years of Solitude
McCourt Frank Angela's Ashes
McDonald Gregory Fletch
McEwan Ian Atonement
McMurtry Larry Terms of Endearment
Metalious Grace Peyton Place
Parker Dorothy Complete Stories
Powell Dawn Complete Novels/Novels 1930-1942
Powell Dawn Selected Letters of Dawn Powell
Pressfield Steven Legend of Bagger Vance, The
Puzo Mario Godfather: Book 1, The
Reger Roger Emily The Strange
Rilke Rainer Maria Letters to a Young Poet
Robert Henry Robert's Rules of Order
Segal Erich Love Story
Sexton Anne Complete Poems, The
Stein Joseph Fiddler On The Roof
Styron William Sophie's Choice
Susann Jacqueline Valley of the Dolls
Tan Amy Joy Luck Club, The
Toole John Kennedy A Confederacy of Dunces
Uhry Alfred Driving Miss Daisy
Webb Charles Graduate, The
Wells Rebecca Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The
Welty Eudora Collected Short Stories, The
Bhagava Gita, The

So, the books I have chosen are:

1.  Emma by Jane Austen (classics)
2.  Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum (children's/young adults)
3.  Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (modern classics)
4.  The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
5.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee Harper
6.  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
8.  Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
9.  The Shining by Stephen King
10.  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I will cross these off as I finish them!

Private by James Patterson & Maxine Pateo

Jack Morgan has returned home from Afghanistan after being shot down from his helicopter.  Upon his return, his father, who is in jail, requests that Jack reopens his investigative firm, Private.  Jack builds up the investigative firm into a successful and elite firm that caters to the creme de la crop of Los Angeles. 

As he is getting ready to escort one of his clients into an awards ceremony, he receives a call from his best friend.  He rushes over to find his friend's wife, Shelby, also Jack's good friend, shot to death.  He promises his friend he will track down Shelby's killer.  As if that isn't enough, his employees are wrapped up in a serial killer case and his uncle asks him to take on a case for the NFL. 

I usually really like James Patterson books, mainly his Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club series.  However, even now I can't actually tell you if I loved Private or not.  It was certainly entertaining and was a quick and easy read with it's short chapters but it just didn't grab me like his other series did.  Having three cases, not to mention the flashbacks from Afghanistan and troubles with his brother kept it from every getting stale.  Maybe I just have to get used to new characters?  I do hope to see a couple more, seeing as the Private Investigation Firm has offices located around the world.  It would be fun to read about cases in England, Rome and other foreign countries. All in all, I would recommend this book as it is entertaining and a fast and easy read.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

It is our week off from babysitting and the week before school.  Between us having some family time, doing some before school shopping and me getting my classroom ready, we are busy!  That is why I am SO thankful to my friend Marie for showing me how easy it is to put togeether a menu for a week!  Now I will have the answer to that dreaded question "what's for dinner?"! 

Here's my menu for this week:

Breakfast:  Toast with Nutella or Peanut Butter, Cantaloupe, milk or juice

Lunch:  Cheese pizza, apple slices w/peanut butter, frozen peas, juice or water

Snack:  String cheese, goldfish, water

Dinner:  Chicken Tortilla soup, juice or milk

Breakfast:  Waffles, milk or juice

Lunch:  We will be in town so we will be eating out

Snack:  Fruit Snacks, carrot sticks, water

Dinner:  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce, milk

Breakfast:  Cereal, toast, milk or juice

Lunch:  Spaghettios, string cheese, green beans, grapes

Snack:  Popcorn, apple slices, water

Dinner:  Hamburger Gravy over rice, broccoli w/cheese sauce, strawberries, milk or juice

Breakfast:  Sausage, scrambled eggs, juice or milk

Lunch:  Chicken Nuggets, Pears, juice or milk

Snack:  Nilla Wafers, cantaloupe, water

Dinner:  Chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, corn, pears, milk or juice

Breakfast:  Waffles, bananas, milk or juice

Lunch:  Macaroni and Cheese w/hot dogs, grapes, carrot sticks, milk or juice

Snack:  Yogurt, strawberries, milk or juice

Dinner:  Homemade chili, cornbread, appleasauce, milk or juice

Breakfast:  Cereal, toast, milk or juice

Lunch:  Toasted cheese sandwiches w/ tomato soup, milk or juice

Snack:  Carrot sticks, apple slices w/ cheddar cheese, water or juice

Dinner:  Steak, baked potato, corn on the cob, fresh peaches, milk or juice

Breakfast:  Bacon or sausage, pancakes, milk or juice

Lunch:  Fish sticks, tatertots, green beans, strawberries, milk or juice

Snack:  Chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, milk or juice

Dinner:  Baked Macaroni & Cheese (with ham) casserole, cooked carrots, cantaloupe, milk or juice

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Sheila over at One Person's Journey Through the World of Books hosts It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? which is a fun meme that let's others know what you have read the previous week and what you plan on reading this week.

What I read (and reviewed) last week:

The Killing Edge by Heather Graham (review)

Masquerade:  A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa De La Cruz (review)

Private by James Patterson & Maxine Pateo

Now, as for what I will be reading this week:

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer


Blood Ties by Kay Hooper

So, what are you reading this week?

Monday Giveaways

So, here are some giveaways that I have found this morning.  Check out these blogs and sign up to try to win!

First is my friend Marie's site.  She is giving away the Once A Month Cooking books.  Check out her site at

Also, check out The Book Vault for a great giveaway!  She is giving away 5 copies of Losing Faith by Denise Jaden, 5 copies of Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie AND 5 copies of The Haunted by Jessica Verday and 1 copy of What's Your St@tus by Katie Finn and she is adding more prizes the more followers she gets so follow!  Check out her blog at

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:

It is currently about 70 degrees and sunny out.  They say we are going to get some rain tomorrow (we'll see) but the rest of the week is sunny and in the 80's.

Things that make me happy:

Not having to babysit this week!

Book I'm reading:

Private by James Patterson & Maxine Pateo

What I'm enjoying on TV:

True Blood on HBO
Intervention on A&E
Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime
Teen Mom on MTV

On the menu for dinner:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

On my To Do List:

Laundry (as usual)
Pay bills

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:

Cake lollipops

In the craft basket:

Landon's 1st year Scrapbook (he's 2 1/2 now)

Looking forward to this week:
No extra kids this week and getting Kaiden's soccer stuff and Lexi's dance stuff.  Oh, and ordering tickets for the Carrie Underwood concert in September.
Tips and Tricks:

To get ballpoint pen ink out of clothes:  Spray hairspray on it before you wash it and then stain treat it.  Come right out!

My favorite blog post this week:

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):

I have found so many awesome blogs this week but the one that really sticks out right now is Candace's Book Blog @
No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days:

Make sure the kids' bedroom doors are closed when they aren't here or the cats take over (two cat accidents this weekend in the kids' room...they had fresh, clean litter so what the heck??)!
On my mind:
Getting my preschool classroom ready, getting the best savings possible while grocery shopping tomorrow.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Consider it pure joyy brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Masquerade: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa

Schuyler Van Allen is looking for an explanation as to why young vampires are dying and her grandfather is the one person who can help her.  Schuyler and her friend, Oliver, go to Venice in search of her grandfather.  Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are underway for the Four Hundred Ball, a ball held exclusively for Blue Bloods.  However, planning the after-party masquerade ball is what has popular Mimi Force excited. 

Soon, Schuyler and Oliver return from Italy and it is the night of the parties.  But at the Four Hundred Ball, Jack Force, who is suppose to be bonded to Mimi, is having second thoughts of that bonding after seeing Schuyler in her ballgown.  Between his confusion and Bliss's new mystery man, the ball leads to some interesting questions.

So, I have to admit, I loved this book!  Yes, it is another vampire book and yes, it is another YA book but really, I thought it was so entertaining!  I thought it was much better than the first book as I (personally) got tired of all the high brand fashion name dropping.    It gave you more of an insight into the Blue Blood history and left you wondering what was going to happen with Schuyler and Oliver or Schuyler and Jack.  The ending leaves you hanging and wanting more.  I wish I had ordered the third book, Revelations so I could keep going!

This book grabbed my attention from the first page and kept me totally enthralled until the last page.  It is an easy reading book but one that I completely enjoyed!

Baked Buffalo Wings

My first recipe post!  My biggest weakness is buffalo wings.  I LOVE them!  So, tonight I decided to make some for dinner.  Well, I actually used chicken drumsticks since that is what I had defrosted. 

1 lb. of chicken wings (or drumsticks)
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. Frank's Redhot sauce (I actually used 3/4 C. because we like it SPICY)
3/4 C. ketchup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Have the chicken wings/drumsticks thawed and lightly batter with flour.

Arrange in a 9X13" pan as shown.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Add the ketchup and hot sauce and whisk together until smooth.

Pour sauce over chicken and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  The end results (sorry for the glare):

Served with bleu cheese dressing (or ranch if you prefer) and yumm-o!  I am loving dinner tonight :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Giveaways

So I was blog hopping and found two really great book blogs.  They are both giving away a SIGNED copy of The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.  If you haven't read these books, go to your library or book store and get them.  They are SO good!  They are YA books about vampires but they are my favorite series. 

The links to the giveaways are:

Candace's Book Blog


The Eager Readers

And another giveaway from Candace's Book Blog:
for a preorder contest.  Ends this friday (8/27) so hurry!  You can also sign up for this giveaway at two other blogs:


That is 6 chances to win if you sign up under all three!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Killing Edge - Heather Graham

Ten years ago Chloe Marin survived a brutal attack at her friends' beach house.  Her and three other teens were the only survivors of what would come to be known as "The Teen Massacre".  The four banded together and stayed friends through the years.

Ten years later, Chloe is a part-time model and psychologist.  One of the models she works with has suddenly disappered into thin air at a shoot, which bring P.I. Luke Cane into the picture.  As the investigation continues, Chloe and Luke find more clues that lead to the religious cult that was blamed for the earlier massacre.  Then, Chloe starts to see the ghost of the missing girl and the Adam Harrison group is brought in to help the investigation more.

So, I am usually a big fan of Heather Graham's.  The first book of hers I read was Ghost Walk and I've really liked every one since.  Until now that is.  I felt that this book dragged on and I didn't really get interested in it until the very last chapters.  The characters were boring and annoying most of the time.  I did enjoy that they (finally) brought in the Adam Harrison group but it wasn't until the very end that even that happened.  I really like Nikki and Brent Blackhawk so in my opinion, that was the best part of the book.

I also thought the book was very predictable.  I knew halfway through the book who the killer was.  The last few chapters threw a few doubts into my mind but in the end, I knew I was right.  The romance in the story was also very predictable and just sort of kinda felt forced and unnatural. 

All in all, this was not one of Heather Graham's best books.  I'm actually thankful I (finally) finished it!  I won't give up on her as I think Heather Graham is a talented author but if you skip this book, you won't be missing much.

Booking Through Thursday (well, Friday because I'm late)

I got this meme off of Sarah's blog which is at this link:

I thought it looked like fun so I'm going to fill it out.  I'm a day late but like I always say "better late than never"!
Here goes!

1. Favorite childhood book?

At the age of 5, my mom started reading the Little House on the Prairie books.  I loved them.  I continued to read her old Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew mysteries.  They are still my favorites today!

2. What are you reading right now?

The Killing Edge by Heather Graham
3. What books do you have on request at the library?

Way to many!  But, to give you a few:  The Kitchen House, Pretty Little Liars, City of Glass,

4. Bad book habit?

Having too many books to read from the library and keeping them past the due date!

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

The Killing Edge - Heather Graham
Private - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
13 1/2 - Nevada Barr
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County - Tiffany Baker
Blood Ties - Kay Hooper
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer
Heart Shaped Box - Joe Hill
Death of a Witch - M.C. Beaton
The Masquerade:  A Blue Bloods Novel - Melissa De La Cruz
The Personal History of Rachel Dupree - Ann Weisgarber
6. Do you have an e-reader?

No but I am debating getting one

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

Goodness, only one at a time.  I am not one of those people who can read mroe than one. My mind can't handle it!

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

I am reading a lot of new authors and genres that I never would have thought to read before.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)

Ransom by Danielle Steel

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

The Life of Pi - Yann Martel or My Darling Elia by Eugenie Melnyk

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

I try to read at least one book out of my comfort zone a month.
12. What is your reading comfort zone?

contemporary fiction

13. Can you read on the bus?

No way!  Unless I have those motion sickness bracelets.  Otherwise I am puking on the side of the road in about 10 minutes.

14. Favorite place to read?

My bed

15. What is your policy on book lending?

I lend books to family and friends that I trust. 

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Guilty :(

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?


18. Not even with text books?


19. What is your favorite language to read in?


20. What makes you love a book?

When I connect easily with all the characters

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

Just having it be a good book.

22. Favorite genre?


23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)


Favorite biography?

Hmmm...don't read a lot of those but Little House on the Prairie (does that count?)

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?


26. Favorite cookbook?

Taste of Home's Annual Contest Winners 2008

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?

Redemption by Karen Kingsbury

28. Favorite reading snack?

I don't snack while eating

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

I don't pay attention to what critics say

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I don't like to give negative reviews but I'm honest so....

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?


33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

The Kite Runner - Khalid Husseini (I don't like the rape scene at all)

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

Hearts of Atlantis by Stephen King.  It is soooo long!

35. Favorite Poet?

Honestly, I don't read poetry

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

Up to 50
37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?

a few times but not too often.  Only when I can't renew them

38. Favorite fictional character?

Catherine in Wuthering Heights

39. Favorite fictional villain?

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

Whatever I'm reading at the time

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

A week?  Maybe a little longer but not by much

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

The Poisonwood Bible

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

my kids!

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

Well, Twilight of course!

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?


47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

I don't

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

If I absolutely hated it

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

By author and series

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

I trade on and

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?


52. Name a book that made you angry.

My Darling Elia (in a sad way)

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

The Life of Pi

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?


55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

I never feel guilty about reading!!

2010 100+ Reading Challenge

I've decided to try the 100+ Reading Challenge in 2010! I will hit 100 this year, so my goal is to read more than I did this year!

This post will be dedicated to posting the books I've read in 2010!

Want to join? Go visit J Kaye's book blog to get the details and sign up!

1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts. What doesn't count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

This is my first challenge so I hope I can make it! Especially since it is already the end of August. Luckily I have kept my own list of books I have read this year so I can backtrack a little.

This post will be dedicated to posting the books I've read in 2010!

Want to join? Go visit J Kaye's book blog to get the details and sign up!

1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts. What doesn't count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

List of the books I have read:

1.  The Awakening by L.J. Smith
2.  The Struggle by L.J. Smith
3.  The Fury by L.J. Smith
4.  Dark Reunion by L.J. Smith
5.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
6.  City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
7.  A Northern Light - Jennifer Donnelly
8.  Thirst - Christopher Pike


9.  City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare
10.  Fourth Dawn - Brock & Bodie Thoene
11.  The Shack - William P. Young
12. Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
13.  Sabriel - Garth Nix
14.  Lirael - Garth Nix
15.  The Abhorsen - Garth Nix
16.  Deja Dead - Kathy Reichs
17.  My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
18.Fifth Seal - Brock & Bodie Thoene


19.  Stargazer - Claudia Grey
20.  A is for Alibi:  A Kinsey Milhone Mystery - Sue Grafton
21. The alchemyst : the secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel - Michael Scott
22.  Blue Bloods - Melissa De La Cruz
23.  Death De Jour - Kathy Reichs
24.  The Shop on Blossom Street - Debbie Macomber
25.  Storm Cycle - Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen
26.  Deadly Decisions - Kathy Reichs
27.  The Associate - John Grisham


28.  Bag of Bones - Stephen King
29.  See Jane Run - Joy Fielding
30.  The Shadow of Your Smile - Mary Higgins Clark
31.  Fatal Voyage - Kathy Reichs
32.  Alone - Lisa Gardner
33.  Redemption - Karen Kingsbury
34.  Succubus Blues - Richelle Mead
35.  Grave Secrets - Kathy Reichs
36.  My Darling Elia - Eugenie Melnyk


37.  After Caroline - Kay Hooper
38.  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne
39.  The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
40.  Ransom - Danielle Steel
41.  Bare Bones - Kathy Reichs
42.  Picture Perfect - Fern Michaels
43.  Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman
44.  The Killing Hour - Lisa Gardner
45.  Coraline - Neil Gaiman
46.  Just Take My Heart - Mary Higgins Clark
47.  Monday Mourning - Kathy Reichs


48.  You've Been Warned - James Patterson
49.Unhallowed Ground - Heather Graham
50.  Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
51.  Cross Bones - Kathy Reichs
52.  A Good Yarn - Debbie Macomber
53.  Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris
54.  Scent of Roses - Kat Martin


55.  Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sofia Kinsella
56.  You Can Run - Carlene Thompson
57.  Burned - P.C. Cast
58.  A Perfect Nightmare - John Saul
59.  The House of Reckoning - John Saul
60.  Savor the Moment - Nora Roberts
61.  The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
62.  The Life of Pi - Yann Martel


63.  The Search - Nora Roberts
64.  9th Judgment - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
65.  The Killing Edge - Heather Graham
66.  Masquerade:  A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa De La Cruz
67.  Private by James Patterson & Maxine Pateo
68.  The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyers
69.  Blood Ties by kay Hooper


70.  Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
71.  Eight Days to Live by Iris Johansen
72.  Back to the Homeplace by William LeVerne Smith
73.  The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber
74.  The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

75.  The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
76.  The Secret Life of Bees by Susan Monk Kidd

77.  13 to Life by Shannon Delany
78.  Hourglass by Claudia Gray
79.  Don't Blink by James Patterson & Howard Roughlan
80.  Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
81.  Revelations:  A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa De La Cruz
82.  The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

83.  Percy Jackson & the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
84.  No Going Back by Jonathan Langford
85.  Beauty by Robin McKinley
86.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
87.  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater