Stacks of Books - Giveaway

Maggie Stiefvater is having a contest where you can win one of three stacks (yes stacks) of awesome is that!!

Check it out on her blog

Hater by David Moody - Unfinished

I've been trying to read this book for 4 or 5 days and I just can't seem to do it. I even took it to work with me almost all of last week to read it on my lunch breaks. I finally forced myself to at least read a couple pages thinking who knows maybe it will grab my interest and turn out to be a great read. Well I made it to page 15 and decided to pull my bookmark out. I have sooo many books that I really want to read and I don't want to feel like I'm forcing myself to read something I will not enjoy. This book just is not for me. So I'm sorry David Moody, but I'm going to set aside your book and try another time...or maybe I will give it to someone who would enjoy it.

On a happier note, I received most of my Amazon order today, YAY!

Please don't mind my semi-blurry  cell phone pictures!

Shop to make breast milk ice cream

All I have to say to this is "Ew"...

This article is from

    Thu Feb 24, 10:49 am ET
LONDON (Reuters) – A specialist ice cream parlor plans to serve up breast milk ice cream and says people should think of it as an organic, free-range treat.

The breast milk concoction, called the "Baby Gaga," will be available from Friday at the Icecreamists restaurant in London's Covent Garden.

Icecreamists founder Matt O'Connor was confident his take on the "miracle of motherhood" and priced at a hefty 14 pounds ($23) a serving will go down a treat with the paying public.

The breast milk was provided by mothers who answered an advertisement on online mothers' forum Mumsnet.

Victoria Hiley, 35, from London was one of 15 women who donated milk to the restaurant after seeing the advert.

Hiley works with women who have problems breast-feeding their babies. She said she believes that if adults realized how tasty breast milk actually is, then new mothers would be more willing to breast-feed their own newborns.

"What could be more natural than fresh, free-range mother's milk in an ice cream? And for me it's a recession beater too -- what's the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash," Hiley said in a statement.

"I tried the product for the first time today -- it's very nice, it really melts in the mouth."

The Baby Gaga recipe blends breast milk with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest, which is then churned into ice cream.

O'Connor said the Baby Gaga was just one of a dozen radical new flavors at the shop.

"Some people will hear about it and go, 'yuck' but actually it's pure, organic, free-range and totally natural," he said. "I had a Baby Gaga just this morning and I feel great."

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Steve Addison)

To Die For Warm Apple Cake

** Ok, so the title is actually "Warm Apple Cake" but once you taste it you will understand why I added the "To Die For"!!!

Serve this yummy apple upside-down cake warm from the oven.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hr 25 min
Makes: 15 Servings


½ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup whipping cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 2 1/3 cups)
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
1 ¼ cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
¼ teaspoon apple pie spice


2/3 cup Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy white frosting (from 12oz container)
½ cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping
Caramel topping

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13x9 inch pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and apple pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.
3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from plan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on plan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.
4. In small bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzled with caramel topping.
Nutritional Information:
1 Serving: Calories 410 (Calories from Fat 190); Total Fat 21g (Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 1 1/2g); Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 300mg; Total Carbohydrate 52g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 38g); Protein 3g

Barnes & Noble says Nook owns one quarter of US e-book market, we don't doubt it

Article from

By Tim Stevens  posted Feb 24th 2011 9:32AM

Barnes & Noble says Nook owns one quarter of US e-book market, we don't doubt it
There are many players in the e-reader world, but few have managed to gain any sort of traction. Though it hasn't achieved Kindle levels of success Barnes & Noble is taking pride in saying that its Nook series of readers has conquered 25 percent of the US e-book market. The company doesn't cite any specific sales figures to back up that number, but we'll go with it. Sadly, though, there's another 25 percent number that is detailed and isn't nearly so positive: that's how much the company's profits dropped from this period last year. That was said to be due to heavy investments in the Nook but, despite that, B&N managed to post a $60.6 million profit -- certainly better than some of the competition.

Random Crumb

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

Patiently Waiting

Ok honestly it’s more like impatiently waiting!!

The company I work for gives out gift certificates once a year if you have ‘perfect attendance’.  My gift certificate came in the mail the end of last week and it has been burning a hole in my pocket ever since. Today I decided to put out that fire and I went a little crazy spending it on a bunch of books, two movies, and a couple of little odds n ends. I bought three books at Borders over my lunch break and just blew the rest of it on So, now I plan to spend my next 5-8 days stalking the UPS tracking page and obsessing about when my awesome order will arrive!!

From Borders:

Evil at Heart (Gretchen Lowell #3) by Chelsea Cain
Fairy Tale Weddings By Debbie Macomber
Christmas in Cedar Cove By Debbie Macomber - I picked these two Macomber books without reading any reviews or even the back cover (which is very out of character for me) so hopefully they're good.

From Amazon:

Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton - this review  on the My Love Affair With Books blog is the reason I bought this book
Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman
Juliet by Anne Fortier
The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
Dracula, My Love by Syrie James

Letters to Juliet
Life As We Know It

After this it’s back to reading the backlog of books on my nook.

Netflix Getting New Instant Streaming Material

Netflix and CBS ink two-year content deal
Article from

By: Zach Epstein | Feb 23rd, 2011 at 05:24AM
View Comments
Filed Under: Services

Netflix on Tuesday announced a new deal with CBS that will bring shows from the CBS library to Netflix’s portfolio of streaming content. The news comes on the same day Amazon finally debuted its new streaming video service for Amazon Prime members. Netflix and CBS did not disclose the terms of the deal, saying only that it will bring CBS content to Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” service for the next two years. CBS also has an option to extend the deal for another two years. Content covered by this new deal includes episodes of new shows such as Medium and Flashpoint, as well as full seasons of shows like Frasier and Cheers. “We are thrilled to be bringing CBS shows to Netflix and are looking forward to growing our relationship over time,” Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. ”Netflix is now the only online premium subscription service with shows featured on all four broadcast networks and dozens of cable TV’s biggest brands.” Hit the break for the full press release from Netflix.
CBS and Netflix Announce Two-Year Licensing Agreement For Library Content
NEW YORK and BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – February 22, 2011 — CBS Corporation [NYSE: CBS.A and CBS] and Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] today announced a two-year, non-exclusive licensing agreement that will allow select TV shows from CBS’s library, including episodes of ”Medium” and “Flashpoint” as well as full seasons of classics such as “Frasier,” and “Cheers,” to be streamed instantly from Netflix. CBS retains an option to extend the agreement for up to two additional years.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Beginning in early April, dozens of hit shows from CBS will join the extensive library of television shows and movies available to watch instantly from Netflix for only $7.99 a month.
Content covered under the new deal includes the long-running drama, “Medium” and the summer season favorite, “Flashpoint.”  Also covered under the agreement are episodes from some of television’s most iconic franchises.  Full seasons of sitcom greats “Frasier,” “Family Ties” and “Cheers” will be streaming instantly from Netflix.  Episodes from the original “Hawaii Five-0″ are included in the package, as are episodes from all generations of the definitive sci-fi series, “Star Trek,” and the cult favorite, “Twin Peaks.”  Installments of ’60s classics, “The Twilight Zone” and “The Andy Griffith Show,” will be available as well.
“This deal recognizes the increasing value of our content in today’s marketplace,” said Scott Koondel, President of Distribution, CBS Television Distribution.  “More and more, people want to be able to access our programming on a wide variety of platforms.  We are very pleased that the titles offered through this deal will now also be made available to a whole new community through the terrific and convenient service that Netflix offers.  We will continue to pursue additional non-exclusive distribution partners that are additive to our overall business.”
“We are thrilled to be bringing CBS shows to Netflix and are looking forward to growing our relationship over time,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix. ”Netflix is now the only online premium subscription service with shows featured on all four broadcast networks and dozens of cable TV’s biggest brands.”

Random Crumb

Flickr hosts some 5 billion photographs; Facebook hosts more than 15 billion

Nocturne by Syrie James

Goodreads Book Summary:

When Nicole Whitcomb’s car runs off a Colorado mountain road during a blinding snowstorm, she is saved from death by a handsome, fascinating, and enigmatic stranger.

Snowbound with him for days in his beautiful home high in the Rockies, she finds herself powerfully attracted to him and soon comes to realize that the feeling is mutual. But there are things about him that mystify her, filling her with apprehension –and Nicole can’t shake the feeling that he doesn’t want her there.

Who is Michael Tyler? Why does he live alone in such a secluded spot and guard his private life so carefully? What secret –or secrets –is he hiding?

Nicole has secrets of her own and a past she is running from –but Michael understands her better than anyone she has ever known. Soon, she is falling as deeply in love with him as he is with her. But as the sexual tension between them builds, the clues mount up. When Nicole learns that terrifying truth –that her host is an ages-old vampire who is town between his love for her and his desire for her blood –there’s nowhere for her to run but into the blizzard raging outside, and he’s the only one who can save her life.

Filled with unexpected twists and surprises, Nocturne is a page-turning, haunting, and deeply romantic story of forbidden love that will grab your heart and not let go.

My Review:

I found this book in the Horror section at Borders but it definitely is not a horror. Even though it was not the genre I expected, I will give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! It’s a slow building romance with all of the tensions you would expect from a vampire/human love affair.

I saw some bad reviews of this book, but I enjoyed it and I think Syrie James did an awesome job considering the story only has two characters and is set in one location. The way she describes things (music and the scenery for example) is nothing short of remarkable. It makes me want to hop on a plane and fly to Colorado!

I will definitely be buying her other book Dracula, My Love!

Borders, etc.

It's a shame Borders has to close, but I do enjoy book sales! These are my newest purchases...

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright (already devoured and reviewed)
Nocturne by Syrie James
Hater by David Moody

I’ve also recently won a contest (YAY!) and I’m looking forward to receiving Once Bitten & Twice Dead by Kalayna Price!!

Thank you Ruby’s Reads!!

So Far This Year

So far I've read 13 books out of my goal of 83. Now I just need to stay on track!

Nocturne by Syrie James
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartright
Awakened (House of Night #8) by P.C. Cast
Must Love Dogs by Clair Cook
Portal (Portal Chronicles #1) by Imogen Rose
Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs
Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs
Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel
The Dead Girls’ Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2) by Rachel Caine
Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1) by Rachel Caine
By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Inside Out (Inside Out, #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate

Updated 3-2-11

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright, Catherine Hardwicke

Book Summary:

The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace.

When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her?

As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart?

This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.

My Review:

Finished Today

I had seen the previews for the upcoming movie and was very interested but until yesterday I didn't even know there was a book, shame on me! The plot reminds me a little of The Village movie. The town is secluded and paranoid because of a creature and the creature ends up being one of the villagers. But don't let those similarities scare you off because this book is sooo much better than the village storyline. The Red Riding Hood twist spices things up nicely.

Valerie has never felt like she fit in and as the book goes on she realizes that she is the only one that can 'hear' what the Wolf is thinking/saying. The Wolf wants one thing, it wants Valerie to go away with it. She has a tough choice to make. Will she go with the Wolf to save lives, run away with her childhood love or marry the man she is betrothed to? Well, I guess you will have to read the book to find out ;-)

I will say that is going to have a bonus chapter on March 14th and I'm looking forward to reading it! I am also looking forward to watching the movie!!

Evermore by Alyson Noel (The Immortals #1)

Book Summary:
Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch.   Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

My Review:
Finished Feb 14th.
I think I would give this book a 3.5 out of 5. I read this book in a day, so that tells you that I was into it. What I didn't like as much were the similarities to Fallen. I definitely enjoyed Evermore more than Fallen but it followed about the same plotline and I think I was expecting something a little different. All in all it was good, but not spectacular.
Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition.  He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets.  Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head.  She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is.  Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Random Crumb - Today in History

On this day in 2005, YouTube was launched in the United States.


“Hope is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickenson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.

Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Happy Valentines Day - Random Crumb

Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine's Day in the late 1800's.

Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge

This is a very good fudge recipe! I've made it many times and it's a big hit everytime. It's also good with chocolate drizzled on top. Yum!

4 c. White Sugar
1 c. Light Brown Sugar
½ c. Butter
1 (12oz) can Evaporated Milk
1 (16 oz) Jar Peanut Butter
1 (7oz) Jar Marshmallow Crème
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Grease 9 x 13 baking dish.
In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, brown
sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, stirring
constantly, and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in
marshmallow crème until well incorporated and melted. Stir
in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth; spread in prepare pan.
Let cool before cutting into squares

2011 Reading Challenges

Since I’m addicted to and of course reading, I figured I might as well set some goals to challenge myself. Here’s what I came up with…

-Read 10 new series – this challenge is technically to read at least the first book in the series, but if I like the first book I plan on reading the entire series.
-Read 25 new authors
-Read books whose titles start with each letter of the alphabet – for example my ‘P’ book is Portal
-Read 83 books – it’s an odd number, I know

Does all this sound crazy? Well, it might be but it will be fun to see how it plays out! And the good thing is that one book can count for multiple challenges!!

I started off with a bang the first couple weeks of January by reading 7 books right out of the gate. Since then I’ve slacked and read a big nada, zilch, zero so I definitely need to get the ball rolling again.

Just a side note, these challenges are technically for a paranormal/fantasy group on Goodreads, but I’m also going to include other books that I read since I’m using these as more personal goals rather than paranormal goals. I’m also not including short stories since you can hardly compare 15 or 60 pages to 250 pages.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Can't wait to read this book! It's due to come out January 2012.


Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....

Book Giveaway

You can't beat getting books for free.

Here's a contest from a blog I follow.

Superbowl Recipe

I'm going to start posting recipes here and there so I figured this a good one to start with.

I went to a superbowl party this past weekend and the below recipe was a big hit!


Flaky Deli Slices

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready in 35 Minutes
Makes: 32 appetizers


1 box (15oz) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softenend as directed on box
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ lb very thinly sliced cooked ham
¼ lb thinly sliced pepperoni
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove pie crusts from pouches; place crusts flat on work surface. If necessary, press out folds or creases. Sprinkle each crust evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Top each crust with ham, pepperoni and cheddar cheese to within 1 inch of edges. Loosely roll up each crust. Place rolls, seam side down, on ungreased cookie sheet. Fold ends under.

Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Cut each roll into 16 slices. Serve warm.


This is good served with warm pizza sauce!


Do not stand by my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the soft refreshing rain.
When you awake in the mornings blush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quite birds in circled flight
I am the stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.

From a tombstone in Ireland.

Winter Pines

Ice Storm

I decided to play hooky during one of the ice storms earlier this month. Well, technically I took a vacation day but it still felt like playing hooky. I had a great day of taking photos with a friend. I also managed to fit in a nap and lunch with hubby and friends once things started to thaw out.

Random Crumb

Pulchella means 'pretty' in Latin

Random Crumb

I'm starting a new feature of my blog, "Random Crumb". I seriously doubt I will remember to post daily, but I'm going to shoot for once a week for now!

Tidbit #1

Did you know that bubblewrap was originally marketed as wallpaper?