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Friday, October 31, 2008

Winner: Breast Cancer Site Store Gift Certificate

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you got a lot of candy, and got to see lots of cute kids in costumes!

I said I would chose my winner today, so here I am!

And the winner of the Breast Cancer Site Store Gift Certificate is.....


Looks like a new purse is in your future m'dear!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Book: French Pressed by Cleo Coyle

French Pressed is the 6th coffeehouse novel by Cleo Coyle, staring Coffeehouse manager and amateur sleuth Clare Cosi. This installment centers around Clare's daughter Joy, and her inolvement with the head chef at Solange, the restaurant where she is interning.

As Joy's affair with the married Tommy Keitel goes south, Clare's relationship with Mike Quinn is heating up to the boiling point. As usual, Clare's ex-husband Matt is both a blessing and a curse, helping her and frustrating her, and Mike, causing him to have a talk with Clare about where their lives are headed, and what they really want.

Of course murder is involved, and of course Clare is right in the middle of it, as Joy seems to be the prime suspect of not one, but two deaths! Being a little more intrepid than most mothers, Clare is never content to sit back and let the police do their thing, especially when it seems they're contect to stop looking after they've arrested Joy. Knowing her daughter is innocent, Clare even has a brief brush with the Russian mafia as she tries to figure out who the real killer is.

I enjoyed this one as I have all the rest, as usual, there are interesting coffee and this time also restaurant facts delivered in the course of the story. Also recipes in back which sound delicious, if only I actually did enjoy cooking, I'd definitely try them out! I'm looking forward to #7, Espresso Shot, which came out recently in Hardback.

If you've not read this series, I highly recommend it, the first book is On What Grounds, where we see Clare's initiation into the world of investigating when she finds her assistant manager murdered at the back of the store.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Mish-Mash, or Shaunie takes a day off, or what to do with all those eggs

Okay I actually took Friday off too, but today has been more fun so far. ;) I've bolded the high points for my own amusement.

I started out my day by sleeping in way too late! I must have needed it though, right, or I wouldn't have done it! That's what I'm going with anyway!

Next, I took myself voting. If you're in the US, you can't have avoided the fact that it's election time, unless you live in a cave or some other wilderness place with no reception of any kind. No, I'm not going to tell you who I voted for. All I'm going to say is, if you can vote early, do it! I was in and out in 30 minutes today, and that was even counting the time that I was lined up in my car just to get a parking space! I was worried when I saw that, but it actually went very smoothly, everyone was very nice and cooperative, and so today I was out there exercising my rights! So, get out there and vote! It's kind of like the lottery, you can't win if you don't play. And if you don't play, then you better not be complaining if it doesn't turn out the way you wanted because you could have helped it along but you didn't! Okay, done with soap boxing! ;)

For lunch I made myself a nice gooey plate of nacho bean dip, I take Old El Paso refried beans spread in the bottom of a shallow bowl, pour salsa on top, then cheese over that to cover and microwave until all the cheese is melted. It's not much of a recipe, but it makes me happy! It's good to cut up some onions on top, and some fresh tomatoes too if you have them and/or want to take the time, but I usually don't because I'm lazy-- I mean, busy, yeah, busy! I also made some peanut butter brownies, from a box, but again, easy is good! ;)

As I was making my brownies, I first tested the eggs I had left to make sure they were good. If you don't know how to do this, fill a bowl with water, and carefully place your egg in it. If it floats, it's bad, don't use it, if it goes to the bottom, it's alright, you can proceed! I'm terrible about buying eggs and not using them right away, there's just too many in a carton for what I usually need! You have to have them for brownies or cakes, and yet you only need 2 or 3, but you have to buy them in boxes of 12?! Anyway, I know they come in smaller boxes sometimes, but not the ones I like to buy. Moving on! I thought okay, these eggs are all still good, but not for much longer, so what can I do? I know, Self, says I, I can make deviled eggs! And so I did, and they are good. So good in fact I just informed my husband that I've decided to be a stay at home wife instead of working so that I might cook sometimes. Maybe. When I'm not too busy playing computer games and reading. He hasn't gotten back to me yet, I'm guessing the answer will be no.

So here's some more egg knowledge for you, to make hardboiled eggs, put them in a sauce pan, cover them with cold water, then bring them to a boil for 12 minutes. Then put them in the fridge to cool. It worked pretty well. Last time I did the 15 minutes that my cookbook said and it was too long. This time I looked it up on food network and tried that. I think my grandmother may even have said something like 8-10 minutes, then just let them cool in the water, off the burner, not in the fridge, and she makes awesome deviled eggs. The rest of the deviled egg mixture was pretty easy, though last time it was too dry, this time I got it just right! Mayo, mustard and sugar. No, I have no idea how much I used, I just kept adding until it tasted right, mish-mashed it with a fork (see, I'm tying this all together!) and then squeezed it back into the egg halves using a sandwich bag with a corner cut out. I'm feeling like a regular chef! Don't worry, it will pass. ;)

I'm considering making cabbage rolls for dinner! I hope it hasn't passed before then since we're sort of out of money until pay day so really there will be no eating out.

The rest of the day I've done some dishes, some laundry, read a book (French Pressed by Cleo Coyle, review coming soon), and played Guild Wars (I said I was bolding the highlights, dishes and laundry are NOT highlights) where their Halloween event is under way. You have to love a game that has trick-or-treat bags drop from killing monsters, and in these bags you can get things like, Witch's Brew (to work on your drunkard title), pumpkin cookies and candy corn that give you temporary boosts in the game, and potions that turn you into a candy corn person. I love this game! Not to mention it just speaks to the addictive collector part of me. Must get as many as I can AAAAHHHH!!!!

If you've made it all way through this post, you're either very patient with me (thank you I do appreciate that!) or really bored, in which case I hope I've entertained you a little bit. I do want to remind you that my Breast Cancer Site Store GC Contest closes soon, I will choose the winner on Halloween. To sign up, go comment on the post, the link is up there in the right hand side bar. The next contest after that will be for Knights of the Round Table: Lancelot, a romance by Gwen Rowley that I enjoyed, so if that sounds interesting to you, check back after Halloween! Hopefully I'll get some other review type things posted soon as well, as I went to see the Musical Production of The Lion King this past Saturday, and have read a few other books as well that I've not gotten around to posting about.

Thanks for hanging in here with me! Back to Guild Wars and Trick or Treat bag collecting!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

FBIA - Bureau Update

The FBIA - Fuzzy Ball Intelligence Agency, pet project of FI6 Director Fergus McCat is well under way and showing strong results. Fergus started with just a single, well trained agent, OOWS (OO White Sparkle), and quickly saw the potential of an increased roster. And so he began training a carefully selected pawful of new agents, OORS, OOBS, OOPS, and then the less flashy OOG and OOP. Working without sparkle, they are much easier to send undercover in those dangerous situations when you must not be seen, and a careless light beam could give you away at any time.

Here we see top agents OOWS, OOPS and OOBS gathered in the debriefing room, cleverly disguised as the food dish, where Fergus McCat can interview his agents while seemingly appearing to just be eating his dinner.

The assignments for these agents have become increasingly more dangerous, having graduated from the early days of merely under the couch and chair, to the much less civilized under the stove, under the closet door, under the basement door, and behind the vacuum cleaner. These agents are fearless! In the last two days, 00P and 00G have just completed their most difficult assignments yet, to accompany the laundry not only out of the bedroom, but into the washing machine, and then on into the dryer. We now are able to document this entire process from beginning to end from the INSIDE of the machine, intelligence to a degree we've never had before.

Clearly Fergus McCat is a genius of domestic infiltration training and FI6 is now among the top Feline Intelligence Bureaus in the world. I will sleep much better tonight knowing that Fergus McCat and his crack team of FB Agents are on the job!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Book: Unshapely Things by Mark Del Franco

At one time, Connor Grey was a druid investigator of high ability, moving up in the ranks of the Guild. After a violent confrontation (before the opening of this book) he has been left with almost none of his former abilities, even the slightest attempt at their use causing him great pain. He now works with the Boston Police Department, still investigating, in a much reduced state, not only of power, but in quality of life. He's come to appreciate many things he took for granted before. How frustrating it is to still retain all the knowledge of what you could once do with ease, but not be able to effect the smallest spell.

Connor is called in to assist with an investigation involving the ritual murders of fairy prostitutes down in the Weird, a run-down Boston neighborhood. He begins to see a pattern to the crimes, but can he figure out what's really going on before the final murder, which could cause the biggest cataclysm since the Convergence that brought the fey into the human world?

I definitely enjoyed this one, another in the Urban Fantasy detective genre that meshes fantasy with mystery. I will certainly be picking up book 2, Unquiet Dreams, and there is a third on the way in 2009, Unfallen Dead. Check out Mark Del Franco's website for more info!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ace of Cakes - Food Network

I'm not terribly excited about food shows. I know how to cook, I like my own cooking, lately I haven't been doing it much because of work, and I've never really enjoyed it a lot. Some people find it relaxing and enjoyable, to me it's kind of a chore. So when I am watching a cooking show, I'm mostly thinking "wow, that's a lot of work just to get some food."

However, if you've never watched Ace of Cakes on the Food Network, you really should! It is the most entertaining food show I've ever watched, and I love it! I would never even attempt anything they do, but the cakes they come up with are just amazing! These people are truly artists, and this show never fails to put a smile on my face. They are just such a fun and different group, and so talented.

Check out the website, they have a lot of short video clips of these amazing cakes. And yes, I still say "Wow, that's a lot of work just to eat it!" I think I wouldn't be able to, after watching all the work that goes into them!

My favorites of the clips they have are the Noah's Ark, and the King Tut cakes, but really everything they make is awesome!

Now I really want some cake!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And the Winner of The Mummy Case is...


Please send me a PM through Bookcrossing with your address so I can send the book out to you! Congratulations!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Giveaway: Breast Cancer Site Store

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Early detection is the key, but even knowing that, I'm bad about doing a self breast exam. I'm young enough that I have not had my first mammogram, but I have known several people who have fought, and survived this cancer. I hope that if I ever am faced with breast cancer, that I have the courage to fight it and do what needs to be done. I'm blessed with insurance to cover the cost of a mammogram, many are not so lucky.

Tonight I decided to post a new giveaway, a gift certificat to the Breast Cancer Site Store for $25. Each item you purchase donates money to the cost of a mammogram for women in need. To read more about what the site has accomplished in the last 6 months, look Here.

The site has many fun t-shirts featuring the pink ribbon and catchy phrases, as well as a ton of other things. Check out the store

You can also help just by clicking the button, it's free, but still contributes to the cause: The Breast Cancer Site

To enter, please post a comment here. I will choose a winner on October 31st, and all I ask is that once you spend your GC (and I don't think anyone will mind if you spend more than the $25!) you come back and let me know what cool stuff you bought! You can get an extra entry by blogging about this contest AND providing the link for people to do the free click. Please give me a link to your post if you do this!

Help give someone the gift of early detection, it could make all the difference.

Also please take a look at the Susan G Komen Website for more information on breast cancer and what you can do to help the cause.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Because you can never have too many addictions...

So if you take a little peek to the left, you'll see my Dragon Eggs right there at the top, and notice that 2 of them have hatched, and one of them grew up (not bad looking for a little orange guy!), and the other one probably will have too by the time I get up in the morning. I'm actually quite pleased at how interesting they are!

I saw eggs posted on a friends signature in a forum, and thought to myself, huh, those are neat, but when I clicked on them to try and get my own, of course they'd all been taken. So periodically I'd try it again, not at all surprised that I didn't manage to catch any. So when I actually did, I was a little shocked, but of course, had to keep trying right away, (thus two hatchlings very close to each other) and then managed to rescue an abandoned egg, and even get a new one.

Needless to say, they're neat enough I'm going to have to keep playing with it for awhile, darn it! :P In fact, I just adopted another egg just now! MUST STOP! AAAHHH!!!! (But, but, but, it's pink! You can't not take a pink one!)

There is actually more to the site, they have a forum, and all your eggs and hatchlings and grown dragons are shown to you on your own scroll, and somehow clicks and views are supposed to help them hatch and grow but I really haven't figured that out. There are also some rules as to how many eggs you can have at once. So I really better stop until I get some more hatchlings and grown dragons lol!

If anyone else is interested, here is the site: Dragon Cave or you can get there by clicking on my little lovelies in the sidebar (I really don't like orange that much, but I still love my little dragon over there, he is my first dragon child, after all!) If you do decide to adopt some of your own, go ahead and leave me a comment with a link to where they are, so I can click on them and help them along, however that works, and see what they turn into!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Book: Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

Real Murders is the first book of the Aurora Teagarden mystery series by popular author Charlaine Harris, well known for the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series, which is the basis for the True Blood series now showing on HBO.

We meet Aurora for the first time here, a librarian in a town where everyone knows each other, and everything about each other, or at least they think they do. Aurora is part of the Real Murders Club, who get together periodically to present and discuss well known murder cases. It is Aurora's turn to present, and she knows her subject front and back. So well in fact that when one of the members of the club is found murdered before she even has a chance to discuss her case, she immediately is struck by the parallels to what she was about to present.

When the next murders take place, it's clear that it must be someone from the club, or at least someone connected to the members, but who could it be? At the same time, Aurora finds herself caught between two men in town that not only is she interested in, but are both interested in her, as they try to solve the cases together! Life has never been more exciting for her, or more terrifying!

This was a good beginning to a series, Aurora was a likeable character, and the story twists and turns to cast suspicion in several directions, by the end, all the members of the club are involved in one way or another, as personal items disappear from their possession to reappear as murder weapons planted in the vicinity of yet other members. It kept me wondering all the way through! I will definitely be reading more in the series!

For more information, take a look at the Charlaine Harris Official Web Site.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Movie: Silverado

I caught Silverado on AMC tonight (they play a lot of good movies!) and was reminded of the first time I saw this in the theaters. Back then, in 1985 (wow, feelin' old now) I didn't know who Kevin Costner and Kevin Cline even were, but I became fans after that movie. John Cleese is in it too, which I appreciate even more now that I'm more of a Monty Python fan than I was back then.

The storyline itself doesn't seem that exciting, brothers Emmett and Jake Hollis (Scott Glenn and Kevin Costner) are going to visit their sister before heading to Silverado, teaming up with Paden (Kevin Cline) and Mal (Danny Glover) along the way. They get mixed up with a crooked sherriff (Brian Dennehy) and corrupt rancher who they of course get the better of. What made this movie great to me was the scripting, the development of and interaction between the characters. The music was wonderful too, and was nominated for Best Original Score in 1985 but lost to Out of Africa. Look here for more info on this great movie! If you haven't seen it, and are a fan of any of the main actors, or even if you aren't, but just enjoy a good witty film, I highly recommend it!

Stella - "The world is what you make of it friend, if it doesn't fit, make alterations."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Feel the Love!

It's my very first blog award ever! Amberkatze and Ruthie both nominated me for this award, and now I get to share the love by passing it along! Thank you so much ladies! Everyone please go check out their blogs if you haven't already, and if you have already, well, just do it again, because they're great! ;)

Here are the rules -

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog (got it! Yay now I can add an awards block to the side bar!)

2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (done! see above, she's got lots of awesome reviews and contests, so you should check it out if you haven't already!)

3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs

4) Add links to those blogs on your blog

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!

I'm guessing that at least several of my nominees will have already received this from others, but I'm going to nominate them anyway, just so they know I love 'em!

My nominees:

Walking on Sunshine a friend of mine who also does book/movie reviews and has contests, good photos and life tidbits! Get to know her, her hubby and their lovely kitties! (all very photogenic!)

The Movieholic and Bibliophile's Blog Another awesome book and movie reviewer, I love the pictures that she adds in, they always have something to do with the story, though sometimes they seem a little off the wall! Very fun!

West of Mars - The Meet and Greet This is where you can meet and hang out with the band Shapeshifter and friends, courtesy of my friend Susan! It's a whole other world there... but then, that's not surprising since it IS west of Mars! Heehee!

Wendy's Opinion on Books Why look, more book reviews! Are you sensing a theme here? That I love books? I also love seeing what my friends are reading! Check out what Wendy's been reading and what she thinks of them!

Writing with Vicki Specializing in Paranormal and Romantic Suspense! I recently won a copy of the Accidental Demonslayer by Angie Fox along with some signed goodies *squee!* which came today by the way! Thanks again Vicki, and I love your blog! (not just cause of that though! hee!)

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin' Book Reviews Yep, you guessed it, more books, also giveaways (I won one from here too, Blood Noir by Laurell K Hamilton, I tell you, for awhile there my luck was just crazy!) SQT is on a bit of a break but hopefully back soon, in the meantime, check out the great past reviews!

Yankee Romance Reviewers Packed full of author interviews and giveaways, definitely worth a look, or three, or four, or.... I'm pretty sure Terra and the group has already gotten some of these awards from others, but hey, you can never have too much love, right?

There are certainly many more, so if I didn't name you, don't think I don't love you too! ;)

Now off to let these fine people know they've won a prestigious award from Moi!

Thanks again Amberkatze and Ruthie! I feel loved!

HQ/Sil Challenge #3: The Mummy Case by Dawn Stewardson

Title: The Mummy Case
Author: Dawn Stewardson
Imprint: Harlequin Intrigue #257
Year: 1994

Marina is an insurance investigator in the special claims department, a recent promotion from the auto claims. Her mentor Nat lands in the hospital with a heart attack, leaving Marina to work alone after only six weeks. Her current case involves a stolen mummy case, replaced with a forgery at the Donner museum's exhibit. The prime suspect is Revington York, the owner of Careful Wheels, the transport company hired to move the exhibit from LA to the Donner in San Francisco. Marina is determined to prove to her boss Charlie that she can do a good job, so that she doesn't have to go back to boring auto claims, but she soon realizes that this case is more than she bargained for. Revington, eager to prove his innocence demands to tag along with her and be involved in the investigation, and weird and dangerous things start happening. He gifts Marina with what he tells her is a reproduction of the mummy beads from the now missing Princess Amonit's mummy, but are they really? Marina begins hearing voices and seeing things she can't explain, narrowly missing several attempts on her life.

This was a fun little mystery, I'm a sucker for anything Egyptian so of course I had to snag this back when I found it on the sale rack! There's just a touch of the supernatural to it, and a shocking ending, because of course, you guessed it, there's a sequel! I may have to see if I can find a copy of the next one on Bookmooch or Paperbackswap, just to see what happens!

If you too are into a little romantic mystery with an Egyptian flavor, you're in luck, because I'm ready to pass my copy along! As with all my giveaways, this is a used copy, with a Bookcrossing label, and while I would love a journal entry from you if you are so inclined, the book will be yours to do with as you please.

To enter, just post a comment on this entry, and I will randomly choose a winner on October 18th! Please remember to include an e-mail address if your profile is hidden so that I can contact you if you win.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

And the Winner of Retrieval is....

Drum Roll Please! rat-a-tat-tat...


Thanks to all of you that played along with my "retrieval" game, I promise next time's will be easier! ;)

Carol, please send me your snail mail info to shaunesay at gmail dot com.

I'll announce my next giveaways soon, so check back!

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Little Clandestine Activity

Work has been crazy the last couple of weeks, so now that I finally get a weekend after 12 days in a row, I told the husband I HAD to do something fun tonight to take my mind off of work! Our answer? A little night time geocaching! We've had a spot in mind to place another cache for awhile now, and so tonight we finally did! Our cache supplies order came in yesterday, and we've been excited to use it! Our first choice came complete with a security camera... not such a good idea. Finally after much debate we decided against it, but found another likely spot nearby, sans camera. So now we're anxiously awaiting the approval on our second cache to come through for it to be posted. We made sure to have the right coordinates this time, last time was just too embarrassing! This one is named "Pizza Bash", the reason for which would become clear as soon as you get to the right spot.

Our first cache is doing well, and has had 12 visitors, with no DNF's (did not find), yay! Curious about it? Then check out the listing for Space Cowboy.

We're up to 60 finds of other caches, and feeling quite proud of ourselves, I think we're getting a little better at spotting them. Husband managed to non-chalantly discover, pick up, hand to me to sign the log, and replace, all while talking to his daughter on the cell phone the other day, how's that for multi-tasking! lol! I'm hoping we make 100 by the end of the year, but not sure if we'll get that far.

Our travel bugs are also still around, someone has finally picked up my Jayhawk keychain bug and taken it to Colorado on it's first stop! Yay! Kill-a-bug-byte has made it's way in the opposite direction to Missouri! Good luck on your travels my little bugs! I hope to be sending more little bugs out into the world soon! Muahahahaha!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Book: Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin

Raine Benares is a seeker, not especially high on the power scale, but passable. Her family is mostly known for being smugglers and thieves, rather than upstanding citizens. They are however very loyal to their friends and each other, which lands Raine in the trouble that this first book in the series centers around.

Afraid that a friend and sometimes employee of hers is getting himself into trouble, Raine follows him to find out what he's up to. She finds Quentin breaking into the house of a well known Necromancer in the town. As expected, things don't go well, and soon they are in an all out battle with a certain faction of goblins known as the Khrynsani. Raine herself is an elf, and I typically imagine goblins to be nasty short little ugly creatures with big noses or something like that. Not so in this story! The Goblins of this story are more along the lines of dark elves, and are a beautiful but deadly night to the Elven day in aspect.

Once free of the fight, Raine questions Quentin to find that he'd been hired to find a certain artifact and bring it to his contact. She takes it from him, deciding that anything the Khrynsani are after isn't something they should get and so she decides to hold it for safekeeping, only she gets a lot more than she bargained for. As it turns out, the artifact she now can't get rid of without great bodily harm is actually connected to a much more dangerous item, and suddenly Raine is very high on everyone's list to acquire, as their key to finding it, the Saghred... the Soul Thief... Anything with a nickname like that can't be good...

I kind of had a hard time getting into this one, but I suspect that's more my real life circumstances and how busy and tired I've been rather than any fault of the story. It's actually very fast paced and witty, with likable characters, and well put together ideas. By the end I was definitely interested in getting the next book Armed and Magical to see what Raine and her friends are up to next! This is a good pick if you're looking for a fun fantasy romp.

See Lisa Shearin's Website for more information, and a peek at the covers for the next two books!
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