December 28, 2011

#Rafflecopter #Giveaway: Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller

Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . . until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold.

As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her. Violently thrust into a magickal realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own.Will love prove thicker than magick? 

Visit Elizabeth's website

Buy it: Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller

Win it: Elizabeth has offered to give one of my readers an ebook version of Darkspell.  To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form:

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomqvist is hired by Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of Vanger’s great-niece Harriet. Henrik suspects that someone in his family, the powerful Vanger clan, murdered Harriet over forty years ago.

Starting his investigation, Mikael realizes that Harriet’s disappearance is not a single event, but rather linked to series of gruesome murders in the past. He now crosses paths with Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker, an asocial punk and most importantly, a young woman driven by her vindictiveness.

Together they form an unlikely couple as they dive deeper into the violent past of the secretive Vanger family.

I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo around three-thirty this morning and I still can't believe how brilliant it was!  My husband bought me a copy and I started it as soon as it arrived.  Lisbeth Salander is one of the most likable characters that I have come across.  I had heard a lot about how great this book was and so I was expecting it to be pretty awesome.  What I found though was that words cannot describe this book.  No matter how great I tell you it is, you won't understand unless you read it for yourself.  I cannot recommend this book enough. 

Buy it: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Visit Stieg's website.

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Review: Wayfair Products

I love searching Wayfair's website because they have so many items for your home.  What I love most is that they carry a wide variety of products with a range of prices.  I could redo my entire home at one store and have everything shipped right to my doorstep.

My husband and I were using an extremely old pot holder that looked as if it was falling apart.  We had some nice ones when we first got together but that was when Reese was a puppy.  My husband would be playing with her and she didn't quite have control over her puppy teeth yet and he thought it would be a good idea to use our oven mitts to protect his hands.  Needless to say, they didn't make it through the first round.  All we had left was one blue pot holder and it was pretty pathetic. When my Cuisinox Oven Mitt's arrived, I was so happy!  I would finally be able to use an oven mitt on each hand.  Wow, what a luxury!  They look wonderful and work great.  The only thing that I would change would be to make them a little bit thicker.  I have put my new oven mitt's to the test and am proud to have them in my kitchen. 

Who would have thought that my review for home products would revolve around my dog?  Reese hates baths and it's a pain to get her there and an even bigger pain to keep her there.  We try to make it as quick and painless as possible but she tends to fight it.  She will back up to the end of the tub and make it extremely hard for us to rinse her off.  Well, that used to be the case, when we only had a five foot shower hose. My husband switched the hose with an Elements of Design 96" Single Interlock Shower Hose one evening and we decided it was the perfect time to test it out.  We had her in and out, looking all nice and clean in minutes.  Cleaning the tub and shower is a breeze now!  I can't believe that we didn't get a longer shower hose sooner.  The great thing about the one we now have is that it doesn't bunch up or anything.  I'm very, very happy with it!

Disclosure: I received these products for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

December 27, 2011

Review & #Giveaway: The Yoga Club by Cooper Lawrence

Chatting it up with bendy WASPs is the last thing on Coco Guthrie’s mind during her 8:30 a.m. yoga class. Having made her fortune as the world-renowned inventor of Butt-B-Gone derriere cream, Coco still doesn’t feel like she belongs among the upper class— until she attends the swankiest Halloween soiree in Greenwich, Connecticut, where three of her fellow morning yogis shared her brilliant idea to appear as Sarah Palin. Soon it’s clear that a love of stretching isn’t all this accidental sorority—which includes a single mom with echolalia, an entertainment reporter who charms the pants off handsome stars, and a drama-prone producer with a taste for drag— have in common.

When the four mischievous Sarahs wander away from the party to sneak a peek at the mayor’s neighboring estate, they are stunned to find him adorned in leather and latex, and rolling up a woman’s body in a Persian rug. To make matters worse, someone has spotted the spying Palins. Someone who threatens to expose their torrid affairs in business and the bedroom. Now the unlikely foursome must use all their wits and wiles to get to the bottom of the kinky crime. But will their budding friendship be strong enough to protect their deepest secrets?

I picked up The Yoga Club last week and consumed the entire book in one day.  Cooper has a knack for storytelling and giving just the right amount of details.  The unforgettable characters paired with an intriguing plot make for a sensational read.  I definitely recommend this to my fellow readaholics!

Visit Cooper's website

Win it: Two of my readers will each win a copy of The Yoga Club by Cooper Lawrence.  Open to residents of the US & Canada. 

Mandatory Entry:

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Giveaway ends Jan. 13, 2011

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

December 22, 2011

Switched by Amanda Hocking

About the "Trylle" Series and "Switched":

From Amanda Hocking, million-copy bestselling author and internet sensation comes the Trylle series… it all begins with Switched, available everywhere 1.3.12. As a special gift to readers, Switched contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “The Vittra Attacks,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.

The Trylle series continues with Torn, on-sale 2.28.12, and concludes on 4.24.12 with Ascend.

SWITCHED… at birth:

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

December 21, 2011

Legally Hot by Lora Leigh, Cheyenne McCray & Red Garnier Sweepstakes

Enter here.

FREE READ: Six Geese a-Laying by Sophie Kinsella

I am a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella and wanted to share this with my favorite people - that's you readers!  You can read the short story Six Geese A-Laying for free here.

December 20, 2011

I Love Coupons!

I get excited every time I make a purchase and use coupons. I feel like it's a game. I try to see how much money I can save and when it's a lot, I get a thrill! For the longest time I was missing out on some unbelievable savings. I'm addicted to books and had no idea that I could save with upromise online coupons.  There are coupons for everything under the sun, literally.  You can save with walmart coupons and other stores like Barnes and Noble.  I'm all about saving money because that gives me extra money to feed my serious book addiction!  If you aren't saving money by using coupons yet, I encourage you to do some research and find out how much you could be saving.  You might be surprised!  I will warn you, it does get addicting!

Disclosure: This is a paid post.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Twisted Vengeance by Jeff Bennington for $0.99!

TWISTED VENGEANCE, from the author of REUNION, an Amazon #1 bestselling supernatural thriller.

Detective Rick Burns' life is falling apart. His son is dead, his brother butchered, he's in love with the one woman he can't have and he's investigating a slew of unsolved murders of violent, domestic abusers. When a mysterious boy enters his life, things only get worse.

The boy knows the victims. He knows about Rick's fears. And he knows "Debil", the serial killer with a lust for death.

Determined to help the detective find the perpetrator, the boy ushers Rick into a nightmarish chase where reality and the supernatural are blurred, nearly costing him his life, his love, and his reputation in a storm of domestic vengeance that is so twisted you won't be able to stop reading until you discover the awful truth.

Get your copy now through Dec. 25, 2011 for only $0.99 here.

Sourcebooks: First in Series eBooks for $1.99!

 Check out the entire list of books available for $1.99 (12/21/2011 – 1/8/2012) here.

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.

FREE READS From Pocket After Dark

Right now you can read Chased by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon and Our Little Secret by Starr Ambrose for FREE!  There are only 11 days left, so hurry!  You must be a member of Pocket After Dark.  It's free!  Be sure to friend me when you sign up:)

Every Which Way But Dead with Bonus Material (Rachel Morgan) for $1.99

Kim Harrison is one of my all-time favorite authors.  The Hollows series is out of this world!  Read Every Which Way But Dead with Bonus Material (Rachel Morgan) for the special price of $1.99 from now through January 3, 2012!

December 19, 2011

Saving Some Money

'Tis the season to be jolly!  Buying and giving presents is my favorite part of the holidays.  This year I ended up spending a lot less money on Christmas presents compared to past years.  The best part is, I was able to buy some of the greatest gifts and save some money while doing it.  When I get to watch everyone open their gifts this year, it will be so great to see their faces when they see that they are getting exactly what they asked for.  The best thing I did was shop online for 2011.  I was able to compare prices, use coupons and most website offered free shipping.  I will be using this strategy for gift giving from here on out.  Gifts were delivered to my door and I didn't have to deal with the crowds and madness that goes along with in-store shopping.  Are there still a few people on your list?  Check out what coupons are available and save yourself some money.  I am so happy with my purchases and am looking forward to shopping in 2012!  Who knows, maybe I'll start really early and have all my shopping done by April.  Wouldn't that be nice? 

Have You Seen The LG DoublePlay?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LG DoublePlay™ for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

In today's world is almost impossible to ignore the latest and greatest electronics.  If you ask me, one of the coolest inventions ever would have to be the cell phone.  I thought they were cool back when all you did was make and receive calls.  Now, you can get a phone that does just about anything.  It makes staying in contact with those you care about a lot easier and I must admit, they are so much fun!

Have you checked out the new LG DoublePlay™?  It is available exclusively at T-Mobile and has dual touch screens!  That's right it has two touch screens!  They can be used alone or together depending on the user's needs or wants.  It also has a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out for easy use.  Multi-tasking has never been so easy!  Update your twitter account and check your email all at the same time.

Like using your phone instead of having to lug around a video or digital camera?  The LG DoublePlay comes with an HD 720p video recorder and a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash!  It's easy to share your pictures and/or videos with friends right from your phone.

Are you a texting addict?  I probably send and receive a few hundred text messages per month.  If I had to go a week without texting, I would probably go insane.  I'm even more obsessed with updating my social media accounts.  Being able to do it directly from your phone is amazing!  It saves time and works like a charm.  I would say that I spend about ten hours on my phone updating my Facebook, Twitter, etc.  If I had the LG DoublePlay, I could update my status on Facebook and Twitter simultaneously.

How many hours do you spend texting and checking in social media websites?  How would the LG DoublePlay make your life easier?

Visit Sponsor's Site

December 13, 2011

Sprint 12/12-12/14 3-Day Sale

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sprint for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

For a long time I thought that smartphones were excessive.  Then my husband bought me one and I will never be able to have a regular cell phone.  Life is so much simpler when I can keep all of my important information in one place.  I used to think, why would I need to get on the internet using my cell phone?  I can think of several reasons now, maps, store information and so much more!

Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone special in your life?  Is that person addicted to technology?  Could they use a new smartphone?  If so, then you are in luck because right now you can get the Android™ powered EVO 4G devices for free!  That's right, Sprint is having a three day sale and you can get the HTC EVO 4G or EVO Shift absolutely free!  They are also offering to waive activation fees for new lines and are offering free shipping.    You can also receive up to $250 by trading in your old cell phone, even if it is from a different carrier.  This is an unbelievable deal and is only available for three days, so you better hurry!  I don't  think you will see a deal this good for a long time!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Knock, Knock, You Have Flowers!

When my husband was in Afghanistan, he sent me delivered flowers for all occasions.   The most memorable would have to have been what he sent me for my birthday, a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a vase and a stuffed animal a couple days before my birthday.  All the card said was "3" and so I was really confused.  I didn't know if the flower place messed up or if he hit submit order before he meant to.  The next day, it all became clear when I received a dozen white roses and the card said "2...".  I understood that he was doing a birthday countdown by sending me flowers.  I never would have expected what was at my doorstep the next day though.  It was two dozen different colored roses (the purple were my favorite) and about ten other bouquets of beautiful flowers.  I still can't believe how much thought he put into my birthday and it made me feel extra special.  Even though he wasn't there to celebrate with me, every time I looked at my presents, I couldn't help but think about how lucky I am.

Disclosure: This is a paid post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Help a Starving Writer! by CJ Lyons

Help a Starving Writer!
By CJ Lyons

Hi, I'm CJ Lyons and I'm a writer and a readaholic.

When Bridget asked me to do a guest post here, she suggested that I talk about any new challenges in my life now that I'm a New York Times Bestseller.

I laughed because the biggest challenge is that I no longer have time to read! And it's driving me nuts.

So I need your help. The kind of help only fellow readaholics can give.

First, let me introduce myself. I’m CJ Lyons and I’m a pediatric ER doc turned thriller writer. Nurses used to laugh because I was the doc who always had a paperback stashed in the pocket of her white coat. I've been a storyteller all my life and finally, after 17 years of practicing medicine, I took a leap of faith to write fulltime.

The leap paid off. I'm now an award-winning, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of books I call Thrillers with Heart.

I love my new career as a writer—not only can I go to work in my PJs, I also get the chance to meet lots of interesting people and ask questions that no one else would dare.

I mean, how many 9-to-5er’s get to visit the FBI academy at Quantico or talk to crime scene experts about the “best” way to kill someone and get away with it?

But there is one thing about being a writer that I’m not too happy about. It’s ruined me as a reader!

All my life I’ve been a voracious reader, following my favorite authors blissfully into the worlds they created for me. But now that I’m a writer and know the “tricks of the trade” I no longer travel blindly into these fictional realms.

Instead, I proceed with eyes wide open, taking note of what works and what doesn’t. I dissect technique, scavenge evocative word choices, flag areas where the pace lags or the characters feel contrived.

I no longer can accept that a character does something “too stupid to live”—like going down into the basement when the lights are out and there’s a serial killer on the loose—unless they have a darn good reason to do so—something more than simply the author needing another action scene. Romances where the only reason the hero and heroine remain apart is because they don’t stop sniping long enough to actually talk about their problems smack of melodrama. And thrillers where the main goal is simply racking up a body count rather than changing or saving the hero’s world seem lackluster.

Yikes!!! Now instead of reading 3-5 books a week, I find myself starting 8-10, quickly casting most aside within a few pages, setting the rest down and never feeling compelled to pick them up again.

I long for the days when I would pick up any book in any genre and devour it like candy. Now I’m left with an often fruitless search for literary sustenance.

But once in a while I’ll find a jewel—a precious gem of a story that draws me in, introduces me to characters I not only understand but care about, makes me feel that saving their world is as important as anything going on in my own.

You know what books I’m talking about—those keep-me-up-all-night books.

Suddenly they seem harder to find than ever, but once I find one I savor the experience, reading much slower than my usual headlong rush, trying to prolong my enjoyment as much as possible.

So help a poor starving reader/writer out here! What books have you read lately that gave you more than entertainment, that were fresh and different, able to transport you to another world that you were reluctant to leave? Which characters have you fallen in love with and why?

I’d love to hear about the books that moved you—and what made them stand out from all the other ones out there.

GIVEAWAY: Everyone who leaves a comment will be gifted a free Amazon or Barnes & Noble e-copy of NERVES OF STEEL, the first of the Hart and Drake medical/romantic suspense series and a book Sandra Brown called "a perfect blend of romance and suspense."

(Remember, you don't need a Kindle to read books from Amazon, they have free reading apps for almost any device)

Thanks for helping this hungry readaholic!

About CJ:
As a pediatric ER doctor, New York Times Bestseller CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).

Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at

I want to thank CJ for taking the time to write up this guest post which really made me think about whether or not I want to take the next step and become an author.

She is a wonderful author and I know you will all enjoy her masterpieces!

Be sure to leave your email address and format preference (Amazon or B&N) in your comment by 12/17/11 to receive your free copy!

Shopping Online For The Holidays

I used to visit store after store to do my holiday shopping dealing with massive crowds and way too much traffic.  This year though, I decided that I would only be shopping online.  It's been such a breeze that now I plan to do this every single year because I can get everything I need and have it delivered right to my door.  The only thing you have to be aware of is Christmas Shipping Deadlines. It would be terrible if you bought someone the perfect gift and had to show up empty handed because you didn't pay attention to the Shipping Deadlines for Christmas 2011.

The really great thing about shopping online, besides the obvious reasons is that you can search for coupon codes and save even more money.  A lot of stores also offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount, which is nice if you plan to do the majority of your shopping at one online location.  I saved a lot of money using Coupons.  Amazon has something for everyone. 

This has been my favorite year of shopping so far.  I saved a lot of money and didn't have to deal with the stress of running from store to store.  I love it!

Disclosure: This is a paid post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

December 12, 2011

#Rafflecopter #Giveaway: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

About the book:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

Visit Deborah's website

Win it: Enter using the Rafflecopter form:

December 8, 2011

Catching Up

Guest post of the week by Brittany Booker

The other day my old roommate from college called me after we hadn’t spoken to each other in five years. It was so nice to hear from her, and we talked for hours. She told me everything about her new life as a mother and wife, from how she got a great deal at, to her husband’s bad habits. I also told her about my life as an attorney, and all of the crazy cases I handle. It was so nice to hear how well she was doing and catch up. It felt like we had just graduated college yesterday. It’s so nice to know I have good friends and that even though our lives don’t always allow us to speak often, we are able to pick up right where we left off. Some of the times I spent with my roommate in college were so formative to my personality that I’m not sure that anyone will ever know me in the same way she does. We lived together for two years, and those were some of the best years of my life.

Disclosure: This is a paid post.

December 7, 2011

#Giveaway: Brothers (and Me) by Donna Britt

Donna Britt has always been surrounded by men--her father, three brothers, two husbands, three sons, countless friends. She learned to give to them at an early age. But after her beloved brother Darrell's senseless killing by police 30 years ago, she began giving more, unconsciously seeking to help other men the way she couldn't help Darrell. BROTHERS (AND ME) navigates Britt's life through her relationships with men-resulting in a tender, funny and heartbreaking exploration of universal issues of gender and race. It asks: Why, for so long, did Britt-like millions of seemingly self-aware women-rarely put herself first? With attuned storytelling and hard-wrought introspection, Britt finds that even the sharpest woman may need reminding that giving to others requires giving to oneself.

Visit Donna's website.

Win it! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form:

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. The prize is being provided by the publisher and/or public relations agency.

December 5, 2011

Giveaway: Beyond the Darkness by Jaime Rush

They live ordinary lives, but they are extraordinary. They are the Offspring, children of a mysterious experiment gone awry—and they are in terrible danger. 

Cheveyo: a name that stirs Petra like no other, reviving deep feelings of pleasure . . . and pain. Despite her rare psychic gifts, the beautiful half-human Offspring doesn’t know why the magnificent shapeshifter walked out of her life when the bond they shared was powerful . . . and intensely passionate. 

But Cheveyo is not gone. From the shadows, he watches over his beloved, determined that the malevolent enemies he hunts with fang and claw will not invade her world. But now, suddenly, the stakes are getting higher—as an insidious evil plots the destruction of Petra’s race. Cheveyo can remain hidden no longer from the lover who completes him but could destroy him . . . if his own inner darkness doesn’t destroy her first. 

Visit Jaime's website

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.  The prize is being provided by the publisher.

Win An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer

Following Olen Steinhauer's acclaimed and bestselling first two novels featuring CIA agent Milo Weaver, the novel opens to find the CIA's Department of Tourism dismantled, after an elaborate scheme set in motion by a Chinese intelligence agent named Xin Zhu resulted in the murder of thirty-three agents, supposedly to avenge the death of his son. Zhu infiltrated the Department of Tourism, gaining intimate knowledge of its workings, then turned this CIA-trained team of assassins upon each other. Only a handful are left--including Milo Weaver. 

But Milo would like to move on, use this as an opportunity to regain a normal life, a life focused on his family, but his former boss in the CIA, Alan Drummond, can't let it go, and when Alan uses one of Milo's compromised aliases to travel to London and then disappears, calling all kinds of attention to his actions, Milo can't help but go in search of him. Trouble is, maybe the Chinese aren't finished toying with the Tourists after all....

Olen Steinhauer, the best espionage writer in a generation, delivers a searing, unputdownable international thriller that will settle once and for all who is pulling the strings and who is being played. 

Enter here.

Want To Review Books On Readaholic?

I'm currently seeking people to join Readaholic and review books.  There will be no monetary compensation but the books you receive to review will be yours to keep.  If you are interested, please let me know in the comments (with a way to contact you) or by emailing me at bjhopper(at)me(dot)com for more information.

December 1, 2011

Giveaway: The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry (Paperback)

**Cover may look different**

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.

Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. The prize is being provided by the publishing company.

November 28, 2011

Planning The Future

I can remember being a little girl and planning my entire life using pictures I had cut out from my Mom's magazines.  I had a scrapbook dedicated to my wedding.  I had pictures of the dresses that I liked, what I wanted my bridesmaid to wear and even what invitation I would send.  I had another book that I dedicated to my future child.  In it, I had a list of names for boys and girls, my favorite furniture for the nursery and even what toys I would spoil my little one with.  I wish that I still had those books because it would be a lot of fun to see how much my taste has changed from then until now.

I will be receiving a product from Wayfair to review.

November 9, 2011

Deal: What I Cannot Change by LeAnn Rimes! for $10

The book What I Cannot Change is an elegant counterpart to the song that will include an introduction by LeAnn Rimes, lyrics, photographs, stories from people who have experienced their own journeys of change, and an accompanying CD.

• Signed hardcover edition of What I Cannot Change by LeAnn Rimes.

• Perk: CD with an exclusive version of "What I Cannot Change."

• Free shipping. Offer available in the US only. Please allow two weeks for delivery.

Purchase your copy here.

November 8, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide Idea: Half Price Books Gift Cards

I have been asked what I would like for the holidays and one thing on my list is a gift card to Half Price Books. I'm an avid reader, so I can always use more books. They also have movies, CDs, video games and more!

I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.

November 4, 2011

Hot Water by Erin Brockovich: Chapter 1

Hot Water by Erin Brockovich: Chapter 1
By Erin Brockovich with CJ Lyons,
Author of Hot Water

Summer in the mountains of West Virginia has a magic of its own, like a fairy tale come true. For me, it was a fairy tale paid for with blood.

It was August. After five months back home in Scotia (population 864) I'd just about gotten used to folks looking away from me and mumbling about how I'd gotten the man I loved killed and almost got my dad and son killed and just about drowned the entire valley in toxic sludge.

"That's AJ Palladino," they'd say, crossing to the other side of the street as I passed, in case I rubbed off on them. "Yeah, that AJ Palladino."

I ignored them. Didn't much care what people said about me as long as they didn't take it out on my nine-year-old, David. And, I have to admit, Scotia did treat David like the hero his dad had once been. They embraced him despite his two disabilities (or abilities, depending on your point of view): having cerebral palsy, which left him mostly wheelchair-bound, and being a genius.

Despite the town's acceptance of him, David still wasn't so sure about Scotia. He was hit hard by the death of his dad. I tried everything, even enrolled him in some online courses. Stuff I didn't understand but he was interested in, like the Phonology of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Einstein, Oppenheimer, Feynman: Physics in the 20th Century. He'd bury himself in them, working like a fever, finishing a semester's worth of material in a few weeks, and then would promptly slide back into boredom and despair.
Given my family's tendency for obsessions -- addictions, really, holding on too hard, too long -- I was more than a bit worried.

My friend Ty Stillwater, a sheriff's deputy K-9 officer, and his partner, Nikki, a beautiful Belgium Malinois, finally broke David free from his mourning.

Ty somehow found a way to make wheelchair accessible every mountain adventure that a boy could love. He and David would leave at first light and show up again for dinner at my gram's kitchen cov­ered in battle scars. Once, Ty took David rafting down the New River, and they came back half-drowned, sunburned, and sporting matching black eyes that they refused to tell us how they got. They would burst into laughter every time they caught sight of each other.

I loved hearing David laugh but couldn't help but worry each time he left. For too many years I'd raised David alone, and it was difficult getting used to sharing him with others who loved him as much as I did. Not to mention the fact that I was and am a total control freak, especially about David. But I suffered in silence­ -- David hates it when I try to rein in his independence.

Besides, I was busy enough with work to take my mind mostly off David's scrapes and bruises and poison ivy. My new business partner, Elizabeth Hardy, the legal half of our consumer advocacy firm, turned out to have a gift for negotiation, so our first few cases ended quickly and happily for our clients and were profitable for us. All in all, summer felt enchanted, magical.

Even the weather cooperated. The storm clouds that gathered every afternoon remained empty threats. They'd scowl down at Scotia, then scurry away to dump their rain elsewhere.

But sooner or later, the storm has to break and you're going to get soaked.

Which was how I came to be yelling at the man in the Armani suit.

I knew it was an Armani suit because I'd dealt with enough of them when I'd worked in D.C. Not sure how they did it, but it seemed as if every suit jacket had an attitude sewn into the lining: money can buy anything.
Well, it wasn't buying me.

Elizabeth and I hadn't risked everything -- including our lives­ -- to start this advocacy firm just to be dictated to by a guy who happened to have enough money to indulge his taste in designer suits.

Armani guy's name was Owen Grandel, and he'd flown all the way up from South Carolina to consult with Elizabeth and me. He was in his late thirties, trim in that personal-trainer executive way, with a shaved head that focused your attention on his dark eyes and spray-tan complexion.

He had not come to Scotia to be abused. Or so his expression informed me without bothering with words.
"We aren't in the business of whitewashing a corporation's dirty laundry," I continued, in the mood for a fight and quite happy that Grandel was obliging.

He said nothing. Simply crossed his arms over his chest, leaned his shoulders back, and smiled. The kind of smile you give a preco­cious kid who's acting out and you're tolerating his behavior just because you know how wrong he is.

David hates it when I smile at him that way.

Thankfully Elizabeth stepped between us before I tried to wipe that smile off Grandel's face. We were in the living room of her house -- which doubled as our office space -- and she had just brought coffee on a tray. "I'm sorry, Mr. Grandel, we're out of cream. Will milk do?"

I rolled my eyes as she almost curtsied. Then, while Grandel busied himself mixing and stirring his coffee, finally taking a seat in the Queen Anne chair beside the fireplace, Elizabeth glanced over her shoulder at me with a glare that could have sparked tinder.

Play nice, she mouthed at me, as if! were the one making trouble. She sat down across from Grandel, smoothing her skirt and crossing her ankles like a lady before reaching for her own cup of coffee.
This is why I usually let Elizabeth handle the suits. I'm more of a field person -- get me out there with the regular folks and I'll get to the truth of what's what and who's who and figure out a way to fix things. Then it's up to Elizabeth to cross the legal "t's," negotiate a workable solution for all parties, and collect our paycheck.

So far it's been a pretty good system. Until today.

"I'm not sure that you understand exactly what we do, Mr. Grandel." Elizabeth leaned across the table to snag a sugar cube, her sleeve brushing against his knee.

I barely contained my snort. It was very obvious Grandel didn't understand anything except what his money could buy.

"Oh, but I do, Ms. Hardy." He leaned back and crossed his legs, watching her through half-shut eyes.

When I worked in D.C., I knew men like him. Smooth, charming. Sociopaths. Women would fall all over themselves to do whatever they wanted. Poor sad, he had no idea who he was up against. Elizabeth wasn't like that.

"Which is why I'm willing to pay extra. Above your customary fee schedule."With an elegant flourish of his manicured fingers, he slid a check from his pocket and placed it in front of her.

Elizabeth has a pretty good poker face, but I could tell the amount on the check rocked her. She took a sip of coffee and set her cup down beside the check, ignoring it.

"That's half," he persisted when she didn't leap at his offer. "You get the same when you finish."

''And who decides when the job is finished?"

I stepped forward, unwilling to believe she was even considering.

She glared at me and I froze.

"You do, of course." His voice was a low bedroom purr.

Her mouth twisted as she considered. Then she stood in one graceful movement, taking the check with her. "We need to consult about this."

"Of course," he said with a gracious wave of his hand, as if it were his house, not hers. "Take all the time you need."

I know my mouth dropped open because I felt it snap shut again when she took my arm and dragged me out of the room and across the hall to our shared office in what used to be the dining room. She closed the door behind us, then sagged back against it.

"Holy shit, AJ."

The check dropped from her fingers, flitting through the air on the sultry August breeze wafting in through the open windows, and curled up on the hardwood floor, face down. I picked it up, turned it over.

My face went cold as I read the amount. Counted the zeroes. Five of them. My mind did a back flip -- no, that figure couldn't be right -- then sloshed right side up as I looked again.

Half a million dollars. Which meant a million for the entire job if we took it.

Enough to send David to any college he wanted, to bankroll our company for the next decade, to be able to work on projects that really mattered. Freedom, security, opportunity.

All I'd have to do was betray everything I believed in and let myself be bought.

The above is an excerpt from the book Hot Water by  Erin Brockovich with CJ Lyons. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2011 By Erin Brockovich with CJ Lyons, author of Hot Water

Author Bios

Erin Brockovich, author of Hot Water, is the real life inspiration behind the Oscar-winning movie that bears her name. Today she continues to perform legal work as a director of environmental research and is involved in consulting on numerous toxic waster investigations. She is active on the motivational speaking circuit, with a thriving lecture series and a television talk show in development. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

CJ Lyons, co-author of Hot Water, is an award-winning medical suspense author of such books as Lifelines, Warning Signs, and Urgent Care. Trained in pediatric emergency medicine, she has assisted police and prosecutors with cases involving child abuse, homicide, and more. She has also worked as a crisis counselor and victim advocate.

For more information please visit and and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Stay tuned for my review and a giveaway!

November 1, 2011

Cell Phones Don't Have To Dent Your Wallet

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tracfone makes it easy... by LittleBard95

Have you been asking yourself how to Get into Everywhereness?  Having a cell phone doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune.  TracFone offers pay as you go plans which can be purchased online or at different retail stores all across the country.  You have the option of purchasing 1 year service cards for $119 which includes double minutes for the life of your TracFone along with 800 minutes.  If you aren't interested in the yearly plan but would like to take advantage of the double minutes, you can either buy a phone that includes it or pay $19.99.  Depending on how many minutes you need per month, you are looking at around $10 for 50 minutes or about $30 for 200 minutes.

Is international calling a necessity for you?  If so, you will be happy to know that TracFone is the only wireless service that allows you to make international calls for the same price as any other call to over 60 destinations.  You can even get a local number in Mexico or Canada for your family to call so that they don't have to spend a fortune calling your TracFone in the U.S.

Now, you are probably wondering about the phone selection.  If all you need a basic phone that can call and text, you are looking at spending under $10.  For a phone that has camera, video,, web and app capibilities.

Now that you know more about what TracFone has to offer, are you ready to Get into Everywhereness.  They have a great Senior Value that you don't have to be a senior to take advantage of it.

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October 31, 2011

The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition + FREE Fandango Ticket - Only $20!

Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, became one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon: the book spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. An extraordinary classic work of horror and dark paranormal suspense—widely considered one of the most frightening novels ever written—Blatty’s masterpiece of unrelenting chills was the basis for the acclaimed Academy Award-nominated motion picture.

Rediscover the power of The Exorcist in this stunning 40th Anniversary Edition, which includes new dialogue, a new character, and a chilling new extended scene!

Deal expires on Saturday, 12th November at 12 am EST.

Take advantage of this deal here.

What's Cuter - Puppies or Babies?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


I can still remember the first time I saw my nephew.  I had been at the hospital for like 26 hours and I couldn't even think about leaving until I knew that she and my little nephew, Damien were both healthy and happy.  When I was told that I could go back, the anticipation was overwhelming.  I walked in and saw that little baby face and melted right away.  He's had me wrapped around his finger ever since.

When I got my first puppy, I was so in love that I could just sit there and watch her.  She was so adorable and the feeling that I had was indescribable.  

So now for the tough question, who should I vote for in the Puppies vs. Babies online contest?  The contest runs through November 23rd and the winner (puppy or baby) will take the $5,000 prize.

How will I ever decide between a sweet little baby face and a cute little puppy face?  If I think about my nephew, I think he would win hands down.  But when I think about Puppies vs. Babies in general, I would have to say that puppies win.  I go nuts whenever I see a little puppy, no matter what.  Babies, unless I know them I don't really go all gaga.  So I guess I will have to vote for the pooches.  Who are you going to vote for?

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Puppies vs. Babies - Who's Cuter?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


This is a really, really hard question to answer.  Who would win in a Puppies vs. Babies online contest?  I mean, they are both so incredibly adorable.  How in the world would I make a decision?  I mean, my heart melts every time I see a sweet little puppy face.  But when my nephew was born, I saw how truly beautiful new human life is.  So which one would I vote for in the contest.  This is a tough one...

I mean, both are absolutely adorable.  I don't think anyone can deny that.  When I think about my dog as a puppy, I remember just looking at her and thinking that she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.  I felt the exact same way about Damien, my nephew.  I guess I should look at this from a different perspective.  If I just take my personal feelings toward those babies and puppies around me out of the mix and look objectively at puppies as whole and babies as a whole, I would have to go with puppies.  There is just something about these four-legged creatures that gets me every single time. 

So who get's your vote in the Puppies vs. Babies contest?  Is it the innocent face of a baby or the cuddly face of a puppy?  Voting is happening right now and will end on November 23rd.  By voting, you could win $5,000!  That's a nice little chunk of change if I do say so myself!

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October 29, 2011

Need A Cell Phone?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's impossible to go anywhere and not see at least one person on their cell phone.  I know that mine phone is practically an extension of my body and honestly, I have no idea how I ever lived without one.  I really wish that I had had one as a kid and teen because it would have made me feel a lot safer.  TracFone is perfect for parents who want to be able to get in touch with their kids at all times or adults who want to stay in touch with their parents.  If that sounds like you, check out the Senior Value.  It doesn't cost very much and they have all kinds of phones to choose from, like Motorola's, LG's and even "Smart" phones.  You don't have to worry about contracts, credit checks, activation or cancelation fees.  TracFone has nationwide coverage.

How would you like to Get into Everywhereness without spending a fortune?  They offer several plan options, one of which will most likely be perfect for you.  There is the pay as you go, which you can do online or with cards that can be purchased at retail stores all over the country.  There is also a 1 year service card that gives you double minutes for the life of your TracFone and 800 minutes.  That plan only costs $119.00.  You can also purchase the double minutes for the life of your phone separately for less than $20.  If those plans don't sound right for you, you can choose monthly plans with 50-200 minutes for $9.99-$30.  Simple phones for simple needs, calling and texting capabilities for under $10.00.  Or you can go for an upgraded model with features like camera/video recorder, web access, app capabilities, mp3 player, and full QWERTY keyboard, for $29.99.

TracFone also offers international calling for no extra charge for over 60 destinations.  With the International Neighbors program, you can provide family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number in those countries to reach you at your TracFone in the U.S.  Are you ready to Get into Everywhereness?

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October 27, 2011

There's Nothing Better Than A Hot Cup Of Coffee On A Cold Day

I was kind of a "late bloomer" when it came to drinking coffee. My parents don't drink it and I just never really saw the point in trying it. That all changed in my early twenties. I tried a cup and added sugar and cream, of course. After that, I was addicted. I love that you can totally mix it up by using different flavors of coffee and cream. I'm so excited about fall because it makes drinking coffee so much more enjoyable. I know, you can drink coffee all year round, which I do but there is something about the cold air and a hot drink that has a calming effect.  I can already picture myself bundled up in my slanket with a hot mug of coffee and a good book.  I'm experimenting right now and I am going to Buy Kona Coffee. Have you tried Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee?  I'm really interested in trying different types of gourmet coffee.  I think I'll pick up some cookies to go with it.  Why not go all out?  Gourmet coffee would be especially good around the holidays.  Or even just to drink while I sit and chat with friends.  All this talk about coffee is making me thirsty... 

October 26, 2011

Sweepstakes Bundle: Now Win This!: Anita Clenney

Enter for a chance to win a bundle of the paperback books Awaken the Highland Warrior and Embrace the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney.  Enter here.

Paranormal Romance #ebook #Deals - $0.99 each! on Oct. 28th

Wicked by Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom
Stasi Romanov uses just a little witch magic in her lingerie shop, running a brisk side business in love charms. A disgruntled customer threatening to sue over a failed love spell brings Trevor Barnes to town. Trevor's the best attorney around, and he just happens to be a wizard. Everyone knows that witches and wizards make a volatile combination—sure enough, the sparks fly and almost everyone's getting singed. Add to that Cupid playing a practical joke, a lunar eclipse that nearly precipitates a witch hunt, and some very mysterious goings on at the magical lake, and the feisty witch and gorgeous wizard have more than simply a possible lawsuit on their hands. Can they overcome their objections and settle out of court—and in the bedroom?

Kiss at Your Own Risk by Stephanie Rowe
Trinity Harpswell is a cursed Black Widow--death and mayhem are all part of the job description. If she can manage to go just one more week without accidentally killing someone, she’ll break this killer curse and put her Black Widow days behind her. When sexy Blaine Underhill III shows up at her door and asks for her help rescuing his friend from the clutches of Death’s evil grandma, Trinity gets pulled into a daring high stakes adventure. As Blaine and Trinity join forces to take down a series of underworld assassins, they may just learn that love is the deadliest game of all.

The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare
Rogue, Rake…Werewolf. Years ago on a full moon, Lord William Westfield gave way to his inner beast and nearly ruined young Prisca Hawthorne. Knowing he can never trust himself in the arms of the woman he loves, he throws himself into a debauched lifestyle. When Westfield discovers he has a rival for Prisca's love, he decides if she's going to marry a Lycan it damn well better be him. But time is running out as Prisca's other suitor takes an instant and potentially fatal dislike to Westfield.

Merely Magic by Patricia Rice
The daughter of one of the strongest magical lineages, Ninian Malcom Siddons is a powerful witch. Determined to only use her magic for good, she lives a simple, solitary life as a healer in her village, where she meets Drogo… Lord Drogo Ives believes only logic and science can explain the wonders of the universe and doesn’t believe the local folklore about Malcolm witches and Ives men, until he meets Ninian.

Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear
Devlyn is a beta male werewolf in a pack of grays, Bella is the female red werewolf he rescued as a pup. When the pack’s alpha male tries to rape her, she flees and lives as a lone   werewolf until Devlyn comes to bring her back to the pack. The two get embroiled in danger when a local red werewolf goes on a killing spree. While fleeing the murderer and the police, and keeping their whereabouts hidden from the vengeful alpha male of their pack, they find that their love is deep and their mutual attraction irresistible, but Bella knows that if she mates with Devlyn, he’ll have to fight the wicked alpha male, and it’s a fight to the death . .

Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
When all-star pitcher and shape-shifter Jason Falco buys a small apartment building, he sees it not only as an investment but as a place to escape the demands of major league baseball. That is, until he meets his tenants— a sarcastic unemployed crime-fighter vampire; a wereraven with a morbid sense of humor; a super-friendly salesman werewolf; and two witches with an owl who work as phone sex actresses. Not to mention a beautiful, all-too-human nurse. But with all the hooting, howling, and hollering going on, how's an all-American shapeshifter supposed to sweep a girl off her feet?

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson
In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires.  Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs her social circle with delightfully disastrous results.  But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she’s the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart—his (literally) undying love for her… A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead. 

The Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary
Haunted by visions of Druid priests and Celtic warriors, Donovan O’Shea left home in Northern Ireland and immigrated to America. With his father ill, he returns to help sell the family property and pub, and now, to his dismay, the “sight” has returned. He inherited the talent from his long-lost mother, who told him to keep it a secret, and he has. He is soon involved in the archaeological excavation on his family’s land and meets American Rylie Powell. Her father walked out on the family when she was a toddler, and she now believes that Donovan’s father is also hers. Donovan knows in his heart this cannot be true as the attraction between them is palpable. In between checking out DNA tests and family histories, the two become involved with murders past and present stemming from the Troubles, a quest that requires Donovan’s gift. Northern Ireland’s violent past combined with supernatural elements add an intriguing twist to this modern love story.

October 25, 2011

Paying For School

I can still remember my senior year and all I kept thinking about was how the next year I would be going to college. I felt like I was unstoppable and there were so many possibilities for the future. Don't get me wrong, I was a bit overwhelmed because I was becoming an adult and wasn't quite sure how I was going to pay for school.  My mom and I did some research on grants and private student loans

I decided to go to a University that was close to home because I didn't want to end up owing so much money that I would feel suffocated by debt.  I ended up receiving a couple of grants but it still wasn't enough to pay for school plus books and supplies.  I ended up taking out a loan so that I would be able to get all the things that I needed. 

Even though I knew that I would have to pay back my loan, I knew that in the long run it was for the best.  Getting an education is important, especially in today's world.  Investing in your future can be one of the best things you can do for yourself. 

Giveaway: Destined by P.C and Kristin Cast

...Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…

The prize is being provided by the publisher or PR agency.

October 15, 2011

Branson, Missouri In The Fall

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Life has been kind of hectic lately.  Isn't that always the case though?  I could really use a getaway in Branson, Missouri.  I checked out three different packages that the Hiltons of Branson, Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel has to offer. 

The first one, and my favorite, is at Silver Dollar City which is $257.50 per night for two adult and two children.  It has a 1880's theme and is located in the Ozark Mountains.  Doesn't that sound absolutely magical?

There is also a Santa Claus package for two adults and two children.  Deluxe accommodations are included and the starting price is $228 per night.  You can enjoy breakfast at a Level 2 restaurant with the company of Santa.  The kids will even receive a special gift!

If neither of those sound right for your family, you could enjoy a deluxe shopping package.  This package includes the hotel, a $25 gift card to spend at Branson Landing, a $25 gift card to spend at Tanger outlets and a free breakfast buffet for two.  It's a great way to get your holiday shopping done. 

There are a few places that I would absolutely have to visit.  First would be Legend of Kun Fu.  The Titanic Museum is another attraction that I couldn't miss.  Of course, I would have to visit the Level 2 Steakhouse and try the signature item, 28 day aged beef from Kansas City.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I would love to be there to enjoy the Level 2 Steakhouse's Thanksgiving Brunch.  You can even get a “Turkey to Go” enough to feed a family of four and priced at $79.95! 

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October 14, 2011

T.G.I. Friday's Entrees For One

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of T.G.I. FRiDAY'S for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Entrées For One

My husband and I went to high school together.  We hadn't seen each other in a few years and decided to get together and catch up.  We ended up meeting at T.G.I. Friday's to have dinner and have been together ever since.  Friday's holds a special place in my heart because of this.  Any time that we go there to eat or I purchase Friday's foods at my local grocery store, it puts a smile on my face. 

Entrées For One

I'm extremely excited now that you buy T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrées for One”.  I want to try them all!  I think the first few that I will pick will have to be the Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, Creamy Chicken Pasta Carbonara and the Loaded Chicken and Cheese.

Entrées For One

I asked my husband which meals he was most excited about trying and he didn't hesitate with his answer.  He wants the Cajun-Style Chicken Alfredo and the Sizzling Chicken Fajitas.  We are both so excited about these meals and I can't wait to go to the grocery store and pick up a few bags! 

Entrées For One

Visit the Fun Freezer contest on Facebook from October 7th to October 20th to cast your vote by telling them which freezer should be chosen as the winner!  I'm heading over there now.

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