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 Savings.com 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!
CJ

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 www.cjlyons.net

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 Amazon.com 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 CLEARtvbundle.com, 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.