Football Season!!!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! The official start to the NFL football season is almost upon us and the start of the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp today has me pumped!! I love my Steelers, as you can tell from the title of my blog, and was thrilled when the Steelers extended Tight End Heath Miller's contract for 5 more years. He's my favorite player on the team hence the "83" in my blog address (soooo happy he didn't leave so I didn't have to change that number LOL)! I always seem to gravitate towards the players who get the job done but aren't necessarily the most recognized players on the team (kinda like the underdog hero in books). To me football is about playing your heart out NOT running your mouth off or trying to get recognized. I think Heath is such a good example of a great player, and is someone I wouldn't mind my brother looking up to.

What's your favorite sport? What do you think of sports "heroes" today? Are there any worth looking up to? I'd love to hear what you think! Please leave a post in the comment section.

Hey girls (guys too!) have any of you ever participated in Fantasy Football? It's something I've never done but as a devoted football fan I really want to do it, any recommendations for fantasy football sites?

Book Review: Tour de Force by Elizabeth White

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tour de Force
by Elizabeth White
Zondervan Publishing
May 2009
336 pages

I agreed to review this book for Blog Tour Spot but since the original tour date didn't work out I'm posting a review today. To read more about Elizabeth's book, Tour de Force and where to purchase it check out this post with all the links!

Tour de Force is the story of Gillian Kincaide, a ballet dancer with Ballet New York and Jacob Ferrar, the director of the Birmingham Ballet Theatre. As they get to know one another by Gilly agreeing to participate in Jacob's Christian ballet, they both discover things about themselves and they find each other becoming more than friends. A tragic accident threatens their budding relationship and force each one to face what God's plans for their lives.

Over all I thought this was an excellent story. At first I was a little afraid that I wouldn't understand all the ballet terms but the glossary at the front helps a lot. I was also afraid that this book might just be all about ballet but it wasn't, the characters had to deal with some really tough issues that ANYONE might face in their lives such as introducing Christ to friends or dealing with false accusations and hurt reputations. The romance in the story was really touching as well. This is definitely a great read even if you don't love ballet. I loved Tour de Force from start to finish!!!

To purchase Tour de Force visit Amazon

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Friend Amy says this:

I always think there's a lack of books that are genuinely funny, that make me laugh through the book. It's probably why I so enjoy chick lit. But Christian chick lit lacks that light natural feeling humor and so there aren't many books (apart from Josey and Theodora!) that make me laugh.

My Friend Amy asks:

Are there some good Christian fiction books that made you laugh out loud and just feel really good about life?

My Response:

I absolutely love Mary Connealy's Lassoed in Texas series. They always make me chuckle. Since most of the heroines/heroes have children, the mischief that they get into is hilarious. For example, in Book 2 Calico Canyon, the Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse aka Abraham, Isaac, Mark, Luke, and John Reeves put a snake in teachers desk and the results are hilarious...let's just say good ole teach loses her cool and her skirt! This is just one example of the humor that is in each of Mary's books. I have yet to read her latest release, Montana Rose but when I get it I will be reading and reviewing it on my blog. Check back in a few weeks to see if I found it as amusing as the books in her first series! Thanks for the great question Amy!!!!

For more info on Mary and her books visit her website or her blog:

To see what Amy and others are saying about humor in books please visit Amy here!

Book Review: Lady and the Vamp (Immortality Bites, Book 3) by Michelle Rowen

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Michelle Rowen
Lady and the Vamp (Immortality Bites, Book 3)
Warner Forever
April 2008
368 pages

If you've been following my blog at all you will know that I've been reading the Immortality Bites series by Michelle Rowen. This series is a paranormal romance collection that is reminiscent of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I really love this series mainly because I like the main characters Sarah and her boyfriend Thierry. However Lady and the Vamp is the story of Quinn, former vampire hunter and Janie, the assassin of the supernatural with nary a mention of Sarah and her BF.

Quinn is in search of the Eye an ancient device that can grant one wish to the person who discovers it, with hopes of becoming human again. Little does he know that Janie, sister to a former vampire hunter acquaintance of his, is also after the Eye with orders to destroy Quinn and all who stand in the way of retrieval of the Eye. What happens in between is sure to please those who rooted for Quinn in Fanged and Fabulous.

I thought it was a bit strange that the series kind of veered away from focusing on Sarah and her escapades but I did like the story. There are some funny parts and the kick-butt action is great! Tough chicks make for interesting stories and Janie is one fiesty girl! I wasn't all that enthusiatic about Quinn in the first 2 books but grew to like him and understand him a bit better. So even though it cuts into the story of Sarah and Thierry, Lady and the Vamp is a good read. It does have language and violence but it is paranormal romance so that can be expected.

To read my review for Fanged and Fabulous go here.
To read my review for Bitten and Smitten go here.

To read more about Michelle Rowen and her books visit her website:

Book Review: Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Menu For Romance (Book 2 in the Brides of Bonneterre series)
by Kaye Dacus
Barbour Publishing
317 pages

I haven't had to buy any of Kaye Dacus's books since I've either won copies or mooched copies from Bookmooch but I will definitely go buy her next release A Case For Love if I'm not fortunate enough to win it. I LOVE her books!

Menu for Romance released in July through Barbour publishers is the story of 30 something party planner, Meredith Guidry and her long time friend, Chef Major O'Hara. The problem between the two, is both feel more than friendship towards each other but are afraid to express their feelings. Thrown into the mix is a hunky contractor who may just be perfect for Meredith and Major's worst nightmare.

I finished this book in two sittings. I loved all the imagery in the book, I especially loved all the kitchen scenes that made me feel like I was actually there and could taste the prime rib. Wheeew and the relationship between Mere and her family I could totally relate to as I come from a larger family and know all about meddling and lack of privacy! The relationship between Meredith and Major was really sweet...I wish I had a cute chef to bring me leftovers for lunch! This is a really nice Christian romance, not too preachy but just right for just about anyone to enjoy!

For more information on Kaye Dacus and her books visit:

Everything Austen Challenge: Lost in Austen Part II

Monday, July 20, 2009

I thought I was going away this weekend but those plans fell through so I was able to watch the second half of Lost in Austen **sigh** it was a gooood weekend ;-)

So from that sentence alone you can tell how much I LOVE this movie! Just a warning though, if you aren't open to messing with the story line of Pride and Prejudice you probably won't like the movie at all! This is the best romantic comedy I've seen in a long time. The second half has some VERY unexpected twists and I was getting a little worried at the the end but everything worked out like I wanted. Let's just say I NEVER would have thought to hear the words "Tinky Winky" uttered by Mr. Darcy. If you want to laugh out loud this is DEFINITELY a great movie to watch. If you haven't read Pride and Prejudice (gasp!!!!!) you probably won't get the humor at all. So if you haven't read P&P go read it, then relax and enjoy this great twist on the story!

I'm on Twitter!!!

I finally caved and joined the millions of people who Tweet (is that the correct terminology...idk). I'm still getting the hang of it, it usually takes me a month or too to get used to these types of things! Look for my Twitter updates on my blog on the bottom right! I'd love to get a tweet from you!

Zombie Giveaway!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hi everyone, if you would like a chance to win a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies please visit this site!!!

Everything Austen Challenge: Lost in Austen Part I

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lost in Austen Part I
Okay I'm totally doing everything backwards for the Everything Austen Challenge. I was going to start it off by reading Pride and Prejudice but was in the mood for a movie last night so I watched part 1 of Lost in Austen (I REALLY need to get my own copy)!!! Seriously I just love this movie, I've probably watched it 3x in as many weeks...I know, I have NO life...they should have cast me in the movie as Miss Price. :-P

I think we all have dreamt at one point or another what it would be like to meet the characters from Pride and Prejudice (for us girls it was probably Bingham or Darcy) and this movie shows what it might have been like! I have to say though that Mr. Darcy was a TOTAL... snob! More than I ever pictured him to be! The sisters Jane, Kitty, Lydia, and Mary were just as I always pictured them. The mother was more neurotic and annoying than I ever imagined her and poor Mr. Bennet...I felt soooo sorry for him. He was great though, I loved his rather dry sense of humor. I just need to say this about the parson Mr. Collins, what a creep!!!! I'll post what I think about Part II next week so be sure to look for it!

Everything Austen Challenge

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Okay I'm a little late to catch on to everything...but I'm finally posting for this awesome Everything Austen Challenge! I love Jane Austen so it's not going to be a "challenge" for me! Since I haven't read Pride and Prejudice yet this year (I know shocking!!!!) I am definitely making that a part of the challenge!

So here's my list of what I'm doing for my part of the challenge!

1. Reread Pride and Prejudice
2. Watch Persuasion (1995 version)
3. Watch Persuasion (2007 version)
4. Watch Pride and Prejudice (1995 version)
5. Watch Lost in Austen...again...but this time write a review!!!
6. Read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...and hopefully LOL!!!

So check back for the next six months and see what I have to say about each of the challenges!

Book Review: Fanged and Fabulous (Immortality Bites, Book 2) by Michelle Rowen

Monday, July 13, 2009

Michelle Rowen
Fanged and Fabulous (Immortality Bites, Book 2)
Warner Forever
368 pages

Okay so I have a terrible habit when it comes to getting books in the mail, I want to start reading immediately sooo the result of this habit is that I have about 10 books that I'm 5 chapters into! Well today I received Fanged and Fabulous by Michelle Rowen in the mail and I started it...and I'm proud to say I finished it!

Fanged and Fabulous is the continuing story (Bitten and Smitten Book 1 review here) of newly turned vampire, Sarah Dearly and her 600 year old boyfriend Thierry de Bennicoeur . Since the gossip flies around the club, Haven and throughout the streets of the city Sarah is mistakenly identified as the "slayer of slayers" which causes nothing but problems. She has to deal with both hunters and vampires who want to prove they can catch this tough vampire chick while also trying to find out what her BF's affections really are.

Once again Michelle Rowen has done a terrific job, writing a humorous and at times dramatic book. The reference to Spiderman made me laugh out loud for the first time in a long time. I just love that Sarah's not "angsty" like most vampires (Thierry has enough of that for the both of them :-D ) but she seems rather contented about being a vamp, other than her aversion to blood! This is definitely a book that all you Sookie Stackhouse fans will enjoy. Well I'm off to read Book 3, Lady and the Vamp!

To find out more about Michelle Rowen and her books please visit her website:

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Friend Amy asks:

What's your favorite Christian fiction book so far this year?

My response:

Well seeing as Christian fiction is pretty much all I read, I have a lot of favorites but so far this year my favorite has to be A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman (my review). I really enjoyed her entire Daughters of Boston series. They are very entertaining with good faith messages as well as TONS of romance and drama! Lizzie was one of my favorite characters (probably because she reminded me of myself a bit) and Brady was one of my favorite heroes...there's nothing like the strong, silent, type to grab a readers attention! I'm really looking forward to reading what Julie writes about next.

Please stop by My Friend Amy's blog to see her favorite book as well as other bloggers favorites today!

Book Review: A Man Most Worthy by Ruth Axtell Morren

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ruth Axtell Morren
A Man Most Worthy
Steeple Hill
279 pages

I haven't read a Love Inspired book for a while so since this week I was a bit short on reading time I decided it was time to read and review one on here. I've read all of Ruth Axtell Morren's books so far and I really have enjoyed each and every one of them. I think she is one of my favorite authors for both the Steeple Hill Love Inspired line and their Women's fiction line.

A Man Most Worthy is the story of wealthy, young heiress, Alice Shepard and a not so well to do clerk, Nicholas Tennant who are separated by unfortunate circumstances and are reunited many years later. Alice has to choose to risk her heart again and Nicholas has decide to leave the past behind him.

I really liked this story because I got to know the characters when they were very young and then saw what changed them as they grew older. Plus, I always like the stories where the hero grows up and says "I'll show you," to the very people who thought he wouldn't amount to much and that's pretty much what happens to Nick in this book. He is a very likable character as well as the heroine, Alice who despite her wealth is not a snob. Ms. Morren has written a good romance that I could see myself reading again. The nice thing is since it's an older book (released October 2008) you can find it online for a dollar or two!

To learn more about Ruth's books and the Steeple Hill collection visit:

Book Review: The Red Siren by MaryLu Tyndall

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MaryLu Tyndall
The Red Siren: Charles Towne Belles, Book 1
Barbour Publishing
318 pages

If you're looking for a Christian romances that are a bit different from the usual, MaryLu Tyndall's books may be the romances to read. She writes terrific pirate love stories and a few of her books even have female swashbucklers...I know...gasp!!!! Her 5th book, The Red Siren is another great story that involves a fiery, red-headed lady pirate, Faith Westcott and a dashing sea captain, Dajon Waite (who can resist a man in uniform...not me)! I can't wait to see what happens to Faith and her sisters in the next book, The Blue Enchantress, which will be released around July 2009.

MaryLu does such a wonderful job of describing the sights, sounds, and smells associated with sea and life in a port in The Red Siren, that I almost felt like i was helps if you just come back from vacation and are missing the ocean like I am! :-P

Faith is such a strong heroine but I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for her having to put up with 2 younger sisters who are total opposites and a barely there father. I sure hope that things work out better for Faith's sister, Hope whose story will be told in The Blue Enchantress. I wonder what pious sister, Grace's story will be like? I hope she meets a real firebrand to bring her out of her shell a little! All in all I love The Red Siren. There sure were some moments when I held my breath! It doesn't disappoint as far as suspense goes! The ending I didn't like...because it REALLY got me to thinkin'! What a hook for the next book! Why, MaryLu why???!!! :-P

The spiritual message in the book is very strong and there's really no bloodshed since Faith is a "good" pirate, so this is definitely a clean read that I would recommend to anyone who likes a good story and doesn't have an aversion to a religious message in a book.

For more information on MaryLu and her books visit her website:

Book Review: The Luxe Series (The Luxe, Rumors, Envy) by Anna Godbersen

Monday, July 6, 2009

Anna Godbersen:
The Luxe
433 pages

423 pages

405 pages

Okay, it's official, I have another new favorite author to add to my list...Anna Godbersen. Her historical series, The Luxe is awesome! Since I love history and drama, when I read about these books and saw the beautiful covers I knew I HAD to have them!

The first book in the series, The Luxe, published 2007 was so terrific I didn't hesitate to pick up Rumors when I had the chance and was nervously anticipating the release of Book 3, Envy. Thanks to my friend Rachel I was able to get a copy sooner than expected.

Since I finished all three books prior to starting up this blog, I never had the chance to post a review until now (I just re-read The Luxe and realized I didn't review it yet). Since I love the entire series so far (book 4, Splendor will be released late this year) I'm just making this a review of all three books.

These books have drama, romance, rivalry, scandal and great parties...absolute juicy reads! Set in the 1899-1900, Anna Godbersen really offers a peak into the lives of old money and the nouveau rich of New York City society. Elizabeth, her sister Diana and their "frenemy" Penelope are just a few of the characters we get to know in the series. These books are Gossip Girl in the 20th century. They're well worth the time and each book leaves you hanging and wondering what happens next. I myself am eagerly awaiting book 4 and if it's anything like these first 3 it will not disappoint!

Vacation Pics: Light Houses at Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke Island

Friday, July 3, 2009

As you may know last month I went on vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. While there I visited three light houses, the lights at Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke Island. The houses at Bodie Island and Ocracoke were closed to visitors who wanted to climb them but the tallest house, Cape Hatteras was open to those brave enough to make the climb! Let me just say I didn't realize I was afraid of heights until I climbed the light and took pictures of the view from the top! The wind was gusting to 15-20 mph and at 200 feet up it's NOT fun! The climb inside the lighthouse was a piece of cake even though it's equivalent to climbing the stairs in a 12 story building, that didn't phase me. But after my legs became shaky from walking around the top of the outside of the light, the climb down was a different story. It didn't help that I had fallen down 3 steps the previous day at the changing station at the beach and was REALLY thinking about what it would feel like to fall down 200+ steps...ouch! I did get some really great pictures though. Here's a few!

Bodie Island Light House

Keeper's House at Bodie Island

Cape Hatteras Light House

The keepers house at Hatteras...from the top of the light...wheeeeeewwwwweeeee!!!!

Light House at Ocracoke Island

Book Review: Marked, House of Night Book 1 by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Marked: A House of Night Novel
P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
St. Martin's Griffin
306 pages
ISBN: 9780312360269

This may come as a shock to you but I read yet another vampire novel today...and I loved it, another shock right??!! The author's, P.C. and Kristin Cast are a mother/daughter writing team of the House of Night vampire series that was released in 2007 with the latest book, Hunted released earlier this year.

Marked, the first book in the House of Night series is the story of fledgling vampire Zoey Redbird and her transition from human to vampyre and the friends and enemies that she meets along the way. The House of Night is the high school for vampires.

I really enjoyed the totally different take on how humans become vampires and all of the angst that comes with being a teenager and a vampire. Not to mention the totally hot vampire Erik! I totally loved how some of the most famous people like Kenny Chesney and Hugh Jackman were vampires...hahaha I can definitely see those guys as vamps in real life,,,they seem to good to be true! Did I say how much I hated Aphrodite...ugh she just reminded me so much of the people I didn't like in high school, it's nice to see vampires have problems too! The idea of a vampire goddess Nyx in this book was totally cool too! All in all I liked this book and I've already started book 2, Betrayed and am loving it so far (review will come soon). Just a warning, even though it's geared towards teens the language is rough but nothing that I didn't hear in the hall at my school so if you don't mind that it's a pretty good story!