Friday, September 25, 2009

Review ~ Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson

I've been noticing that some people are feeling mislead by Patterson's newest book ~ Alex Cross's TRIAL.  I'm honestly not sure why because it was clear to me from the start, before even picking up the book that it was  'written by Alex Cross, not about him'.  It is about one of his relatives.  If you are a fan, it is one book that can be skipped in the series.  It only has about 2 pages actually about Alex Cross.  

A Preface to Trial By Alex Cross
A few months after I hunted a vicious killer named the Tiger halfway around the world, I began to think seriously about a book I had been wanting to write for years. I even had the title for it: Trial. The previous book I'd written was about the role of forensic psychology in the capture of the serial killer gary Soneji. Trial would be very different, and in some ways even more terrifying.
Oral history is very much alive in the Cross family, and this is because of my grandmother, regina Cross, who is known in our household and our neighborhood as Nana Mama. Nana's famous stories cover the five decades when she was a teacher in Washington—the difficulties she faced during those years of civil rights turmoil, but also countless tales passed on from times before she was alive.
One of these stories—and it is the one that stayed with me the most—involved an uncle of hers who was born and lived most of his life in the small town of eudora, Mississippi. This man, Abraham Cross, was one of the finest baseball players of that era and once played for the Philadelphia Pythians. Abraham was grandfather to my cousin Moody, who was one of the most unforgettable and best-loved characters in our family history.
What I now feel compelled to write about took place in Mississippi during the time that Theodore roosevelt was president, the early part of the twentieth century. I believe it is a story that helps illuminate why so many black people are angry, hurt, and lost in this country, even today. I also think it is important to keep this story alive for my family, and hopefully for yours.
The main character is a man my grandmother knew here in Washington, a smart and courageous lawyer named Ben Corbett. it is our good fortune that Corbett kept first-person journals of his incredible experiences, including a trial that took place in eudora. A few years before he died, Mr. Corbett gave those journals to Moody. eventually they wound up in my grandmother's hands. My suspicion is that what happened in Mississippi was too personal and painful for Corbett to turn into a book. But I have come to believe that there has never been a better time for this story to be told.

Trial by James Patterson is a lot like his other books, you get the famous short chapters that I love!  I will be honest though, I have really struggled with this book.  Not because of the writing, but the subject matter.  It was very sad to read.  I prefer books that make me forget my problems.  Granted, black issues aren't my problem but it is a very sad time in our history.  If you enjoy reading this type of subject matter, then it is a great book.  If you are reading it only for Alex Cross then you can pass it.  If you are a huge fan though, you will probably enjoy reading about a past Cross family member!

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Vinyl Banner Giveaway from

I'm really excited about this giveaway from, it is really cool!  They are offering one of my readers (1) 24 x 36" Vinyl Banner w\ grommets ($62 value).

Uprinting seriously offers it all.  I am constantly amazed at the wide variety of their products.  Their 15 mil vinyl banners are top-notch quality and don't look cheap like low-end banners. UPrinting clients have used their vinyl banners (with photo quality printing) for weddings, parties, graduations, advertisements, rallies, political campaigns and backdrops. The banners come with heavy metal grommets that make them easy to hang for any event. The durable material and archival ink will ensure that these banners will last for years to come!

To enter the giveaway, just tell me what type of banner printing you plan on doing if you are selected as the winner.  You can check out the Vinyl banners first to get an idea.

Extra entries ~

  • Blog about this giveaway, linking to the giveaway &
  • Tweet the giveaway, please include @uprinting in the tweet & #giveaway
  • Follow both me and uprinting on twitter
  • Subscribe/Follow to my blog & Uprinting's blog
  • Put one of my buttons on your blog sidebar (can be any of my blogs)
This contest is offering free shipping in the US.  The contest will end on October 25th.  The winner needs to respond to my email within 48 hours. will email the winner a coupon code on November 1st.  

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Greeting Card Giveaway from

Another great giveaway from my blog sponsor,  They are giving one of my wonderful readers  ~ (250 ct.) 7 x 5" (folded to 3.5 x 5") Custom Greeting Cards with totally free shipping in the US. 

The images say it all! Use these for your business or send them to friends and family.  There are less then 95 days till Christmas, this would be a great opportunity to make up your greeting cards for either personal or business use.  Choose to create a stunning design or simply use a cozy family photo. This giveaway is $200 in value with shipping!  They offer an awesome greeting card printing service at

To enter this giveaway, take a peek at Uprintings custom greeting cards to get an idea of what we are giving away.  Then come back here and tell me what you would do with your greeting cards if you are the winner.  That simple!

Extra entries ~

  • Blog about this giveaway, linking to the giveaway &
  • Tweet the giveaway, please include @uprinting in the tweet & #giveaway
  • Follow both me and uprinting on twitter
  • Subscribe/Follow to my blog & Uprinting's blog
  • Put one of my buttons on your blog sidebar (can be any of my blogs)

Contest will end on October 12th.  The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me.  On October 19th, the winner will be sent an email with a coupon code good for their order.

This giveaway is being sponsored by

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review & Giveaway ~ The Shandle

I have such a fun and important review for your today ~ The Shandle.  

With school back in session, and the huge scare of the flu outbreaks this year ~ I have been encouraging my kids to wash their hands as much as possible.  Of course, kids being kids they are having issues remembering.  When I was asked by The Family Review Network to review The Shandle, I fell in love with this fun bathroom item.

The Shandle is a utility product that encourages children to "wash their hands after going to the bathroom".  The product, containing an anti-microbial handle, sticks to the toilet seat and has playful designs and messages that remind children about good hygiene in addition to preventing children from ever having to touch the germ filled toilet seat. The perfect message to children to aid in the fight against the H1N1 Virus.

I was sent the Leaping Frog Shandle to review.  It has an image of an adorable frog that says "Frog Washes His Hands".   It was super easy to install.  You just clean the toilet seat, then stick the shandle on the underside of the seat.   You have to make sure that the kids don't play with it or use it though for 24 hours.  My girls are older, but isn't it just so irresistible to not touch something like that.  What I did, was I installed it right after my youngest got on the bus.  That gave me a good 8 hours of tempting the kids.  Actually, doing it at bedtime probably would have been better, since the morning rush doesn't give much time for playing.

I have to say, the Shandle is pretty cool.  For only $6.99 you are getting a fun and functional item for your kids health.  It is gives that little reminder to wash your hands, but what I like about it most is for lifting the seat.  Regardless of what image you pick for your Shandle, you are still getting that ability to easily put the seat up or down.  Then nobody has to touch the seat, and the Shandle is easier to clean.  Since you just need a little swipe of disinfectant on it vs. cleaning the entire toilet.  

These aren't just great for kids and little boys either.  These are great for Men as well, how many times do we fight with hubby over the toilet seat ladies?

If you aren't up for the kid decor, they also come in Natural (cheaper at $5.99 & then decorative as well.  

If you are interesting in adding a Shandle to your bathroom, you can purchase them directly from the website.   You can also find them on twitter and facebook.


To Enter:

Sign up for the Shandle Newsletter at for promotions, discounts and product news and then leave a comment on this post.

Earn additional entries by completing any or all of the tasks below. Each optional task below is worth one additional entry.
  • Become a fan of the Shandle on Facebook.
  • Post a message on the Shandle Facebook Page
  • Follow The_Shandle on Twitter and Tweet about why you would like a Shandle in your home  - include a link to
  • Tweet about this Giveaway and include a link
  • Post a link to this giveaway in your Facebook feed
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog

To complete your entry you must leave a comment on this post. Please state which Shandle design is your favorite and indicate any additional entries you completed and your email address for contacting.

Comment Example:

“ I love Frog Bear Washes His Hands. He is so cute. Hope I win!! My additional entries are the newsletter sign up, tweeting about Shandle and tweeting about this giveaway. Thanks for the chance! My email is Mommy (at)

CONTEST CLOSES ON October 10th at 11:59pm. All winners will be selected via random number generator. Winners must be confirmed as Shandle Newsletter subscribers and will be notified via email. Prizes will be sent directly from

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review ~ The 8th Confession by James Patterson

I had won a copy of James Patterson, The 8th Confession right after it was released.  Of course, since I owned it, I didn't read it right away.  I have a habit of doing that, I read the books from the library & never get around to the ones I own.  Over the summer, I decided to return all my library books and take a break from the library.  I finally got around to picking up the 8th Confession after struggling through the Trial. 

The Women's Murder Club is actually what got me hooked on Patterson.  I love this series and The 8th Confession did not disappoint me.  I haven't read any other reviews, so I don't know what others thought.  I really enjoyed this book though.  I thought it had a great story line, I love the character development, I loved the ending.  I wish the tv show would have lasted longer, even though I prefer the book characters to the tv show characters.

Det. Lindsay Boxer, of the San Francisco police department, is searching for a killer who's knocking off the well-to-do without leaving any signs of violence on the bodies. The investigation is going nowhere until the department's repository of institutional memory recalls a series of unsolved killings from 1982 ...

I will be anxiously awaiting the 9th Women's Murder Club book from Patterson!

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Giveaway 18 x 24” Rolled Poster Print 100% Free!

I have a great giveaway for you today sponsored by the  They are giving one of my lucky readers an 18x24” Rolled Poster Print.

I never seem to know what I want to make my poster into.  I've been wanting to get a picture of both my daughters wearing their ballet shoes.  I want to just get their feet on hard wood floor.  If I can successfully get both my girls together to get this shot, that is what I will be making my poster into.

The Digital Room is a leader in poster printing.  That is not all they do though.  They have a large selection of other digital printing products like business cards, postcards, greeting cards, club flyers, rack cards, rip tags, bookmarks and hang tags for your personal and business needs. 

Giveaway ~ One of my readers will win a totally free 18 x 24" Rolled Poster Print from the Digital Room.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  FREE UPS Ground Shipping for US residents.

To enter ~ Comment here with what picture or type of picture you will turn into a Poster.

Extra Entries ~

  • Blog about this contest, linking both here and to the
  • Subscribe and or follow any of my blog(s)
  • Tweet this giveaway (once a day)
  • Enter the other 2 printing giveaways listed below
~ Custom Greeting Cards (10/12)
~ 24 x 36 Vinyl Banner (10/25)
    Contest will end on September 28th at 11:59pm

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    TV Store Online Halloween Costume Giveaway

    I didn't realize that the sold a huge line of Halloween costumes until recently. They are the place to go if yo...