Thursday, April 26, 2012

what's in the mail? 4-26-12 edition

A few weeks ago, I saw a "What's in the mail?" post on another blog. (If I could remember where I saw it, I'd give the blogger credit ...) The idea behind this blogger's post is that she receives so many books to review that she can't possibly get to all of them, so each week she creates a post on everything that came in the mail that week. Now, I don't have her problem of being inundated by books, and I've never received unsolicited review copies, so I review everything I get. However, I don't post all my reviews on this blog—Amazon's Vine program doesn't require reviewers to post on their own blogs, just on Amazon, so there are some books/products you'll never see unless you go to my Amazon profile.

Thus, the debut of this feature. I'm going to try to do one of these posts every other Thursday because I sometimes go a few weeks without receiving any review products. I've also decided not to limit this to products I've received in exchange for a review; I also want to include any books I purchase. (Believe it or not, I actually do still buy books!)

So here we go: "What's in the Mail?" 4-26-12

Finally & Forever by Robin Jones Gunn
This is the fourth book in Gunn's Katie Weldon series. I didn't even know there was a fourth book (I thought the third wrapped things up nicely) until I saw something on Twitter about it. No question—I had to buy it. Not often do I cry from joy when I read, but that's exactly what happened as I finished up Coming Attractions. I even listed the Katie series on my "Books to Read" recommendation page. I have high hopes for this book, and I may have squealed in delight as I opened the package from Amazon!

(I just discovered the first three books in the series—Peculiar TreasuresOn a Whim, and Coming Attractions—are each currently $1.99 for Kindle. You need to read these books!)

The Chase by DiAnn Mills
The Chase is one of my Vine books. On the last Vine newsletter, I was offered several Christian books, and The Chase is one of the few I hadn't already read and reviewed! I knew I'd heard of DiAnn Mills before, but I couldn't quite place her until I looked up her author page on Amazon. She wrote Nebraska Legacy, a collection of novellas that I bought a few years ago solely because the stories took place in my beloved home state. (I don't think I ever actually read the book. I wonder if I still have it somewhere?) Anyway, The Chase appears to be about as far removed from a historical romance on the Nebraska plains as you can get. I've lately really been enjoying reading suspense, so I'm looking forward to this book!

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan
When I got the review invite e-mail from Litfuse for this one, I practically fell over myself in my rush to sign up. Why? Because it's suspense and YA. In the last 18 months or so, I've gone crazy for young adult fiction. Kinda funny, since I never read YA as an actual teenager—I thought I was "too adult" for it. Ha! When I got the book, I found out that Crazy Dangerous's author Klavan also wrote Don't Say a Word. I haven't read that novel, but I'll never forget Brittany Murphy's line from the movie: "I'll never tell!" Now I'm even more anxious to read Crazy Dangerous ... and I think I need to watch Don't Say a Word again! (Success! I just remembered that my cousin/former roommate left her movies behind when she moved—and Don't Say a Word is one of them. I know what I'm doing this weekend!)

The Ishbane Conspiracy by Angela, Karina & Randy Alcorn
Recently, longtime blog reader Cari recommended the Alcorns' Ishbane Conspiracy. Cari and I have a similar enough taste in books that I knew if she recommended it, I'd probably like it. So I went to Amazon and found a dirt cheap used copy, which arrived today. It will probably sit on my shelf for a while—I seem to have a backlog of non-review books!

T-fal FZ700251 ActiFry Low-Fat Healthy Dishwasher Safe Multi-Cooker, Black This is my big Vine "get" of the year (so far). It arrived yesterday, so today I took it for a test spin. I used it to make potato wedges, and they turned out pretty well. The ActiFry's advantage is that it cooks with minimal oil. I followed one of the recipes in the booklet that came with the appliance, and I honestly wasn't too impressed—but I think that's more the recipe's fault than the ActiFry's. Supposedly you can cook plenty of things besides potatoes—meat, veggies, even fruit compote. I'll be trying out several things in the weeks to come, and I look forward to the delicious research!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received some of these products free in exchange for my honest review. Other products I purchased myself. Regardless, I was not required to write a positive review and received no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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