Review: Thrill Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Format: mass market, ebook
Pub Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablance
Length: 352 pages
FTC: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley

I have a soft spot for romantic suspense, but it does have its problems.  There are a lot of eyerolling conventions in the genre, and Thrill Ride seems to have used every single one of them. Headstrong heroine heading blithely into danger? Check. Nookie (or some heavy petting) while in immediate danger? Check. Series bait? Check, check, check.

Part of my problem with this book is the hilarious (and heavy-handed) use of military sayings, regional idioms, and clich├ęd folk sayings. This is a case where even clever language use is weakened by overuse. Too much of it yanked me out of the story on more than one occasion, sometimes even causing me to laugh out loud at the silliness of it.


Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Walnut Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

I was given a huge bag of walnuts recently. HUGE. And with my baking funk for the last few months, they're still hanging around the kitchen. My husband—selfless person that he is—suggested that pumpkin walnut cupcakes or cookies would be a great use for them. And if he had to help eat them, well...sacrifices must be made.

I found these cupcakes at a cute blog called The Comfort of Cooking. The original recipe had a yield of 24 cupcakes, which I can only assume was for full-sized ones, despite the post being about minis. I ended up with nearly 60 mini cupcakes! Good thing these are destined for a school PTO meeting.  The frosting is a little on the tart, soft side. Make sure to store these refrigerated, if frosted!

Makes 50-60 mini cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten until frothy
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Audio Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Title: Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Format: Audible download
Length: 8 hrs
Narrator: James Marsters*
Original Release Date (CD): 2002

A few months ago, I asked people on Twitter for audiobook recommendations for my husband. He listens to many of my romance audiobooks, but he really likes Fantasy and Urban Fantasy. The Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher came highly recommended.

Fast forward a few months.  I purchased the first in the series, Storm Front, on Audible. And while my husband has so far not been interested in listening to it, I decided to give it a try.

I was surprised by how much this book read like a detective novel. Not quite Columbo with a magic staff, but close. Told in the first person, we follow along with Harry as he attempts to solve a case as a consultant for the Chicago PD, and as he takes a side job working as a wizard-for-hire.